BOO Dining Review- It's Halloween season at WDW!- UPDATED 12/17 CALI GRILL/COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Smiling Cheshire Cat, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Rachel I was sooo excited to read your Jiko review since we are definitely eating there next time. The salad with the blueberries and grapes sounds so fresh and interesting.

    I agree that for $10 the flatbread is a great and inexpensive (especially at a Signature restaurant) app option. It sounds great. Not sure why your server wouldn't just ask the chef to help answer your question(s) if she obviously didn't know. :confused3 Maybe she wasn't into excellent guest service that day! :rotfl2: Regardless, it sounds like for the most part your meal was really good. :)
     
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  3. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

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    Sorry for the lack of updates but we got back really late last night and have been at the pool all morning. Hope to post yesterday's reviews when we go back to the room, before going back to Epcot!
     
  4. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

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    Oops. I posted in the wrong place lol! Too many cocktails by the pool haha
     
  5. dawnmichele

    dawnmichele DIS Veteran

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    Loving your report! Can't wait to see the rest of it. Yum!
     
  6. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    It was nice to have some alone time with Brian even though I would check my phone often to see if there was a text from Chase. He had went off on his own at MK. The flatbread was truly wonderful, Rosey. Probably my favorite thing we ate that night at Jiko. My husband would love probably love palachinikies, but it sounds way above my cooking expertise.:rotfl:

    I chose the chicken largely from looking at the pictures from your recent reviews. It was delicious.

    Hope you have a wonderful meal at the Plaza, Jill.

    The salad was very good and the flatbread was excellent. I could have just eaten those 2 things and been very content.

    My experience at Saana has been that the servers are extremely educated about the menu so I had the same expectation at Jiko. Really I think she just didn't want to engage in much conversation with us for some reason.

    Hope you make it to Jiko next trip, Brenda, so we can read all about it.


    :rotfl:

    Thanks so much!
     
  7. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    I'm going to take a break from the reviews to post a few pictures of some Halloween treats. I wish I could say that I actually tasted these, but I didn't get to try any of them. :sad2:

    These cookies were at Zawadi traders, which is the Jambo House's gift shop. They were in this basket right by the front door. We often went through the shop on our way to and from the bus stop and these cookies appeared to be great sellers. They are beautifully decorated.

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    Halloween cookies at Zawadi Traders by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Zawadi traders and many other places also had these pumpkin and candy corn rice krispie treats. So cute!

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    Halloween goodies at Zawadi Traders by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    The rest of these were pictures were taken at the Main St. Confectionary.

    Love these Halloween suckers. Spiderwebs with Mickey in the middle.

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    Halloween suckers by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    And these are Madame Leota I think.

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    Madam Leota suckers from Main St. Confectionary by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Wish I had bought some of these pretzels. I love the sweet and salty of candy coated pretzels.

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    Halloween pretzels by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    I've never much liked Disney rice krispy treats, but these are beautiful to look at.
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    Rice Krispy pops from Main St. Confectionary by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    And here's some pumpkin and Mickey cookies. I think that is a candy corn shaped in the back. I think I could make these at home.:thumbsup2

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    Halloween cookies from Main St. Confectionary by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    And here's a couple of pictures of the marshmallow pops decorated for Halloween, also something I've got to try one day. I love marshmallows.

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    Halloween marshmallow pops from Main St. Confectionary by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

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    Halloween pops from Main St. Confectionary by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    These cupcakes look so yummy.

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    Halloween cupcakes from Main St. Confectionary by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Disney does such a good job of decorating for Halloween, even their snacks.:thumbsup2
     
  8. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    LIBERTY TREE TAVERN LUNCH

    I've seen so many reviews for Liberty Tree Tavern lately. It seems to have become a popular spot for us dining review DISers. And most of the reviews have been very positive. Here's some pictures of our lunch there back on September 30th.

    We usually order this appetizer, the Fried Cheese, but I think this may be my last time getting it. I know I'm being cheap, but at $5.99 these are over a dollar a piece. They are yummy but not that different from the Pepperidge Farm's ones I buy and make at home. I really miss the little cheese bites that used to come with this appetizer.

