F&W, Halloween & Christmas-and all the food in between! Updated 4/6
Hello everyone! Welcome to my first Dining Report!
My DH, Brian, and I returned from the most magical place on earth a couple of weeks ago. I've been so crazy with work, Thanksgiving, and everything else since we got back. But I have finally uploaded some of our food pictures and want to get started telling you all about it!
Just for the sake of details - here they are (because somebody out there might care :) ) The food is coming soon. Just hang on!
Dates: Wednesday, October 31st - Saturday, November 10th
Who: Just Brian and myself
Where: Caribbean Beach Resort
This was our second visit during Food & Wine and it was exponentially better than last year. For one, we went about a month later so the weather was excellent. Last October (5th-15th), it literally rained for 2 and a half days early in the trip. Plus, the heat just made it difficult to want to eat hot F&W food. The food was still tasty but eating in high 80s vs. eating in low-mid 70s made a world of difference to me. Lastly, I planned much better this trip. I'm the type that plans like a crazy person for weeks, has color coordinated charts, and listens to 4 or 5 different Disney podcasts religiously. But as soon as we leave, we're on vacation. I use the chart as a guide. We keep our ADRs (almost) always. We generally keep to the park I have planned for each day. But other than that - we go with the flow. :cool1:
There we are - aren't we cute?
Okay - a few details about us regarding FOOD! I always like to know a little about the person reviewing so I know their frame of reference better.
Me: I love to cook. During normal weeks I plan out our menu before going to the grocery store. I could spend hours in the grocery. Whole Foods is one of my favorite places. I love finding new ingredients. I cook 3 or 4 meals throughout the week and we usually only eat out once (if even that). Luckily, both Brian and I are just fine eating leftovers. I used to be a pretty picky eater. But moving out of my parents house and losing some weight in my early 20s helped me to branch out, a lot! There aren't many foods I dont like. Bananas, peaches, and melon come to mind. I just realized those are all fruits...weird. And I'm not really a fan of fast food. I can probably count on one hand the times I've been to a drive-thru in the last year (counting vacations!). Anyway, some things that tend to catch my eye on a menu are mushrooms, goat cheese, polenta, risotto, sage, rosemary, sweet potatoes, avocado...I'm sure there are more. If I see those listed in an entrée, it's likely that I'll order it. But, I also have to say, because I cook so much, at least half the joy of dining out is not having to be over the stove, clean the dishes, etc. I also usually do not order things that I can easily make myself.
Brian: He loves to eat what I cook. :rotfl: He has absolutely no cooking ability. I'm sure if he was remotely interested he could learn. But that's the problem - he has no inclination whatsoever. In his teenage years, if his parents went out of town, he would usually either eat McDonalds (yuck!!!), instant oatmeal, or MAYBE a PB&J if he was feeling gourmet. :rolleyes2 But I have spoiled him. He takes leftovers for lunch everyday and turns his nose up at McDonalds now too (mission accomplished - YES!). His palate has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. I can't think of much he won't eat. He isn't a huge fan of mushrooms; but that doesn't stop me from using them at least once per week. :p He always eats them so I tend to think he's all talk. I actually have learned to not tell him if I use an ingredient I'm not sure if he'll like. He's more weird about thinking generic brands aren't up to par. But it's all in his head. If I just dont tell him or refill the name brand package with the generic stuff, he never says a word. He has caught me a few times. :blush: But it's for his own good! :lmao:
Okay, I've spent way too much time rambling about us. But I'm not going to erase it now! I'll just jump right into where we ate. The names will link to the review:
Thursday November 1st:
(L) Food & Wine booths
Friday November 2nd:
(B) Main Street Bakery
(L) Pecos Bill
(S) Aloha Isle
(D) The Wave
Saturday November 3rd:
(F&W Seminar) SkinnyGirl / Bethenny Frankel
(D) Teppan Edo
(S) Funnel Cake Kiosk - America
Sunday November 4th:
(B) Old Port Royale
(L) Earl of Sandwich
Monday November 5th:
(L) AMC Movie snacks
(D) Via Napoli
Tuesday November 6th:
(B) Kona Café
(L) Art of Animation: Landscape of Flavors
(D) California Grill
Wednesday November 7th:
(B) Sunshine Seasons
(L) Food & Wine booths
(S) Boulangerie Patisserie (France) / Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (Norway)
(D) Wolfgang Puck Café
Thursday November 8th:
(B) Old Port Royale
(L) Earl of Sandwich
Friday November 9th:
(L) Be Our Guest
(D) Raglan Road
Whew! This is going to be a lot of food. I got pictures of (almost) everything. I had every intention of writing down prices and comparing the dining plan vs. out of pocket. Short version: that didn't happen. :laughing: Sorry! But reliving it all will still be fun. I hope you'll join me!
can't wait to read your reviews! :)
Everything looks yummy! Looking forward to it!
