The Return of Violet and Chernabog: Now with Bonus Sprogs! 7/14: 'Ohana Breakfast

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by TillyMarigold, May 23, 2010.

  1. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    So, those of you who were here for my last dining review know that I found out after our September '09 trip was booked that I'd be back in Orlando for a conference in May 2010, and of course how could I possibly be so close to Disney World and not stop in and say "Hi"?

    However, what I didn't mention over there is that when I mentioned this trip to DBFF, she said "You know, we've been thinking the kids are at a good age for their first trip to Disney..." Unfortunately, however, DBFF already had a no-kids trip planned with her DH earlier in the spring, and he couldn't get more time off work (DBFF is a student and was between semesters).

    So in the end, it was decided that DBFF and her boys would join us for 5 days. We would be there from Friday May 14 through Saturday May 22, and DBFF and family would be there starting Tuesday, May 18.

    So without further ado, the full cast of characters for this adventure:

    Me: Violet, 31, originally from New Jersey, former Epcot attractions CM, now a professional language geek, married for almost 6 years to ...

    Chernabog: DH, also 31, originally from Scotland, computer/classroom technology technician.

    ... and together, we live with our two cats, one dog, no kids, in the Land of Enchantment. Our favorite things about Disney and the world in general are noticing the small things, watching street performers, and going out to eat (so you're probably not surprised that we're on the dining plan). Oh, and we're total geeks. And nerds. Both. And we have a weird sense of humor. You have been warned.

    Joining us this year are:

    Belle: 30, my best friend since approximately forever, biochemist currently studying for a Ph.D. in pharmacology. It may or may not become relevant that Belle is very, very short. Also, she is very into literature (hence the name) and speaks four languages. Also, she is allergic to tree nuts.
    Woody: Belle's DS7½. Wants to be a cricket player when he grows up. The real reason the trip was booked was that back when Belle and I were still discussing it, she left an email from me open on the computer and he read it and thought this was just the most awesome thing he'd ever heard. I find it hilarious that he did so, and mildly shocking that he can read. Not only that, but I asked them all to make lists of their "must-dos" and he wrote his in outline form, with Roman numerals and everything. My favorite was: "Hollywood Studios - I. Lights Motors Action Stunt Show - A. Because I am a boy - B. And I like to see things explode."
    Mickey: Belle's DS4. Obsessed with trains and cats. He only managed to get as far as "Disneyland!" in his list-making, although we did ride every remotely train-like thing with him (except Big Thunder).
    Beast: 35, Belle's DH, will not be joining us on this trip but may make appearances by telephone and text message.

    This trip also represented my first-ever foray into Special Diets. Belle is allergic to tree nuts (not anaphylactic, though, thank God) and I also put in a request for no pork for religious reasons, although she's not strict about that. So I had sent that information to Special Diets for the TS meals they would be joining us for.

    Reservations required some serious tweaking with the addition of Belle + kidlets (who were on a budget, so would be eating mostly QS), so we tweaked and messed and fussed and cajoled and finally came up with the following (asterisks denote alcohol is included in the review):

    Friday 5/14:
    Sunshine Seasons (Dinner) (Chernabog) (page 1, post 3)
    Banana Cabana* (S) (V & C) and Old Port Royale cookies (page 1, post 4)

    Saturday 5/15:
    Wolfgang Puck Express (L) (C) (page 1, post 7)
    Banana Cabana* (S) (C) (page 1, post 7)
    Pecos Bill's (D) (V & C) (page 1, post 8)
    Aloha Isle (S) (V & C) (page 1, post 8)

    Sunday 5/16:
    Wolfgang Puck Express (B) (C) (page 1, post 10)
    Boardwalk Bakery (S) (V & C) (page 1, post 12)
    Tangierine Café (L) (V & C) (page 1, post 13)
    The Joy of Tea (China) (S) (C) (page 1, post 14)
    Flying Fish* (D) (V & C) (page 2, post 20)

