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Old 11-17-2012, 05:07 PM   #646
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Brenda, your HBD meal sounds just awful. What a shame! Hope you will give it another chance sometime since you and Em liked it last time.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #647
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Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Ooh, a cliff hanger....

P.S. Just seen Linda's news - gutted doesn't even begin to cover it
Joh, I know... There's always 2014.

Originally Posted by TigerKat View Post
I tried the nutella fruit waffle for the first time last month and agree it's one of the best "snacks" I've ever had, although it could be an entire meal for me!

We've never had dinner at HBD but we did attend their signature dining experience during food & wine and we were very pleased with it. The reviews over the past year had been great but recently I've seen more negative comments. Sure sounds like you had a doozy.
I wish they had those nutella fruit waffles at Disneyland but as far as I know they don't so it will always be our WDW special treat!

Despite our experiences... I'm still a fan of HBD - perhaps just not a die-hard fan. I hope to make that point in my next update.

Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
I'm so sorry your go-round at HBD with Michael did not go well. I have to admit that we went once, back in 2007, and we will NOT go back. We went for lunch and our service was non-existent (and only five tables were occupied in the entire restaurant while we were there). It sounds like your server needed a refresher course in taking care of the customer.

I'm almost afraid to hear about the food with the fiasco with the drinks.
Hi kathy! I hope you are enjoying your weekend with your son/future DIL!

Service issues drive me crazy since they're a Signature restaurant! And yes, our server definitely could have used a refresher course in customer service.

Originally Posted by Jersette View Post
Oh. Dear. Good on you for trying to find something yummy and old school to drink. Bad that it didn't happen. I'm waiting with some trepidation for the rest of the review now!

On the other hand, Michael's appetizer looks amazing and we get another sweet picture of you and Emmy!
Michael really did enjoy his appetizer! There really are some great menu options here. Despite our experience, I would return...sometime.

Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
Oh my, this is not starting well.

Jill in CO
Hi Jill! Yes, oh my!

Originally Posted by MrsB1228 View Post
Oh dear, this isn't starting well. I used to love Tom Collins', they were one of my favourite drinks back in the day. I'm bummed that you can't seem to find Collins mix anywhere anymore. Collins and Lime Rickey used to be my two favourite mixers. I mourn their demise ... I can't believe your waiter's attitude, I wonder if he's related to the woman who served us at Kona?

Can't wait to read the rest, I hope it gets better for you!
I tried to get a Tom Collins in Vegas too and they only had their house sweet/sour mix at that particular bar so I'm thinking this isn't a very common drink any longer. Good thing I like bloody Mary's because I had a few of those!

Stay tuned for more HBD fun!

Originally Posted by Pinkgirl View Post
I'm on catch up again. I really must figure out how to work the IPad!

We had our first visit to Chef de France this trip and loved the food. Service was a bit blurgh, with our server really not interested. Love love loved the soup and the bread. We had the salmon and it was amazing.

We cancelled our O'Hana dinner as another Disney bride invited us to her Epcot dessert party and it was too much of an opportunity to miss!

I remember Isaac well. We spent the day at EPCOT. It was wet and empty. We wore our Union Jack ponchos and got a lot of stares.

You mentioned HBD when we met so I'm ready to hide behind the sofa for this review
Hi Marie! Thanks for dropping by! I can forgive bad service (for the most part) if they have amazing food!

Your dessert party invite sounds like it was awesome!

People were probably staring at your Union Jack ponchos because they were jealous!!!

Originally Posted by smile4stamps View Post
I had big hopes to have the Sleepy Hallow waffles but it, along with a lot of things, just didn't happen!

Your Contempo Cafe Mickey Waffles looks delicious!!

Your experience at HBD sounds very discouraging!! We actually had a decent meal there except our server was a tad annoying...
Paula, I know the delimma - too many options, not enough appetite. I just need to keep scheduling WDW trips to leave ample opportunity to sample more items on my "must try" list!

And yes, the CC waffles were pretty good.

