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Old 03-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
Dis_Yoda
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Insanity Vol 4. - Brief sanity break in the middle of chaos - California Grill

Background
A few months ago, I found out I had a work conference from April 2nd to April 5th in Orlando, FL. I debated on which end of the conference to add a Disney trip. I ultimately chose to come in after work on Thursday March 29th and leave when I need to meet up with everyone else from my company on Sunday. Flash forward to a week and a half ago. I need to visit our customers and one of our vendors for work this week. I flew out a noon on Monday & flew back at 5:30am on Thursday.

Reviews

Thursday March 29th, 2012
Narcoossee's

Friday March 30th, 2012
Magic Kingdom Snack
Kona Cafe Lunch
Le Cellier Dinner

Saturday March 31st, 2012
Sunshine Seasons
Via Napoli
Jiko

Sunday April 1st, 2012
Captain's Grille

Tuesday April 3rd, 2012
California Grill
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #2
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Narcoossee's
Thursday morning started early. 3:30am early. After two extremely long days of work, a 5:45am flight was not the best decision. Especially when its in a tiny 15 seat plane to my connection in Philly.



Those planes and I do not get along.

I make it to Atlanta by 10AM. Head home (Middle Georgia) for a very brief stop to see my husband & dogs since I won't see them again until the 5th then head into work. I get there by 12:30pm. I had originally hopped I could be out by 2pm - 3pm at the latest but I hadn't made dining reservations as you never know how the day is going to go.

Well, I'm really glad I didn't make reservations planning on that early leave. I didn't make it out of the plant until 4pm. Its about a 5 hour drive to Disney from there - shorter if I hadn't needed to get gas & an energy drink as I was almost on my own fumes at that time.

I finally figure out what I should be arriving to check into the hotel & call Disney Dining to see when I can get into. I wanted a signature place since my food for the past few days has been a lot of sandwiches, pizza and I wanted something good. I was able to get in at Narcoossee's for 9:30pm. That is really late for me but it works.

I check in at the hotel and then drive to the Grand Floridian.

After I check in, the electric water parade starts while I wait to be seated.


I'm sat at exactly my ADR time at a table on the lower level.

I think I confused my waiter when I could tell him exactly what I wanted including wine & didn't need the dining plan spiel after he made a joke. (For some reason when I planned this trip, I thought doing Deluxe Dining would be smart since it was solo & with Disney raising their prices as much as they have - it probably would save me money)

The Menu!



My waiter returned with my glass of La Crema but something distracted him and he left the bottle on the table. When he realized what he did after my appetizer was finished, I ended up getting some more pour for free since I didn't take it upon myself to get more.

I went with the Baby Red & Green Romaine Salad.


It was light even if slightly over dressed. The croutons were cooked to the point that they dissolved once placed in my mouth.

Wishes began & honestly, I was annoyed when the dimmed the lights. I was reading the end of Catching Fire during the meal & to me at that point, it was more important to finish the book than it was to watch Wishes.

I also think my entree was delayed being brought out because of Wishes but there was no way for the waiter/food runners to know I wouldn't care about fireworks.

As soon as Wishes was over, I received my entree.
Grilled Filet Mignon


It was really good - however, I couldn't eat much of it. The Gruyere with the onions in the risotto was a nice flavor combination that I think I will try again at home. The filet was a perfect medium rare and fork tender. I'm not sure if it was because it was 10:15pm at night on a day that started at 3:45am, but it very suddenly became too rich about half way through. My waiter was more than happy to package the rest of it up should I decide to have it a bit later in this trip.

He brought out the dessert menu:


I didn't really want dessert. I wanted to go to bed but I knew it was included because of the dining plan so I just ordered it because it wasn't going to be real money.

I went for the Baked Chocolate Mousse


It was served with a bourbon caramel sauce w/ vanilla bean whipped cream. The combination of bourbon-caramel sauce and the warmed mousse & the cold whipped cream was It was extremely rich though. I was only able to eat about a third & felt bad especially since it wasn't really a dish I could take back to the room with me. My waiter brought out 2 coconut macaroons wrapped and placed them in the bag with my steak left overs. He also mentioned - he can never get past half of it either even if its not 10:30 at night.

Overall it was a very good meal. I just wish I could have enjoyed more of it as I was tired & should have just skipped eating and got into my room. My waiter had a great sense of humor which is completely what I needed that night.

Apparently I got an upgrade at the Pop I noticed when I went to my room - I went from the cheapest standard room to a preferred pool view.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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Wow! First of all, great review. Second of all, I'm impressed with the recent menu changes at Narcoossee's - lots of the new dishes and desserts sound great.

Narcoossee's really disappointed us last time, but you may have just convinced me to fit it in on our next trip (at a minimum, I want to go for appetizers and dessert).
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:29 AM   #4
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It looks good! I haven't been to Narcoossee's in years, but I may have to revisit it on my next trip.
Thanks for sharing you reviews - looking forward to more!
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Wow! First of all, great review. Second of all, I'm impressed with the recent menu changes at Narcoossee's - lots of the new dishes and desserts sound great.

