Multi-Allergy with ASD dining reviews Aug 2012

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by clanmcculloch, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Yes, the cornread was egg free. DD14 can't eat eggs, even baked into foods.

    Yes, the ELF cookies were available I think everywhere we ate CS meals. I was grateful since DD14 can't eat the OMG products due to the above mentioned egg issue.
     
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  3. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Mama Melrose lunch FDP

    I booked a Fantasmic! Dining Package for us for Sunday August 19 2012. Our ADR time was 12:30 which is a perfect time for being able to finish our touring, have lunch and then have enough time to leave the park for a break at our resort before returning for Fantasmic! which was at 8:30. No way can DD14 handle waiting in the F! line so the FDP seems like the best way to see the show. We had tried the previous year at HBD but because of them being backed up over an hour and the meal being so slow we ended up not making it to the show as we got out of dinner 20 minutes before it started and DD14 was burned out from the waits at that dining experience.

    We were done with our planned touring by 12:00 so we took some time to look around gift shops for a few minutes. Since you’re supposed to check in for ADRs around 15-20 minutes before your ADR time, we headed over at 12:10. There wasn’t any seating room in the lobby so I was getting nervous as I’ve read of horribly long waits to be seated at MM. I guess maybe most of these people didn’t have ADRs because we were seated within 5 minutes yet most of the people who were there when we arrived were still there. While waiting we did enjoy looking at all of the crayon signatures on the bricks and looking at the pictures.

    We were shown to our table at the far side of the restaurant. The theming was really nice. MM is dimly lit with theming that reminds me of NYC Little Italy restaurants from movies (I’ve never been to NYC so my only knowledge is from movies and TV). There are lights strung through the pipes and beams in the ceiling, there are old movie posters and instruments and kitchenware on the walls and the walls are all brick. It felt quiet. We were seated in a booth against the wall which is great with DD14.

    I then looked at our ticket that was placed on the table and I notice that there’s no red stamp indicating our allergies even though my TA said he had mentioned the allergies when booking and I had listed this ADR on my allergy form that I submitted to Special Diets and I mentioned it at check-in. Now I’m really nervous. I had in past trips cancelled MM ADRs because I had read mixed reviews about allergy experiences (some really good, some horrible) and I’ve never been able to get a chef to contact me about our options. I figure I’d wait and see what the chef has to say. I did mention it to the server when she came to get our drink orders and she immediately took our ticket to get it stamped and to let the chef know. She came back pretty quickly to discuss our drink orders. Like everywhere else, the options for my girls was apple juice or water so they got apple juice while I got a Coke.

    It didn’t take very long for the chef to come out. She was really nice and I could tell pretty quickly that she was one of the good ones who was open to doing whatever she could to help us. Phew!! We started out by discussing what we do like and what options on the menu could be modified to our liking.

    I forgot to take a picture of the kids’ appetizer but I can at least describe it. They split the antipasto platter but without the mozzarella. It was a big plate of salami, capicollo ham, marinated mushrooms and roasted peppers. It was very nice and definitely a full plate sized for 2.

    For me, the chef customized the Clams Oreganata. She wasn’t sure how well it would come out without the butter but it was delicious. Everybody else tasted it and loved it as well. It was beautifully seasoned and cooked perfectly. In hindsight I should have asked for an Udi’s roll to dip in the wonderful liquid at the bottom of the plate, but I had lots of food coming still so it really would have been too much anyway.
    [​IMG]

    For our entrees, the chef was just as good. She was just as patient going over the menu with us, even though DD14 was at this point getting a bit too hungry and therefore unable to really make decisions. The chef was very patient with her and was able to explain a few of the dishes well enough so that she got really excited about her dish. The chef also offered to attempt a cheese sauce but warned that she had never done so and wasn’t sure how it would come out. Anyway, here are our entrees.

    DD12 got a flatbread made with an Udi’s crust, Tofutti cheese and pepperoni and bacon. She really enjoyed it.
    [​IMG]

    DD14 got the Wood-grilled Tuna but served over mac and cheese. I think I mentioned in a previous review that she LOVES rare tuna steaks and this one was perfectly prepared. The cheese sauce turned out wonderfully (she agreed to let me have a little taste but wasn’t sharing much because it was too good).
    [​IMG]

    As you can see from my order, I like mollusks. I ordered the Seafood Cioppino without the calamari (she told me up front she was unable to make safe calamari which I frankly expected but was secretly hoping she could do). I know that the broth was a bit different than the normal broth but it was quite tasty. Again, everybody was wanting to sample and agreed that it was very good.
    [​IMG]

    It was then explained to us that with the FDP the dessert is normally chef’s choice but since 3 of the 5 of us couldn’t eat the chef’s choice, we’d be allowed to order what we want. For the three of us with allergies, the options were pretty limited, but at least the chef did a nice job with presentation.

