Did we come for the rides or the food?!?! - 14 Days of Dining COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by The_Aviator, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    Hi phabric,

    No, no singing or anything like that, just placed in front of her. The same was done at 1900PF.

    However in regards to your anniversary thing, we actually had DM and DD's 20th anniversary listed on all our Dining Ressies (except for 1900PF and Boma) and they never received anything special, not even like a happy anniversary or anything like that. On one occasion (Cape May) they had full highlighted the celebration on the receipt for our server to see, but he didn't do or say anything.

    So perhaps if you are interested in getting an anniversary cake you will have to preorder it in advance :)
     
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  3. ratlenhum

    ratlenhum DIS Veteran

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    Loving this report! One of my favorite ones ever! Great job!
     
  4. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    The final day of our Disney vacation had arrived and we decided that the best option for our CS lunch was to go to the CS restaurant that we had enjoyed the most, and that had to be Wolfgang Puck Express.

    We arrived at about 11:50am and were able to get a table without a problem. The restaurant looked a bit different in the daylight!

    For our meals DD ordered the bacon wrapped meatloaf with mashed potatoes, port wine sauce and crispy onion rings ($14), DM ordered the oven roasted salmon with fennel, tomatoes, arugula, roasted potatoes and horseradish cream again ($17), DS ordered the Barbecued Chicken, Grilled Red Onion, Cilantro and Smokey Barbecue Sauce Pizza ($13) and I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs again ($16). To drink we got two Dasani waters ($3ea and they were a bit smaller than the ones in the parks), a fountain drink for me ($2.65) and a Minute Maid Orange Juice for DM ($3.25)

    Below are the pictures of the entrees. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the salmon this time either!

    Dad's meatloaf

    [​IMG]

    Rachel's pizza

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    And my spaghetti and meatballs

    [​IMG]

    Once again we were all happy with our meals. The portions were generous and they were tasty. On this occasion my pasta sauce was not as runny, which I preferred. DS couldn't finish her pizza so I had a slice and it was also very good. DD had been waiting to have a meatloaf, so he was happy to be able to finally have one on this visit. Once again, DM liked her salmon.

    For dessert DM, DS and DD had the Creme Brulee again ($5ea) and I ordered the Cheesecake (I think this is a relatively new addition to the menu, it cost $4)

    Below are the pics. The Creme Brulee looked the same as last time, so I hope you don't mind me reposting the original pic! :)

    The Creme Brulee

    [​IMG]

    And my cheesecake

    [​IMG]

    I've just got to say, that while I enjoyed the Creme Brulee, I felt that the cheesecake blew it straight out of the water. All the parts of the cheesecake were excellent, from the biscuit base to the creamy middle and then the top. The top is caramelised in the same way as the Creme Brulee and tastes the same. If you are travelling with more than one person, I might recommend getting both and sharing so you can try both. My only gripe with the Cheesecake is that they don't provide a bigger serving! If it meant increasing the price to $5 (in line with the Creme Brulee) or even $6 I still think it would be worth it, definitely one of the tastiest CS desserts around. :)

    Just another thing I discovered at WPE on this visit, they have free wi-fi! Definitely a bonus considering how hard it is to find internet at WDW. The speed of the internet was fairly fast and was plenty for me to download emails etc onto my iPhone. The wi-fi isn't really the reason to go, but it definitely is a little value-adding bonus!

    We also experienced really great service from our waitress on this visit. She came and introduced herself early in the meal and came to check up on us during the meal. We gave her a cash tip after the meal, which not everyone seems to do but a couple of groups did.

    So all in all we were very happy to have been able to visit WPE once again. It definitely is one of the better CS options at WDW, although its DtD location can make it a little difficult to get to. If you are staying at Port Orleans or one of the DVC places close by then you could probably go there quite easily, although for others it is a little difficult to visit if you want to, say, go and have lunch and then head directly to the parks. Thankfully for us, we were planning on doing a little shopping and stopping by at the resort before continuing on to the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day.

    You get excellent value out of a CS credit here at WPE, which makes it a huge plus for people on the Dining Plan. As I said in my earlier review of the WPE, even for those not on the dining plan, I don't think it is fair to call it a counter service strictly, think of it as more of an 'in-between'. If the menu appeals to you and the cost sounds reasonable, do give it a try. So in conclusion I would definitely recommend WPE to everyone visiting WDW, and we would definitely return in the future.

    Cost:

    4 CS credits used - 4 remaining
    Bill Total: $96.81 (avg. $24.20ea)
    Running Total - $2445.86

    NEXT UP: A few snacks at the Magic Kingdom, followed by dinner at the Kona Cafe!
     
