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Old 05-22-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
jgazda
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Birthday and Mother's Day Deluxe Dining...completed! Need ideas for next trip.

I just want to preface this dining report by saying this is my first crack at it so please bear with me...

Just returned from a trip to the world. We were there May 5-10th and celebrated my birthday, Mother's Day, and my little sisters graduation from the college program at Disney. It was stinky hot so having a break in a restaurant was very welcome. Here's who went:



I'm the one on the right. Mother of two but my son decided not to come on this trip. He said he is getting too old and he has gone too many times. Sometimes I wonder if he is really mine. LOL! I am an adventurous eater and am willing to try almost anything.

My husband is the only man in the picture. This was only his second trip to Disney but he is already hooked. He is a cheeseburger aficionado and hates veggies.

The little one is our daughter. This was also her second trip and she thinks she owns the place. Huge into characters so we did quite a few character meals for her. She is a pizza and pasta girl.

My sister is the one with the graduation cap on. She started her college program back in January and sadly is on her way home as I type this. She worked in Epcot cleaning the bathroom at the front of the park. Some of you may have run into her. She is SUPER picky when it comes to food. No dressing on the salad, no sauces and nothing can touch. She only joined us for a couple meals since she had to work.

I didn't take any pictures of the food, sorry. It was so hot we barely brought the camera out. I did get one picture of a cake so I'll throw that in and whatever else that's appropriate.

Here is where we ate:

Sanaa (D)
'Ohana (B)
Cinderella's Royal Table (D)
Akershus (B)
Turf Club Bar and Grill (D)
Grand Floridian Cafe (B)
Plaza (L)
Artist's Palate (B,L)
1900 Park Fare (B)
Le Cellier (L)
Nine Dragons (D)
Liberty Tree Tavern (L)

Most meals were really good and I will try to give you a very honest review of the food and service as either one can really mess up a meal. Enjoy!
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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Sanaa-Dinner

We were only at Kidani Village one evening so we decided to make it a pool day and hit up their new restaurant Sanaa. We had ADR’s for 5:05 and got there a little early. They put on a cute little show right before they opened and picked a family of the day…which was us! We got a certificate and were given different kinds of African dress to wear during dinner. It was very neat. We were seated by one of the windows that look out at the safari. What a view! We saw Giraffe’s, Zebra, Ostrich, Wildebeest, and some type of large horned animals. They aren’t right up against the window but are close enough for you to enjoy their presence while you dine.

Ok on to the food…

My husband and I decided to try an appetizer and we selected the Mustard Seed Crusted Scallops served with a coconut cream sauce. When they were brought out I was a little nervous because they looked like they had fish eggs on top but it was just the mustard seeds. The scallops were cooked perfectly, just melted in your mouth and the mustard seed was so complimentary to it with the different texture and taste. As if that wasn’t enough the coconut cream sauce was amazing. I wish I could get some of that now! I wouldn’t hesitate to order that on subsequent trips, as we were both very pleased.

For dinner I ordered the selections from the slow cooked in gravy section. You get to pick two meats and your choice of rice. I chose the shrimp with green curry sauce and the beef short ribs and I chose the five-grain pilaf. The shrimp were very good but I was expecting them to be a bit spicier. Perhaps they have “Americanized” their sauces. It was good, just not what I wanted in the heat department. The short ribs, well lets just say I am drooling as I type remembering how good they were. Seriously tender meat with this amazing taste. Next time I will order two servings of the short ribs until they have it as a regular menu item all by itself. If you have the chance to go there, get the ribs. It is worth a special trip to the resort for that. The rice on the other hand just wasn’t my taste. It was slightly crunchy and just seemed like undercooked rice. I wasn’t a fan at all. Even my two year old who is a rice aficionado turned her nose up at it. My husband ordered the New York Strip with spinach and mushroom pancake server with oven-dried chutney and he chose the basmati rice. He said he really enjoyed his meal and that the steak was cooked great. I tried his rice to see if it was similar to the rice I had gotten and it was very tasty, fluffy white rice. I’ll be getting that next time.

Because it was my birthday the next day, they brought out a complimentary egg-less chocolate cake. It was served with a raspberry sauce and vanilla cream and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Our server did a great job explaining each portion of the menu and what her recommendations would be and made sure we never had an empty glass. We had never eaten Indian food so we were glad to have her expertise.

