Hello everyone! Like the subject line says, I have been to quite a few off-site restaurants in the past month, due mainly to lack of funds. At least it has given me a chance to check out some of the non-Disney restaurants and offer some feedback for those folks interested. I'll start with the WDW restaurants: 'Ohana (dinner-Polynesian Resort)---I was having a hard time deciding where to go to celebrate my birthday. Even though I read mixed reviews, I decided with 'Ohana because of the festive atmosphere. We made a priority seating and were glad we did, it was quite busy. When we checked in we asked for a window table and were told we may have to wait a bit. We decided that we didn't mind waiting and had a seat at the bar and ordered drinks. I, of course, had to have the big, crazy drink that comes in a pineapple and was not disappointed. DBF just had his usual Long Island Tea which we have found to be good pretty much everywhere at WDW. We were actually seated rather quickly, and precariously made our way through the hula-hooping children to our window table that had an awesome view of Cinderella Castle. We were very happy with our table. Our hostess had picked up some fresh bread on the way to our table. It was a little sweet and tasted pretty much like the Hawaiian bread you can get in grocery stores, but fresh and warm. Our server brought our appetizer tray and it was huge, a ton of food for two people in our opinion because we barely made a dent in it. I think they just send the same amount to every table regardless. The appetizers were all tasty, but to me the sweetness of everything was too much. I have this same problem when eating Thai food. The honey-lime dressing, wontons, and chicken wings were all sweet, which doesn't mean they were bad, they were quite good, and I know many people like sweeter foods, but they're just not for me. I only like sweet foods for dessert. There were also steamed vegetables that weren't terribly exciting. The large skewers of meat and shrimp started coming around to our table after they gave us some time to sample all the appetizers. I tried each of the meats and thought the beef and pork both had a very nice flavor, I liked the turkey even better, but none could beat the shrimp, which is the one I kept asking for. These are big prawns that are lightly seasoned and well worth the effort to peel. I didn't even use the dipping sauces for the shrimp, they were so tasty, but I did try them with the other meats. They were sweet...oh well. For dessert, pineapple with fresh caramel sauce is served. Now this is some sweet food that I like! You can order desserts for an extra price if you're not into the pineapple. All during dinner there was entertainment, a lady playing the ukelele and singing. She also led the children's hula hoop and coconut sweeping contests. Unfortunately, someone also told her it was my birthday, though in some sort of divine act her microphone wouldn't work so only about 5 tables could hear the birthday song, as opposed to the entire restaurant. To sum it up, this restaurant was great fun and I loved the shrimp, but the appetizers being so sweet make me not really want to go back. I am glad we tried it though. Cape May Cafe (clambake dinner-Beach Club Resort)-- I'd been wanting to try this one for some time and a day after work that I was too tired to cook was a fine opportunity. We were immediately seated with no PS around 8:00 or so. We started with the salads and peel-and-eat shrimp, which were very good. There were pre-made salads like cole slaw and potato salad and you can also made your own. I stuck with the pre-made ones which were enjoyable. I also had a bowl of the clam chowder which is very hearty and packed with clams. My main course consisted of the buckets of clams and mussels with drawn butter and clam juice. They were very fresh tasting and steamed just the right amount so that they weren't tough. I had a couple of little red potatoes and a piece of corn on the cob with my buckets of shellfish. DBF had a couple of pieces of the salmon, which I tasted and it was very good too. The buffet also includes many other dishes including ribs and chicken and some more side dishes, but I barely glanced at those. I did taste a rib, which was dry and didn't have much flavor. The non-fish dishes looked kind of uninteresting to me, but you'd probably be better off asking a non-seafood-lover their opinion of those dishes. The desserts were good and varied, my favorite being the flan. The chocolate cake was so rich I could only eat one bite. My overall opinion of this buffet is definitely favorable. It's great if you just want some plain old good food. I don't know if I would reccomend it to someone who doesn't like seafood, because that's the best part and what makes it worth the $21.99 in my opinion. But if you like shrimp, clams, and mussels definitely give it a try. I'll be going often. Spoodles (breakfast-Boardwalk Resort)-- We walked in here one