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Insanity Vol 4. - Brief sanity break in the middle of chaos - California Grill

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Dis_Yoda, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    A few months ago, I found out I had a work conference from April 2nd to April 5th in Orlando, FL. I debated on which end of the conference to add a Disney trip. I ultimately chose to come in after work on Thursday March 29th and leave when I need to meet up with everyone else from my company on Sunday. Flash forward to a week and a half ago. I need to visit our customers and one of our vendors for work this week. I flew out a noon on Monday & flew back at 5:30am on Thursday.


    Thursday March 29th, 2012

    Friday March 30th, 2012
    Magic Kingdom Snack
    Kona Cafe Lunch
    Le Cellier Dinner

    Saturday March 31st, 2012
    Sunshine Seasons
    Via Napoli

    Sunday April 1st, 2012
    Captain's Grille

    Tuesday April 3rd, 2012
    California Grill
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  3. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    Thursday morning started early. 3:30am early. After two extremely long days of work, a 5:45am flight was not the best decision. Especially when its in a tiny 15 seat plane to my connection in Philly.


    Those planes and I do not get along.

    I make it to Atlanta by 10AM. Head home (Middle Georgia) for a very brief stop to see my husband & dogs since I won't see them again until the 5th then head into work. I get there by 12:30pm. I had originally hopped I could be out by 2pm - 3pm at the latest but I hadn't made dining reservations as you never know how the day is going to go.

    Well, I'm really glad I didn't make reservations planning on that early leave. I didn't make it out of the plant until 4pm. Its about a 5 hour drive to Disney from there - shorter if I hadn't needed to get gas & an energy drink as I was almost on my own fumes at that time.

    I finally figure out what I should be arriving to check into the hotel & call Disney Dining to see when I can get into. I wanted a signature place since my food for the past few days has been a lot of sandwiches, pizza and I wanted something good. I was able to get in at Narcoossee's for 9:30pm. That is really late for me but it works.

    I check in at the hotel and then drive to the Grand Floridian.

    After I check in, the electric water parade starts while I wait to be seated.

    I'm sat at exactly my ADR time at a table on the lower level.

    I think I confused my waiter when I could tell him exactly what I wanted including wine & didn't need the dining plan spiel after he made a joke. (For some reason when I planned this trip, I thought doing Deluxe Dining would be smart since it was solo & with Disney raising their prices as much as they have - it probably would save me money)

    The Menu!

    My waiter returned with my glass of La Crema but something distracted him and he left the bottle on the table. When he realized what he did after my appetizer was finished, I ended up getting some more pour for free since I didn't take it upon myself to get more.

    I went with the Baby Red & Green Romaine Salad.

    It was light even if slightly over dressed. The croutons were cooked to the point that they dissolved once placed in my mouth.

    Wishes began & honestly, I was annoyed when the dimmed the lights. I was reading the end of Catching Fire during the meal & to me at that point, it was more important to finish the book than it was to watch Wishes.

    I also think my entree was delayed being brought out because of Wishes but there was no way for the waiter/food runners to know I wouldn't care about fireworks.

    As soon as Wishes was over, I received my entree.
    Grilled Filet Mignon

    It was really good - however, I couldn't eat much of it. The Gruyere with the onions in the risotto was a nice flavor combination that I think I will try again at home. The filet was a perfect medium rare and fork tender. I'm not sure if it was because it was 10:15pm at night on a day that started at 3:45am, but it very suddenly became too rich about half way through. My waiter was more than happy to package the rest of it up should I decide to have it a bit later in this trip.

    He brought out the dessert menu:

    I didn't really want dessert. I wanted to go to bed but I knew it was included because of the dining plan so I just ordered it because it wasn't going to be real money.

    I went for the Baked Chocolate Mousse

    It was served with a bourbon caramel sauce w/ vanilla bean whipped cream. The combination of bourbon-caramel sauce and the warmed mousse & the cold whipped cream was :dance3: It was extremely rich though. I was only able to eat about a third & felt bad especially since it wasn't really a dish I could take back to the room with me. My waiter brought out 2 coconut macaroons wrapped and placed them in the bag with my steak left overs. He also mentioned - he can never get past half of it either even if its not 10:30 at night.

    Overall it was a very good meal. I just wish I could have enjoyed more of it as I was tired & should have just skipped eating and got into my room. My waiter had a great sense of humor which is completely what I needed that night.

    Apparently I got an upgrade at the Pop I noticed when I went to my room - I went from the cheapest standard room to a preferred pool view.
  4. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip New Member

    Wow! First of all, great review. Second of all, I'm impressed with the recent menu changes at Narcoossee's - lots of the new dishes and desserts sound great.

    Narcoossee's really disappointed us last time, but you may have just convinced me to fit it in on our next trip (at a minimum, I want to go for appetizers and dessert). :goodvibes
  5. Krissalee

    Krissalee New Member

    It looks good! I haven't been to Narcoossee's in years, but I may have to revisit it on my next trip.
    Thanks for sharing you reviews - looking forward to more!
  6. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    Thanks :) I was amazed about the amount of changes there too since the last time I saw a menu from there. To be honest, if I wasn't on the dining plan, I'm not sure I would eat a 3 course meal at Narcoossee's just because of how much their entrees have gotten. The appetizers and desserts though could easily make a reasonable meal though. I've always had decent service there but I seem to have a luck of Narcoossee's being the day I can never finish the meal. (On our honeymoon, our waitress ended up bringing me a drink made of seltzer and bitters when she noticed how little I was picking at my food)

    What I had, it was very good! Hopefully it will make room into your next trip.
  7. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    Magic Kingdom Snack

    I skipped breakfast Friday morning & headed towards the Magic Kingdom for their 8am opening.