    DD14 got ice cream sandwiches using the crunchy Enjoy Life cookies and Tofutti ice cream. The cookies are pretty small so that’s why there are 3 sandwiches.
    [​IMG]

    DD12 and I both opted for ice cream sundaes instead. I wasn’t in the mood for dealing with ice cream oozing all over my fingers. The chef made the sundaes pretty and brought a plate of the EL cookies for us to go with them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The short version is that this was an amazing meal. My nervousness was unnecessary. Our meal was a little over 2 hours long though considering that’s 3 courses I think that’s pretty good considering we frequently hit 2 hours with only 2 courses.

    As to the F! seating and whether it was worthwhile or not, I unfortunately still can’t say completely after our second attempt (remember, last year didn’t work either due to the length of the meal and late seating for a dinner ADR). We arrived at the theatre around 8:00 knowing that around 20 minutes before the show they open up the FDP seating area to everybody. When we got to our seats, the FDP section closest to the center was at least 2/3 full and the other sections were about half full. Looking around the theatre, the center sections looked completely full and the far side looked pretty similarly filled to the FDP section. Just like I had heard, they did drop the rope around 20 minutes before the show. We could have gotten a seat even arriving 5 minutes before the show but it wouldn’t have been nearly as good of a seat. We had pretty good seats, around ¾ of the way up pretty close to the end of the row closest to the rope separating the FDP seating from general seating. There was enough room that we could spread out a little bit so that DD14 wasn’t squished. While there were seats available, these were better than what looked to be available in the non-FDP area on the far side. The reason I say I can’t be completely sure that it was a good idea to get the FDP package was that just as we were expecting the opening announcement, having listened to the countdown announcements every 5 minutes, we heard the announcement that they hoped we enjoyed the show and to exit at the rear of the theatre. We had been watching this big black rolling cloud head in over the theatre but it was a surprise to hear as it wasn’t raining. Well, after another 30 seconds, the skies opened up and we were drenched. It wasn’t about to let up either. F! was cancelled.

    When we asked a CM on our way out what would be done about the fact that we paid for the FDP and frankly for some of us it cost more than we would have otherwise paid (for me and DH it was a really good deal financially but not for DD12 or her BFF). The CM said that for the next 5 nights they’ll allow people into the FDP seating area even if they ate other nights because they knew it was being cancelled. I didn’t ask if we needed to get our FDP card back since I knew we wouldn’t be back to DHS during our trip. I did point out that this didn’t work for us because we had no plans to be back at that park so she told us to go to Guest Relations. I wasn’t sure what I expected Guest Relations to do but we went on our way out anyway. There was thank goodness not much of a line at GR (we didn’t head out immediately). The CM at GR was wonderful. He asked if we would be back to WDW for future trips which of course we will be. He took down our names and told us to bring photo id to DHS on our next trip and that we’d be given an FDP seating ticket. IMO this is the perfect resolution. Whew! I do think that we won’t want to go to F! without the FDP seating so I’m glad that we’ll be able to without a third attempt at the dining package.
     
  4. snorris49

    snorris49 DIS Veteran

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    Great reviews! I love WCC, but I'm bummed about the sort of changes and no lunch skillet!? :confused3

    I do love that allergy friendly cornbread. Omigosh, I could eat it for days. I can't believe they charged you for a cake when you didn't order one. That's a real bummer. I could see if you ordered it specifically, but to make one for you and then charge you for it? Very strange.

    Thank you so much for the updated review of Mama Melrose. I've had several people tell me to try this again because I had a semi-bad experience there a few years ago. I think I will definitely try it again soon. And those "ice cream" sandwiches look divine!!
     
  5. jlr9882

    jlr9882 Mouseketeer

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    A couple questions: 1) Can they make rice milk milkshakes? 2) When talking to the chefs before the trip, did they offer to bring in BabyCakes for you or did you ask them if they could? Great reviews! DS6 has over 20 allergies. We had a great trip a couple years ago, and looking forward to our next one this summer.
     
