A Post Open-Heart Surgery/Anniversary Dining Report!!! FINISHED! (and we are FULL!)

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Stringbean&Wingnut, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Hi Everyone!!!

    Wingnut and I are longtime dining report lovers, and so we decided that it was high time for one of our own!

    As the title implies, this trip has a little bit of a backstory (in the briefest form possible lol)...

    This past spring, I started to feel exceptionally tired. Not having had any health issues before, I went to my GP, who told me he didn't want me to be concerned, but I had to see a cardiologist immediately, and made sure I had an appointment first thing the next morning. :eek:

    Convinced this had to be a bit of an error, I went, at which point I found out I had mitral valve prolapse, a heart murmur, and a significant leak in my mitral valve, which he said my heart was handling well at the moment. We'd keep an eye on it.

    Fast-forward to 3 months later, my energy is declining further, and it is time for my cardiologist follow-up appointment. He says we are now at a surgical point, the valve needs to be repaired.

    I underwent the mitral valve repair on July 19th, 2 days after my 25th birthday. It went perfectly. My recovery has been slow, but steady.

    (Food is coming soon, I promise)

    So somewhere in the middle of this, before we knew I needed surgery, Wingnut and I decided to plan a trip to Disney for our anniversary (October 6th - 3 years). We made all the plans. We made reservations for Jiko for the 6th. We were tremendously excited to be going during the Food and Wine Festival, which we had never been to.

    ...and which we still haven't been to. Post-surgery, it was clear that I would not be close to the energy level I'd want to be at for Disney in October. It was incredibly disappointing to change our anniversary plans, but we knew it was for the best. We changed our dates to mid-December, re-booked dining, and began to wait for our trip to come.

    We were going to be using the DDXP, our first time using that. Stay tuned to see how we did on that.

    More to come!
     
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  3. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Something you'll also notice throughout our trip is that I have a few food allergies. My poor beleaguered Wingnut can eat pretty much anything on his plate (and the things I can't/won't eat).

    Ready for the litany? I am allergic to cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, mango, and peanut. Oh, and I am also lactose-intolerant. I'm such a casual traveler, right? This ranged from being a total non-issue at the Captain's Grille for breakfast to a special plate being made for me by an incredibly kind chef at Boma.
     
  4. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    And let's go!

    Wingnut and I like flying to Disney at very early hours, it gives us more time to enjoy (read: eat in) Disney!

    So you can put a face to the reviews:

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    This was the first time we had ever flown JetBlue (loved it!), and hence, the first time ever enjoying these little cerulean delights of crunch:

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    A little bland, but the color definitely makes up for it (I ate them on the way home too).
     
  5. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Actual Disney food now!!!:yay:

    So Wingnut and I (fortified solely on a bagel and blue chips so far) checked in at the Yacht Club, dropped our bags off at the room, and scooted right over to Beaches & Cream next door. We had never been here, just had heard about it on the Dis, and were excited to have lunch here.

    We walked to the podium at around 12:15, and I was surprised to be given a choice of a counter, table, or booth, all available right away, given the size of the restaurant. We chose the booth, and happily began to peruse the sherbet-hued menu.

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    We both decided on the Roast Beef Sub, which comes with cheese, peppers, onions, and (possibly) mushrooms. It is also accompanied by french fries and au jus for dipping.

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    I enjoyed this, it was a nice and filling meal after our journey to the World. Wingnut says that "it was good, a teensy bit dry, but the au jus was enough to make up for it, it had a nice flavor. The fries were run of the mill, and not very well salted."

    Beaches and Cream has those fun squeezy bottles of ketchup and mustard, which Wingnut used to create a hidden condiment Mickey.

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    Wingnut ordered a strawberry malt along with his sandwich, which he really enjoyed: "very thick and malty, probably the best malt i've had since i was a kid."

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    I had asked our waitress earlier in the meal about non-dairy ice cream alternatives available (they offer Rice Dream and Tofutti products), the wheels in my head turning in the direction of a post-sub sundae. However, as I watched him delighting in his frozen treat (a teensy bit jealous), our waitress came over to let me know that they could make me a non-dairy malt with soy milk and either the Rice Dream or Tofutti, if I so desired.

