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Old 08-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #181
iloveeeyore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantwaitvaca09 View Post
Great review!!, kinda makes me what to change for MBYBBQ..
Ya know, we have never done the MBYBBQ, so we can't compare for you. From what I have read over the years, HDDR gets slightly better reviews for the food and seems to appeal to people of all ages more than the BBQ, which seems to be geared more for little kids. I guess I would say that if the BBQ appeals to your family, give it a try while your kids are young and put HDDR on your "must do" list for next time! I want to mention that HDDR ALSO appeals to young kids. I see kids in high chairs having a blast there, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
HDDR always looks fun. We haven't done it in about 10 years, and I don't think we're going to rush back (since I definitely don't need an entire meal filled with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and strawberry shortcake ), but I'm glad to see it's still great as always.
Yeah, you're right, who DOES need that kind of meal?! Especially after lunch at Via Napoli! I wasn't kidding when I mentioned this celebration would be gluttonous, was I?! The food at HDDR is very basic and plain, and...well, not that healthy when you think about it. But they do what they do well (well, usually, not always, as evidenced by our dried-out chicken). Everything on our table (except the chicken) was perfect for what it was. Pork and beans is not may favorite side dish, but, if you like pork and beans, it doesn't get better than this, if you get my drift. It would be nice if they added a tomato salad with capers and olives, or crunchy green beans, for those looking for something healthy besides iceberg lettuce!

We don't go for the food, we go for the show, which never disappoints, and when we enjoy the food as much as we do, we are still kind of surprised that we like mashed potatoes and BBQ spare ribs and iceberg lettuce and corn bread, which would never be our usual selections on a typical night out at a restaurant at home.

It's so hard to make decisions about where to spend valuable (cost-wise and mostly time-wise) dinners at Disney, with so many fabulous choices!
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:05 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by iloveeeyore View Post
Yeah, you're right, who DOES need that kind of meal?! Especially after lunch at Via Napoli! I wasn't kidding when I mentioned this celebration would be gluttonous, was I?! The food at HDDR is very basic and plain, and...well, not that healthy when you think about it. But they do what they do well (well, usually, not always, as evidenced by our dried-out chicken). Everything on our table (except the chicken) was perfect for what it was. Pork and beans is not may favorite side dish, but, if you like pork and beans, it doesn't get better than this, if you get my drift. It would be nice if they added a tomato salad with capers and olives, or crunchy green beans, for those looking for something healthy besides iceberg lettuce!

We don't go for the food, we go for the show, which never disappoints, and when we enjoy the food as much as we do, we are still kind of surprised that we like mashed potatoes and BBQ spare ribs and iceberg lettuce and corn bread, which would never be our usual selections on a typical night out at a restaurant at home.

It's so hard to make decisions about where to spend valuable (cost-wise and mostly time-wise) dinners at Disney, with so many fabulous choices!
Good point - I don't think anyone really "needs" this meal. But (from a caloric standpoint), some people can definitely "afford" it. I don't think I'm one of those people.

I remember really enjoying HDDR. But in a world filled with cupcakes and endless desserts, for some reason HDDR seems especially guilt-inducing. I'd definitely be happy to go back, but I'd like to establish some stronger self control before then!
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:07 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by iloveeeyore View Post
Ya know, we have never done the MBYBBQ, so we can't compare for you. From what I have read over the years, HDDR gets slightly better reviews for the food and seems to appeal to people of all ages more than the BBQ, which seems to be geared more for little kids. I guess I would say that if the BBQ appeals to your family, give it a try while your kids are young and put HDDR on your "must do" list for next time! I want to mention that HDDR ALSO appeals to young kids. I see kids in high chairs having a blast there, too!



!
My kids are 5 & 8 so I think I will keep MBYBBQ and do HDDR for next time and pick the later show. Thanks again for the review!
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:33 PM   #184
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I've been on the fence about booking this for quite some time but thank you for this:

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Originally Posted by iloveeeyore View Post
According to Belle, "if you're willing to let your hair down, slap your lap, play a washboard and hoot and holler, this is the perfect experience. If that's not "you," you're better off skipping this event.
It definitely sounds great for DH - he'd go up on the stage if invited! But it's definitely not me (or DS). Well, maybe after a few of those sangrias!
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #185
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HDDR looks like fun & I love that style of food. I think my kids would like the show too. I'm definitely going to put this on the wish list with Via Napoli!
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:04 PM   #186
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So glad to hear a great review of Via Napoli! I will be eating lunch there in October for the first time and I can't wait!
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #187
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Reviews are wonderful!!! Just as good as your reporting from the world. I am locked into this.....

