F&W, Halloween & Christmas-and all the food in between! Updated 4/6

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by sbprincess, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Hello everyone! Welcome to my first Dining Report!

    My DH, Brian, and I returned from the most magical place on earth a couple of weeks ago. I've been so crazy with work, Thanksgiving, and everything else since we got back. But I have finally uploaded some of our food pictures and want to get started telling you all about it!

    Just for the sake of details - here they are (because somebody out there might care :) ) The food is coming soon. Just hang on!
    Dates: Wednesday, October 31st - Saturday, November 10th
    Who: Just Brian and myself
    Where: Caribbean Beach Resort

    This was our second visit during Food & Wine and it was exponentially better than last year. For one, we went about a month later so the weather was excellent. Last October (5th-15th), it literally rained for 2 and a half days early in the trip. Plus, the heat just made it difficult to want to eat hot F&W food. The food was still tasty but eating in high 80s vs. eating in low-mid 70s made a world of difference to me. Lastly, I planned much better this trip. I'm the type that plans like a crazy person for weeks, has color coordinated charts, and listens to 4 or 5 different Disney podcasts religiously. But as soon as we leave, we're on vacation. I use the chart as a guide. We keep our ADRs (almost) always. We generally keep to the park I have planned for each day. But other than that - we go with the flow. :cool1:

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    There we are - aren't we cute?

    Okay - a few details about us regarding FOOD! I always like to know a little about the person reviewing so I know their frame of reference better.

    Me: I love to cook. During normal weeks I plan out our menu before going to the grocery store. I could spend hours in the grocery. Whole Foods is one of my favorite places. I love finding new ingredients. I cook 3 or 4 meals throughout the week and we usually only eat out once (if even that). Luckily, both Brian and I are just fine eating leftovers. I used to be a pretty picky eater. But moving out of my parents house and losing some weight in my early 20s helped me to branch out, a lot! There aren't many foods I dont like. Bananas, peaches, and melon come to mind. I just realized those are all fruits...weird. And I'm not really a fan of fast food. I can probably count on one hand the times I've been to a drive-thru in the last year (counting vacations!). Anyway, some things that tend to catch my eye on a menu are mushrooms, goat cheese, polenta, risotto, sage, rosemary, sweet potatoes, avocado...I'm sure there are more. If I see those listed in an entrée, it's likely that I'll order it. But, I also have to say, because I cook so much, at least half the joy of dining out is not having to be over the stove, clean the dishes, etc. I also usually do not order things that I can easily make myself.

    Brian: He loves to eat what I cook. :rotfl: He has absolutely no cooking ability. I'm sure if he was remotely interested he could learn. But that's the problem - he has no inclination whatsoever. In his teenage years, if his parents went out of town, he would usually either eat McDonalds (yuck!!!), instant oatmeal, or MAYBE a PB&J if he was feeling gourmet. :rolleyes2 But I have spoiled him. He takes leftovers for lunch everyday and turns his nose up at McDonalds now too (mission accomplished - YES!). His palate has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. I can't think of much he won't eat. He isn't a huge fan of mushrooms; but that doesn't stop me from using them at least once per week. :p He always eats them so I tend to think he's all talk. I actually have learned to not tell him if I use an ingredient I'm not sure if he'll like. He's more weird about thinking generic brands aren't up to par. But it's all in his head. If I just dont tell him or refill the name brand package with the generic stuff, he never says a word. He has caught me a few times. :blush: But it's for his own good! :lmao:

    Okay, I've spent way too much time rambling about us. But I'm not going to erase it now! I'll just jump right into where we ate. The names will link to the review:

    Thursday November 1st:
    (L) Food & Wine booths
    (D) LeCellier

    Friday November 2nd:
    (B) Main Street Bakery
    (L) Pecos Bill
    (S) Aloha Isle
    (D) The Wave

    Saturday November 3rd:
    (B) Kouzzina
    (F&W Seminar) SkinnyGirl / Bethenny Frankel
    (L) Pizzafari
    (D) Teppan Edo
    (S) Funnel Cake Kiosk - America

