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. MistressMerryweather

    MistressMerryweather DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,995
    Loving your reviews! Straight forward and to the point. :goodvibes I'm really enjoying it. Can't wait to hear about Pepper Market. We are staying there in 9 days and have never stayed at CSR and have been nervous about Pepper Market.

    Your family is super cute, too!
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    366
    We woke up and DD wasn't feeling so good so we decided not to rush into the parks and just take our time at the resort. So at about 12:30pm we rocked up to the Pepper Market to have some lunch.

    I'll just point out now that the Pepper Market is unlike most other CS places. As you arrive you are greeted by a Cast Member, who gives each member of your party a card, a napkin with cutlery inside and takes you to a table. I'll explain more as I go along :)

    Here are some pictures of the menu...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These were also given to us by the Cast Member, and I thought it was a nice idea to be able to peruse the menu at the table before going to order.

    Now ordering is where this place really becomes interesting. On one side of the restaurant are a bunch of different kitchen setups, which they call stations. They have a Grill Station, Hot Sandwich Station, Kids Station, Pasta Station, Pizza Station, Market Station and the Chef's Station, as well as a bar and a bakery. Some of the stations share the same kitchen, eg. the pizza, pasta and kids stations. Basically all you do is take your ticket with you to the 'market', go to the counter you are interested in and tell the CM behind the counter what you want. They will then stamp your card with the name of the item you just purchased.

    Some of the dishes are pre-prepared or are semi-prepared and can be ready to go in a couple of minutes. Other dishes are prepared right in front of you and can take up to about ten minutes.

    So onto our meals. DS had a Shrimp Pappardelle pasta ($14.99). This was prepared in front of her. Apparently it tasted delicious. I wouldn't know though... ;)

    [​IMG]

    DM got a Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich ($9.99)...

    [​IMG]

    DD got Rotisserie Chicken served with Fries and Grilled Vegetables ($13.50, Sorry, no pic of this!)

    As for me, I decided to have a pepperoni pizza. They have both 8" and 14" pizzas. I asked if I could get the 14" on the DDP and she said no worries, so I did! :laughing: :banana: ($14.99)

    The pizza was made fresh, so I watched them put the toppings on and put it in the pizza oven. It took about ten minutes to prepare.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's big, isn't it? :goodvibes

    We were all fairly happy with our meals. I was very happy with mine, the only complaint I had was that it was too big! :rotfl: Everything was hot, fresh and delicious, and the servings were very generous. Even if none of our choices interest you, there are so many other things to try that I'm sure there must be something that can please everyone!

    As for the staff at this restaurant, you have a waiter/waitress who will take drinks orders and keep drinks filled. If you have a refillable mug they will fill it with whatever drinks you want and keep it filled. We had two mugs which was enough soda for us, so we used our credits on three waters and a coffee. We also got a cappuccino, which was OOP. (It seems that in most cases, regular coffee or tea is a DDP beverage but Cappuccinos aren't. :confused3) Overall we were happy with the wait staff.

    The kitchen staff were also friendly! They were talking with guests while preparing their meals and were able to explain any questions.

    For dessert we went over to the bakery. They had a huge selection of sweet items at the bakery including muffins, cakes, cookies, yoghurt, ice-cream etc. DS and I decided to have a Chocolate Mousse Cake ($3.95), while DD and DM wanted something simple and went with a Yoplait Original Raspberry flavour yoghurt ($1.95).

    [​IMG]

    I didn't get a pic of the yoghurt here, but I have a pic from another purchase of the same yoghurt that I'll post soon!

    We were very happy with our dessert. It was a decent size for a CS dessert and was one of the best desserts served at WDW! :cheer2:

    So all in all, the Pepper Market is definitely one special Counter Service restaurant and I would recommend it to anyone. However, it's probably best suited to those who are staying at the CSR or have a car, simply because it isn't the easiest resort hotel to get to. You can also get very good value out of a CS credit here. DS and I spent over $20 on our meals, so that is pretty good value out of one credit! I reckon WPE and this place are probably the best CS credit values out there. Even if you aren't on the DDP, I think the quality of the food and service at the Pepper Market makes it a great place to go for a quick meal.

    Cost:

    4 CS credits used - 24 remaining
    Bill Total - $79.83 (avg $19.96ea)
    Running Total - $866.07

    NEXT UP: Dinner at the Maya Grill!
     