Pictures are great too. I really want to try Via Napoli. We were there when they first opened but couldn't get in - we already had ressies at Tutto Italia so we got our Italian fix there. What will we do when all of this is over.....! We should start a fund for you to go every year and then report back to us.... Keep up the great work!!!
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #188
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Wo-Hoo for an awesome HDDR review!! We loved in when we went and when it was being rumored that it was going to be closed in October I didn't know how to break it to my husband! So glad I didn't have to as its now available for booking! I just need to call and make our reservation! I will be booking Cat 3 for the late show. We actually liked the balcony last time so would prefer it up there. I really hope we don't end up at the back on the main floor!
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:18 PM   #189
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Joining in! Cant wait for VN in Ded
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:27 PM   #190
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Mmmmm! Those Via Napoli desserts having me craving ice cream. The pizza? Well, there is nothing close by that will even come close, so I'll just be dreaming of pizza tonight!
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:40 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by MainStreetFireman View Post
Iloveeeyore accuses me of being an Italian food snob; but I just will not eat at a Sbarros, Olive Garden or Romano's. And, with such great pizza so plentiful in NY (and NJ), I wouldn't have gone here if it was just another pizza. This wasn't. It was a great experience that I would return to again.

If not on the DDP, Iloveeeyore and I could split the Frito Misto and a pie and be more than satisifed. There is some "discussion" about split desserts, but that's just because I have a real sweet tooth.

Speaking of Jersey pies, have you ever tried Maruca's tomato pies in Seaside Park? A different spin in their cheese mixture, they include cheddar. (That's why they call them "tomato pies" and not pizza...)
I have never tried the tomato pie from Maruca's. I've had it a few other places, but not from there. I do enjoy that as a little bit of an alternative to pizza sometimes.

Splitting a pizza from VN sounds like a good idea. Splitting a dessert though... no chance.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:02 PM   #192
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Just joining in! Excellent review!
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Good point - I don't think anyone really "needs" this meal. But (from a caloric standpoint), some people can definitely "afford" it. I don't think I'm one of those people.

I remember really enjoying HDDR. But in a world filled with cupcakes and endless desserts, for some reason HDDR seems especially guilt-inducing. I'd definitely be happy to go back, but I'd like to establish some stronger self control before then!
Hercules is the one in our family who can clearly "afford" it. The rest of us choose to ignore our calorie budgets when we are in WDW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantwaitvaca09 View Post
My kids are 5 & 8 so I think I will keep MBYBBQ and do HDDR for next time and pick the later show. Thanks again for the review!
Enjoy the BBQ! I will watch the boards to see what you think of it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deenbrad View Post
I've been on the fence about booking this for quite some time but thank you for this:



It definitely sounds great for DH - he'd go up on the stage if invited! But it's definitely not me (or DS). Well, maybe after a few of those sangrias!
Yeah, I do notice that the show gets funnier as the night progresses...or as my sangria glass empties? DH could potentially get invited on the stage...they bring 4 audience members up there. It's funny! No one in my family has ever been asked up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
HDDR looks like fun & I love that style of food. I think my kids would like the show too. I'm definitely going to put this on the wish list with Via Napoli!
Great choices!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DancinDaisyDuck View Post
So glad to hear a great review of Via Napoli! I will be eating lunch there in October for the first time and I can't wait!
Can I come?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrj21 View Post
Reviews are wonderful!!! Just as good as your reporting from the world. I am locked into this.....

Pictures are great too. I really want to try Via Napoli. We were there when they first opened but couldn't get in - we already had ressies at Tutto Italia so we got our Italian fix there. What will we do when all of this is over.....! We should start a fund for you to go every year and then report back to us.... Keep up the great work!!!
Jose, you are way too nice to me, but thank you! You can be the founder and president of the iloveeeyore fan club! Charge the members big dues to pay for my next trip!

