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Old 10-09-2012, 08:41 AM   #31
blairzo
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Yummooo!

Everything looks so great! 29 days untill I am at F&W!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:36 AM   #32
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October 8th


Hi Guys! Sorry that I didn't have a chance to update yesterday! It was quite an action packed day and we ended up changing our evening plans. It was quite overcast with the threat of rain, so we decided to go to Jiko

Main Street Bakery


We started off our day in the best way possible! With pastries from the Main Street Bakery!



We shared a croissant, a cinnamon bun and an apple turnover. Each one of them was delicious


Liberty Tree Tavern


We checked in quite early for our 11:30 reservation and we were offered the chance to open the restaurant. However, we have opened Liberty Tree before and decided to pass the chance on to another family

We started the meal with the Crab & Spinach Dip


This has changed dramatically from April! It was served in a shallow dish with parmesan cheese on top, and it was heated! The accompaniment was pita bread.

This time it was cold and served in a hollowed out potato scallion loaf. WOW! This was so much better! The bread was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The dip had huge lumps of crab and bits of onion and pepper. The seasoning was like a cross between thousand islands dressing and old bay. We loved this! The portion was also very generous.

For lunch, we all had the Pilgrim's Feast


Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving, so turkey was necessary! And for those that read my thread on the Liberty Tree Gravy, I am pleased to report that it is back to "normal". There was no sweetness or orange tinge. It had bits of turkey, was nice and savoury and had a lovely poultry flavor.

Well, we are off to Epcot for World Showcase opening! Time for more Food & Wine!

I'll update later tonight with Jiko pictures!
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #33
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I'm enjoying ur review so far & u are really making me wish we had booked for F&W. This is making me hungry.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #34
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Great reviews and photos!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:55 PM   #35
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I am loving your F&W pics and reviews! My DH is dying for that pork slider... only 30 days!
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #36
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Well, you said you'd be hitting up a lot of the booths - thank you so much for reporting back already, as everything looks fantastic! I'd especially like to try the mushroom filet, griddled Greek cheese, tuna poke, chocolate lava cake, and even the Irish cheese plate (cheddar is one of my favorite cheeses, and I still often have issues with more pungent cheeses like goat or blue, so it's okay with me if the Dubliner is similar).
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blairzo View Post
Everything looks so great! 29 days untill I am at F&W!!
You'll love it! This is one of the best F&W we've attended so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2012 View Post
I'm enjoying ur review so far & u are really making me wish we had booked for F&W. This is making me hungry.
Aww, well there is always next year! Food & Wine really is our favorite time to visit WDW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John's Mom View Post
Great reviews and photos!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roma View Post
I am loving your F&W pics and reviews! My DH is dying for that pork slider... only 30 days!
Oh the pork slider was fantastic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Well, you said you'd be hitting up a lot of the booths - thank you so much for reporting back already, as everything looks fantastic! I'd especially like to try the mushroom filet, griddled Greek cheese, tuna poke, chocolate lava cake, and even the Irish cheese plate (cheddar is one of my favorite cheeses, and I still often have issues with more pungent cheeses like goat or blue, so it's okay with me if the Dubliner is similar).
I wasn't kidding! We've hit 10 booths, and we plan to try 12 or 13 more in the next few days Heck, maybe I can even hit all the booths before I go
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:42 AM   #38
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October 8th (Part 2)


Our original plan for the evening of the 8th was to go to Epcot and enjoy Food & Wine. The problem is that the weather network was calling for rain and the radar looked pretty awful.

So we decided to cancel our Via Napoli reservation and make one for...

Jiko

We arrived at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at 7:45 and checked in for our 7:50 reservation. I asked the woman at the podium if Dawn, our favorite server, was working and she confirmed that she was. I asked her to check Dawn's section and see if we would be able to be seated there. She checked for availability, and informed me that we would be able to be seated in her section but it would be a bit of a wait.

