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Old 09-06-2005, 12:53 AM   #1
jgreen
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TS Dining Reviews - Day 3 & 4

CAST – DH (45) Loves most all foods
DW (41) Likes most foods, but leans toward seafood & LOVES wings
DS (11) Pretty picky eater, mostly sticks to burgers & nuggets
DD (8) Also picky, but can surprise you sometimes!


8/28 Kona Café

DH – Kona Chowder
Char Crusted Medallions of Filet Mignon
Lapu Lapu (x2)
Kiluea Torte


DW – Sticky Wings
Macadamia Mahi Mahi
Lapu Lapu

DS – Shrimp & Scallops
Coke

DD – Small Kona Salad
Kids burger
Sprite
Kiddie Cone

We ended up taking the bus over to the Poly from our day at the Animal Kingdom. We took a while to look around the resort and to pick up a couple of items from the gift shop. The Poly is definitely a beautiful resort, and I have to say that we will probably choose between here and the Contemporary for our next stay. That is unless we hit the lottery, in which case we will be at the GF.

At check in we were just a few minutes early, but were seated immediately. I tell you after a busy day at AK I was primed for the Lapu Lapu. Once seated our server greeted us and we placed our drink orders while perusing the menu for our appetizers. After he returned with the drinks we ordered the Sticky Wings, Kona Chowder and a small Kona Salad.

Our appetizers were brought out within a couple of minutes and we ordered our main courses before digging in. I’ll just say now that this was another of our Top 3. The appetizers were extremely good, especially the Kona Chowder. I shared this with DW and DD and everyone agreed that this was one of the best soups we have ever had. The seafood is very plentiful and the creamy broth is nothing short of divine. The other appetizers were extremely good, but the chowder was King.

The main courses did not disappoint either. My steak was done just right. Char crusted was an apt description. It was seared perfectly on the outside, but done to a beautiful medium rare on the inside. The accompanying smashed potatoes were also wonderful. Everyone else was delighted with their entrees, but DS wouldn’t eat the scallops because of the “sauce”. This was case of Mr. Picky Eater not feeling experimental at the time. Believe me, it did not break my heart to split the scallops with the wife. We both enjoy seafood immensely, and these scallops did not disappoint.

Once the main courses were completed we took a short breather while contemplating dessert. The meal was so filling, but yet the desserts looked SO good. They have a line-up of the desserts under glass covers for display, and even though we were quite full everyone but DW decided to try dessert, although DS and DD opted to split a kiddie cone. There was really no “kiddie” about it though. This was a pleasure to look at as well as eat. It was a nice waffle cone cemented to the plate with chocolate and filled with both vanilla and chocolate ice cream and topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry. The kids loved it. My Kiluea Torte was also a decadent treat. Once I cut into it with my fork warm chocolate oozed out, Volcano style, hence the name. I would rate this as my favorite dessert of the trip.

Grades – FOOD = A
SERVICE = A

8/29 Olivia’s Café

DH – Blue Lump Crab Cakes
Catch of the Day
Key West Ale (x2)
Espresso

DW – Island Wings
Filet Mignon & Chimi Churri Shrimp
Turtle Krawl

DS – Tigger’s Cheeseburger
Coke
Chocolate Earthquake

DD – Mickey’s Spaghetti & Meatball
Coke
Little Brownie Sundae

Here is a hidden gem. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this meal even though it was not one of Top 3. It was just that some places were so great that this one dropped down the list. It was probably Number 4 though, and definitely Number 1 for the wings. Funny story on that later.

We arrived a bit early and decided to look around the grounds a bit first. A really nice resort. Following our mini tour we popped into the Gurgling Suitcase for a pre-dinner drink. We ordered a Rum Runner and a Turtle Krawl. The bartender was on a short break so a manager made the drink. He wasn’t real familiar with the drinks so he added a little extra booze. Not a problem in my book. The drinks were splendid. We sat and enjoyed the cocktails while catching up on the Katrina story on The Weather Channel. It made us feel a little guilty sitting there in such an idyllic surrounding enjoying drinks while so many suffered. My daughter, who is such a little humanitarian and wants to be a veterinarian, was especially heartbroken with the situation.

After the drinks we checked in and were seated immediately. It was not really busy at all at this point, I think maybe only two other tables were occupied. Appetizers ordered were the wings & crab cakes. They were both very good, but especially the wings. They were not in the same kind of Buffalo Wing style as in most places. The sauce was very unique, but not spicy. The wife likes spicy as I had mentioned in my post of Day 1 & 2 dining reviews, but she really enjoyed the flavor of these wings. With a little “kick” of Tabasco these were her favorite wings of the trip.

Main courses were also superior. DW’s entrée was a special that night and consisted of Filet Mignon and Chimi Churri Shrimp. The steak was done a perfect medium rare and the shrimp were of the 16/20 size per pound, and there were about 9 I think. Chimi Churri sauce has garlic, jalapeno, red wine, olive oil and a little oregano and parsley. Very, very tasty!

