View Full Version : Restaurant Reviews - counter and sit down - long!

11-11-2003, 04:04 PM
Restaurant Reviews

Just DH and I on vacation for 4 days and then I went solo for 2 days. I would say that we are average as to what type of foods we like, DH being slightly more adventurous than me. I tend to avoid hot and spicy things but DH will eat pretty much anything.

We did a combination of counter service and sit down and didnít make it to any character meals this trip.

Here we go...

Counter Service

Tusker House - Our first stop of our trip! I had heard good things about the Tusker House and we werenít disappointed. DH had the salmon with green beans and rice and I had the rottiserrie chicken with veggies and potatoes we shared a pop because we didnít see a drinking fountain to fill our water bottle. DH was a little worried that the portion wouldnít be big enough for him but he was very happy. The salmon was very flavorful and he loved the rice. Mine was great as well. A great diversion from the usual counter service food. We will definitely return to Tusker House. Our total for lunch was right around $19.00

Catalina Eddies / MGM - We had a lot of problems finding someplace that would take our money and feed us a couple of times on this trip and this was one of them. It was about 5:45 pm and Fantasmic was starting at 7:00. Apparently pretty much everything shuts down for dinner at 5:00 at MGM which we were not aware of and pretty frustrated by. Hollywood and Vine was still seating, but we werenít interested in that. We asked at the H&V counter and they mentioned that most things were open near the Anaheim Produce stand. So we headed that way in hopes that something would interest us. We ended up with the BBQ chicken pizza and a side salad at Catalina Eddies. While it wasnít a gourmet meal (which we werenít expecting anyway) we were pretty surprised at how good the pizza was. We just ordered 1 pizza and 1 salad and shared. A pretty good meal for only around $9

Columbia Harbor House / Magic Kingdom - I had heard before on the DIS that the Harbor House is a great place for counter service so I was anxious to try it out. The first time we tried to visit was another episode of ďNo one wants to Feed Us!Ē as it closed at 5:00 and we were looking for dinner around 5:30. I think that night we ended up with a turkey leg because nothing else was open. We ended up back at Columbia Harbor House one day for lunch. We shared a bowl of the clam chowder in bread bowl and a tuna sandwich. We didnít think the clam chowder was quite as good as everyone says it is, but considering youíre at a counter service, itís definitely better than you would think. The tuna sandwich was very good too. They didnít over-do it on the mayo and the bread was a very good wheat bread. Our lunch here came to a grand total of $12.00

Fountainview Cafe / Epcot - DH wanted me to mention our stop here to everyone as he was pretty impressed. We were looking for a quick breakfast on the go at Epcot one morning and we stopped at the Fountainview Cafe. I just had a cinnamon pecan croissant (I love being on vacation!). It was very good. Inside the croissant was a gooey cinnamon filling, yum! DH had a breakfast pocket. It was basically a flaky crust filled with eggs, cheese and sausage (DH loves vacation too ;) ). It was pretty big and DH thought it was very good and filling. We spent $7.00 here with the breakfast pocket being only 3.99, which DH thought was a great deal for as much food as he got.

Sit Down Restaurants

ESPN Zone - Boardwalk - While the ESPN Zone wasnít our first choice we decided to eat here so we could watch what turned out to be an incredibly horrible football game. We didnít arrive as early as we would have liked so we had to stand in line, but the line moved fairly quickly. DH had the hot roast beef sandwich and I had the grilled chicken sandwich with swiss cheese. Our food was standard sports bar fare, but we have no complaints. I had a mudslide and DH had a couple of beers in the process of watching the game. Later in the evening we also shared the apple brown betty with ice cream (an extra $1 for the ice cream). It came out nice and warm and was very good. We will return to ESPN if we want to watch a game, but I think we would eat someplace else on the Boardwalk if there wasnít a game. If you donít count drinks our meal with entrees and dessert was around $23.00

