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Old 04-08-2013, 08:18 AM   #16
clanmcculloch
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I thought we got some of the soft cookies but I'll have to look through my pictures. Hmmmm...... My memory STINKS.

I don't expect to hear from GNI which really does worry me. I really don't like using the phone (it's part of my personal communication issues related to having Asperger Syndrome) so I tend to put off calling places.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:47 AM   #17
clanmcculloch
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1900 Park Fare Supper

Weíve eaten at 1900 Park Fare for supper a few times, but only once since Chef TJ moved over. DD12 missed that dinner and I lost my camera that trip so I donít have pictures of him or the food so I wanted to go again so that she could experience his awesomeness and I could capture said awesomeness on film. A few days before our reservation I found out from another chef that Chef TJ was out on leave but I figured that when he worked at ĎOhana he trained all the staff to do things his way and Iíve seen reports of other chefs doing the ďChef TJĒ style meals so I figured Iíd keep the ADR even though I wouldnít get a picture with him.

Iíll let you know up front, the chef did NOT do things Chef TJís way. Bummer!

We had an opening (4:30) ADR. We typically eat early and itís important for DD15 to eat on time. This also typically means being seated on time and low crowds for checking in. Well, I made the mistake of booking the ADR on a park day so DD15 was already getting uncomfortable just waiting for them to open the doors to check us in. While we were waiting before and after being checked in it was difficult to create space around her so that she could cope. Itís very bright in the lobby area and something about the tile and brightness and all those people crammed in such a small area just makes it seem over stimulating and stressful. Luckily we didnít have a long wait, but the opening with everybody shouting Bibbity Boppidy Boo had her freaking out because she was already on edge.

We were maybe third in line so we were escorted in very quickly, thank goodness. We were given a table right by the kitchen door. It seemed like it might have been too close to everything but her chair was never bumped and we really didnít notice people passing close to us to get to the buffet so it worked out just fine. In fact, we were always the first table to see the characters so that was kind of nice. We would watch them come out the doors behind us whenever they were announced.

The chef came out pretty quickly to talk to us. For those of you who know Chef TJís style, he makes lots of recommendations. Not this chef. She asked what we wanted. UhÖÖ what have you got? Anything you want. UhÖ.. I have no idea, what is there? At this point I asked if we could just walk around the buffet so I could get an idea of what kinds of ingredient she had to work with. I have no idea if she could have done other things or not, but hereís what we ended up asking for based on what we saw on the buffet. DD15 could not think of what sounded good as we were talking and was bordering on meltdown at this point as I tried to get her to make a decision so I had to kind of choose for her to a degree while trying to gauge what would make her happy. TS dinners on park days are very difficult for her.

The tomato soup (I think it was a Florentine?) was safe for me so I decided to try it. It was pretty tasty.


I was the only person who wanted a salad. I remember how much I enjoyed the creativity and beauty of Chef TJís salad (I realize Iím unfairly comparing her to Chef TJ, sorry) so I was disappointed that I didnít get something like that, but it was still a nice salad. She told me I could just get it from the buffet but I wasnít comfortable with that considering how much dairy and gluten was all around the salads. She agreed to get me a salad from the kitchen.


I donít recall how the salmon on the buffet was prepared but I do remember I couldnít eat it. The chef brought me out a freshly cooked piece. It was very nicely cooked, just a simple sear.


Iím suddenly realizing that I must be missing some pictures. Iíll see if I can find others. I donít recall what else I ate but I know I put together a hot plate for myself including some prime rib as well as a plate with some fruit and peel & eat shrimp on a cold plate.

The girls really werenít asking for a lot. I know DD12 ate some of the fruit and peel & eat shrimp I grabbed but I donít remember if she got anything else from the buffet.

DD15 is a huge mushroom lover so she asked for a dish of mushrooms. The chef gladly sautťed some up for her. She said they were delicious.


DD12 is a huge shrimp fan so in addition to the peel & eat shrimp she also asked for some additional hot shrimp. The chef gladly sautťed some up for her. I tried some since there was too much for her to eat and they were plump and tasty.


Both girls decided they wanted a create your own pasta dish. The chef did have gluten free pasta in the kitchen but warned us it would take a while since Tinkyada does take a while to cook. That was fine by us as long as the kids were happy with their food. She gave the girls options for what kind of oil (olive, garlic, a few other choices) as well as what to go with the pasta. Neither wanted sauce, just sautťed.

DD15ís was tossed with oil, garlic, I think a bit of additional mushroom and lots of fresh parsley.


