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Old 09-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #31
NoOrdinaryPrincess
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Excellent Kona review! I've been debating stopping by there on our upcoming trip, as we will be staying at the Poly. May be worth it!
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #32
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We are eating breakfast at Kona. It will be our first time eating there and I'm still not sure what I want!! LOL!!

That was nice of the chef to come out and talk to you. That's one thing that I love about Disney. Most of their staff seem very, very friendly and helpful. Sure, you get the occasional bad apple, but most of them are great.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:31 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearcatsFan View Post
I ordered the No Sugar Added Lemon Pound Cake with Seasonal Berries. I have to say, this is easily the worst dessert I've ever eaten anywhere, not just in Disney.
Rats. There goes my theory that Boatwrights might be worth it if you stick to the appetizers and desserts. Although maybe they're just poor at the anti-decadent ones.

I've long thought restaurant food is too often too salty, and whenever I watch the Food Channel with my mom, I'm shocked at how much salt some professional chefs use. Anne Burrell seems to think that, if it's sea salt, you can't oversalt. Since your husband also thought his potatoes were oversalted, maybe yours actually had less salt than the chef considered normal, therefore the chef considered them only lightly salted?

Sorry to hear about your waiter. So much of a good TS experience depends on who you draw as waitstaff!

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Originally Posted by BearcatsFan View Post
One bite of the pancakes, and I knew there was sugar in the batter. They were so overpoweringly sweet to me - there was no way I could eat them..
I've made these pancakes, and the recipe is like no other pancake recipe I've ever tried. It was like mixing up cake batter, seriously. I've made "dessert pancakes" with less sugar! They're so delicate they're a bear to flip, too. The chefs there must have pancake turners the size of plates!

Glad the chef could offer something that worked.

Maybe I should consider a Kona Cafe breakfast again. I'm not sure I could hack Tonga Toast, but I've long thought hubby would love it, and I could steal a bite just to see what it's like. Plus if the Big Kahuna pancakes aren't as sweet as the Macadamia Nut ones I'd probably like those pretty well. Guess I should figure out how late they serve breakfast first -- I love a big breakfast or brunch, but not before ten or so.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:12 PM   #34
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We love t-rex. Next time I am getting a steak and waffle fries!!! Nov. 3rd can't get here soon enough!
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:26 PM   #35
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Thanks for the Boatwrights review. I will tell DH to order the prime rib not the tenderloin. The same problem at the Wave. We call it elf food. Lol. I probably would have ordered the lemon cake dessert too. Not anymore!
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:26 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Quin View Post
Aw, you had such an opposite experience at Boatwrights from what we had last year. I also ordered the tenderloins and thought they were pretty big, and the service was very nice - not rushed at all. Our waitress described the pasta with the tenderloins as 'adult mac&cheese' because it's made with white cheddar, not the neon orange powdered stuff most Americans are used to.

We were also on the DDP that trip and the only restaurant I recall that insisted we order dessert at the same time as our entree was Coral Reef. I remember that our dinner at Boatwrights was particularly relaxed - the cornbread came as soon as we were seated but we had nice spacing between ordering the entree, eating, and ordering dessert (which led me to eat far too much cornbread, of course). My only complaint with Boatwrights was the bread pudding dessert was dry, but that was my own fault for ordering it the night after I'd had bread pudding at Ohana. NOTHING compares to Ohana's bread pudding.
ITA about the mac & cheese. I wondered if it was white cheddar - so stringy and it tasted fabulous!

Perhaps our waiter at Boatwright's was just having an off night. That's why I didn't list his name - who knows what the situation was, and everyone has a bad day now and then.

I've heard a lot about this bread pudding at Ohana - maybe I should look into getting an ADR there next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
That is so great that the chef accomodated your requests (and that it was soooo good) at Kona - my all time favorite breakfast restaurant!! Sorry the scrambled eggs weren't that great but it sounds like overall it was a good experience.

