The not so live version of dining w/ Disers, in Castles & on Safari! The Wrap! 2/26

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by emmysmommy, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. distripplanner

    distripplanner Earning My Ears

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    If this review is wrapping up....uh..... When does the next one start? Please tell me I won't be without dinning (or dining) reviews from Brenda to look forward to for too long!
     
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  3. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Brenda, as you know, The Plaza is always our last meal of our "twosome" trip. We just love the simple food, the friendly staff and, of course, the desserts.

    I would have to order fries on the side too if we were splitting and Mark wanted chips. The Plaza fries are definitely the best in all of DW as you said; but I do like their chips too.

    And I would have given you my cherries AND bananas...I don't like either.
     
  4. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Hi Brenda! Looks like I managed to fall behind again…. :rolleyes:

    Wow! The Crew’s Cup menu really has some nice and varied selections. What a nice option!

    Whoa - the IllumiNations cruise looks amazing. How does one go about booking that? I think that would be something we could really enjoy during a trip overwhelmed with crowds - something we wouldn’t have to wait in line for. ;) Hmm, maybe with two people it wouldn’t be doable? :confused3

    Nice job with the buffet pictures at CP! I’m impressed! I am never able to do that. :laughing: Isn’t CP so fun? We really enjoyed it in August too.

    We are definitely going to have to give in and try the Plaza - it always gets such good reviews. And I have to say that there is something to be said for food that is simple BUT GOOD! The burger and fries look so yummy, and you can’t go wrong with ice cream desserts!

    :( I can’t believe the DR is almost over. Surely you can start a DR of DLR meals that can just be ongoing forever, right?????

    Oh, and we are locked in for our summer road trip to DLR. We will definitely be back in August. I will let you know our exact dates as they get nearer - maybe we will be able to meet up with you and Em one day! :)
     
  5. Lizzybean

    Lizzybean Mouseketeer

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    Loved reading this DR! Now I'm really looking forward to Shula's on our next visit!
     
  6. klacey1

    klacey1 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for all of your reviews, Brenda!! Looking forward to your wrap up!
     
  7. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Ha ha! You have a dancing banana dude for the banana split! :lmao: Yes, it does look good.

    At some point I have to pack my bags and go home and then start this all over again when my bank account supports another trip! :)

    Interestingly, I'm more a fan of the skinny fries except for MK. For some reason those fries are just so delicious.

    No pineapple huh? You and Em would do well sharing. Those clever clogs! Assuming that is British slang of sorts. I will never use the term 'fanny pack' without busting out laughing ever again! :lmao:

    Exactly Jill. With the discount it really is a great deal and you get to dine in a/c. Definitely a plus in August.

    Welcome back to the Boards. You probably expected this thing to be wrapped up long ago. ;)

    Those fries have some sort of mysterious addictive property!

    Ha ha! As God is your witness! :rotfl: I didn't realize it didn't stay on the rotation last trip. Here's to hoping that works out.

    I'm going to see if they have a children's portion of the burger next trip as I seriously doubt Michael will split anything with me. We are not eating there until the last meal of our trip.

    Another satisfied Plaza Restaurant customer! :thumbsup2

    I'm hoping my dates coincide in Oct. :)

    Thanks for sharing your dates. :)

    And this is helpful too! I'm aiming for the last week of October with Em and another DIS friend (Camille.) We definitely need at least an afternoon tea or dinner or two.
     
  8. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Wait, what? You haven't tried the puffed French toast? Ha Ha! Yes, try one or both of those next time and then let us know what you think! :laughing:

    Thank you and thank you for reading!

    I vote for GF afternoon tea! Oh, and Cali Grill! I would do a longer trip in October but we have a trip in September booked as well. So many great options! :thumbsup2

    Thank you Jo! The burger and fries are excellent!

    That's funny that I like the banana part of the split but not the ice-cream.

    You are so welcome! Thank you for following along.

    Well.... you are in luck. My current dining reviews are found here. This is Jabeads Live Dining thread finale. A group of DISers that traveled and dined together in December are doing a combined dining review. We are almost 1/2 way through so if you head that way you'll have plenty reviews for the various restaurants to keep you entertained. Thanks for asking!

