17 nights of nom nom noms - April 2013 Hannikins eats Orlando

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Hannikins, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Narcoossee's - Grand Floridian - Dinner
    I was really looking forward to this meal, mainly because I hoped to watch wishes from the verandah. Adam was looking forward to it as well, but mainly for the lobster and steak combo!

    This was the meal we'd picked to celebrate our anniversary, 10 years together. So I started the celebrations off with a cocktail, A frozen margarita to be exact.

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    It was a strong one, much more so than the ones we were used to in the parks so be warned, I managed it though :D

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    Adam wasn't in a cocktail mood, either that or nothing came in a girlie enough glass! so he went with a bottled beer

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    Once we had ordered the bread service arrived

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    The bread was warm but nothing really special. The butter however was very delicious.

    Adam was saving room for his lobster tail so I was going solo on the apps. I went with the cheese plate

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    It looks like a small plate but it was just enough for an app, with just the right portion of each cheese for you to appreciate the flavour combinations on offer. The Bayley Hazen Blue, with it's drizzle of honey was my favourite :)

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    The mains were served quickly afterwards.

    Adam, as expected, had gone for the lobster with the strip.

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    We knew that the lobster tails were frozen but that didn't make them chewy as I had expected, still a pretty good lobster tail even if not fresh. The strip was standard fair but a little rarer than we had requested. I took a particular liking to the creamy potatoes this dish came with so those soon made their way to my plate :D

    I went with the fillet on it's own. I had been expecting this to be served with potatoes and green beans as I'd seen on other dishes, but instead I got this.

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    I have no idea what 'that' is. Despite many internet searches I can't find a description or a breakdown of what it is, if anyone knows I would love to know!I 'think' it was a risotto... but I can't be sure, it could be lumpy mash! Either way I wasn't keen. The reduction was very harsh and I disliked the aftertaste. I managed all my fillet and Adam's potatoes but left most of everything else.

    For dessert Adam opted for the Coconut & Chocolate Creme Brulee.

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    this was very rich and creamy with a strong taste of coconut, which we liked. It was a little too rich to finish though.

    I went for the signature dessert, the almond crusted cheesecake

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    unfortunately it didn't live up to it's hype for me. It felt like it had just come from the freezer, the almonds having that slightly frozen edge to them. I know they make the desserts in advance but this one felt like it hadn't set long enough, I like my cheesecake at room temp! I ended up eating all of the fruit and cream but little of the cheesecake. Eating the accompaniment instead of the headliner, that's never a good thing! On a positive note the piece of cheesecake I did try was creamy and light.

    I don't think my reaction was all the desserts fault though, I was rather full!

    Interestingly the cheese plate is also on the dessert menu so if I had waited I could have had that instead, and probably would have enjoyed the meal overal more, oh well I know for next time!

    SCORING
    Atmosphere - 10/10 - Lovely! the restaurant was a little dark but the option of viewing wishes from the verandah made up for it

    Quality - 9/10 - Even though we disliked some of it the quality of the food itself couldn't be questioned

    Presentation - 10/10 - Couldn't fault it

    Service - 8/10 - ok, the server was very helpful but it felt forced and a chore at times

    Overall Experience 9/10 - A nice meal but some bad choices on our part let it down

    BEST DISH
    The cheese plate

    COST
    The bill came to $203.08 including tax & tip
     
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  3. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Boulangerie Les Halles - France Pavilion - Epcot
    We ate at the old Boulangerie back in 2009 so I was eager to return, mainly to get the Jambon Beurre again as it was so yummy and secondly to try some of the desserts I'd heard about

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    Jambon Beurre
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    The sandwich was just as good as I remember, the bread being the highlight. It's not the best Jambon Beurre I've ever had (that honor goes to Épicerie Boulud, NYC) but as an escape from the heavy fat laden food we'd eaten so far this was a VERY welcome change!

    Napoleon
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    I had originally gazed in wonder at the flaky masterpiece that once commanded attention at the old bakery but was disappointed when earlier in the year it was replaced with a more generic version found elsewhere on property. Nevertheless I decided I should still give it a try!

    I was surprised at how flaky it still was and the cream inside was AMAZING! I don't care if this is no longer unique. The more places you can get it the better!
     
  4. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Liberty Inn - America Pavilion - Epcot

    I had near really considered eating at this pavilion, after all we were staying for 2 weeks in a HUGE american pavilion, there were lots of places to sample the cuisine. However we found ourselves in need of a burger while in world showcase and this seemed the obvious choice.