Great intros and I am really looking forward to your reviews :goodvibes
Thursday – November 1st
Our trip actually started on Wednesday, 10/31. Both Brian and I went to work for a half day and we left our house around 4:00pm. We stopped a little more than halfway down and stayed in a clean (but creepy :confused:) hotel. The next morning we stopped at Starbucks (Pumpkin Spice Latte!!) and made it to Caribbean Beach Resort around noon. We quickly checked in and dumped our luggage in the room. We had a way more important place to be: the Food & Wine Festival!!!
Very first stop – Hawaii. We both got the Kahlua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise. Actually, Brian got two all for himself :laughing:. We had this last year and he knew he loved it.
We both loved it again! I thought the portion was generous and the spicy mayo was really good.
Next up was Greece. I got the Spanakopita. Again, I thought the portion of two was great. I love spinach. Add cheese and a crusty pocket and I’m one happy girl.
Right across from Greece was the Canada booth. Since we were eating there for dinner, I talked Brian out of getting the sausage for the moment. However, I did want to try the Apple Ice Wine. I really enjoy cider (especially hard cider :rolleyes1) so I thought I would like this. I was in shock though when I saw how absolutely tiny this serving was. I paid $5.25 for that? Yep – sure did :sad2:
It was awesome though. I could have had a huge glass. Instead, I had about a thimbleful.
Next was Ireland. Another repeat for Brian – the Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie. I had a bite and it was very good. We were both impressed with the large chunk of lobster he found inside.
I opted for alcohol instead! I got the Bunratty Potcheene Chilled Irish Coffee ($6.50). While still a little small, this was much more acceptable for a portion to me. And it was so yummy! I only allowed Brian to have a small sip. :goodvibes
Around this time, we were both coming close to satisfied :( But it was still so early! But, we also wanted to be hungry for dinner. I knew I wanted to try a couple of more food items since I still had a little room. We came upon France and I decided to get the Coq au Vin sur Gratin de Macaroni. This had so much flavor! The red wine braised chicken, yes chicken!, was so tender and had a beefy flavor. I’m not sure I had any onions in mine but there were mushrooms and macaroni.
My last food item of the day was from Morocco. I chose the Merguez Sausage (Beef and Lamb Sausage with Grilled Peppers and Onions). It came wrapped up. I was afraid it would be cold since it wasn’t made fresh. I was wrong though! It was actually a little too hot to eat at first. I love sautéed onions and peppers so I was excited. The sauce from the onions and sausage was so good. The only negative about this is that I only saw one teeny pepper amongst the rest. It was still very tasty though.
Brian had one more stop to make before he called it quits. A little background: my husband feels he was born in the wrong country. For some reason, he has a slight obsession with Japanese culture. He’s pretty into video games so I think that’s where it started. But he also loves Japanese (well, Americanized Japanese) food, history, Samurai, swords, traditional clothes…I could go on. Anyway, because of this, he desperately wants to like Sake. He had only tried it twice before this trip and couldn’t honestly say he liked it. He was determined to find one he liked this time. (Why I didn’t sign him up for a tasting seminar, I have no idea. FAIL on my part!) Anyway, so I had heard of an item on Japan’s menu - Sake Strawberry Mist. I thought it might ease him into it a little more than the straight shots had. He thought this was good but you really couldn’t taste the Sake. I tried it and he was right. But that was a good thing to me :laughing: The Sake I tried before tasted like fingernail polish remover. This did not taste like fingernail polish remover – thankfully!
So, that was it for this day's tastings at Food & Wine! Looking back now, it doesn't seem like we had that much food this first time but we were satisfied. Don't worry though - we went back another day and I think we got through a lot more the second time! We didn’t really have any duds either. And the temperature outside was so great! My planning had thoroughly paid off too. I was super crazy and listed items we wanted to try on notecards along with items I knew we did NOT want to try. I felt like such a nerd but it worked out perfectly! I numbered them so that they were in order of which booth we'd come to going counter-clockwise around the lake. If we do F&W again in the future, I will be repeating my method on this.