    My next one after that should be for our April/May trip... hopefully!

    Hi Roni! You are doing a lot of catching up! I must commend you for hanging in there. :)

    The Crew's Cup was a great quick option that doesn't require any ADR.

    The Illuminations cruise can be booked through the reservations number for Disney or any concierge desk. It is a credit card hold and then you pay when you arrive for the cruise. They offer both AP and DVC discounts, I believe of 20%. The boat holds a maximum of 10 people (kids count as a single person) so you could book an entire boat to yourself if you want. In fact, Em and I were going to have a solo Illuminations cruise but then we invited our friends a few days before. It's a great option versus reserving a spot an hour before the fireworks.

    CP is my favorite breakfast buffet!

    Thanks for letting me know about your DL road trip Roni. Our usual August WDW trip is now in September which means I will be around in August this year. :yay: We'll definitely PM each other before that.

    I still take photos of our DL food so I probably could do a perpetual DL DR but then again I tend to repeat things a lot like Plaza Restaurant and Rancho del Zocalo.

    :upsidedow

    I remember that Plaza Restaurant is your traditional last meal as well. I love ending our trip at MK and Plaza Restaurant is such a classic choice for that farewell meal.

    I've not had the chips so may have to try them sometime. I just don't want competition for those amazing fries.

    What? No bananas or cherries? So I guess a banana split is not your thing. I don't think you'd turn down a turtle krawl! :lmao:

    Thank you Lizzybean! I hope you enjoy Shula's!

    You're welcome Kylie! Thank YOU for reading along.
     
  9. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    No, I'm not a banana split girl. I am definitely a Hot Fudge Sundae (hold the whip cream and cherry and give me EXTRA fudge) type of girl.

    And, no, I would never turn down a turtle krawl.

    I'm going to email you from work this week before we leave on Saturday to discuss doing the cruise and stuff (I get to make ADR's on the 22nd or 23rd..after we are back).
     
  10. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Day 15: Friday August 30, 2013 Au Bon Pain and cocktails at 30,000 feet



    Now for our final "vacation" meal....

    Our return flight stopped over in Denver; however, we remained on the same plane to Orange County, CA. Since we’d not be getting off the plane we stopped at Au Bon Pain in the airport to pick up a sandwich. I ordered the turkey and Swiss sandwich to share with Em.

    Several hours into the flight I dug into our bag of food for a quick supper of the turkey sandwich and in-flight snacks of Wheat Thins toasted veggie chips. It wasn’t Disney food but at least it was a good way to transition from vacation eating to reality outside the Disney bubble.

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    Southwest airlines offers the little bag of airplane cookies that are adorable. They are graham cracker cookies.

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    On the second leg of our flight, I wanted to redeem my SW airlines drink coupons that I’ve had for months. Apparently I don’t find the need to have a cocktail or wine on my business travel flights. However, take my tie off, so to speak, and I’m fully prepared to imbibe in a little something. I think I take that “drink responsibly” saying to heart since I had 4 drink coupons but only wanted 1 drink. When the flight attendant came around for drink requests I told the flight attendant to use my drink coupons for the first 3 people who ordered cocktails and it would be “on me”…. The flight attendant handed me my Bloody Mary (lime slice as the garnish) but refused to take my drink coupons for even my drink. Thanks guy. He was actually a flight attendant that we’d had on our outbound flight to Orlando two weeks earlier. For some reason he had remembered us and was generous enough to give me a complimentary drink… but not only me, the three other people that I said I’d “buy” drinks with my coupons. What a nice gesture!

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    Next Up: Wrap up and summary of favorites
     
  11. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Sounds good! I look forward to making plans. :)
     
  12. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Oooh...the sandwich looks quite yummy.

    We don't get cookies on our Southwest flights. :confused3 Maybe our flights are too short.

    How very sweet of you to offer drinks to the first three people who ordered. And then to have the flight attendant turn around and give you and those three people drinks. :)
     
  13. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    And thanks to that flight attendant and you my husband and I were able to use those free drink coupons on our swa flight!!

