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Old 06-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #16
v_gan
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Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Pool Time, and MK EMH

On Sunday, Animal Kingdom was our first park of the day. We got there early, picked up our tickets with our volunteer vouchers, and sat at the turnstiles until the park opened. I was given a carnation, since it was Mother's Day. Deja vu from last year, most definitely. We did the exact same parks on Mother's Day the year before!

Once the park opened, we rode Everest, met some characters, rode the Safari, met some more characters, rode Dinosaur, explored some animal trails, and then we decided to stop for a light lunch/snack at Flame Tree Barbecue. We knew we had a big dinner at 'Ohana later, so we didn't want to over-do it early on.





We ordered the fruit plate, an order of fries, and a large diet coke to share.


The fruit plate comes with a yogurt-honey dipping sauce, which is obviously not for vegans. But it comes in a little closed container on the side, so no worries about asking for it without.


The fruit was good. I'm just not a big melon person, and I also don't really think it was worth the price (around $7, I think). I would have much rather picked up some whole fruit at the fruit stand in Africa for about $1 a piece.




We also got some barbecue sauce and ketchup to dip our fries in. (Heck, if you don't eat the meat, you can at least still enjoy some yummy barbecue fried potato sticks! )

I ate some of the grapes and a little bit of the orange. Jon ate the rest. I ate most of the fries. And that barbecue sauce was awesome. It was good to have another condiment other than ketchup for once.

Flame Tree Barbecue was a nice place to go for a light lunch, and I would definitely stop here for some fries again. It's a nice place to go if you don't want anything too heavy in the middle of the day. (Unless you're eating the barbecue sandwiches or ribs, of course.)

Our plan was to ride Kali River Rapids right before we left the park, so that's where we headed after we ate, since we had gotten fastpasses earlier in the day. It was our first time riding, because we've always been worried about getting soaked and having to walk around all day in wet clothes. We made it out fairly dry, but just wet enough to cool us down a bit. This kid we saw at the fountain in Asia after we rode obviously didn't get wet enough to his liking:



But, anyway.. After we left Animal Kingdom, we headed back to Pop to swim for a bit before dinner. We were hungry again by the time we got back, so we stopped in the food court and got some Vegetable Lo Mein to share:


Opening a packet of soy sauce with my teeth.


It was still tasty! And still a lot of food. A good, quick bite to share between two people.

After we swam for about an hour or so, we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. I had contacted Chef TJ about 2 weeks earlier, letting him know that we would be coming. He assured us that he would be there, so I had no worries!

Up Next: 'Ohana!
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v_gan View Post
After we swam for about an hour or so, we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. I had contacted Chef TJ about 2 weeks earlier, letting him know that we would be coming. He assured us that he would be there, so I had no worries!

Up Next: 'Ohana!
Ok, so I'm hoping that by using this method, you were actually able to get chef TJ! Don't get me wrong, my food was fantastic with Chef Julie, but there's just something about presentation that I'm a sucker for! I'm excited to hear how this turned out...I'm trying my hardest to go in the fall!!
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:52 AM   #18
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Yeah I've been waiting for your review. Just in time since we leave in 2.5 weeks for a two week trip. It will be my first trip to the world as a vegan. All of these vegan reviews have really helped.

I can't wait to read the rest.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v_gan View Post
I had contacted Chef TJ about 2 weeks earlier, letting him know that we would be coming. He assured us that he would be there, so I had no worries!
Could I ask how you contacted Chef TJ? I really hope he's there when we eat at 'Ohana next month.

Looking forward to more.

P.S. nice polka dot dress/top- very Minnie Mouse!
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:52 AM   #20
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holy crap....that kid in the fountain is ridiculous
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandibc11 View Post
Ok, so I'm hoping that by using this method, you were actually able to get chef TJ! Don't get me wrong, my food was fantastic with Chef Julie, but there's just something about presentation that I'm a sucker for! I'm excited to hear how this turned out...I'm trying my hardest to go in the fall!!
We definitely were!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelanieC View Post
Yeah I've been waiting for your review. Just in time since we leave in 2.5 weeks for a two week trip. It will be my first trip to the world as a vegan. All of these vegan reviews have really helped.

I can't wait to read the rest.
Oh, wow. Two weeks! I hope you'll bring back food reviews!

Quote:
Originally Posted by disney_princess_85 View Post
Could I ask how you contacted Chef TJ? I really hope he's there when we eat at 'Ohana next month.

Looking forward to more.