Brown Derby / MGM - We had a PS reservation for lunch at 1:00 at the Brown Derby. We were ready to eat a bit early though and really needed a break. We walked into the restaurant around 10:45 or so and asked them if we could change our PS. The said just to come back at lunch time and they would get us seated. We returned at 11:30 and put our names down for lunch. I think we waited about 10 minutes. We loved the interior of this restaurant. It was our first time and we both thought it was really fun. I started out with portobello mushroom, Laura Chenel's chŤvre cheese ravioli with tomato-fennel sauce and basil and DH had a cup of tortilla soup. Both were very good (we share well)! We then shared the Grilled 10 oz. NY Strip Steak marinated in Ale with chimichurri and boniato mashed potatoes. Our waiter was nice enough to let them know that we were sharing our entree and it came out already split in half for us. Neither one of us had any problems finishing our halves, it was soooo good! The flavor on the steak was wonderful! We had to finish off with a piece of grapefruit cake since I had heard how amazing it was. I think because the cake was so hyped up, it disappointed me a little. We both liked it and donít get me wrong, we finished it, but neither one of us thought it was fantastic. We left very happy and very full! Total for lunch with DHís beer was $44.00

Coral Reef / Epcot - We ate here on our honeymoon 4 1/2 years ago and decided we were long overdue for a return trip. Both of us were craving the lobster bisque so thatís what we started out with. I donít even want to know the nutritional information on this soup, on vacation, all rules are out the window. We then shared a grilled mahi mahi on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes. The potatoes were full of garlic and very good. The fish was a little bland, without the potatoes it would have been too bland and needed some seasoning. We passed on dessert today. Still one of our favorite restaurants we will definitely be back to watch the fish and enjoy a great lunch. Total for lunch with no beverages was $31.00

River Roost / Port Orleans Riverside - This is the little piano bar area of POR right before you enter Boatwrights. We stopped in here for a drink and a snack when we couldnít find a counter service open at Magic Kingdom one night. We ended up staying here for a few hours as we stumbled upon the infamous Bob Jackson! Iíve heard so much about Bob and he lived up to what Iíve heard. He was very entertaining to say the least. Anyway, back to the food. We had an order of crab cakes and shrimp cocktail to eat (both were good). DH had a beer (or 3 or 4 by the end of the night), I ended up drinking a Bayou Haze (just ok) and a Miss Melonies Colada (very good)! No, we arenít alcoholics, I told you were were here for quite a while, a lot longer than we thought we would be. :) Our total with all of our drinks was $52.00

Spoodles / Boardwalk - We have only eaten breakfast and Spoodles and we enjoyed that so much that we decided to try dinner. We walked through Epcot and made our way to Spoodles for a 5:00 PS. We started out with the roasted garlic and four cheese flatbread - it was sooo good! I donít know exactly what kind of cheeses are on that, but itís a great combination. We also added chicken to the flatbread. DH had a soup of the day, but I donít recall exactly what it was. It was a tomato base with sausage and vegetables. Whatever it was, was very good. We then split the Orecchiette Pasta - "Little ear" shaped pasta with chicken, spinach, pepperoncini peppers, olives, tomatoes and peas tossed in a light chicken broth with feta cheese. We added shrimp to it as well for an additional cost. DH liked this more than I did. He rated the soup and flatbread higher, but still thought it was good. I didnít eat a lot of mine. It was a little spicy and I didnít care for the taste of the chicken. We will definitely be returning to Spoodles for dinner again, weíll just try something different. Our total for dinner with 2 glasses of wine and no dessert was $52.00

Plaza Restaurant / Magic Kingdom - This is review 1 of 2 for the Plaza as we visited it once together and I stopped by on a solo day. Our trip together we just shared a club sandwich minus the mayonnaise and that was it. We passed on ice cream and decided to stop in candy store on our way out instead. The club sandwich is good although it could have used a slice of cheese. We love the plaza because itís a nice place to sit down and you donít have to make a PS for it, so itís flexible. Our total for just our club sandwich was $11.00

Plaza - 2 of 2 - It was my birthday on my solo day and I didnít feel like eating at a counter service nor did I feel like eating a big plate of pasta at Tonyís so I decided to eat at the plaza again. I splurged on a hamburger with french fries and a strawberry malt (remember, itís my birthday, no oinking noises please!) The hamburger wasnít the best burger Iíve ever had, I actually prefer Beaches and Cream for a hamburger (we ate there too, Iíll get to that in a minute). The malt was very good and the plus side, I didnít have to fight my DH for the cherry on top! Total for burger and malt $16.00

