Magic Happens, and Then You EAT: Our Gluttonous *Year of the Dragon* COMPLETE!!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by iloveeeyore, May 6, 2012.

  1. MrsB1228

    MrsB1228 DIS Veteran

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    I'm loving your reviews!! Surprisingly, we've never eaten at CM, not even after countless trips to WDW. LTT was always our traditional first night dinner, back when it was a character meal, and the kids always wanted to return there when they were younger. Now that we're a family of adults, and the characters are no longer at LTT, our new first night tradition is WPE, LOL!

    Looking forward to the next update! :goodvibes
     
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  3. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! I'm finally getting caught up! I love the CM traditional first meal of the trip. I saw some pretty delicious items on your plate. I loved the kid dessert plate as well. :laughing:

    It is interesting seeing your dining review after following your live TR since now you are filling in all the blanks for the best part of the trip - the FOOD!!
     
  4. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

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    Ready for more!!!!!:cool1:
     
  5. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    Great start! I haven't been to CM in years and then it was only for breakfast...I will have to try it again someday.

    Jill in CO
     
  6. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    Love this! Please let us know how it goes!

    Thanks, and I'm so glad you like my reviews. Please stay tuned for lots more!

    It's funny, I could see how the first night's dinner could really be anything, depending on sentimental values of each family. CM's just happened to be what we did on our very first night in WDW, so it was magical, and it has stayed in our hearts. If they moved it or changed it, like they changed LTT, I imagine that would be the end of it for us, too. We just tried LTT for the first time, but for lunch...reviews of that will be up in a few days, I hope!

    We also love WPE! I missed it this trip! I LOVE their pizza!

    You bet, the food is the best part! I enjoy our meals most, because that is when we sit and talk and reflect on all the fun we're having. The taste of good food in a nice atmosphere is a bonus, and we always seem to find more than we expect in WDW on that front.

    Stay tuned! Upcoming!

    Do give it a try...I hope you're not disappointed!

    Getting some more reviews ready, now...
     
  7. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    This would be our first meal on the DxDP, and one of the meals we decided we would split 3 orders amongst the 4 of us. The goal was to conserve 1 credit at this and 3 other meals (so we could save a total of 4 credits and dine more times on the plan, and NOT have to pay for any meals OOP). I hope I stated that clearly!

    Another benefit of splitting meals...nobody eats way too much! We all have big appetites, but except for Hercules, we are all watching our caloric intake (in general, though we pretty much ignore this rule during vacation). Hercules is a growing boy with a huge appetite, and I was worried he wouldn't get his fill at the meals we shared!

    We arrived at about 7:55 for our 8:15 breakfast. We were seated right away at the same table at which we enjoyed dinner 2 years ago. The place was at least half empty! Our server was Eric and he was wonderful!

    We explained to Eric that we planned to use 3 credits at this meal and share everything. I was very surprised that on the DxDP, you are only allowed one beverage with your breakfast (this is what Eric told us). You can have coffee OR juice, not both. This was a little disappointing, since Aladdin and I NEED our coffee, and Belle and Hercules both wanted juice (to tell you the truth, I also wanted coffee and juice. I'm not a juice fan, generally, but I love the specialty juice at the Disney resorts!). We decided we would pay OOP for one beverage, so we could all have a morning fix.

    Belle and Hercules each ordered the (rightfully) famous Lilikoi juice:
    [​IMG]

    Aladdin and I shared the pressed pot of Kona coffee (which counts as 2 beverages, so our intention was to pay OOP for one of the juices):
    [​IMG]
    Eric pressing the pot:
    [​IMG]
    The was delicious and adequately nurtured the addiction.

    Eric brought out a plate of butter, maple syrup and strawberry compote:
    [​IMG]

    For one of our food selections, we chose a Tonga Toast:
    [​IMG]
    This was heavenly, and better than I remembered it. The sausage was plump and tasty and had just the right amount of grease and salt to complement the sweet cinnamon sugar on the Tonga Toast! I loved the strawberry sauce on top, but it only "needed" a little! This was the only dish that we split evenly 4 ways because we all loved it equally. Hercules and Belle didn't eat their pieces of sausage because they are not big fans of breakfast sausage. I don't think they even tasted it, so their portions went to Aladdin.

