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Old 03-01-2012, 08:04 AM   #16
Skye23
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Via Napoli - Part 2 - Entrees and Dessert

Obviously we came to Via Napoli for the pizza and thats just what we got. Hubby ordered the Individual Pepperoni which is pretty basic - Spicy Pepperoni, Tomato, Mozzarella. I pondered ordering some of the more esoteric choices, and next time I probably will but since Hubby was having trouble deciding between the Pepperoni and the Quattro Formaggi with its Mozzarella, Parmesan, Fontina and Provolone I told him I'd get that one and we could trade slices. Both of our pizzas were incredibly good, thin with a crispy outer crust and a touch soft in the middle. We found you needed to either fold and hold the slice, or eat the first few bites with a knife and fork and then you could just hold the slice from the crust and proceed. As I reminded Hubby most Europeans eat their pizza with a knife and fork anyway so this wasn't unexpected. Still, being American I wouldn't have minded if they'd given the pizza about 30 seconds longer in the oven so the end of the slice didn't droop. Having said that, those ovens are so hot that I'd imagine you'd be risking the outer crust at that point. I wanted to eat all of my "bones" but there just wasn't room with dessert coming so I only managed to eat 2 of the crusts. As it turned out, Hubby liked the Quattro Formaggi better, the Pepperoni was really good - thick slices of the small traditional pepperoni vs our thinner, larger American style ones. As he put it, there was nothing wrong with that pizza and a lot right. But when he took his first bite of my Quattro Formaggi he heard angels sing. Seriously, he had a moment right there at the table - his eyes glazed over, he couldn't hear anything I was saying, there was nothing in the world except him and that slice of pizza. So good wife that I am, I swapped with him. He told me if they'd install this restaurant next to our hitw place he'd split his pizza devotion between them. I guess that makes it his new pizza Mistress.





Pizza finished except for a couple of crusts it was time to move onto dessert! I had known for MONTHS what dessert I was getting. There was no question I was getting the Coppa Di Brutti Ma Buoni or Ugly, but good sundae of Amarena Cherries and Vanilla Gelato with ugly but good cookies of Carnevale. I love gelato, and I love marischino cherries which are sad, pale approximation of the glory of Amarena Cherries. These things are so expensive and hard to get I'd never actually had one before, but I'd read and heard about them in all my gourmet magazines and cookbooks and I was bound and determined to try some. I'm going to leave it with they were right. They were so right that even Hubby who HATES marischino cherries was stealing them off my Sundae right and left. He was lucky the waiter had already taken the forks away or it could have gotten ugly but not so good. I'm kidding, I love him, I shared (lets not talk about if I wanted to though). Just as I was positive what I was going to get, I had also been positive which dessert Hubby would get. Surely he would get the Zeppole, this man eats the donuts that are on Chinese Buffets, there's no way he was going to turn down a freshly made fried piece of dough. And then of course he decided he'd order something entirely different. I considered fainting into the arms of our dashing waiter but that would have been a bit over the top. Plus I'd have been unconcious and unable to enjoy it so.... I am partly to blame for this, I recently exposed Hubby to real gelato and he fell in love so I guess its no surprise he decided to go for the Gelati E. Sorbetto - Pistachio. He loved it, he got the same look of quiet desperation on his face when I stole a second bite of it as I did when he took that second cherry.







Glancing at my receipt I note that the prices differ from the posted menu on the desserts too, the Coppa Amarena has gone from $10 to $14 and the Pistachio Gelato has gone up from $7 to $9. As with the appetizers, if you're paying OOP this may trouble you, but we were on the Dining Plan so it didn't trouble us. I think if I came back here OOP we'd skip appetizers, split a large Quattro Formaggi for $30 and then get the desserts regardless of the price. Considering the charged us $3.00 for the Caffe Americano (just brewed Coffee) and $6.00 for the Double Espresso I'd probably skip getting coffee with dessert despite how good the Espresso was, and wander over to the Tangerine Cafe in Morroco for a Moorish Coffee ($3.50) which is Espresso brewed with spices. We had one of those between Lunch and Dinner and it was not only good, but different from the usual fare.