    Sunday November 4th:
    (B) Old Port Royale
    (L) Earl of Sandwich
    (D) Kouzzina

    Monday November 5th:
    (B) Kouzzina
    (L) AMC Movie snacks
    (D) Via Napoli

    Tuesday November 6th:
    (B) Kona Café
    (L) Art of Animation: Landscape of Flavors
    (D) California Grill

    Wednesday November 7th:
    (B) Sunshine Seasons
    (L) Food & Wine booths
    (S) Boulangerie Patisserie (France) / Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (Norway)
    (D) Wolfgang Puck Café

    Thursday November 8th:
    (B) Old Port Royale
    (L) Earl of Sandwich
    (D) Ohana

    Friday November 9th:
    (L) Be Our Guest
    (D) Raglan Road​

    Whew! This is going to be a lot of food. I got pictures of (almost) everything. I had every intention of writing down prices and comparing the dining plan vs. out of pocket. Short version: that didn't happen. :laughing: Sorry! But reliving it all will still be fun. I hope you'll join me!
     
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  3. nanienamou

    nanienamou Mouseketeer

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    can't wait to read your reviews! :)
     
  4. Rumpletinker

    Rumpletinker Mouseketeer

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    Everything looks yummy! Looking forward to it!
     
  5. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Great intros and I am really looking forward to your reviews :goodvibes
     
  6. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Thursday – November 1st

    Our trip actually started on Wednesday, 10/31. Both Brian and I went to work for a half day and we left our house around 4:00pm. We stopped a little more than halfway down and stayed in a clean (but creepy :confused:) hotel. The next morning we stopped at Starbucks (Pumpkin Spice Latte!!) and made it to Caribbean Beach Resort around noon. We quickly checked in and dumped our luggage in the room. We had a way more important place to be: the Food & Wine Festival!!!

    Very first stop – Hawaii. We both got the Kahlua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise. Actually, Brian got two all for himself :laughing:. We had this last year and he knew he loved it.

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    We both loved it again! I thought the portion was generous and the spicy mayo was really good.

    Next up was Greece. I got the Spanakopita. Again, I thought the portion of two was great. I love spinach. Add cheese and a crusty pocket and I’m one happy girl.

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    Right across from Greece was the Canada booth. Since we were eating there for dinner, I talked Brian out of getting the sausage for the moment. However, I did want to try the Apple Ice Wine. I really enjoy cider (especially hard cider :rolleyes1) so I thought I would like this. I was in shock though when I saw how absolutely tiny this serving was. I paid $5.25 for that? Yep – sure did :sad2:

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    It was awesome though. I could have had a huge glass. Instead, I had about a thimbleful.

    Next was Ireland. Another repeat for Brian – the Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie. I had a bite and it was very good. We were both impressed with the large chunk of lobster he found inside.

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    I opted for alcohol instead! I got the Bunratty Potcheene Chilled Irish Coffee ($6.50). While still a little small, this was much more acceptable for a portion to me. And it was so yummy! I only allowed Brian to have a small sip. :goodvibes

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    Around this time, we were both coming close to satisfied :( But it was still so early! But, we also wanted to be hungry for dinner. I knew I wanted to try a couple of more food items since I still had a little room. We came upon France and I decided to get the Coq au Vin sur Gratin de Macaroni. This had so much flavor! The red wine braised chicken, yes chicken!, was so tender and had a beefy flavor. I’m not sure I had any onions in mine but there were mushrooms and macaroni.

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    My last food item of the day was from Morocco. I chose the Merguez Sausage (Beef and Lamb Sausage with Grilled Peppers and Onions). It came wrapped up. I was afraid it would be cold since it wasn’t made fresh. I was wrong though! It was actually a little too hot to eat at first. I love sautéed onions and peppers so I was excited. The sauce from the onions and sausage was so good. The only negative about this is that I only saw one teeny pepper amongst the rest. It was still very tasty though.