  4. MistressMerryweather

    MistressMerryweather DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,995
    Woot! That was awesome. Totally relieved my fears about Pepper Market. Did you have to pay the 10% gratuity with your dining plan. Was it added on for you?
     
  5. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    366
    Thanks for bringing that up! I was planning on explaining that in my third review of the Pepper Market, but I'll just explain it here quickly

    Put simply, no, it isn't included in the DDP. This is stated on the bottom of the ticket that you get the stamps on. This led us to believe that they would just calculate 10% at the check-out and we would pay it, which we would have been more than happy to do. However, when we went to the check-out they did not charge the 10% to our account. We were unsure what had happened, since there are so many conflicting views of this on the internet. Our server on the third trip came up to us and made it clear that the gratuity was not included, implying that we would have to give her the tip directly. Not sure if this is true or not, but we just did what she said and left about 10% of the total cost on the table.

    Personally I do not like this method very much. It's advertised everywhere that there is a 10% service charge and I'm sure all guests, us included would be happy to pay it at the end of the meal. It just seems so much easier than giving it to your server and avoids any issues.
     
  6. chocolateMinnie

    chocolateMinnie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,454
    always found that the PM is poor compared to other cs places. Love the pizza and the salad is pretty good too. Depending on CM you are not allowed some of the desserts on ddp. Also feel awkward about the staff approaching you for tip as they have on last three visits but I believe this place isn't owned by Disney. Great pictures.
     
  7. OceanAnnie

    OceanAnnie <font color=maroon>I guess I have a thing against

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    17,332
    I have been lurking, but had to post! :)

    You have done a wonderful job with your dining reviews. Pictures are great. Comments interesting and to the point. Lots of good information and entertaining! Love that you included the credits, prices of the dishes, bill total, and running total. That is a real service to everyone interested in eating at WDW and the dining plan.

    Your thread is the most well laid out and comprehensive dining review I have read! I lurk a lot on the restaurant board, rarely post. But I had to let you know, excellent job! :thumbsup2
     
  8. sjs314

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

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    10,047
    Good review of the Pepper Market, I have read so many people who complain about it and have wondered why. We stayed CSR on opening day Aug 1st 1998 for a week and ate quite a few meal at the Pepper Market which at the time was different but the food was good. Back then they did not give you menus to look at beforehand, but you go to the various stations ordered and picked up what you wanted. I recall them having and especially good omelet station at breakfast. We were paying OOP so they added the tip to the bill.

    That was a great value being able to order the 14" pizza :thumbsup2

    I agree I would not travel to CSR to eat there. I do however like the whole system as opposed to other CS places, you know you have a table waiting once you come back with your food :)
     
  9. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    366
    It's interesting what you say about the dessert thing. On all three occasions they didn't seem to have any problems with us choosing whatever we wanted. And our desserts seemed to be closer to the top end of the pricing band! This is one of the things that irks me about the dining plan. If they say non-alcoholic bev it should mean anything without alcohol, if it says dessert it should mean anything that could be called dessert etc.

    As for the tip thing, yes it is awkward. It wouldn't be so difficult for them to change the current "Gratuity not included on dining plan" to say something like "Gratuity not included on dining plan, please pay server" or "Gratuity not included on dining plan, you will be charged 10% at checkout" because at the moment it would just lead anyone to believe that they would just get charged at the checkout. I don't understand why they have to make it so difficult, they should just spell it out in plain English! :lmao::confused3

    However, at least in our experience the food was good and I reckon we would return there if we stayed at CSR again. :)

    Thank you sooo much! I'm so glad you're enjoying it and I hope it will be useful for people visiting WDW in the future :)

    Yes, having a table waiting is excellent and they do seem to have enough table! Even at peak period in the morning (never ate breakfast, just saw the queue) they were still able to get everyone seated.

    And the 14" pizza really is good value, since if you ordered it through room pizza delivery you would get the same thing but use 2 TS credits!!!!! :scared1: :eek:
     
  10. mullysisters

    mullysisters Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    433
    Great dining review.Many people on the boards have been negative about The Pepper Market but I really enjoyed when I stayed at CSR in 2008.
    Cape May Clambake is my first dinner at WDW each trip. I love it!
    Looking forward to more!
     
  11. Dizneydawn

    Dizneydawn One Road Trip Away From A STRAIGHT JACKET! Wanna DVC Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,589
    I am usually over on the Trip Reports thread and just pop in here to check on my favorite places and what is new but I have to tell you, I am totally impressed.