    We also ordered my favorite, the Pineapple Macademia Nut Pancakes:
    [​IMG]
    Mmmmmm! Aladdin and I LOVED these, we thought they were perfect! Belle and Herc loved the rich batter, but weren't crazy about all the nuts...they thought it was a little nut over-kill. They wanted soft, fluffy pancakes, and the texture of all the nuts bothered them. They would have preferred the version of the pancakes on the Big Kahuna Platter, the ones with the nuts sprinkled on top but not baked in. We didn't order a Big Kahuna, though...we had something else in mind. Herc didn't finish his full portion of these pancakes, so Aladdin got a little extra.

    I hear the bacon was fine, but I didn't have any. It seemed like a large portion, for just being on the side of the pancakes. I hear from a VERY reliable source that the bacon has changed since our breakfast here. It is now thicker and better. I'm looking forward to ordering this dish again someday, with the new bacon, which I promise I will taste next time.

    For our last selection, we went with the Samoan Benedict:
    [​IMG]
    This was basically ramped-up eggs benedict; it has pulled pork instead of canadian bacon. It was rich and delicious and perfect in every way...except maybe it was too small! This was hard to split 4 ways because we all really wanted more. I only took one bite and let Hercules, my growing boy, enjoy the rest of my portion.

    As a really sweet surprise, Eric brought out a cupcake to acknowledge one of our celebration buttons.
    [​IMG]
    I didn't taste this, but it looked like the good cupcakes we received with lots of our meals 2 years ago. I'm 100% sure it was better than the cupcakes at the Contempo Cafe (yes, I know this without tasting it). This was the only acknowledgment we received the whole trip, despite that I had noted various celebrations on our ADRs.

    When we received the bill, we saw that we were not charged for the 2nd juice. We pointed this out to Eric, who said, "don't worry about it." I'm not sure if this was intentional or a mistake, but truthfully, I think that when you're using dining credits on breakfast, you should get coffee AND juice, anyway.

    We could have lingered in the beautiful Kona Cafe longer, but we had an appointment with Sammy Duval at 9:15 (we got rained out the afternoon before).

    We enjoyed our first meal on the DxDP immensely, and give this breakfast the rating:
    [​IMG]
    4/5! It might receive an even higher rating if Belle and Herc had loved the Pineapple Macademia Nut Pancakes, and if they had tasted the new bacon.

    The OOP cost of this meal would have been $47.56, plus a $9.00 tip. Instead, we paid 3 meal credits, and $9.00 OOP.

    Up next, snack in World Showcase!
     
  8. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

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    We do this every trip !! With a family of four, you can get another TS and CS meal that way. Going back to read now !!
     
  9. sushi candy

    sushi candy Foodie

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    Oh tell me how divine this coffee is! I really want the pressed pot coffee now! As for the Samoan, do you think it may be too much for one person portion wise?
     
  10. MainStreetFireman

    MainStreetFireman DIS Veteran

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    Delicious! If we had had more time, I would have ordered another pot.

    In the context of the gluttony ahead of us, The Samoan was just right. But if you're looking for a filling portion, there are better quantity choices. That being said, this meal was excellent; and not because it was our first meal on the plan. It just was.:thumbsup2
     
  11. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Yay for Kona's Pineapple Macadamia Nut Pancakes!!! :cheer2: My favorite Disney World breakfast food. :thumbsup2
     
  12. MrsB1228

    MrsB1228 DIS Veteran

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    Mmm, we love Kona Cafe for breakfast (and dinner, LOL!) I love the Pineapple Macadamia Pancakes but can never manage to eat even one of them because they're so rich. We're going for breakfast on our upcoming trip and thanks to your review I might just give the Samoan a try this time around. If I'm not in a savoury mood, I might go for the fruit bowl with banana bread. I saw that being served on our last trip and it looked amazing! I've sadly never tried the Tonga Toast, as tempting as it is I figure if I can't manage the pancakes I'd probably be a real wimp with the TT. :lmao:

    Hungry for more of your reviews ... popcorn::
     
  13. jmm476

    jmm476 DIS Veteran

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    Just joining. I almost scheduled a Kona breakfast for our December trip, but then realized I would never be able to choose between tonga toast or the Samoan eggs Benedict. So instead, we're going to the Grand Floridian Cafe for lobster eggs Benedict. Someday I'll get to Kona...