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Originally Posted by smile4stamps View Post
Wo-Hoo for an awesome HDDR review!! We loved in when we went and when it was being rumored that it was going to be closed in October I didn't know how to break it to my husband! So glad I didn't have to as its now available for booking! I just need to call and make our reservation! I will be booking Cat 3 for the late show. We actually liked the balcony last time so would prefer it up there. I really hope we don't end up at the back on the main floor!
Now the 9:30 show has never had people on the balcony that we have seen. I don't know what time the late show is in October, but maybe it is earlier and would be more crowded? I suggest posting a separate question about the likelihood of being in the back of the main floor when booking Cat. 3 in October. Honestly to me, it seems likely that is exactly what would happen, but I have never ben to a late show in October.

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Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
Joining in! Cant wait for VN in Ded
Lucky you! Wish I were there!

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Originally Posted by fairy8i8 View Post
Mmmmm! Those Via Napoli desserts having me craving ice cream. The pizza? Well, there is nothing close by that will even come close, so I'll just be dreaming of pizza tonight!
I was thinking of Via Napoli the other night and started craving... we ordered a pizza, but it wasn't good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseytinkerbell View Post
I have never tried the tomato pie from Maruca's. I've had it a few other places, but not from there. I do enjoy that as a little bit of an alternative to pizza sometimes.

Splitting a pizza from VN sounds like a good idea. Splitting a dessert though... no chance.
LOL, we could split the dessert...if we could agree on which one. I just don't see us being able to pick just one!

Try Maruca's!

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Originally Posted by NoOrdinaryPrincess View Post
Just joining in! Excellent review!
Thank you and welcome!
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #194
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my HDDR addendum

The four people usually chosen from the audience (without spoiling the surprise as to why) are:

A pre-teen boy
A handsome young man, 19-25
A pretty girl, 19-25
A rotund macho man, preferably with a big moustache, 40-50

Also, while waiting on line a few trips ago, I got into a conversation with a group that had come, specifically, to see a CM in the late show. Turns out that CMs get ticket discounts for that show, which means alot of other friends of the actors are there. IMO, the cast definitely played to the crowd a bit more that night, without dispensing with the script. That, combined with our ability to book Cat. 1 with a dining plan, has made it our time of choice.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #195
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Sunday, 9/5/12 - Lunch - Liberty Tree Tavern!

Sorry I have been away for a while, folks! We have been pretty busy getting Belle settled in her new home in NYC! All went well and I'm happy to report she is having a great time at college orientation. They bring the freshman in 9 days before classes start to help them get acclimated to the environment, which is a great plan for such a huge university in a potentially overwhelming city.

So now, back to the food!

I don't seem to have receipt for breakfast on Sunday, 9/5, but I know that some snack credits were used at Captain Cook's. I believe that Aladdin had a yogurt parfait (his usual breakfast we both love these things!), Hercules enjoyed a bagel with cream cheese that he toasted himself on one of the available toasters, and Belle probably had a cheese danish (the cheese danish is one of those foods only eaten on vacation!). I wasn't hungry, so I just filled my mug with coffee. Plus I wanted to save some room for eating in the MK!

Our ADR at LTT was at opening time, 11:30. We arrived around 11:20 and checked in. We had to wait around for a few minutes in the quaint lobby, and we really enjoyed the vibe in there. We watched the family of the day ring the bell and declaration was made that the place was open! (Very cute short ceremony) We were seated right away at the railing in the Betsy Ross Room. Loved our table!

Our server was Jay, and we told him right away that we planned on ordering 3 meals and splitting each 4 ways and he said no problem, he would make sure that we had plenty of plates. We also knew on a tip from a DISer that we needed to ASK for rolls with honey butter, so we put in that request right away:

These were soft and sweet to begin with, and with the honey butter, they tasted a little like dessert. A little honey butter goes a long way!

We were quickly served our one diet coke, a pomegranate lemonade, and 4 waters all around, and fell in love with the glasses so we bought 2:


These cost $5.00 each and a great souvenir! Jay added the cost right onto our bill.

For our appies, we wanted a Crab and Spinach Dip for Two. We fully expected this to count as 2 out of our 3 allowed appetizers, but Jay said it would only count as 1! So we were able to get it and still order two others. So I present the Crab and Spinach Dip for Two:

This was delicious! It was very fresh tasting with tons of chunks of blue crab and very cream cheesy with just the right amount of spicy kick to it. If anything, we would have preferred just a little more spinach, but it was so good as it was. It was served in a nice bread bowl that made for the perfect vehicle for the dip. Even Aladdin, who is not a fan of crab, thought this was great! It was a large portion, too, and if this had been our only appetizer, it would have done the trick for the 4 of us!