Next up, one of my favorites from past trips: Le Cellier!
Can't wait to read more!!
I am determined to go the Greece and Ireland booths at my next F&W! I have seen everyone's pictures and the food looks uh-MAY-zing!
Le Cellier is one of my dream meals so I can't wait to see what you thought. :)
Hi there friend! :yay: (for those of you who don't know me, let me introduce myself! I'm SBPrincess's Best Friend! :hug:) We somewhat grew up together, bridesmaids in each other's weddings and can't get through a day without an email or phone call to each other!
That wine glass was TINY!!! I would be really upset about that! But servings of wine tend to be small anyway…
That lobster and seafood Fisherman's Pie looks AMAZING!!! :hyper:
Can't wait for your next installment!!!!
Looked like a great day at F&W to me!
I had never liked sake until our August trip when I found the sweeter and flavored sakes. I agree that those I had tried in the past did taste like nail polish remover! I had the most amazing green apple sake at Yak & Yeti! Tasted just like a cold crisp granny smith apple! Maybe your husband would like flavored sakes better ...
I'm in!! I'm so glad to hear you were pleased with a later food & wine trip because that's exactly what we're doing next year. We've always done early to mid October and are changing to 10/31-11/8 for 2013.
Also, hoping to see some holiday decorations going as bit later too! Did y'all get to see any decorations?
Wine glass - I know!!! I would have been better with that serving it it was say, $3. But $5 something?...uh, no. Ah well...whatareyougonnado? :confused3
Thanks for reading everyone! Next installment is coming soon! :cheer2:
Hi everyone! I’m so sorry this report has been going so slow. Our weekends have been pretty busy. But I think from now on I should be able to update more regularly. Stay with me, please!
So after an awesome lunch of Food & Wine goodies, we hung out in Epcot until it was time for our dinner at Le Cellier. I know this restaurant has its critics. Many do not view it as anything more than a “decent” steakhouse. I am not one of those people. We’ve dined here every trip except for one and it’s always been great! Yes, the tables are too close together. Yes, it’s slightly dark inside. Yes, the hype to get an ADR is probably more than the restaurant warrants. However, if I can get an ADR, I’m going to take it! My trip wouldn’t be ruined without eating here, or anywhere for that matter. But I do consider it one of my favorites.
Okay, onto the food! We checked in for our ADR a few minutes early and there actually wasn’t a huge crowd in the waiting area like there usually is. Within just a few minutes we were taken to our table. We’ve sat all over the restaurant on our visits: back corner by the restrooms, middle-left as you enter, dead center, and this time it was far right (as you enter) almost in the corner. If there was one change I could make about Le Cellier, it would be the proximity to the other tables. You might as well push them all together and make one long table against the booths. I feel both slightly intrusive and intruded upon during the meal. :listen: But it’s worth it!
I really wanted to see if they had a human’s portion of the ice wine I had sampled earlier at F&W. They didn’t – boo! So instead, I ordered the Éphémère – “The story of a Fairy looking for love, and her dreams, this is a lighter beer with a fruity flavor, and draws its charms from a bountiful seasons harvest. White ale with hints of apple, is delicate with its hint of sweetness.”
I haven’t tried much beer in my day. What I have tried has been pretty bitter. This was not! It wasn’t nearly as sweet as the ice wine, but it was very good IMO. Brian didn’t care for it at all though. I got a diet coke after this. I could have had another, but decided against it.
He decided to get the Blueberry Icewine Martini – “Iceberg Vodka, Château des Charmes Videl Icewine, and Muddled Blueberries”. But he subbed the blueberries for raspberries. :rolleyes: Our server suggested the switch since he said he didn’t care for blueberries. He REALLY enjoyed this. I think he had two! I thought it was good too.
As you probably guessed, they brought the bread basket next. There were “The Three”. I love, love, love the pretzel bread. I think Brian likes that one the most too.
See that mound on the right side? What do you think…maybe 1/2 cup…of pure fat? I have a confession. Most of that mound was eaten by two unnamed people sitting in extremely close proximity to it. Let me explain: I love butter. Brian and I joke about my true heritage being Italian because I love the food and culture so much. As horrible as it sounds, I really wish I was part of the Corleone family in The Godfather. You know, without all of the killing and drugs and stuff. And while I do really enjoy olive oil too, butter is so much better. (You wondered where that Italian tid-bit was coming from, right?) But me and butter can never really go steady. Alas, he’s just not good for me…sigh. But I was on vacation. So I could eat an equal ratio of bread to butter and it be okay, right?...RIGHT?!?! Oh, and I didn’t mention that the salt on top was MAPLE flavored! O.M.G.