    First - as an 18 year old guy to be willing to love Disney and then take the time to write about his dining experiences is amazing!

    Second - You really have an insightful way to not only get the food quality across but also a caring for others to make their experience easier from what you have witnessed yourself.

    Class act and as a Mom to three kids (20, 17 1/2 and 15) who love Disney as well and "get it," you are a great role model for some who might not and I am sure your parents are proud.

    You actually made me call my Daughter (the middle one) and tell her I still have hope she can someday find a guy who loves Disney as much as she does since all the guys she knows does not understand her love of the Mouse!

    For all of us older (and I mean older than 25) Disney Lovers, you give hope that your generation is indeed, not a lost cause!!!

    WELL DONE!!!!!:worship:
     
  12. chocovrdmicears

    chocovrdmicears DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,933
    I agree with Dizneydawn - I am so impressed with your report!
    First - Your family is beautiful!
    Second - The care, detail and time you have put into your report has not gone unnoticed. I have read a gazzillion food reviews and really enjoy yours. :goodvibes
    Third - Your parents must be very proud of you (sorry..probably a dorky thing for an 18 yr old kid to hear;)) But as a Mom, I am so impressed with your interest and expression of your family vacation. As a mom of 2 kids much younger (7 & 8 yrs) I only hope that they will grow up to share my passion and love for Disney. :lovestruc
    Very well done. :thumbsup2
     
  13. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    5,265
    Thanks for all the information and pictures! I can't wait to see what you thought of LeCellier.
     
  14. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    5,265
    Thanks for all the information and pictures! I can't wait to see what you thought of LeCellier.
     
  15. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    366
    Thanks! I hope you enjoy the upcoming reviews, there's still a LOT more to go! :)

    Thank you for your very kind words! It really means a lot to me :)

    Thank you so much! I'm glad you are enjoying my reviews as much as I am enjoying writing them :)

    No worries! Le Cellier will be coming up probably sometime within the next week I suppose, if I continue to write at about the same speed. Let me tell you now though, it was awesome! :)
     
  16. weswife

    weswife DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,658
    I enjoyed your review!You are doing an awesome with the details! The pics. are wonderful! :thumbsup2 Can't wait to read more!:goodvibes
     
  17. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    366
    Our original plan for this night was to go to Boma, however since DD wasn't feeling the best we asked concierge for a ressie here. They were only able to get us a 9:00pm one, but that was ok with us!

    So we arrived at the restaurant pretty much right on time for our reservation. They checked us in and asked us to wait for like two minutes before taking us to our table. We were given something like a booth, which is personally my favourite type of table because generally there's more space than there would be at a regular table, and booths aren't too common here in Australia so it's just a bit of fun to sit at one! ;)

    The atmosphere of the restaurant is really nice. It's quite modern in its design and although it might be a little dark inside for some, I found that it just added to the mood. They describe themselves as "Nuevo Latino" and I think this is quite fitting.

    Our server was Abdel. He was originally from Morocco but had lived in the U.S. for ages. He was perhaps the best server we had on the entire vacation. Abdel treated us like we were long lost family, talking to us about our lives in Australia and also telling us about his life, both in Morocco and the U.S. He made us feel very welcome.

    To start with he brought out some bread, complimentary of course!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There were two types of bread served. One was sort of like a very crispy flatbread, while the other one was just regular bread. However, it had little bits of like capsicum or something in it. This didn't make it spicy or anything, but it proved that it hadn't just come out of a box from the freezer or something. It was served warm and was delicious. It also came with their house made Chimichurri. We don't really eat any Mexican food in Australia so we hadn't tried Chimichurri before, but it was really, really good! We tried it in a few other restaurants after having it here, but none of them compared to this one!

    Here is a picture of the menu. As you can see, there are a fair few choices here!

    [​IMG]

    DM chose the Ribeye Tacos ($24), DS chose the Shrimp Tacos ($24) and DD and I had the NY Strip Steak ($31). To drink DM and DS had Diet Coke, DD had Sparkling Water and I had Cherry Coke ($2.50 for the sodas, $3.25 for the sparkling water). DD also ordered a glass of the Blackstone Merlot ($9)

    DD also ordered a side of Steak Mushrooms and Caramelised Onions ($8)

    The food came out in a reasonable time after ordering. Here are the pics! :)

    Ribeye Tacos

    [​IMG]

    Shrimp Tacos

    [​IMG]

    NY Strip Steak

    [​IMG]

    And Dad's Mushroom side

    [​IMG]