DD12ís was tossed with oil, fresh parsley and lots of bacon.


They both loved their pasta dishes. They did have lots of other options that they could have in it but this is exactly what they asked for.

The chef brought one of these for each of the girls. Those are crunchy Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies with vanillaTofutti ice cream.


The chef brought this for me. I think thatís an OMG chocolate chips cookie shaped with some kind of round cutter (like a cookie cutter but probably sharper) topped with vanilla Tofutti ice cream.


Clearly not Chef TJ desserts. They tasted good and they were done up in a very appealing style. Itís just hard not to be disappointed that they were the exact same components that are served everywhere else when Chef TJís desserts are famous, weíve had it once before and DD12 didnít get to try it in the past. I know, I know, our expectations are unreasonable and we did enjoy our desserts as well as the rest of our meals.

Then there was something special for DH. We were staying at the Polynesian in a club level room. I had made sure that the chef in the lounge knew we wouldnít be there that evening to get any hot food so that she wouldnít go to the trouble to prepare something for us. She knew our schedule from the Special Diets form and saw that weíd be at 1900PF. Her DH is a chef over there so she asked him to arrange for a sugar free dessert for DH (heís a T2 diabetic and she had been arranging for a sugar free dessert for him every night in the lounge). Hereís what he sent for DH. I bet it was high in carbs even though it was sugar free and I assume it was made with some kind of artificial sweetener but boy was he happy. Of course he wasnít told about it until he had already sampled some of the desserts on the buffet and of course he wasnít about to be rude by not eating it (oh brother). The sacrifices he makesÖ.


As to the characters, I was quite disappointed. I felt like they were all basically phoning it in. They had their basic scripts and didnít veer from them. I tried kidding around with a couple of them to get them interacting more with the girls and they just smiled, posed and said goodbye before moving on. I did see them spending more time and interacting more with little kids which is great. It just felt like for bigger kids and adults they couldnít be bothered. DD15 was actually trying to interact so it would have been nice if there could have been more. Maybe it was more that we were the first table so they hadnít really gotten into it yet. Who knows? At least it wasnít overwhelming. For some ASD kids it would probably have been a really good thing to be at the first table because that way they donít have to deal with the anticipation of seeing the characters and having to wait while they went to other tables.










Overall it was a good meal. Since my kids arenít all that into characters Iím not sure if weíll be back. I suppose if I can be sure that Chef TJ is there I might try it again but overall it wasnít anything that stands out over other meals.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
clanmcculloch
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Kona Cafť (brunch)

We dont do a lot of TS breakfasts because DD15s options for breakfast are so limited but I thought I had read that Kona has some good allergy pancakes and that they can possibly do a dairy free macadamia nut butter for the pancakes so I figured Id give it a try. I had wanted to try it ever since I heard about allergy safe Tonga Toast. We were staying at the Polynesian so a late breakfast seating was perfect for a day where we planned to head to a park after lunch. At home we normally eat lunch by 11:30 so an 11:00 ADR was perfect for having us eating maybe around 11:30.

When we arrived upstairs in the Great Ceremonial House I was surprised by just how many people were up there. We were around 10 minutes before our ADR. It was pretty crowded around Kona. When I went to check in, the CM explained that they were running behind because of marathon runners coming in to eat (the Princess half marathon was that morning). Great&.. He handed me a pager and I asked if it would work over by the gift shop. It would. Phew! I didnt think DD15 would do well near the crowd. Anyway, our buzzer went off right at 11:00 so as it turned out we were seated on time.

I was worried that with the crowd outside and inside the restaurant that it would be loud but it really wasnt. By the end of the meal the restaurant was only half full and while I personally think it feels almost like theres an echo from the open space (yes I feel echoes; dont ask me to explain it because I think its an autism thing but not one that bothers me), something about Kona is very comfortable for DD15. I suspect its because its in the Polynesian which is one of DD15s happy places (hence one of the many reasons we keep returning to stay there).

