Excuse me waiter, I dropped my fork-July dining review with lots of pics! Update 8/8

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Steelersfan, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    238
    We just got back from our July 13 to 21st 2012 trip. In the past we have found these reviews to be very helpful so for our last three trips I have made sure to try and remember to get pictures to share!

    First a little about us:

    Me: I'm in my 40's from the Pittsburgh area. This was my 7th total trip to WDW. I am NOT a picky eater at all, in fact I am a burger and fries and hot wing kind of guy. If I didn't like it, it was bad!

    My wife: Also in her 40's. We both have similar eating habits. She likes the vegetables a little more than me. She has a shellfish allergy, so any seafood other than fish is out.

    My daughter: She is 8 and loves the vegetables. She likes chicken and some meats... mostly hotdogs and burgers. She is getting more adventurous as she gets older. She does not like anything spicy, although she is getting better there also.

    We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter and were in the dining plan. Our meals were as follows:

    7/13: Earl of Sandwich and Chef Mickey's
    7/14: Pizza Planet and 1900 Park Fare
    7/15: Coral Reef and Liberty Inn
    7/16: Tusker House Breakfast and Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory pizza.
    7/17: Cosmic Ray's and Garden Grill
    7/18: Leaning Palms and O'hana
    7/19: Crystal Palace and Rosie's All American Cafe
    7/20: Akershus princess breakfast and Pecos Bills
    7/21: Pinnochio Village Haus

    Reading many of these reports, I notice, with all due respect, that some of the reviews are a little negative. In other words, it seems to me that some folks order a burger and expect filet mignon. This review will take into account that when we ordered a burger or chicken nuggets we expected just that. I know there is magic at WDW, but a chicken nugget is a chicken nugget.

    I think it will also become painfully obvious that our daughter likes to drop her fork...a lot, and I ended up eating more carrot cake than I have in my life and more burgers than I expected... but it was all mostly GREAT!

    Feel free to jump in with questions /comments whenever anyone wants!

    Now, on to day 1 (7/21/12)

    We had a VERY early flight out of Pittsburgh so we were up at 3:00am without any real sleep. Needless to say, we were all TIRED! Our plan was to take it easy the 1st day and just go to DTD to do a little shopping.

    Our daughter is a HUGE Build-A-Bear fan and loves to build a dino on our visits, so we figured we could get that out of the way day one in the event we didn't get back. While going to DTD we figured we could stop and eat an one of our favorite restaurants on property... Earl of Sandwich!

    Now, it must be said that I am still a little mad at the Earle for taking the Beef and Bleu off the menu a few years back, so I was searching the menus for a replacement. I decided to try the Hawaiian BBQ. I got the pasta salad so we could get both the pasta and potato salad as sides.

    [​IMG]

    While it is no Beef and Bleu, it will do as they say! This sandwich was awesome. It had a great combination of ham, pineapple, chicken, cheese and BBQ sauce. There was quite a bit going on, but it all meshed perfectly! I am going to try and simulate this at home asap... it was that good. Sometimes ham and chicken can have chewy pieces, but this sandwich was completely tender. I had the pasta salad here before and it is a good pasta salad. I would compare it to Walmart pasta salad more than homemade, but that was OK with me!

    My wife had her favorite, The Original 1762 with a side of potato salad.

    [​IMG]

    When I asked her how it tasted, she said," it tasted like I've been dreaming for the last three years." That pretty much says it all. I ate some of her sandwich and we shared our sides so I must say I agree. Both were very good. I wondered how hot the horseradish sauch would be, but it was more tasty than spicy.

    My daughter went with the grilled cheese with some baked Lays as her side.

    [​IMG]

    I asked her if she liked it and she said," I thought it was burnt but it tasted great!" She ate the whole thing which is a challenge at WDW.

    We got there at 11:45 or so and it was very crowded but that is expected. It wasn't very hot out so we sat outside. We got a table right away and even saw our first duck of the trip which is a major thing for her. She likes seeing the animals walking around more than the characters at times! Plus, she didn't drop a fork at this meal! At the time we didn't realize how nice that was!

    We all had the fountain drinks which is nice here because you can get as many refills as you want until your cup falls apart.