I only made this ADR a week before our trip and really against my wishes as my husband was the one that really wanted to try it. I'm glad I listened to him as this was one of our best meals of the trip. Great food and great service, not to mention the great view. All in all we highly recommend this restaurant and encourage people to try it. If you can get a seat by the window it is worth the wait. Definitely enhanced our experience.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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'Ohana Breakfast



We had pretty early ADR’s for ‘Ohana (9:15) and when we got there, they were already backed up and we had to wait about 25 minutes to be seated. When we were on our way to being seated they were just finishing up the parade that they do with the characters throughout the restaurant and my daughter was very disappointed. (Not to worry we stayed for the next one)

Shortly after we got to our table they sent out the bread and sweet rolls and the juice. I can’t remember the different juice combination it is, but man is it good! Very refreshing! I got some of the pineapple bread and it was wonderful. Not too sweet with lots of pineapple chunks. Then they brought out a plate of fresh fruit. If I remember correctly it had grapes, strawberries, pineapple (of course), honeydew and watermelon. It was all very fresh and very good. Then the hot stuff came out. They brought a large platter with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and potatoes and then separately brought out a large bowl of Mickey waffles. Typically I’m a bit of an egg snob because I hate when scrambled eggs are runny and watery so I usually won’t touch them but my husband and sister were both raving about them so I gave them a shot and they were great. The potatoes were amazing too. We got seconds of almost everything. It was my birthday the day we were there and they brought me out a card signed by all the characters and a cupcake. Everything was great and we can’t wait to return.

The wait staff was very accommodating with refills on the hot plate and we never had an empty cup. The characters were great and spent a lot of time with my daughter. I especially like that you don’t have to get up to get your food and possibly miss characters .We didn’t have one bad thing to say about it and are going to make a return trip in November we loved it so much. This is definitely one of our new favorite breakfast spots.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:43 PM   #4
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Cinderella's Royal Table Dinner

We had an early ADR (4:10) for Cinderella’s Royal Table dinner. We put out name in at the podium and were called within 5 minutes. We went inside and there was quite the line for Cinderella but it moved at a decent pace and within 10 minutes we had our opportunity to meet Cindy.



After that our daughter was given a wand and we headed upstairs to be seated. My sister joined us for this meal so we were a party of four.

The fairy godmother and 2 of the mice make appearances throughout dinner and one of the mice even came to our table.



We were seated fairly close to the windows looking out at Main Street and were greeted by our server fairly quickly. Can’t remember his name but he was very nice and always on top of drinks and making sure we had everything we needed. The only think I didn’t like, which had nothing to do with him, was that you had to chose your entire menu up front. From appetizer through dessert. Minor flaw. I went with the corn and crab soup, husband and sister had the BLT salad. They liked the taste of the salad just not the presentation. It was literally a quarter wedge of lettuce with all of the extra’s thrown on. Once you get to a certain point in the salad you are just eating lettuce without dressing or anything. It was good but could have been better. My soup was great, very creamy with crab pieces throughout and bits of corn. I almost didn’t get it since we had just come from outside where it was 99 but I’m glad I did.

For entrees I ordered the pork chop and that is served with a bacon and mushroom ragout, Yukon gold smashed potatoes and covered in a sweet chipotle glaze. YUM! The pork chop was cooked perfectly and not at all dry and the bacon and mushroom yumminess was so great with it. The potatoes were very tasty with the glaze as well. Really enjoyed this entrée. My husband ordered the lemon and lavender chicken with mashed potatoes and he really liked it. I tried it and you can definitely taste the lavender that is used when the chicken is cooked. It wasn’t my favorite but he really liked it. My sister ordered the prime rib and I swear the piece was as big as her head! It came with grilled asparagus and potatoes and she really enjoyed everything.

Since our little one was under two they brought her out a huge plate of buttered noodles and she happily ate almost the whole plate.

My husband surprised me with a Mickey cake for my birthday shown here:




Besides that we had 2 orders of the chocolate cream cheese buckle and one order of the crème brulee. When my sister ordered the crème brulee it said it was the brulee of the day, not knowing it was coffee flavored. Seeing as that she hates coffee she was not pleased with this dessert. It is probably great for someone that likes it though. The cream cheese buckles were very good. The cream cheese inside was a great compliment to the chocolate cake.

We were so nervous dining here with all the bad reviews but we were really pleasantly surprised. Both the service and the food were fantastic.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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Great Reviews so far. Your dd is so cute. I can't decide if I want to book CRT for our trip next June. There will be my dd (6) and 3 boys (10, 10, and 9) Plus me, ddad, dstepmom, dsis, and dsis boyfriend. I think it would be fun to say we got to eat in the castle as most of the people have never been to WDW before.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:46 PM   #6
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Great Reviews! We have Ohana booked for our next trip, can't wait. We always love CRT! Looks like you had a great trip! Waiting to hear more.
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Old 05-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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Great so far, count me in!
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffenm View Post
Great Reviews so far. Your dd is so cute. I can't decide if I want to book CRT for our trip next June. There will be my dd (6) and 3 boys (10, 10, and 9) Plus me, ddad, dstepmom, dsis, and dsis boyfriend. I think it would be fun to say we got to eat in the castle as most of the people have never been to WDW before.
Thanks! I think she's pretty cute too! I think it's a great way to break in some newbies! This was my 14th trip to Disney and my first time in the castle and I'm sorry I waited so long. Have fun!