Kona Cafe / Polynesian - This was another solo day for me as DH was in a work meeting. My choices were either go back to an off property hotel and try and find some place to eat in one of their stuffy restaurants or I could continue my trip on the monorail and get off at the Poly. Hmmm...tough decision! ;) Kona cafe it is! I donít think Iíve ever had a bad meal at the Poly and this time was no exception. I did decide however that I didnít want a whole entree all by myself so I ordered the soup of the day which was a creamy potato soup and the crab cake appetizer. The crab cakes were full of meat and very good, the soup was great as well. Oh, I also had a little mai tai while I was waiting for my food. :) Total including my beverage was $21.00

Beaches and Cream / Beach Club - This was a last minute addition to our plans. We were wiped out from our day in the park and needed an evening off. I told DH the plans were up to him. His perfect evening in WDW? Beaches and Cream followed by mini golfing! We walked right into Beaches and Cream around 5:15. We each had hamburgers, DH a cheeseburger actually and we shared a malt. Burgers, fries and ice cream were delicious as always! We never dislike a meal at Beaches and Cream. Total for dinner and malt (just water to drink) was $20.00

California Grill / Contemporary - This was what I had been waiting for all week, my birthday dinner! We had a PS for 6:10 and were seated shortly after that at a table that had a good view of the Magic Kingdom. DH had called ahead and mentioned it was my birthday, but I also had my birthday pin on, so it wasnít a big secret. Our server said happy birthday as well as the person who seated us, but that was pretty much the extent of the birthday festivities at CG. We started out with a flatbread, of course I donít remember the exact description of it, but it had chicken, olives and 2 kinds of cheese. It was very good!!! DH had the Oak Fired Beef Filet with Cheddar Potato Gratin, Buttered Green Beans, and Tamarind Barbecue. And I had the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Polenta, Cremini Mushrooms, and Zinfandel Glaze. Both were amazing! We ordered the right things because even though we agreed both of our meals were great, I liked mine better than DHís and he liked his better than mine. We finished off our meal with the warm valroha chocolate cake with white chocolate ice cream. They added a little piece of chocolate that said ďhappy birthday from the california grillĒ to our dessert. It was a perfect meal. Weíll definitely be saving our pennies to go back again. Our total for appetizer, dinner, dessert and a glass of wine each was $94.

We always eat way too much at WDW, but enjoy every minute of our gluttonous behavior as we donít eat like that at home!

Our only disappointment would be trying to find a quick dinner both at MK and MGM, less than 2 hours before the park closed. I really didnít think that would be such an issue. Now I know to plan farther ahead for those times. We did also have one morning where we couldnít find anything for a quick breakfast at MK - we had passed the Main Street bakery already. We ended up eating french fries at Cosmic Rays at 10:30 in the morning :rolleyes: even I donít usually go that far on vacation, but we were starving.

Thanks for reading! Any question let me know. :)


11-11-2003, 04:48 PM
I absolutely loved reading your food report! It was well-written, and what I found truly interesting about it is that I walked away from it with a sense of who you and your husband are... and I liked those people!

I love that you share food so often. I love that you stopped in for a quick snack at POR and wound up enjoying Bob Jackson (I can't wait to see him when I go... I'm staying at POR on my very, very, very quickly upcoming trip). I love your positive attitude. When you don't particularly care for something, you don't bash it, but instead say, "You know, it wasn't for me. Next time, we'll order something else."

I don't remember ever walking away from a food report feeling as charmed as I did by yours!

Thanks for sharing.


11-11-2003, 07:53 PM
Wow, I'm really hungry after reading these reviews!

11-11-2003, 08:07 PM
What great reviews! Perfectly detailed and I am now hungry and wanting something from the Kona Cafe....thanks so much for sharing!

