Down by the Boardwalk - 5 days of family dining fun

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by jknepfle, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. jknepfle

    jknepfle Longtime Disney fan, DVC Member

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    Ok...this is my first trip report, and I thought I'd start with a dining review since it seems like that'd be a little simpler. Maybe if things go well and I don't get the GONG!!!! from you DISers I'll do a full trip report, too. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures - I don't YET have the guts to snap a picture of everything we eat, but, let's see how this goes. First, I'll set up our family's cast of characters:

    ME(31) software engineer from Cincinnati, OH. I went to Disney World at age 3, (about) 7, and 14 with my family. My dad is a catholic high school teacher and my mom was a SAHM, so we didn't have much money, but we did go on a vacation every year. The times we went to Disney World were among my best memories growing up. So, I guess you could say there's a special place in my heart for Disney World. I'm also an unabashed foodie. There aren't many things I don't like to eat...except maybe tuna casserole. ;) I like a good single malt Scotch and I'm a very amateur wine drinker. I love seafood, especially crab, and generally I'm very adventurous when it comes to food.

    DW(31) Stay at home mom and CEO of our house. She keeps the family running smoothly. She went to Disney World several times as a kid, and is definitely an amusement park lover, too. Her family went to Florida a lot and they stopped at Disney several times. DW is less adventursome food-wise than me, but also definitely appreciates good quality. I'm STILL trying to get her to try and appreciate good fish. She had bad experiences with fish sticks as a kid and although she's been telling me she's going to try it some day (ever since our honeymoon almost 7 years ago!), it's still a work in progress. :) DW loves a good steak, and usually a good pork chop (especially topped with blue cheese :) ), but she's pregnant, so as you probably know, that all goes out the window. USUALLY I know her tastes pretty well, and know what she's likely to enjoy when we go out, but all that goes out the window when she's pregnant. :)

    DD(4) My daughter is what you might call a precocious 4 year old. She loves mac and cheese, plain pasta, and cheeseburgers - typical kids food. Usually she's pretty good at trying new things. She was very good at all our sit down meals this trip, which gives me hope that we WILL have a relaxing meal in a restaurant with kids sometime in the not so distant future. :)

    DS(2) My son is a typical 2 (almost 3) year old boy. He'll talk about being hungry from the moment you walk in the door to the restaurant. Then, when the food comes, he'll take 2 bites and announce he's finished and want to run around. :) He actually did pretty well this trip. He'll usually eat just about anything, and is turning into a fish lover like his dad.


    This past fall, we decided we loved Disney so much that we might as well join the vacation club. So, we bought in and are now proud owners at Saratoga Springs! DW's parents were renting a condo at Siesta Key and invited us to stay with them, so we figured that'd be a great opportunity to sneak in a short trip to the world first! We stayed 5 nights at the Boardwalk Villas in a 1 bedroom villa from 6/15 - 6/20. I have to say...the villas are GREAT! What a difference it makes. It was so nice to have the kids stay in a separate room. But......I digress. On to the food!!!
     
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  3. jknepfle

    jknepfle Longtime Disney fan, DVC Member

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    Thanks to some flight shuffling by Delta, our flight ended up leaving Cincinnati about 3.5 hours earlier than we had planned. It was great....we got in to MCO at about 6:40PM, loaded up the luggage, got our rental car and we were on our way!

    We had decided to do breakfast in our room every morning. We're fans of getting to the parks at rope drop and trying to ride as many rides as possible before the crowds. Then, we usually like to eat lunch and head back to the room for a rest and HOPEFULLY a nap for the kids (and the adults when possible). That turns out to be wishful thinking most of the time since they're in a different environment and excited about being there. But, we try, and we do make them at least lay down and watch TV.

    WARNING!
    <DIGRESSION>
    Has anyone noticed that channel 96 on TV shows old-time Disney cartoons? We found this last year when we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, and it quickly became a favorite of our kids. This year, it even included one of those old Goofy cartoons where he's trying to ride a horse. If you haven't checked out channel 96 in the resort hotels, put it on your list for next time. As far as I know they don't advertise it, but it's just one of those "hidden gems" that is SO Disney.
    </DIGRESSION>

    Anyway, in order to do breakfast in the room, we needed some staples, so we stopped at Walmart on the way to the hotel. DW and DS went in, and I stayed with DD who had fallen asleep. When we finally got to BWV, checked in, got to the room, and got the luggage in, it was about 9PM. Just in time for the Illuminations fireworks! We stayed in 2117, which was on the first floor with a great view. It was a pretty long walk from the lobby/Boardwalk area, but in all, a pretty good room. Since we hadn't had dinner yet, I ran out to see what I could find to feed us and get the kids to bed ASAP. I ended up getting kinda turned around leaving the room, but eventually made it to the Boardwalk area where I found:

    Spoodles Pizza Window
    I ordered 2 slices of cheese and 2 pepperoni for the 4 of us. They were HUGE! The nice CMs there boxed them up for me for easy transport and I high-tailed it back to the hungry troops. I'm not sure if they were just particularly good that night or we were just super hungry (probably both?), but it tasted great. The crust tastes home-made (and with a wife and kids who could probably eat pizza 2x a week, I've made my share of pizzas!), the sauce was tasty and the cheese was delicious and slightly greasy (in a good way). I'd recommend the Spoodles Pizza window to anyone lookin for a quick bite to eat in the Boardwalk area.
    Overall: B+

    Next up.............Le Cellier and what my wife and I call "eating around the world"
     
  4. lonegirl

    lonegirl Mouseketeer

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    Am I the first to respond? Our kiddos will be 4 and 2 (almost 3 and 5) when we go this fall, so I look forward to your report.

    Our boys do the same thing: they cannot, by any means, SKIP a meal, but will only eat 2-3 bites of it. This morning they ate three waffles each for breakfast, so that will tide them over until probably Thursday dinner.

    Look forward to it, and thanks for posting:)
     
  5. jknepfle

    jknepfle Longtime Disney fan, DVC Member

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    Yup! You're the first! Thanks for the reply. Aren't they funny when they eat like that? I just can't figure it out, but I guess whatever works.... :)

    As a preview...the sit-down places we went to were ALL about getting you in and out, which at times felt a little rushed, but usually we were glad 'cause it kept our kids busy and we didn't have to do too much to entertain them. And, I know the kids menus get kinda dissed here on the DIS, but for us, they worked out great...our kids usually even split the kids meal or split one adult meal at some CS restaurants.
     
  6. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi <marquee><font color=green>You say vacation addict

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    Greetings from Kang and Kodos!!

    In anticipation of more reviews I'd just like to say, "Take what you want but eat what you take." :rotfl2:

    I'm so disappointed I didn't get here first...trying is the first step towards failure, isn't it?

    OK.. enough with the Simpsons already. Great start so far...I'm really looking forward to your TS reviews, especially some of the places that my hubby and I haven't made it to yet.

    Didn't you have an ADR for Le Cellier? Dazzle me...I've got a meat-craving going on over here on this side of Old Man River.

    Looking forward to more! :thumbsup2
     
  7. momocay

    momocay Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait to hear the rest. Congrats on your new DVC purchase.
     
  8. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

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    Excellent ~ Welcome home:goodvibes
     
  9. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    Great start - you've got me craving pizza now :rotfl:
     
  10. swankybeth

    swankybeth <font color=teal>Loves bubble tea!<br><font color=

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    Enjoying so far, looking forward to the next installment. :thumbsup2
     
  11. pperfectmom

    pperfectmom <font color=teal>Has the sense of direction of a m

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    Great start and we will have a 4 and a 2 year old on our trip so I need the advice. My 4 year old will eat anything that isn't nailed down but her brother is of the "2 bites a meal and then wants to get down and run like a mad man" type of eater. I'm hoping he gets better by the time our trip rolls around.
     
  12. mt mommy

    mt mommy Mouseketeer

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    great report so far!
     
  13. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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    Great start - looking forward to the rest!
     
  14. Busymom85

    Busymom85 Mouseketeer

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    Great review so far. Can't wait to read the rest.
     
  15. dramaticmissy

    dramaticmissy Mouseketeer

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    REALLY a great start. I'm going in August with my little ones 3 and 5 so any tips would be nice.
     
  16. MelanieC

    MelanieC <font color=blue>BL II - Blue Team<br><font color=

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    Great review so far - can't wait for your next installment!
     
  17. disneyjunebug

    disneyjunebug Three greatest guys in the world: Bill Nye, Micke

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    Great review! I'm taking a 4 yr old and a 48 yr old in the fall and both are rather picky eaters. That pizza description even had me salivating and I'm not a big pizza person! Looking forward to more!
     
  18. DisneyJo

    DisneyJo Missing my tags!

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    Great start :thumbsup2
     
  19. jknepfle

    jknepfle Longtime Disney fan, DVC Member

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    Haha...thanks. "Actually, we're Quantum Presbyterians." :lmao: I'll try to do Le Cellier justice...It's kinda hard since it's been reviewed SOoooo much. :)

    Thanks! I think I can honestly say it was a good investment for us!

    WOo hoo! It was neat to hear that the first time.

    Sweet! Let's hope I can live up to that with the next installment.

    Great...glad you're enjoying it. I'm gonna try to get down to more FOOD now :)

    I know a lot of people don't think you should bring kids that young, but we actually brought our daughter a few days after her first birthday. Granted, the trip was more for us, but she still had fun!:thumbsup2

    Thankee! I'll try to keep up the momentum!

    Saweet!

    Hopefully my next installment lives up to the kudos you all are laying o me!

    Cool...our kids aren't big eaters, so we found they could easily share even a kids meal. I think you'll be happy...the food always seemed to come out quickly, which, while non-ideal for adults, was a savior for the kids!