After indulging in at least one full pretzel bread stick and the equivalent amount of butter, why not dip these babies in more fat, er, I mean creamy, cheesy, bacony goodness? Why yes, I do mean the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup! Thankfully we had enough sense to share this instead of getting two appetizers.
Goodness, I could have, or should have stopped there. But remember, this was day one of vacation. I was still in the eat-everything-in-sight-because-you’ve-been-depriving-yourself-for-months mode. This was no time for restraint. For my entrée I ordered the Mushroom Filet Mignon - 8-oz AAA Canadian Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Risotto, White Truffle-Butter Sauce, and Micro Chervil. I make no substitutions people. Risotto makes this girl very happy. I cringe when I read that people sub the mashed potatoes for the risotto. No offense if you do that. I just don’t get it.
I always order steaks medium. I’m thinking about trying medium rare the next time I get a steak but I haven’t had the courage yet. This steak was cooked perfectly. Everything about it was perfect – filet, mushrooms, risotto, BUTTER sauce – check, check, check, CHECK!!!
Brian opted for Canadian “Prime” New York Strip - 12-oz Strip Steak with Potato Pavé, Wilted Spinach, and Vin Rouge Reduction.
I honestly don’t remember there being anything except the steak and potatoes, nor do I see anything else in the above picutre. The menu online says it included spinach. I think they’re lying.
He really enjoyed his steak as well. He gets his dry, I mean, medium-well. But he likes it that way. :rolleyes: NY Strip is his preferred cut too so he was happy.
We were on the dining plan so let’s add some sugar to our fat for dessert, shall we? Unfortunately, this was before I realized my affinity for crème brulee. I should have ordered that. Instead I got the Trio of Chocolate - Chocolate “Nanaimo” Bar, Chocolate Sorbet, and Chocolate Lava Cake (picture goes lava cake, bar, then sorbet).
Um, this was okay. I’m actually not a huge chocolate person. I do like it. But I actually prefer vanilla. I would probably also choose coconut, peanut butter, cinnamon, or butterscotch over chocolate. I’m not a huge caramel fan either. Again, I like it – just not my favorite sweet flavor. So I’m not sure why I ordered this. I guess I was taking a chance. (FYI – the pumpkin cheesecake was not on the menu. I would have definitely ordered that if it were.) The bar was my favorite, then the lava cake. I didn’t care for the sorbet though. Ice cream is my treat of choice at home. This sorbet didn’t do it for me though.
Brian opted for the “No sugar added” Heirloom Apples - Mascarpone Panna Cotta, Poached Apples, and Apple Crisp. I don’t think this had artificial sweetener because Brian can almost always pick that out. He loved this. I didn’t care for the poached apple part. But the panna cotta was awesome!
Overall, we had another great dinner at Le Cellier! Our server was very nice and attentive, but not hovering. My dessert was kind of a dud but everything else was wonderful. We made our way outside and found a nice spot for Illuminations. We had only been on property for half the day but it was an excellent start to the vacation!
Next up: Magic Kingdom day – Main Street Bakery!
Hmm… you know, I'm not a beer fan either, but now I'm interested in the one you tried!
I can't wait to try Le Cellier one day! I have noticed a lot of places are offering pretzel bread as an appetizer lately- even Chili's! I'm sure that you and I would have been fighting over the butter! It's the Georgia blood in our veins! :goodvibes
We need to be better about encouraging each other to update more often!!! It's not like you have started a new job or I have been dealing with Family Drama lately! We've GOT to get our priorities straight!!! :rotfl:
great start to your review - loving the pictures
Just a note that Ice Wine tends to be expensive and tends to be served in much smaller amounts than regular wine. It is a dessert wine and is to be sipped.
I definitely can see being frustrated by the serving size, but proportionally to a regular wine it is probably the right amount
Bottles of Ice Wine are 1/2 the amount of normal wine bottles and cost as much or more than a standard bottle of wine.
Oh, and I am right there with Brian in that I really wanted to like Sake, but just haven't really gotten into it
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