  5. dvc4life

    dvc4life Disney is my Happy Place

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    We love WPE for breakfast. Never been there for lunch or dinner. But after seeing your photos, we just may have to give it a try. That meatloaf looks really good. Well, so does the spaghetti, and the pizza :rolleyes1

    But it is sad to see that your report is coming to an end. You are doing such a fantastic job. :thumbsup2 I'm enjoying reading it very much.
     
  6. Tinker12

    Tinker12 Mouseketeer

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    A little late on this post about Boma, but my family LOVES it. Last year, we did not go and we were disappointed. This year, it is the 1st restaurant that we have ressie's for!!!! I'm so excited. Your pictures make the wait unbearable!!!
     
  7. lblume91

    lblume91 It's magic wrapped up in pixie dust!

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    I have loved all of your reviews but the pics of the WPE meatloaf makes me drool!! It has officially been added to our must do list for our May trip!
     
  8. princess aleya

    princess aleya DIS Veteran

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    WPE is hands down my favorite QS place!!!
     
  9. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Your meal at WPE looks great! Looks like they have some fun options there!
     
  10. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    Thank-you!

    I'm so glad that you, and many others seem to be enjoying the reviews!

    I hope you get to try a WPE lunch or dinner on your next trip, I've read WPE breakfast reviews and heard that it is very good, but I have tried WPE lunch/dinner twice now and I can definitely recommend that! :)

    I think we might have to make it one of our first ressies too! :)

    Glad to hear! ;)

    I think I can say the same too! :)

    Yeah they definitely do, if you haven't tried it already I would recommend it!
     
  11. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    We still had quite a few snack credits to burn through, so what better place to spend a few than on snacks at the Magic Kingdom!

    It was our last day at the parks and it was definitely the busiest so far, even busier than Christmas! Even though the temps had gotten even lower than before, I think one of the reasons the parks were busy were because the flights from the Northeast had finally started up again following the Christmas snowstorm and a bunch of Northerners had just arrived, and of course I'm sure most people head to the MK on their first day! :)

    We started at 3:30pm at the Sleepy Hollow, while the Christmas parade was going on. We picked up a funnel cake with sugar ($4.29). They have multiple different types available, including cinnammon, sugar (both $4.29ea) and then another one topped with strawberries and whipped cream ($5.29 I think). The strawberries and whipped cream one is definitely not a snack credit, the sugar one definitely is and I would imagine the cinammon one is also available for a snack credit since it's the same price as the sugar, but I'm not 100% sure.

    Anyways we had seen these funnel cakes all across WDW, including at a place at the America pavilion at Epcot where they wouldn't accept a snack credit. It's completely unheard of in Australia so it was an entirely new experience for us. Basically for those that haven't heard of funnel cakes, what they do is pour batter through a funnel into hot cooking oil until the whole mass turns a golden-brown in colour, then it is sprinkled with something sweet on top, in our case, lots of powdered sugar!

    And now for the picture!

    [​IMG]

    It was quite a generous serving and tasted nice. There was definitely enough for all four of us to get a fairly large chunk each. It was also very easy to break into smaller pieces and a knife really wasn't required. I reckon it's a pretty good value proposition for those using snack credits and even for those OOP, the size of it probably makes it worth the money. I would recommend it for anyone that is interested in trying this very interesting snack. Just be sure you don't choke on the sugar!


    And then about forty minutes later we found ourselves outside Mrs. Pott's Cupboard in Fantasyland and decided to pick up some more snacks. DS got a Fudge Brownie Sundae and I got a Strawberry Shortcake Sundae ($4.59ea). We also got a bottle of Smart Water ($3.25).

    [​IMG]

    No pic of the Smart Water, although I believe there is one in my Fairfax Fare Review (The 12/23 one).

    We enjoyed both the sundaes. They have a lot of ice-cream in the base, then the strawberry or brownie and then a big heap of whipped cream to top it off. Looking at Rachel's Fudge Brownie sundae now I really feel like having that one next time, but honestly I couldn't complain about my one and there was nothing wrong with it, the chocolate just looks so much better :rotfl:. I guess it's just personal preference :confused3

    At $4.59 this is quite an expensive snack and to be honest I wouldn't be surprised if they cut it off the snack list soon, but while it's there, it is definitely a great value snack for those looking for an ice-cream in Fantasyland, and sooo much better than picking up an ice-cream from one of the carts. For those paying OOP, I think it's probably a bit of a personal preference as to whether you would prefer a pre-packaged Mickey Bar or something like this. In my case, I would probably get one of each! :rotfl2:

    Cost:

    4 snack credits used - 3 remaining
    Bill Total - $17.81 ($4.57 at Sleepy Hollow, $13.24 at Mrs. Pott's Cupboard)
    Running Total - $2463.67

    NEXT UP: Dinner at Kona Cafe, but there's still a few more things to come! ;)
     
  12. Busymom85

    Busymom85 Mouseketeer

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    Great reviews. Thanks so much for posting.
     