    At 10AM, I was hungry and needed something to get me to lunch. I debated on what I would want but I decided to stop by Cosmic Ray's to just get some cheese fries. I saw that they now have iced lattes too.


    Iced French Vanilla Latte

    Not the best latte - but for a Disney coffee drink it was more bareable than most other ones I have had. I don't think I'll get one of the latte's with flavoring again as the syrup was thick on the bottom and thus difficult to stir up to mix it throughout the drink.


    Side of Fries that I got cheese dip for it.

    The fries were a bit undercooked but when you get plastic cheese on them, I guess it doesn't matter much ;)
  8. RDP

    RDP Active Member

  9. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip New Member

    Yeah, I noticed that the prices of the entrees have increased dramatically (both there and at California Grill) - I'd rather just get a few nice appies and a dessert. The Florida peach salad sounds great, as does the oyster appetizer (I would hope that they're raw instead of cooked) or the Florida soft shell crab. :goodvibes I might not be able to fit Narcoossee's in when we return in May, but then I'll definitely try for August.
  10. TigerKat

    TigerKat <font color=coral>HOPE YOUR DAY IS FILLED WITH JOY

    Well, hey there!!!:goodvibes

    That new menu looks pretty good, haven't been there in years!
  11. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    Thanks for joining in!

    When I ended up taking a solo meal during the convention I was at, California Grill's pricing shocked me too! There were a lot of appetizers at Narcoossee's that looked good - but I knew it was much too long of a day to eat something too heavy.

    Hey! Glad you noticed this :)

    I was happy to see the changes in the menu. I had skipped it the past few trips as nothing was really standing out to me that I must have.
  12. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    Kona Cafe​

    After my morning in Magic Kingdom, the crowds were becoming larger and larger. I decided to leave the park & head over to the Polynesian for a nice sit down lunch. Luckily, there was no wait & I was brought to a table towards the edge of the restaurant. I ordered my Ultimate Long Island as I was unsure of where I would be headed after lunch.

    I began with the Pot Stickers wok-seared pork and vegetable dumplings with creamy ginger-soy sauce.


    To be honest, I was a little disappointed in them. They used to be duck & have really great flavor due to that. With them being pork, the taste the same as the dumplings I can get at the local chinese hole-in-the-wall I have by my work. The sauce is its only redeeming factor but not enough to have me crave them anymore.

    For my entree, Island Chicken Sandwich - Grilled Chicken Breast with Bacon, Swiss Cheese, Curry-Mango Mayonnaise, and Fried Onions on a Kaiser Roll served with Asian Vegetable Slaw or House-made Potato Chips


    I supped the side item for some rice as that sounded better than slaw or chips. The sandwich was ok. The chicken was a bit dry but decent enough for a lunch outside of the parks.

    For dessert, I went with Banana-Chocolate Creme Brulee - with a chocolate spiral


    It was wonderful as it always is. Kona has some of the best desserts for some place not-signature. Now if only the rest of their food was always that good.
  13. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip New Member

    I'm really enjoying your reviews - the banana chocolate crème brûlée looks awesome! The rest, not so much. I think I'd also prefer the duck pot stickers over pork, since duck is generally harder to find on Disney menus and has a richer flavor.

    Still, just looking at that dessert makes me want to fit in Kona soon. If only we could extend our May trip so I could fit in everywhere :laughing:
  14. cbg1027

    cbg1027 I knew I had converted him when he started pointin

    Thanks for posting the link on our Facebook group. I hardly ever get on the boards anymore, so I don't think I would have found this otherwise!
  15. Tink rules

    Tink rules <font color=teal>The kids in my family sometimes t

  16. franandaj

    franandaj <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/509

    I'm so glad that I got in your review! Narcoosee's looks fabulous. I hope to go there someday!

    I see that you aren't going to F&W this year, that's too bad, but you are going on the Fantasy! Awesome!

    Looking forward to the rest, and counting down the days until I'm back!
  17. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

    Hi Melissa! Great reviews so far...love the new Narcoossee's menu and now I am stuck, do I add it back in to my plans??? Cannot wait for more
  18. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    I'm glad you are enjoying my reviews! Duck has been disappearing from anything outside of the signature menus. You can get desserts to-go from Kona from the sushi bar if you ask nicely. Sometimes they are too busy for you to do that though.

    Yeah I forgot about posting until someone else posted theirs. Glad you made it here!


    It does look like we aren't going to F&W this year but you never know, I may be able to get in a short weekend trip but we'll see what happens. It will really depend on the events that are announced. It will be no time until its your trip!

    Thanks for joining in! What all do you have in your plans for your next trip?
  19. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    Le Cellier

    Somehow in my midst of planning a trip just a couple of weeks before it happened, I got a dinner reservation at Le Cellier.

    I apologize for the really bad photos - I was using my cell phone which probably wasn't the best choice for this meal.

    I was sat within 5 minutes of checking in at the podium and led to a two seat in the corner as you walk into the dining room. It was nice to finally have a meal there where I don't feel like I'm on top of other patrons.


    I went with the cheese plate for my appetizer.

    I asked for no blue cheese and was given extra cheddar.

    For my entree I went with the 'signature' Mushroom Filet.

    The steak was very tender and the risotto was not as salty as it can be on occasion.

    For dessert, I had the Trio of Chocolate

    The bar portion was really tasty with the light peanut flavor throughout. The sorbet was light but rich at the same time.
  20. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda New Member

    Sunshine Seasons​

    For Breakfast, I decided to use a snack credit on something unhealthy.


    I forgot how these treats tend to get stale. I had about a third until it was just too much and I decided to call it quits and go on my day through the parks.
  21. Singinglizzie

    Singinglizzie New Member

    Thank you for taking the time to post your pictures and review. I enjoyed reading them!

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