    Seriously?!?

    I love Disney World.

    Yes, vanilla please. :goodvibes:

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    (Yes, that is whipped cream on top - I can have limited bits of dairy.)

    I never knew non-dairy life could be so rich and decadent!! This was the perfect way to start our vacation, and Wingnut was thrilled I could join him for a malt, something we never even considered could be possible.

    Filled with meaty and malty goodness, we were now ready to start our vacation!
     
  6. gardengirl628

    gardengirl628 Help, help, a Herrible Hoffalump!

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    Count me in! Glad that your surgery went well and that you were able to switch your anniversary plans to mid-December! :)
     
  7. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations on a successful surgery. How nice to have had a Disney trip to look forward to. Your reviews are off to a great start... can't wait for more.

    I'm in awe that Beaches 'n Cream was so uncrowded at lunchtime... clearly your trip mojo was working overtime. :)
     
  8. Pooh&OurHunny

    Pooh&OurHunny DIS Veteran

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    joining in, glad your surgery went well.
    Can't wait to read more yummy reviews.popcorn::
     
  9. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Welcome, and thank you!!! We were happy too, and on the bright side, I got to play with the WDW Dining Reservations site all over again while recovering! Hehe! :rotfl:

    Thank you, and welcome!! The Disney trip really did help get me through this past year. I'd play games during doctors appointments like "What Make-Your-Own Treat Would I Get At Goofy's Candy Company Today?", and play Disney music in my car to and from work lol. It was one of the rainbows at the end of this storm :)

    I was amazed too!!! We actually had fabulous trip mojo that entire morning, got right onto Magical Express, the bus left right away, and the Yacht Club was the first stop! It was great!

    Thank you, and welcome!! :)
     
  10. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    After meandering around Epcot for a bit, Wingnut and I arrived at La Hacienda for our dinner reservation. I'd been sneaking peeks at the place from around the lagoon, and it looked like it would be a great dinner spot.

    Inside, the restaurant is even prettier. I had known about the floor-to-ceiling windows along the dining room, but I just loved the little touches and details that themed the room, but didn't make it cheesy or overwhelming. It was just nice.

    Some ambiance:

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    (Sorry about the used glasses in the top photo, I thought it sorta showed the window view. And that our former neighbors drank pink lemonade.)

    And some hungry diners:

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    Having read all about the DDXP, and the sheer amount of food that accompanies it, I thought it would be wise to start off the evening on a lighter note, and had the Ensalada de La Hacienda.

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    I'm still not entirely sure what happened with this dish, as I had advised the server about my food allergies, and had asked for the salad without pine nuts. Apparently this led to the pomegranates (the draw of the salad in the first place for me) and dressing to be left off as well. So it was a pretty boring salad, just some cheese, tomatoes, and a bunch of spinach. Not bad, but not interesting.

    Wingnut was a bit of a better orderer than I, he decided on the Taquiza.

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    According to him, "the tacos were very good, all had corn tortillas, but I'd have to say the rib eye taco was by far the best. It had a chipotle salsa on it that was really good, but the pork wasn't too shabby either. They were perfect little 2 bite morsels for an appetizer."

    Partway through the course, tired of eating dry spinach leaves, I squeezed the lime from his plate over my salad. It was a citrusy improvement.

    For our main course, Wingnut and I shared the La Hacienda, a mixed grill for two.

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    This included:

    Steak, chicken, chorizo, vegetables, corn, corn tortillas, rice, and black beans.

    I wasn't a big fan of the steak (I may have just grabbed a slightly fatty piece, Wingnut thought that it had a nice cilantro topping). The chicken was great, it had a sweet honey sauce on it that Wingnut went nuts over (he called it "delectable"). The little chorizos were good, they were little bite-sized ones, which I hadn't expected. The vegetables were just plain grilled vegetables, nothing bad. Wingnut liked the corn tortillas more than I did, but they weren't bad. The rice was good, as were the black beans.