    I liked your CM review as well. It sounds like a fun place. When DD is older, I'll put that on the list for sure!
     
  14. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    I wish I was at Kona Cafe for breakfast today. We have 2 breakfast reservations there for our next trip and I can't wait!
     
  15. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    We will definitely be doing it again. Some places just serve way too much food, and certain dishes are just way too rich, so it works out pretty easily! At Kona, Hercules left feeling like he could eat a bit more...but 20 minutes later when the food hit his stomach, he was fine. The rest of us left pretty stuffed (and that was with me having only one bite of the Samoan!)

    Oh, yes, get the press pot. It is bold and rich without being bitter, just yummy!

    I think that the Samoan is a generous portion of food for one hungry person. It was 2 eggs and a sizeable heap of pulled pork with plenty of rich sauce and an average muffin underneath...I only had one bite and the rest kind of split it 3 ways, but we had the pancakes and tonga toast as well, so our judgment might be a bit off. I looked at it and thought it looked like a small portion, but the richness compensates. It wasn't as filling a portion as the TT or pancakes, for sure.

    Yes, probably NOT too much for one person...definitely too small to share!

    We don't have broad enough experience with WDW breakfast food, because we rarely sit for breakfast when we're there, but it's hard to imagine enjoying anything more than those pancakes!

    Oh, I'll bet the fruit and banana bread is delicious! The breads we have tasted at the Poly so far are heavenly, that must be great! The Samoan was terrific! Definitely try it if you're in the mood! I had 1/4 of the Tonga Toast and it was enough to satisfy. If you have a lot of people in your party, try splitting an order so everyone can taste.

    That Lobster Eggs Benedict sounds amazing as well! Let us know how it is, please! And you should get to Kona for one meal some day. It's worth a trip any time of the day!

    Every Disney loving kid should experience CM's once!

    I wish I were there too, and I am so jealous!
     
  16. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    By the time we reached the China pavillion early that afternoon, we were feeling like we could use a little something in our tummies. This was about 1 hour before our lunch ADR, so we wanted to keep it a little small.

    Lo and behold, there was the tea cart with the somewhat famous egg rolls (I think it's called "Joy of Tea" but on our receipt it just says Tea Cart). We decided now was a good time to try the somewhat famous Egg Roll:
    [​IMG]
    We used two snack credits for these, as each credit buys 2 small egg rolls. They were pretty good. Not much grease, nice and crispy, but not as much filling as compared to the shell when compared to egg rolls to which we are accustomed. If you live in an area where a difference is noted between "spring rolls" and "egg rolls" size-wise, these were the size of the spring rolls but came with meat in them (optional). We got ours with pork.

    These were about as good as any spring rolls we can get close to home (not as good as the "egg rolls" in which we indulge very occasionally). It was a nice, satisfying savory snack. It's always nice to have a savory, as opposed to sweet, snack option. We wouldn't seek these out again, but if we found ourselves peckish in China again, this snack would suffice for my family (though I personally would prefer to wait until France for a ham and cheese croissant).

    This snack rates a:

    [​IMG]

    3/5!

    Next up...lunch in World Showcase!
     
  17. nanienamou

    nanienamou Mouseketeer

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    I'm in! Can't wait for more reviews! :)
     
  18. jerseytinkerbell

    jerseytinkerbell DIS Veteran

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    Your Kona breakfast looks great! I totally agree with you that you should get 2 drinks with breakfast on the DDP. It doesn't really seem fair that there is no alternative option at breakfast to make up for the fact that you don't get dessert. I need my coffee and juice too.

    Yum! I love the egg rolls at AK. You're right, it is always nice to have a savory snack option instead of a sweet one, but it can be hard to find in the parks. Looking forward to more! :goodvibes
     
  19. megan511

    megan511 Mouseketeer

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    The cupcakes at Contempo Cafe sound good to me. I love sweet!:lmao:

    We ate at Chef Mickey's for the first time this year & we really enjoyed it. I thought the food & atmosphere were great especially after all the negtive reviews I had read. Those Mickey Oreo Bon Bons were the best. I do not want to admit how many I ate:rolleyes1

    Kona breakfast looks SO good! I would not know which entree to order.

    Looking forward to more reviews!
     
