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Old 09-10-2011, 10:50 PM   #31
heatherandnick
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Day 1: Dinner at Jiko

Hello everyone and welcome!

After much stress and anticipation, we challenged (and beat!) Hurricane Irene on our way to D-World. I have to tell you, I was pretty sure we weren't going to make it. Our flight was out of Baltimore on the Saturday that she was supposed to hit. Luckily, we had scheduled the earliest flight out at 6:30am (gotta make the most of those days at Disney, ya know?!) and made it out of the area before the storm moved in. So, yes...we made it!!'


A tad bit of background info on us in case we are just meeting...DH is definitely a meat and meat guy. If it is meat, is wrapped in meat, was cooked with meat, or is topped with meat, chances are he will love it. He has definitely become more adventurous in the past year (and I have D-World and the DxDP from our honeymoon to thank for that ) and will pretty much eat anything put in front of him (even veggies).

I will eat anything. Seriously. I would say I have a sweet tooth...well, okay, I definitely have a sweet tooth. But I also love anything spicy and salty. So, as I said before, I will eat anything. Although I enjoy meat as well, I will stop eating a filet mignon just to have room for dessert...something DH would NEVER do.


Since we indulged in the DxDP yet again, we knew we had to plan in some opportunities to use those awesome snack credits (personally, I think we should be entitled to snack credits in the real world as well...). It is because of this that we only scheduled one meal our first day...dinner at Jiko.

(As a side note, I have to tell you that we got some super-terrific snacks on this trip. I didn't take pics of all of them, nor will I probably remember all of them, but I will sure try to highlight some of the...well...highlights! Our first day we enjoyed one of the best snacks of our entire trip...the jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzels. OMG, they are so good. We never got the chance to get another one during the remainder of our trip, but we sure talked about them the whole time.)


Now, back to Jiko...
It was my numero uno pick from our last trip. I absolutely loved it, as some of you might remember. So, needless to say, I had high hopes. Luckily, Jiko did not disappoint and we both truly enjoyed it once again.



I love the atmosphere: the dim lighting, the fairly quiet ambience, and that smell!! I guess it's the wood-burning stove they have in there, or maybe it's even something in Boma, but to me the entire AKL just smells delightful. Also, our server Michelle was really great. She was attentive without being pesky, and she gave us great recommendations.

Since we were on DxDP, we had the luxury of enjoying an appetizer, entree, and dessert each, which we LOVE! We don't eat out much at home, so indulging in all of this is what makes our vacation truly special.


As his appetizer, DH chose the Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin.

He absolutely loved this...like, I mean, he moaned when he ate it. He says it was probably his favorite appetizer of the trip. It was very tender, cooked and seasoned to perfection, and he thinks it should be available in an entree-sized portion.

For my appetizer, I got the Crispy Beef "Bobotie" Roll.

Yum, yum. I loved this. It was a tad bit spicy, but also sweet, crunchy, salty, and meaty all at the same time. I really enjoyed dipping it in the cucumber raita which added a cool, creamy goodness similar to sour cream on a taco. Mmmm. I would definitely get this again.


We both had the same entree, the Braised Beef Short Ribs.

This was really good too (although a bit blurry, sorry). The meat was super tender and the truffled potato puree was delicious. Our server told us they put the potatoes through a ricer, making them ultra-silky and smooth. The sauce was great and created a gravy effect...it was almost like a pot roast...only different...and really, really good. We were both happy with our choice.


Since we were celebrating our anniversary, our server brought us out a complimentary dessert of the Amarula Creme Brulee.

Oh geez, this was good. DH and I both love creme brulee, but the chocolate on the bottom really struck my fancy. I think I ate most of this, and for that I was very grateful.

For his dessert, DH got the One Last Cup.

I can't really tell you what it was, except that it was a bunch of chocolate goodness. The presentation was really cute.

I ordered the Coconut Bread Pudding.

Mmmmm. I love coconut anyway, but I especially enjoyed the warm bread pudding mixed with the cold ice cream. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what flavor the ice cream was, but I'm thinking it was expresso or caramel flavored. Either way, I enjoyed it.


For those of you who like the DxDP vx. OOP breakdown, here goes:
We used 4 of our dining credits, and would have spent $122 (plus wine and tip).


Overall, Jiko hit it out of the park again. It's still definitely in my top three...but is it my number one? I guess you will just have to wait and see.

Last edited by heatherandnick; 09-11-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:21 AM   #32
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Great review! We're trying Jiko for the first time on our next trip. I agree with you about the jalapeno cheese pretzels. They are delicious.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:29 AM   #33
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Joining! Great review of Jiko.
Keep it coming~
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:14 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChildAtHeart82 View Post
Great review! We're trying Jiko for the first time on our next trip. I agree with you about the jalapeno cheese pretzels. They are delicious.
Thanks for reading! I hope you like it as much as we do!