    1/3 Angus Smokehouse Burger
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    Served with BBQ pulled pork, fried onion rings and American cheese

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    ok so it looks messy but this really was a pretty good burger. The bun held firm against the juicy pulled pork and the patty itself was superior to those we;d had elsewhere on property

    Smores Brownie

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    ok, I know what your thinking, that's a brownie with a turd on top, be seriously, this was one tasty brownie. The centre contained marshmallow and although the brownie was a little dry the frosting made up for it.
     
  5. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Build your own treat @ Goofy’s Candy Co, Downtown Disney
    This was the treat I made last night as a morning surprise for Adam. Here's the 'unveiling'

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    He couldn't believe how big it was! Head sized!

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    When they had first made the treat I had thought the starting crispy base looked rather small but once it had been dipped in milk chocolate a few times, covers in m&m's and drizzled in white chocolate it was a bit of a mouthful!

    We tried sharing it but this in itself is rather difficult as it's not easy to cut into! we gave up and just took bites each in the end!

    The crispy cake was lovely and gooey, covered in melted marshmellow. I couldn't really distingish the milk from the white chocolate but both were creamy and melt in the mouth. I'm glad I picked the m&m's they made a colourful treat and tasted rather good to.

    Overall an amazing treat. I wish I could make these myself!
     
  6. Terpgirl79

    Terpgirl79 Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait for more!!!
     
  7. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    more on the way!
     
  8. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    [​IMG]


    Our server took us to our table and presented us with our personalised menu. She checked that everything was correct, including the spelling of our surname, which was bob on for a change.

    She also brought over a lovely little stool for my bag and cardi

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    Next, out came our second server who handed over TWO more menus. One was a wine list, and the other a WATER list, now this was a completely new one on us!

    We went for the free option. Never has filtered tap water been described with so many words :pgig:

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    After placing our food order we sat and discussed the wine list in hushed whispers, it was hard not to whisper, it was so quiet and we were the only ones in the place!

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    Then our amuse bouche arrived

    Crab roulade with Siberian Osetra caviar, salmon cube cooked three ways, and verrine of avocado, crab and tomato gelee.
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    The crab and salmon were very nice, the ‘verrine’? revolting, it was NOT pleasant, I wish I hadn’t left that one until the end! I think it was the mixed textures of jelly and soft avocado (which I dislike most of the time anyway!). Our favourite was the crab, I could have happily eaten a larger portion of this as an appetiser.

    Next came the first of the famous bread courses

    Hand rolled French baguette with European-style butter
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    Just your standard baguette to be honest, nice and warm though. Unlike some of the restaurants we visited on this trip the butters, even the simple ones like this were very special.

    Then it was the turn of cold appetizers, we both had the same

    Masago Crusted Gulf Shrimp with Ponzu Vinaigrette.
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    I don’t usually like large shrimps as I find them rubbery but this was very nice. The only bit I disliked were the noodles, they were stone cold and they got a little sloppy after a while. It was all balanced on a 'cracker' which was a mixture of rice cracker and sesame cracker, it had a hint of sugary sweetness to it which went well with the coating on the shrimp itself

    Next the warm appetizer course

    Adam had: Diver Scallop with Zellwood Corn Ragout.
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    It was only one scallop but it was a big fella! I really liked the corn ragout as well, it had a creamed corn consistency which coated the scallop very well.

    I had: Alaskan Halibut with yellow tomato bouillon and almonds
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    OH MY LORD!

    This thing was PERFECTION, never have I tasted something so ripe and flavoursome. I have no idea what they did to get tomatoes to taste like that but it was HEAVEN. Our server heard me exclaiming how amazing it was and said it was proving to be a popular dish with other guests as well. The fish was equally amazing, chunky and flaky all at the same time.

    Still recovering from perfection it was now time for the second bread course

    Black Truffle Brioche with Black Truffle Butter
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    We couldn’t detect the black truffle but it was a hell of a good brioche, I love savoury brioche and this was a good one, all the yummy buttery layers, yum!

    For the next course we again chose a different option each

    Adam had: Long Island Duck Breast and Sausage with Roasted Cauliflower
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    The breast was nice, well cooked juicy, but the sausage was very “gamey” and I wasn’t a fan. I like the cauliflower puree though, it went well with the duck.

