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Old 12-27-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
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A Post Open-Heart Surgery/Anniversary Dining Report!!! FINISHED! (and we are FULL!)

Hi Everyone!!!

Wingnut and I are longtime dining report lovers, and so we decided that it was high time for one of our own!

As the title implies, this trip has a little bit of a backstory (in the briefest form possible lol)...

This past spring, I started to feel exceptionally tired. Not having had any health issues before, I went to my GP, who told me he didn't want me to be concerned, but I had to see a cardiologist immediately, and made sure I had an appointment first thing the next morning.

Convinced this had to be a bit of an error, I went, at which point I found out I had mitral valve prolapse, a heart murmur, and a significant leak in my mitral valve, which he said my heart was handling well at the moment. We'd keep an eye on it.

Fast-forward to 3 months later, my energy is declining further, and it is time for my cardiologist follow-up appointment. He says we are now at a surgical point, the valve needs to be repaired.

I underwent the mitral valve repair on July 19th, 2 days after my 25th birthday. It went perfectly. My recovery has been slow, but steady.

(Food is coming soon, I promise)

So somewhere in the middle of this, before we knew I needed surgery, Wingnut and I decided to plan a trip to Disney for our anniversary (October 6th - 3 years). We made all the plans. We made reservations for Jiko for the 6th. We were tremendously excited to be going during the Food and Wine Festival, which we had never been to.

...and which we still haven't been to. Post-surgery, it was clear that I would not be close to the energy level I'd want to be at for Disney in October. It was incredibly disappointing to change our anniversary plans, but we knew it was for the best. We changed our dates to mid-December, re-booked dining, and began to wait for our trip to come.

We were going to be using the DDXP, our first time using that. Stay tuned to see how we did on that.

More to come!

Last edited by Stringbean&Wingnut; 02-13-2011 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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Also worth mentioning...

Something you'll also notice throughout our trip is that I have a few food allergies. My poor beleaguered Wingnut can eat pretty much anything on his plate (and the things I can't/won't eat).

Ready for the litany? I am allergic to cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, mango, and peanut. Oh, and I am also lactose-intolerant. I'm such a casual traveler, right? This ranged from being a total non-issue at the Captain's Grille for breakfast to a special plate being made for me by an incredibly kind chef at Boma.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:47 PM   #3
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In-Flight Snacks!

And let's go!

Wingnut and I like flying to Disney at very early hours, it gives us more time to enjoy (read: eat in) Disney!

So you can put a face to the reviews:

This was the first time we had ever flown JetBlue (loved it!), and hence, the first time ever enjoying these little cerulean delights of crunch:

A little bland, but the color definitely makes up for it (I ate them on the way home too).

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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Beaches & Cream

Actual Disney food now!!!

So Wingnut and I (fortified solely on a bagel and blue chips so far) checked in at the Yacht Club, dropped our bags off at the room, and scooted right over to Beaches & Cream next door. We had never been here, just had heard about it on the Dis, and were excited to have lunch here.

We walked to the podium at around 12:15, and I was surprised to be given a choice of a counter, table, or booth, all available right away, given the size of the restaurant. We chose the booth, and happily began to peruse the sherbet-hued menu.

We both decided on the Roast Beef Sub, which comes with cheese, peppers, onions, and (possibly) mushrooms. It is also accompanied by french fries and au jus for dipping.

I enjoyed this, it was a nice and filling meal after our journey to the World. Wingnut says that "it was good, a teensy bit dry, but the au jus was enough to make up for it, it had a nice flavor. The fries were run of the mill, and not very well salted."

Beaches and Cream has those fun squeezy bottles of ketchup and mustard, which Wingnut used to create a hidden condiment Mickey.

Wingnut ordered a strawberry malt along with his sandwich, which he really enjoyed: "very thick and malty, probably the best malt i've had since i was a kid."

I had asked our waitress earlier in the meal about non-dairy ice cream alternatives available (they offer Rice Dream and Tofutti products), the wheels in my head turning in the direction of a post-sub sundae. However, as I watched him delighting in his frozen treat (a teensy bit jealous), our waitress came over to let me know that they could make me a non-dairy malt with soy milk and either the Rice Dream or Tofutti, if I so desired.