Chef Brett came out pretty quickly to speak with us. I immediately asked about the pancakes for DD15. That was a no-go. He said he doesnt have a surface on which to cook allergy safe pancakes unless Im willing to risk the cross contamination from regular food. Nope. I asked about the macadamia nut butter figuring maybe shed want waffles with that. He said he could probably make some using Earth Balance but that hed never tried it (I didnt realize it was ground up macadamia nuts mixed with butter, I thought it would be like almond butter, cashew butter, etc thats an alternative to peanut butter; I was wrong). I asked DD15 if she would want this and she said no. She had been eating waffles for breakfast every day so she didnt want them, especially after getting her heart set on pancakes (note to self: do not tell an autistic child that there is an option you havent confirmed personally). There really wasnt much on the breakfast menu she could eat so I wasnt sure what to do. Chef Brett had an idea. He said they were already starting to prepare the kitchen for lunch so if she wanted something from the lunch menu he would gladly make it. Thank you Chef Brett! Last time we ate at Kona was for lunch and she LOVED her lunch so that was a no-brainer. She asked for an alternative to the noodle bowl which is basically a bunch of gluten free noodles sautťed with Asian vegetables and a sliced up steak cooked in a teriyaki sauce. It was as good as last time.


DD12 was in the mood for an omelet. Unfortunately, what she wanted was a ham and cheese omelet. According to Chef Brett, they stopped carrying soy cheese of any kind a long time ago because it kept getting thrown out because it would expire. He said that next time I should notify a chef ahead of time that we would want cheese and theyd order it in. Ill keep that in mind since were at the resort half our trips anyway so popping in a few days ahead of time should be easy, unless our ADR is our first day in which case I have my ways of contacting chefs at the Polynesian. Anyway, she ended up getting just a ham omelet. It normally comes with biscuits I think but she obviously cant have that. She also cant have the GNI buns due to citrus so I asked if he had any Udis bagels (I know they have them at the resort somewhere because she had been getting them every morning in the club lounge). He did have them so thats what she got with it, served with Earth Balance margarine.


And then there was me and my desire for Tonga Toast. As it turns out, that was a specialty of Chef Johnny who has since moved from Kona breakfast to Ohana breakfast. Major bummer! Chef Brett said he had never made allergy Tonga Toast but that hed give it a try if I really wanted it. He warned me that it would take a while since the GNI buns are rather dense and take a while to soak up the eggs and then to cook through. That was fine since DD15s pasta would take a while to cook anyway. Since I cant eat pork, I asked what kind of breakfast meat options he had as the Tonga Toast comes with bacon. He had turkey bacon so I ordered that. My meal was wonderful (though I forgot to take a picture of the bacon). The server told me the kitchen had dubbed my meal Tonga Sliders since they were several small stuffed buns, like a slider burger. There was a mashed banana mixture inside each of the buns, theyre coated in cinnamon sugar and I believe he even had to make that strawberry sauce custom for me. DD12 ended up eating some of the strawberry sauce with a spoon because it was good. It was also served with real maple syrup so I was fine with letting her have some of it. The sliders were good both ways. Thats Earth Balance margarine on the plate with the strawberry sauce though I cant imagine needing it and I didnt use it.


Our meal did take quite a while because of our particular requests plus the fact that DH and I are rather chatty people and ended up talking a lot with Chef Brett. By the time we were done eating, the restaurant was half empty with people starting to come in for lunch and the girls were both getting really antsy and anxious to get going.

Because of DD15s lack of breakfast options Im not sure if well be back or not for brunch (I dont think I should count on her being able to order off the lunch menu and Im unbelievably grateful that the chef gave her that option), though Id love to get the Tonga Sliders again.

ETA: I just realized that I didn't include the fact that DH and I shared a French Press to drink. I like strong black coffee, DH not so much (I try to make sure I make the coffee on the weekend because his tastes like coffee flavoured hot water while mine tastes like coffee). I really enjoyed it while DH had to add extra cream and wasn't so fond of it. I should probably mention that he sees nothing wrong with Disney coffee while though I don't mind it, I can barely taste it but drink it because I need the caffeine or I'll get a migraine.
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Me DH DD(16) DD(14) DSD(32) DSSil (41) DGD (newborn) DSD(30) DGS(4)




Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7

Last edited by clanmcculloch; 04-08-2013 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #19
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Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre

Weve eaten at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre before so we had a pretty good idea of what to expect and that my kids have a dish that they can eat and enjoy (ribs). We havent been since I had to go pork free but I was pretty sure Id be able to find something I would enjoy as well even if it meant a burger.

Our ADR was at 12:35. It was raining outside as we got out of the Muppets around12:00 so we figured wed see if we could check in early rather than looking around the Streets of America like I had originally planned. I was told they were completely booked and therefore werent allowing anybody to check in more than 15 minutes before their ADR. Sigh&.. We decided to run for the Tatooine Trading Post to shop a bit. DD15 and I really dont like the feel of ponchos (its a sensory thing) so unless its pouring, well just run for it. Which is what we did since it was only a light rain. Thank goodness we didnt get very wet and it had stopped raining by the time we left so that meant we werent sitting through lunch soaking wet. That would have meant meltdown or having to leave without lunch in order to avoid a meltdown.

