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Old 09-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #211
jabead
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First I wanted to pass along on to you our final results regarding the limited use of the Tables in Wonderland membership discount. Since we were on the Deluxe Dining Plan for 5 out of the 7 days which we dined at WDW, we only took advantage of the TIW 20% discount for 7 meals (including two relatively inexpensive breakfasts). This savings along with the discount on our alcoholic beverages resulted in a total savings of $112.53. Deducting from this the $75 TIW annual membership fee, I came out ahead only $37.53. So not a big savings, but still worth the short amount of time that it took me to get my membership card at the Guest Services booth at Epcot (WSC entrance). This is proof that even with limited use (mostly as a supplement to the Dining Plan) by only two people; the TIW membership can be beneficial.


Ok now on to the more fun part of this final post…


A REVIEW OF OUR FAVORITES

Category 1 – BEST APPETIZERS


DD’s Top Picks


Coming in at #3 is...





Narcoossee’s Rhode Island Calamari



Scoring the #2 spot is…





Teppan Edo’s Wafu Ribs



And earning the TOP SPOT on her list is…





Le Cellier’s Cheddar Cheese Soup


I’d like to add here that this came as a total surprise to me. I knew she liked this soup, but I had no idea how much.




Now for my Top Picks in the Appetizer Category


Coming in at a very respectable #3 is…






California Grill’s Triple-Cheese Flatbread

NOTE: This was my favorite appetizer from my last trip, but wasn’t quite as good this time (a little bit greasy) so consequently slipped down to the #3 spot this time.



Making a surprise appearance in the #2 spot is…





Yachtsman’s Assortment of Artisanal Cheeses

I never realized how good a simple cheese plate could be…very tasty!



Garnering my Top Spot is…





Flying Fish’s Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake





Category 2 – BEST ENTREES


DD’s Picks


Making a great premiere showing at #3 is…





La Hacienda’s Pescado a la Talla (aka Delicious Tilapia)



Coming in at #2 is…





Narcoossee’s Whole Maine Lobster



Receiving the honor of being her #1 is…





Jiko’s Beef Short Rib




And now for my Top Picks for Best Entrees.



Starting my list at #3 is my entrée from our first meal…





Flying Fish’s Potato-wrapped Red Snapper



Coming in at the solid #2 position is…





Citrico’s Braised Short Ribs



And my #1 Star Entrée of this trip is…





Yachtsman’s Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes
(Just plain and simply delicious!)




We would like to give an HONORABLE MENTION AWARD to…




Le Cellier’s Walnut Crusted Salmon


This would have made both of our top three Entrée lists, but sadly it has since been replaced on Le Cellier’s menu with a less appealing salmon dish. Therefore, out of protest, we decided not to give it Top 3 honors.




Category 3 – DESSERTS


DD's Top Picks


For her #3 Spot DD chose…






Sanaa’s Chai Cream (dessert shown in the middle)




Her #2 Favorite Dessert was…





Citrico’s Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream



And in her #1 Sweet Spot goes to…





Flying Fish’s Caramelized Banana Napoleon




Now for my Top Picks for Best Dessert.



Last trip a slightly different version of this was my #1, but this time it drops to #3...





California Grill’s Valrhona Chocolate Cake




Coming in at #2 again is…





Narcoossee’s Almond-crusted Cheesecake



And that just leaves my #1 Sweet Treat…





Citrico’s Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream



Category 4 – Best Service


Finally making an appearance on our Best Lists is #3…





Tracy at Coral Reef




Providing us with Very Good Service and receiving our #2 award is…





Kathy at Yachtsman Steakhouse



And the Best Service was provided to us by #1…





Darrin of Hollywood Brown Derby



Now to compile our scores for our combined list of Top 3 Meals of our trip.


TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...


__________________
Barb

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

List of DISers with Upcoming Trips - and - Aug./Sept. Game - and - June/July Game

MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary


DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan

Last edited by jabead; 09-24-2011 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:59 PM   #212
jabead
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Before doling out our praise and accolades to those restaurants we felt were most deserving, we must first express our disappoint with those which failed to meet our expectations.


Here are our Top 3 Disappointments:


Sadly, coming in at #3 is…







On my last trip, California Grill was our absolute favorite meal, and by a wide margin. Everything about that meal was perfect…the food, the service, the atmosphere. So you can imagine my disappointment when this time around our meal was far from perfect. In fact it was our least favorite of our 7 Signature meals. Hopefully we will have better luck here next time.




#2 on our Big Disappointment list is…






Believe it or not, Coral Reef was our favorite meal on our last family trip (March ’10) and it was mostly due to the food. This time around though, the food just wasn’t all that good (with the exception of my Mahi Mahi). However, we did have very good service and got to sit right next to the aquarium so the meal had a few redeeming qualities. Therefore, I’m not ready to write this one off yet.




And that leaves are #1 Biggest Disappointment…






I had read several great reviews of Sanaa and really expected to like it more than we did. With an ADR at opening time of the restaurant and requesting a table by the window, we were sat at a table in which the view was nearly completely obstructed by an outside wall. We would have been okay with this if the food had been really good, but sadly we just didn’t feel our food was anything special. Well, except for the Chai Cream dessert, which my DD loved. Oh, and I should also mention that they have some pretty good cocktails here. So anyway, I’m glad we gave it a try, but Sanaa is just not for us.



