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Old 11-11-2006, 08:45 PM   #106
grumpydude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi
So, here's a picture of Jason and me before leaving for dinner - you know it's a big deal when I wear my contact lenses.

Hey Brenda...Hubba Hubba

GD
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:45 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi
BriarRosie,

wow! Twice at the Chef's Table...we are aching for a chance to do that. We have two trips planned to Florida next year so we're hoping we'll get lucky on one of them.

You're so right about how quiet the dining room is....every time I opened my mouth I felt like I was talking too loudly.
Chef's Table is not available on some days of the week, but you'll need to
call like you're a CRT groupie. Except that you call V&A's directly and not
Disney Dining, of course.

I forgot about the other comment one of my friends made on the way to the
bathroom. It's only a laugh riot if you've been to the Adventurers Club over
the course of the years: "It's time for the 8:00 parade to the Unisex
Bathroom!" The rest of us nearly lost it when our friend whispered that
under her breath to us.

I really want to eat in the main dining room so I can not be able to see my
meal like the rest of you. Let me assure you that the food does look pretty
gorgeous in full kitchen lighting. And the expansion made me feel like I
was eating on Paula Deen's porch. It was a huge improvement over the tiny
alcove the Chef's Table used to be in, back in the day when two giant
rodents made a surprise visit to Chef's Table diners.

Let's see, it's been 10 years since my first Chef's Table experience.
And it's been 4 years since my second Chef's Table. I'm due for another
meal there in a year or two.
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:54 PM   #108
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Day 6, Part III - Eating the Food Chain at Victoria & Albert's

Time for some high-class food porn! I'm just going to plunge right in and try to let the pictures speak for themselves.

For the first course I ordered the Ohio Tomatoes and Costa Rican Hearts of Palm w/Blue Fin Tuna.


I fear that my comments are going to end up sounding repetitive because everything tasted so good, but I'll try my best to make it interesting. This first dish was quite tasty - as much as I love tuna fish I'm pretty sure I've never had tuna other than from a can or a vacuum sealed pouch. What a novel idea - fresh tuna! Such great flavor, too! And see that crispy thing standing up in the center of the tomato? I'm going to send a picture to the folks at the F&W Ireland booth so that they will know what a "crisp" is supposed to look like.

Jason ordered the Long Island Duck w/Tuscan Melon, Grains of Paradise and Minus Eight Vinegar.


Jason really enjoyed this dish but he did recently comment that the grains of paradise do not appear to be working since we had to leave WDW and come home. As for my take on this dish - I am not a fan of duck, so it's a testament to the culinary skills of the chefs at V&A that I actually thought it tasted pretty good.

Just a note - there was a lot of food sharing going down between Jay and me so that we could taste as much as possible. My parents not so much...their attitude was more like: No Sharing!!

For the second course I ordered the "luxury" on the menu: Pan Roasted Foie Gras and Fuji Apple Tart w/Mostarda di Cremona.


For one thing, when I ordered this I forgot there was a surcharge. It just sounded like something good to try. For another thing, I think this was the first time in my life that I tried foie gras and it was gooooood! I really liked this paired with the apple tart - it made for a really interesting mix of taste and texture.

My mom ordered the Quail with Black Mission Fig Jam & Turnip Kraut.


She must have liked it because her plate was wiped clean by the time the next course arrived. There was no offer of a shared taste, so I guess Jay and I will have to go back another time and try the quail for ourselves.

Jason and Jon both ordered the Jamison Farms Lamb w/Wild Mushroom Ragout, Porcini Pasta and Truffle Foam.


This offering met with much approval on the part of the men at the table - I'm sure it was good, but I don't like mushrooms so I didn't sample it. Just looking at that dish covered with 'shroom-foam makes me gag.

Time for the third course! My mom and I both ordered the Tempura Crab Stuffed Squash Blossom w/Violette Moustarde.


This was excellent! The crab was light and sweet, the squash tasted like it had been deep-fried, and the moustarde was a great complement - very flavorful with just a hint of heat.

Jon ordered the John Dory w/Green and White Asparagus, Beurre Noisette.