    Monday 5/17:
    The Mara (B) (V & C) (page 2, post 23)
    Kusafiri Bakery (S) (C) (page 2, post 26)
    Royal Anandapur Tea Company (S) (V)
    (page 2, post 26)
    Restaurant Marrakesh (D) (V & C--Chernabog's request) (page 2, post 28)
    La Cava del Tequila* (V & C) (page 2, post 30)

    Tuesday 5/18:
    Boma (B) (V & C) (page 3, post 33)
    Glazed almonds, bottle of Coke, churro & pretzel (S) (V & C) (page 3, post 40)
    Aloha Isle (S) (W & M) (page 3, post 42)
    The Mara (D) (V & C) (page 3, post 43)
    Intermission Food Court (B, W & M)
    (page 3, post 43)

    Wednesday 5/19:
    'Ohana (B) (all 5 of us) (page 3, post 44)
    Pizzafari (L) (all 5)
    Strawberry bars (V, W, & M)
    Boma (D) (V & C)
    Rainforest Café (D) (B, W & M)
    Victoria Falls* (S) (V & C)

    Thursday 5/20:
    The Mara (B) (V & C)
    Intermission Food Court (B) (B, W & M)
    Studios Catering Company (L) (all 5)
    Frozen Lemonade (V & W)
    The Joy of Tea (China)* (C)
    The Mara (D) (V & C)
    Intermission Food Court (D) (B, W & M)

    Friday 5/21:
    Grand Floridian Café (B) (Violet's request)
    El Pirata y el Perico (L) (V, B, W, & M)
    The Lunching Pad (S) (V & W)
    Jiko* (D) (V, C & B)
    Simba's Cubhouse (D) (W & M)

    Saturday 5/22:
    The Mara (B) (V & C)
    Sanaa (L) (V & C)
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. cherjp

    cherjp I am a disney nutter! Every time I reply

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    897
    :surfweb:ready and waiting.......popcorn::
     
  4. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    We're going to try something new for this report: any meals that I was not present for will be reported in the colors/fonts of those who were: Chernabog and Belle. Their comments on meals we ate together will also be reported in those colors/fonts. So anyway, we arrived in Orlando on Friday at about 6:15. Chernabog took Magical Express to Caribbean Beach, and I picked up the rental car and drove straight to my conference with a colleague from out here who'd ended up on the same flight.

    Chernabog decided to go over to Epcot, which was having evenings EMHs that night, and see if he could get on Mission: Space on standby. However, he was very hungry when he got there, and decided to go to Sunshine Seasons for dinner first. He got there and ordered the same Seared Tuna Salad that I'd had back in September, but he reported that it was not very good. There were only two small pieces of tuna on it, and one piece was so stringy that it was basically inedible. For dessert he had the chocolate cake, which was the same chocolate cake that you get everywhere and was good, as usual. I would guess he also had a Coke.

    He thinks taking pictures of your food is silly, so he didn't take any, but here's my dinner from last year:


    [​IMG]
     
  5. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Okay, so I don't actually know with any real authority that the pool bar at Caribbean Beach is called Banana Cabana. I can't remember its having a name at all when I was there, and I can't find the name on the WDW site, the Wikipedia page, or AllEars' menu list. However, the AllEars and WDWInfo info pages on CBR itself call it Banana Cabana, so I'm going with it.

    Chernabog was really tired after a long day of traveling, apparently, so after dinner he just went back to CBR without doing anything. He and I debated going to a park but decided to walk around the resort first. We passed through the food court at Old Port Royale, stopped in the gift shop to buy a snack, postcards, and a hat for him, and got stuck there forever while the person in front of him (at the only register that was open) registered her displeasure at being asked to actually pay for items she'd charged to the room during her vacation. By then it was about 9:45 so we just wandered around past the pool and stopped at Banana Cabana for a drink.