  20. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Stay tuned for lots more! :goodvibes

    I have never tried the egg rolls at AK, or MK or anywhere in WDW until these. In fact, we almost never manage to eat a snack at AK, we are always too full from our meals there. Please stay tuned for more! :)


    Maybe you would like the cupcakes? Lots of people do, but they really weren't our thing.

    I'm not too sure why CM's gets so universally panned? :confused3 I recognize that places can be inconsistent and that expectations and price can play a huge role in people's enjoyment of their experiences. But we have almost always been VERY pleased with CM's. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Oh, those Oreo Bon Bons! I want one now...and everytime I think of them! :goodvibes

    As far as what to order at Kona, you're pretty much good with any choice there! :thumbsup2 If you love macademia nuts and pineapple, go for the Pineapple Macademia Nut Pancakes. If you are a big banana fan, Tonga Toast! If you like eggs and pulled pork and are in the mood for savory rather than sweet, Samoan! Honestly, no bad choices!
     
  21. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    OK, we have resisted trying this place our last few trips (it was in soft opening during our trip in August 2010). We live near New York City, grew up on Staten Island, and have perpetual access to some of the best Italian food on the planet. (And when I'm in a cooking mood, I can whip up some pretty good stuff myself).

    And pizza! Let me just say that pizza is my very favorite food! I would gladly eat good pizza 3 meals a day plus snacks...but I am spoiled by the great pizza we can find in our area, so I am a bit picky about it. My kids share my adoration for pizza, but Aladdin does not. He pretty much views it as a lazy person's meal. It would be one of his last choices for dine-in or take-out just about anywhere, but if he had to choose pizza, he would go for the Italian-style brick oven type.

    Because of our love of pizza and the consistently good reviews we have seen of VN, the kids and I have been pressuring Aladdin a bit for the past few years to give Via Napoli a go. For some reason, the tides were in our favor this trip when he happily conceded (maybe it was the DxDP, and the ability to try so many new places this time around).

    We checked in about 10 minutes before our ADR time of 2:00 and the reception area was a zoo! I thought we had a long wait ahead of us, but surprisingly, we were seated right on time.

    Our bus boy came over to fill our water glasses right away and Belle's face was absolutely priceless!!! Let's just say that Belle is not the kind of girl who tends to be overly mindful of the appearance of a guy. She is a bit intellectual and rarely notices any man at first glance. Normally, she is much more interested by what he has to say. Well, she looked up at the bus boy to say, "Thanks for the water," and looked at me...I knew exactly what she was thinking. It was very unexpected and very cute, and we couldn't stop giggling.

    Beatrice was our server and she was also extremely attractive, in a young woman sort of way. She was also an excellent server, which is really the more important quality for the purposes of this review, but since I had gone on about the bus boy, I thought it was only fair to mention Beatrice's good looks! ;)

    We were enjoying the atmosphere of the place as we perused the menu and soaked up the water. It was very authentically Italian trattoria, frenetic and busy without being overly noisy or chaotic. We loved the look of the pizza ovens! We had a hard time making choices from the menu, because we really wanted to try some of everything!

    Aladdin started with a Specialty Beer:
    [​IMG]
    I cannot remember the name of this, but he was trying to decide between 2, and Beatrice was able to describe both to him, so he made his choice. Looking at menus online, we think it might have been La Rossa. It was perfect for him on a hot summer day! He loved it!

    I had read lots about their Sangria, so I decided to give the red a try:
    [​IMG]
    Delicious! Not too sweet on the drink itself, and lots of nice chunks of fruit!

    For our appetizer, Aladdin and I split the Fritto Misto:
    [​IMG]
    This is listed as an appetizer for two on the menu, so we were allowed to order it to count for 2 appies on the DxDP. It would have been big enough for the 4 of us! And it was so yummy! It had a huge portion of calamari that were absolutely perfectly cooked, 2 arancini that were very delicious (cheesy and not at all dry or greasy), 2 pieces of fried mozzarella (so fresh!), and some fried veggies (I know there were a few pieces of eggplant, some artichoke, and I feel like there was something else, maybe zucchini?). The marinara sauce in the boat was perfect in every way, and I would have gladly poured it out of the boat and directly into my mouth if there had been any left in there!