11-11-2003, 08:32 PM
Great reviews, thanks for sharing! :)

11-11-2003, 09:14 PM
Thanks for the reviews! I enjoyed reading them. :)

11-11-2003, 10:53 PM
Oh my, french fries at l0:30 in the a.m.!

You won't get by with that when you have kids, Tami.

IT IS hard to find a place to eat at late in the day. I don't understand why Disney does this. It's very frustrating. Why do they close these counters early when they know people for waiting for the Fant show to start.

Good report and it sounds like you had a nice variety of meals.

Just wanted to mention you might want to get the AK value meal voucher next time at the AK. $11.99 per adult and you can order anything on any AK restaurant menu plus get a water or pop and icream or popcorn later included. Purchase voucher at any AK restaurant.

We like the Plaza too for great sandwiches and soup.

Where is the Foundtainview Cafe at Epcot. I just can't place it.


11-11-2003, 11:50 PM
What wonderful reviews; I felt like I was there eating right alongside you. :D
One little tip....you mentioned that you ordered soda at Tusker house because you didn't see a drinking fountain to refill your water bottles.......you can ask any fast food place to refill your bottle and they will gladly do it. Some places will refill your bottle, others will give you a cup of ice water that you can pour in your bottle.
Thanks for the reviews. :D

11-12-2003, 06:17 AM
Enjoyed your reviews.
May try Spoodles again one trip--been awhile since we last had dinner there.
And I know what you mean about the Grapefruit cake--last trip there we ordered it and I was hard put to distinguish any grapefruit flavor at all.

Big V
11-12-2003, 08:07 AM
Very good reviews! Thanks for sharing!:cool:

11-12-2003, 08:41 AM
jerseydreamer - enjoy your stay at POR! Bob Jackson is there Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 - Midnight. At least that's what we were told when we were there. He gets everyone from age 2 to 102 on their feet and having fun. It's a blast.

hercamore - trust me, I didn't want french fries at 10:30 in the morning. A muffin would have hit the spot a bit more! Thanks for the tip on the AK vouchers. The Fountainview Cafe is right by the dancing fountains at Epcot and right next to Ice Station Cool.

Thanks SamSam - I never think to ask someone to refill our bottles!


11-12-2003, 08:55 AM
Bah! What football game?!?!!? That wasn't a football game, that was a really annoying waste of a 3-6 timeframe. :D

Good reviews, especially the Tusker House. I'm trying to convince my wife (zulaya!) that we need to go there in a few days.


11-12-2003, 09:38 AM

I know you didn't want french fries for breakfast, I was only kidding, LOL.

One place you might like at Epcot (maybe you have already been there) is the soup/salad counter at Sunshine Food Fair in Epcot.

DD and I split most of our meals cuz we're not big eaters. At this soup/salad counter, we each get a bowl of homemade chicken soup and split the Italian sandwich they offer which is quite good for a counter place.

On our last trip to Disney, we only ate lunch in the parks instead of two meals like we usally do. When the parks close early, we just head out to dt disney or drive to one of the many fine restaurants close to dt disney. We find we save some $$, too cuz my son is a big and adventuous (read mom's paying, order big) eater. LOL.


11-12-2003, 02:55 PM
Great reviews, thanks for the solo suggestions!

Credit Man
11-12-2003, 03:02 PM
Great reviews!

11-13-2003, 09:22 AM
Wonderful reviews ~ Thanx for sharing.

11-13-2003, 11:23 PM
Wow! I'm very impressed with the detail! I can't remember what I had for lunch today.

We were also at ESPN on 11/2. We found a LONG line when we arrived around 7pm, but as the afternoon games ended the line moved quickly as the fans of the teams involved in those games left.

It was a night I'd rather forget, but I do remember that I had a gigantic hot dog with chili.

So, I'm not sure if it was the chili dog or the Vikings' defense that gave me nightmares that night!

11-14-2003, 09:36 AM
I looked for a big Vikings family Manchurian - I didn't see you guys. We were in the bar because we were able to grab an open table in there faster than the line was moving. Were you in the bar or the restaurant? I did poke my head in the restaurant portion, but didn't see you.

11-14-2003, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the reviews ... its filled with great detail and defintely helps with our plans! Its nice to know that sharing works great!