As for Boatwrights... I like reading reviews like yours because it is on my someday list. Sounds like the prime rib would be a better choice.

I've never been to T-Rex but your positive review has me wondering if I can fit another DTD dinner in future dining plans.

I've enjoyed hearing all about the snacks and all the other CS meals as well.
The steaks at T-Rex are truly fantastic, some of the best my husband and I have ever had. I'm not picky about much, but I am picky about steak and how it's cooked, and T-Rex does steak right.

The prime rib at Boatwright's was huge - I saw a teeny tiny woman being served and her eyes were as big as the plate!

Glad you're enjoying the reviews!

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Originally Posted by NoOrdinaryPrincess View Post
Excellent Kona review! I've been debating stopping by there on our upcoming trip, as we will be staying at the Poly. May be worth it!
Thank you! If you're considering it, it's definitely worth a visit. I don't hink you will be disappointed.

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Originally Posted by CatNipRules View Post
We are eating breakfast at Kona. It will be our first time eating there and I'm still not sure what I want!! LOL!!

That was nice of the chef to come out and talk to you. That's one thing that I love about Disney. Most of their staff seem very, very friendly and helpful. Sure, you get the occasional bad apple, but most of them are great.
I would imagine you could order anything there and it would be good. Everything sounded good, that's for sure. I debated getting the press pot of coffee, but I just can't handle full-caffeine coffee.

If you need to speak to the chef, the one at Kona was one of the nicer ones! They were all nice, but he was especially accommodating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shalom View Post
Rats. There goes my theory that Boatwrights might be worth it if you stick to the appetizers and desserts. Although maybe they're just poor at the anti-decadent ones.

I've long thought restaurant food is too often too salty, and whenever I watch the Food Channel with my mom, I'm shocked at how much salt some professional chefs use. Anne Burrell seems to think that, if it's sea salt, you can't oversalt. Since your husband also thought his potatoes were oversalted, maybe yours actually had less salt than the chef considered normal, therefore the chef considered them only lightly salted?

You could be right about the salt. I've also watched cooking shows where they throw the sea salt on - I always wonder how much the sodium content is in those recipes.

Sorry to hear about your waiter. So much of a good TS experience depends on who you draw as waitstaff!

ITA - the waiter/waitress can make or break the whole meal to a large degree.

I've made these pancakes, and the recipe is like no other pancake recipe I've ever tried. It was like mixing up cake batter, seriously. I've made "dessert pancakes" with less sugar! They're so delicate they're a bear to flip, too. The chefs there must have pancake turners the size of plates!

Glad the chef could offer something that worked.

Maybe I should consider a Kona Cafe breakfast again. I'm not sure I could hack Tonga Toast, but I've long thought hubby would love it, and I could steal a bite just to see what it's like. Plus if the Big Kahuna pancakes aren't as sweet as the Macadamia Nut ones I'd probably like those pretty well. Guess I should figure out how late they serve breakfast first -- I love a big breakfast or brunch, but not before ten or so.
Kona serves breakfast until 11 a.m. I saw many people ordering the Tonga Toast - it was huge and looked delicious! I know it would be too sweet for me, and my husband doesn't particularly care for bananas, so it was out for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ro Z View Post
We love t-rex. Next time I am getting a steak and waffle fries!!! Nov. 3rd can't get here soon enough!

Thanks for the Boatwrights review. I will tell DH to order the prime rib not the tenderloin. The same problem at the Wave. We call it elf food. Lol. I probably would have ordered the lemon cake dessert too. Not anymore!
Oh I hope you have as positive an experience as we did! The waffle fries truly are fantastic and don't need a single thing.