We checked in at 12:20. We knew wed have to wait. We saw them turn others without ADRS away. I heard some people complaining that there wasnt a single TS option in DHS available that day and how ridiculous it was, yada yada yada. Book an ADR if you want a TS meal at DHS. Anyway, as I said, I knew wed have to wait. What I didnt expect was to see a bunch of groups arrive after us getting seated before us. I went up after seeing this happen a few times and noticing we were 5 minutes past our ADR time and I asked how long it would be before we were seated and was told it would be another 5 minutes. 10 minutes and a bunch of others who arrived after us being seated before us later and we were finally shown to our car. I can speculate that maybe it was due to our allergies and not wanting to seat too many allergy guests at the same time but thats 100% speculation on my part with absolutely no evidence to suggest that I could be right. I just know I was trying to not let my frustration show to my kids because they, especially DD15, tend to feed off my mood.

We were given a car at the back of the theatre. We didnt end up with any hitchhikers this time. Our car was on the opposite side of the theatre from where the bathrooms are. When you have a child who seems to like to initiate every bathroom she comes across, that can get old pretty quickly. I dont like walking in front of other guests because of the movie screen so Im glad we were at the back. From the back you have a really good view of the screen and the whole theatre in general. I think I like being in the back.

Our server came out pretty quickly but since we wanted milkshakes we knew we needed to talk to the chef so our server got us waters. He brought the chef out with him when he brought our waters. The chef went over our milkshake options. In addition to the standard chocolate and vanilla he could also make creamsicle. Woo Hoo!!! I didnt point this option out the girls because I didnt want to have the chef take the time to find out if there was any real citrus fruit in it, plus theyre not so big on the flavour anyway so I got their attention to find out if they wanted chocolate or vanilla. For some reason, they both prefer vanilla Tofutti even though theyre typically more chocolate lovers so they chose vanilla. I decided to go for the creamsicle since I miss that flavour. He wasnt positive off the top of his head of the orange syrup was safe for me or not but he said that if it wasnt that hes use orange soda which is safe. In the past I was told that they have a dedicated milkshake machine but now it seems they just use a dedicated allergy blender which is also fine. Like our previous time here, the milkshakes were thinner than we prefer but very very tasty. I did find that the creamsicle had a bit of a metallic taste but it was still good. DD12 never finishes her milkshakes so I got to have half of hers as well. Oh the sacrifices we make for our kids.


After confirming that the ribs and fries are still safe for the girls, they quickly ordered them and got back to watching their movie clips. Those kids could eat ribs every day if I let them. Theyre not so big on sauce so we asked for the sauce on the side so they could try it and decide for themselves if they wanted it or not. They didnt, but that doesnt mean anything about how good it is since they never eat BBQ sauce at home either. The ribs were once again fall off the bone tender and yummy.


I wasnt sure what options there would be for me since I got the ribs last time I ate here and as I said, Im now pork free. I knew a burger would be an option but thats boring so I wanted to know what else I could get. I havent had a rueben in a long time so I asked about that. The chef asked if Id be ok with it on a hamburger bun since he didnt think he had any regular slices of GFCF bread and I was fine with that. He didnt have any soy cheese so it would be a cheeseless rueben but that was also fine by me. I asked him to confirm that the thousand island dressing was safe and to let me know if it wasnt so I could order something else. It was safe. Instead of the hamburger bun, I think it was a pizza crust that he used. I thought this was better than a bun, especially since the bun would have been GNI. It was pretty good. I dont think he actually grilled it and it would have been better grilled but Im not sure it would have held together. It looks like its more the size of half two thirds of a sandwich but I assume its the same amount of meat that would normally go into a rueben, just stacked to fit the size of the bread. The picture was taken after I already ate half the sandwich so no, this isn't the total size. I enjoyed it quite a bit and would consider ordering it again.


We were too full for dessert. They only had the exact same ice cream and cookies as everywhere else anyway so no big loss.

The atmosphere in Sci-Fi is excellent for DD15. After a busy morning in DHS, this becomes almost a semi-sensory deprivation area to decompress. The lights are wonderfully dim. The tables are very separate from the tables around us (we put the kids in the front seat which means even if we do have hitchhikers the kids wouldnt have contact with them anyway and people who walk in front of the car are a good distance from the table due to the hood of the car). Everybody seems to try to talk very quietly because of the atmosphere of being in a movie theatre. She can zone out and focus on the movie screen. The seats themselves are great for somebody like DD15 who seeks tactile sensory inputs because the benches are firm, when she sits on the inside she can press against the inside wall of the car, and the table is really close so she can lean on the table and even press into it if she wants. It really is a great atmosphere, nearly the perfect atmosphere for her.