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    fried cheese from LTT by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    I've always wanted to try the Colony Salad, but knew that it was a large portion. After some arm twisting and the promise of dessert and a dole whip float later, I talked Brian into splitting one with me. Here is my half split by the kitchen.

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    half colony salad from LTT by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    I loved this salad so much that next time I'm getting one all to myself. I'm usually not one to eat craisins, (why would you want to dry out fruit?) but they were actually good in this salad. I loved the sweetness of the apple and craisin along with the crunch of the pecans and bacon. And the vinagrette was just delicious. Loved it, loved it.

    Here's Chase's meal, the burger with bacon and provolone. He said it was a good burger and he also liked the fries.

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    burger from LTT by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    For dessert we ordered the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake. We hadn't eaten this since the year Disney had the Celebration theme and the cake had the Mickey head sprinkles on it. This time no sprinkles and I liked it even better.

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    ooey gooey toffee cake from LTT by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    We had good service from Sebat so this was a very successful meal. We usually have lunch at LTT most trips since it is so convenient and the food is good. We will be back, probably next trip.:)

    Up next: Dinner at Chase's favorite place: Tutto Italia
     
  9. sushi candy

    sushi candy Foodie

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    I really wished I had ordered that colony salad at LTT, Rachel. Glad you loved it!
     
  10. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip DIS Veteran

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    Yum - I also thought the colony salad was a great lunch. :thumbsup2 As for the fried cheese, it's disappointing that they got rid of the cheese curds. I've never had that dish before, but I'm with you - why pay that much for generic mozzarella sticks?
     
  11. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    It is a yummy salad Rosey. Hope you can try it next time.:thumbsup2

    I used to enjoy the cheese curds and they were something different that I hadn't seen at other restaurants. I wish they would make a return to LTT's fried cheese plate. But I can't complain too much since the colony salad was so good. Glad you liked it too.:)
     
  12. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    TUTTO ITALIA

    Dinner this night was a Tuttos. We hadn't dined there since before the renovation. As far as the dining room goes, it looked very similar to me. This restaurant was Chase's request and since I knew he wouldn't be ordering a burger here I was more than happy to go along with it.

    My favorite thing about dining at Tuttos are the servers. They are so attentive, efficient, and friendly all at the same time. Gian Franco did a wonderful job of taking care of us and talking with him reminded me of one of the unique things I love about Disney dining. We spent some time talking to him about Italy and he told us he would be going home in about 6 weeks, but wanted to see some of the United States. He and his girlfriend are planning a road trip before he returns to Italy. He asked where we were from and said he hoped to come through and see the mountains in Tennessee. In a normal restaurant when you see waiters and diners spending time talking it is not considered a good thing, that the waiter is not properly doing his job. But at Disney it is part of the wonderful experience. So I hope that Gian Franco did get to come see the Appalachian mountains and has a great time exploring other parts of the United States!

    Now on to the food. Here's a picture of the bread and olives that Tuttos provides. I remember the bread being very different our last time dining here, but this was good. I liked the soft bread much better than the sticks. I've never been one to eat olives, but I decided to try one of these. I wish I could say I like them, but I still don't. :upsidedow

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    bread from Tutto's by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

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    olives from Tutto's by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Chase has decided that he is a coffee drinker. I think he thinks it is cool, so he wanted to order an espresso. I sampled a taste and agree with Chase, this is very good espresso!

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    espresso from Tutto's by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Chase's beloved dish from the old menu was the Farfalle, without meat or peas. Tuttos has a similar dish but instead of the bowtie pasta, it is now fettucine and called the Fettuccine Vecchia Roma. Here's is Chase's...

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    fettuccine from Tutto's by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    And after a lot of debate, Brian decided to order the same thing with the pancetta. Now Chase has a mental idea that no food from Tuttos would be anything but fabulous, but I tried his and I thought it didn't have much flavor. So I tried Brian's with the pancetta and didn't like it much more. Brian agreed with me, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but Brian said he likes the Fettuccine alfredo in the Pasta Roni box just as well.:crazy2:

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    fettuccine alfredo from Tuttos by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    I didn't want heavy pasta for dinner so I chose the minestrone. I was suprised when I saw it had a chicken broth base instead of the tomato base I am used to seeing in minestrone soups. Regardless of my expectation, the soup was pretty good. It had vegetables and plenty of pancetta.