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Great Reviews! We have Ohana booked for our next trip, can't wait. We always love CRT! Looks like you had a great trip! Waiting to hear more.
We had dinner reservations booked for this trip and for the second time we weren't able to keep them so I was especially glad we got to go for breakfast. Can't wait to go back.

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Great so far, count me in!
Thanks. More to come soon!
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:37 PM   #9
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Your DD is absolutely precious. I'm in for the rest of the food porn, too!
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
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Akershus Breakfast

We had an early ADR here (8:35) and hit Epcot respectively. Had no problem making it through the line to enter before park opening. They took our last name and checked us off the list and in we went. We were really looking forward to this breakfast since the princesses were actually going to mingle with us regular folk.

When we arrived in Norway we checked in at the podium and they gave us a pager and said it would be a few minutes. After about 10 minutes they called our name and we proceeded inside to have our picture taken with Belle. She was really a great Belle and interacted well with our daughter. The photopass photographer on the other hand left something to be desired. I don't know if they rush through the picture taking process because it is included with your meal so it doesn't HAVE to be cute but I was not happy with our picture at all:



The funny thing is you can put all of the pictures they take at the breakfast on your photopass and the second shot was so much better than the first:



Not sure if they are forced to use the first shot but I wish they would at least pick the best out of what they shoot.

Sorry to ramble...

We went to our seat and the waitress came over and filled our glasses and told us where to get the cold appetizers from and that she would be back soon with our hot plate. We made our way over to the cold selections which had cheese, fruit, salmon, sausage and some cinnamon rolls. All very good. When we got back to the table the hot plate was already there and had eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheesey potatoes. It was all really tasty. The cheesy potatoes are so incredibly good I could have had just a plate of those. There were only three of us and it was a decent size plate but my husband can eat, so we wanted to get a little more of the potatoes and eggs since our daughter was pigging out on those too. Not to mention that our drinks were empty. As the waitress approached so we can ask her for those things, she hands us our check and says she will be right back to take it. What? We were SO rushed through this meal. I was really disappointed by that. And it wasn't just us as the table behind us asked for more items as well and they were told no and given their check too. This really could have been special but with only one drink and the coldness we got from our waitress it really kinds stunk. My husband swears he will never go back but I will give it another shot. Probably not in November but definitely soon as we liked the food and I'm not letting one bad waitress ruin this sort of experience.

As a side note we saw Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel. Mind you our daughter is 2 and doesn't really get it completely but when Aurora came by and went to sign her book she asked me if she should sign Aurora or Sleeping Beauty because she is still trying to learn both. Aren't we supposed to keep that to ourselves?
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:05 PM   #11
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Your DD is absolutely precious. I'm in for the rest of the food porn, too!
Thank you! I see you're in Carol Stream. Howdy neighbor. We're in Hoffman Estates so not at all far from you. It truly is a small world.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:24 PM   #12
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Artist Palette Lunch

We had fully intended on staying at Epcot all day after having breakfast in Norway, however it was really hot (98) and we needed a break. We took a bus back to Saratoga and hopped into our suits and into the pool. Can you say refreshing?

Since there was no way we were getting too far away from the pool we decided to hit up Artist Palette for lunch. My husband ordered the Toga Wrap and can't remember for the life of him what was in it but said it was fantastic. It came with home made potato chips which I actually got to try and they were really good. (even the birds liked them since they stole them OFF HIS PLATE!) I ordered the cheeseburger flatbread and really had low expectations since we had three tasty table service meals and really how good could a counter service flatbread taste? Let me tell you, I loved this flatbread. It had ground beef on the top of the flatbread with american cheese melted on it and then lettuce and tomato with a decorative squirt of what tasted like thousand island dressing with a kick. It was very tasty and I would order it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:50 PM   #13
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I love all your pictures. How did you like using Photopass? I am thinking of trying that this trip. Did you find the using it convenient? I would love to not have to tote my camera through the parks if I don't have to. Your daughter is adorable by the way. And you are right, the second picture of her and Belle is a much nicer shot.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:51 PM   #14
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Thanks for the reviews. So well written and informative. Your birthday cake was so cute.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:56 PM   #15
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Thank you! I see you're in Carol Stream. Howdy neighbor. We're in Hoffman Estates so not at all far from you. It truly is a small world.
My best friend lived in Hoffman Estates for 20 years until she moved to McHenry. You're doing a great job on the reviews...and making me hungry.
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