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Old 05-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #16
spincandy
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Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
OMG, Rachael (or Rach ), I just had a nasty flashback - Virgin Cola

I, too, am very glad they stopped serving that stuff, it's dire!

Looking forward to the rest of your reviews - and, hopefully, some photos
Thanks for reading along And, yeah, that Virgin Cola was ridiculous. I used to pick wine even when I wanted a soft drink, just so I didn't have to touch that poison!

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Originally Posted by partyof2 View Post
Cheese and pickle is a bit of a bizarre choice for afternoon tea. I'd say it's definitely a 'love it or hate it' kind of filling.

You must tell your mum and dad that they look absolutely amazing and I can't believe they have children in their twenties!
Aww they say thank you very much! I'm hoping that it's genetic thing and I'll age youthfully too! Yeah, cheese and pickle was not popular with very many people- I was surprised there wasn't more of a 'generic' choice.

Thanks for joining in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsB1228 View Post
Signing on and looking forward to more reviews! I think Frankie & Bennie's is a popular choice for people flying out of Manchester, it seems to me I've read other reviews of the choices there.

I love cheese and pickle sandwiches, but I'm a bit strange, LOL! The pickles have to be the bread and butter variety (sweet) though, never dill pickles.

Eagerly awaiting the next update!
Lol! My dad has the pickle bug too- they flew out separately to us and he was gutted he didn't get the pickle option! He was disappointed I didn't smuggle my sandwich into the country for him to nibble on- I assured him it wouldn't have been worth it!

Thanks for reading so far everybody! I'm hoping to have the next update on tonight- with pictures and everything this time!
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:57 PM   #17
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More! More!
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:52 PM   #18
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We spent our first day at Downtown Disney; the weather was a bit rubbish in the morning and our bodies were still a bit confused by the time, so we picked a chilled destination. Mum, Dad and Ali headed off to Kennedy Space Centre so Chris joined us for the day.

We were hungry early and had no plans for lunch so we debated our choices. Chris is very much a fan of places like Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafť and T-Rex, but I wasnít feeling such a massive meal, I was more in the mood for a Fultonís- somewhere Chris wasn't feeling. Matt, as usual, didnít care as long as he got food! We eventually decided on Paradiso 37 in the old Pleasure Island part of Downtown Disney.

Matt and I have had a couple of drinks here before, but never food. Itís a good looking place with both indoor and outdoor seating. Thereís a lively atmosphere with Latin music and cheery servers, but it never becomes too intrusive. I really love the bar here; itís stacked to the ceiling with a cool display of tequila bottles. (I especially like the voodoo tequila, which has a little glass voodoo doll shaped into the bottom!).

For those of you who (like me) are tequila fans, they have a massive range here. They may not have the rare breeds the connoisseurs search for but, for the girl who normally just slams whatever the house brand is, thereís plenty. We visited at lunchtime, so I wasnít really ready to line them up, but we returned later in the trip for a few merry ones, and I can certainly recommend it!

We took a high table, sort of in the bar area. We had to move the table and chairs about a bit because, at one point, Matt was really squished against the window. This was fine at lunchtime when it was quiet, but probably wouldnít have been possible on a busy evening, so we wouldíve had to ask to move.

So, drinks order first. Clearly on my first day of vacation Iím going to celebrate with a cocktail, so I ordered a Mai Tai. Mai Taiís are up there on my list of favourite cocktails, but, looking back, I canít believe I didnít order something with tequila in. For those of you unfamiliar with the drink, a Mai Tai is a rum-based drink, which is very sweet and tasty. I can drink most like juice, which isnít always a good thing! The Mai Tai from Paradiso was very good, very much orange-based, which was nice.

Chris has never tried tequila, so we suggested he get a strawberry margarita. I had a quick sip of this and it was really good, really tasty. There was definitely a hit of tequila, but it was pleasant rather than overwhelming. Chris drank this really quickly, and said he enjoyed it very much (but would you be anything but happy after a whole margarita on an empty stomach!).