Our waitress highly recommended this dish - it's a fish, by the way in case you didn't know or can't tell from the picture. I think Jon ordered it because the dish was named John and he felt a sense of kinship with it. He said it tasted very good, but again, there was that no-sharing thing so I have no personal taste experience or opinion to offer.

Jason decided to splurge on this round and he ordered the "luxury" item - the Seared Wild Turbot w/Toasted Capers and Meyer Lemon.


This is also a fish and was it ever good! But I couldn't help marveling at the size of the dish it was served in. If there are mice in the kitchen who like to skateboard I bet they love that bowl.

A note on the wine pairings - they were all excellent. We are not wine experts by any stretch of the imagination but we do know what we like. All the white wines I had with dinner were unbelievable - I wish I could tell you more but my memory is a bit fuzzy in that regard.

I will post the rest of the evening sometime tomorrow. Thanks to all of you for reading and for posting.

B.

PS. GD - Thanks.

PPS. BriarRosie, thanks for the great info - I've already passed it on to the hubby so that we can plot our best course of action.
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Last edited by oybolshoi; 11-12-2006 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:56 AM   #109
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off-topic

Hee hee hee! I tried that elf-name generator in BriarRosie's signature and my elf name is Stumpy Sugar Butt!

It's funny 'cause it's true!

Just ask Jason how much sugar I put in my coffee or my tea and he cringes and says, "my teeth hurt just thinking about it."
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:48 PM   #110
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Day 6: The Gluttony Continues at Victoria & Albert's

Had enough yet? I hope not because there's three more courses to get through plus some really good coffee. Pace yourselves...it'll be OK.

My turn to splurge again...I ordered the Seared Australian "Kobe" Beef Tenderloin with Shrimp and Artichoke Risotto. Surcharge $25 - worth every penny.


I'm not typically a big beef eater - I enjoy it now and then, especially a good steak, but I am not one of those people who live and die by red meat. But I was curious about this dish, primarily because of the "kobe" and it seemed like the best time to give it a try. I also knew that it was something my hubby would enjoy trying (aren't I nice?). I've just got to say that this was the best beef tenderloin I've ever eaten - so tender it just about melted in my mouth and tasty doesn't even begin to describe it. Fabulous, fabulous choice. And the shrimp risotto...how can you go wrong with shrimp? I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

My mom ordered the Duet of Prime Angus Beef and Short Ribs w/ Natural Jus.


Again, I have no personal experience with this dish but it looks pretty tasty, doesn't it? She ate every bite of it and said it was delicious.

Jon and Jason copied off of each other (again) and ordered the Minnesota Elk w/ Potato Gnocchi and Veal Sweetbreads.


They were both very pleased with their choice - I did try it and it was pretty good, but still a bit gamey for my taste.

The next course is desgined to be an interlude before dessert. If they had offered a sorbet in a flavor I like I would have jumped on it, but sadly the only choice was coconut and the only time I like that is when it's mixed in a colada with rum, baileys, or kahlua. Jason went ahead and ordered the Coconut Gelato w/Micro Garden Mint for his fifth course:


Jay really enjoyed this and I did take a taste but this was one of those instances where no level of culinary skill was going to mask the fact that this was a glob of frozen coconut flavored stuff.

I opted for the cheese plate - cheese is yummy and it comes with a glass of port! Oh, right about now my mom is wishing she'd ordered those wine pairings because if there is anything left in this world that she loves more than gambling it's a glass of port. Check out this cheese plate and then we'll talk more about port.


Well, I'm sure you're not surprised that I can't remember which cheese is which in this picture. I can tell you that they were all very good except for the one that looks like Blue Cheese and I just don't like those types of cheese so it never even touched my fork. One other thing about this selection of cheese - one of them was really hard and when I tried to cut a piece it went flying off the plate and landed on the floor about 5 feet behind me. This, due to a lot of alcohol, was really funny, and we all started laughing. Because the dining room is so hushed we probably sounded like a bunch of braying donkeys, but we were having fun and I don't think there were too many patrons left in the restaurant at this point - hopefully we didn't disturb anyone too much.