  13. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    No, thank-you for reading! :)
     
  14. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    We had originally been scheduled to go to the Biergarten on this day, but after having our plans messed up a bit earlier on in the trip we felt that we had to visit the MK again on this day, which meant we had to make a reservation somewhere closer. For us it was a toss up between The Wave and Kona Cafe, and after all the highly positive reviews of Kona we felt that we may as well give it a go!

    Our ressie was for 7:55pm, but we arrived at around 7:20pm. Initally they said that we would probably have to wait up until our allotted time since they were quite busy, but luckily our buzzer rang at about 7:25pm!

    For those who haven't been to Kona before, it is located in the Great Ceremonial House on the 2nd floor. The monorail station at the MK looked quite busy so we ended up taking the boat, which wasn't such a bad thing since we got to get out on the lagoon, although it was a little bit cold! Probably not going to be such a problem in the coming months as the weather in Florida warms up though! For those of you coming in on the monorail it is very easy, I believe the monorail station actually links to the 2nd floor of the Great Ceremonial House so as you get off the monorail and enter the building, look to your left and you should see the Kona Cafe!

    Continuing on, we were taken into the restaurant and the CM took us past the wonderful open dessert kitchen, where she said that they prided themselves on their desserts and told us to leave some room to try one at the end! We were seated at a booth and our server was Ratana. He was really good, explaining everything to us and making sure that we were having a good time. He was on top of the drinks through the night and definitely made sure that the service component of the meal would receive an A+. Consider yourselves lucky if you have Ratana as your server! :)

    Below are some pics of the menu. Unfortunately I didn't photograph the wine list, sorry!

    Appetisers, Entrees and Prix Fixe Menu

    [​IMG]

    Some of the drinks (BTW, there were other sodas available)

    [​IMG]

    And a relatively new addition to the Kona Cafe, the sushi bar! The sushi bar is open for people to sit and eat at, and the chefs prepare the sushi fresh before your eyes. In addition to sitting at the bar, they can also bring it straight to the table.

    [​IMG]

    To drink DM got a Diet Coke, DS got a Coke Zero, DD got a club soda (included but not listed on the menu) and I got an Orange Soda (all $2.69ea). DD also got a glass of the Simi Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine recommended to go with his entree ($9).

    Ratana also brought out some bread, a big round bread roll type of thing meant to be shared. It was served with some macadamia nut butter, which of course was delicious!

    [​IMG]

    The bread was nice and warm, but also soft and easy to break. It tasted really good with a bit of the butter on it.

    And now onto the entrees! Since the three course menu was included for those on the regular DDP, DM and DS went for that. They both got the pot stickers for their entree (wok seared duck dumplings with creamy ginger-soy sauce, $7.49 on the regular menu). DD and I decided to keep them company with a serving of the Sticky Wings for Two (OOP, $12.99).

    The pot stickers...

    [​IMG]

    And the sticky wings

    [​IMG]

    We really, really enjoyed both of these appetisers. The servings were generous (even the pot stickers, which I assume is a smaller serving on the prix fixe menu) and as for the sticky wings, we must have at least a dozen or maybe more! They were well cooked and were really tasty. I reckon if you are looking for a light-ish meal the sticky wings could even pass as a great entree.

    For the entrees, both DM and DS went for the Shrimp Pan-Asian noodles, with peanuts, vegetables and a soy peanut sauce (usually $17.99). DD and I both went with the Teriyaki-style New York Strip, grilled with a pineapple glaze and served with sticky rice and stir-fried brocollini ($28.99).

    The Shrimp Pasta

    [​IMG]

    Steak (sorry about the poor brightness, it looks like the rice has almost disappeared! :rotfl:)

    [​IMG]

    I'll start with the Shrimp Pasta. Both Mum and Rachel agree that it was a very tasty dish, but there was a problem with it when it came out. It was very cold, not frozen or anything, but sort of like room temperature. Definitely not at a temperature that was edible. Thankfully Ratana was a really great server and was on the job immediately, taking the noodles back to the kitchen for a bit more time in the wok. He brought them back in just a couple of minutes, nice and warm and after that they really enjoyed it.