    Thanks! Coming very soon!
     
  20. jknepfle

    jknepfle Longtime Disney fan, DVC Member

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    Haha...I'm sure both the 4 and the 48 year old will find something. In fact, I think it's almost tougher to find anything "nonstandard" than it is to find things for more picky eaters. I'm sure you'll be fine.

    Thanks a bunch!:thumbsup2
     
  21. jknepfle

    jknepfle Longtime Disney fan, DVC Member

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    Le Cellier Lunch
    I get a little nervous reviewing Le Cellier. People seem to have very strong feelings about it (definitely mostly positive!). I was very excited about this one...probably the most coveted ADR of our trip. I have to say, we were very pleased. As we were walking from Spaceship Earth to Le Cellier (incidentally....why did they change the side you exit from? now, you have to walk ALL the way around to get your stroller...grrrr! ;) ), DS fell asleep. So, we checked in just before our 11:30 ADR and asked if we could bring him in in the stroller. "No problem!" Woo hoo! DS could get a hot dog (his meal of choice) anywhere, and now we might have a semi-relaxing meal with only one 4 year old to entertain! :banana:

    One thing I had never heard here on the DIS is that at Le Cellier, before they open for lunch, they sing "O Canada" in both English and French. It was a pretty neat touch. We sat down, and immediately our drink orders were taken. As usual, DW and I got water. She almost ALWAYS gets water, and I was really trying to stay hydrated. We let DD get a pirate punch with a cool light up tinkerbell. She was happy. :) He soon brought the drinks and 3 large breadsticks - pretzel (the darling of the DIS, and it was pretty darn good), whole grain (my favorite - a very good whole grain bread with a kind of pleasant chew), and sourdough (usually I'm not a huge fan, but this was pretty good, too). They even had what I believe to be "Epcot Ball" shaped butter!

    We're not big appetizer eaters, especially at lunch. It's not that we NEVER get them, but it's pretty rare. I think seeing all the people here on the dining plan made us more aware of them, so we got them more on this trip than we would normally. So, all three of us ordered the famous Cheddar Cheese Soup. It did NOT disappoint! The only criticism I had of it was that it was not quite as hot as I would have liked. Regardless, it had a great sharp cheese flavor, but not TOO sharp, with a hint of beer kind of in the background, but definitely there if you were looking for it. It had a sort of spicy finish in the back of the throat. And, you could also taste a small vegetal component from what I assume are onions, carrots, celery. :thumbsup2 on the soup!

    For entrees, I had the 10oz strip steak, medium rare with "balsamic red onions, watercress and roasted Yukon potatoes and finished with veal demi-glace" , and DW had the 5oz Filet "over cream cheese mashed potatoes, finished with a roasted garlic demi glace". DD had a hotdog. :confused3 But, she seemed to enjoy it. :) The strip steak had excellent flavor. It tasted like it had been cooked over a screaming hot charcoal fire, which gave it that great grilled/chared taste, and had an excellent beefy flavor. My only problem was that it was slightly dry and a little tough (although I'll forgive that since it IS a strip...). :( I think mine was slightly overcooked. I like it warm and pink/red in the center, and I think it was more hot and pink. It was hard to tell since it's so darn dark in there, though. So, I enjoyed it, but I think it coulda been better. The potatoes were just so-so...sorta mushy like they had been sitting in the drippings too long and not too "roasted". I didn't notice any balsamic red onions, but the watercress was a pleasant suprise. I'm not sure I'v ever had watercress before, but it was just slightly wilted and was a great, fresh, bitter foil to the rich steak. A good pair! I tasted some of DW's filet. It was very very good. She likes her steak medium, and it was cooked perfectly, very tender, but without the strong beefy flavor of my strip. The mashed potatoes were GREAT! I'm more used to having garlic mashed potatoes with a steak, so these were a nice change.

    For dessert, DW got the duo of creme brulee (maple and vanilla), and I had the chocolate whiskey cake with tarragon creme anglais. I'm a chocoholic. I admit it....I've been known to say that if it ain't chocolate, it ain't dessert. This was a great piece of chocolate cake. Tasted very fresh, moist, fudgy and delicious. I didn't taste the whiskey, but I can't say I was looking for it too closely. I think it just served to support the chocolate. I'd definitely recommend it! DW was thinking about not ordering dessert, but she was very happy she did. The creme brulee tasted "light" without being light on flavor. She's not usually a huge maple fan, but we both loved the maple, and I REALLY loved the cinnamon whipped cream they paired with it. The vanilla was good, too, but not as interesting as the maple. DD had "make your own sundae." She loved it. :)

    In all, we really did like Le Cellier. It wasn't jaw-droppingly good. It was very good, not excellent. We decided we'd probably go back, but we'd like to try other places first, before coming back here.
    Overall: B-

    Next.....Eating around the world!
     

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