Originally Posted by AvasMommy526 View Post
Wow, HBD experience is not starting out well at all! I can't understand why the waiter did not come back and just let you know there was no mix. Being in the service industry I get really upset when I see poor service or attitudes, it's beyond frustrating to me, (I'm so blessed to have a great team at my shop), I just want to go do their jobs correctly lol! I want to say I hope things get better in the review but I don't think that's going to happen.
Well.... I definitely wouldn't have minded being told there was no Collins Mix... even within the first 15 minutes. But after that issue was drawn out it was just odd. In fact, I would have been just as happy at that point to drink the diet coke that he didn't bring.

Glad you understand and enforce customer service with your team.

Originally Posted by nanienamou View Post
I'm sorry about your experience at HBD. We also had abysmal service at our lunch ADR... I,m wondering if we all had the same server, although I don't remember his name.
Hmmmm... perhaps it was the same guy. I do have to say that there are a lot of other servers (including James) who are amazing at HBD. I think we just happened to have a server having a bad night and he just didn't care to make it better.

Originally Posted by Roma View Post
Uhhh your HBD dinner sounds awful! Nothing like a blasé and rude server to make a dining experience go downhill quickly. We had a similar experience at California Grill... rude servers go away please.
Hi Roma! No bueno when there is bad/rude service at a Signature restaurant.

Originally Posted by rachel09985 View Post
Yikes so far. He obviously needs to take Communication/Listening 101 again..
Hi Rachel! He needed to go to Disney charm school.

Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
Oh goodness, HBD review is not off to a good start! I actually JUST re-booked this ADR earlier this evening to put it back in the mix for our trip. I'm a bit worried now.
GO! I think our experience was an exception. You just may not want to read the end of my review.

Originally Posted by Ro Z View Post
So sorry! This sounds and looks terrible!! I am a screwdriver girl. Sorry, unless I want a beer this is it. I have been given a vodka pineapple, or vodka grapefruit at differant times. Sometimes the servers insist it is a screwdriver like after all these years I wouldn't know what I drink. So now I have learned to order a vodka and oj. Oh for the good ole days! Lol!
Ro Z you make a great point that I have done similar in the past. Instead of just saying what I'm ordering I say - gin with Collins mix. should be clear but I guess not. Thansk for reading!

Originally Posted by DisneyMomFanatic View Post
Hi Brenda,

I am caught up again. I am glad to see that I finally made your dining review. Yes, that is a lot of food but such good food. I agree with your loves and I really agree with pork. None of us like the pork with that sauce, but everything else we had we loved and will be going back!

As far as HBD, yikes! Not a good way to start off at all and I am waiting to see what else happens there.
Hi Karla! You indeed made a special guest appearance. I'm looking forward to going back to 'Ohana.

Stay tuned for more HBD fun!

Originally Posted by jabead View Post
Yay...another item marked off my list! I'm so glad you enjoyed your first taste of nutella. Now if I could only remember how many points you have, Brenda. I know, I'll award you a Scavenger Hunt Point instead!

Now I need to read your HBD review - Part I.
Wow! I was trying to get my updates posted that I totally forgot to add that accomplishment to my list. I just went back to edit my post and index to include this success! No worries about points we'll just say that I have the honor and distinction of being your the first Diser to gather points.

Originally Posted by krhst25 View Post
I haven't eaten at HBD but keep reading mixed reviews-- mostly about the service. I appreciate your honesty!
Thanks! For the most part the food at HBD is good. Stay tuned for more...

Originally Posted by Smiling Cheshire Cat View Post
Brenda, your HBD meal sounds just awful. What a shame! Hope you will give it another chance sometime since you and Em liked it last time.
Definitely it will get another chance. I'm just waiting for the menu to have an update/seasonal change.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:02 PM   #648
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Hollywood Brown Derby - Part 2

At the end of the last update Michael had finished his appetizer (which was good) and apparently the server didn't see the dirty plate sitting on the end of the table the first, second, or third time he walked by without looking our way. Poor guy must have been really busy!

Onto the entrees for which I was excited to try a new version of an old favorite!

Michael ordered the duck two ways. This was thin slices of duck pastrami over a pear and melon salad while the second “way” was a duck confit with risotto. It was delicious and full of wonderful flavor according to my hubby. However, there was a pin bone in the dish that Michael spit out before swallowing. Since it was a long think sharp bone it could have had some serious affects had it been swallowed. He simply set it aside on the plate.