    As for the steak, I'll present DD and my opinion separately because we both had different ideas. Dad isn't a fan of sweet flavours outside of desserts and had asked Ratana if it could be done without the pineapple. Ratana had said it wasn't a problem. However, what Ratana thought Dad meant was no barbecued pineapple chunks on the top (as you see in the picture of my dish) and it still had the pineapple teriyaki glaze, which I suppose is reasonable considering that these marinades are probably made well in advance. This meant that Dad didn't really enjoy his steak.

    As for me, I ordered it 'as-is' and I really liked it. The teriyaki flavour wasn't overpowering as you might get at a Japanese restaurant (eg. Yakitori House or something like that), it was just a really subtle, mellow flavour that went really well with the pineapple element. The steak was a fairly decent size, as was the serving of rice. As for the brocollini it wasn't too bad, and tasted a bit better if you had it with a bit of the marinade. So as you can see, two very different opinions of the meal. I guess the bottom line is that if you don't want your entree to be sweet, then the teriyaki steak is probably not for you. I would probably order it again in the future, although the Ginger-crusted Rib Eye sounds good too!

    Mum asked Ratana for some soy sauce and he went beyond, bringing out the soy sauce as well as a hot and spicy Vietnamese chilli sauce that he recommended. She thought it was pretty good, and it was nice of him to suggest it.

    After the entrees we had a look through the dessert menu. They also recommend going over to the open kitchen and just having a look, since they actually have a display of every dessert available out on the counter for you to have a look at. If you are having trouble deciding based on the descriptions, I suggest going and checking them out for yourself!

    [​IMG]

    DD got the Banana-Chocolate Creme Brulee ($5.99) and the rest of us got the Kilauea Torte ($5.49). This is where the differences between the prix fixe and regular appeared, as Ratana said that since I was just ordering it off the regular menu mine would be served 'a la mode' while their ones would be served without the ice-cream.

    The Banana-Chocolate Creme Brulee

    [​IMG]

    And the Kilauea Torte, one with and one without the ice-cream

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    DD enjoyed the Creme Brulee. As for the Kilauea Torte, DM and DS found that it was too sweet and too rich, and I don't think they finished it. I would have said the same, but the ice-cream helped to mellow the flavours and I actually enjoyed it. However without the ice-cream I too would have said it was too rich, and I don't say that too often! :lmao: Also, we found that the liquid centre was nowhere near as 'explosive' as they say it is. We have had these sorts of cakes at other places in other parts of the world and generally when you break the cake in the middle the chocolate sauce just comes pouring out. In this cake there was no such pouring, in fact I would probably say that it had a texture somewhat like warm, soft fudge. It definitely looked different to the rest of the cake and you could scoop it out with the spoon, but there was definitely no explosion here. I have read similar comments about this at a few other places, so I am thinking that this might not just be a one off occurrence. There are soooo many desserts to choose from here and they all sound so good, so I reckon you probably can't go too wrong with any of them. But in regards to the torte, just know that it will be very sweet if you get it without ice-cream.

    So all in all, I think overall the Kona Cafe is a place that I would recommend, but just be aware of what you are going to be getting. The food is a mix of Asian and Polynesian and as such, it can be quite sweet at times. The biggest issue we had was with the Shrimp Pasta, although it was fixed and they did enjoy the meal immensely. It was just a shame it couldn't be hot to start with. I would assume that this is a one-off. As for the Kilauea Torte, well, I probably wouldn't have it again but it wasn't so bad that we regret it or anything like that. I think that we would return to Kona again if we had to, but there are so many other places nearby to visit as well, such as The Wave. My best recommendation to you is to do your research, this place is good, but there may be somewhere else that you may like even more :)

    In terms of value, I think this place represents pretty good value on the DDP. It's not as good as a place like Le Cellier or Chefs, but you still get pretty good value out of the credit. And even though I personally didn't have it, I think that the fact you can get three courses on the regular DDP here is a really nice thing. I would love to see this option in more restaurants at WDW, even if they aren't priced as high, at least you get to savour a full meal. For those paying OOP, you may feel that you can get better value by going to a place like Ohanas or one of the nearby buffets, but otherwise this place isn't too bad and they do have some entrees priced very reasonably, such as the shrimp and chicken pastas as well as a few other dishes. Of course, if you just wanted something small to eat perhaps the sushi bar might be a good place!