That was perfectly fine and we decided to head up to Victoria Falls Lounge and have a cocktail while we waited.

I'd say we were in the lounge for about 20 minutes before our buzzer went off and we proceeded back to Jiko.

As our hostess led us through the restaurant I noticed we were walking past Dawn's section so I stopped our hostess and asked if Dawn was indeed our server. She looked quite confused and said no, she wasn't.

We walked back to the podium area and after some clarification we were informed that none of Dawn's tables were available, and that they wouldn't clear for 45 minutes to an hour.

Now, at this point we were already 20 minutes past our reservation time. What upset us was not the wait, but the lack of communication. I had asked the hostess to check the section for this exact reason. The hostess also seemed rather disinterested and gave us two options: wait 45 minutes to an hour, or be seated elsewhere. No explanation was offered as to why were were told we could be seated in the section when we checked in.

We asked to speak to a manager, to clarify what exactly had happened. We've noticed at Disney that managers tend to like to brush off any issues until you press the matter (firmly and politely). At first, the manager insisted that there was no way we could be seated in Dawn's section and that it must have been a misunderstanding on my part. The manager claimed that the hostess must not have checked the section for availability. I corrected her and stated that I watched the hostess check the section myself.

Then the manager explained that one table HAD been seated for an hour af 15 minutes and that they were taking a bit longer than expected, but we could still expect to wait about 40 minutes, which would be a total wait of an hour from the time we checked in.

Finally, the manager admitted that it was the hostess that made the mistake, not that we had misunderstood and offered us some appetizers. A table also miraculously opened about 10 minutes later.

Place Setting


We started with the Crispy Beef Bobotie Rolls


These are one of our favorites, though DDad could not partake in them this time around He has a white fish allergy and the swordfish entree included a fried squash blossom stuffed with confit swordfish. The risk of cross contamination was far too high.

We tried a new item to the menu at the suggestion of the manager. The Pork Belly Salad with Arugula, Mache, Frisee, Fire-roasted corn and Almond Crisps.



This was phenomenal! Salad really isn't the right description, it really was pork belly with a few greens. The pork belly melted in your mouth and the salad was the perfect compliment. The almond crisps were amazing! It was brik, which is like a slightly thicker phyllo, filled with almond butter and baked.


As always, the bread is outstanding. Or rather, the tandoori butter is outstanding! To quote Guy Fieri, you could put that on a flip flop and it would taste great!

When the manager discovered the cross contaimination issue with the bobotie rolls, she sent over Realan's Duck Confit Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Berbere-spiced Oranges and Balsamic Reduction.


Wow! This really packed a punch. The heat was up front from the berbere spice and the orange and goat cheese smoothed it out. The duck confit was rich and tender and the perfect topping. We loved this!

For my entree, I had the newest version of the Short Ribs: West African Braised Short Ribs with Roasted Peanuts, Roasted Vegetables (Carrots, Potatoes and Pearl Onions) and Tomato Demi-glace


Wonderful! I have had pretty much every version of the short ribs on the Jiko menu and I think this was my favorite. It really was all about the short rib. The vegetables added nice texture and sweetness and the peanuts were crunchy and earthy. The tomato demi-glace was so good I wanted to lick the plate clean!

DMom had the Grilled Swordfish with Roasted Vegetables, Ginger Vinaigrette and Romesco Sauce with Toasted Pine Nuts


She loved this! She asked for the Romesco sauce on the side, but ended up using the majority of it. The deep fried squash blossom (or the offending squash blossoms as DMom called them, because they prevented DDad from enjoying the bobotie rolls) were amazing! Crunchy, salty and savoury.

DDad had Sikhumbuzo's Peri Peri Chicken with Herb-crushed Potatoes, French Beans, Mango Sambal and Onion Jus


DMom typically orders this and DDad thought he would give it a try. He thought it was fantastic, but a bit too rich as he is usually used to having just a bite or two of DMom's.