The port - Heredias Special Reserve Ruby Porto - was excellent. I mention this because I usually prefer a tawny port (ruby tends to be too sweet for my taste) and this was just excellent. When I asked the waiter to bring some port for my mom he actually brought two glasses - one ruby and one tawny - so that she could try both. She opted for the ruby (I knew she would) so I got a second glass of port to have with dessert...pretty sly, huh?

Before dessert was presented there was coffee...Celebes coffee...which I've heard people say is just the bomb. They're right - best coffee ever. And check out how they brew it right at the table for you:


Time for dessert! Jon and I ordered the Grand Marnier Souffle:


A huge serving and very good - I couldn't finish it (I feel much shame in admitting this).

My mom ordered the Pyramid of Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse:


She did let me try this and let me tell you fine people, I kind of wished I had ordered that instead. It looks like it would be a really thick, dense dessert but it was super-light and just wonderful. Next time we go back I may just have to order this instead.

Jason ordered the Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle for dessert:


This was also excellent and another dessert that made me wish I'd ordered something different. Oh, why can't we order them all???

As if this wasn't enough, they brought out a little plate with with some chocolates and little cookies, and jelly-type things. Somehow we managed to eat these, too.


Some additional thoughts now, if you don't mind humoring me for a moment or two. At the conclusion of the meal each of the ladies in a dining party are given a long-stemmed red rose. It was really a nice touch and mine lasted all week. My mom's anti-vacation stance killed hers within 24-hours.

The restaurant will contact you about one week in advance to confirm the reservation and to find out if anyone has any allergies. They will also make sure that they have the correct spelling of the names of everyone in your party - this is beacuse they will give you a personalized menu to order from and keep as a lovely momemto. And they'll ask if you are celebrating a special occassion.

Since I made the reservation and was the contact person I decided that we should celebrate my birthday (again!). This trip was like a 10-day birthday for me - does life get any better? Anyway, I ordered a cake that I knew we wouldn't be able to eat that night - but we ate it later (all of us) and it was tremendous!

Here I am with my birthday cake (hey, it was only 6 days after my birthday!):


The picture is a bit blurry - I guess Jason was feeling the alcohol a little bit, too. For those of you who like to know these things, it was a white cake with a white chocolate mousse filing frosted with white chocolate ganache and covered with that lovely white and dark choclolate shell. And it tasted wonderful.

Before we left our waitress brought me a little pound cake that they had made in the kitchen as well, so we got to take even more yummy stuff back to the villa. I don't know if they do that for all the guests there, or if it was just my lucky day, but it was another delightful taste treat and we really appreciated the gesture.

On the way back to the Beach Club Jason pulled out the camera and we started looking at all the food we'd eaten. And then, he showed me all the pictures he'd taken on the sly with our new travel mascot: Plankton. I can't remember the last time I had a giggle-fit like that one...I was in tears as I went through all these pictures of Plankton making his way out of our room and through the Beach Club on his way to conquering the WDW resort. It's nuts, I know, but we find it amusing. And like I said to the cab driver: we're harmless.

One last thing: did you know that Plankton likes birthday cake?


Tune in for Day 7, coming soon, when Jason, Brenda, and Plankton take on even more of the F&W Festival and a Food & Wine Pairing at Restaurant Marrakesh.
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Last edited by oybolshoi; 11-12-2006 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:59 PM   #111
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Just wanted to give a shout-out to any of Jason's on-line forum buddies who have popped over to share in the food love. Thanks for reading!

And whoever had that bailey's trifle recipe - you are a god!!
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:06 PM   #112
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I have been following your review and have just loved it. Can't wait for more. I also wanted to comment how fun I think it is that in most of the pics of your step fathers food he is holding up on display. He seems like a good sport, especially when compared to his partner shall I say. You looked lovely and so did the food. I don't think I could have stood upright by the end of that day. I was just noticing that was a lot of drinking if you add the whole day Looking forward to more, keep it coming
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:55 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi
Hee hee hee! I tried that elf-name generator in BriarRosie's signature and my elf name is Stumpy Sugar Butt!