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    minestrone from Tutto by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    So our food at Tuttos was just okay, but we will still try it again and hope for better Fettuccine next time.

    Up next: Lunch at Saana- Brian says it was better than Jiko.:scratchin
     
  13. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi Rachel! I agree with you 100% about the LTT fried cheese. Two trips ago when they ditched the cheese bites I stopped ordering it since it wasn't worth it - especially since the price remained the same. It is no better than what you can get anywhere else in my opinion. I do keep returning to LTT for the dessert. :thumbsup2 (Oh, and the fries.)

    As for your Tutto dinner, the bread has changed since the last time we went but it looks good. I'm a little nervous to go back if the pasta entrees are no better than a box. Plus, I think they got rid of the canneloni pasta dish that I loved. Oh, and olives rule! :lmao:

    Those Halloween treats - especially the krispy treats look really delicious! I want one of those candy corn versions!
     
  14. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    Couldn't agree with you more about the dessert at LTT, Brenda. It is worth a visit there for sure.

    The bread at Tutto's was good, even though the pasta was disappointing we will give it another try since most of our meals there have been excellent.
     
  15. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    SAANA LUNCH

    We walked over from the Jambo House to Kidani for our lunch at Saana after sleeping the morning in. We waited just a few moments to be seated at a window seat with a great view of the animals. Chase and I ate here for the first time at Saana last summer and enjoyed it very much. I was looking forward to Brian having a good experience there.

    Our server was Justin. I admit to being somewhat disappointed that Justin told us he was from Ohio instead of some exotic place, but I shouldn't complain since Justin was an excellent server. His knowledge of the menu was impeccable. There was no question he couldn't seem to answer. He said the menu at Saana changes frequently and all servers are required to try all menu items and educate themselves about the food. Good job Justin!

    Chase and I had our eyes and stomachs set on trying the bread service this time. We chose the traditional naan, the onion kulcha, and if my memory is right the paneer paratha.

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    Bread service from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    These were all excellent with the onion being the one Chase and I fought most over. Brian liked the traditional best.

    For our sides we chose with Justin's help the Red Chili Sambal, Mango Chutney, and the Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus. This gave us one sweet, one spicy, and one hot. I thought these were all excellent too, except I could only handle a few bites of the Red Chili Sambal. It was tasty, but hot. This one was Brian's favorite, I preferred the hummus, and Chase liked the mango chutney. So we were a house divided, but happy.:)

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    Bread service accompianments from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Chase, of course, went with the burger. This is served on a piece of naan bread. While Chase says it is a good burger he admits it is quite difficult to eat. The condiments are served on the side and here is his burger without the tomato. It is loaded with greens!

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    Burger from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Chase doesn't like the cucumber raita that is served with the burger so they subbed him this bowl of fruit. I wish I would remember to do this too. This fruit was really good.

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    Fruit salad from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    I chose the Tandoori Shrimp with the sauce on the side as recommended by Justin. I'm really glad I did this because I didn't like the sauce that much. The taste almost reminds me of mustard, but I'm not sure what is in it. The chef was generous with the shrimp. I think I counted about 10 big boys in the this sandwich. While the shrimp was tasty, I think I will go back to ordering one of the slow cooked choices next time.

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    Tandoori Shimp sandwich from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Brian was having trouble deciding. I recommended the shrimp in green curry and the short ribs. Of course he didn't take my advice and got the Spicy Durban Chicken and the Butter Chicken with the Basmati Rice.

    Here's the rice...

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    Basmati rice from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr


    The Butter Chicken...

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    Butter chicken from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    and the Spicy Durban Shrimp.

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    Spicy Durban Shrimp from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Brian's favorite was the shrimp. Justin warned him this was probably the hottest item on the menu and I had to agree it was too much for me, but Brian loved it.

    I tried the Butter Chicken and it became my new favorite thing at Saana. I kept dipping my leftover naan bread in the gravy which was rich and buttery tasting. Probably not the healthiest choice on the menu but very delicious.