I love Disney World.

Yes, vanilla please. :

(Yes, that is whipped cream on top - I can have limited bits of dairy.)

I never knew non-dairy life could be so rich and decadent!! This was the perfect way to start our vacation, and Wingnut was thrilled I could join him for a malt, something we never even considered could be possible.

Filled with meaty and malty goodness, we were now ready to start our vacation!
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
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Count me in! Glad that your surgery went well and that you were able to switch your anniversary plans to mid-December!

WDW-offsite 1977, 1984; Dixie Landings November 1998; CSR June 2007; AKL November/December 2009; BWV/Western Magic/BLT February 2011; BCV July 2011; BLT/3 day Dream October 2012; HHI April 2013; BW August 2013
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:04 PM   #6
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Congratulations on a successful surgery. How nice to have had a Disney trip to look forward to. Your reviews are off to a great start... can't wait for more.

I'm in awe that Beaches 'n Cream was so uncrowded at lunchtime... clearly your trip mojo was working overtime.

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Old 12-29-2010, 07:18 PM   #7
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My goodness girl, you definitely earned this trip the hard way! Glad to hear you're recovering well. Keep up the good work on the reviews, really enjoying them (even if they did just jumpstart my dinner cravings an hour early! )
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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Kona breakfast is definitely something I have to try. Although the tonga toast sounds a bit too sweet for me.

Love that you are saving room for Jiko and eating lunch "responsibly."

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Old 01-02-2011, 09:16 AM   #9
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Ouch, sorry your meal at Tangierine Cafe wasn't so great
Looks like a quick trip to France made it all better though
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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Happy new Year to you both. We tried tangierine in 2009 and had the mixed slider meal, awful - only the baklava was worth eating.

Love the look of your meal at Raglan Road however.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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LOL - most food in the UK isn't served on skewers, honest

Great review of Raglan Road
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by amyrella View Post
JIKO looks amazing!!! i was wishing i was there now (although its only 9:45am) but it made my mouth water!!!! YUM! I'll have to try there someday!
I wish I was there now too!!!! You should definitely try it, it's a wonderful restaurant!

Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Ouch, sorry your meal at Tangierine Cafe wasn't so great
Looks like a quick trip to France made it all better though
Too bad we didn't start off there, right? Well, lunch #1 just made the bakery items that much more appealing!

Originally Posted by chocolateMinnie View Post
Happy new Year to you both. We tried tangierine in 2009 and had the mixed slider meal, awful - only the baklava was worth eating.

Love the look of your meal at Raglan Road however.
Happy New Year to you too!!! I was definitely surprised at how very disappointing that meal was. Wingnut thought the baklava wasn't bad too, but it certainly didn't get more than a bite or two from him.

Raglan Road is a lot of fun! Especially if you go while the band and dancers are performing, it makes for a really lively and enjoyable meal! (And I'm standing my ground saying that bread pudding was awesome.

Originally Posted by Miffy2003 View Post
LOL - most food in the UK isn't served on skewers, honest

Great review of Raglan Road
Thank you (from Wingnut)!

I figured most things weren't, Wingnut just happened to choose a skewer-y meal!
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:15 PM   #13
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Goofy's Candy Company

Stringbean, back at the helm!

Goofy's Candy Company was probably the most anticipated stop of our trip. Seriously, I'm not sure that one treat has had so much buildup. Ever.

More backstory:

So this past winter, spring, and summer was a fairly stressful onslaught of doctors visits, medical tests, and that crinkly examining room table paper. (Nothing says you're in a doctors office more than sitting on crinkly paper.) These tests usually involved a lot of lying still while my heart and thyroid (yes, it decided to join the fray at one point) were being photographed and listened to in various forms.

During these tests, I would sometimes play Disney music in my head (Illuminations, Splash Mountain, Wishes, etc), but more often I would play games, usually "What Treat From Goofy's Candy Company Would I Get Today?"