Poor Matt was our chauffeur for the day so all he got was a Coke.

Here's the drinks that count:



We skipped appetizers and just ordered entrees. I got the chicken burrito with a flour tortilla, sautťed peppers, squash, red onions, cheese and chipotle sauce; it came with cilantro rice and black beans. It was very tasty overall- there was perhaps a bit too much burrito for the filling, but what I got was tasty. The rice was nice, the cilantro taste was just enough that it made a nice change, but didnít overpower the rice. The black beans were nice and drizzled with a bit of sour cream, which was nice when the taste got a bit same-y. Here it is:



Matt got the Chicken enchilada with cilantro rice and black beans. He surprised me getting this- itís pretty adventurous for him, especially when they had good burgers on the menu. He liked the enchilada and thought the filling was adequate. He ate the rice and said it was good, but not his favourite. He didnít like the black beans at all, but I think thatís more on Matt than Paradiso- heís not a beans kind of guy.



Chris had a burger, which was no surprise at all. He chose the Paradiso 37 Cheeseburger, which is an 8oz burger grilled and topped with cheddar cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, borracho beans and Serrano slaw in a toasted bun. It also came with P-37 fries. The fries were good, but no different to other places. He loved the burger and gave it a 9/10. He really liked the bread it was on and said it was cooked perfectly. Here's a shot I managed to grab before he demolished it (as you can see, the margarita stood no chance!):



Overall, we really enjoyed Paradiso 37. It was fairly reasonably priced and good quality. Itís a good balance between those who want to pick something a bit different and those who just want a good burger. The food was tasty and cooked nicely, and we didnít really have any complaints. Recommended!
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #19
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Signing on to read and drool over your reviews/pictures! Your mom looks like she could be your sister. So very young looking!
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:10 PM   #20
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I'm in, can't wait for all your reviews!!!
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #21
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Subscribing! Great start!
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:20 AM   #22
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Drinks and snacks!

So after our Paradiso meal we still had time to kill at Downtown so we went for a bit of a wander around the Marketplace. After a while we got to the Rainforest Cafť and had a bit of a watch of the gorgeous parrot they have outside every now and again. Matt suggested that we go inside to the bar for a drink (I have no idea why Matt suggested it, being the only one who was restricted to the soft stuff!).

For those of you who havenít been to a Rainforest Cafť, it is themed, not so surprisingly, like a rainforest. As much as Iím not a fan of eating at the place, I do love the theming- theyíve pulled out all the stops! Thereís animatronic animals everywhere, fish tanks, jungle decorations, anything you could really ask for in a rainforest themed place! Every now and again the whole place erupts in a simulated thunderstorm- itís not the place for a quiet, romantic meal, but itís definitely the place to keep the kids (and apparently the bigger kids, after watching Chris and Mattís fascination with the place!) entertained. Here's one of the awesome fishtanks:



The bar area is quite cool too. It has a fairly large bar with plenty of table seating too. The bar stool are super cool- each one represents a different animal- the bar stool legs are painted to look like the animalís legs and you sit on itís back. They even have tails! Doesnít really take much to excite me, does it!?

Here's the drinks menu we had the pleasure of flicking through:



We hopped onto our various animal backs and ordered up some drinks. Can you guess what Matt had? Yep, he further supported Coca Cola enterprises with a cold Coke! I ordered a strawberry Daiquiri, which is a rum based drink served ice cold with whipped cream (and a cherry- getting in my five a day, even on vacation!) on top. This drink was really good and had a lovely, sweet flavor. My only problem was that it was so cold it was painful! Iím pretty sure I iced up my belly! Here it is (you can almost see all that ice sparkling in it!)



Chris ordered up a Panama Punch. This is light rum, dark rum, peach schnapps and banana liqueur. He really liked this and said it tasted very tropical and fruity. I had a sip but the banana liqueur was too much for me- Iím really not a fan of banana at all.