    On a side note, this is actually a good restaurant to save until mid trip or so because the offerings are so different than the bulk of the counter service restaurants. It would be a nice change of pace, plus it is tough to go to DTD the first day with success because it is tough to buy things when you don't know what is available in the parks.

    My recommendation is eat at Earl of Sandwich every trip, but save it for when you are hungry for something a little different.

    That's all for tonight. I was uploading my food pics and my eyes are starting to cross! I'll get to Chef Mickey's whenever I get a chance!
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. hmansure

    hmansure DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,063
    Thanks for the report - looking forward to the rest!

    STEELERS! :thumbsup2
     
  4. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2000
    Messages:
    7,025
    Great start to your reviews, Steelersfan! :thumbsup2

    I love the Hawaiian BBQ sandwich at Earl's. Your review has reminded that it has been way too long since I've had one, as it has been more than 6 years! :sad: I hope they don't remove it from the menu (like they did your Beef and Bleu) before I have a chance to get back there again. ;)
     
  5. BlovesC

    BlovesC home is where the Yeti is!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,358
    Great start and GREAT lineup! I'm happily signing in for more! :thumbsup2
     
  6. happy2012

    happy2012 ♫ ♪There's a great big beautiful tomorrow Shinin'

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    784
    Steel City in the house!!!
    Great start on the review!!!:thumbsup2
     
  7. OThopeful35

    OThopeful35 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    755
    Great review so far! I Love EOS. I had my first one last year and I swear I was moaning as I ate it:lovestruc
     
  8. DsnyMama

    DsnyMama DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,028
    I'm so in. Every review I read about EoS makes me die a little more.... This is our 4th trip and we still haven't fit this in!! I've looked and looked at our schedule and I can't find a place to put it this trip either - but I am going to find a spot! It look so good!!
     
  9. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    5,577
    great start
    who doesn't love EOS :cloud9:
     
  10. ChrissyBeth29

    ChrissyBeth29 JustGoofinAround

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    272
    I'm in. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the negativity in so many of the dining reviews. I couldn't have said it better myself. Even though I've been to WDW over 30 times, I never seem to be at DTD for lunch and never have gotten to try EOS. I am dying to as paninis are my fave! Next time I'm in!
     
  11. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    238
    After dragging our tired butts around DTD for a while longer we took the boat back to French Quarter (our bags were there already) and we took a little nap before heading to Chef Mickey’s for a 6:20 dinner reservation.

    We have never stayed at the French Quarter before, so I didn’t know the bus situation first hand but figured being at the stop at 5:00 would give us plenty of time to get to the Magic Kingdom and hop the resort monorail to the Contemporary…WRONG! This was (by bad luck) our longest wait for a bus. 5:00 soon turned into past 5:30 and I started to panic. Finally the bus came (after watching at least two for the other parks come and go) and we got to the MK after a short ride and got lucky as a monorail was sitting in the station for a LONG time and we caught it and barely made our reservation by walking up to the counter at about 6:15.

    We got our picture taken immediately as there were not many other people waiting and our pager went off literally as soon as I sat down to wait.

    On a side note, one of my least favorite Disney policies is taking pics at the restaurants and making guests feel cheap in front of their kids for not forking out an additional $30 plus dollars for the package. We solved this by trying Photopass Plus this trip. It is expensive, but we got to keep all our restaurant pictures and had a ton of photos of us together during the trip. Plus, the magic shots were awesome. I think this is a good thing, just hunt out the photographers and get as many pictures taken as you can! It is nice insurance in case yours come out blurry! In addition you get to put ride photos on. We kept getting on Buzz Lightyear and posing for the photo. Our daughter kept ketting cut off by the blaster and it took all week to finally get her a clear pic. The girl that night adjusted the photo so she was completely clear and printed us a free copy on Mickey just as a reward for trying so hard to get the photo!

    Anyways, back to the meal. We were seated fast and had a gap until the characters came to go up to the buffet.

    I had a salad (there isn’t as much bleu cheese dressing as it looks, but I had to get some since the Earl got me earlier that day!)

    [​IMG]

    And here was my first plate. I had prime rib, BBQ chicken, some Mickey raviolis and mashed potatoes. I love Chef Mickey’s mashed potatoes. They are my favorite thing there (almost).

    [​IMG]

    Here is my daughter’s plate. She thought she found a “hidden Mickey” when she saw her raviolis. I thought that was funny.

