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Old 09-28-2012, 04:11 PM   #61
iluvpluto27
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California Grill

Before heading out tonight we popped to Marthas Vineyard for a drink. We’d never visited here before but it was a nice quiet spot.
I had a key lime martini with a graham cracker crust. The bartender took a while to make this, it certainly had a strong lime flavour but was a little sweet for me.


I’d chosen California Grill for my dads birthday meal. We checked in 15 minutes early for our 7:45 ADR, and was shocked to be sat immediately (we’ve always had to wait at least 20 minutes in the past).

We were sat at a nice window table in the wine room, with good views over Bay Lake. It was much quieter in here than the main dining room, even with a party of 10 sat behind us.
Our server was friendly, and happy to sort out our complicated check. We didn’t have quite enough credits, so I’d decided we’d use two from each room tonight, and charge everything else to my room.

I had a glass of my favourite californian wine to drink, Conundrum while DH chose a red called Helix.

We love the sushi here so ordered the Tempura Seafood roll to start. This was very good, light tempura batter on the outside, filled with crab, shrimp, white fish and salmon tartar. The fish was very fresh, rice perfect, it was a little spicy for me but it was still amazing. The salmon tartar was my favourite part, so rich it was almost buttery. My mum won’t eat sushi but she tried a little piece of the salmon and agreed it was very good.


For my entree I got the Pork Tenderloin again, served with Goat Cheese Polenta, Roasted Mushrooms and a Zinfandel Glaze. As usual this was incredible, the pork was cooked medium, pink in the middle and very tender. The polenta is one of my favourite dishes, it has a strong goats cheese flavour and is lovely on it’s own or with a bite of the pork.
After eating half the sushi I couldn’t quite finish this dish, but I made a good attempt.


DH chose Florida Red Snapper served with Fingerling Potatoes, Summer Pole Beans, Garlic Scapes and a Mustard Vinaigrette. He said the snapper was very well cooked and tasted great, the mustard vinaigrette was good with just the right amount of mustard flavour. He felt the potatoes and vegetables were a little bland, it wasn’t bad but certainly not his favourite entree of the trip.


My dad chose the Diver Scallops with Southern Sweet Corn Risotto and Spiced Tomato Broth. You only got three scallops but they were huge, he raved about this dish saying they were the best scallops he’d ever had.


My mum chose the Roasted Organic Chicken, with Sweet Corn Cake, Corn Purée, Petite Carrots, Chipotle Emulsion. She was hoping for something light with this dish but actually I think this was the biggest dish of the four! There was a lot of chicken, and she didn’t come close to finishing it. She enjoyed it but like DH, she didn’t think it was amazing.


Mum and I were full so passed on dessert, but the men both got a cheese plate. This is really good value on the DDP, as you don’t see many $20 desserts.
They both really enjoyed this, a lot of the cheeses were the same ones we’d sampled last year, Mt Tam, Humbolt Fog and Roaring Forties blue, but there were two others DH hadn’t tried before. There was a good selection of accompaniments including blackberry jelly, raisins, honey, nuts and fig.


Once we’d settled our bill it was around 8:55 so we headed to the observation deck. It was very busy so we couldn’t get a spot at the rail, but still managed to see most of Wishes which was a nice end to the meal.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #62
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[QUOTE=iluvpluto27;46294398]DH and I both chose the caramel apple egg roll for dessert.
I've never seen a picture of the apple cin egg roll and remember only a quick mention of it in a review. I saw this was on the menu a couple years ago and haven't had a chance to try it. I loved the McD's version years ago and understand that they removed it to prevent further lawsuits but I miss it. I haven't found a wrapper that creates the proper imitation so maybe this will be closer than my tries.


I chose the strawberry cupcake, as an aside I love the containers they put the cupcakes to go in here, it keeps them perfectly intact.


Every review lately mentions this cupcake and yours is the first who didn't love it. Thank you! I don't really care for cupcakes and felt like I needed to give it a try. You saved me the valuable calories


The potato casserole looks so good!
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:21 AM   #63
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Sorry your strawberry cupcake was missing the filling.