P.S. nice polka dot dress/top- very Minnie Mouse!
The last time I ate there, he gave me his business card in case I ever "needed help getting reservations". So I used the e-mail address on there to let him know we were coming. But you can call the Polynesian, I believe, to get in contact with him. Or just have your dietary notations put on your reservation. I'm pretty sure he's off on Fridays and Saturdays.

And thank you It's actually my bathing suit!

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Originally Posted by Plasticletters View Post
holy crap....that kid in the fountain is ridiculous
Isn't he?
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:42 AM   #22
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Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Pool Time, and MK EMH (cont.)

We had reservations at 'Ohana around 6:30. We arrived at the Poly and checked in about 30 minutes early. I made sure to ask the hostess if Chef TJ was working, and she told me he was. So once we got our pager, we walked around the Poly for a bit (there wasn't anywhere to sit ). We were paged right around the time of our reservation, and we were seated on the right side of the restaurant, one table away from the window:



Our server brought out the regular salad, welcome bread, and dipping sauces:

Jon ordered a Coke, and I ordered the pomegranate lemonade.

Our server then went on to explain all the meat and stuff that would be brought to our table. I then explained to him that I was vegan and Jon was vegetarian. He said, "Oh, then I'll go get Chef TJ."

Once Chef TJ came out, he said it was nice to see me again, and said to Jon: "You're new." Hahaha. He then told our server to take away the salad and the bread, and told us that he would have something better coming soon.

We didn't see our server much after this, except for the occasional, "Everything going alright?" and a few drink refills.


He left the sauces on the table, letting me know which were vegan. The only one I remember eating was the peanut sauce, but it seems like one of the others was vegan, as well.

Not long after he left, these were coming out at us:

Beautiful, beautiful salads. He didn't take the time to explain everything about the food like he did last time. I guess the restaurant is a lot busier earlier in the evening, because he looked a bit rushed. The salads weren't as good as they were last time. They were still good, but the combination of the fruit was different, and I think there was a different dressing, as well.

Next we were brought the regular noodles and broccoli:

I ate the noodles with some of the peanut sauce, and it made them SO much better. It's really hard for me not to fill up on noodles when they're right in front of me.


The broccoli was ok, but I didn't eat much of it.


This was our next course. It took the place of the hummus and baba ganoush me and my sister had last time.


Char-broiled pineapple with a tangy vegetable slaw on top.


OMG. You would never expect this to taste the way it did. It was so savory, with a hint of the pineapple's sweetness.


Definitely one of my favorite parts of the meal. Jon really enjoyed it, too, which is suprising! He liked the pineapple more than the slaw on top, and he just kind of pushed that to the side of his plate.

Next we were brought our soup:

Spicy ginger soup with watercress, peanuts, and tomatoes. It was definitely as good as it was last time, but I don't think I enjoyed it as much with the weather being warm and me not being sick. Jon loved it, but he has a hard time with spicy food and couldn't finish it, even thought he wanted to.


Our next course was.. a lot of things. Chef TJ didn't really explain anything other than the sauce at the top was really hot. But I'm guessing it was all the same we had last time: Bok choy, potatoes, and mushrooms. I can't recall what the sauce was like, but it was definitely different than last time.


I was hoping the ukelele lady would call up some people other than kids to get some leis, but she never did. But after the 3rd or 4th time passing by our table, she finally put some around Jon's neck



Finally, our entree was brought out:

Same as last time, except.. undercooked The tempura vegetables still had wet batter on the inside of them. Well, not completely raw. But mushy, moist batter. So those were a bit of a disappointment.


But the tofu and vegetables underneath were still really good!

By this time, even though I was pretty much full, I think I paced myself well enough to be COMPLETELY READY FOR DESSERT!

And, boy.. I was not dissappointed.. (Continued in next post due to picture limit.)
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:43 AM   #23
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Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Pool Time, and ML EMH (cont.)

I swear, it's like Chef TJ read my mind.




We got the same dessert me and my sister did the last time, except this time it had bananas lining the rim of the glass, and had cherries on top.


It was the frozen pina colada mix, which was wonderfully filled with chocolate Tofutti ice cream, and underneath it all was lychee fruit and a few other fruity surprises.

Oh, and this.. I was hoping for this.


A big hunk of pineapple, topped with a huge chunk of banana, vanilla Tofutti sandwiched between Divvies chocolate chip cookies, chocolate Tofutti sandwiches between Divvies chocolate chip cookies, another chunk of banana, and a large strawberry on top, all covered in delicious chocolate syrup.