Duck Two Ways – Duck Pastrami over a Pear & Melon Salad with White Balsamic, Honey, and Vanilla Reduction Duck Confit with Farro Risotto, and Spicy Onion-Citrus Jam $35

Em ordered the roasted breast of chicken which arrived looking simply stunning on the plate. I would order this if I wasn’t in the mood for beef. Apparently, there was something about the dish that she did not like because she said that she was very disappointed and didn’t like it at all. Without paying attention to the menu, the pureed celery root looked like mashed potatoes!! It was such a mild flavor that Em didn’t know the difference.

Free-Range Ashley Farms Roasted Breast of Chicken stuffed with Sweet Pepper, Chorizo, and Smoked Cheddar Cheese over a Celery Root Puree, Coriander Dusted Jumbo Asparagus, and a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: $30

I went with the filet – cooked medium. I had ordered this last time and it was fabulous! The menu had changed so that this version was served over corn risotto and it had an arugula pesto instead of the cabernet and roasted shallot butter sauce over the filet. The version in February was served with truffle butter whipped potatoes. Preferring potatoes to risotto, I requested potatoes (mashed preferably) instead of the corn risotto. Our server said the only potatoes they had were french fries. No worries, I’ll keep with the risotto.

I liked the filet but I didn’t love it. There was the issue of it being served on the rare side with a lot of red in the middle; however, after all the issues we had experienced, I just didn’t feel like sending it back. Based on the flavor of the filet alone, it was very good. Because this dish has received such a make-over compared to earlier in the year, I wasn’t a big fan of the changes overall. The risotto was ok but it just didn’t have a lot of flavor.

Charred Filet of Beef over a Brentwood Corn and Pancetta Risotto, Arugula Pesto, and Pickled Rainbow Carrots: $41

Even though I included a photo of my Diet Coke in my last update, I need to clarify the timing of this item.....I still hadn’t received my Diet Coke so Michael asked our server about it and he eventually brought it. Ahhhh… perfect! We better enjoy our drinks while we had them because if we were expecting refills that would be another disappointment.

At the same time that Michael reminded our server that I needed my soda, he pointed out that the duck had a pin bone left in it. (I showed the server a photo I took of the bone on the plate.) Michael didn’t say anything else even though I was dying to be petty and point out how uncool that was! There must be some protocol that is triggered when there is a bone in food (or other quality issue with the food) since, Adrian, the head chef, came to our table. He apologized for the bone and thanked us for bringing it to his attention. Michael totally understood that this can happen and wasn’t upset at all.

Poor Adrian, he was two seconds away from walking back to the kitchen having done his job by addressing the bone issue when he heard me say, “I just have to let you know how disappointed I am in our dining experience apart from the bone.” I think Michael heaved a heavy sigh knowing that nothing was going to stop me now! I had reached a point where I was so frustrated with our dining experience that I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and I had to vent! I went off on all the service issues and how rude our waiter had been. I asked to speak with the Restaurant Manager which he gladly said that he would arrange.

In the meantime, we may as well have been invisible because we continued to be ignored and our drinks remained empty.

Louis, the Manager, came to our table. I shook his hand, introduced myself, and explained that we had dined there before and had an amazing experience but that what we had experienced that night was not to the standard that Disney should hold their Signature restaurants. (I suppose that is relative since you expect decent service regardless of the price of the food.) Louis patiently listened and took notes while I gave him a list of about 6 or 7 items that were primarily service issues. (No drink refills, inattentive and rude service, dishes not cleared, cocktail order messed up, a bone in the duck, long wait between courses and app brought before drinks.) Louis took notes and asked some questions, while he did not make any excuses for the service issues he did apologize. He said that he would speak with our server and then asked what he could do for us. I really hate that question because I expect a Manager to be a Manager and step up to do the right thing as they see fit. I just said that I trust him to address the issues. I really thought at that point they may swap out our server but we weren’t that lucky. And yes, I will admit that that is what I should have told the Manager, swap our server but I didn’t so I shouldn’t complain since I was given an opportunity to have a voice. (This is kinda like Michael telling me that he can't read my mind, I need to tell him what I'm thinking. Men!)