    The corn was where we were a bit divided. It had a vinegary pickled flavor, which I did not enjoy at all (and I did try a few little bites throughout the evening, just to be fair). Wingnut called the corn "amazing, a vinegary bite to a sweet corn that was very crisp and tasty." He's the one with the much more adventurous palate in our relationship, so I'm sure those of you with braver tastes than I will definitely enjoy it. Me, however, I will stick to those plain old grilled veggies :thumbsup2

    For dessert, we both had the Tamal de Dulce, which (I know this sounds bad), I really hadn't expected to like.

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    Happily, I was wrong! I was afraid that it would be too sweet, but it really had a nice fruity flavor. Wingnut agrees, "The tamal was very tasty, not a whole lot of filling and was a little dry, but the strawberry coulis more than made up for it as there was plenty to saturate it."

    Overall, we both really enjoyed our dinner here. The ambiance was very nice and the food was tasty. In my opinion, La Hacienda is a great addition to Epcot! :grouphug:
     
  11. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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    First of all congrats on a successful surgery!!!! You're off to a great start!:thumbsup2
     
  12. crazycatlady

    crazycatlady DIS Veteran

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    Enjoying your reviews! :thumbsup2
     
  13. sophie832

    sophie832 Addicted to DL and WDW!

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    You already know I've been lurking, so I'm making it official...I'm in! We stayed at YC Dec. 2-12 and loved it!

    We love JetBlue, too, but we looooooooove Virgin America! They have even more entertainment and snack options! However, JetBlue flies out of Long Beach airport, which is kind of like our home airport, so it holds a special place in our hearts.

    So great that B&C made you a special non-dairy shake! I didn't even think to ask about that when we were there (I eat dairy, but sometimes I just prefer to have soy or rice milk).

    Looking forward to the rest of your reviews :thumbsup2
     
  14. disneypofq05

    disneypofq05 DIS Veteran

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    Enjoying your reviews. Can't wait to read more!
     
  15. chocolateMinnie

    chocolateMinnie DIS Veteran

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    well done on getting back on track following your surger. Definitely interested in the rest of your reviews. Food looks great at La Hacienda.
     
  16. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!!! And welcome! :)

    Thank you, welcome!!

    Hahaha yay, welcome aboard!! It was our first time staying at YC, and we absolutely loved it too. I love staying in the Epcot Resorts area and being able to use the International Gateway.

    I was so amazed when she suggested the non-dairy alternatives beyond a sundae!! There are a few places that have non-dairy ice cream alternatives in each of the parks (Restaurantosaurus in AK; Hollywood Scoops in DHS; Sunshine Seasons, Fountain View; and Liberty Inn in Epcot, and the Cone Shop and Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in MK). Soy milk is becoming increasingly available, I've noticed too. Disney is a fabulous place for dining with food allergies, I've always found it to be an incredibly accomodating place. :thumbsup2

    Welcome, thank you!! :)

    Thank you!!! Welcome! It was really great there, definitely worth a visit! :goodvibes
     
  17. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    An addendum to the Hacienda review, I had forgotten to mention that we recieved a basket of chips (black, red, and regular chip color) and two salsas when seated. The two salsas are the same as the ones served at the counter service restaurant next door. One is a chipotle salsa, and is a bit spicier. The other is a salsa verde, on the more mild side. Both were very good, I personally preferred the chipotle salsa.

    Also, here are the restaurants we will be reviewing!!

    Beaches and Cream (lunch)
    La Hacienda de San Angel (dinner)
    Kona Cafe (breakfast)
    Casey's Corner (lunch)
    Jiko (dinner)
    Captain's Grille (breakfast)
    Tangerine Cafe (lunch)
    Boulangerie Patisserie (lunch)
    Goofy's Candy Company (snack)
    Raglan Road (dinner)
    Grand Floridian Cafe (breakfast)
    Kona Cafe (lunch)
    Boma (dinner)
    Kouzzina (breakfast)
    Epcot snacks (lunch)
    Narcoosees (dinner)
    Boma (breakfast)
    La Cantina de San Angel (lunch)
    Kouzzina (dinner)
    Captain's Grille (breakfast)
    Rose & Crown (lunch)

    Sorry to keep everyone in suspense of our destinations! :laughing:
     
  18. dchi

    dchi Mouseketeer

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    Glad your surgery went well and you had a great trip to Disney.
    P.S. You are a very brave lady!
     
