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Old 12-21-2004, 03:44 PM   #1
A Feminist Princess...tiaras and equality for all!
Misses the noodles at O'Hana's
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Location: Austin, TX
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Couples Holiday Trip: Dining Reviews, Days 5, 6, & 7

Last installment of our dining reviews from our trip (12/11-12/17)! My hubby (Bender) and I traveled with another couple (Shannon and Stephan)

Wednesday: Epcot and MGM

Lunch: Backlot Express
Because we grabbed a snack at Epcot (another cup of goulash soup and pretzel to share- you can read my rave reviews of this here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=700232), we weren’t hungry until 2:00. We had just popped over to MGM and stopped at the Backlot Express. It was just Bender and me today (Shannon and Stephan were touring Epcot more), and we both felt like a hotdog. We spent close to $20 for 2 hotdogs and fries, a beer, and a hot tea (still cold this day). It was good, as far as hotdogs go, but I really feel like we get more for our money in the full-service places. But, we were more interested this day in making sure we saw the attractions we wanted to than sitting down for a nice meal. Plus, we knew we had Spoodles planned for the evening.
I actually didn’t see too many great options at this counter service. If I had to choose again, I’d probably take the Commissary over this place.

Dinner: Spoodles (PS at 8:00)
This was our official “date night” that we had planned for when scheduling the trip. Shannon and Stephan really wanted to try Artist Point, but Bender and I have been there quite a few times in the past, and really wanted to go back to Spoodles this trip. I have Lebanese ancestry and love Mediterranean food. We also love ordering tapas.
Even though our PS was for 8:00, we arrived around 7:30 and were seated immediately. I ordered the sangria and Bender had the Spoodle-rita- both were great drinks (and fairly potent!). Ordering from the tapas menu, we got the Mediterranean dip sampler and the Spoodles sampler platter. The dips were hummus, baba ghanoush, tzatziki, a feta cheese dip, and a spicier one with cilantro- all were great and served with pita triangles. We’ve tried to make the feta dip ourselves before, and never had the courage to use as much garlic as they do. It’s fantastic, but I’m glad we both partook! The dips are also served with green and kalamata olives marinated with almond slivers. Really great!
The sampler platter had 2 of everything- lamb skewers (marinated with oregano and olive oil- very good), potata keftedakia (almost like a latke), fried grouper on a bed of pureed sweet peas, lamb cigars (spiced lamb mixture inside a roll of fillo dough- so tasty), and more tzatziki and olives.
We ordered dessert and coffee at the end. The cappuccinos here are fantastic! Just the right consistency of strong coffee, milk and foam with cinnamon on the top. Perfect end to the meal. I ordered the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, which was the perfect size for one. Very smooth cheesecake with fresh bananas and a cream caramel sauce over top. Loved it! Almost rivals the banana’s napoleon next door at the Flying Fish. Bender got some double chocolate biscotti for his cappuccino, which was also good.
We thought this meal was very affordable for WDW ($65 total, including alcoholic drinks, desserts and coffee). Austin TX doesn’t have great Mediterranean food, so we’ll continue to return to this place each trip.

Thursday: MK

Breakfast: Boatwright’s
This was a leisurely morning for us, since Bender and I went to Pleasure Island the night before, returning to our room around 1:00am. Shannon and Stephan were also taking it easy because Shannon had developed a bit of a cold from the cool weather. So we decided to take a nice, leisurely walk up from the French Quarter up to Riverside to have breakfast at Boatwright’s. Someone here had recommended their eggs benedict as the best on property, so I already knew what I’d be ordering before we got there.
No PS, but we were seated within 5 minutes (I love going during the off season!). Our server was “earning her ears,” but was fantastic. We all had coffee (except Shannon who had hot tea), and it was definitely above the Nescafe variety. (I had at least 3 cups to counteract my Pleasure Island hang-over). Bender and Stephan both had the Boatwright’s Breakfast (2 eggs, potatoes, bacon, and toast)- better than the average IHOP, they reported. Shannon had the Crescent City toast, which looked amazing- French baguettes dipped and fried up like French toast with cinnamon sugar. She loved it! The eggs benedict was really good. Poached eggs were perfect consistency, on grilled ham and an English muffin, and fresh hollandaise sauce. Brunch is one of my favorite things, so this was a great meal. It would be nice if POFQ still had a full service restaurant, but since it was a quite morning, I really didn’t mind the walk to Riverside. And they’re X-mas decorations were beautiful- white magnolias everywhere!

