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Flossbolna 01-08-2009 03:21 PM

Slightly Delayed Dining Review - with Pictures - updated 3/2 Sunshine Season and Jiko
When I wrote my last dining review (Our Quest for American Food) in 2007 I was not expecting to back within one year. Now I am planning my third winter trip to WDW in a row and will be back in just a little over two weeks time. I guess, this is an experience which a few people around here had before me. :rolleyes1

I actually started to write the dining review for the 2008 trip shortly after the trip on my computer, but never got around to post the first installment. Now planning for our 2009 trip, I am really regretting not finishing it. Now I came up with the idea that doing a dining review is actually a great thing to channel the pre-trip-anxiety into something productive. And hopefully it will set me into the perfect mood to continue with my dining review for 2009 directly after our trip!

In the fall when the winter was looming over us, my friend Carola and I remembered how great it was to escape the grey and cold days of February in Germany and enjoy sunny Florida. Also, Lufthansa (the German airline) had just started direct flights from Frankfurt to Orlando. So after a few phone calls, we decided to fly over the Atlantic just to stay at WDW and booked our stay from January 29 to February 7 2008 at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

A brief introduction of the cast of this review:

Magdalene (that's me), 37, I am a lawyer, normally based in Nuremberg in Bavaria, but at the moment living in Berlin. I am the Disney-fan (you might have guessed from the fact that I am the author of the dining review) and therefore the planner of the trip. I love good food (sometimes a bit too much), I enjoy cooking and experimenting. I can be very adventurous with what I eat, but there are certain things that I absolutely hate: onions, red peppers, shellfish, cilantro and braised meat. So I am picky, but not because something might be exotic, but because I don't like the ingredients (or the method it was cooked). I am not so much into desserts. I like sweets, but rather as a treat inbetween than after a meal. Appetizers however, are just my thing!

Carola, 36, another lawyer, but now working as a tax expert. We met in law school and this is our third trip to WDW together. I still don't really understand after three trips together, how she chooses her food. There are some things I know: she likes chocolate and nearly everything sweet, she likes mashed potatoes and braised meat. However, just as me, she enjoys good food, so for both of, dining is part of a relaxing holiday!

This is a picture of the two of us (I am the one with blond, curly hair) just before we went on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour (which was fantastic by the way)

Flossbolna 01-08-2009 03:23 PM

Dining Plans
So how did we plan our dining? We had a few places that we wanted to revisit: Boma and Jiko at AKL, since we were staying there and really liked those restaurants. California Grill, because Carola wanted to have the cheese board again. And Kona Cafe, I really love the Polynesian and wanted to have a reason to eat there and the food was great there last time. We also had a place that we had discussed both last trips and never made it there: Le Cellier. Besides that: we wanted to eat at places that are “different” for us. Remember, we are from Germany, so typical American food is exotic for us! In the end there was not so much room for new experiences...

These are the ADRs we ended up with:

Boma 6 pm
Teppan Edo 12 pm
Artist Point 5:30 pm
Liberty Tree Tavern 1 pm
California Grill 8:30 pm
Le Cellier 5:30 pm
Boma 9:15 am
Kona Cafe 5:30 pm
Jiko 8:30 pm

As you see, we decided to become signature restaurants girls, eating at three of those. And without telling too much beforehand: we didn't regret those choices. :thumbsup2

Besides those table service restaurants I will also be reviewing our counter service food as we go along through the days. I have plenty of pictures, which I hope you will enjoy! I still like looking at my own food pictures!