    I'll leave you with this pic of two of my fave Disney characters! This was at the Dessert Kitchen

    [​IMG]

    Cost:

    4 TS credits used - 0 remaining :(
    Bill Total (excluding OOP extras) - $151.22 (avg. $37.80ea)
    Running Total - $2614.89

    NEXT UP: The DDP component of our trip is nearly over. Two more CS reviews (I'll put them together) and a few snacks left. After that I'll write a small conclusion about the Dining Plan, before writing about our surprise extra days! :)
     
  15. shera

    shera DIS Veteran

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    Kona looks sooo good,I am thinking I have got to squeeze in a reservation for our upcoming trip.So much food ,so little time,lol.Thanks for the great reviews.Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip!!
     
  16. Disneyland_Mama

    Disneyland_Mama <marquee><font color=peach>His head instantly infl

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    I've been enjoying your reviews. You've done a wonderful job.:thumbsup2

    I know this is totally off-topic, but you would mind giving your thoughts on how the crowds were during your visit? I've got a trip planned this year right around the time your family was there. By the way, you have lovely family. :goodvibes

    -Tracy
     
  17. Busymom85

    Busymom85 Mouseketeer

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    Great reviews. Love that you took a picture of the menus. Thanks for posting.
     
  18. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    We did have a great trip, and like you it was difficult to make choices regarding the reservations. But what we did was have backups, in our case the Maya Grill, Kona Cafe and The Wave, all checked and ready to go in case they were needed, and what do you know, two of the three were! :rotfl:

    I reckon Kona is a great place for you to think about going to, but just make sure you aren't sacrificing something great in order to go there. ;)

    Thanks for reading! As for your question, there are a few points that I have to make to give you a proper answer. Firstly, we were expecting mammoth crowds from all reports here at the DisBoards and other places. Secondly, our last experience of Disney was late June, so Summer holidays and I assume it must be pretty popular at the time of year.

    Now as for this trip, TBH I didn't think the crowds were too bad. I think there are two factors which made the crowds a bit smaller than usual. Firstly, Orlando was experiencing record low weather (a record low of 27 was set while we were there!) so a lot of folks probably decided to stay inside instead of venture out to the parks. If you are prepared for the cold though, you can really get good value from this as after dark the queue times are usually quite short! The other factor was that virtually all flights to Orlando from the Northeast (which, as I understand, is one of the biggest sources of visitors to the parks) were cancelled, which meant that no-one could make it for Christmas. This was proved to be correct in my opinion on the day I just wrote about, the 28th, since the flights had started and the queues were much, much longer.

    Getting FPs was no problem either, which was pretty good.

    I'll give you a few examples of wait times. These are kind of like averages, since we saw so many different wait times.

    Everest - 40mins
    Kali River Rapids, Splash Mountain, anything where you get wet - 10mins :)
    Tower of Terror - 30 to 40mins
    Test Track - Never used queue, always got FPs.
    Mission SPACE - 20mins
    Most Fantasyland rides - 15-40mins
    Soarin' - 40-120mins

    And so on. I was really expecting much longer waits so I was happy. :)

    I hope I've answered your question. If you need any more info I'm happy to help, just ask here or DM me!

    Thank-you!
     
  19. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    Trying to catch up on your reviews, I was under the weather the beginning of the week and just now read your post about WGPE. I have them on my tentative list for when we go to DTD, that bacon wrapped meatloaf has my name all over it :goodvibes
    My problem now is after reading your review of Raglan Road I want to eat there too, we did just add another day to our trip so maybe we can do two trips to DTD I am thinking, still working on our itinerary but I have time do not have to make ADR's until March 29th.
    Thanks again for the reviews, now back to reading so I can catch up
     
  20. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    I now want to add Kona to my ADR list too! This is bad everything looks so good. My DH is somewhat like your DD and does not care for sweet sauces and if he remembers asks for it on the side or not to have it at all, he would not want the pineapple either. I on the other had am the complete opposite.

    When we go out I am always telling him it is a good thing he is not rich since he likes such plain food. :laughing:

    The appitizers had my mouth watering as did the desserts. All I can say is YUM :goodvibes

    Looking forward to reading more, can not believe it is coming to an end :sad2:
     
  21. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    Sorry to hear that you weren't well, I hope you're feeling better now.

    Making two trips to DtD isn't such a bad idea, especially if you have two days without EMH evenings or something like that. Or perhaps one towards the end of your trip when you are pretty much done with all the rides in the parks :confused3

    Yep, the Teriyaki steak would not be the choice for your husband then since it is the pineapple marinade that they can't really remove. Perhaps since he likes steak the ginger-crusted rib-eye may be better suited to him? It also sounds pretty interesting! :)
     

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