We wanted dessert so when we were presented with the dessert menus we immediately knew what we wanted. Emily ordered the banana foster tower dessert. Michael ordered the lemon cheesecake with the citrus honey nest. Our server came back and told us that they were out of the banana foster dessert. Darn! Em swapped that dessert for the Chocolate Three Ways. I actually passed on dessert. We had been there for over two hours at this point and I just wanted the meal to be done.

Dessert Menu:

Citrus Honey Nest filled with Candied Ginger Blueberries over a Lemon Cheesecake: $9

Chocolate Three Ways – Praline Milk Chocolate Cream, crunchy Ganache, and Orange-Chocolate Mousse: $9

Apparently, both of these desserts were good as I don’t recall anyone saying ick or leaving food on their plate. The honey nest looked absolutely fabulous!

Our bill was dropped off by our waiter and when I picked up the folio and looked at the receipt the waiter remained hovering over me. That annoyed me more than anything else that evening… what? Did he want to see my reaction to seeing that my cocktail had been comped? I actually told him that he didn’t need to stand over me and wait, I wanted to look at the bill. He said ok and moved on. Seriously? He already knew we had spoken with the Manager because he only walked by about 3 times while I was talking about his service issues. (I admit I wasn't playing nice in the sandbox at that moment! He just continued to be so rude.)

After getting over my irritation I gave my TiW card and credit card knowing that I was committing to giving this guy an automatic 18% gratuity. There is a 30 minute gap between the original receipt time and the final receipt with our TiW discount. I think we only waited about 15 minutes to receive our final bill. Still… 15 minutes is a loooong time when you are so over the experience. It was 10:20pm at this point and there were only about a half dozen tables still seated with guests.

I was getting ready to sign and return the receipt when we heard screams from a table of teenage girls across from us. The table directly to our left was shifting in their seats and looking at the ground. The girls were pointing to the booth next to us and yelled that there was a rat. I immediately kneeled on the booth and searched the floor for the rodent! The thought of a rat crawling around terrified me and I was going into panic attack mode since I didn’t know if it was still coming our way. Michael was saying just sign the bill and let’s get out of here since the only way to make sure we are not bothered by the rat is to get away from it. Such a practical answer. I signed the receipt but my parting shot was to write on the back, “You have rats in your restaurant.”

I was actually thinking of this scene in Muppets Take Manhatten when I was writing this! The applicable scene is at the 3 minute mark.

With all the commotion and hollering going on in the dining room you would think that there would be a swarm of staff there to check it out. There was just one assistant waiter/bus dude who said they were aware of the rat, it had been there for the last 30 minutes. Really??

That was it!!!!!! I ran on tip toes to the safety of the lobby and asked to speak with the Manager again. Apparently, the patrons were lining up behind me to speak with him because there was another lady (a restaurant owner herself) who asked to speak with him as well and then another party followed.

Louis appeared and I launched into my insane tirade on what had just happened. I said that despite the bad service our server was paid an 18% gratuity which was unacceptable. Then to top it off, there was a rat in the restaurant! I told him that rodents in a dining establishment is unacceptable. He asked for my credit card and I actually had a moment of levity because I asked if he needed to go shopping? (See I did still have some humor intact.) He responded that yes, he needed to buy some rat traps! We laughed so hard and he literally fell to his knees laughing. Hey buddy, that’s funny but be careful there. He didn’t realize I was using TiW with the auto gratuity. I gave my receipt to Louis and left Michael to take care of it while I used the ladies room.

When I returned, he handed me back my card and said that he had comped the entire meal ($142.) I thanked him and told him that was way more than I expected. I only wanted the gratuity removed.

Ok, if anyone is still reading, thank you….I will definitely return since I really don’t think this is the norm for this restaurant. I would certainly not have that waiter again but I am not scared off. The food is still good although it took a detour from excellent this time. The menu has other interesting options that I would definitely try. Overall, it is still a good choice but I hope they let the rats know they are not welcome!

See, we can smile despite the dining experience we just had:

Next Up: Crystal Palace and another Dismeet!

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #649
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Wow, I knew most of the story but not all of it. What an awful experience. I am very glad that they comp'd your meal. That is what they should have done! Even without the rat!