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    Brian had one more stop to make before he called it quits. A little background: my husband feels he was born in the wrong country. For some reason, he has a slight obsession with Japanese culture. He’s pretty into video games so I think that’s where it started. But he also loves Japanese (well, Americanized Japanese) food, history, Samurai, swords, traditional clothes…I could go on. Anyway, because of this, he desperately wants to like Sake. He had only tried it twice before this trip and couldn’t honestly say he liked it. He was determined to find one he liked this time. (Why I didn’t sign him up for a tasting seminar, I have no idea. FAIL on my part!) Anyway, so I had heard of an item on Japan’s menu - Sake Strawberry Mist. I thought it might ease him into it a little more than the straight shots had. He thought this was good but you really couldn’t taste the Sake. I tried it and he was right. But that was a good thing to me :laughing: The Sake I tried before tasted like fingernail polish remover. This did not taste like fingernail polish remover – thankfully!

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    So, that was it for this day's tastings at Food & Wine! Looking back now, it doesn't seem like we had that much food this first time but we were satisfied. Don't worry though - we went back another day and I think we got through a lot more the second time! We didn’t really have any duds either. And the temperature outside was so great! My planning had thoroughly paid off too. I was super crazy and listed items we wanted to try on notecards along with items I knew we did NOT want to try. I felt like such a nerd but it worked out perfectly! I numbered them so that they were in order of which booth we'd come to going counter-clockwise around the lake. If we do F&W again in the future, I will be repeating my method on this.

    Next up, one of my favorites from past trips: Le Cellier!
     
  7. Yelloweaver

    Yelloweaver Earning My Ears

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    Can't wait to read more!!
     
  8. Rumpletinker

    Rumpletinker Mouseketeer

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    I am determined to go the Greece and Ireland booths at my next F&W! I have seen everyone's pictures and the food looks uh-MAY-zing!

    Le Cellier is one of my dream meals so I can't wait to see what you thought. :)
     
  9. francis6306

    francis6306 DIS Veteran

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    Hi there friend! :yay: (for those of you who don't know me, let me introduce myself! I'm SBPrincess's Best Friend! :hug:) We somewhat grew up together, bridesmaids in each other's weddings and can't get through a day without an email or phone call to each other!

    That wine glass was TINY!!! I would be really upset about that! But servings of wine tend to be small anyway…

    That lobster and seafood Fisherman's Pie looks AMAZING!!! :hyper:

    Can't wait for your next installment!!!!
     
  10. GoofySon'sMom

    GoofySon'sMom DIS Veteran

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    Looked like a great day at F&W to me!

    I had never liked sake until our August trip when I found the sweeter and flavored sakes. I agree that those I had tried in the past did taste like nail polish remover! I had the most amazing green apple sake at Yak & Yeti! Tasted just like a cold crisp granny smith apple! Maybe your husband would like flavored sakes better ...
     
  11. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!! I'm so glad to hear you were pleased with a later food & wine trip because that's exactly what we're doing next year. We've always done early to mid October and are changing to 10/31-11/8 for 2013.

    Also, hoping to see some holiday decorations going as bit later too! Did y'all get to see any decorations?
     
  12. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Thanks! More is on the way! :goodvibes

    Yep - DH loved the stew in Ireland. Have you been to Kouzzina at BWI? It's Greek-esque and we actually loved it! Le Cellier is always a favorite. We've been every trip except one and are never disappointed. I hope you get to go one day!

    Why, hello there! :hug: You didn't tell me you started your TR, silly. I will have to go catch up soon!

    Wine glass - I know!!! I would have been better with that serving it it was say, $3. But $5 something?...uh, no. Ah well...whatareyougonnado? :confused3

    It was a great day! Well, you'll have to wait and see for the details but he did find some sake that he liked. He even bought some to bring home later too. The kind you describe sounds AMAZING! I would probably love that!

    You will LOVE going later, I think. We were glad we picked the later dates. It was crazy. We had Halloween the first couple of days we were there and Christmas toward the end! Not everything had been decorated for Christmas by the time we left but it was well on its way. The gingerbread house hadn't been started in GF yet. But MK had a lot because the first MVMCP happened on our last day there.

    Thanks for reading everyone! Next installment is coming soon! :cheer2:
     
  13. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone! I’m so sorry this report has been going so slow. Our weekends have been pretty busy. But I think from now on I should be able to update more regularly. Stay with me, please!