    Belle chose the Caprese:
    [​IMG]
    Mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and basil (and it tasted like a balsamic viniagrette was drizzled on top). This was very light and refreshing! The cheese was scrumptious, and the tomatoes were so ripe and red and sweet. Perfect!

    Hercules went for the Salame e Provolone:
    [​IMG]
    This was a fairly small portion, especially when comparing it to our other appies, and we all looked at it like, "what?!" But once Herc dug into this, we understood. It was so rich and satisfying. Hercules quickly declared this meat "the best salami I have ever tasted." It came with a very high-quality hardish Italian provolone. It couldn't have been better and he loved it (so did the rest of it, judging from the small bites we were allowed)!



    For his main course, Aladdin chose the Capriocossa:
    [​IMG]
    This was a pizza with eggplant, artichokes, prosciutto and mushrooms. This was fabulous and Aladdin really loved it! There was a little burnt part of the crust, but Aladdin LOVES burnt crust (asks for his toast burnt at diners), so it was perfect that way for him. The rest of us tasted this also, and though we really liked it, we agreed that it was our least favorite of the pizzas. Not because it wasn't great, but because the others were even greater!

    Hercules and I each got the Carciofi:
    [​IMG]
    This was white pizza with artichokes (I think mushrooms) and three kinds of cheese (I think mozzarella, parmesan and fontina). We were extremely pleased with our choice. Hercules declared this the second best pizza he has ever tasted! My crust had a bit of the burnt crust phenomenon on it, and though I didn't mind the burned flavor, I gave that portion of mine to Aladdin. He again loved and appreciated it.

    Belle chose the Quattro Formaggio:
    [​IMG]
    Pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, fontina and provolone. O.M.G. BEST PIZZA EVER! While we loved everything on our table, this brought the whole meal to the next level. While all of us thought our collective pies were the best pizza we have ever tasted, we think this particular one was the best of the batch! Sooooo delicious, rich, satisfying. Pizza nirvana for sure!

    We were feeling so full and happy after our delicious pizza...but so sad that the pizza was gone!! But we were looking forward to dessert to find out what else Via Napoli had for us! Since none of us was really hungry for dessert, we decided to pick 4 off the menu and pass them around, so we could say we tried stuff!

    One of our choices was Pistachio Gelato:
    [​IMG]
    It was beautifully presented with a piece of candy brittle and I was just too full to even taste that brittle. Aladdin tasted it and declared it fabulous! The gelato itself was rich and creamy with just the right amount of pistachio flavor. Very refreshing!

    Another choice was the Coppa Amarena:
    [​IMG]
    That is the name by which it is written on our receipt, and I can't find the full name in Italian, but this is called the Ugly but Good Sundae. Well, it wasn't good...it was great!!! Very creamy vanilla gelato with tart amarena cherries and some chunks of cookes that we didn't even taste. It was a huge dessert and sadly, we left much of it, but YUMMY! This was Aladdin's favorite of the afternoon.

    We also tried the Frizzante:
    [​IMG]
    This is a Via Napoli rendition of an ice cream soda. Herc and Belle thought it was "weird" and weren't big fans. I took a sip and I wasn't too sure so I took another...and another...and another, just so I could decide how I felt about this interesting concoction, and ultimately I decided that it might have been my favorite dessert on the table! It was soda (maybe orange?) with vanilla gelato, strawberry or cherry sauce, and tons of rich freshly whipped cream. It tasted like a creamsicle on steroids. Delicious and so refreshing! I hated to leave any in glass but I was just too full!

    And finally, of course we had to try the famous Zeppole diCaterina:
    [​IMG]
    OK. Yup. Get these. Just sayin! It was also a huge portion. We could have easily split this as our only dessert and been satisfied.

    Overall, we couldn't have been more impressed with our meal at Via Napoli. It is hard for me to imagine any trip to WDW NOT including at least a lunch at this place. And if not on the DxDP, we could happily split a few of these pizzas and some salad (which sadly, we couldn't taste because it's not included on the dining plans...but we had no room this time around anyway).

    Via Napoli rates a shocking:
    [​IMG]

    5/5! Perfection! If you're debating whether or not to try it, give it a go!

    The total OOP expense of this meal would have been $239.29, including our drinks and the tip. With the DxDP, it cost us 4 meal credits and $59.30 OOP. Thats a $38 tip and $21.30 for our alcoholic beverages.
     

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