Dinner: Liberty Tree Tavern (PS at 4:10)
We scheduled an early dinner today because of MVMCP that evening. Shannon and Stephan had friends who had arrived that day, so they joined us for dinner. All 6 of us were seated immediately and given salad and fresh rolls with whipped honey butter. I thought these rolls were even better than the bread at the Hoop De Doo, and the honey butter the best I’ve ever had. The salad was only OK- a bit wilted, I think from too much dressing. If I had to do it over again, I might ask for dressing on the side (but I didn’t want to seem too picky since I was just meeting this new couple).
The character interaction here was good, but not as good, I think, as the princess breakfast. But maybe this is because the princesses actually talked to us. Pluto was wonderful and came around many times to “pick on” us adults. Minnie was very flirtatious with the boys, and Chip and Dale were very funny, swinging ponytails and telling us to eat more food. I thought that it was interesting that we were approached by a woman who told us that we could make specific requests from the characters in terms of pictures. We didn’t take her up on it, but this would be nice for a family.
The dinner was served family style, and there was plenty of food to go around. The meat platter had roast beef (a little dry), turkey (fine), and ham (the best of the three, served with a honey mustard sauce). The platter also had stuffing, Stouffers I assume since they sponsor the restaurant. The mashed potatoes were very good, as were the cooked carrots. The dessert was apple crumble with vanilla ice cream, also pretty good.
After all of our excellent dinners this week, this one kind of paled in comparison (whether it’s a fair comparison or not). If I had to do dinner again in the MK, I might try to book Cinderella’s again. Like my dinner at the Crystal Palace on a past trip, I didn’t think this meal was very interesting, and it still cost as much as our dinner the previous night at Spoodles. But, it was nice for a bigger group, and kept us in the park for MVMCP.

Friday: Departure Day

We finally went down to the food court to try the famous beignets. We left happy but also with powdered sugar covering our shirts! I’m not a huge donut fan, and this seemed sort of like a square, puffed up donut with no hole. But it was tasty, as fried dough and sugar goes (and I’m not knocking either!). Coffee was Nescafe- no comment.

Lunch: Earl of Sandwich
We decided to get some X-mas shopping done on our final day, and grabbed lunch at the Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney, based on favorable reviews posted here. Great place! Really good lunch food and excellent prices! Bender had the Full Montagu - roast beef and turkey with cheddar and swiss cheese, romaine lettuce, tomato and English mustard sauce, and I had the Florentine - grilled chicken breast with creamed spinach, sautéed mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Both were excellent (although I had to do a through spinach-teeth check after the meal). We split a side salad with champagne vinaigrette dressing and an Earl Gray lemonade. I love the mixture of tea and lemonade- ingenious!

Dinner: Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory
Because we did the DVC tour earlier in the day (loved this! Didn’t buy, but I think we will in the next few years), we received some quick and casual meal vouchers that we used for a quick dinner before the town car picked us up for the airport. Hooray for free dinner!
I had the chicken and rib combo with mashed potatoes and greens on the side. The ribs were good, although not comparable to the Hoop De Doo, as was the chicken. The greens, surprisingly, were excellent! Better than the ones I had a few weeks ago at Threadgill’s here in Austin (famous local place for Southern food). Bender had the ribs also. Stephan had the chicken jambalaya and loved it. Shannon had the chicken. There was plenty of food on everyone’s dish, and we thought that even if we had paid for the meal, we would have been satisfied with the price.

Well, that’s it! We had a wonderful trip and actually came in $85 under budget (I think because we skipped a few lunches and just did snacks. Dole Whips and Mickey bars are just too good to pass up!). I’m glad we tried some new places (Boma’s, Le Cellier, Cinderella’s, Boatwright’s) and had time to return to our favorites (Hoop De Doo, Spoodles). Thanks for reading!

FYI- previous days can be found on these threads:
Days 1 & 2: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=700048
Days 3 & 4: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=700232
“Discovery consists in seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.”

December 2004

Last edited by rcyannacci; 12-21-2004 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 12-21-2004, 03:49 PM   #2
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Great Reviews and I now wish my name was Bender. It's such a great name!
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:37 AM   #3

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Great reviews ~ Thanx for sharing.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:57 AM   #4
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Great reports, but shhhhhhh...don't tell anybody about Spoodles. It's a hidden treasure and us fans need to keep it hidden!
"If you don't know where you're going...any road will take you there."
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:01 PM   #5
A Feminist Princess...tiaras and equality for all!
Misses the noodles at O'Hana's
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Originally Posted by Annie&Hallie'sMom
Great reports, but shhhhhhh...don't tell anybody about Spoodles. It's a hidden treasure and us fans need to keep it hidden!

Oops! Nevermind, folks. It's only so-so
“Discovery consists in seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.”

December 2004
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Old 12-23-2004, 08:35 AM   #6

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Great reviews - Thanks for the reports!
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