Yeah.


"Are you serious?!" Jon was not prepared




Eventually we finished, and we asked Chef TJ for a picture and thanked him for our meal:



I was extremely happy with our meal. Jon was pretty amazed at the difference between this and the meal we had when Chef TJ wasn't there. There were a few disappointments, but they were made up for big time. I think my favorite parts of the meal were the char-broiled pineapple and the desserts.

I love Chef TJ, and he is such an amazing man for doing this. I hope Disney knows what a gem they have in him and that they keep him around for a long time. I also want to mention that I do think it's better to have a later reservation at 'Ohana if you're hoping for Chef TJ. He didn't seem as rushed the last time I was there with my sister, and he definitely took more time to talk to us after our meal. He was still very nice this time around, I could just tell he didn't have a lot of time to spare since he was so busy.

After dinner, we headed down to the beach to watch the Electric Water Pageant. (Finally!)


Is it normal for Wishes to be going on during the Electric Water Pageant? I thought they held off on the pageant when Wishes was at 9:00? Oh well. Jon enjoyed laying in a hammock and looking up at the stars. I might be able to convince him to stay at a deluxe one of these days

After everything was over, he headed to the MK for Extra Magic Hours. I have to say, EMH were a lot more crowded this year than they were last year. And we basically went to the same ones on the same days. Lines were longer, and there were more people walking around than before. But we still got a good bit done, so I guess it was worth it.

Up Next: Tangerine Cafe, Sunshine Seasons, World Showcase snacks
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:44 PM   #24
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Oh, wow. Two weeks! I hope you'll bring back food reviews!


You can definately count on it!! I'm looking forward to contributing!!
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:25 PM   #25
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Love your reviews!

Quote:
I ate most of the fries. And that barbecue sauce was awesome. It was good to have another condiment other than ketchup for once.


I wanted to let you know that unless they've change the Flame Tree BBQ sauce recipe it has worcestershire sauce in it. I know when it first opened years ago I asked if it was safe and I just looked at one of my Disney cookbooks and it lists it in the recipe. Maybe they've changed the recipe.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:57 PM   #26
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You can definately count on it!! I'm looking forward to contributing!!
Yay! I'm looking forward to reading!

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I wanted to let you know that unless they've change the Flame Tree BBQ sauce recipe it has worcestershire sauce in it. I know when it first opened years ago I asked if it was safe and I just looked at one of my Disney cookbooks and it lists it in the recipe. Maybe they've changed the recipe.
Ugh, really? I didn't even think to ask. I've never heard of BBQ sauce having Worcestershire sauce in it. It was just on the condiments bar and I grabbed some. There are some brands of Worcestershire sauce that don't contain anchovies. Maybe they use one of those? (Wishful thinking) That really sucks, either way. Thanks for letting me know. I'll be sure to ask for an ingredients list next time.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:03 PM   #27
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I just wanted to say that I am loving the fact that there are seven vegan/vegetarian dining reviews on the first page of these boards.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:16 PM   #28
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so excited for this thread! I'll be making reservations for our January trip soon. I'm newly vegan and my SO is macrobiotic
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:48 AM   #29
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I just wanted to say that I am loving the fact that there are seven vegan/vegetarian dining reviews on the first page of these boards.
I know how awesome is that?! We may be annoying some people, but at least we're providing some great alternatives for them!
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:18 AM   #30
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I'm glad you and Jon enjoyed Chef TJ. I love Jon's expression in the picture with dessert. That gif of the kid in the fountain is insane, and hilarious! This is goin to be my first trip to the world as a vegan as well, since it didn't go so well last time and I was more flexible then (not anymore!), so these reviews are very helpful. All the reviews on the board are helpful, actually. They give me more confidence to really try to get what I want and need when I'm at Disney.

I wouldn't have thought to ask about the ingredients in the BBQ sauce, either. In fact, I had a really stupid moment the other week where I was drinking with a vegan friend (she's been vegan a lot longer than I have) and I was sipping on a clamato. She just stared at me and was like, "That isn't just tomato juice, you know. That has anchovies and clams in it." It didn't even hit me...CLAM...ato. Yeah. I was kind of upset with myself. Yuck.
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August 2011 - Pop Century Resort
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November 2009 - Port Orleans French Quarter
August 2005 - Port Orleans French Quarter
May 2003 - All Star Sports Resort
August 1993 - Off Property
Summer of 1989 - Off Property
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