    I don't know that I have ever gotten swa cookies either?!? It's usually Pretzels or Peanuts on the shorter flights and a snack assortment on the longer ones (oreo's, cheesy ritz, etc)

    You probably flew right over our house going from DEN to SNA!
     
  14. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    I think I am ready to try a new sandwich at Au Bon Pain. I've ordered the same sandwich over and over and over.

    I hadn't seen the cookies either until this longer flight. They also had packs of ritz cheese crackers and other Nabisco products. This was our first time flying SW from OC to Florida.

    It was really nice of the guy. However, I really wanted to get ride of the coupons. ;)

    Did I end up giving those to you guys? I vaguely remember something about that. If so, cheers!!

    Yep, those airline cookies were a first for us. I don't think I saw them last flight so I'm not sure how often those are offered. Then again I pretty much slept all the way from Orlando to Phoenix so I'm not sure what they offered. You are a regular SW flier so you can name all those snack products - great job!

    I've flown over your house a few times! My house is in the flight path of anyone flying out of SNA. We always sit on the right side of the plane so we can see our house when we take off. :)
     
  15. peachmermaid

    peachmermaid Mouseketeer

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    Time to play catch up! I'm starting here around lunch because apparently I want to make myself more hungry than I already am. :)

    I'm a sucker for onion appetizers! That one sure looked good!

    Buffet character breakfasts are the best!! You work off the carbs by standing to meet characters (not to mention walking to get food)! The CP is one of my favorites!

    The plaza looks so cute. Great idea to go to a place where you know you will be leaving the parks for a while with a happy tummy. I've never been lead astray with a disney burger. It's comfort food for the disney parks! :)

    Yay for sandwiches! Isn't Denver's airport so nice? It's so shiny & new!
     
  16. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    GAH!!! So depressing to see this DR coming to an end. You MUST return to WDW immediately and eat some more! ;)

    What an amazing flight attendant you had. Very cool!
     
  17. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

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    CP looks so good. We were talking the other day we need to go back. That little girl we encountered there turned us off to it.
    Love the character shots.
    The banana split looked good.
    Those airplane cookies are adorable.
    Love free drinks. Jetblue flight attendant bought me one too once.
     
  18. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Onion appetizers are better eaten hot! Just a word of advice. ;) Less talking more eating would have made for a better app.

    I'm counting the calories I've burned by posing with about 50 characters in the last few trips. Hey, I think I need another piece of Pooh's puffed French toast! ;)

    Happy tummy for sure!

    Oh, I have a May trip but in the mean time I'm participating in the live dining thread on the Restaurant boards - Jabead's thread. We are doing a grand finale dining review with the 7 DISers that participated in dining together for the 10 days that I was there in December.

    The flight attendant was awesome!

    I love CP! Thanks those characters were adorable.

    I'm not an ice-cream lover but the banana's and whip cream looked great! ;)

    Gotta love nice flight attendants making our flights more enjoyable.
     
  19. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    The Wrap! The Not So Live Version of Dining with Disers, in Castles, and On Safari! August 2013


    Dining Review Wrap Up: Favorites and places that must be booked again!

    With 36 dining experiences for our 15 day trip there are some more than others that stand out. Although we started with nearly 40 ADRs we cancelled a few as I imagined we would due to some places not fitting into our schedule or other changes to our touring plans.

    So what stood out as a favorite? What places should be placed on hold for the next trip or two? What made it into our next trip?

    Let&#8217;s start with the places that would fall into the category of &#8220;needs improvement&#8221;:

    1. Tortuga Tavern: There&#8217;s really only one obvious choice for this category from this trip&#8230;. Tortuga Tavern, the counter service at Magic Kingdom. Those &#8220;amazing&#8221; nachos were way below my expectation but I&#8217;m sure they are beloved by others so I&#8217;ll just stick with the oatmeal cookies from the Prairie Outpost if I want a quick meal at MK.
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    2. La Hacienda de San Angel: The other place that made the &#8220;needs improvement&#8221; list was La Hacienda because of the Jesus recommended gordita. However, the tacos that I ordered cancelled out that placement so we&#8217;ll just say that next time I will happily sip my margarita while enjoying the queso fundido!!! (Reference my DR where the server talked me out of ordering the much too cheesy appetizer!)