"Elf food"? Yep, that explains it to a T! Glad my review helped - you do not want the lemon poundcake. We saw mostly slabs of chocolate cake coming out of the kitchen (we were right next to the kitchen doors), so you may want to stick with that! My husband sure enjoyed his.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:01 PM   #37
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Artist's Palatte Lunch 09/19

Wednesday, September 19 - Lunch at Artist's Palatte at Saratoga Springs Resort

First Impressions: This is kind of a strange set-up. It is a gift shop, food court, dining room, and mini-mart all in one area. You walk in through the dining room, then through the gift shop to get in line to order. It is an open kitchen concept. Once you go through the line and order your food, to the left is a small mini-mart with coolers of refrigerated and frozen grocery items. There are eggs, bacon, milk in the coolers, and an assortment of cereals and other common grocery items available for purchase. You take your ticket to the counter to pay, then you're given a table number. Once you're seated, your food is brought out to you when it's ready.


I ordered the Bistro Buffalo Chicken Panini without blue cheese. I had spoken to one of the chefs about this choice - he said it could be served on whole grain bread with extra veggies (carrots and celery), and that the Saratoga Chips that came as the side weren't very salty. He said he would limit the portion, however, since the buffalo sauce did contain some sugar. I got bottled water as my drink.

WOW! What a huge sandwich! No need to tell me to limit the portion - half of this sandwich easily filled me along with only a few chips. The chef was right - the chips weren't overly salty. I could tell they were freshly-made - they were delicious, as was the sandwich. It came in a convenient to-go container, so I took the remaining half with the chips back to our room for a later meal.

Rating for Bistro Buffalo Chicken Panini with Saratoga Chips:


My husband ordered the lunch special of the day, which happened to be a Meatball Sub. It also came with Saratoga Chips as the side. He got Coke as his drink.

He said the sub was delicious and filling. The meatballs were large, the sauce was good and the bread was fresh and soft. He also liked the chips and didn't find them overly salty. Unlike me, he finished his entire meal.

Rating for Meatball Sub with Saratoga Chips:


We were pleasantly surprised at the number of choices for desserts here. We found many of the refrigerated snack credit items were available as dessert choices to go with our lunch.


I chose fresh strawberries with whipped cream for my dessert. It was a good size amount of strawberries, and the small container of whipped cream was just enough to compliment them.

Rating for Fresh Strawberries with Whipped Cream:


My husband chose Worms in Dirt as his dessert. For those not familiar, it is chocolate pudding with cookie crumbs on top ... with gummy worms buried inside. He liked this okay - he said some of the gummy worms had started to disintegrate inside the pudding, which gave it a rather strange texture and taste. He would have preferred being able to take the gummy worms out and eaten them separately or that they were simply left on top so he could take them off prior to eating.

Rating for Worms in Dirt:


Total Cost of Meal: $32.08 (2QS Credits Used)


Final Thoughts: Artist's Palatte is an above-average quick-serve restaurant. The choices here were varied and much different than other QS we've visited in the past. We found the food to be fresher and the choices to be better and more healthy.

Other items on their menu included 6 different types of flatbread (BBQ pork, caprese, chicken/spinach/artichoke, cheese, pepperoni, and cheeseburger), and 5 other sandwiches (smoked turkey & brie, Italian hoagie, beef on a kaiser roll, turkey club wrap, and lobster club sandwich), along with 3 different salads (Saratoga salad w/chicken, caesar salad w/chicken, and cobb salad) and chicken nuggets (which we ordered on another day). They also have a lunch and dinner special of the day.

Ordering and having our meal brought to us made this feel much more like a TS restaurant than a QS, though the layout was quite strange entering through the gift shop. The seating area is rather small considering the immense size of this resort. Everyone we encountered was friendly and more than helpful, from the kitchen staff to the chef.

If you're in DTD and looking for something different than your average QS, this is the place for you. In short, recommended.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #38
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T-Rex Dinner 09/19

Wednesday, September 19 - T-Rex Dinner at Downtown Disney


I spoke with Chef Chuck prior to ordering and believe it or not, he remembered us on-sight. I already knew what I wanted - it was more a case of letting him know.


I ordered the Neanderthal New York Strip, medium-well. This time, I ordered red-skinned potatoes and steamed carrots as my sides and iced team for my drink.