The short version is that the food and atmosphere are equally good for us and well definitely be back.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7

Last edited by clanmcculloch; 04-08-2013 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #20
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Tonyís Town Square

For the longest time I was reluctant to try Tonyís Town Square because I wasnít sure just what kinds of options weíd have besides plain old spaghetti with marinara sauce. Well, then I heard that they have MEATBALLS that are GFCF. Thatís like, unheard of. We havenít had meatballs in a restaurant, well, ever, at least not since figuring out the food allergies. Around the same time I heard this I also heard that they make a fresh fruit sorbet every day so between these two items, I knew I now wanted to try it.

Our ADR was at 12:30. We arrived at around 12:20 to check in and were told it wouldnít be a long wait. There werenít many people in the lobby so it was easy to find seats facing the TV where of course Lady and the Tramp was playing. It wasnít long before we were called to be seated which disappointed DD12 because she loves that movie (yes, movies outrank food).

Having never been inside the restaurant, I had no idea what to expect. I didnít realize that there are two very different areas for dining. One is fairly dim with dark wood and the other is bright and feels like youíre in a solarium. If one would be better for you over the other then Iím sure you could ask for your preference when checking in, but I didnít know about the two areas so we just followed the hostess. We were seated in the solarium area, right beside the window facing out towards Main Street. It was a beautiful sunny day so it was very bright in this room. The ceiling is very high and the room feels really open. While sometimes a dim room is best for relaxing, thereís something about this solarium type room that was just so cheery and welcoming. The pictures of Lady and the Tramp on the windows are a nice touch. The tables felt as though they were far enough apart that you had some good space around you which is unusual for a WDW restaurant so that made the atmosphere that much better. It really was a good overall atmosphere for DD15 even though she typically doesnít do so well with really bright areas. I guess having been outside all morning made this seem less bright by comparisson.

Our server came over to greet us very quickly and was very friendly. She took our drink orders and was able to get DD12 apple juice in an Ariel cup (normally itís a type of lemonade but she canít drink lemonade). While getting our drinks she quickly got the chef for us.

Obviously the first thing I asked the chef about was the spaghetti and meatballs and yes, they were safe. YEAH!!! All 3 of us ordered it.


The portion was a very hearty portion for lunch. Those 3 meatballs were a good 2 inches in diameter each.

Overall, it was pretty good. The spaghetti had good texture though I do prefer mine a little more al-dente. The sauce was a bit chunkier than my kids like but theyíd prefer pureed to perfectly smooth if they could get it that way. The meatballs I hate to say were just ok. They tasted like plain old ground beef. Iím very heavy handed with seasonings at home, especially when doing some type of ethnic cooking so when I cook meatballs, I use a LOT of italian seasonings. They werenít bad, they just werenít great. I suppose that since theyíre for guests with allergies theyíre trying to make sure theyíre safe for as many common and uncommon allergies as possible so they make them plain. Thatís just a guess but it makes a lot of sense to me. I did like them enough to also finish DD12ís even though I was pretty full.

I think the chef said he had bread but since my girls canít eat the GNI I skipped it as well.

I think one of the most shocking things about this meal was how quickly it was served. Those of you who deal with allergies know just how long it can take for the allergy safe food to be prepared and served. Well, it seems they have gluten free pasta par-cooked and the meatballs are pre-cooked and just need to be steamed and tossed in the sauce. This was the absolute fasted meal weíve EVER been served. I was impressed. According to the chef, the sauce is made fresh daily.

Even though I was pretty full, I had to ask about the sorbet I had heard about. My source was correct. YEAH!! He had made a green apple sorbet that morning. Thatís the one I had seen a picture of so I was excited to try it. The girls, not so much. They ended up splitting some Tofutti ice cream. I did let them try my sorbet but theyíre really not green apple people unlike me who loves green apples. The sorbet was really nice and refreshing. Iíd definitely order it again.


You know, itís tough when youíve already got restaurants you like in a park and then you discover another one you like. How in the world am I going to choose going forward? Iím pretty sure weíll be back.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
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December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:37 PM   #21
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Biergarten

Weíve been to Biergarten before and had great experiences both from a food and autism perspective so I was asked to book another ADR here. Of course I agree. DD12ís not the biggest fan but we go to other restaurants that are her request and itís not like she doesnít like it, itís just not among her favourites.