    Since my sister liked the Shrimp Tacos so much, I will let her write the next paragraph so she can explain to you how awesome it truly was :)

    "I cannot stop raving about the Shrimp Tacos. :love: Seriously if i went back, and we did, i wouldn't look at anything else on the menu i would order them again, which i did :). The sauce (chipotle lime aioli) was simply amazing and the salad stuff and shrimp was perfect :) My only criticism of the dish was the accompanying rice and beans, which were not well suited to my tastes. However others found them quite nice so..."​

    I told you she liked them! :laughing:

    As for DM, she was very happy with her Ribeye tacos. Probably a decent alternative to the Shrimp tacos if you're not a fan of fish.

    DD and my NY Strip Steaks were excellent. It says it is done in the chili rub, but seriously the chili was very mild and was more of a subtle flavouring. The garlic yukon mashed potatoes were excellent and the brocollini, well, it was as good as brocollini could be ;).

    DD also enjoyed his mushroom side, but since the meals are fairly generous in size, there probably isn't a need for a side! Unless you are thinking of just getting it to share around, which is basically what we did.

    Here is the dessert menu...

    [​IMG]

    Basically you have to choose either the Caramel Flan or a Dessert Shot, which is just a very, very small dessert served in a shotglass. The Dessert Shot is probably a good idea for people who are really full and just want to try something or make use of their DDP credit, while the Caramel Flan is obviously more expensive and a larger serving. We all ordered the flan! ($6.99)

    [​IMG]

    Our first impressions when we saw the dessert was just shock at the size of it! The picture may be a little deceiving, but it was a really large serving! And not only that, it was truly delicious! They had struck a perfect balance between soft and firm in terms of the texture and the coconut sabayon sauce was sweet and went very well with the flan. For me, and I think for my family, it was a perfect conclusion to the meal.

    Even after dessert, and after paying the check, Abdel stayed around to talk with us. He asked us what other restaurants we were going to and said that we had made some really good choices with our ADR's. He talked to us at length about Morocco, since it's a place that we would really like to go at some time in the future. He was truly one of a kind, consider yourselves very, very, very lucky if you have him as your server the next time you visit the Maya Grill!

    All in all, I am unable to find any faults in the Maya Grill. I was a little apprehensive before going simply because our reservation was so late, but we were never ever rushed and the food tasted great, so it wasn't like they had handed us over to the overnight junior chef or something like that :). While I said that the Pepper Market is probably best only for those with a car or who are staying at the resort, I reckon that even if we stay somewhere else in the future we will definitely make the effort to take the buses to the CSR and have dinner there. I think that the best way to put it is that the Pepper Market is good food, while the Maya Grill is excellent food. It's just that extra step that makes it worthwhile to make your way to the CSR to eat there. Of course there are probably other places across WDW that would probably be just as good that we haven't tried yet, but if you have tried most of the other places and want to go somewhere new, then this is it! :)

    In regards to value for money on the DDP, I reckon that it is excellent. There are some pretty expensive items you can choose from so you can really make some money here! DD and my meals alone cost a little over $41 each pre-tax, so that's pretty good! If you're not on the DDP, I still think that at this place you are getting value for your money. Stay tuned for my second review of this place (will probably be a little while away) as on that night we didn't have the DDP so it was a fairly different style of dining, but still good!

    Cost:

    4 TS credits used - 28 remaining
    Bill Total - $158.38 (avg $39.59ea) [BTW, these bill totals I'm doing are tax inclusive, I'm not sure if I mentioned that before :)]
    Running Total - $1024.45

    NEXT UP: A quick morning snack at the CSR and then off to Fairfax Fare for lunch!
     
  18. MishyMouse

    MishyMouse Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    52
    I think I need to try those shrimp tacos. :)
     
  19. sjs314

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

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    10,047
    My mouth is watering looking at DD mushroom and onion sidedish, I could almost make a meal out of that, the steaks and everything else looked delish especially dessert. Great review :thumbsup2
     
  20. klacey1

    klacey1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,814
    Those ribeye tacos look sooooo good! Great review! I loved hearing about your server. We always a bad server is as bad as bad food-- so nice when you get an amazing waiter!
     
  21. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    366
    Yes you should! If my sister's raving recommendation is anything to go by... :rotfl:

    Thanks!

    Thanks! I completely agree with you, we've had some pretty good meals where service was horrid, while we've had some pretty poor meals where service was excellent. I think i prefer the latter more!
     

Share This Page