    [​IMG]


    My wife’s plate:

    [​IMG]

    She remembered a salmon with dill sauce that she swore was here, but was a little disappointed to see it missing. They had ribs the last time too that I loved that were not there this time. The BBQ chicken was good, but it wasn’t ribs!

    Here are some other plates we had as seconds:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All the food here was good. If you are expecting world class cuisine you won’t get it here, but the food is good enough and you have choices and will leave full.

    Speaking of full, we almost ran out of room for what I think is Chef Mickey’s trademark… the desserts (which actually are my favorite). Here are some of what we had:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now I saw these little offerings when I was getting my ice cream and had to try them. It was a little cheesecake and carrot cake. At that point in time I had no idea just how much stinkin’ carrot cake I was going to consume this trip! I don’t love carrot cake or crave it EVER, but it just worked out that I ended up picking it… A LOT! Must have been the pixie dust or something!

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, the food here is plenty good enough but it probably will not “wow” you in any way. The main attraction here is the characters because it is the only place we have ever met the “Fab 5,” Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald in one place. It is nice to meet them and get their autographs early in your trip so there is no pressure to meet them as the trip goes on. We did meet most of them again, but it was either at another character meal or in the parks when the line was short. It is really a time saver!

    The characters took their time with us and everyone else. They know exactly how to react to guests of every age and are very good at “reading” a guest’s enthusiasm level. They will spend a little more time with an excited four year old than they will with a table of adults who just might want a picture or two. If they see excited adults, they will interact with them also! This is one of the things I always think sets Disney apart from the local amusement parks almost everyone can drive to at home.

    The only gripes I have with character meals are that you really do have to be prepared to time your trips to the buffet and at times run up fast between characters. They try to pace them apart, buy this gets all screwed up by my second gripe.

    That is parents who blatantly allow their kids to break the rules and run to other tables and jump in front of the characters constantly. Disney tells you to wait at your table and you can pretty much do whatever you want once the character gets there. It is stressed repeatedly to wait and stay at your table. There are always parents who allow their kids to run over to the characters when it isn’t their turn. This slows things down big time in my opinion because people have to wait at THEIR table when it is THEIR turn for strangers to get out of the way for pictures and basic interaction. I am not talking about the occasional excited little kid. I am talking about the parents who just stand and watch this happen when every character comes by and even take pictures. We had some that tried to act like an authority figure only when they saw the table getting annoyed by their kid(s). There are also the people who think it is OK for their whole family, regardless of size, to just cut off a character heading to YOUR table when it is YOUR turn after you have been waiting patiently to stop the character for “one last picture before they leave.” In my opinion this constant interrupting not only causes the intended gap between characters to disappear, it adds a half hour on every meal if you want your own child to meet all the characters.

    To me it is just crass selfishness when people do this. Wait your turn. Every parent, including us, thinks their child is special but you cannot allow this to interfere with other people and negatively impact their experience.

    I will try to not mention this over and over in the review, but it is honestly something people have to know happens when attending these character meals. Giving people honest experiences is what these reviews are all about.

    Having said all that, I again say that no trip is complete without visiting Chef Mickey’s. The food is good enough and you will get to meet five high demand characters that know how to treat you right!

    I’ll get to our first full day with Pizza Planet and 1900 Park Fare just as soon as I can. Thanks for the comments! Keep them coming and more people will get to see the review as it will stay at the top of the page!
     
  12. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    3,250
    Thank you so much for taking the time to do a DR! You are off to a fabulous start, and your pictures are AWESOME! Oh, how we love dinner at Chef Mickey's on our first night! We cannot wait...10 days and we'll be there. I love the pic of your salad. I think the bleu cheese dressing at CM's is one of the most underrated items in WDW. Love the big chunks of cheese in there! The oreo bon bons look a little different...do you feel they have changed from past years, or am I remembering them wrongly?

    I agree with you about giving honest reviews. That's why I'm strugling with your comment about too much negativity in reviews. If we are offering honest reviews, we have to write the bad with the good, or it isn't a "review." Like you, I enjoy eating hamburgers on my vacation. I expect a hot, somewhat juicy, somewhat flavorful piece of meat, on a fresh bun. In other words, I expect a decent hamburger (I know I'm in a theme park, I'm not expecting the world's best burger). But if I have to wait 20 minutes for my burger at a CS establishment, it is dried out to the point of flavorless, my bun is falling apart, and the fixin's bar is missing important items, I write about it. Does that mean I'm being too negative? I always try mention that this is my experience on this particular day...your mileage may vary, of course!