  6. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    The milkshakes that we had were made with rice milk and Tofutti ice cream but at least at the Plaza I know they also have Rice Dream ice cream and could use that for the milkshakes; I don't know if that's true at WCC though resorts seem to typically carry Rice Dream. We prefer Tofutti ice cream but can't have soy milk (not because of soy). We've had the same at Pop Century, POFQ, 50s PTC and Sci Fi Dine-In in the past as well, though I'd be careful at 50s PTC as they don't have a dedicated milkshake machine and not all chefs are as good about how they clean the machine as others (all three of us ended up with stomache problems one time after eating there and I'm pretty sure it was the milkshakes).

    Chefs offered to bring Babycakes. Basically, I asked for confirmation that there would be safe food available. I pretty much leave things up to the chefs as to what they can do though they do typically ask what kinds of foods we like. I think they went well above and beyond at Fort Wilderness because we were staying there and planned to eat at the restaurants several times. AoA always has the Babycakes cupcakes and I think sometimes the cookies as well but you have to ask about the cookies as they were in the kitchen, not on the shelves. I think more chefs are trying to order in some Babycakes stuff when they've got guests with complicated allergies coming in but I try not to count on it. I really try to stick with restaurants that carry foods that are easily modified to be safe but I especially like hearing from chefs at the resort(s) at which we'll be staying as we do eat lots of meals at our resort. I do acknowledge that there are definitely limits to what they can do which is why I take such great care in which restaurants I choose as I always assume that they only have what's on the menu to work with.
     
  7. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Art of Animation - Landscape of Flavors

    We stayed at AoA in August. We spend a lot of time at our resort so we ate here a lot. I totally forgot to take pictures of most of our meals so this review is very short on pictures. I only remembered during one meal (one of our breakfasts) so you'll have to take my word about how yummy things looked.

    I got a call from Chef Dan (one of my favourite WDW chefs; he worked with us at Pop during each of our stays there and even found us the bread that we use today at home for DD14 during one of our Pop stays) around a month before our trip. We went over a bunch of my girls' likes and dislikes and discussed my concerns about the changes in products leading to lack of options for DD14. He absolutely agreed that it stank and said he already had ideas that he wanted to look into but wasn't going to go into what they'd be because he didn't want to get my hopes up or make promises he couldn't keep. I definitely understood that. I knew that even if he didn't come up with alternate products that he'd manage to make tasty meals for us so I wasn't worried.

    We checked in at AoA mid-afternoon. We weren't hungry at all because we had just pigged out at WCC so we checked into our room and hung out for a bit. I wanted to hit the food court before the rush so maybe around 4:00 DH and I headed over while the girls hung out. Chef Dan came out to greet us with his usual huge smile. Warning: he's a chatterbox. He's one of the few people who can talk as much as we can. LOL!! He was ready for us. He remembered that I had asked about the sweet potato fries but they weren't gluten free. What he DID do was prep some sweet potatoes to see if he could manage some from scratch. He tried. They didn't come out how he liked but we all enjoyed them. He only did this once because he really wasn't happy with them but I was really touched that he had tried. He ordered a carton of Silk milk for DD14 because the soy milk they carry contains gluten (I still don't know what genius made that decision) and he had the CM at the register only charge us for a regular carton of milk which was really nice of him. He also sent one of his staff over to Pop to get some chicken tenders for our kids because they don't normally carry them. I couldn't believe he would do that. How nice is that? He felt bad that there just weren't as many options for DD14 as he would have liked so that's why he did that. Have I mentioned that he's one of our favourite chefs?

    I have to say that I loved having a suite with lots of room and nice big table because it was wonderful being able to carry our food back to the room to eat and have the room to sit. The table only fits 4 and you really can't pull a chair up to the end of the table so even though the room fits 6, you can't all fit at the table. You can fold up the sofa and use the little tables there but you really can't sit as a family of 5 or 6 all together and eat. But, it was very nice being able to eat in a calm, quiet environment. If you plan to bring your food back to your room, say so when ordering so they can put it in a to go box. The default is to put the food on regular non-disposable dishes and those don't have covers so they don't stack and don't travel as well.