    I had: Braised Oxtail and Cherry Ravioli with Roasted Red Peppers
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    I’d seen this on a food blog and knew I would choose this option. The peppers were a little none descript but the ravioli was yummy! It was more like a dumpling since it wasn’t pasta but the same thing dumplings are normally cooked in, very well seasoned inside though. You only get one ravioli but it was a large one and more than enough considering how rich the filling is.

    Moving on to the third and final bread course. I was surprised at how full I now felt, I was glad of the rest!

    Seeded Multigrain with Fleur de sal salted butter
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    A nice soft roll with the saltiest butter I’ve ever had, it was YUMMY!

    So here we were, finally, it was Entrée time!

    We both had the same thing: Onion Ash Crusted Niman Ranch Lamb with Sauce Soubise and Ramps
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    The lamb itself was very nice, again it came with a ‘sausage’ style of meat, this I did not care for, far too rich again. I did appreciate the sprouts though, I hadn’t had any since Christmas and they went surprisingly well with lamb.

    At this point one of our servers arrived and asked if we would be having coffee at the end of the meal since it took a while to brew. We were so he set it going tableside

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  9. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Next up was the ‘palette cleanser’

    Adam went for something traditional: White Chocolate Gelato with White Chocolate Shavings applied tableside
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    They added the shavings tableside just like they do parmesan, Adam was in no hurry to tell him to stop so he got a good pile. It was a small scoop but it was very creamy and just enough.

    Not to pass up on the opportunity I cleansed my palette with…. Cheese!

    Gouda Reypenaer XO, Parmigiano Reggiano, Sottocenere Al Tartufo, and Colston Bassett Stilton.
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    The gouda covered in honey was my favourite.

    After collecting our plates our server started setting up the coffee cups, by now all the water had evaporated into the top section with the ground coffee.

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    He removed the heater from under our coffee and on doing so all the filtered coffee ran from the top to the bottom section ready for pouring

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    It really was a marvellous invention, we want one for the kitchen, you can get them on ebay

    I think it’s a fabulous ‘show’ but the coffee wasn’t any better than the usual filtered coffee we have at home

    While we were enjoying our coffee our desserts arrived

    Adam had: Caramelized banana gateau on our servers recommendation
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    it was pure caramel HEAVEN, I wish I’d had a whole one all to myself. The decoration was crispy while the 'package was chewy. The caramel did overpower the banana a little bit though.

    I had: Meyer Lemon and blood orange purse with blackberry-violet sherbet
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    This was a great dessert, if you ate everything separately. I didn’t think it went particularly well when you heaped a bit of everything on your plate, especially when mixing the sherbet with anything

    We were now STUFFED

    But there was one final course…

    The bill :O

    Which was sugar coated with some ‘sweet endings’, a rose for me and a banana and walnut breakfast loaf to take home.

    fruit jelly, an almond & raspberry tart, and a dark chocolate candy filled with rum!
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    We had one of each, it would be rude not to! The rum chocolate was AMAZING! I didn’t think chocolate could taste ‘fresh’ but this one did.

    SCORING
    Atmosphere - 10/10 - Lovely! At first it was a little daunting as we were the only people in there but once we had settled down we appreciated the calm peace. The Harp player was also a highlight.

    Quality - 10/10 - Could not fault a single thing in terms of quality, it was simply amazing

    Presentation - 10/10 - Amazing! everything was well put together and unlike some top restaurants there wasn't to many gimmicks

    Service - 10/10 - ok so they are a little over the top at times, but you really can't fault their attention to detail or the care they give to each and every guest.

    Overall Experience 10/10 - Considering the price of other meals we had as 2 TS credit restaurants this was a bargain in comparison. We would definitely return one day.

    BEST DISH
    The Halibut

    COST
    The bill came to $395.50 including tax & tip
     
  10. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Artist's Palette - SSR

    Turkey and Brie Sandwich - Smoked Turkey, Brie Cheese, Fresh Arugula Spread, and Chambord-Cranberry Mayonnaise with House-made Chips or Vegetable Slaw
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    An interesting sandwich, it comes on 'toasted' bread but it was cold, I didn't realise at the time but all 'toasted' sandwiches we had any disney were cold, I don't get it.

    The turkey was of the pressed processed variety but it went well with the cranberry and brie.

    The chips were warm (warm chips, cold bread, the worlds gone topsy turvy!) and tasty, lovely and greasy like kettle chips!