So after this we hopped across the way to Goofyís Candy Co. to grab some snacks. We always have fun at the create your own treat section. If youíre unfamiliar with Goofyís- itís basically a large, Disney-themed candy store. They sell everything from Jelly beans to cupcakes. They have a section where itís possible to create your own personalized snack for a relatively reasonable amount of money. Itís pretty cool watching them get made, but I do always want to jump in there and get stuck in myself. For example, hereís my order form:



I ordered a Marshmallow treat dipped in white chocolate and covered in M&Mís and milk chocolate drizzle. Hereís the finished product:



As you can see it comes on a Mickey Mouse straw (which can be cleaned off with hot water and used in a drink). This was super good but super sweet. It took a good couple of days of munching to get it finished off, but it was more than worth the time and the calories!

Hereís Chrisís order form and treat:





He also had a Marshmallow with a milk chocolate dip, sprinkles (you get a choice of sprinkle colour) and a milk chocolate drizzle. Candy products stand very little chance of survival where my brother is concerned, and he devoured his treat very quickly (Iím pretty sure heís taken a chunk out of it here before Iíve managed to snap a pic!).

I donít have a picture of Mattís order form, but hereís his treat:



He had another marshmallow (they are the best imo) dipped in milk chocolate. He had his covered in sprinkle, M&Mís and milk chocolate drizzle. Matt took more time over his candy, but very much enjoyed it. You really canít lose with something from that store!

We also bought Alishya a pink frosted cupcake- we figured the three of us coming back with sweet treats and nothing for her might be a little too much for a four-year old! She loved the cake- the frosting turned her hands, her face, and everything she touched or even went near a very bright and sticky pink, but it looked like it was worth it!



Phew! All of that sweetness has made me kind of hungry, and that's not the best thing on this post-vacation diet! Next up, dinner at Beni's!
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #23
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #24
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Great updates! Your meal at Paradiso looked yummy and the adult beverages you sampled looked very refreshing.

Yay for Goofy's! Stopping in there for a sweet treat (or 5) is a family tradition, LOL! I agree the marshmallows are the best, but I'm also a fan of the pretzel rods.

Waiting for more ...
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #25
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I used to love the Raspberry Rainfall at Rainforest Cafe but I don't see it on that drinks menu. I really hope they haven't stopped making them.

Paradiso 37 looks like a great choice for both the more adventurous and the 'safe' options.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:12 AM   #26
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Beni's

Our dinner that night was at Benihana. I know these are pretty common in the States but we donít have many over here- only two, in fact, and both of them are far too far away for us to visit. So when we visit Orlando we like to visit this one. Itís located in the Downtown Disney area- at the Hilton, just across the road from the Marketplace.

For those of you unfamiliar with Beniís- itís a Teppan Grill kind of place where the chef cooks your meal in front of you. Itís fun to watch, and the kind of food they make there is like comfort food to me, so I always leave happy. Alishya loves to watch the chefs, so itís good for the little kids too.

Thereís also the option of sitting in the bar area- same food, no show- Matt and I have done this a couple of times when we are on our own. Part of the fun of Beniís is meeting the new people who are sat at your table, but sometimes itís nice just to be your party- and thatís what the lounge is for.

This time we were a party of six, so we took up nearly a whole table to ourselves. We were joined by a lovely Floridian couple who were really nice but no so chatty, which was fine, because we are good at making up for that!

Firstly, there was the drinks order. I ordered a Mai Tai, and it was uh-mah-zing! I havenít quite figured out what they put in this thatís different from others, but itís my favourite! Mum ordered a Baby Blue Ocean, which is Malibu, pineapple vodka, sake, blue curacao and fruit juice. I had a sip of this and it was really good, really refreshing. I thought it would be a bit too much with the sake in, but itís not, it just tastes really fruity. The driving boys (Matt and Dad) had soft drinks, Chris had a bud and Ali had Sprite in a takeaway kidís cup (which she has not put down since!).