    Because we eat at such off times, when we did eat in the food court, most of the tables were empty and not much was going on. It did feel very big and open and I'm not sure why I'm remembering it this way but I'm recalling it feeling kind of echo-y if that makes any sense. Going over to the Lion King area felt more contained as it's away from the windows and even the ceiling felt lower. You can't see the ordering area from the Lion King area so just in general this is a less overwhelming area to sit.

    It does get loud. It does get busy. Visually it is VERY stimulating in there. Even just sitting at the tables there's a lot of visual stimulation and unless it's empty then there's a lot of noise. Because the dishes are real dishes, it's louder than with paper plates and plastic cutlery. As I said above it is a lot better in the Lion King section but if your child is already overstimulated from ordering then it might be too much.

    When ordering allergy food, it is REALLY slow. This is to be expected but it sometimes felt more excessive than other times. I know it was based on what was being ordered for pasta they have to get the water boiling then cook it and this brand of gluten free pasta takes 20 minutes once the water's boiling then it had to be sauteed with the meats and veggies). They gave us a pager each time but we were nervous about going too far because I just wasn't sure of the range plus it seemed as though at least 1/3 of the time the chef would have questions for us so I wouldn't want to go far. We never actually witnessed lines (honest) but again, we eat at very off times.

    Breakfast

    We ate breakfast a few times at AoA. I took pictures one morning so here you go.

    Jumbo Mickey waffle with fruit. She ate the bacon before I took the picture. Normally the fruit is a mixture of strawberries, blueberries and oranges I think maybe in a syrup but my kids can't have oranges so they gave them fresh fruit instead. This is the waffle they started with when we arrived but part way through our trip they switched to the round ones. They do use a dedicated waffle press and according to the chefs they use a mixture of Bob's Red Mill and Namaste. The margarine is Earth Balance and in the other cup is real maple syrup. The bacon is the same stuff you get everywhere.
    [​IMG]

    Nemo waffles with bacon and fruit. With an adult meal some chefs will give 3, some will give 4.
    [​IMG]

    Breakfast platter - scrambled eggs with turkey bacon and fries. The regular potato casserole has dairy so fries is the option we were given. The turkey bacon is surprisingly good. Regular grocery store turkey bacon IMO has a plastic texture. This had an actual meat texture and tasted pretty good. This also came with a roll. The chef originally gave DD12 an Ener-G roll which is not good because it contains citrus fiber which she can't have. It's a good thing I recognized it as Ener-G or she would have eaten it. The chef replaced it with an Udi's dinner roll. Those Udi's dinner rolls are not very good; the only Udi's product we haven't liked. The chef did offer to replace the whole meal since the roll was on this plate with the other food but I know DD12's intollerances well enough to know that in this case it won't cause problems having had the roll on her plate.
    [​IMG]

    That's it for the pictures.

    DD14 really enjoyed her waffles so she got those again. They were very consistent. DD12 and I ended up trying something else that was wonderful. They have somethign called steak and eggs. It's really a bacon cheeseburger with an over medium fried egg served with potatoes. They carry both american and mozzerella Tofutti so we ordered it with Tofutti on an Udi's hamburger bun with fries since the potato casserole is still not safe and can't be made safe. SO YUMMY. The egg is a bit runny so when you bite into it the yolk runs down into the bun a bit making it gooey and good. I would not hesitate to order this again.

    I do want to mention though that the only problems we had from an allergy perspective were at breakfast. The roll wasn't the only problem. One of the steak and egg dishes was served with regular pepperjack cheese. It's a really good thing I look closely and that pepperjack has those telltale little bits of peppers in them or I would have been really sick. Actually, DD12 would have been too because when she saw what I ordered she immediately asked to try it and almost took a bite when I saw the flecks. The actual chef didn't prepare it himself and the line cook wasn't paying enough attention. Scary stuff!! I watched our food like a hawk after that and this did add to my feeling of having to stick around so I could see if chefs were going back and forth and getting others to prepare our food in the non-allergy area of the kitchen. I'd still order it again and eat here again but I'll definitely stay on my toes.

    Lunch & Dinner

    Sorry, no pictures of any other meals. But, I can certainly describe our food. I'm definitely not short on words (that's my way of admitting I'm long winded).