Biergarten doesnít open until 12:00 which seems unusual for a WDW restaurant. I like to try to get one of the earliest ADRs so that not only wonít we have to wait to be seated but also so that the restaurant wonít be packed when weíre first going through the buffet with the chef but I also like to not have the very first ADR slot so that weíll still be eating when the band starts at 1:15 though for us thatís not difficult. Our ADR was at 12:15. We checked in right at 12:00 and we were seated within minutes. There were only a few other tables already seated. So much for not having an opening ADR. Oh well.

We were seated right by the dance floor. The gate to the dance floor was beside us so I made sure DD15 wasnít beside it so that she wouldnít get bumped by people going by. In hindsight, she probably would have been better on that side because itís wider. The tables are REALLY close together. Theyíre so close together that itís impossible for you and the person behind you to get up at the same time as there isnít enough room for both chairs to push back to get out. VERY tight.

We were the first seated at our tables followed by two other couples. One was an elderly couple who lives in FL and takes day trips to WDW, in this case specifically to eat at Biergarten. They were definitely in the spirit of sharing a table and having fun. They chatted a lot with us and even got DD15 talking about her art. The other couple was a young couple (looked maybe early-mid 20s) who I know absolutely nothing about as they didnít look our way even once to nod hello. To each their own.

It was several minutes before the chef came out. I think he was the same chef weíve worked with the other times weíve eaten here but I still donít remember his name. He moves around very quickly and goes through food options fast. I had to get him to repeat himself several times so I could be sure of what was safe for each of us.

DD15 loves it here. There are a lot of options for her and sheís a very adventurous eater so she tries a lot of different things. I think what I see here is apple sauce, deli meat, cold sausage/hot dog salad, green beans, chick pea salad, german potato salad, and a couple other kinds of salads that I canít really identify. She enjoyed pretty much everything she tried. She went back later to try a bit of other stuff but that german potato salad is a definite favourite of hers.


This was the first time we ate here since I had to give up pork. Boy was I surprised to find out just how much of the food is pork based. I didnít feel as though I had many options. I ended up getting beet salad, cabbage salad, red cabbage, german potato salad, green beans, roasted chicken and I believe thatís roasted potatoes but Iím not positive. Yes there are several options but only one protein.


The chef did also cook me a piece of fish in the kitchen. The fish on the buffet has a sauce thatís not safe for me. It was beautifully seasoned and perfectly cooked, but it wasnít brought out until we were almost done our meal so that was kind of disappointing.


Like previous times eating here, DD12 didnít want to try much variety. She ate some of the roast chicken, deli meats, salad without dressing, apple sauce and not a lot of other stuff though I canít recall what because I seem to have not snapped a picture.

This is one of the few places at WDW where you get Ener-G buns. My girls canít eat them but I can so I asked for one. Our server quite a while later, only minutes before the fish was brought out, brought me a plate of the rolls. They were warmed up, Iím guessing steamed, since they were moister than I recall for Ener-G buns. They didnít have any kind of margarine though.


For dessert, the chef brought us out this plate of Enjoy Life goodies.


He also brought out some Tofutti ice cream though we did have to ask for it; he didnít offer. The ice cream is really good with the berries from the buffet but I forgot to get a picture of that.


As I said, we were seated right by the dance floor. Hereís the view we had.


This guy was fun. He came up to the table and blew his horn at us. This could have been a bad thing for DD15 when she was younger since at one time she had some severe auditory sensory avoidance issues and loud noises could cause a meltdown, but now sheís good with loud noises as long as sheís not surprised by them. She saw him do this to other tables and was smiling so there was no indication for the guy to not do. She laughed along with the rest of us.


This really is a great show. So much talent and they really know how to engage their audience.





Itís a bit loud so if anybody in your group doesnít like loud then you want to be out before the show. We enjoy it a lot. None of us got up to dance this time but we were all enchanted by what looked like a grandson spinning his grandmother around the dance floor. Very touching to everybody watching.

I think because of the whole pork thing, I was less impressed than I had been in the past. The meal was still pretty good and lunch is a good value for an all you can eat buffet, but Iím thinking weíll probably try somewhere else next time. There was nothing wrong with the meal and everything was well prepared but with 2 of the 4 of us not feeling like we had many options, itís just no longer one of our top choices.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:16 PM   #22
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ĎOhana brunch

We donít do a lot of breakfasts because of DD15ís particular list of allergies, but weíve enjoyed a late breakfast seating at ĎOhana in the past and we were staying at the Polynesian with an expected DME pickup time of around 1:45 so it seemed like a last breakfast seating would make a perfect way to end our vacation. I was able to get that very latest ADR that theyíll book which is 10:50am.

