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Old 01-30-2011, 05:44 AM   #76
The_Aviator
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Dinner at the Maya Grill

Our original plan for this night was to go to Boma, however since DD wasn't feeling the best we asked concierge for a ressie here. They were only able to get us a 9:00pm one, but that was ok with us!

So we arrived at the restaurant pretty much right on time for our reservation. They checked us in and asked us to wait for like two minutes before taking us to our table. We were given something like a booth, which is personally my favourite type of table because generally there's more space than there would be at a regular table, and booths aren't too common here in Australia so it's just a bit of fun to sit at one!

The atmosphere of the restaurant is really nice. It's quite modern in its design and although it might be a little dark inside for some, I found that it just added to the mood. They describe themselves as "Nuevo Latino" and I think this is quite fitting.

Our server was Abdel. He was originally from Morocco but had lived in the U.S. for ages. He was perhaps the best server we had on the entire vacation. Abdel treated us like we were long lost family, talking to us about our lives in Australia and also telling us about his life, both in Morocco and the U.S. He made us feel very welcome.

To start with he brought out some bread, complimentary of course!





There were two types of bread served. One was sort of like a very crispy flatbread, while the other one was just regular bread. However, it had little bits of like capsicum or something in it. This didn't make it spicy or anything, but it proved that it hadn't just come out of a box from the freezer or something. It was served warm and was delicious. It also came with their house made Chimichurri. We don't really eat any Mexican food in Australia so we hadn't tried Chimichurri before, but it was really, really good! We tried it in a few other restaurants after having it here, but none of them compared to this one!

Here is a picture of the menu. As you can see, there are a fair few choices here!



DM chose the Ribeye Tacos ($24), DS chose the Shrimp Tacos ($24) and DD and I had the NY Strip Steak ($31). To drink DM and DS had Diet Coke, DD had Sparkling Water and I had Cherry Coke ($2.50 for the sodas, $3.25 for the sparkling water). DD also ordered a glass of the Blackstone Merlot ($9)

DD also ordered a side of Steak Mushrooms and Caramelised Onions ($8)

The food came out in a reasonable time after ordering. Here are the pics!

Ribeye Tacos



Shrimp Tacos



NY Strip Steak



And Dad's Mushroom side



Since my sister liked the Shrimp Tacos so much, I will let her write the next paragraph so she can explain to you how awesome it truly was

"I cannot stop raving about the Shrimp Tacos. Seriously if i went back, and we did, i wouldn't look at anything else on the menu i would order them again, which i did . The sauce (chipotle lime aioli) was simply amazing and the salad stuff and shrimp was perfect My only criticism of the dish was the accompanying rice and beans, which were not well suited to my tastes. However others found them quite nice so..."

I told you she liked them!

As for DM, she was very happy with her Ribeye tacos. Probably a decent alternative to the Shrimp tacos if you're not a fan of fish.

DD and my NY Strip Steaks were excellent. It says it is done in the chili rub, but seriously the chili was very mild and was more of a subtle flavouring. The garlic yukon mashed potatoes were excellent and the brocollini, well, it was as good as brocollini could be .

DD also enjoyed his mushroom side, but since the meals are fairly generous in size, there probably isn't a need for a side! Unless you are thinking of just getting it to share around, which is basically what we did.

Here is the dessert menu...



Basically you have to choose either the Caramel Flan or a Dessert Shot, which is just a very, very small dessert served in a shotglass. The Dessert Shot is probably a good idea for people who are really full and just want to try something or make use of their DDP credit, while the Caramel Flan is obviously more expensive and a larger serving. We all ordered the flan! ($6.99)



Our first impressions when we saw the dessert was just shock at the size of it! The picture may be a little deceiving, but it was a really large serving! And not only that, it was truly delicious! They had struck a perfect balance between soft and firm in terms of the texture and the coconut sabayon sauce was sweet and went very well with the flan. For me, and I think for my family, it was a perfect conclusion to the meal.

Even after dessert, and after paying the check, Abdel stayed around to talk with us. He asked us what other restaurants we were going to and said that we had made some really good choices with our ADR's. He talked to us at length about Morocco, since it's a place that we would really like to go at some time in the future. He was truly one of a kind, consider yourselves very, very, very lucky if you have him as your server the next time you visit the Maya Grill!

All in all, I am unable to find any faults in the Maya Grill. I was a little apprehensive before going simply because our reservation was so late, but we were never ever rushed and the food tasted great, so it wasn't like they had handed us over to the overnight junior chef or something like that . While I said that the Pepper Market is probably best only for those with a car or who are staying at the resort, I reckon that even if we stay somewhere else in the future we will definitely make the effort to take the buses to the CSR and have dinner there. I think that the best way to put it is that the Pepper Market is good food, while the Maya Grill is excellent food. It's just that extra step that makes it worthwhile to make your way to the CSR to eat there. Of course there are probably other places across WDW that would probably be just as good that we haven't tried yet, but if you have tried most of the other places and want to go somewhere new, then this is it!

