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Old 12-27-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
Stringbean&Wingnut
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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).

Last edited by Stringbean&Wingnut; 12-27-2010 at 01:58 PM.
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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.

Seriously?!?

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!
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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 12-27-2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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joining in, glad your surgery went well.
Can't wait to read more yummy reviews.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardengirl628 View Post
Count me in! Glad that your surgery went well and that you were able to switch your anniversary plans to mid-December!
Welcome, and thank you!!! We were happy too, and on the bright side, I got to play with the WDW Dining Reservations site all over again while recovering! Hehe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
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.
Thank you, and welcome!! The Disney trip really did help get me through this past year. I'd play games during doctors appointments like "What Make-Your-Own Treat Would I Get At Goofy's Candy Company Today?", and play Disney music in my car to and from work lol. It was one of the rainbows at the end of this storm

I was amazed too!!! We actually had fabulous trip mojo that entire morning, got right onto Magical Express, the bus left right away, and the Yacht Club was the first stop! It was great!

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joining in, glad your surgery went well.
Can't wait to read more yummy reviews.
Thank you, and welcome!!
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:58 PM   #9
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La Hacienda de San Angel

After meandering around Epcot for a bit, Wingnut and I arrived at La Hacienda for our dinner reservation. I'd been sneaking peeks at the place from around the lagoon, and it looked like it would be a great dinner spot.

Inside, the restaurant is even prettier. I had known about the floor-to-ceiling windows along the dining room, but I just loved the little touches and details that themed the room, but didn't make it cheesy or overwhelming. It was just nice.

Some ambiance:







(Sorry about the used glasses in the top photo, I thought it sorta showed the window view. And that our former neighbors drank pink lemonade.)

And some hungry diners:





Having read all about the DDXP, and the sheer amount of food that accompanies it, I thought it would be wise to start off the evening on a lighter note, and had the Ensalada de La Hacienda.



I'm still not entirely sure what happened with this dish, as I had advised the server about my food allergies, and had asked for the salad without pine nuts. Apparently this led to the pomegranates (the draw of the salad in the first place for me) and dressing to be left off as well. So it was a pretty boring salad, just some cheese, tomatoes, and a bunch of spinach. Not bad, but not interesting.

Wingnut was a bit of a better orderer than I, he decided on the Taquiza.



According to him, "the tacos were very good, all had corn tortillas, but I'd have to say the rib eye taco was by far the best. It had a chipotle salsa on it that was really good, but the pork wasn't too shabby either. They were perfect little 2 bite morsels for an appetizer."

Partway through the course, tired of eating dry spinach leaves, I squeezed the lime from his plate over my salad. It was a citrusy improvement.

For our main course, Wingnut and I shared the La Hacienda, a mixed grill for two.





This included:

Steak, chicken, chorizo, vegetables, corn, corn tortillas, rice, and black beans.

I wasn't a big fan of the steak (I may have just grabbed a slightly fatty piece, Wingnut thought that it had a nice cilantro topping). The chicken was great, it had a sweet honey sauce on it that Wingnut went nuts over (he called it "delectable"). The little chorizos were good, they were little bite-sized ones, which I hadn't expected. The vegetables were just plain grilled vegetables, nothing bad. Wingnut liked the corn tortillas more than I did, but they weren't bad. The rice was good, as were the black beans.

The corn was where we were a bit divided. It had a vinegary pickled flavor, which I did not enjoy at all (and I did try a few little bites throughout the evening, just to be fair). Wingnut called the corn "amazing, a vinegary bite to a sweet corn that was very crisp and tasty." He's the one with the much more adventurous palate in our relationship, so I'm sure those of you with braver tastes than I will definitely enjoy it. Me, however, I will stick to those plain old grilled veggies

For dessert, we both had the Tamal de Dulce, which (I know this sounds bad), I really hadn't expected to like.



Happily, I was wrong! I was afraid that it would be too sweet, but it really had a nice fruity flavor. Wingnut agrees, "The tamal was very tasty, not a whole lot of filling and was a little dry, but the strawberry coulis more than made up for it as there was plenty to saturate it."

Overall, we both really enjoyed our dinner here. The ambiance was very nice and the food was tasty. In my opinion, La Hacienda is a great addition to Epcot!
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:01 PM   #10
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First of all congrats on a successful surgery!!!! You're off to a great start!
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:14 PM   #11
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Enjoying your reviews!
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:43 PM   #12
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You already know I've been lurking, so I'm making it official...I'm in! We stayed at YC Dec. 2-12 and loved it!

We love JetBlue, too, but we looooooooove Virgin America! They have even more entertainment and snack options! However, JetBlue flies out of Long Beach airport, which is kind of like our home airport, so it holds a special place in our hearts.

So great that B&C made you a special non-dairy shake! I didn't even think to ask about that when we were there (I eat dairy, but sometimes I just prefer to have soy or rice milk).

Looking forward to the rest of your reviews
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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Enjoying your reviews. Can't wait to read more!
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:25 AM   #14
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well done on getting back on track following your surger. Definitely interested in the rest of your reviews. Food looks great at La Hacienda.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerKat View Post
First of all congrats on a successful surgery!!!! You're off to a great start!
Thank you!!! And welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycatlady View Post
Enjoying your reviews!
Thank you, welcome!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophie832 View Post
You already know I've been lurking, so I'm making it official...I'm in! We stayed at YC Dec. 2-12 and loved it!

We love JetBlue, too, but we looooooooove Virgin America! They have even more entertainment and snack options! However, JetBlue flies out of Long Beach airport, which is kind of like our home airport, so it holds a special place in our hearts.

So great that B&C made you a special non-dairy shake! I didn't even think to ask about that when we were there (I eat dairy, but sometimes I just prefer to have soy or rice milk).

Looking forward to the rest of your reviews
Hahaha yay, welcome aboard!! It was our first time staying at YC, and we absolutely loved it too. I love staying in the Epcot Resorts area and being able to use the International Gateway.

I was so amazed when she suggested the non-dairy alternatives beyond a sundae!! There are a few places that have non-dairy ice cream alternatives in each of the parks (Restaurantosaurus in AK; Hollywood Scoops in DHS; Sunshine Seasons, Fountain View; and Liberty Inn in Epcot, and the Cone Shop and Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in MK). Soy milk is becoming increasingly available, I've noticed too. Disney is a fabulous place for dining with food allergies, I've always found it to be an incredibly accomodating place.

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Enjoying your reviews. Can't wait to read more!
Welcome, thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolateMinnie View Post
well done on getting back on track following your surger. Definitely interested in the rest of your reviews. Food looks great at La Hacienda.
Thank you!!! Welcome! It was really great there, definitely worth a visit!
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