We arrived our usual 10 minutes early. There were a few people standing in the stand-by line by the railing but no guests at the check-in counter so we were checked in very quickly. We were immediately ushered over to a CM standing beside a big rack of leis. She tried to put on over DD15ís head which made her jump back with a whiney noise. She doesnít handle strangers reaching out to her. The CM was understanding when I apologized and let me take the lei for her instead (she wanted it, just didnít want it put on by a stranger). She didnít put it on for the picture but she did want it later for her hair. There was no wait for the picture so we went right over to the backdrop and got our photopass picture taken. She even smiled.

It wasnít too crowded in the lobby and we had no trouble getting seats for all 4 of us. Good thing we did because we had to wait. And wait. And wait. I was watching family after family get buzzed. I know I said I like the last ADR but I expect to get seated sometime close to my ADR time. It was 11:30 before we were seated. DD15 starts melting down when she gets over hungry. I didnít have any snacks on me and sheís generally eating either a snack or lunch at 11:15ish so she was getting pretty irritable by the time we were buzzed (frankly, so were the rest of us after waiting so long but sheís the one who has most trouble coping).

We were brought to a table over by the window facing the Tonga building, near the entrance to the kitchen. I like being by a wall or window because we can put DD15 away from the traffic so she wonít be bumped. Luckily they gave us a table that was meant I think for 6 because we always have a lot more platters than the average family because of needing regular as well as separate allergy platters. It was nice not being crowded at the table.

Chef Johnny came out pretty quickly. We probably chatted with him a little longer than we should have but we hadnít seen him in over a year and we were swapping stories. Heís so friendly. He started going over our options with us. While we were talking with him our server brought out the punch and he told her that only DH could have that (I suspect I probably could too but I didnít care if I had it or not; I know the girls canít because of citrus). She then brought out the fruit platter with the dipping sauce and he told her me heíd bring us another platter without the sauce since itís made I think it was with yogurt (definitely dairy based). There was cantaloupe, honeydew, raspberries and pineapple. It was a large platter but by the time I took the picture there was something missing from it so I took a picture of a selection from my own plate. DD12 was really enjoying the raspberries so he brought her out another whole dish later.


DD15 was tired of waffles and as I said was also irritable so she wasnít going to agree to them. She had been eating waffles pretty much every morning including this day. He offered to make her pancakes using the same batter. She jumped at that and it seems that was enough to get her smiling. She chose to get the bacon, sausage and potatoes along with it. She really enjoyed everything she got.


DD12 is easy to please. Give her some Mickey waffles and breakfast meat and sheís your friend for life. Sheís not a fan of potatoes unless theyíre deep fried in stick shape or crispy flat things so she didnít want any of the potatoes. She polished off her meal and wanted to dig into mine. I think she got more waffles and bacon.


I like to think Iím pretty easy to please too but since I canít eat pork, I asked what other breakfast meat options they might have. He had turkey bacon and blueberry chicken sausage. Yay!! The waffles were good as always. The turkey bacon was better than stuff like Jenny-O which I find have a texture like plastic and it had decent flavour but I think it would have been better if crispy. DD12 took some of it from me and loved it. The sausage was just ok. I found them very dry and I couldnít taste the blueberry. It was nice to have the option though. The potatoes were delicious. DD12 tried a bit and even she liked it. Thatís pretty high praise from a kid who only likes potatoes that are cut into stick shapes and deep fried or else thin sliced and deep fried to crispy. DH tried a piece too and said mine were a lot better than his.


Chef Johnny also brought out a plate of scrambled eggs for me and DD12 to share. DD12 never seems to like the scrambled eggs at any WDW restaurant. I ate a bit but not a lot. I agree that they arenít as good as the ones we make at home but theyíre still fine. Itís almost like they taste a bit stale. Itís probably the preservatives (they use premixed eggs that come in a bag; they are real eggs but they have some kind of preservatives).


Our food was served with real maple syrup.

The last (and only one during our meal) parade started after we ordered. My girls werenít interested in participating but they enjoyed watching the kids. It was pretty loud so it was good that DD15 knew about the parade or she might have started freaking out considering the mood she was in while waiting for her food (she has auditory sensory avoidance issues that sheís learned to cope with but struggles with when sheís over tired or hungry).