    So after an awesome lunch of Food & Wine goodies, we hung out in Epcot until it was time for our dinner at Le Cellier. I know this restaurant has its critics. Many do not view it as anything more than a “decent” steakhouse. I am not one of those people. We’ve dined here every trip except for one and it’s always been great! Yes, the tables are too close together. Yes, it’s slightly dark inside. Yes, the hype to get an ADR is probably more than the restaurant warrants. However, if I can get an ADR, I’m going to take it! My trip wouldn’t be ruined without eating here, or anywhere for that matter. But I do consider it one of my favorites.

    Okay, onto the food! We checked in for our ADR a few minutes early and there actually wasn’t a huge crowd in the waiting area like there usually is. Within just a few minutes we were taken to our table. We’ve sat all over the restaurant on our visits: back corner by the restrooms, middle-left as you enter, dead center, and this time it was far right (as you enter) almost in the corner. If there was one change I could make about Le Cellier, it would be the proximity to the other tables. You might as well push them all together and make one long table against the booths. I feel both slightly intrusive and intruded upon during the meal. :listen: But it’s worth it!

    I really wanted to see if they had a human’s portion of the ice wine I had sampled earlier at F&W. They didn’t – boo! So instead, I ordered the Éphémère – “The story of a Fairy looking for love, and her dreams, this is a lighter beer with a fruity flavor, and draws its charms from a bountiful seasons harvest. White ale with hints of apple, is delicate with its hint of sweetness.”

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    I haven’t tried much beer in my day. What I have tried has been pretty bitter. This was not! It wasn’t nearly as sweet as the ice wine, but it was very good IMO. Brian didn’t care for it at all though. I got a diet coke after this. I could have had another, but decided against it.

    He decided to get the Blueberry Icewine Martini – “Iceberg Vodka, Château des Charmes Videl Icewine, and Muddled Blueberries”. But he subbed the blueberries for raspberries. :rolleyes: Our server suggested the switch since he said he didn’t care for blueberries. He REALLY enjoyed this. I think he had two! I thought it was good too.

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    As you probably guessed, they brought the bread basket next. There were “The Three”. I love, love, love the pretzel bread. I think Brian likes that one the most too.

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    See that mound on the right side? What do you think…maybe 1/2 cup…of pure fat? I have a confession. Most of that mound was eaten by two unnamed people sitting in extremely close proximity to it. Let me explain: I love butter. Brian and I joke about my true heritage being Italian because I love the food and culture so much. As horrible as it sounds, I really wish I was part of the Corleone family in The Godfather. You know, without all of the killing and drugs and stuff. And while I do really enjoy olive oil too, butter is so much better. (You wondered where that Italian tid-bit was coming from, right?) But me and butter can never really go steady. Alas, he’s just not good for me…sigh. But I was on vacation. So I could eat an equal ratio of bread to butter and it be okay, right?...RIGHT?!?! Oh, and I didn’t mention that the salt on top was MAPLE flavored! O.M.G.

    After indulging in at least one full pretzel bread stick and the equivalent amount of butter, why not dip these babies in more fat, er, I mean creamy, cheesy, bacony goodness? Why yes, I do mean the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup! Thankfully we had enough sense to share this instead of getting two appetizers.

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    Goodness, I could have, or should have stopped there. But remember, this was day one of vacation. I was still in the eat-everything-in-sight-because-you’ve-been-depriving-yourself-for-months mode. This was no time for restraint. For my entrée I ordered the Mushroom Filet Mignon - 8-oz AAA Canadian Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Risotto, White Truffle-Butter Sauce, and Micro Chervil. I make no substitutions people. Risotto makes this girl very happy. I cringe when I read that people sub the mashed potatoes for the risotto. No offense if you do that. I just don’t get it.

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    I always order steaks medium. I’m thinking about trying medium rare the next time I get a steak but I haven’t had the courage yet. This steak was cooked perfectly. Everything about it was perfect – filet, mushrooms, risotto, BUTTER sauce – check, check, check, CHECK!!!