  19. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much!!! Welcome! :goodvibes
     
  20. amyrella

    amyrella Mouseketeer

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    i'm in... althouhg at first i was very excited to see that you were on the DxDP and were hoping you were going to review a few of the restaurants i'm eating at, i see that you are not!! lol

    oh well i'm still going to read, for the future!!

    I'm so glad your surgery went well... i hope you continue feeling well and no hiccups occur!
     
  21. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    So you know that meal you've had in the past at Disney, that one that was SO good, and you just think about it and book reservations to go back and really really hope that it's just like you remembered? Especially since you've convinced your travel companion that it's awesome and a must-do?

    Thankfully, some things stay the same (phew!) :love:

    So Wingnut and I headed off to Kona Cafe. Well, our journey to Kona began several months prior, back when we were scouring (read: basically memorizing) restaurant menus and I told him about the wonder and majesty that is Tonga Toast. He was in awe ("wait, it's FRIED?!?!"), I was giddy with anticipation. I had a plan, a plan involving some pancakes, pineapples, and macadamia nuts. I had seen way too many pictures of these to not try them for myself.

    Onward!

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    Wingnut waiting patiently for his sugary fried dough. It has a banana in it. It's healthy fruit! :thumbsup2

    Speaking of healthy fruit, we both had orange juice. I had completely forgotten to tell Wingnut about the Lilikoi juice (which I'm absolutely positive he would have loved) until after we placed our juice orders. He was content with his choice (spoiler alert: he did absolutely love the Boma equivalent. Frunch? Jungle Juice? ::asks Wingnut:: West African Frunch.)

    Pretty soon this arrived at the table

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    Syrup, butter, and strawberry sauce for the Tonga Toast. Oooh the giddy anticipation across the table was rising. Wingnut experimentally tasted some of the strawberry sauce on the end of his knife, and declared it delicious. I agreed, although it was a touch sweet for my taste (He loves sugary items - I once gave Wingnut pure cane sugar candies from Epcot, which were some of his favorites, just as a point of reference ;))

    And the glorious moment then arrived.

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    Wingnut: "It was very good, the ham was very tasty, nicely grilled, and the tonga toast was great, both dips were really tasty although the strawberry definitely won out."

    Along with

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    (I had gotten the pineapple and butter on the side)

    WOW these were good! And dense! But tasty! And really, so filling! But just one more bite!

    Or, as Wingnut puts it, "your pancakes were chock full o'nuts."

    Now, I can eat pancakes pretty much anytime, anywhere, tons of them. I love pancakes. And I've eaten some dense pancakes before, but I was really surprised when I was only able to eat this much of them. (And this was with a bit of effort here, folks.)

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    These pancakes are PACKED with macadamia nuts! Delicious, but I had to leave a saddening amount behind. The sausage was just regular sausage. Not jam-packed with macadamia nuts, thank goodness! :laughing:

    Tremendously full, I then realized something...we get two beverages with breakfast! I'm going to assume this is typically used for coffee, especially at Kona, but neither Wingnut or I are coffee drinkers.

    I do, however, enjoy a nice hot chocolate.

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    This may not look like much, but it was the best hot chocolate of the trip (this one may have kicked off a hot chocolate with breakfast trend for this traveler). And after I had ordered it, I realized that it would have been a good idea to get it in a to-go cup, as we were pretty much stuffed with pancake and French, er, Tonga toast by then. Just as I thought of this, the server came back, the hot chocolate already in a to-go cup! I praised his brilliance, and we were on our way, deliciousness in tow (I think I was spoiled by the chocolatey drizzle).

    So did Kona Cafe live up to our breakfast expectations? Absolutely! AND we got to MK in time to see the opening show, which I hadn't thought we'd be able to, and hadn't seen before! :thumbsup2
     

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