The characters didnít start coming by until after our food had already been brought out to the table. This was probably a good thing since DD15 wasnít really out of her funk until she got some food into her.

Lilo came by shortly after our food was served. She gave us a quick high, stood for pictures and was off.


Mickey wasnít too far after. Mickey also gave us a quick hello, stood for pictures and was off.


We were nearly done our meal and we still hadnít seen Pluto or Stitch. Pluto had originally been doing the rounds by our table when Chef Johnny was there and I think he didnít want to interrupt. I asked our server about the characters and she said sheíd make sure they came by.

Stitch came by shortly after. He goofed around with us a little bit before pictures. I think he might have tried to steal DD12ís hat. Silly Stitch.


We were almost done eating so I flagged down a CM to ask about Pluto. He made sure to go get him. Boy was Pluto playful. He was kissing us all and then even tried to eat DD15.


I noticed that after Pluto was finished at our table he left the dining room. We were the very last table for him to see that day. Note to everybody: if you have a late breakfast ADR, donít be shy about asking to see a character because they really want everybody to get a chance to see them all.

As we were finishing up, one of the dining room CMs (not a server; Iím not sure what she actually does but she wasnít in uniform) came by and we got chatting. At some point I noticed that there wasnít another single table in the entire restaurant with guests still sitting. We were literally the last guests in the restaurant. I commented to DH that weíd better hurry up so our server could finish up and go home but we were quickly told to take our time. Our server did still have other tables she was cleaning so I tried not to feel guilty. Everybody really was friendly. You canít beat the staff at the Polynesian.

I think I like this as a departure day ADR when we stay at the Polynesian. Hopefully we wonít have the same kind of long wait as this time if we do it again. That was the only real negative. Iíll probably make sure to have a snack in my purse next time so sheíll have something to munch on while waiting.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
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September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:17 PM   #23
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I'm finally finished. Phew! I hope anybody reading along enjoyed my dining reviews. If anybody has any questions, I'll gladly answer them.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #24
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I love reading your reviews. You really put a lot of time into them. Thank you for taking the time to put this together for all of us to goggle at. ^_^

I have to admit I'm a bit jealous of all the wonderfull places and food. Biergarden has always been on my list of places to go to but I can't due to my allergies. Somehow I've never run across Chef TJ. Did you hear when he might be back?
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:40 AM   #25
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Unfortunately I didn't find out when Chef TJ would be returning.

I'm glad you enjoy my reviews. I enjoy writing them up. To a degree I do it almost like a scrapbook for myself to look back on as much as I do it to share with others the way others shared theirs with me which has helped me so much.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
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January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:35 PM   #26
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Thank you for taking the time to write up your reviews. As a recent adult onset allergy to soy & gluten and dairy sensitivities I appreciate the input and tips in handling eating out. I love the pictures and cannot wait to get back to my happy place.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #27
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Quote:
This was the first time we ate here since I had to give up pork. Boy was I surprised to find out just how much of the food is pork based.
Having lived in Germany, I believe how much is Pork based...like in the USA our main meat is Beef and Chicken with a bit of pork. In Germany it is Pork and Chicken with a bit of beef.

And aside from Germans, nobody wants German breakfast. It is just rolls and cold cuts. Go to France for breakfast.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:37 PM   #28
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Fantastic report!

I had NO IDEA about the fish and chips and onion rings at DTD!!!! My DH is going to FLIP!!!

Thanks so much for sharing all of this!!!
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #29
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Awesome food allergy report! Thank you so much for taking the time and being so detailed. I was especially glad to see the Beirgarten review since that is a place we want to try next. Do you happen to know if they use a lot of paprika in their sausages?

We've had excellent success at both Ohana (breakfast, dinner) and Kona (breakfast, dinner) at the Poly. Love reading these kinds of reviews, they're so helpful. Thanks again!
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:10 AM   #30
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My pleasure. I'm glad people are enjoying it.

Personally, I'd rather the cold cuts for breakfast over the pastries. I need protein in the morning. Pastries are dessert, not breakfast. It always seemed weird to me seeing people get things like chocolate croissants or donuts for breakfast.

I guess I never thought about the pork in Germany because my old family cookbooks that are of German and Russian background are all Jewish cookbooks. You're not going to find pork in those.

I have no idea about the paprika. I didn't eat any of the sausages and I can't really taste paprika specifically. To me it just adds a nice unidentifiable smokiness to foods. My pallet clearly isn't refined enough to identify individual spices, unless of course it's a spice that just doesn't taste right in the food I'm eating.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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