It's funny 'cause it's true!

Just ask Jason how much sugar I put in my coffee or my tea and he cringes and says, "my teeth hurt just thinking about it."


I have to love the generator. I followed the link someone had to the pirate
name generator and found this one. I like the elf choices. I never did
try to find out what my "boy elf" name would be, though...

I didn't think you'd take any of my food opinions seriously, since that elf name
thing is in my signature, along with my Virtual Magic Kingdom avatar pic.

But I noticed you had most of the choices I picked out of your menu.
And I'm thrilled that you're a foie gras convert !

I'm going to mop up the drool while I wait for your next installment.
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:07 PM   #114
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Brenda I've been loving your food report. Your V&A review is awesome!!! And I had to chuckle, the plate that your cheese course came on, I have it, actually I have almost the entire set so far.
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:14 PM   #115
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Wow! What a wonderful series of reviews! I especially enjoyed your V&A review. We just got back from our stay at the GF with our twin sons (age 8). Our plans were to celebrate our anniversary at V&A's while the boys went to the Mouseketeer Club - our adult time together. Unfortunately, one DS game down with a stomach bug and we had to cancel our ressie. (Other son caught the bug 3 days later...) I don't think I knew how much I was looking forward to it until it was gone.

Your description makes me feel like I've been there...mmm!!!

We did manage to enjoy many of the samplers from the F&W as we made our way 'round the World - our boys very accommodating because a) we didn't actually stop to eat and b) they knew they were headed to Japan to buy some Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards!

Hopefully we'll have another trip to WDW someday and we can get another reservation.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:46 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi
But I couldn't help marveling at the size of the dish it was served in. If there are mice in the kitchen who like to skateboard I bet they love that bowl.
Thats what I was thinking!! Those dishes are all so crazy! I'd eat there just to have them!

Ok, back to the report.......
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:28 PM   #117
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Thank you so much for the reviews and pictures!

Raina
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:29 PM   #118
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Oh, Twinmum I'm so sorry you weren't able to celebrate at V&A. I hope you and your hubby give it another try when you're next at WDW and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the viruses all pass over your children.

You will love it - it's such a special place, especially for an anniversary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinmum
Wow! What a wonderful series of reviews! I especially enjoyed your V&A review. We just got back from our stay at the GF with our twin sons (age 8). Our plans were to celebrate our anniversary at V&A's while the boys went to the Mouseketeer Club - our adult time together. Unfortunately, one DS game down with a stomach bug and we had to cancel our ressie. (Other son caught the bug 3 days later...) I don't think I knew how much I was looking forward to it until it was gone.

Your description makes me feel like I've been there...mmm!!!

We did manage to enjoy many of the samplers from the F&W as we made our way 'round the World - our boys very accommodating because a) we didn't actually stop to eat and b) they knew they were headed to Japan to buy some Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards!

Hopefully we'll have another trip to WDW someday and we can get another reservation.
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2007 Food Reviews: The Food was not Undelicious!
2006 Food Reviews: As God As My Witness, I'll Never Be Hungry Again!


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Old 11-15-2006, 07:59 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi
Before dessert was presented there was coffee...Celebes coffee...which I've heard people say is just the bomb. They're right - best coffee ever. And check out how they brew it right at the table for you:
Hey 'Molar Express' crusing buddy...

First, hope this finds jay and you well ....pass my "HI's" to HP - please.

The coffee pot used to brew at your table - i can't say I've seen anything like this...can ya tell me a little more about it?

Loving your trip report...still waiting for your book sigining....take care - my friend, K
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:03 PM   #120
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Day 7: It's Called the Food & Wine Festival, not Phooed and Whine!

Today is Tuesday, October 24th and we wake feeling somewhat logy (look it up!) and a little sad - can anything during the rest of the upcoming week top the dining experience we had last night at Victoria and Albert's?

Probably not.

But we have more than two-thirds of the world showcase to eat our way around in the next four days, so let's get chomping!!