Glad to hear that you will go back though. Andrew loved that steak, declared it one of the best meals of the trip. I didn't love the duck but I think that was on me because I have never really eaten duck. If I had found a bone, I would have been done eating though. I hate when that happens with fish! Turns me off he meal completely!
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:38 PM   #650
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Originally Posted by GoofySon'sMom View Post
Wow, I knew most of the story but not all of it. What an awful experience. I am very glad that they comp'd your meal. That is what they should have done! Even without the rat!

Glad to hear that you will go back though. Andrew loved that steak, declared it one of the best meals of the trip. I didn't love the duck but I think that was on me because I have never really eaten duck. If I had found a bone, I would have been done eating though. I hate when that happens with fish! Turns me off he meal completely!
Hi Vicki! I would go back and although my steak wasn't that great - it was fabulous the time before that. Glad to know Andrew liked his filet. I didn't try the duck but knowing my luck I would have gotten the bite with the bone!
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #651
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I enjoy reading your dining reviews. I would have been temped to address the waiter about his ailments this night. Poor guy seems to have been trying to care for his guests all the while having "tunnel vision' and "selective hearing". I know all to well that just having one of those ailments can be painful for others around them. Now having both at same time is unbearable for anyone within 10 feet of said person. I would have told him how sick and tired he looked as having "selective hearing" and "tunnel vision" must make his serving and caring for the needs of his guests very difficult. I then would let him know I would be talking to the manager about his ailment and would hope the manager would make sure he got to go home to recouperate.

Reading the review I doubt that the server would have figured out I was not happy.

The rat in the dining room would only be fitting at Chefs of France. Do you think Remy was visiting another restaurant to gain restaurant secrets?

Having a great time following ----

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:13 PM   #652
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Oh eM Gee !!! I can't believe they had a rat in there and a signature to boot!! What a shocking experience. I would be disappointed to pay so much for a disappointing meal. Besides your waiter, it sounds like the rest of the staff wanted to provide you with good service though. But still - the rat thing is very shocking ....
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:17 PM   #653
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Wow, just wow. That is seriously the worst review I've read on this board. Bravo for handling it so well....and then for the evening to be topped off by a rat.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:55 PM   #654
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OMG!! I would have totally freaked out seeing a rat in any restaurant!!! I think you're very kind to consider going back EVER!!!
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:47 PM   #655
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OMG...a RAT?????? I would have freaked! All that after what already was a horrible waiter...and bones.

Well, I had that HBD ADR re-booked for about 12hrs, and sadly, I have cancelled it as of early this afternoon. My older kids saw the menu this morning and literally looked at me like I had 3 heads , so I decided to cancel that ADR...yet again. One day when DH and I can go to WDW without kids, we will eat there.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:09 AM   #656
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Whoa-- what a surprise ending! I thought ratatouille was over at les chefs and he is stuffed!

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Old 11-18-2012, 04:55 AM   #657
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OMG, i Know I shouldn't be but I am It is funnier the second time in hearing it. OK, so it's not funny, it's pretty shocking but I am imagining you up on the table looking for the rat.

As I said to you before, I cannot believe the experience you had at HBD. I don't think there is any reason at all that I can think of which would excuse the poor service and food issues but, as for the rat, that is just unforgiveable - expecially if they knew about it.

Whilst I loved the clip of Muppets Take Manhattan, I'm afraid your experience puts me more in mind of this episode of Fawlty Towers, a sitcom shown in the UK in the 70s
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:22 AM   #658
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I really have no words for this dining experience. I mean it's just frustrating, sad and annoying (I guess I do have words lol), at least it was comped (which should have been a given, I mean the drink only really!? ). At least you kept your sense of humor and made it out without a rat following
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #659
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What in the heck! I can't believe they weren't going to comp anything at first! That does sound horrible! Sorry you had to go through that!

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Old 11-18-2012, 12:19 PM   #660
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A rat!?! Now I didn't see THAT coming. Personally, I don't think I'd go there again. Ever. Because I've never heard the quote as, "It was all started with a rat".

And wilma-bride?

Whilst I loved the clip of Muppets Take Manhattan, I'm afraid your experience puts me more in mind of this episode of Fawlty Towers, a sitcom shown in the UK in the 70s
I totally agree with you!! Fawlty Towers= Hilarious.

This was a dining review for the ages.
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