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    3. Be Our Guest dinner: was not a great dining experience this trip &#8211; at all! However, the cupcakes never disappoint and the theming is spectacular so what I believe needs improvement is that French onion soup! There may be an amazing dish served there but I just haven&#8217;t found it yet.

    Here&#8217;s as much of the French onion soup at BoG that I was able to eat before ceasing the effort.

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    The highlight of the meal!
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    4. Grand Floridian Café (dinner): The final meal that definitely needed improvement was our Diser dinner at GFC. This was more due to services issues for which the passing of time lessens my irritation so I&#8217;m sure it will be back on our rotation sometime soon. The salad that I ordered was marginal so this place will stay on the needs improvement list.

    [​IMG]

    Note: I will and did return to GFC for breakfast. Their breakfast continues to be a favorite of mine so I am not abandoning them completely.


    So what restaurants filtered to the top of our list of NEW favorites and would be in the category of &#8220;why didn&#8217;t I try this before?&#8221;
    1. Monsieur Paul &#8211; This was a surprise favorite. From the beautiful dining room to the wonderful mushroom crusted beef tenderloin, it was wonderful. One of the best parts of the meal however, was the light and tasty meringue dessert. The champagne cocktail from Philippe, the Manager, wasn&#8217;t bad either. Apparently, all hard feelings were long gone by the time we reunited in August. A far different parting than during our February/March trip that included that little incident at Chefs de France where I was kind enough to buy lunch for the much larger party when my credit card was charged for their bill! (For our December trip, Philippe intercepted us and again sent complimentary cocktails to our lunch party that included Barb, Em and me. We had to send Em&#8217;s drink back.)

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    2. Shula&#8217;s &#8211; This was my absolute favorite dinner the entire trip. This was a distinctly un-Disney dining experience since the theming is not something that I am particularly fond of with all of the sports memorabilia. However, the amazing melt in your mouth filet, the wonderful sourdough bread, and the perfection in service from our wait team made this a must repeat dining experience. We returned for our December trip with another DIS couple (Couchy) and had an excellent dinner!


    Petite filet with bernaise sauce
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    Not my favorite dessert; however, this chocolate lava cake got rave reviews both times our party ordered it.

    [​IMG]

    4. Territory Lounge &#8211; definitely a great option for their appetizers and cocktails. We especially liked the fondue with the pretzel bread, apples, and figs. The flatbread and the sweet Thai chili chicken nuggets were good, just not amazing. The lounge itself is very cozy and nice. (We returned to TL in December with our travel party and had drinks and appetizers so this was definitely a Must Repeat place.)

    Fondue with accompaniments
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    Fondue cheese pot &#8211; be assured that it was much more appetizing than it looked.
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    5. Kona Café dinner &#8211; We loved the teriyaki steak here but it paled in comparison to the AMAZING bread! Oh my goodness&#8230; this was made better by the macadamia nut butter that they serve as an accompaniment. I&#8217;d eat this for a &#8220;meal&#8221; anytime.

    Amazing Kona Bread with macadamia nut butter
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    Teriyaki Steak &#8211; Ohhh so good!
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    And finally, which OLD favorites still deliver great food and/or service and will continue to remain in our dining rotation?

    1. Jiko &#8211; My dinner selection was a repeat of our first visit with the beef short ribs. They were delicious once again. The bread service is one of the most unique in all of WDW and truly delicious.

    [​IMG]
    Note: photo courtesy of Emmy from last trip. Her photo captured the beauty of this dish so much better than mine!

    2. Teppan Edo &#8211; I love anything cooked on a teppan table! The chicken and shrimp are my go-to favorites here. But what makes this even better is the ginger dipping sauce. The mustard is excellent as well. They can save the trouble and not dip out the &#8220;ranch&#8221; dipping sauce. It&#8217;s not for me. The service is always gracious and exceptional at Teppan Edo as well.