This is an index to the reviews on this thread:

1/30 Breakfast at Mara (AKL)
1/30 Lunch at Backlot Express (DHS)
1/30 Dinner at Boma (AKL)
1/31 Lunch at Tepan Edo (Epcot)
1/31 Dinner at Sunshine Season (Epcot)
Bonus post: pictures of Backlot Express
2/1 Lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue (AKL)
2/1 Dinner at Artist Point
2/2 Breakfast at the Mara (AKL)
2/2 Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern (MK)
2/2 Dinner at California Grill (CR)
2/3 Lunch at Columbia Harbour House (MK)
2/3 Dinner at Le Cellier (Epcot)
2/4 Breakfast at Boma (AKL)
2/4 Dinner at La Cantina (Epcot)
2/4 Drinks at Victoria Falls (AKL)
2/5 Breakfast at Mara
2/5 Dinner at Kona Cafe
2/6 Snack at Sunshine Seasons
2/6 Dinner at Jiko

Flossbolna 01-08-2009 03:26 PM

1/30 Breakfast at Mara (AKL)
We had arrived at MCO the evening before with a three hour delay – the entertainment system of our plane was not working and had to be replaced before we were allowed to start the flight from Germany to MCO! :scared1: (We thought this was bad, but the flight back was even worse!! :scared: ) Therefore we got to bed much later than expected.

We still had a pretty early breakfast from Mara at our hotel, the Animal Kingdom Lodge) on our balcony. I went down to get the mugs and something to eat and ended up with two kids meals: waffle with bacon and grapes. A drink was also included. This was our breakfast table:

And this is a close up of the kids meal:

We thought this was a great deal! The waffles were fresh and the portion size was just right for me for breakfast. We ended up getting this a number of times for breakfast.

I really liked the Mara, we never ate a lot of meals there, but found it to be convenient for our needs. Most of the time we took the food back to our room and sat on the balcony. They told me, it was ok, to take the tray with me, mousekeeping would remove it. I never found it too crowded, but I was never there for breakfast after 8 am.

I also very much like the décor:

It also has nice outdoor eating area:

luckytobeme88 01-08-2009 04:06 PM

very nice! I will be folllowing you for sure..;)

TigerKat 01-08-2009 04:51 PM

Count me in!:thumbsup2

MickeyNicki 01-08-2009 05:02 PM

I'm in!

dvc at last ! 01-08-2009 05:10 PM

I am in...
waiting for more !

I love Boma for dinner !


Flossbolna 01-08-2009 05:16 PM


Originally Posted by luckytobeme88 (Post 29550585)
very nice! I will be folllowing you for sure..;)


Originally Posted by TigerKat (Post 29551547)
Count me in!:thumbsup2


Originally Posted by MickeyNicki (Post 29551746)
I'm in!


Originally Posted by dvc at last ! (Post 29551912)
I am in...
waiting for more !

I love Boma for dinner !


Welcome to my first four readers!!! The next update will be online momentarily! :goodvibes

We love Boma as well, it is our only must do for every trip!

Flossbolna 01-08-2009 05:17 PM

1/30 Lunch at Backlot Express (DHS)
We spent the morning at DHS and got an early lunch from the Backlot Express. This was our first time trying a counter service restaurant in this park and we were pleasantly surprised. we got a salad an a sandwich and shared both. We felt that this was plenty of food and really liked both dishes, but the salad was so good that I actually made a point of coming back one day just to eat the salad!

the salad was the South West Salad with mixed greens, crisp corn tortilla, black bean relish, grilled sweet plantains and chimichurri dressing (according to this now includes chicken, we had it without chicken):

The sandwich was the grilled vegetable sandwich. We liked it, but for our taste it was too much cheese and too few vegetables.

As I said before, I went back to Backlot Express and we are already talking about getting lunch there again in a few weeks time.

John's Mom 01-08-2009 06:08 PM

Count me in! :goodvibes Can't wait for your Boma and Jiko reviews!

luckytobeme88 01-08-2009 06:23 PM

OMG, that salad you had in DHS looks like it has chicken on it.

wdw1972 01-08-2009 06:29 PM

That Mara kids' breakfast looks perfect for me! I'm staying concierge the next couple of times, but that almost looks good enough to leave the lounge for :rotfl2:

Shell0616 01-08-2009 07:45 PM

Count me in! Great reviews so far...:goodvibes

TigerKat 01-08-2009 07:51 PM

Backlot has a great grilled turkey sandwich!:goodvibes

5infam 01-08-2009 07:53 PM

I'm in too - We have ADR's at a few of the places you visited, so I am looking forward to what is coming!!:thumbsup2

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