My catch of the Day was Grouper with crispy leeks, spinach and a white bean puree. The fish was impeccably fresh and the accompanying sides were very good. I was definitely a member of the Clean Plate Club on this occasion.

My son was just really in the mood for a cheeseburger this night and my daughter is always a big fan of pasta, so they were both pleased with their selections and finished all.

For dessert I was too full for anything but our server offered coffee or espresso instead and I gladly accepted the espresso. The kids were up for sweets though and DD had the kids brownie sundae and and DS had the Chocolate Earthquake. DS may be picky about his meals but is always up for Chocolate (insert descriptive phrase here). Since we were on vacation we allowed the kids a little more latitude when it came to dessert. They still had to finish a reasonable amount of their main courses to qualify however.

Here’s the funny part of when we were getting ready for dessert though. DW still had a couple of wings left, and when the server was inquiring about dessert DW said she was just going to take a little breather and have her last couple of wings as dessert. We’re not sure what happened, but somehow our server must have misunderstood and cleared the plate with the wings along with all of the others. It happened so fast that I did not even notice. DW said she saw what was going on, but before she could speak up our server had turned away and was headed for the kitchen. It was almost like a wing three card monte game. All through the kids eating dessert and me enjoying my espresso I heard how great the wings were, and how she wished she still had those last two. I offered to grab another order to take back to the resort, but the wife said that she would feel too awkward.

Again, I highly recommend this for dinner, and I presume lunch, but it just barely fell out out of the Top 3 based on the strength of the other contenders. It was a nice quiet and delicious dinner with tremendous service.

Grades – FOOD = A
SERVICE = A+ (I’m sure the wing deal was an honest misunderstanding).

Counter Service reviews – Part 1 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=908941

Counter Service reviews – Part 2 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=908944

TS Dining Reviews – Day 1 & 2 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=904417

TS Dining Reviews – Day 5 & 6 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=904615

TS Dining Reviews – Day 7 & 8 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=905161

TS Dining Reviews – Day 9 & 10 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=905429

Last edited by jgreen; 09-11-2005 at 04:45 PM. Reason: added links to other reviews
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:00 AM   #2
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Kona Cafe sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:02 AM   #3
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Enjoyed reading your reviews ~ Thanx for posting.
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:26 AM   #4
DanaHesson
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How difficult was it to get to Olivia's?

Did you use park transportation or did you drive? We were initially considering this restaurant, but because of the location, I deleted it from the running. After your reviews, I am reconsidering. Which park is it closest to? TIA for the info!
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:09 AM   #5
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I am really enjoying your reviews, and all the detail you include.

Kona Cafe is one of our favorite restaurants too, and we always make sure we save a little room for their yummy desserts!

We don't get a lot of reviews for Olivia here on the boards, so thank you for sharing your experience there with us.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:16 AM   #6
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We love Kona. It is definately on our Top Three. That Kona Chowder is so rich & heavenly - To die for.

I'll have to try Olivia's. It sounds very good.

(BTW, the closest Park to OKW is actually DTD - there is a boat to & from DTD to OKW - it leaves from The Marketplace area)
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:54 AM   #7
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The reviews are terrific! Thank you!

I am wondering now if we should go to Kona instead of O'Hana. We aren't interested in the children's games, and the food sounds better at Kona. Does anyone have an opinion?
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Old 09-06-2005, 09:54 AM   #8
jgreen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaHesson
Did you use park transportation or did you drive? We were initially considering this restaurant, but because of the location, I deleted it from the running. After your reviews, I am reconsidering. Which park is it closest to? TIA for the info!
We drove to Olivia's. We used our rental car about half of the time we were there. It really depended on what park we were going to and if we planned on staying at just one park for the day. The car was handy when we were park hopping, or if we were dining at one of the resort hotels.

Olivia's is very close to the visitor parking area at OKW. Also as mentioned DTD is closest to OKW, but Epcot and MGM aren't all that far either.
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:09 AM   #9
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So that would make Olivia's ...

A decent choice for either an Epcot or MGM park day?
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaHesson
A decent choice for either an Epcot or MGM park day?
Yes, I would think so. I couldn't really remember which park we did visit that day, but after pulling out some receipts I see that we did spend the day at MGM.

We took the bus to and from MGM that day. I think we left MGM to go back to AKL at around 4:00 or so, and after freshening up took the car to Olivia's.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:29 AM   #11
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We feel the same exact way about the Kona Cafe, that you do! As of right now, it's the Disney restaurant that we have dined at the most often. We do enjoy the castle for dinner too, but I think we'd vote the Kona Cafe as #1 right now.

LoveWDW: According to what you've said, I'd recommend the Kona Cafe to you I have pictures from the Kona Cafe on my web site, if you care to check them out There are pictures of the "volcano" cake and the Kiddie Cone, as described by jgreen, above!
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