Once again, this meal did not disappoint. The steak was cooked to perfection, as were the veggies. Not much more to say that I didn't already say in the last review!

Rating for Special Order Neanderthal New York Strip:


My husband also ordered the Neanderthal New York Strip again. This time he didn't even bother with the mashed potatoes and went straight for the Waffle Fries as his side. He ordered Coke again to drink.

Again, everything was cooked to perfection!

Rating for Neanderthal New York Strip:


We ordered the same desserts as last time, too. Yeah, we're pretty boring that way! When we find something that works, we tend not to change things up very much.

Rating for Ice Age Indulgence and Strawberries w/Whipped Cream:


Total Cost of Meal: $93.14 (2TS Credits Used)


Quality of Service:


Final Thoughts: Chef Chuck gets , but our waiter this time was terrible! If Boatwright's was our most rushed meal, this was our slowest. He was in no hurry whatsoever (which is good and bad). He catered to larger tables in a big way, and this meal took forever due to slow service. We had to ask for our desserts, ask for refills, and ask for the bill. We must have flagged him down 8 or 9 different times because he just never checked on us. Again, I won't list his name - it's unfair to call someone out on the carpet who can't defend themselves.

Chef Chuck, on the other hand, is absolutely amazing! He actually took the time to talk with us on a personal level, got to know us a little bit. He's truly a nice guy and so, so easy to work with. He is a great example of how Disney chefs go out of their way for their guests.

Even with the mediocre service on this visit, I'd still recommend T-Rex without hesitation and it's on our must-do list for future trips.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #39
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Artist's Palatte Breakfast 09/20

Thursday, September 20 - Breakfast at Artist's Palatte at SSR


There appear to be limited choices for breakfast here, but all of them sounded tasty. My husband went down to the restaurant and brought breakfast back to the villa for us to eat.


I chose the Breakfast Croissant Sandwich and milk. This sandwich consists of eggs, bacon, and American cheese on a croissant.

The sandwich was very good. The croissant was flaky and buttery and the bacon crisp.

Rating for Breakfast Croissant Sandwich:


My husband chose the Country Breakfast Burrito with Coke. This is a whole wheat tortilla with scrambled eggs, diced onions, peppers, potatoes, sausage, and cheddar cheese.

The burrito was packed FULL and was very large. My husband said it was very reminiscent of the breakfast burritos you get at McDonald's, only larger and better tasting.

Rating for Country Breakfast Burrito:


Approximate Total Cost: $24 (2QS Credits Used)


Notes: While both of these breakfast items were very good tasting, they lacked a side which would have justified the price point. We wish they would have included breakfast potatoes, a fruit cup, or other side item and made it a meal or platter considering the cost.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #40
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Sassagoula Pizza Express Dinner 09/20

Thursday, September 20 - Sassagoula's Pizza Express (In-Room Delivery)


First Impressions: When my husband called about pizza delivery, he was pleasantly surprised with the amount of choices that were available. We were under the impression it was only pepperoni and cheese; turns out, there were 6 or 7 different varieties, along with a make-your-own option. The order-taker on the phone was pleasant and friendly, and reminded us that gratuity was included and there was no need to tip the driver. There were three choices for our 2-liter - Coke, Diet Coke, or Sprite.


We decided to order a Meat Lover's Pizza without Ham, a 2-liter of Coke, a brownie for my husband's dessert option, and cheesecake for mine.

The driver arrived within the stated delivery time. Again, we were reminded that a tip was not necessary, and were given the standard print-out showing what we had ordered. Included in the bag with our 2-liter were plenty of plates, napkins, and plasticware.

This pizza was quite large and surprisingly good. The crust was perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. We loved the sauce, and the toppings were plentiful. We polished off half, then put the other half away to snack on later.

Rating for Meat Lover's Pizza:


As for the desserts, both the brownie and cheesecake were delicious. The brownie was large, chewy, and chocolatey. The cheesecake was very reminiscent of the one I make from scratch at home.