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Joining! Great review of Jiko.
Keep it coming~
Thanks! More to come!

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Originally Posted by MickeyNicki View Post
Your meal at Jiko looks excellent..makes me want to try and fit it in somewhere
And it WAS excellent! I know it's so hard to decide where to eat, but we really do love this place. I think one of the reasons we love it so much is that there are no places like it where we live. We live at the beach so the choices are pretty much seafood or subs. This is something totally different for us and it makes for a truly unique experience. Hopefully you guys can fit it in! Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:43 AM   #36
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Great start! We're doing deluxe in Feb and I'm debating about Jiko. DH is super picky about everything. He doesn't like new spices/sauces or veggies. Likes everything plain. It looks so good though!
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #37
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Great start! We, too, ate at Jiko on our trip and also enjoyed it but not as much as we have in the past. Glad to hear you were not disappointed!
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:06 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shleedogg View Post
Great start! We're doing deluxe in Feb and I'm debating about Jiko. DH is super picky about everything. He doesn't like new spices/sauces or veggies. Likes everything plain. It looks so good though!
DH used to be picky...only last year he wouldn't touch anything that even touched a veggie. Even still, he enjoyed Jiko when we went last summer. Although there are some different flavors, your DH could always order the sauces on the side. It was really good. Good luck getting him to become a bit more adventurous. I feel your pain.

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Great start! We, too, ate at Jiko on our trip and also enjoyed it but not as much as we have in the past. Glad to hear you were not disappointed!
Can I ask what made you enjoy it less than your previous visit? Is it perhaps that it was SOOOO good the first time, it didn't live up to your expectations this time? Just wondering because we had that happen for a couple restaurants that we visited this time.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:11 PM   #39
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Can I ask what made you enjoy it less than your previous visit? Is it perhaps that it was SOOOO good the first time, it didn't live up to your expectations this time? Just wondering because we had that happen for a couple restaurants that we visited this time.
It could be that it didn't live up to our hyped up expectations. I am really not sure. DS and I got the filet and I thought it was the worst of the steaks we had all week ... not bad, just not as good as the others we had. If it was the only meal we had in Disney, it would have been pretty good. Comparing it to other meals and our last meal there, it just didn't live up. Again, not bad... just not spectacular as we had remembered.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:15 PM   #40
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Great review of Jiko! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:07 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofySon'sMom View Post
It could be that it didn't live up to our hyped up expectations. I am really not sure. DS and I got the filet and I thought it was the worst of the steaks we had all week ... not bad, just not as good as the others we had. If it was the only meal we had in Disney, it would have been pretty good. Comparing it to other meals and our last meal there, it just didn't live up. Again, not bad... just not spectacular as we had remembered.
I totally get that. It happened to us once or twice as well.

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Great review of Jiko! Can't wait to read more!
Thanks for reading! I hope to add another one this afternoon or tomorrow.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:31 AM   #42
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duplicate message. sorry
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #43
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Day 2: Lunch at Biergarten

Before I get into our lunch, I have to tell you about two FANTASTIC snacks we had from Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot.

I got the famous Napoleon.

I have heard so much about this thing, and I just had to finally try it. I am so glad I did! I'm a sucker for custard- or pudding-type desserts, so I absolutely loved this. It was positively delicious...flakey and creamy at the same time.

DH got the Ham and Cheese Tartine.

The nice guy in the store heated it up for him and DH was in heaven. He says it was delicious and the best use of a snack credit.


So....onto Biergarten...

I have no pictures (so sorry).

First of all, I have to say it was weird sitting with people. I knew we we going to have to and I was cool with it...but we joined another group as they were halfway finished their meals. That was odd. And, they didn't say a single word to us. Luckily, a really nice couple joined us shortly after we sat down. They were very sweet and we had a nice time chatting with them.

I loved the atmosphere of the place. The thematic details really made for a fun experience. The band began playing just as we were almost finished, and it was a lot of fun to watch their little show. We particularly enjoyed the guy who rings the bells!

The food was really good to me. I especially enjoyed all the salads and the pretzel bread. Also, they had cauliflower soup that was super yummy. I wasn't a huge fan of most of the hot stuff, but I tried it all. The sauerhraut was my favorite. I skipped out on dessert (can you believe it?!?) because none of it really looked that good to me. Also, I was completely stuffed. I think I ate four plates of food!

DH says, "It was alright." A man of few words, he is.

Would we go back? Probably not. Are we glad we went? Yes. (Well, I am anyway.) We can check it off our list.

We used 2 credits and would have paid $43.98 (plus beer and tip.)


Next up...Yachtsman Steakhouse.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:51 PM   #44
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The Biergarten is one of our favorites but we missed it this trip. It can really be a downer if the people you sit with aren't at least a bit friendly. We had a great time there New Year's Eve 2009. I am sorry you weren't happy with the meal.