As for Cali Grill, it looks like a very nice meal! The tempura seafood roll and scallops look absolutely fantastic.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:29 AM   #64
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Just joining in! All of your meals look excellent thus far! It may be because I expect Disney food to be excellent, but I must say I was impressed with the quality of your airline food! Does that make me a bad Diser? I hope not.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #65
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Great reviews! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:42 PM   #66
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Subbing! I love your reviews! I've ready too many stories about Disney lovers bringing their families to the World and them HATING it, so I'm so glad your parents enjoyed themselves!!
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:12 AM   #67
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What a great restaurant to celebrate your dad's b-day at Cali Grill!! I always get the pork tenderloin but I am ready to expand my horizons next time.

I haven't seen the apple caramel egg roll at Lotus Blossom... now that I know about it I really want one! Especially if it is like the old crunchy McDonalds apple pies.

The CS breakfast at BC - is that from the BC Marketplace. I've not seen cheesy potatoes outside Akershus.

Looking forward to more!
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvpluto27 View Post
They both really enjoyed this, a lot of the cheeses were the same ones we’d sampled last year, Mt Tam, Humbolt Fog and Roaring Forties blue, but there were two others DH hadn’t tried before. There was a good selection of accompaniments including blackberry jelly, raisins, honey, nuts and fig.
Subbed to your trip report, and had to comment on this! I live in Humboldt County, and just picked up some Humboldt Fog at the grocery store yesterday!!!
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:07 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Sorry your strawberry cupcake was missing the filling.

As for Cali Grill, it looks like a very nice meal! The tempura seafood roll and scallops look absolutely fantastic.
The sushi was amazing, definitely worth a try when you're next there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoOrdinaryPrincess View Post
Just joining in! All of your meals look excellent thus far! It may be because I expect Disney food to be excellent, but I must say I was impressed with the quality of your airline food! Does that make me a bad Diser? I hope not.
Thank you. Virgin give pretty good meals in their business class cabin.

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Originally Posted by CanadianPaco View Post
Great reviews! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by klacey1 View Post
Subbing! I love your reviews! I've ready too many stories about Disney lovers bringing their families to the World and them HATING it, so I'm so glad your parents enjoyed themselves!!
Thanks. I know, I've read those sort of reports too and was dreading them just not getting it. As it happens they loved it, I'm just sad we can't afford to take them every year as we all had such a good time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
What a great restaurant to celebrate your dad's b-day at Cali Grill!! I always get the pork tenderloin but I am ready to expand my horizons next time.

I haven't seen the apple caramel egg roll at Lotus Blossom... now that I know about it I really want one! Especially if it is like the old crunchy McDonalds apple pies.

The CS breakfast at BC - is that from the BC Marketplace. I've not seen cheesy potatoes outside Akershus.

Looking forward to more!
That pork is just so good though, good luck tearing yourself away from it.

Lol at the egg rolls. It's been many years since I had their apple pie, but as soon as I had a bite of the egg roll it reminded me of McDonalds.

Yeah the potatoes were from BC Marketplace. It was a new breakfast option they just added in September, I liked them but DH hated them. I think that's just a personal taste thing though, as my dad ate them multiple times without complaint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalGal View Post
Subbed to your trip report, and had to comment on this! I live in Humboldt County, and just picked up some Humboldt Fog at the grocery store yesterday!!!
Thank you. I'm so jealous you can pick up Humboldt Fog any time you like!!
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:53 PM   #70
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Captains Grille

Today we had breakfast booked at Captains Grille. The restaurant was around half full and we were greeted quickly by our server and offered drinks. We all chose the buffet, and there was plenty of choice for everyone.

My mum had some oatmeal, then scrambled egg on toast. There’s no way she gets her moneys worth from a buffet but she enjoyed it.


My dad got a selection of savoury items and liked everything.
I had a piece of toast, sausage, frittata and french toast. It was all nice and hot, the french toast was my favourite, it was soft and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness. By the way I didn’t use all that butter you see on the toast, that was just the size of the butter pats offered.


DH had scrambled egg, egg white frittata, a biscuit, potatoes and bread pudding. He enjoyed all of this.


For my second plate I got a piece of bread pudding (very good, dense, sweet with a good amount of raisins in it), a mickey waffle with blueberry compote (good but the waffle wasn’t that hot) and fresh fruit.


DH finished with a waffle and french toast. He agreed with me that the french toast was excellent.