In regards to value for money on the DDP, I reckon that it is excellent. There are some pretty expensive items you can choose from so you can really make some money here! DD and my meals alone cost a little over $41 each pre-tax, so that's pretty good! If you're not on the DDP, I still think that at this place you are getting value for your money. Stay tuned for my second review of this place (will probably be a little while away) as on that night we didn't have the DDP so it was a fairly different style of dining, but still good!

Cost:

4 TS credits used - 28 remaining
Bill Total - $158.38 (avg $39.59ea) [BTW, these bill totals I'm doing are tax inclusive, I'm not sure if I mentioned that before ]
Running Total - $1024.45

NEXT UP: A quick morning snack at the CSR and then off to Fairfax Fare for lunch!
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Last edited by The_Aviator; 02-04-2011 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:38 AM   #77
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I think I need to try those shrimp tacos.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:31 PM   #78
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My mouth is watering looking at DD mushroom and onion sidedish, I could almost make a meal out of that, the steaks and everything else looked delish especially dessert. Great review
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:03 PM   #79
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Those ribeye tacos look sooooo good! Great review! I loved hearing about your server. We always a bad server is as bad as bad food-- so nice when you get an amazing waiter!
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:46 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MishyMouse View Post
I think I need to try those shrimp tacos.
Yes you should! If my sister's raving recommendation is anything to go by...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs314 View Post
My mouth is watering looking at DD mushroom and onion sidedish, I could almost make a meal out of that, the steaks and everything else looked delish especially dessert. Great review
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by klacey1 View Post
Those ribeye tacos look sooooo good! Great review! I loved hearing about your server. We always a bad server is as bad as bad food-- so nice when you get an amazing waiter!
Thanks! I completely agree with you, we've had some pretty good meals where service was horrid, while we've had some pretty poor meals where service was excellent. I think i prefer the latter more!
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:58 PM   #81
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Oooh Maya Grill looks good! I've been interested to try there, but always wondered if it would be worth the effort to get there. Looks like it really is! (Seems like you should be able to get 2 of those dessert shots as one dessert on the plan though - that would be the same price as the flan)
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:27 PM   #82
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Umm can we get something healthy for a snack?

This is just going to be a brief post. Later tonight I'll post a review of our Fairfax Fare lunch at DHS

So we had decided that we had had enough sweets for the time being and decided to rectify this by using some snack credits on a few other items. So we went to the gift shop at CSR called Panchito's and bought two Nesquik milks, a chocolate and a strawberry ($2.19ea). We then went across to the Cafe Rix quick service and picked up four Yoplait Original Peach yoghurts ($1.95ea).

This was our morning breakfast. We kept one milk for later, DS and I shared one and DD and DM got coffee and tea in the refillable mugs.



These are just standard supermarket products so I don't think an explanation of the snacks itself is required. However, we were happy to use the snack credits on these. Sure they aren't the best value for a credit, but we were able to make a 'light breakfast' out of it and that in itself was a benefit. The way things turned out, I don't think we would have ever finished our credits if we didn't buy things like this.

Cost:

6 snack credits used - 29 remaining
Bill Total - $12.97 (avg $2.16ea)
Running Total - $1037.42

NEXT UP: Lunch at Fairfax Fare
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:29 AM   #83
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And now for a lunch review of Fairfax Fare.

Originally we had planned to go to the MK on this day but we soon realised that we may not have enough time at DHS, so we changed plans and went there instead. I already had a plan for lunch on our next day at DHS, but for today I only had the backup plan, which was Fairfax Fare.

Fairfax Fare is located on Sunset Boulevard near the Tower of Terror. It is actually in an area where there are four different CS places in close proximity (Toluca Turkey Legs, Rosie's All-American Cafe, Catalina Eddie's and Fairfax Fare). The best part is that they all share a common dining area, which means that if someone in your group prefers to go to another place it's pretty easy to accomodate. We had a look around all four of the restaurants and we decided to go with Fairfax Fare.