Can't wait for your review of the Yachtsman. It was our favorite meal this trip.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:36 PM   #45
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Day 2: Yachtsman Steakhouse Dinner

This was the meal my DH was most looking forward to. Reason number one: He loves steak. Reason number two: This was one of two signatures we had yet to try. Reason number three: He loves steak.

When we arrived, we had a short wait in the bar/lounge area (VERY comfy chairs BTW) and enjoyed looking at the strips that were aging in the...well...aging room?

We were seated at a table for two in the middle of the restaurant. It was a great table, but we both had the feeling that this was a different atmosphere than most of the signatures we had dined at previously. It was a bit loud, chaotic, and much like a steakhouse...hence the name Yachtsman Steakhouse. Silly, I know, but I think we were both expecting something a little bit more upscale (geez, we sound like snobs...I swear, we aren't). Either way, what we were really looking forward to was the food.

For his drink, DH got a Dogfish IPA, his all time favorite (Go Delaware!). I got the iced tea. And I am proud to admit that I got the iced tea for one reason and one reason only...the little bottle of sweetening syrup that comes with it. I saw it on another dining review here on the DIS and just knew I HAD to get it. It was all that I imagined it would be and I would highly recommend it.



For his appetizer, DH got the Charcuterie Plate.



Now, this is not listed on AllEars, so I can only give you opinion, not fact. This was the weirdest appetizer I had ever seen. Keep in mind, we aren't the fanciest of people, so this is something we have never, ever ordered before. DH saw meat, meat, cheese, and meat, so he ordered it. I have to say that we were both glad he did. We cannot tell you what most of it was...the egg shell held chicken liver pate (our least favorite). DH's favorite was the meat in the bottom left. Really, he liked it all. It was something so fun and so different.

I decided to step out of the box (and I mean WAY out of the box) on this one as well, by ordering the escargot appetizer.



Being a person who is petrified of slugs, this was a really tough one for me. I decided to get them becuase it was now or never. I would never, ever go to a non-DWorld restaurant and order this, but why not here? So I went for it. I must tell you our server Bill was excellent. He was definitely a foodie and explained everything to us to help us make the best decisions. It was because of him that I didn't chicken out on the whole escargot thing. DH liked these more than I did. For me, it was a mind-over-matter thing. I'm glad I got them and they weren't terrible, but I would not order then again, even from here. DH actually liked them. He liked the flavor and he liked the sausage pieces that are mixed in with the escargot. My favorite part was the little puff pastry that came as an accompaniment. For those of you wondering if you should take the leap, I say go for it. Especially if you are on the DxDP.

As his entree, DH got the ribeye.



The ribeye is his absolute, all-time favorite cut of meat. Actually he was torn between the strip and the ribeye, but went for the 16oz ribeye. It came with sweet potato and (some-kinda) cheese beignets. The steak was topped off with some sort of buttery sauce. He ate all of the steak (and almost all of mine, too...but we will get to that in a minute). He said it was delicious, but he was a bit disappointed that there was nothing "extraordinary" about the steak. He really like the beignets, too. They were savory with a hint of a mellow sweetness from the potato. This was unusual for us because we are used to sweet recipes (brown sugar, marshmallows, etc.) with sweet potatoes, but we enjoyed them nonetheless.

I got the "prime" NY strip.



Mmmmm. It was good. DH and I agreed that we like my cut of meat better, but his sauce better. Mine had a peppercorn brandy sauce. I like pepper, but it was almost a bit overpowering. The cheddar potato gratin was good, but not as good as it had sounded on the menu. Don't get me wrong, I would definitely order the strip again. DH actually got a big portion of my steak because...well, you know...dessert was around the corner.

For dessert, I got the Trio of Valrhona Chocolate.



OMG. If you go to Yachtsman, you HAVE to get this. This was one of my absolute favorite desserts of the trip. (I'm sure I will say that again, but this was seriously good.) It was a combination of peanut, espresso and caramel. OMG. It was freaking awesome. If you do get this (and you should), DO NOT skip over the little pile of what looks like peanuts in the top right corner. It tastes like a spectacular peanut brittle and I almost missed it. YUMMMM

DH got the creme brulee.



It was creme brulee. That's all I can say. Not bad by any means, but nothing (at all) compared to my dessert.

So, in review...Yachtsman provided us with excellent service (best of the trip), good meat, and one dang fabulous dessert. We were slightly disappointed in the atmosphere. And we are left wondering if this is truly 2-credit worthy. We had a great time and truly enjoyed ourselves, but it was nothing that we felt like we couldn't get somewhere else... I could see us returning at some point in the future, but I'm not sure it would make the cut if we needed to limit our number of signatures.

Final cost was $158.89 (inc. beer and tip). We used 4 DxDP credits.
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