Beniís have plenty of options for food including sushi, sashimi, rolls, grilled foods, noodles and salads. From the many times Iíve been to the Teppan grill section, the most popular selections by far are the entrťe packages (for want of a better word!) that comes with various appetisers, sides and desserts. We choose these every time and add on sushi if weíre feeling particularly hungry.

So you start out with Benihana onion soup. This is a fairly clear broth with onions, spring onions, musrooms and other veggies suspended in it. I love this soup and I could sit all day with a huge bucket of it. Thereís no fancy flavours, itís just good old comfort food for me, and I love it.



Next comes the Benihana salad. This is greens, red cabbage, carrots and tomatoes in a tangy ginger dressing. The dressing is pretty tangy, theyíre right, and for any of you who are wary of ginger, I would ask for it on the side. Chris isnít a fan of having the dressing mixed in with his salad, but he likes to dip into it on the side. I thought I had a picture of the salad, but I don't You can pretty much imagine it easily though!

By this point the chef had arrived at our table and begun cooking. There is a show about the cooking and most of the chefs are very happy to chat and interact with you. Our chef was a baby to the whole thing and had only finished his training a couple of weeks prior. He was very good though, and we never noticed any Ďamateurnessí about him. Here he is in action:







The chef cooked up our food and had lots of fun while doing it! We got a shrimp appetizer, which I passed on and let Matt have it- I always find it a bit chewy, but itís the only shrimp Matt will eat, so go figure! We substituted the regular steamed rice for Hibachi chicken rice. This is the best rice ever- honestly, if you told me I could only eat this forever, that would be fine. I make a mean chicken rice, but this beats it hands down. Maybe I should buy a teppan grill? Here's the gorgeous stuff:



We all had slightly different meals and they all come with slightly different sides. Most of us got fried onions and mushrooms, and they were tasty. I got teriyaki chicken which was very good. The sauce was sweet and sticky and the chicken was cooked nicely. Looking back, I do wish Iíd been a bit more adventurous and got some sort of fish, but I was very happy with what I did get- it tasted fab. Here's a picture of 'something' teriyaki! Matt had steak and I had chicken and I can't tell which this is!



We do really enjoy Beniís- itís my kind of food, and itís definitely different to watch someone cook your food in front of you! Itís not gourmet, but Iíve never had a bad meal there, and it satisfies all of us.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsB1228 View Post
Great updates! Your meal at Paradiso looked yummy and the adult beverages you sampled looked very refreshing.

Yay for Goofy's! Stopping in there for a sweet treat (or 5) is a family tradition, LOL! I agree the marshmallows are the best, but I'm also a fan of the pretzel rods.

Waiting for more ...
We loooove Goofy's but I must say I haven't sampled the pretzel rods yet- that'll have to be on my to-do list for next time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
I used to love the Raspberry Rainfall at Rainforest Cafe but I don't see it on that drinks menu. I really hope they haven't stopped making them.

Paradiso 37 looks like a great choice for both the more adventurous and the 'safe' options.
Eep I didn't see the Raspberry Rainfall on the menu. I love raspberry in any form so I probably would've given that a go if it had caught my eye. To be honest, I did kind of struggle to pick something that appealed to me from that place.

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Thanks for reading along!
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:56 AM   #28
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How do you compare BEni's with the one at Epcot. Can't remember the full name but it is Tepan -- something.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:15 AM   #29
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Reading along. That daquiri at Rainforest Cafe looks great! Wish I had one for breakfast right now. I'm sure my boss wouldn't like that though.

Great start to your reviews.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:25 PM   #30
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Benihana's looks great. Did that chicken rice have peas in it? I have a real aversion to them - a pea-phobia, if you will - but most rice dishes that I have seen (other than boiled/steamed rice) seem to have them in
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