You would be surprised how distracting this can be. Seriously.

"Marshmallows, dipped in dark chocolate, with Oreo crumbs, drizzled in white chocolate."

"3 pretzel rods (I would pick this option particularly during longer tests), one with white chocolate, mini M&M's, drizzled in caramel (this was still an option a few months ago); one with milk chocolate, Oreo crumbs, and dark chocolate drizzle; and one with dark chocolate, coconut, and caramel drizzle."

Et cetera.

Wingnut would even start to ask me what I would choose that day. It became a game of sweet, sugary distraction, whose brainstorming would pay off on our eventual trip.

And now that day had arrived. We entered Goofy's, first playing with the fun mirrors.

Wingnut and I then began making the treat choices together.

(Also, hi, my name is Sara )

Rice Krispy Treat. Milk Chocolate Dip.

Mini M&M's.

White Chocolate Drizzle.

So how was it???

It tasted like sweet, sweet victory.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #14
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Epcot snacks

From Kouzzina, Wingnut and I meandered over to Epcot, where we continued to, well, meander. Epcot is both of our favorite parks, and we usually find ourselves there at least once every day during our trips.

Our Spaceship Earth future: (it involves, appropriately enough, spaceships)

After our slow-moving journey through time, and a few others (Figment, anyone else?), I began to get a bit peckish. The sight of Mickey-head lettuce did not help.

Wingnut was still full from breakfast, so I got a pretzel from the stand in Future World by the Land. I then ate a bunch of it before remembering to take a picture.

While I was gnawing on the warm salty goodness, a monorail approached.

Photo opportunity seized, we then moved on, making our way around World Showcase. I started to get hungry again. Wingnut was still full from breakfast.

Well, someone's gotta be the little piggy here!

You may recall from my earlier retrospective post that the year before, I had gotten a chocolate crepe from the little stand (kiosk?) in France. It was warm and chocolatey, and the CM had drawn an awesome music note design inside of it. Don't remember? Ok, here it is again.

Rounding our way towards France, I began to get excited for the chocolatey crepe. We stepped up to the kiosk (stand?), and ordered one chocolate crepe.

Who's excited? Me!

I then noticed the CM using a sugar shaker on/in/all over the crepe.

Um, this is different. I realized after he folded the crepe with nary a chocolate drizzle inside that this was going to be a sugar crepe, not a chocolate one. I decided to go with it, and see how it was.

I'll go with incredibly disappointing. I'm actually still a bit pouty thinking about it, over a month later. (yes, I do hold onto my pastry resentment.) I didn't take a picture of it, but it basically just looked like an empty crepe with sugar granules. It was bland, and the sugar was crunchy, which I just found weird. The crepe was also a bit on the room-temperature end, as it hadn't spent a lot of time on the crepe-warmer-iron-thing.

I poked at the crepe forlornly, ate a few bites, then spied another stand that was sure to change my disappointing snack for the better:

YAY for Grand Marnier squishees!!! This wonderfulness changed my mood right around, and I sipped on the cool orange liqueur as we sat by the fountain in France. Much better French kiosk treat! (And yes, I did share a sip of this with Wingnut, I'm so generous )

If Wingnut had been hungrier, I'm sure we would have made more of our Epcot snacking, but this did the trick for this afternoon. Plus, we had a dinner at Narcoosees to look forward to...can't go to that full!
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #15
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Dinner at Narcoosees

Getting to Narcoosees is a bit tricky, isn't it?

I don't even mean just physically getting there, just getting the reservation required multiple and frequent trips to the Disney Reservations website, ADR finagling, and a touch more patience than I usually possess. But Wingnut was interested in eating here, so I persevered.

Additional motivation stemmed from potentially dining at the Grand Floridian, one of only two locations (the second is CRT) that offers the Cinderella's slipper dessert. I wanted it. I reeeaaaalllly wanted it.

Reservation scored, I hinted subtly to my beloved that I wanted the slipper dessert, giving him pricing information, our reservation number, and the phone number he needed to call. Just call me Stringbean the Subtle. Ahem.