    We come to this dining reviews board specifically for advice from others who have already experienced what we are planning, so we can adjust our expectations and/or our plans accordingly. We owe it to each other to be honest, even if the truth isn't as pretty as we'd like it to be. :) At the same time, we should be sensitive and open-minded, remembering that experiences are subjective and every dining venue has good days and bad.
     
  13. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    238
    What I meant by the negative reviews is I think some may have overly inflated expectations when they eat... especially the counter service. I LOVE WDW but I also refuse to apologize for them when they drop the ball. You will see this later in my Cosmic Ray's review.

    I do agree totally that it isn't out of line to expect a good burger at a counter service, but I don't think it is realistic to expect it to be something you might get at Red Robin or somewhere you sit down and they make it to order.

    That's what I meant about the negative reviews. I try to consider that it is indeed a counter service burger, not a sit down burger. For example, I would expect a much better burger at Beaches and Cream or ESPN which are sitdowns that I would at Pecos Bill's which is designed to feel a ton of people fast and move them through the lines.

    Some reviewers want the same quality one might expect at a sitdown at a counterserve and that just won't happen at any restaurant, theme park etc. I am doing my reviews with that standard in mind, especially considering I have been there enough to know what is good and what was substandard. In other words I think it is the same disservice to be overly critical which might cause someone to skip a good restaurant due to a reviewer's inflated expectations as it is to dismiss a lousy product. You just have to look at it in a realistic way. It would be like being mad and saying WDW is horrible because you went in July, slept in until noon, then had to wait two hours for Space Mountain. That is what one might and should expect. I try to do my reviews the same way.

    I wasn't trying to bash folks who give the negative reviews at all. Trust me... if it sucks, you will know it.

    I do agree 100% about the good and bad days. Sometimes luck plays a big part both in the restaurants and parks!
     
  14. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    3,250
    OK, yes I see what you mean. I do believe that about 50% of enjoyment in life is 90% about managing expectations. I usually keep my expectations pretty low, and end up pleasantly surprised most of the time. ;)

    I will be doing a dining report on our upcoming trip, and I have devised my first rating system. It's hard to use such a tool when the experiences are so varied. I decided I will be rating Chef Mickey's based on what it is, a character buffet...not comparing it to the food we eat at Citricos!

    I'm looking forward to reading more of your report.
     
  15. chocolateMinnie

    chocolateMinnie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,454
    Great start - subscribing for the rest :)
     
  16. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,058
    Definitely signing on! I too have never been to EoS and would love to try it. Just looking at those sandwiches is making me hungry. We have a trip coming up next month so I'm definitely going to try to fit it in somewhere! Looking forward to more reviews!::yes::
     
  17. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,246
    It is funny you comment about negative reviews...sometimes I feel that the reviews (of TS not CS) are overly positive.

    I love to eat, and I have eaten a lot of variety...but I admit that I sometimes eat at Taco Bell or Wendy's or even Golden Corral or Ryan's...

    That being said...I find some of the reviews so overly positive that my expectations are set too high. Cape May dinner was one of those occasions. While there was nothing wrong with the food, I am sure I could have enjoyed myself the same amount at Red Lobster for a much lower price.
     
  18. hogwartsdropout

    hogwartsdropout You can't run away from trouble...ain't no place t

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,458
    Great reviews! Looking forward to more!
     
  19. vicky33006

    vicky33006 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    398
    This is great so far! Can't wait to read more!
     
  20. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    3,250
    I agree with this completely. It's the pixie dust that's in the air and sprinkled on the food that makes all of us a little...more enthusiastic?...about mediocre food and service. ;) We have never been to Cape May, but have had the same kind of experience at different venues that fell FAR short of our expectations based on what we have read and heard. So we have learned over time to keep our expectations low.
     
  21. tinkerbells mum

    tinkerbells mum DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,033
    Loving your review so far and really looking forward to reading the rest. we have got a lot of "your" restaurants on our list for next April and we're staying at POFQ glad there's loads of pictures!
     

Share This Page