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Old 01-20-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Question Good meals- based on taste not DDP or characters

Need suggesstions- Been very frustrating trying to find realistic reviews in regards to food quality. Lots of stuff out there on where to get most bang for your buck on the DDP- but in the very same review, they tell you the food isnt really good at several of the places they just reccomended!! Most of the other reviews seemed to base reccomendations on "kid appeal". Chuck e cheese has kid appeal, but I dont want to eat dinner there while on vacation. I do have 2 toddlers tho, so I know I can't take them to a super fancy place, even if it is Disney. And I realize this is a very subjective topic. My travel agent was reccomending some place in Disney and she kept saying "wonderful, just wonderful". When asked what restaurant it compared to at home, she said Applebees. I dont think I am a food snob, and I have eaten at applebees, but I would never describe it as "wonderful, just wonderful". So I am looking for restaurant suggestions (sit down and QS) that are based on yummy food, better than applebees, but not as fancy as Mortons or Ruth Chris. Many thanks!
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:21 PM   #2
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My favorite meals were LTT, Yak amd Yeti and Mama Melrose. Kids meals are pretty standard at Disney places IMHO. At LTT (lunch) I had a wonderful salmon salad (was a daily special), Mama Melrose I had the mushroom flatbread (yummy if you like mushrooms) and a salad (also very good), Yak and Yeti I had Beef and Broccoli (good but could find it at many places outside of Disney). Loved the drink Yak Attack. My son had the steak and shrimp plate- looked very good and he loved it.

Really we liked all the places we ate ate, except for 1900 Park Fare. Was willing to pay for the characters but that was poor quality too (too loud, brief time with them- I missed seeing my daugher with Cinderella, and food was just OK).
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:52 PM   #3
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Breakfast at Kona Cafe is truly superb. Best coffee on property, too.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:13 PM   #4
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Kona, Olivia's, Boma, Jiko, Sanaa (if you like it), Artist's Point, Cali Grill, Citricos, Flying Fish (hit or miss sometimes), Pucks (all the time), Brown Derby, Chefs De France, both restaurants in Italy, rose and crown (if you like it), marrakesh (if you like it), biergarten (if you like it), Coral Reef (hit or miss), Garden Grill (really the only character menu that is good quality..some of the breakfasts are ok)...

most of the "disney" oriented places are not very good...chef mickeys and cinderellas on the top of that list

other highly overpriced/overrated are le cellier, narcoosees, yachtsman's, most of the places in Studios and Magic Kingdom...

If you want a no-BS assessment of food quality - it has declined and many of the places sling variations on the same tired buffet or "chicken, steak, salmon" sitdown menus...sadly
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:58 AM   #5
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(I have never eaten at Applebees, so I can't compare and contrast that for you, nor have I eaten at Ruth's Chris or Morton's, for reasons that will become incredibly obvious in a moment...)

Well, we're vegetarian, so that's the sort of item we order at any given restaurant. (you can look at menus here on wdwinfo.com or over on allears.net, by the way...sometimes there is a delay in updating a suddenly-changed menu, but they are as updated as they can be!)

We are looking forward to our dinner at Sanaa, lunch at Brown Derby (their coconut tofu noodle bowl is scrumptious), lunch at Tusker House (mmmmm), and tea at the Garden View at Grand Floridian. Those are tried and true for us with table service.

We do also love Kona for breakfast, but just don't have room for it in this trip. We have a few new places planned, and I hope I like them, but I don't know. hope hope hope!

As for counter/quick service, we ADORE Sunshine Seasons in Epcot as well as Columbia Harbor House in Magic Kingdom.

Everything else I can think of, I either can't remember my feelings about it, or it was for treats, LOL. Beignets at Sassagoula at Port Orleans French Quarter, School Bread, Cloudberry Horn, and Berry Cream Puff at Kringla Bakeri og Cafe in Norway at Epcot....definite MUST dos for us.

Oh wait, we really enjoyed the breakfast at Hollywood and Vine as well as Crystal Palace, but that's because we found the really decadent stuff there. And the cheese grits at H&V.

We're trying Cinderella's Royal Table (only time we'll likely eat in the castle!) and Ohana for breakfast on this trip (DH loves Stitch and wants to dine with him)...I doubt if the food itself will be worth it (with all the Kringla goodies we want to eat we probably shouldn't indulge in breakfast-y decadence!), but those are more for experience than the actual food.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:11 AM   #6
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I often wonder If the Disney food is actually good or if it's people getting caught up in Disney magic. Would you actually eat at these places if they were in your hometown?
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
Breakfast at Kona Cafe is truly superb. Best coffee on property, too.
Absolutely agree with the above statement. I also love Via Napoli. Their pizza is fantastic, IMO. I am hoping to convince DH to eat there twice this summer.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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All of the signatures I've eaten at totally blow Applebee's out of the water (they'd better for the prices charged, even considering it's WDW) and, in that regard, it's laughable to even put them in the same sentence. I've eaten at 7 of the and would rank them:

1. Artist Point
2. California Grill
3. Jiko
4. Flying Fish
5. Citricos
6. Yachtsman
7. Hollywood Brown Derby

I've eaten at 3 Epcot table service restaurants and would rank these as:
1. Via Napoli
2. Chefs de France
3. Coral Reef

The first two of these are also significantly better than Applebees (from a pure taste perspective, Via Napoli is, IMO, arguably better than Brown Derby, even though Brown Derby uses more expensive ingredients). Coral Reef is somewhat better than Applebees, but, IMO, not by a lot (I'd compare it to an average to somewhat below average Red Lobster).