Then, as I hinted at before, there was the task of actually getting to the Grand Floridian. We began our journey at DHS, and took the bus, which also stopped at the Contemporary, the Polynesian, the Polynesian again (wrong turn out of the parking lot), and then finally the Grand Floridian. (Goodness that's a long bus ride for some folks!)

A side note: did anyone else know that Citricos is pronounced "sit-trick-ohs," not "sit-tree-kohs"? Or maybe that was just me. Thanks bus announcer spiel guy.

I knew that we had to make our way back towards the dock to get to Narcoosees, and was getting nervous that it would take a long time to get there. From the bus stop I would approximate this as around a 5 minute walk, you have to go through the lobby, out the back door of the main building, through the length of the courtyard(?) between all of the buildings, and there is dinner.

I had just enough time to make sure my hair wasn't in 700 directions before we were led to our table, which had a gorgeous view of the castle.

(Admittedly, this is a teensy bit zoomed in, we were actually across the aisle from being seated right at the windows. But we were definitely able to enjoy the view just as much.)

We were promptly served bread and sea-salted butter, which was warm (the bread) and tasty (both components).

Wingnut then started with a deconstructed fried Oysters Rockerfeller.

He said that this was really good, and that he's never tried regular Oysters Rockerfeller before, but he absolutely intends on trying it more often because of this dish.

I began with a Winter Waldorf Salad.

This was possibly one of my favorite salads ever - I loved the fruits in it (pear, apple, and grape, if i remember correctly), and while I am not usually a blue cheese fan, I enjoyed the type that was used here. We both cleaned our plates.

We both then had the Surf and Turf for our entrees.

Wingnut says that he thought the steak was pretty good, and the lobster was not too bad. I don't generally have lobster, but I thought I would give this a try. It was not to my liking, nothing wrong with it, just not my taste. I thought that the steak was alright, and enjoyed the sauce along with it (on the side, as per my usual pickiness ). The broccolini was pretty unmemorable, and the potatoes were nice, they had herbs and other tasty touches in them.

Around now, I was beginning to debate in my head whether to have the often-praised Almond Crusted Cheesecake, or one of the other desserts from the menus we had been poring over for the past few months. I was entirely and completely surprised when this was placed in front of me:


I don't know how, but I had ENTIRELY forgotten about haranguing my poor Wingnut to get this many months prior. It was a complete surprise (Wingnut was fairly amazed at my ability to totally surprise myself), and I was thrilled (I'll admit it, it did make me even more thrilled when Wingnut reported that the couple sitting behind me looked quite jealous of our treat).

Okay, so this beautiful wonderful plate contains: a white chocolate slipper filled with white chocolate mousse and topped with raspberries, a dark chocolate teardrop filled with dark (could be milk but I'm going with dark) chocolate mousse and topped with white chocolate shavings, a little cocoa castle, and raspberry sauce.

Um, I promise you I was not just blinded by its beauty when I tell you that this was incredible. I assure you that this was not just a pretty novelty, the chocolates and mousses and sauces were one of my favorite things I ate during the trip.

Along with the slipper, our waiter also brought two congratulatory champagne toasts (with strawberry accents), carding us before serving them.

And then we had dessert. It was a slipper intermezzo, if you will .

Wingnut had the gelato sampler, which he says were really good. The pistachio was his favorite, and the coffee and strawberry had really nice flavors. The chocolate was a little too rich for his taste.

I continued to debate between the cheesecake, and now the creme brulee duo. What to choose, what to choose (nevermind being quite full, there's more dessert to be had)?

I decided to go with the creme brulee duo, which has one key lime creme brulee and one coconut creme brulee. Both were excellent (I loved having two spoons!), and I enjoyed them greatly.

Overall, we both really enjoyed our meal at Narcoosees. The service and atmosphere was excellent, I loved the view of the castle changing colors. The food was very good (I might choose a different entree if we were to return), we especially enjoyed our appetizers and desserts. Definitely worth the patience needed in getting to our dinner!
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