Meal Cost - Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts and Iced Tea - $83.00
Coffee & Double Espresso - $9.00 (paid oop)
Tax - $5.98
Total Cost - $97.98
Used 2 Dining Credits and charged the tip (not included above) to room
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
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Great reviews so far! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #18
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I am enjoying your reviews. Hope this year goes better for you and I hope your mom continues to improve. Last year was not good for DH and I either and I am looking forward to a WDW trip early next year. I certainly enjoy looking at all the good food -- YUM!!!
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:50 PM   #19
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Great reviews so far! The Bumbleberry Cobbler w/ Cheesecake Ice Cream sounds awesome. Via Napoli looks amazing too, and is definitely a place to consider for a future visit. Thanks for sharing, and looking forward to the rest of the reviews!
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:16 AM   #20
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Glad everyone is enjoying them! Not to be overly personal, but my Mom had her last chemo treatment on Thursday and got to "ring the bell" at the hospital. She has one last immune system bolstering shot later today and then we wait a month for her scans to see if its all gone or if she'll need radiation. So we're feeling really hopeful that once she regains her strength in the next few months this will all be behind us. Hubby also started his new job this week, which is really good since he'd been laid off just before Christmas and just after final payment (lol). Lets just say that everything I wished for during Wishes seems possible right now. We all need a little pixie dust in our lives from time to time - and a belief in the possibility of magic.

I'll get more reviews done soon, next up are the Pepper Market Lunch Buffet and dinner at the California Grill. If anybody has any questions about a restaurant on my list I haven't gotten the review posted for yet please feel free to ask and I'll answer it if I can!
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:07 AM   #21
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Wonderful news on your Mom! And Congrats on your DH's new job!
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:53 PM   #22
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Nice reviews. I'm looking forward to following along.

We haven't gone since the old Dining Plan either, and we'll be on the Deluxe next time so it should be interesting. I saw a lot of similarities between us, but even though Mornings are not my friend, I love breakfast and I don't mind getting up when I'm on vacation because I feel like I have so much more of the day to play. Getting up to go to work however, is a whole different ballgame. Most people don't even speak to me until after 9 and they might be better off waiting until Noon, but that just won't work.

And glad to hear your Mom is doing well. My own Mom went through cancer treatment 2 years ago, so I understand that battle too!! She is doing great now, but is scheduled to go in again next week for another minor surgery because of a spot on her lung that they have been watching. They say it hasn't changed, but they just want to remove it now, so fingers crossed!!
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:06 AM   #23
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I'll keep my fingers crossed for your Mom, Kelleigh1!

A note about Breakfast ADR's, at least when we went we found they were largely unnecessary. We had one for Kona, and we decided the night before we weren't sure if we could make it that early so we canceled it and just let ourselves get there when we did. Wasn't a problem at all, took maybe 5 minutes to seat us. Another day we had hoped to maybe go to The Wave for breakfast but I didn't want to make an ADR because we'd both had at least 1 rough day and had to cancel things. So I just checked availability the night before - pretty much every single time slot was available. So if you think you want breakfast and aren't sure about which day, or the times check in advance and see what the reservation system says. Chances are, if its not a charachter breakfast, and if its in a resort then you'll probably be able to get in. The resorts that offer monorails and boats to the various parks are really good for this.

And while the review isn't up yet I will say Kona was worth getting up for.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:52 AM   #24
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The cherry/gelato dessert looks delicious!!! I am going to try that this summer. Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:27 AM   #25
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So sorry for the delay, I spent the last 2+ weeks in the middle of a fibromyalgia/cfids crash and largely offline. I'm slowly getting back in the grove though and will now resume with trying to get at least 1-2 reviews posted every couple of days.