If you've been following this thread since its inception more than two weeks and about a zillion words ago, you will have noticed that in our earlier pictures Jason and I were wearing as few clothes as possible without risking arrest for indecent exposure. It was unseasonably hot for October but it was sure better than the weather we left behind us.

And then Monday night happened.

We woke up Tuesday morning to find out that Mother Nature really does have a sense of humor (not that I was particularly amused by it - I prefer a bit more subtlety) - it was 45 degrees and there was this wind blowing out of the Northwest like some kind of mid-winter Alberta Clipper and it was cold cold cold. Four straight years of October vacations in Florida and never have I experienced this type of chill in the Sunshine State...do you think my mom had something to do with it?

For breakfast this morning we munched on croissants, pound cake, and birthday cake with generous cups of coffee. We headed over to Epcot for the morning EMH and proceeded to do lots of things that made me wish I'd brought some pants on this trip. The only thing that was going to warm me up was some food and wine, not neccessarily in that order.

Our first stop of the late morning was at Argentina, where Jason ordered the Spicy Beef Empanadas.


The first thing I noticed is that the menu read "Empanadas" which equates to plural in my grammar book. The second thing I noticed is that this sample is hot in both good and bad ways. Its temperature is toasty warm - if I could have turned it into a hand-warmer for the rest of the afternoon I would have been happy indeed - and true to its name, this is verrrrrry spicy on the tongue, going down the esophagus, and sitting in the belly. Needless to say, Jason ate the rest of this portion because the last thing I needed was a raging case of spicy butt.

For what it's worth, Jason really enjoyed this entry - he loves spicy food and I would assume that most folks who like spicy stuff would probably enjoy it as well.

At this point in the day we split off from the parental unit. Not that we intended to - the F&W Festival was the primary reason that we invited them to come to WDW with us. But someone was cranky and cold and appalled by the prices being charged at the various festival booths. We reminded this person, who shall remain nameless, that the dining plan snack credits would cover any food sample at any booth and that alcohol was the only item that had to be paid for out of pocket. But to no avail. So, we told the parents to meet us at Restaurant Marrakesh by 3:15PM for our food and wine pairing and then Jay and I set off to eat and grow large with food.

Next stop: Mexico...how 'bout we try the Quesadilla con Chorizo y Pollo and wash it down with some Dos Equis?


Mmmmm...the taste buds are happy. In my digestive world it's hard to find fault with cheese, chicken, and sausage rolled into a tortilla. This was really very good and generously prepared; they did not skimp on the good stuff -there was plenty of cheesie-chickie-sausagey goodness in each bite. And Dos Equis (that's pronounced "Dose Eck-Ee" for those of you out there who are culturally challenged like me) is just a tasty tasty beer. Two thumbs up for Mexico, or there would have been if I hadn't been so cold that I didn't want to pull my hands out of my pockets.

By the way, today the dining plan seems to be working very well at Epcot but the Visa gift card is not (jerks!). Also, you will notice that our devotion to amatuer photo-journalism slipped somewhat and we did not always remember to take a picture of the booth where we stopped to eat. Shameful!

Food is calling and we move forward, not backwards...upward, not downward, and twirling, twirling, always twirling towards freedom. I had to get that in...it's a Simpsons reference and I probably misquoted it, but that was for my hubby 'cause I love him.

Anyway, given the weather we think our next stop is particularly fitting. Have you guessed what country we're at?

Here...take a peek:


Yes, I hear the groans and boos out there in DISville, but please, don't throw anything - you'll just get your monitors dirty. At the F&W Festival cold-weather booth Jay and I ordered Sautee'd Corvina and Semolina Con Leche with a three-finger shot of Sauvignon Blanc.


The corvina was a grilled fish with a mild tomato-ey salsa topping. This was excellent - a nice fish that didn't taste too fishy. The wine was also quite good - very light. And the semolina was good, but a bit granular...maybe that's how it was supposed to be, but my tongue kept wanting a smoother texture more along the lines of a custard. But overall, a very good stop on the food chain.

Our next stop was China, where we ordered the Chicken Sha Cha Skewers with Peanut Sauce and a Green Tea Plum Wine Cooler.