    [​IMG]

    3. Kona Café breakfast &#8211; Yep, I&#8217;m still a huge fan of the Macadamia Nut Pineapple Pancakes&#8230; or rather my variation of them which has the toppings on the side. Em likes the blueberry pancakes here as well so it will definitely stay in our dining rotation.

    [​IMG]

    4. Grand Floridian Café breakfast - another favorite breakfast has always been GFC. Specifically, the brioche French toast. Simple yet tasty!

    [​IMG]

    5. Liberty Tree Tavern &#8211; As long as they never get rid of the pot roast or the ooey gooey toffee cake we&#8217;ll keep coming back. This is a favorite whether inside a park or not but the convenience of taking a break in the park adds to the appeal.

    [​IMG]

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    6. Plaza Restaurant &#8211; The best burger and fries in WDW (even Beaches and Cream doesn&#8217;t beat Plaza Restaurant for me) and Em loves the banana splits. (In December I found something new that I really liked&#8230;)

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    7. Yak & Yeti &#8211; Egg rolls! Yep, that appetizer is what draws me back to this restaurant. But what cinches the deal is those fried cream cheese wontons. Oh soooo delish!

    [​IMG]

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    8. YSH &#8211; Perhaps just as much the exceptional service as much as the food, this has been a favorite steakhouse for the last 4 trips. The menu has changed frequently thus forcing me to try new items but the filet, short ribs, and hanger steak have been exceptional choices in the past. Our server pal Ricardo is always so warm and welcoming and we look forward to seeing him each trip.

    [​IMG]

    The final piece of information to share&#8230;. Using our TiW card our savings was $311.41 for the 15 days! This was the third trip (38 Disney days) using our TiW card. Cumulative savings for the three trips was $945.60. Excluding the $75 cost of the card (purchased before the price increase) the net savings was $870.60. That averages $290.20 per trip. Of course this is one of those instances where the more you purchase the more you save.

    That total savings tells me that either we eat way too much on vacation or I should completely justify another Disney trip by &#8220;spending&#8221; my savings.

    Up Next: The current dining review....

     
  20. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    As most Dining Board regulars know, Em and I traveled with a group of Disers that frequent the dining boards. Our group enjoyed more than a dozen meals together. For our travel dates of 12/5 through 12/15, we had 23 ADRs for the 11 days. The following restaurants are included in my reviews for the live dining thread:

    Day 1
    1. Boardwalk Bakery – late dinner

    Day 2
    2. Whispering Canyon Café –Breakfast
    3. Chefs de France – CP Lunch
    4. Citricos – Dinner

    Day 3
    5. Crystal Palace – Breakfast
    6. Yak & Yeti – Lunch
    7. Yachtsman Steakhouse – Dinner

    Day 4
    8. Kona Café – Breakfast
    9. Grand Floridian Gardenview Lounge – Afternoon Tea
    10. California Grill – Dinner

    Day 5
    11. Kouzzina - Breakfast
    12. Via Napoli - Lunch
    13. 50’s Prime Time Café – Dinner

    Day 6
    14. Akershus – Breakfast
    15. Liberty Tree Tavern – Lunch

    Day 7
    16. Rose & Crown – Lunch (new for us)
    17. Territory Lounge – Cocktails and Appetizers

    Day 8
    18. Grand Flo Café – Breakfast
    19. Plaza Restaurant – Lunch
    20. Teppan Edo – CP Dinner

    Day 9
    21. Captain’s Grille – Breakfast
    22. Shula’s – Dinner

    Day 10
    23. The Wave - Breakfast
    24. La Cantina de San Angel - Lunch
    25. Kona Café – Dinner

    Thus concludes this dining review. The dining reviews for the meals for the December trip are found on Barb’s live dining thread here.

    And that as they say is a wrap!

    Thank you for reading and following along!! :thanks:
     
  21. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

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    We are returning Oct 22nd to 27th. Maybe we'll catch you on this trip. :)

    I've enjoyed reading your dining reports. I have to agree with you about the Territory Lounge and Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch. Those are top on our list now. ::yes::
     

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