We all enjoyed our breakfast here, it was quiet with good service and a really nice selection to choose from. I think this was the best breakfast of the trip for all of us.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:55 PM   #71
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Hollywood Brown Derby

We had no lunch today, but had a Fantasmic Package reservation at Brown Derby for 4pm. We arrived early and were seated immediately.
Brown Derby was very quiet, with only a few tables occupied. The weather was awful today with heavy rain that lasted around 4 hours so there may have been a lot of no shows.
We were sat in a booth and our server was excellent. She greeted us quickly, frequently refilled drinks, she was friendly and provided all round excellent service.

DH ordered a wine flight to drink. I think this was $12, they were small pours but I did like the detailed information they provided about each wine


I ordered the Margarita flight which was excellent value at $11. The flavours were classic, pomegranate and mango. I wasn’t too keen on the classic but really liked the other two.


Because we had the F package we were entitled to appetisers here. DH and I ordered the same thing, Feuilles de Brick Napoleon of Blue Affine - with wild mushroom duxelle, griled portobello, golden chanterelles, and a fig reduction. This was very good, layers of thin crispy pastry with a mushroom and blue cheese filling. The fig reduction was quite sweet but complemented the blue cheese perfectly.


My parents also chose the same appetiser, Lump Crab Spring Rolls, Snow Crab Claw, and an Asian Slaw with spicy Miso Aïo. I didn’t get to taste this but they both really enjoyed it, saying it was packed with crab meat which worked well with the sauce.


My mum and I chose Grilled Loch Duart Salmon brushed with a Ginger-SoyGlaze over Wheat Noodles with Julienned Vegetables, with a lemon grass broth. The dish was brought to the table ‘dry’, then the server poured the broth over it.
The salmon was beautifully cooked and the broth kept it nice and moist. The vegetables were nice, and the noodles were well cooked. I felt the only disappointment was the broth which really didn’t seem to have any flavour, therefore all it brought to the dish was moisture. We still both enjoyed this entree, and it wasn’t too big a portion for my mum.


DH had the Pan-seared Coriander-dusted Grouper, Haricot Verts, Goat Cheese, and Watermelon Salad with a Balsamic Reduction and Fennel Oil. I liked this when I stole a bite but DH wasn’t so keen. He enjoyed the fish, it was nicely cooked with a little bit of coriander flavour, but felt it didn’t work with the cold watermelon salad. It was quite an unusual combination but I thought it was quite refreshing.


My dad chose the Charred Filet of Beef over a Brentwood Corn and Pancetta Risotto, Arugula Pesto, and Pickled Rainbow Carrots. He loved this, saying it was one of the best steaks he’s had (this will become a repeating theme as these reviews continue). He cleared his plate completely much to our servers amusement.


For dessert I chose the Chocolate Three Ways Praline Milk Chocolate Cream,crunchy Ganache,and Orange-Chocolate Mousse. There was a strong orange flavour throughout this dessert, the mousse was nice as was the chocolate cream. My only criticism was it could have done with a bit more crunch in the ganache bottom layer, for a bit of contrast.


My mum and DH both chose the Creme brûlée. It was a pretty big portion but they both finished it.


My dad didn’t want his dessert but as it was included DH had two. His second choice was the Citrus Honey Nest filled with Candied Ginger Blueberries over Lemon Cheesecake. This was interesting as the cheesecake was definitely the focus, not the honey nest I was expecting. The cheesecake was very good, rich, creamy with pronounced lemon flavour. This worked really well with the tart blueberries, with just the tiniest hint of ginger. I’m not really sure what the nest was made of, it didn’t have any flavour really so we assumed it was more for decoration.


As my dad’s birthday was listed on the reservation our server brought him a free chocolate mousse. This was very good, my dad actually ate it and he doesn’t normally bother with desserts.


In summary this was a really good meal, with DH’s entree being the only dish that wasn’t a hit. The atmosphere was great because it was so quiet, the meal was well paced with good service. This was definitely the best meal we’ve ever had at Brown Derby and it is still a must do for us.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:01 AM   #72
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Love you HBD review. That restaurant tends to get a lot of flack, but it seems to be getting a lot better lately.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:02 PM   #73
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I have to say I was really on the fence about Brown Derby because I am the only one in the family who wants to go and I only want to go for the Cobb Salad but Im pretty sold on it and I think the rest of them will find something they like just fine! Thanks for posting your experience! Welcome back!
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:52 PM   #74
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Great Brown Derby review! Both of those seafood entrees look fantastic to me - HBD is one of my favorite signatures.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #75
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Great reviews! We're trying Captains Grille and Sunshine Seasons for the first time this trip so was great to read good reports
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