    Brian chose dessert and selected the eggless Chocolate Cake with raspberry sorbet on the side. The presentation here is so pretty. But I didn't like this cake at all. The chocolate was very dark. I'm more of a milk chocolate person. And the raspberry sorbet was lip puckering tart. Chase agreed with me, but Brian loved it.:confused3 So I guess to each his own.

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    Chocolate cake from Saana by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Brian declared Saana was better than Jiko. I disagree with him, but enjoyed our meal very much at Saana.:thumbsup2

    Up next: California Grill dinner
     
  16. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Ha! That's funny - Justin from Ohio. :rotfl: Glad to know that he was excellent! I was really excited about your Sanaa review since Em and I plan to stay at AKL sometime soon.

    I so want that Tandoori Shrimp and some basmati rice - they both look awesome!
    It's a split vote between Sanaa and Jiko for favorites - good because I want to try both! :)

    I'm looking forward to your California Grill review!
     
  17. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    I am sooooo late so feel free to make me stand in the corner :faint:

    Wonderful reviews and photos as always, I was exctied to see your reviews of LTT and Tutto as they are both places that we haven't tried yet but really want to :thumbsup2

    Anyway, I will try and keep up now :goodvibes
     
  18. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    I hope you and Em do stay at AKL soon. I would love to hear what you think of the food at Saana and Jiko.

    Hi Linda! Glad you can read along, but I think you've been a bit busy with travels of your own lately. Lucky you, going to Disneyland.:)
     
  19. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    My apologies to anyone still reading for taking so very long to finish up.:guilty:

    CALIFORNIA GRILL

    On our last night we headed over for dinner at Cali Grill. I hadn't planned to eat here, but at Brian's request I was able to find an ADR just a few weeks before our trip.

    Even though it was a Monday night, the restaurant was very busy with many patrons that were dressed up for special occassions. After being seated in the same seat our last two meals at Cali Grill, I requested to be by a window this time. It took a little longer, but we finally got the seat I wanted.

    Our server, Kelly, came by with this basket of bread. Once again, I'm loving this salted butter.

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    bread from Cali Grill by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    There was a fair amount of debate about what to order. I was still quite full from our lunch, and decided on sharing a flatbread with the boys. Since I was doing the live reporting for Barb(Jabead) I had asked her opinion and she recommended the BLT flatbread. Thanks again Barb, this one was a winner! I loved the sweet bacon, mild tomatoes, tangy mayo, and the crispy lettuce.

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    BLT Flatbread from Cali Grill by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Chase, being a picky eater, debated between going outside his comfort zone and having the cheeseburger flatbread or the kid's mac and cheese. After Kelly told him he could get a double portion of the mac and cheese he decided on that. Here's $18 of mac and cheese!

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    mac and cheese from Cali Grill by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Brian suprised me when he chose the Jumbo Prawns over grits.

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    Prawns from Cali Grill by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    These prawns were just huge! I wish I would have taken a picture after he took the heads off so you could appreciate just how big they were. I took one bite and agreed the prawns were tasty. Brian cleaned his plate so it must have been good.

    Dessert was an easy selection for us. I love mild chocolate so we chose Heather's Chocolate Sampler. My favorite was the Chipotle Chocolate Cupcake. Chase wouldn't share the Peanut Butter Buckeye Pop, but he said it was delicious. Brian liked the Whoopie Pie, so we were all happy.

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    Heather's Chocolate Sampler from Cali Grill by Smiling Cheshire Cat, on Flickr

    Once again, we had another great meal at Cali Grill!
     
  20. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    We were supposed to have breakfast at Boma before heading off to the airport, but I was just to full to think of eating. Brian and Chase did eat there, but of course they didn't take any pictures so sorry there's no report on Boma other than to say they both liked it.:thumbsup2

    That's finally a wrap on this trip. Thanks for reading along.:goodvibes
     
  21. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi Rachel! Oh no, this is the end... I enjoyed reading here as well as your live updates! Thanks for sharing!

    That's awesome that you were able to get an ADR at Cali Grill within weeks of your trip. The prawns do look amazing! (I'm a heads off my prawns kinda gal! :lmao:)

    And to give you a sneak preview... Em and I are staying at AKL for 1 nite next trip. I can't wait to stay there. :)
     

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