Tuesday 2/14 Lunch at Pepper Market Buffet

This was supposed to be a lunch at Libery Tree Tavern, but when Hubby woke up he could barely walk due to swollen ankles. At first we thought it was an attack of gout, which has happened to him before on vacation but we later realized it was just swelling from the plane flight. It was odd it took so long to hit him, but the same thing happened when we got home, the same number of days later. We plan to have him wear those compression socks they sell the next time we fly to see if that helps. Anyway, because he couldn't walk we decided to cancel our reservations, and not go to the Magic Kingdom that day. Hungry we decided to queue up for the opening of the Pepper Market Buffet's lunch offerings. The pictures are going to be sorta pile-ish because I went and got all of our food and brought it back to our table to save him walking. Since it was Valentine's day and frankly I didn't want to make too many trips, I just put stuff on 1 plate and we ate it Lady and the Tramp Style

First up I have a lovely bowl of fruit. What can I say, it was fruit. It didn't blow my mind and make my toes curl like the fruit on my last Holland America cruise did. But at the same time I've been served a ton of fruit cups with much sadder fruit then this contained. I would have loved a few big ripe strawberries but the oranges and pineapple were very good. The melon and grapes were ok.



Next up I got us a plate of mixed green salad with some cucumbers, tomatoes and balsamic vinegrette. This was your basic salad, but the dressing was tasty and the lettuce was fresh. The tomatoes still weren't good ripe summer tomatoes but what can one expect in February. It was cool, crisp, and refreshing. Also on that plate was a composed salad made of cucumbers marinated in Ranch Dressing. This was surprisingly good and I got a 2nd serving of it for Hubby which isn't pictured. It was safe enough kids would eat it and tasty enough for adults to enjoy also.

Since hubby was abjectly miserable and we suspected gout I tried to get him some comfort food that wouldn't be high in protein. Clockwise around the bowl you can see some of the Kids Mac & Cheese, a slice of Cheese Pizza, Pasta with Meat Sauce and Penne Alfredo. I think all of this came from the Pasta station or thereabouts. The Kids Mac & Cheese was decent, we thought it might be Stouffers but having bought some of that recently when I was sick I now think it isn't. The shape is wrong, although the taste was similiar. We didn't end up eating it all but we each ate some of it. I don't know that I'd bother getting it again unless I was under the weather and really wanted that type of Mac & Cheese. The Pizza was not Via Napoli and I think we can just about leave it at that. Hubby said it was like the pizza they serve on Chinese Buffets, I had to remind him that he gets that Pizza sometimes. Again, ate some didn't eat all. The Pasta in Meat Sauce (may have had a fancier name) was actually quite good. It wasn't spectacular but we ate all of it and if we came here again and the weather was cool I would definately get a little of it again. It was kid-friendly but not adult-unfriendly if that makes sense. The Penne Alfredo was cooked well, al dente and all that but it was just bland. Salt and Pepper both didn't save it and most of it went uneaten. All in all this plate wasn't terribly successful even if Hubby did appreciate that I'd gotten him a plate of comfort food type things.



I'm going to post 2 pictures for this next plate, in the first picture you can see the rice, corn and mashed potato better and in the 2nd picture you get a better view of the Chicken Breast with Mango Salsa, Tilapa Veracruz (I think), and the Pork Roast. Starting with the side dishes, they had a basic version of Mexican style Corn with Peppers & Onions in it, in a sort of flavored butter sauce. Most of us have bought something similiar in the frozen veggie aisle. We liked it, we ate it, it was as expected. Also as expected was the Rice, I forget what they called it - Mexican, Cilantro - some descriptor I forgot to write down. Standard-issue Tex-Mex rice, safe and dependable but cooked properly aka not too mushy and not too crunchy either. The Mashed Potatoes were I believe Redskin and Garlic seasoned, but for some reason I don't have details in my notes. I know Hubby ate them all. On to the proteins - and these were the star of the plate. I do not have all of the names right, but its pretty clear cut on the Buffet, there's usually only 1 choice per thing so you'll know if you're being served the same thing. The Grilled Chicken Breasts with Mango Salsa were really, really good. I would go to a restaurant specifically to order these. Hubby could only eat a few bites and he's not a Mango sort of guy but he thought the Chicken was seasoned very nicely. Next up we had the Tilapia, I believe they called it Veracruz or something like that. Standard Mexican spices, not overdone, it was good but not as good as the Mango Chicken. Last up was some sort of Spice Rubbed Pork Loin. I'll keep it simple, next time we go my plate will basically be this and the Mango Chicken with perhaps a spot of salad on the side. I wanted to eat a bunch more slices of this but since Hubby couldn't eat a lot of protein I didn't want to eat it in front of him and I managed to restrain myself. It wasn't terribly complex, but it was done well - juicy, tender, seasoned nicely without being overpowered. A bite of it dredged through the mashed potatoes with a stop in the corn to pick up a few kernals fit my idea of comfort food perfectly.





