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Old 11-11-2002, 08:29 PM   #1
LKS
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Quick Trip - GF Tea, California Grill, Food and Wine Festival and Bahama Breeze

Wow, now it seems like all we did was eat. I went down with an old college roomate for just the weekend and we had a great time.

We started with Tea at the Grand Floridian. It was nice, the food was pretty good and there were a few men there, although one talked on his cell phone THE WHOLE TIME. Poor lady with him. Anyway, we had the Tea for Two and had the Cinnamon Spice Tea. It was very strong but felt good on my scratchy throat. Our server offered to add more hot water if it was too strong, but we never took her up on it. The sandwiches were just a bit dry (we had to supplement our tea with glasses of water and saw many other people doing the same) and not our favorite part, but the scones - Oh boy. Put both the devonshire cream AND the raspberry preserves on those! My friend had strawberries and cream and I had trifle and those were both good. We all sang Happy Birthday to a young lady celebrating her 13th, which was sweet. The only real downside was that there was a huge extended family having their portraits made just behind us and there was a lot of noise associated with trying to get the small children to smile. Just as we finished up, the pianist began to play in the lobby and we thought that they should schedule the playing to begin when the tea begins because that was very nice. Oh, and I have to say how stunning all of the flower arrangements in the GF were.

Late that night we had dinner at the Californa Grille. We arrived about 5 minutes before our PS and waited about 30 minutes for a table. People without PS were being told about a 1 hour wait at 8pm on Friday night. We shared the goat cheese ravioli appetizer and liked it. I had the filet with the tamarind barbeque sauce and liked it and my friend had the fish with the mushroom risotto and liked it too. Neither of us was just overwhelmed by the food, but we thought it was all good. For dessert she had carrot cake and I had the Hazelnut crunch pyramid and those were both also good. There were lots of young kids there, some sleeping and all well-behaved. One thing that I have never heard mentioned before was how our clothes smelled after that dinner. I guess it's from the open kitchen, but yuk, and we were not sitting at the counter, but over by the windows. It was kind of that greasy, old food smell you sometimes get at a teppan place. Wierd. Anyway, I'm glad I finally went, but it is not my favorite restaurant - I like Artist Point, V&A and Teppanyaki better (Oh, and Bahama Breeze - see below!)

On Saturday, we only ate at the Food and Wine Festival. We shared everything. I will never remember it all, but here's a try:

Ireland - root vegetable cake - yuk - threw it away.

Norway - Lefse - bland - threw it away (it gets better - we're not that picky

South Africa - Durbin Spiced chicken - wonderful - very spicy and served hot also Meatloaf - excellent. This was our favorite booth.

China - Chicken Sha Cha - one of my friend's favorites - it was good

Spain - potato and octopus salad - we tried it to be adventurous and it was fine, but I wouldn't want to make a meal of it. Seared scallop - it was OK, almost forgot about it.

US - crabcake - not our style - low on crab and lots of filler or mayo or something, but still good enough to eat

France - onion tart - good, but crust was a little tough, escargot - another of our favorites, served very hot and very garlicky - Coq au Vin - not hot enough and very bland, but not terrible

Canada - cheese soup - excellent, salmon - very good and hot, fudge - very sweet, Eiswine - too sweet really, I've had German Eiswines that were more enjoyable.

I may have forgotten something, but all in all, we enjoyed this day very much and would definitely do it again.



Finally, last but not least Bahama Breeze. We ate here on our way out of town on Sunday and it was our best meal. We had a wonderful server and the food was perfect. We started with the coconut prawns - shared - yum. Then I had the half portion of the jerk chicken pasta and my friend had the half portion of the jamaican grilled chicken breasts served with spiced yams, a squash medley and black beans. Her plate was beautiful, huge and delicious. I had eaten here before and knew it was good, but this restaurant is a great off-site choice.
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Old 11-11-2002, 08:54 PM   #2
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LKS, Was Bahama Breeze close to WDW?? We tried a HUGH Olive Garden outside the world on our last visit and LOVED it. The food was very good and the waitstaff was excellent! Thanks, Joan:D PS have to agree about the scones they are the BEST!
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Old 11-11-2002, 09:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reviews. Exactly where was the Bahama Breeze. I have wanted to try this restaurant but there is not one in our area. I used to live in Orlando and am pretty familiar with the area. Please let me know. It sounds like your meal was wonderful.
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reviews!

I tried three of the same items at F&W.
Agree with you about China: Chicken Sha-Cha (good) and USA: Crab Cake (more like Crab Mush), but I like the Ireland: Root Vegetable Cake best of all! (maybe they gave me the wrong thing!)

Maybe I can hijack my family into going to Bahama Breeze. I'll tell them we're going to Golden Corral, then pull into the wrong parking lot.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:22 AM   #5
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Great reviews! It is fun to nibble your way around the WS, isn't it? We had a ball doing that last year.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:47 AM   #6
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The closest Bahama Breeze to WDW is on Vineland Rd. From WDW head for DTD, take a right on Hotel Plaza Blvd. Stay in the left RIGHT hand turning lane (two lanes turn right). Turn right onto 535 and follow it under the I-4 over pass to Vineland (the same road you take for the Shrine, Premium Outlets, Golden Corral, and several other restaurants) take a left on Vineland and Bahama Breeze is on the left.

There is another Bahama Breeze on International Drive.

The HUGE Olive Garden (also the newest) is on I Drive also. Take the I Drive exit from I-4 (heading east on I-4, coming from WDW) and take a right on I-Drive. Olive Garden will be on the right (a ways down the road) just before Race Rock. If you like Olive Gardens, this one should be a nice visit for you.
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Old 11-12-2002, 08:47 AM   #7
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Thanks for the review! I've got to try Bahamma Breeze!
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:42 AM   #8
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Thanks DVC~OKW~96 for the directions. We will definately be trying this restaurant.
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Old 11-12-2002, 01:28 PM   #9
LKS
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We ate at the Bahama Breeze on International Drive. I wasn't sure where on I-drive though, so we got off at the Seaworld exit and drove up I-drive until I saw it on the right. If you get off at the Convention Center, you would drive north a few blocks - past that FAO Schwartz and you can see that funny building that looks like a tornado lifted it. I don't even know what that is. Bahama Breeze is the ONLY place I go on International Drive.

erikthewise, our root cake was bitter. I thought the first bite was OK, but the second was not. Maybe I got a bad one. My friend agreed with my assessment though, so I hope I'm not just nuts.
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