    Create your own pasta: This was a huge hit. They have a couple different shapes of Tinkyada pasta to work with. This meal takes a long time to prepare but it's worth the wait. They have lots of ingredients to work with and they can do tomato sauce or olive oil. The pesto has parmesan and I think also pine nuts so it's not a good allergy sauce and the alfredo obviously has milk. DD14 and I both tried this with the tomato sauce and olive oil at different times and we tried it with different ingredients. It was really good each time. This is definitely a huge hit!!

    Bacon cheeseburgers: What can I say? A burger's a burger. They're served on Udi's buns which are pretty good, though DD14 can't eat them due to eggs so she never got a burger. As I said in the breakfast part of this review, they have both american and mozzerella Tofutti. They do have a dedicated french fry fryer so this is a pretty quick meal to order.

    Chicken tenders: These are not normally on the menu. Chef Dan was so wonderful to send a runner over to Pop to bring back a case just for us. I do not expect this to happen typically but boy am I grateful. They're the same ones sold all over WDW and they were yummy.

    Pizza: The crusts I think were Udi's and the chefs used Tofutti mozzerella to top them. The could put just about any toppings they had around but we didn't ask for anything fancy. They were pretty good. DD12 got this a few times. The pizzas come with salads so the chefs would just put together a simple tossed salad. DD12 doesn't like vinegrettes and likes dressingless salad with bacon so they gladly just topped hers with bacon without dressing. They did a few different types of vinegrettes for me when given creative freedom to do anything. Very tasty!

    If I wasn't already tired of vinegrettes I likely would have tried the create your own salad station but after a few days at AoA and having already been at WDW for 4 days before that, I was very tired of them. It looked good but I just wanted a different dressing if I was going to have another salad and that just wasn't an option unfortunately.

    DD14 one night just wasn't in the mood for the typical items on the menu so the chef came up with something for her based on her request. She just wanted plain pasta, a dish of sauteed mushrooms and a dish of rice. This is what she wanted so this is what they made. The rice was the white rice they make for the tandoori station so it's cooked with some spices that she's never had before in her life. That was a mistake. I don't actually know what spice she reacted to but she got itchy spots all over her body. I was actually wondering at one point if she might have chickenpox because her OCD go triggered by this and after picking all night at the spots they looked a lot like chickenpox. I finally figured out it was an allergic reaction (FYI: they don't carry GFCF antihistamines at MK) and the only thing I could figure was the rice. She has a milder version of this exact rash when she consumes yeast but there wasn't any yeast in anything she ate. I'm going to have to watch indian spices closely going forward. In no way to I blame the chefs for this; she's never had star anise or a few other spices that were in the rice. You know, I should really take note of those spices and look up their relationship to other stuff.

    Smoothies: The regular smoothies have milk in them. They can make custom smoothies in the kitchen for you if you can't have milk. The base of the smoothies is Odwalla juices so in our case we were very limited in our options as most of those have citrus juice in them. We gave chef Huy (another wonderful former Pop chef) the freedom to create whatever he wanted as long as it was safe and he made a few tasty options for us. Normally they don't allow the custom smoothies using the dining plan but since none of the regular ones are safe for us they allowed us to get these as our desserts.

    Babycakes mini cupcakes: Such an amazing option. They were very well stocked and never close to running out. They were basically brownie bites with flavoured and coloured icing. They had chocolate, mocha, mint chocolate and vanilla in every pack. YUMMY!!

    They also carry a wide variety of allergy snacks and I also found out on our last day that they had Babycakes chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen. I wish I had have known earlier. They don't put them out on the shelves and I think they keep them to offer to people who just don't have many options (like DD14).

    And now I can't recall if we ate anything else so I'll end here.
     
  8. Chelley00

    Chelley00 DIS Veteran

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    I read your reviews before we left and booked HDDR based on your experience. Let me just say, you got very lucky. The chef I had did nothing, not even contacted me after I had left a message to speak with him before our trip. They still fed me, and it was good, but nothing special. I soooo wanted that cornbread :lmao:
     
  9. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    I'm so sorry to hear that Chelley00. I do think that the chef went beyond what he typically does for us because we were staying at FW and had planned several meals at the resort. He did place that Babycakes order specifically for us because of our multiple ADRs.
     
  10. valree

    valree Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the heads up about AoA using Udi's pizza crusts. I think I had those in the past and liked them. I'll head over there for lunch one day. The create your own pasta bar sounds good too.
     

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