    Brian opted for Canadian “Prime” New York Strip - 12-oz Strip Steak with Potato Pavé, Wilted Spinach, and Vin Rouge Reduction.

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    I honestly don’t remember there being anything except the steak and potatoes, nor do I see anything else in the above picutre. The menu online says it included spinach. I think they’re lying.

    He really enjoyed his steak as well. He gets his dry, I mean, medium-well. But he likes it that way. :rolleyes: NY Strip is his preferred cut too so he was happy.

    We were on the dining plan so let’s add some sugar to our fat for dessert, shall we? Unfortunately, this was before I realized my affinity for crème brulee. I should have ordered that. Instead I got the Trio of Chocolate - Chocolate “Nanaimo” Bar, Chocolate Sorbet, and Chocolate Lava Cake (picture goes lava cake, bar, then sorbet).

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    Um, this was okay. I’m actually not a huge chocolate person. I do like it. But I actually prefer vanilla. I would probably also choose coconut, peanut butter, cinnamon, or butterscotch over chocolate. I’m not a huge caramel fan either. Again, I like it – just not my favorite sweet flavor. So I’m not sure why I ordered this. I guess I was taking a chance. (FYI – the pumpkin cheesecake was not on the menu. I would have definitely ordered that if it were.) The bar was my favorite, then the lava cake. I didn’t care for the sorbet though. Ice cream is my treat of choice at home. This sorbet didn’t do it for me though.

    Brian opted for the “No sugar added” Heirloom Apples - Mascarpone Panna Cotta, Poached Apples, and Apple Crisp. I don’t think this had artificial sweetener because Brian can almost always pick that out. He loved this. I didn’t care for the poached apple part. But the panna cotta was awesome!

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    Overall, we had another great dinner at Le Cellier! Our server was very nice and attentive, but not hovering. My dessert was kind of a dud but everything else was wonderful. We made our way outside and found a nice spot for Illuminations. We had only been on property for half the day but it was an excellent start to the vacation!

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    Next up: Magic Kingdom day – Main Street Bakery!
     
  14. francis6306

    francis6306 DIS Veteran

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    Hmm… you know, I'm not a beer fan either, but now I'm interested in the one you tried!

    I can't wait to try Le Cellier one day! I have noticed a lot of places are offering pretzel bread as an appetizer lately- even Chili's! I'm sure that you and I would have been fighting over the butter! It's the Georgia blood in our veins! :goodvibes

    We need to be better about encouraging each other to update more often!!! It's not like you have started a new job or I have been dealing with Family Drama lately! We've GOT to get our priorities straight!!! :rotfl:
     
  15. dad4dis

    dad4dis Mouseketeer

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    Looks great!
     
  16. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    great start to your review - loving the pictures

    Just a note that Ice Wine tends to be expensive and tends to be served in much smaller amounts than regular wine. It is a dessert wine and is to be sipped.

    I definitely can see being frustrated by the serving size, but proportionally to a regular wine it is probably the right amount

    Bottles of Ice Wine are 1/2 the amount of normal wine bottles and cost as much or more than a standard bottle of wine.

    Oh, and I am right there with Brian in that I really wanted to like Sake, but just haven't really gotten into it
     
  17. Lauralooneyfordisney

    Lauralooneyfordisney DIS Veteran

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    Awesome so far. Chiming in.:thumbsup2
     
  18. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    I can't wait FOR YOU to try Le Cellier! :laughing: I wish we were still doing our girls trip this year. It makes me so sad to think that we aren't. I would have made sure it was on our list.

    I need to catch up on your report. I've just been sad to think that we have no trip any time in the future. But the Disney fever is returning - trip or no trip!

    Thanks and welcome!

    Hi and welcome! :wave2: Thanks for the tip on the ice wine! My exposure to it is obviously very limited. I have yet to look for it here at home but I still plan to.

    Brian actually finds some in the future that he likes...look for it soon (promise!)

    Thanks!