Rating for Both Desserts:


Approximate Total Cost: $30 (2TS Credits Used)


Final Thoughts: We aren't "pizza snobs", but won't eat just any old thing, and this pizza definitely satisfied.

Looking back, we probably should have paid OOP for this meal - considering the size of the pizza, it would have been money well spent. While this wasn't the best use of TS credits as far as price point, it was convenient and great to have the option, and we wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:34 PM   #41
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Artist's Palatte Snack 09/20

Thursday, September 20th - Snack at Artist's Palatte at SSR

After dinner, we decided to run down to Artist's Palatte and pick up a few snacks to try and use up a few of our remaining snack credits.


We got 2 containers of Strawberries and Whipped Cream and chocolate cake for my husband.


The strawberries were good, as always. The chocolate cake was standard-issue WDW in the plastic container, nothing special, but he proclaimed it still tasty.


Rating for Both Snacks:


Approximate Total Cost: $13 (3SN Credits Used)
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:36 PM   #42
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This is kind of a strange set-up. It is a gift shop, food court, dining room, and mini-mart all in one area..
I remember wondering how that worked for eating (we just hit the gift shop there). The seating area seemed small to me, but I would guess most people have breakfast and snacks in their units anyhow, so not as much of a morning and evening rush, maybe?


Quote:
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My husband chose Worms in Dirt as his dessert. For those not familiar, it is chocolate pudding with cookie crumbs on top ... with gummy worms buried inside. He liked this okay - he said some of the gummy worms had started to disintegrate inside the pudding, which gave it a rather strange texture and taste.
Middle daughter always gets worms and dirt at the Contempo Cafe. And I always think it looks nasty. I tried a bite the first time and was not impressed, have not been willing to try it again, but she always thinks it's great stuff. Good for kid food, I guess.

Oh, wait, you guys got the pudding version anyhow. She gets the cake. Never mind.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #43
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WPE Breakfast 09/21

Friday, September 21st - Breakfast at Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney (Marketplace)


First Impressions: At first, to be honest, I was kind of worried. I'd heard so many great reviews about WPE here on the DIS, so I expected the place to be absolutely packed. It was *dead*. In fact, other than us, there was only one other table full of people when we got there. When we left, there were still only a total of 4 tables with people. WPE was incredibly clean and the ordering process was easy. We placed our order, then went to grab a seat and wait for our food to be brought to us.


My husband and I decided to order the Breakfast Pizza with two sides of scrambled eggs and milk to drink. Little did we know how much food this was going to be!

The breakfast pizza certainly lived up to its reputation! It was sooo good. I can't believe we put down the entire thing. It's large and definitely enough to share between two people. We enjoyed it so much that I'm going to try and make our own version here at home.

Rating for Breakfast Pizza:


The portions of scrambled eggs were huge! We probably could have only ordered one to share and it would have been more than enough with the pizza. They had a unique flavor to them, almost as if they'd been cooked on a grill. Delicious!

Rating for Scrambled Eggs:


Approximate Total Cost: $24 (OOP)


Final Thoughts: This restaurant is worth its weight in gold. To get a TS experience for QS cost is phenomenal. I had planned ahead of time to pay OOP, and it was well worth it (we were saving our final two QS for lunch today). The food was excellent, the service friendly, and the serving sizes large. We saw a plate of bacon going by that was positively huge. This will definitely be on our do-again list for our next trip.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:29 PM   #44
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I remember wondering how that worked for eating (we just hit the gift shop there). The seating area seemed small to me, but I would guess most people have breakfast and snacks in their units anyhow, so not as much of a morning and evening rush, maybe?

My husband said when he went down to get breakfast there was hardly anyone there, so you may be on to something. If we'd known ahead of time we would have a full kitchen, we definitely would have planned to eat more meals in.


Middle daughter always gets worms and dirt at the Contempo Cafe. And I always think it looks nasty. I tried a bite the first time and was not impressed, have not been willing to try it again, but she always thinks it's great stuff. Good for kid food, I guess.