    Pepperoni Flatbread
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    this didn't appear on any of the online menus I checked yet here it is! The flatbread was the same as those found elsewhere at the resort and although it was tasty we thought it expensive for what it was. Perhaps the fact that we make similar ones with warburton wraps at home raised our expectations :D

    Fruit Salad
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    Again pretty standard, today was rather humid and after days of sweet treats we were crying out for something fresh. This fruit pot certainly did this, the watermelon in particular was very juicy.

    Fresh Strawberries with cream

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    this doesn't look like much but the strawberries were HUGE! I loved the little pot of cream you get to dip them into. I usually have pouring cream with my strawberries but this felt far more indulgent!
     
  11. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Joining in! And loving your reviews! Great variety - from basic CS to V&A. :cool1:
     
  12. hardlabor

    hardlabor Mouseketeer

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    I have been patiently waiting for your V and A review and it did not disappoint! Any time I can re live our dinner there it is a treat! Thank you.
     
  13. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Crystal Palace - Magic Kingdom - Breakfast
    The purpose of this visit was two fold. We got some pictures of an almost empty mainstreet...

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    ...and I got to eat my body weight twice over in mickey waffles

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    I've only ever had mickey waffles once before, one of the large ones from a counter service place and I'd loved it! Pouring syrup into each crevice of the mickey face before devouring it piece by piece!

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    These little ones were on a whole over level, soft fresh and crunchy all at once, YUM! I didn't so much cover them in syrup, I drowned them in syrup mainly because syrup is served by the bowlful here!

    I also tried some of the more mainstream breakfast fare

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    All tasted nice, including the pancakes which were light and fluffy. The only thing I missed here was a fresh egg. I couldn't work out if they made them fresh to order or not?

    Throughout the meal our server offered us lots of didn't drinks choices. We stuck to orange juice and coffee so as not to over load the stomach, the chocolate milk did look yummy though!

    Anyway I was soon done and off to try some of the more 'CP specific' offerings. The poohs puff toast wasn't what I was expecting. They looked fluffy and I was expecting something similar to a fluffy doughnut, what I got was crunchy but not soft in the middle. I only managed one :D

    Next was the lasagne, now this is odd, similar to a trifle but waaaaaay too sweet, and without the booze I didn't see the point! :pgig:

    Since it was our anniversary we received a card signed by pooh and friends and some lovely table decorations.

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    We were lucky since we were sat at the 'start' of the character's route we pretty much saw all of them within 20 minutes.

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    SCORING
    Atmosphere - 10/10 - Great atmosphere, one of the very few places on site where there's disney magic by the bucket load! Some characters didn't interact much with us, just a photo and move on but I don't mind that. Tigger on the other hand wouldn't go away!

    Quality - 9/10 - I disliked some of the choices and I missed my egg. A plateful of mickey waffles more than made up for it though!

    Presentation - 10/10 - Sitting where we did clearly made a difference. I think I would have been more hacked off had we been waiting a long time for characters. There's only so many helpings of pancakes and waffles you can have while waiting

    Service - 10/10 - Our server Eneida was lovely, she kept our drinks filled up and everyone smiling throughout, a lovely lady!

    Overall Experience 10/10 - I always thought buffet breakfasts were expensive and not worth the hype but at $23 each I thought we got our monies worth in food and entertainment here!

    BEST DISH
    Mickey Waffles!

    COST
    The bill came to $48.97 plus tax & tip
     
  14. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Kona Cafe - Polynesian Resort - Dinner
    Having found Ohana to be overhyped last time we decided to try something different for our poly dinner this time.

    Kona Cafe was alot smaller than I thought but it was casual and opened out into the lobby and it's comings and goings. We were seated on the edge of the restaurants so we could see out and into the poly bar area.

    We passed on apps and instead enjoyed the yummy bread

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    it looked like a giant barmcake but it was much sweeter and fluffier than that.

    The butter it came with was heavenly. Lovely creamy goodness.

    We both opted for the speciality 'virgin' cocktail as part of the DDP offering

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    A "Sand in your pants" It's half Strawberry daiquiri and half pina colada.

    The heaviness of all the food so far was catching up with me so I opted for something a little lighter.

    the coconut almond chicken with seasonal salad

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    this was a stunning dish, one of my favourites of the holiday in fact. The strawberry, mango and almond pieces in the salad made it really interesting. The crispy chicken was covered in a zingy dressing which I think is the same one they use in Ohana. The coconut wasn't overpowering either which I was glad about.