That’s it for the bad, so now on to the good.




Beginning with our #3 Favorite Meal at…




CITRICOS


I’m happy to say that this time around my experience with Citricos was much improved. Last time neither the food nor service was very good and it came in dead last of our 6 Signature meals of that trip. This time however, the food was quite good and if we had received good service, Citricos would have been a strong contender for our #1 Favorite Meal.




Coming in at #2 on our list of Favorite Meals is…





FLYING FISH CAFE

Last time at Flying Fish we had great service but the food was lackluster, with the exception of the crab cake. This time around we had the opposite experience, with very good food but an odd situation with our server (see review for details). So I’m hoping next time around we will be lucky enough to have both good food and service.




Which brings us to our #1 Favorite Meal of this trip…



May I have a drumroll please?







YACHTSMAN STEAKHOUSE


Our dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse was very good, with both great food (for the most part) and service. Coming in a distant 2nd on our last trip (very good, yet far behind our fantastic meal at California Grill), this time around it was the only Signature meal in which we were both happy with a majority of our food and also received great service. Due to its consistency, I would have to say that YSH is currently my favorite Signature restaurant. But that could soon change because I’ve decided to take another trip to the World during the upcoming Epcot Food & Wine Festival. I’ve been to the F & W Festival three times in the last five years and have decided that it’s my favorite time of year at Disney World. So with my Annual Pass and TIW card collecting dust in the drawer, I couldn’t resist the urge to take a short trip to my Happy Place. DS (age 15) has a four day weekend in November which just so happens to coincide with the end of the Food & Wine Festival. So on November 9th, he and I will be off to see the World! Our dining plans are still being changed way too often to think about starting a pre-trip report, but look for my next Dining Review to start around the end of October/beginning of November. Of course, until then I will be avidly checking the disboards for reviews to help us make our dining decisions. So for any of you visiting in the next month or so, I am very eager to hear your thoughts about the Festival, dining experiences, etc.


Well, thanks again to all of you for joining me in my 50th Birthday Celebration. It was my best birthday celebration ever!
__________________
Barb

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

List of DISers with Upcoming Trips - and - Aug./Sept. Game - and - June/July Game

MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary


DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan

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Old 09-24-2011, 03:28 PM   #213
podsnel
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So... guess what?? We're at WDW together AGAIN!!!!! We get there Nov 9th (having dinner that night at Yachtsman- thanks for scoring it so highly!!) and leave the 14th- staying at BCV. How about you?

Loved all your posts- and all the awesome food porn- THANK-YOU!!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:34 PM   #214
mmforme2009
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Excited about your YSH feedback as we'll be dining there this trip. Can't wait!!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:30 PM   #215
cbg1027
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Loved the wrap up with the rankings, great idea!

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:51 PM   #216
sandyj55
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Great Review!!

I enjoyed your review and the way you listed your favorite top 3 for each category. I'm glad you had such a great time and thanks again for taking the time to report to us.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:58 AM   #218
auntfrannie
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Loved your reviews! Do you have your next trip planned yet??
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #219
jabead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
So... guess what?? We're at WDW together AGAIN!!!!! We get there Nov 9th (having dinner that night at Yachtsman- thanks for scoring it so highly!!) and leave the 14th- staying at BCV. How about you?

Loved all your posts- and all the awesome food porn- THANK-YOU!!!

Wow...that's awesome!!! A mere coincidence, maybe...but I think it's a case of "great minds think alike". 'Cause not only are we there at the same time but have chosen the exact same dates...we also arrive on the 9th and leave on the 14th. We are staying at the BWI again, so just right across the pond from you. And YSH will definitely be included in our dining plans, but probably not on our first night.




Quote:
Originally Posted by mmforme2009 View Post
Excited about your YSH feedback as we'll be dining there this trip. Can't wait!!!

Your trip is really soon! I hope you enjoy YSH. Will you be doing a dining review? I hope so.




Quote:
Originally Posted by cbg1027 View Post
Loved the wrap up with the rankings, great idea!

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Abby! I'm excited to see you have some trips coming up very soon too. I love reading your dining reviews!





Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyj55 View Post
I enjoyed your review and the way you listed your favorite top 3 for each category. I'm glad you had such a great time and thanks again for taking the time to report to us.

Thanks for reading, Sandy!




Quote:
Originally Posted by librarygeek View Post
Thank you for sharing, I love your rankings and the fun little lists at the end!

Thanks Becky! I'm following your dining review also. Looking forward to more!




Quote:
Originally Posted by auntfrannie View Post
Loved your reviews! Do you have your next trip planned yet??

Yep! Got the dates set (Nov. 9 - 14), the plane tickets, and the resort reservation (Boardwalk Inn). Now I just need to make some decisions regarding our dining plans... which for me is always the hardest part of planning a trip to WDW. So many great restaurants, never enough time.
__________________
Barb

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

List of DISers with Upcoming Trips - and - Aug./Sept. Game - and - June/July Game

MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary


DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan
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