The only other in-park table service lunch/dinner I've eaten at is 50's Prime Time. Taste-wise, I'd put this in the same ballpark as Chefs de France, although the style of food is completely different and I think the quality at Chefs de France is somewhat higher (the best comparision to 50's PT outside WDW would be an above-average Cracker Barrel).

I've eaten at three character breakfast buffets, Crystal Palace, Tusker House, and Cape May. From a food quality perspective, all three are very close (would probably give a slight edge to Tusker House) and come close to what you'd get at a mid-priced (e.g., $20ish) but not higher end Vegas breakfast buffet (i.e., don't go in expecting Wynn or Bellagio).

I've also eaten breakfast at CRT, which although it's more expensive, doesn't have, IMO, as good of offerings as any of the above breakfast buffets (the pastries are pretty good but everything else isn't much better than IHOP/Denny's quality IMO).

Finally, I've eaten at 'Ohana a couple times. I think the food here is quite tasty (I actually enjoy the experience better than at least a couple of the signature restaurants) but I've always had ADRs when the restaurant opened at 5 pm and, in that regard, have never experienced the dry meat or poor service that some complain about. The best comparision, style-wise, is probably to a Brazilian steakhouse and, if you're used to eating at one of the higher end chains (e.g., Fogo de Chao, etc.) you may come away disappointed (the meat offerings at 'Ohana, while tasty, are not on the same quality level). In any event, I've found it to be light years better than Applebees.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:09 PM   #9
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Any of the signature restaurants (Citricos, Narcoossee's, Flying Fish, Jiko, Le Cellier, Monsieur Paul, Hollywood Brown Derby, Yachtsman Steakhouse) would fit the bill nicely. It's going to be pricey, but the food quality will be better than Applebee's, definitely.

Heading down the price scale, Sanaa at AKL-Kidani Village, Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom, Kouzzina on the Boardwalk, Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion in Epcot, and Chefs de France in the France Pavilion in Epcot put out some very good food, and although Tusker House does have characters at Breakfast and Lunch, the food stands on its own.

For QS restaurants, Columbia Harbor House and Be Our Guest in MK do a very good job, as do Sunshine Seasons and Tangierine Café in Epcot, and Flame Tree BBQ in AK. I like Fairfax Fare in DHS, although many do not like any of the DHS offerings. Also, Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express at DTD are both good QS options.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:54 PM   #10
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Here are some of our favs.

50's Prime Time - Authentic southern fried chicken, I'm a Southerner so I should know.
Sci Fi - Burgers, onion rings, and milkshakes are awesome. I wouldn't stray from that.
Hollywood and Vine breakfast - One of my fav breakfast, and I have no idea who the character are I just like the breakfast there.
Akershus - Breakfast is really good, and character interaction is wonderful.
Tuskar House - Breakfast awesome, characters awesome. Not just standard buffet breakfast but has some African inspired foods.
Flame Tree BBQ - Out of this world BBQ.
Rainforest Cafe' - Food is good, service is slow, but there's plenty for the kids to look at.
Crystal Palace - One of DH's fav breakfast places, I think it's just O.K. Character interaction is terrific.
Cindy's Table - The new menu is worth the price, and princess' are great.
Whispering Canyon Cafe' - Great breakfast, and the antics are worth the trip.
Kona lunch - Wonderful fish tacos and sticky wings, some of the best service we've had in all of Disney. (we've been to Artist Point, Narcoossee's, Le Cellier, Yachtman, and Cali Grill)
Ohauna - breakfast great character interaction, food was good and hot.
Liberty Tree Tavern - Love, love, love the food. Good service, quick, didn't want for anything.
Columbia Harbour House - is one of our fav quick service location. Food is much better than most.
Boma - Another place that is worth traveling to for breakfast. This is mine and my DH's fav breakfast places to go to. Kind of like Tuskar as far as the African inspired foods go but more dishes to choose from. Go a little or stay and linger after the meal to check out the resort. Great gift shop, beautiful lobby, animals to look at, and art work to check out.

There's my 2 cents, hope it helps.

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Old 01-21-2013, 09:33 PM   #11
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AKL - Boma for breakfast (we always go at least once)
DHS - Hollywood Brown Derby (Cobb Salad)
DTD - Earl of Sandwich
MK - Plaza Restuarant

DH luvs Beaches and Cream's No Way Jose Sundae
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:15 PM   #12
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I wish we had 50's Prime Time, Sanaa, Marrakesh, Tusker House (although we'd rarely eat there due to the price), Sunshine Seasons (for the strawberry shortcake), and Earl of Sandwich in our home town!! I would probably eat at 50's and Sanaa on a weekly basis.

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