An outstanding entry from our 1 billion-plus friends on the other side of the Great Wall! The chicken was tender and juicy, and the peanut sauce was very subtle. Too much peanut flavor and you could have run the risk of this dish tasting like a boiled peanut, but yummy in my tummy - it was just right. And if there is a single drink that you try at next year's F&W Festival it should be this wine cooler. Wow! I admit to being skeptical of this mix of flavors but it was very good. I think I would have enjoyed it just a bit more if I had tried it on a day when the temperature made it out of the 50s, but hey, you take the good with bad and then you order another wine cooler!

You know what sounds good now? Dessert...dessert and more booze. So there's this booth called Champagne. Sounds pretty promising, doesn't it? And there's no line - not that we really had to wait in any lines, but no line at all seems like a good thing. The choices here were a Trio of Chocolate Truffles and several different champagnes (there's a shocker!). Never one to pass on a single serving of chocolate, let alone three, I order the truffles with a flute of White Star Champagne.


Ummmm, does anyone else here see something that's not quite right? Let's check, shall we? The menu board read A Trio of Chocolate Truffles. Last time I bothered to look in Merriam-Webster trio was defined, roughly, as a group of three. I only see two truffles here, unless the box is edible.

In case you were wondering, the box does not the third truffle make.

**Obscure Simpsons reference: All the signs are wrong!**

Well, I was not able to get a satisfactory answer for the why behind the trio equals duo, but I ate the chocolate anyway. I even shared it with Jason. And it was good - a milk chocolate shell with a milk chocolate filling and the second was the same concept with dark chocolate. They were even tastier with the champagne, White Star, which was a drier, less sweet option among the choices being offered and it only cost $7 per flute (sheesh, it was good but for that price I could've had one of those alcoholic squishees in France instead).

We wandered lazily over to the Hops and Barley Market, hoping that we might catch one of those "free" beer seminars being offered by Samuel Adams. Let me tell you, if they wanted anyone to show up for this thing they sure didn't make it easy to find. We looked and looked and then looked some more, but we never did figure out where Sam was giving out the beer freebies. So we gave up and ordered a New England Crab Cake with Barley Salad and some Octoberfest which is what I think the Sam Adams Brewing Company wanted all along.


I'm going to be brutally honest here. The crab cake was really good. That barley "salad" strewn across it, however, looks like a bunch of rabbitt pellets and I'm not eating it. Jason, cast as usual in his role as Captain Adventure, ate the pellets and pronounced them "pretty good." We both liked the Octoberfest beer.

For those of you wondering, Sam Adams actually offered a pretty good selection here: Cherry Wheat, Black Lager, Boston Lager, Light, Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, Cream Stout, Octoberfest, Brown Ale, and the 11th Anniversary Festival Beer.

I wouldn't blame any of you for thinking that we tried them all, but we behaved ourselves. Besides, it's not like Sam Adams is something exotic that we can only get at the F&W Festival. Give us something a little more interesting, Epcot. How 'bout sponsoring some micro-breweries from around the US? Now there's some good beerieness waiting to happen.

Hey, you know who else liked the crab cake, or should I say crabbie patty?



Stay tuned for the Food & Wine Pairing at Restaurant Marrakesh, also known as Brenda Takes One for the Team. I'd post it now, but they didn't give us a menu (among other things that you'll have to read about later) and I have to go scrounge through about 50 sheets of paper for the place setting where I wrote down what we were eating.

Thanks for sticking with me so far! And if you're wondering about Plankton, you can find out more in my still unwritten, multi-titled trip report: Plankton Takes on Disney World!
__________________
2009 Food Reviews: Pie That Brownie, Fruitcake!
2008 Food Reviews: We Smelled It; It Had to be Eaten!
2007 Food Reviews: Hungry are the Damned!!
2007 Food Reviews: The Food was not Undelicious!
2006 Food Reviews: As God As My Witness, I'll Never Be Hungry Again!


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Feeling Adventurous? Visit Our Food & Travel Blog: Gastropod Travels

Last edited by oybolshoi; 11-15-2006 at 09:39 PM.
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