    Okay everyone - I know I don't have many commenters. Which is fine. I'm not the best example of that either. I'm sure I have some lurkers out there. I WILL be better about updating from here until I finish though. #1 - I started a new job in December. And don't you know it, most of my day now consists of actual work! It's a little frustrating honestly! :lmao: And the bigger reason, #2 - I've been kind of sad about not having a future trip planned. My DH just went back to school full-time and is therefore not working full-time. So our finances are considerably tighter. I know it will be worth it when he finishes so I'm not complaining. Vacations of any kind are on hold for now though. ANYWAY - enough excuses. Update coming soon...
     
  19. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Friday – November 2nd

    Our first stop on Friday morning upon entering Magic Kingdom was a tried and true favorite – Main Street Bakery!

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    This is almost always our first breakfast on any trip. Since MK is usually our first full-day park, it just works out that way. I read about the gigantic cinnamon roll almost 3 years ago and have had it on every trip since! :cloud9: It’s only been disappointing one time. I got the last one on the tray and it was room temperature…not good. This time I was happy to see it was somewhere in the middle. One year we were the first ones to the bakery for the day. I got the very first roll off the tray and it was divine! I also ask for extra icing, which they’re always very nice about.

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    Is your mouth watering like mine? I don't even want to think about the amount of calories and sugar I consumed in that 20 minute sitting! I'm sure if I knew...nah, I would have eaten it anyway! Just with even more guilt! :laughing:

    Brian usually goes for the cheese danish. It’s funny – he never has these at home. But you’ll see they’re his choice several more times as the trip goes on.

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    We took our delicious treats and went to our favorite spot. There is a path beside the bakery with a few tables that not many people seem to use. If you’re facing the entrance to MSB, it’s to the right. And if you’ve ever been on the Keys to the Kingdom tour, it’s one of the first stops, I think. This morning there was actually a tour group just finishing up in the area so we got to hear just a little from their guide! Speaking of that tour, if you’ve never done it, I would highly recommend it. We learned quite a lot and the price wasn’t bad either.

    Both of our pastries were wonderful! I think I ate maybe ¾ of the cinnamon roll before calling it quits. Brian finished it for me though. He never seems to mind that the cheese danish isn’t warm. I think it would be better warmed myself. Yummy nonetheless!

    Next up, Pecos Bill’s!
     
  20. francis6306

    francis6306 DIS Veteran

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    YAY!!! You have returned!!!! :hug: My friend!!!!! :rotfl:

    I finally got to taste that heavenly treat in November, and it was amazing!! I'll be interested to see how the new Starbucks/MSB goes in the coming months… :confused3

    I know. I wish we were still on for a girl's trip, but in the end, I'm sure this is for the best. You know I understand a fulltime student hubby!
     
  21. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Friday – November 2nd

    Lunch today was also a repeat, but a good one! Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café is pretty consistent for us. We also like Columbia Harbor House. But today felt like a Pecos Bill day. We had spent the morning in Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Frontierland. I doubt we were very hungry. But that isn’t always the point, is it? :rolleyes1

    We were only a couple of days into the vacation and I was already feeling my lack of vegetables though. I decided to get a taco salad so that I could load it with some veggies. Granted, not a “healthy” choice, but I thought it was a good compromise and would provide some fresh-er food but still be tasty! I’m not an iceberg lettuce fan, but I think I put every other vegetable on the bar in my bowl – along with a good helping of cheese and sour cream too! If I could have microwaved this somehow, it would have pushed it to excellent. For what it was though, I was satisfied. You can’t see everything but I put in salsa, banana peppers, sautéed onions, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, and the aforementioned cheese and sour cream. :goodvibes The ground beef was flavorful and the bowl wasn’t stale! I got a water as my drink and a yogurt as my dessert. I didn’t want a dessert from here but I thought Brian might eat it and of course, it's part of the QS credit. I’m pretty sure he did not eat it. Oh well.

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    Brian chose the BBQ Pork Sandwich with fries. He’s had this before and enjoyed it just as much this time around. I see from my picture he also got a yogurt for his dessert. But I don’t think he ate either one.

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    One reason I didn’t want my dessert from here is that I was anticipating a different treat. Aloha Isle was calling my name…up next!
     

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