    I don’t want to go on and on about HOW AMAZING it was…. as it’s no longer on the menu!... but it was, really it was EPIC

    Adam had the Teriyaki Style New York Strip

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    This was a basic dish but tasty. I didn't think the mango went well with the steak, it almost seemed like it was dumped there so it fit with the 'theme'.

    We were both rather tired that night so we grabbed two chocolate fondue desserts, we ate them on the balcony the morning after and they were lovely.

    this was one portion

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    SCORING
    Atmosphere - 7/10 - Very casual atmosphere, almost like being at a quick service place.

    Quality - 9/10 - YUMMY! the chicken was amazing but the steak wasn't fabulous

    Presentation - /10 - Everything looked great and very well presented. I loved the fact we could take dessert away for later.

    Service - 7/10 - Poor, our server was good at her job but she was so busy service was brisk and to the point, not the charming servers we've come to love on property so far.

    Overall Experience 8/10 - We would certainly return here. It's not the best restaurant for a special occasion but the food is worth the visit.

    BEST DISH
    The chicken!

    COST
    The bill came to $72.79 including tax, not including tip.
     
  15. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Columbia Harbour House - Magic Kingdom
    I'd heard so many wonderful recommendations for here so it was a definite stop for us.

    I had the famed Tuna Sandwich and Adam had the Chicken Nuggets and fries

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    The tuna sandwich came 'toasted' which I thought meant the bread would be warm, it wasn't, it was stone cold, this seemed to be the definition of toasted everywhere we went :( Because of this it didn't taste at all how I had expected. Cold toast aside the filling was delicious! Ripe tomatoes and a yummy tuna/mayo ratio. The house made chips it came with were lovely to, very similar to kettle chips but WARM. Yep cold toast and warm chips, whatever next!

    Adam's Chicken nuggets weren't anything special, basically the same as everywhere else served with the usual over salted fries.

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    We both opted for the apple crisp for dessert and this was the biggest disappointment. Everyone ravs about it but it just wasn't right for us. Because it was a 'crisp' we expected just that, however it was soggy with absolutely no crisp whatsoever! It was almost stodgy which made it difficult to digest without anything with it like cream or custard.

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    A great thing about using the dining plan here is that the drink option includes a lemon slush which we took advantage of, perfect for a hot day!

    Overall I'd still return, I think my expectations were just a little to high! the calm cool dining room upstairs more than made up for it
     
  16. mickeymotto

    mickeymotto Where in the "World" am I?

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    Great review so far, please keep them coming!:thumbsup2 I am very interested in your reviews for some of the locations OFF PROPERTY and Universal, as we are planning on a similar trip shortly. It appears we have many of the same places on our list too!
     
  17. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    I'm really enjoying your updates! I've tried Kona for breakfast, but I think I want to try their dinner service, as well. Keep it coming!
     
  18. Wills Mom

    Wills Mom DIS Veteran

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    Loving your reviews! Such a wide variety of places, you are definitely adding to my "to be tried" list ;) Can't wait for more!
     
  19. DLFan123

    DLFan123 living the dream-literally!

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    Enjoying your reviews so far!

    Love those jalapeno cheese pretzels. We also love Sanaa. It's too bad about your scallops. I was very impressed with the presentation of the rice pudding-that was very creative.

    Thanks for posting the cost of your meal at V&A. Do you just add the usual 20% gratuity? Is it added for you? Or do you tip above the 20% for that sort of meal? I am pretty green when it comes to fine dining awareness but would like to try V&A someday...:confused3
     
  20. golf4miami

    golf4miami Mouseketeer

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    I know you wrote this a LONG time ago, but as I'm just reading through this report I had to comment on this one as it caught my eye.

    You two and I have the very same taste in pizza (I also have a chart) and I can say with certainty that Via Napoli is #2 on my list right behind Lombardi's Pizza in NYC. I personally believe that the corner of Spring and Mott in NYC is a little slice of heaven and every time I visit I MUST eat there.

    Great... now my mouth is watering at 9:45am :rotfl:
     
  21. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    ooo I'm getting to those shortly, lots more yumminess to share :)

    definitely worth trying, I like the look of the new scallop dish they have

    thanks! :D

    I just tipped the just over 20% and rounded up as it was great service. It was suggested on the bill like in other table service restaurants so no compulsory amount.

    see now I'm thinking the same!
     

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