Not pictured anywhere because I didn't want to make Hubby wait for me to take photos of it while he ate it was a plain Cheese Quesadilla. I didn't even GET to the Mexican station with all of the yummy treats there. I saw Chicken Quesadillas, Green Chile Pork Enchilladas (or Burritos, I forget) and a make your own taco area among other things. They looked good, the business men were swarming the station but Hubby was filling up and I skipped most of it. Since he was trying to avoid too much meat (partly due to our dinner reservation) and he was so incredibly miserable I asked the Lady at the Mexican station if she could possibly make me a single plain Cheese Quesadilla for someone in my group who was feeling under the weather. They were happy to oblige me, although I should note it was early in the service and they were not overwhelmed trying to keep up with the buffet like they might have been later. While I waited a business man came up to the line and demanded to know, in what I consider a very rude tone of voice, "is this all you have!". The nice Lady who'd agreed to make me the Quesadilla smiled sweetly at him and replied "Yes." - Lesson to be learned, ask politely and always tell them you'll understand if they can't do something. That and ask for simple things like a Quesadilla sans Chicken vs asking them to make something complex like a Green Chile Pork Quesadilla with blah blah..... How was the Quesadilla? Well I like mine a bit crispier but thats personal preference. Poor sick Hubby thinks that there really is no such thing as a bad Quesadilla provided the cheese is of good quality and melted. He's right too.

Last up, dessert. All of our romantic Valentine's Day Lady & the Tramp dining aside, for dessert I got us each our own plates. I told Hubby what they had, mostly basic choices and he asked for a bit of Ice Cream and some Churros. I made him a sundae out of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, M & M's, whipped cream and 2 Churros. He ate most of it, I ate the rest



For my dessert I decided to get the Strawberry ShortCake. I find that Cake Frostings often don't agree with me, probably because I had my gall bladder removed many years ago. I can do actual buttercream frostings or whipped cream frostings but the ones made with shortening just don't like me very much. I asked the Lady at the dessert station and she checked with one of the bakers for me and was able to assure me that the Frosting on this cake was of the Whipped Cream variety. The yellow cake was reasonably moist, the Frosting was light and the Strawberries were tasty. As with other things had these been in season ripe strawberries I'm sure it would have been even better but considering the venue and time of year I was satisfied. It was a nice light dessert, light enough I had room to finish off the last of Hubby's ice cream sundae.



Final thoughts - If you can eat here using a Quick Service Credit, this is a bargain. The food is solid, some of it is a bit bland but its all cooked well. If you pick and choose wisely and take a small sample of things and then go back for bigger portions of your favorites you can eat very well here. I would definately eat here again if it fit into our travel plans. Even as an OOP meal the price is pretty reasonable for Disney World, if you had a couple of teenagers this would be a great choice for a place to fill them up cheaply.

Meal Cost - 2 Lunch Buffets at $16.99 each - $33.98
Tax - $2.04 (I think, assuming 6%)
Total Cost - $36.02
Used 2 Dining Credits and charged the tip (not included above) to room
Please note that this is a Quick Service Credit if you're not on the Deluxe Plan
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:46 PM   #26
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Loving your reviews!
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