For dessert, DMom and DDad shared the Madagascar Vanilla Cheesecake with Strawberry-Rhubard Compote and Chocolate Graham Crust


Wow! Light and airy, with a sweet and tart sauce and a sweet chocolate-graham crust. The little shards in the cheesecake were dehydrated rhubarb and both DMom and DDad devoured them.

And I had the Chocolate and Tea Safari with Vanilla Rooibos-Tanzanian Chocolate Cake, Free Form "Kit Kat", and Green Tea Ice Cream


I tried this in April and fell in love. I never would have guessed that green tea and chocolate were such a lovely pairing. The free form kit kat is very intense, and almost salty and sweet.

Overall, a fantastic meal.

I have F&W reviews and a meal at California Grill coming up. Today we are going to Flame Tree BBQ, F&W and Via Napoli!
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #39
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Great Jiko review! I'm sorry about the incident with the host, but at least the food really made up for it. I absolutely loved both of those desserts for very similar reasons, and your other food (especially the duck confit flatbread) looks fantastic. The peri peri chicken is my mom's favorite entree at Jiko - we both love it because it tastes authentically South African (where my mom is from).
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:30 PM   #40
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Talking

Subbing!! Soooo glad to see a F&W report!! Helps to decide if we'll do WDW during F&W!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:28 PM   #41
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Back from Vacation - New Fantasyland Pictures!!

Hi everyone! I'm back home and while I am sad the vacation is over it was amazing! Yesterday I was lucky enough to be a part of the Fantasyland expansion "dress rehearsal"!!

DMom and I went to MK for rope drop and we noticed a huge number of managers wandering around the park.

At about 8:30 I stopped by the entrance to the Fantasyland expansion and asked if there was any chance of an Enchanted Tales with Belle preview. The CM said nothing official was scheduled, but keep checking back.

At around 9:30 we stopped by the area again and there were about 100 people in line along the construction wall. We decided to take our chances and hop in line. At about 9:40 a manager named Peter let us all know there was "nothing official" scheduled and that we all might be waiting for nothing.

At 9:45 another manager walked the line, counting the number of people waiting. Then I noticed Deb from AllEars and some people from Inside The Magic, Orlando Attractions, Touring Plans etc. The couple behind us mentioned that they knew someone in Fantasyland operations that had mentioned the possibility of the entire expansion soft opening at 10.

At 9:55 managers began walking the line again and asked everyone to walk calmly and to have a great time!

At 10:00, they let us in!! It was absolutely surreal! The area is breathtaking and the detail is amazing. DMom and I were among the first 20 guests to ride The Little Mermaid! Here are some pictures and there is even 1 food pic for relevance (LeFou's Brew!)













































Continued in next post!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:34 PM   #42
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Upcoming...October/November 2014 - AKL
Blog: WDW Destination Blog Twitter:@wdwdestination Instagram: WDWDestination
CURRENT DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! May 2014~
CURRENT TR: ~Without knowing why, they always say "We must go!" May 2014~
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:44 PM   #43
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It's so cool that you were one of the first guests to experience the Little Mermaid attraction! Everything in the Fantasyland expansion looks beautiful, especially Be Our Guest and the Little Mermaid queue.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:49 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
It's so cool that you were one of the first guests to experience the Little Mermaid attraction! Everything in the Fantasyland expansion looks beautiful, especially Be Our Guest and the Little Mermaid queue.
The Little Mermaid queue is the most impressive queue I've ever seen! The detail and theme is so intricate and immersive that it is hard to describe!

They opened Be Our Guest for guests to see today so no luck seeing it, but I'm hoping to dine there in December

I also have Food & Wine pics coming up!
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:24 PM   #45
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Wow!!! that's so awesme that you were able to preview FLE!! How was Le Fou's brew? (What is it? )

Your F&W tour of all the booths makes we really really want to book an October trip. I remembered reading about your exchange with your DD about last minute dining reservations - too funny!!
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