Narcoossee's really disappointed us last time, but you may have just convinced me to fit it in on our next trip (at a minimum, I want to go for appetizers and dessert).
Thanks I was amazed about the amount of changes there too since the last time I saw a menu from there. To be honest, if I wasn't on the dining plan, I'm not sure I would eat a 3 course meal at Narcoossee's just because of how much their entrees have gotten. The appetizers and desserts though could easily make a reasonable meal though. I've always had decent service there but I seem to have a luck of Narcoossee's being the day I can never finish the meal. (On our honeymoon, our waitress ended up bringing me a drink made of seltzer and bitters when she noticed how little I was picking at my food)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krissalee View Post
It looks good! I haven't been to Narcoossee's in years, but I may have to revisit it on my next trip.
Thanks for sharing you reviews - looking forward to more!
What I had, it was very good! Hopefully it will make room into your next trip.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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Magic Kingdom Snack

I skipped breakfast Friday morning & headed towards the Magic Kingdom for their 8am opening.

At 10AM, I was hungry and needed something to get me to lunch. I debated on what I would want but I decided to stop by Cosmic Ray's to just get some cheese fries. I saw that they now have iced lattes too.



Iced French Vanilla Latte

Not the best latte - but for a Disney coffee drink it was more bareable than most other ones I have had. I don't think I'll get one of the latte's with flavoring again as the syrup was thick on the bottom and thus difficult to stir up to mix it throughout the drink.



Side of Fries that I got cheese dip for it.

The fries were a bit undercooked but when you get plastic cheese on them, I guess it doesn't matter much
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:59 AM   #7
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dis_Yoda View Post
Thanks I was amazed about the amount of changes there too since the last time I saw a menu from there. To be honest, if I wasn't on the dining plan, I'm not sure I would eat a 3 course meal at Narcoossee's just because of how much their entrees have gotten. The appetizers and desserts though could easily make a reasonable meal though. I've always had decent service there but I seem to have a luck of Narcoossee's being the day I can never finish the meal. (On our honeymoon, our waitress ended up bringing me a drink made of seltzer and bitters when she noticed how little I was picking at my food)
Yeah, I noticed that the prices of the entrees have increased dramatically (both there and at California Grill) - I'd rather just get a few nice appies and a dessert. The Florida peach salad sounds great, as does the oyster appetizer (I would hope that they're raw instead of cooked) or the Florida soft shell crab. I might not be able to fit Narcoossee's in when we return in May, but then I'll definitely try for August.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
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Well, hey there!!!

That new menu looks pretty good, haven't been there in years!
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks for joining in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Yeah, I noticed that the prices of the entrees have increased dramatically (both there and at California Grill) - I'd rather just get a few nice appies and a dessert. The Florida peach salad sounds great, as does the oyster appetizer (I would hope that they're raw instead of cooked) or the Florida soft shell crab. I might not be able to fit Narcoossee's in when we return in May, but then I'll definitely try for August.
When I ended up taking a solo meal during the convention I was at, California Grill's pricing shocked me too! There were a lot of appetizers at Narcoossee's that looked good - but I knew it was much too long of a day to eat something too heavy.


Quote:
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Well, hey there!!!

That new menu looks pretty good, haven't been there in years!
Hey! Glad you noticed this

I was happy to see the changes in the menu. I had skipped it the past few trips as nothing was really standing out to me that I must have.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:21 PM   #11
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Kona Cafe


After my morning in Magic Kingdom, the crowds were becoming larger and larger. I decided to leave the park & head over to the Polynesian for a nice sit down lunch. Luckily, there was no wait & I was brought to a table towards the edge of the restaurant. I ordered my Ultimate Long Island as I was unsure of where I would be headed after lunch.

I began with the Pot Stickers wok-seared pork and vegetable dumplings with creamy ginger-soy sauce.



To be honest, I was a little disappointed in them. They used to be duck & have really great flavor due to that. With them being pork, the taste the same as the dumplings I can get at the local chinese hole-in-the-wall I have by my work. The sauce is its only redeeming factor but not enough to have me crave them anymore.

For my entree, Island Chicken Sandwich - Grilled Chicken Breast with Bacon, Swiss Cheese, Curry-Mango Mayonnaise, and Fried Onions on a Kaiser Roll served with Asian Vegetable Slaw or House-made Potato Chips



I supped the side item for some rice as that sounded better than slaw or chips. The sandwich was ok. The chicken was a bit dry but decent enough for a lunch outside of the parks.

For dessert, I went with Banana-Chocolate Creme Brulee - with a chocolate spiral



It was wonderful as it always is. Kona has some of the best desserts for some place not-signature. Now if only the rest of their food was always that good.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:19 PM   #12
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I'm really enjoying your reviews - the banana chocolate crème brûlée looks awesome! The rest, not so much. I think I'd also prefer the duck pot stickers over pork, since duck is generally harder to find on Disney menus and has a richer flavor.

Still, just looking at that dessert makes me want to fit in Kona soon. If only we could extend our May trip so I could fit in everywhere
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:34 PM   #13
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Thanks for posting the link on our Facebook group. I hardly ever get on the boards anymore, so I don't think I would have found this otherwise!
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:44 AM   #14
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:53 PM   #15
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I'm so glad that I got in your review! Narcoosee's looks fabulous. I hope to go there someday!

I see that you aren't going to F&W this year, that's too bad, but you are going on the Fantasy! Awesome!

Looking forward to the rest, and counting down the days until I'm back!
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