Oh, wait, you guys got the pudding version anyhow. She gets the cake. Never mind.
I make a similar pudding version that's low-sugar, but always leave the worms out because I think they affect the flavor too much. DH forgot about that and ordered it anyhow.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:35 PM   #45
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Rainforest Cafe Lunch 09/21

Friday, September 21st - Lunch at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney


First Impressions: When all our plans for the week got changed, this was a last-minute substitute in place of a Biergarten dinner ADR.

This place is large, but not quite on par with T-Rex. The atmosphere is neat - I love the aquariums - and there's something to look at everywhere. We arrived for our ADR 10 minutes early but had to wait. We were seated mid-restaurant at a tiny table for two right next to the aquarium.


After being seated, we were greeted promptly by our waiter, who took our drink orders of tea and Coke. He asked if we knew what we wanted to eat, and I told him I would need to speak to the chef.

Getting the chef took *forever*. She finally came out and frankly seemed a bit puzzled as to how to advise me on what to order. It was as if she didn't want to give any suggestions at all - she wanted me to tell her what was okay. Problem was, I didn't know what was okay ... I didn't know how the meats were prepared or if the veggies were steamed or boiled in salty broth, etc. She was very impatient with me and it showed. Finally I just gave up - after peppering her with a dozen or so questions and getting short answers (or no answer at all), I decided I'd just order what I wanted and forget trying to work with her.


In the end, I chose the Rumble in the Jungle Turkey Wrap. Definitely not the best choice considering the salty lunchmeat, but I felt this was the lesser of all other evils. I ordered it with a side salad instead of fries.

When the wrap was delivered, I found out I needn't have worried about the lunchmeat as there was mostly none in it. It was mostly wrap and very little substance. The salad came with a vinaigrette dressing (which I did not order) on the side, along with a huge chunk of bread. I gave the bread to my husband, and he couldn't bite it, it was so hard. The salad was limp and wilty and very unappetizing.

Rating for Rumble in the Jungle Turkey Wrap:


My husband ordered the Fried Shrimp with Fries. The shrimp portion was very small considering the price, and he thought the coating was rather hard and thick. He didn't care for the tarter sauce they were served with - it was too sweet for his liking. He said the fries were way too salty - he showed me a couple of them that I could actually SEE the salt on. Gross.

Rating for Fried Shrimp with Fries:


When it came to dessert, I went for my old stand-by Strawberries and Whipped Cream. This was 5 strawberries, still with tops attached, not even sliced, with about 2 Tbsp of whipped cream ... I was not expecting was for it to be charged at the maximum dollar level for a single-serving dessert ($8). I thought that was pretty outrageous. No prep even went into this - they just laid a few strawberries in a bowl and squirted out some whipped cream next to it.

Rating for Strawberries and Whipped Cream:


My husband chose the Chocolate Diablo. Now *his* dessert was something to behold! A huge slice of delicious chocolate cake with a mound of whipped cream and creamy chocolate icing. He shared a couple of bites with me (after seeing my disappointing dessert) and I tell you, this was worth every penny and then some!

Rating for Chocolate Diablo:


Total Cost of Meal: $63.88 (2TS Credits Used)


Rating for Quality of Service:



Final Thoughts: While Rainforest Cafe has a neat atmosphere, the food is seriously lacking, especially considering this was nearly a $70 lunch. The service was just okay - our server was friendly, but seemed stumped as to what to do about my wrap and salad issues. The chef here was the absolute worst I dealt with on Disney property - even the QS restaurant chefs were more helpful. She didn't want to advise me at all, but rather acted as if I were bothering her by calling her out of the kitchen to help me.

Again, I have both their names, but won't be listing them for reasons previously mentioned ...

I can say we've eaten here now for the first and last time. It isn't an experience worth repeating, and definitely not worth the 2TS credits it cost us. I'll choose T-Rex every day and twice on Sunday over RFC, even with the slow service the second time around there.
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