morning a little after 10:00 and had to wait a bit for a table. There were empty tables, but I presume there weren't enough servers to cover them, which would explain our slow service after we were seated. Not a problem though, we finally got our coffee and were happy. Coffee good... I had the Italian--two poached eggs on rye toast rounds with sausage, tomatoes and potatoes, sprinkled with parmesan. I would describe this as a "skillet" breakfast because the sausage, tomatoes, and potatoes are all mixed together, with the toast rounds and eggs on top. It was pretty good, but there was too much sausage for me. If I get it again I'll ask them to leave out the sausage, or maybe just put a sausage link on the side. DBF had the All-American which was very basic--scrambled eggs, biscuit, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. He said it was ok, I guess you can't really mess up a breakfast that basic. There were some other things on the a la carte menu that sounded really appealing to me that I think I will try in the future, including a smoked salmon plate, strawberries and cream, and bread pudding. (Hopefully I won't try them all on the same day!) Also, the all-you-can-eat Mediterranean Breakfast Platter sounds great, but we weren't up for that much food on that particular morning. All in all, it was good other than the slow service, and we'll be going back. The atmosphere is really nice and relaxing as well. I think it would be a great way to start your day before going to Epcot or the Studios, or a way to spend a lazy, non-park morning. Sadly, that's it for Disney restaurants, so if you're not interested in going off-site, you can stop reading. For the rest, here we go with the off-site establishments: Bahama Breeze --We've been here a few times now, so suffice to say we like it. Twice we've gone and sat outside on the patio and just ordered appetizers and drinks. In the evenings there is usually a "one-man band" of sorts, playing reggae and island music. If you sit on the patio, use some bug repellant--my ankles were devoured by mosquitos. We also took my future in-laws here when they visited and ate in the dining room. Pretty much everything we've tried here has been good. The Caesar salad and calamari we think are just mediocre. I loved their jerk shrimp appetizer, but a word of warning--it is super spicy! I have a high tolerance for spicy food, and it was pushing the limit for me. Also good is the Cuban black bean soup, as well as the conch chowder. The future in-laws had salads with grilled chicken that they enjoyed. I think this is a good place if you have members of your party that aren't terribly adventurous when it comes to dining. You still have a neat atmosphere and the adventurous ones have some choices as well. Arrive early during busy seasons or you will be in for a lengthy wait. Shells (seafood restaurant, Hwy 192) I saw many recommendations for this place and I hear it's popular with locals, but to be honest I was less than impressed. I didn't expect a great atmosphere or anything, but I thought the food would make up for the lack of. I ordered one of the fresh catches, snapper, and the fish was quite good. Everything else was bad. The fried food ordered by everyone else was less than mediocre, the side dishes were bland, and my "margarita" tasted like Country Time Lemonade with a little bit of cheap tequila thrown in for good measure. On top of this our server was very odd and kept coming to our table and saying "Oh yes, that was great," when we finished a plate. Perhaps he was trying to get a subliminal message in so that we didn't notice how poor the food quality was. The one good thing about the place was that the prices were cheap, so if you're on a tight budget and don't mind bland food, try it. And get the fresh catch. Giordano's (Hwy 535, pizza and Italian food) Lemme tell ya, they have some good pizza at Giordano's, which is a godsend in this town. We had the thin crust and it was excellent. I hear their Chicago-style is just as good. Our server was a bit slow and mumbly, but that's easy enough to get over. Also, they stay open late. We were told that they usually stay open until 12:00 or 1:00 am, depending on how busy they are. Chili's (chain, numerous locations, including Hwy 535) I know everyone has eaten here, but thought I'd mention it for good measure, because when you're strapped for cash, Chili's is a good bet. I have always gotten excellent quality food here and I love their Presidente margaritas. And I think the menu has something for everyone. Bennigan's (chain, numerous locations, including Hwy 535) Another chain, probably many of you have eaten there, but it was new to me. We didn't have this particular chain in Lexington, KY. We just had appetizers, which were just okay. What I liked was the huge selection of draft beer. We'll try Orlando Ale House next time... Well, that wraps it up for this month. If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me.