Next we ordered a bowl of New England Clam Chowder:

The clams in this bowl were soooo tender and juicy, which is quite a difficult accomplishment in a restaurant! I wonder if they throw them in at the last minute for each order, or if the tenderness is unique to restaurant opening? The soup was heavily seasoned with tarragon, perhaps just a little too much for my liking, which reminded me of the chowder at Chef Mickey's, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the creamy, buttery soup.

For our final appetizer, we chose the Declaration Salad:

We had the choice of strawberry viniagrette or roasted garlic buttermilk. We were tempted to go with the buttermilk, but we asked Jay for his recommendation and he said strawberry! So we tried and and are we glad we did! This was a perfect salad! Everything was crisp and fresh and the dressing was refreshing and not overly sweet or overpowering. This was by far Belle's favorite of the appies. It made both of us really want to try the Colony Salad main course next time (also, on the way out, we saw a Colony Salad on another table, and that thing is HUGE! We were afraid a salad would be too small for splitting but that is definitely NOT the case at LTT. Even this appetizer salad had plenty to share, though it might look like a small portion in this photo).

For our main courses, we decided we had to go with some of what makes LTT famous! First, the Pilgrim's Feast:

The traditional turkey dinner with turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing and green beans. It came with a relatively small amount of gravy, which disappointed Herc a bit, so we asked if we could please have some more. Jay brought out another whole boat of gravy. The whole thing was delicious and we have not one negative comment about anything on this platter. I also want to mention that I am not a big fan of white meat turkey, and I think the whole combo is generally pretty boring, but for some reason on this day (pixie dust?) even I loved this meal!

Next, we chose the New England Pot Roast, Our Tavern Keeper's Favorite:

Well, I would say that the Tavern Keeper has some darned good taste, because this thing was so scrumptious! The cabernet and mushroom sauce was extremely rich and delicious, it was better than my slow-cooker pot roast that I make at home, which is my former favorite pot roast ever. Note to self, add cabernet!

For our final entree, we had a hard time deciding between the Colony Salad or the pasta dish, but since we were splitting, we were afraid the salad wouldn't be enough. So we went with the Freedom Pasta:

This was the low-light of the meal, if we had to pick one. It was OK...the fusilli pasta was cooked right and the mushroom cream sauce was pretty tasty, but the grilled chicken was pretty dry and tasteless and the "seasonal vegetables" were some bland tomatoes and perhaps some few and far between pieces of squash? and maybe a spinach leaf here and there? Anyway, not memorable.

We were really looking forward to dessert at LTT! We have been dying to try the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake:

This was very good! We would order it again...maybe...if they weren't serving the OTHER desserts that we though were GREAT!

Seasonal Fruit Crisp that day was Strawberry Rhubarb:

yum. Yum. YUM!!!!! This was soooo good! We didn't want to share! It was just the perfect amount of sweet and tart and the crumbs on top were so good! We all liked this dessert more than the famous berry cobbler at Artist Point, and were kind of scratching our heads about the lack of love for it? And it wasn't even as good as the final choice...

Johnny Appleseed's Cake:

This is described as tavern-made white cake filled with apples, craisins, dried cranberries and topped with ice cream. Well, I couldn't really detect many apples, but this was so so DELECTABLE! We absolutely LOVED this, and I can see why LTT has chosen this dessert as their signature sweet at dinner! In my opinion it was the best of the batch that we tasted that day (Herc perferred the crisp). This was ooey and gooey, more so than the toffee cake, we thought, which was a tad dry. This had a caramel sauce on it, which is my favorite, and perhaps because the cake was simpler, I was able to aprpeciate the caramel more? IDK, maybe it's just our family, but we left LTT scratching our heads about how OVERrated the toffee cake was and how equally UNDERrated the fruit crisp and the appleseed cake are?

We would return to LTT in a heartbeat, and recommend lunch there to anyone. And having tasted the Pilgrim's Feast and the Johnny Appleseed's Cake, we would even recommend it for the family-style dinner to anyone who enjoys that kind of meal! Overall, LTT rates a surprising:

4/5!

Our OOP cost for this meal was $21 for the tip, plus $10.65 for the 2 mugs and the tax on them. Jay put it all on one bill, for a total of $31.65

Next up...an interlude...
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