For our entrees, DM got the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8.79), DS got the 1/2 slab BBQ Ribs on its own ($10.69) while DD and I went with the Chicken and Ribs combo ($14.19)

Dessert at this CS is limited to that generic type made elsewhere and then served at multiple CS restaurants. They had either a carrot cake or chocolate fudge cake. DM got the carrot cake and the rest of us got the chocolate cake. ($3.59ea)

To drink we got two Smart Waters, one bottled water and one chocolate milk. Just a note on the Smart Waters, I couldn't notice any real difference between Smart Water and Dasani water in terms of taste, but it is more expensive than the Dasani, claims to have electrolytes and stuff inside and it costs a little more! If you are on the DDP, I personally think that there is no point in getting the Dasani Water if Smart Water is available ($3.25 for Smart Water, $2.50 for Dasani Water and $2.19 for Nesquik Chocolate Milk)

Here are some pics of the meals





I don't have a picture of the DS's half slab of ribs here. Basically she got about double the amount of ribs compared to what DD and I got.

The ribs here were pretty dry and didn't have much of a taste to them. They were meaty and the meat still seemed to come off the bone ok, but they definitely weren't the greatest ribs I've had. The chicken was probably a little bit better than the ribs, but it definitely wasn't as good as the chicken we got at Sunshine Seasons, for example. The coleslaw and beans were alright, nothing special but nothing to complain about. DM didn't like her pulled pork sandwich much and gave some to DD and DS. They actually liked it more than their own meals!

As for the desserts, they were all sugary and delicious, as one would expect Before going I was kinda worried that I might end up having one of these like every day with the CS meal, but I think this was the only one that I had, and I liked it. The carrot cake got similar feedback.

All in all, Fairfax Fare was one of those so-so experiences. The meals were generous in size and fully edible, but they were far from spectacular. Prior to going I had read many negative reviews of CS dining at the Studios so I was well prepared and was not surprised by the experience. I can neither recommend the place, nor suggest that people do not go. In terms of DDP value, it is pretty decent. DD and my meals were over $20 each! This is pretty good value for a credit. For those on the DDP, I think that it is probably a bit expensive. I think my final recommendation is that if you have your heart set on it, go for it. Otherwise, it's probably a good place to go if you find yourselves in the same position as we were, confined to eating in the park but not really having a planned place to go. As I said before, there are four different places to eat all pretty much right next to each other, so maybe it's a good idea just to walk over and shop around!


Cost:

4 CS credits used - 20 remaining
Bill Total - $78.18 (avg $19.55ea)
Running Total - $1,115.69

NEXT UP: Dinner and Entertainment at Raglan Road!
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:16 AM   #84
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Hi everyone!

Hope you are enjoying the reviews so far

You may have noticed that the pics have gotten smaller. The reason is, Photobucket started sending me messages saying I had used like 70% of my allotted free bandwidth! Now the photos are much smaller in size, which should help out with this problem.

I'm really sorry that I couldn't keep the pictures in the larger form, although everything still seems to look ok on my end.

I'll be back tomorrow with some more reports!

Thank-you so much,
Stephen
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:49 AM   #85
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Great job on your TR Stephen . I am thoroughly enjoying it. Keep up the great job.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:11 PM   #86
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Hello there!
I normally hang around the resort forum, but I happened by and glad I did!
Your writing is creative and otherwise brilliant! Keep up the good work.
You sure gave us some tips on when and where, so looking forward to the grand total and savings
I can also totally "connect" when you talk about 20 hours travel, we will be traveling for 22 hours ourself to get there in April, although "only"13 in air.
Again, thnx for a great read, and hope you stay well clear of the oncoming cyclones...
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:21 PM   #87
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Really enjoying your reviews!
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:06 PM   #88
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I am enjoying your reviews as well! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #89
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Enjoying your reviews. Count me in.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:42 PM   #90
The_Aviator
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Originally Posted by dvc4life View Post
Great job on your TR Stephen . I am thoroughly enjoying it. Keep up the great job.
Glad to hear you're enjoying it, thank-you so much for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolebrothers View Post
Hello there!
I normally hang around the resort forum, but I happened by and glad I did!
Your writing is creative and otherwise brilliant! Keep up the good work.
You sure gave us some tips on when and where, so looking forward to the grand total and savings
I can also totally "connect" when you talk about 20 hours travel, we will be traveling for 22 hours ourself to get there in April, although "only"13 in air.
Again, thnx for a great read, and hope you stay well clear of the oncoming cyclones...
Thanks for reading! Wow, 22hrs! Don't worry, we've done it twice now and it was completely worth it both times!

As for the cyclone, thankfully we're about 2.5hrs flight south of the 'disaster zone', although we do have family and friends in Cairns (which will be the epicenter of the cyclone) so hopefully everyone up there is ok...

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Really enjoying your reviews!
Thanks!

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I am enjoying your reviews as well! Thanks for sharing.
Anytime, glad that you're enjoying them

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Enjoying your reviews. Count me in.
Glad you're enjoying them!
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