    I was determined to have something fruity and silly, so I ordered a Pina Colava. I don't have any pictures myself, but here's a good pic from the Poly FAQ thread of a Pina Colava someone got at the pool bar there, except I don't think mine had a cherry (it did have the pineapple slice though). A Pina Colava is basically a piña colada with raspberry puree swirled into it, and it was lovely. Not too sweet, and the alcohol taste was noticeable, which I prefer in my alcoholic beverages.

    Chernabog had a Yuengling, which he used to drink all the time when we lived on the East Coast, but which isn't available here. They poured it into a plastic cup for him. We walked around the resort and back to our room.

    EDIT: Oops, I forgot the cookies! One of the things Chernabog bought at the gift shop was a box of cookies. I forget what the name was (something like Vanilla and Chocolate Character Cookies?). They were by Minnie's Bake Shop and they were in a cardboard box about the size of an animal cracker box. They were sort of like animal crackers, regular (vanilla) and chocolate, in the shapes of the big 5 Disney characters. I thought they were kind of dry and nothing special, but he really liked them a lot and finished them off.
     
  6. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    5,608
    Love your reviews so far
    Looking forward to more :-)
     
  7. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Thanks! I don't think this review will be as exciting as the last one ... we were so often starving that we didn't take photos, and being with the kids and therefore needing to eat at a regular schedule rather than at weird times means we sometimes barely noticed what we were eating at all. In fact, I don't actually know what Belle and the kids ate when they weren't with us, for the most part.
     
  8. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Chernabog went on this vacation with all sorts of plans with what he'd do with his free time while I was at the conference (ride ToT and Mission:Space, go to a water park, take the rental car out to the Kennedy Space Center) and in the end what he did was ... pretty much nothing. I've already told you that he went to Epcot with plans to ride M:S and ended up not doing so.

    On Saturday, I woke him up to drive me to the conference so he could stop at the grocery store, and after that he went back to sleep. He finally made it out of the hotel room at about noon and discovered there were no vegetarian options for lunch whatsoever at Old Port Royale (despite the fact we'd noticed a yummy-looking black bean burger on their dinner menu the night before). So he did the only sensible thing: hopped a bus to Downtown Disney for lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express.

    He'd been really hoping to have the roast beef pocket sandwich I'd had last year, but when he got there, he found the menu totally transformed, far more than you'd think by looking at AllEars or WDW Info.

    On the plus side, he says there was a sign on the wall under the menu claiming that WPE now uses all organic and local meats. Which, if it's true, is awesome. (It's not that I don't trust him, but clearly he was very tired so he might not have been paying very close attention.)

    He ordered the turkey club, of which I can find no description, and pronounced it absolutely wonderful and raved to me about it and suggested that we go back again so I can have it. To which I pointed out that I actually really hate turkey, even if it is organic and locally raised. (But he just loves it.)

    Rather than doing anything exciting with the afternoon, he went back to CBR and hung out by the pool reading and writing postcards. He ordered a Mango Something (WDW Info says Mango Margarita, but I don't think that was it) from Banana Cabana but he says it was very disappointing and he wished he'd ordered a Pina Colava instead. When I heard this, I suggested we go back later and order the Poolside Lemonade. Unfortunately, I can't recall what the Poolside Lemonade actually was (and there's no description on the menu ... I think it included raspberry rum and sweet and sour mix), only that I had seriously debated between that and the Pina Colava the night before. And we never actually went back for it (but we did have something better that night!).

    He also used his first snack credit of the first part of the trip on a large, cold bottle of water. He's not a big snacker.


    See, I told you. Not very good reviews from this trip. Sorry.

    BTW I haven't been telling you what I was eating because I didn't think it would be that interesting what the Rosen Centre Hotel (which is across from the Orlando Convention Center and much, much more expensive than CBR) serves its conventioneers, but let me tell you that on Saturday, we had croissants and fruit (including starfruit!) for breakfast, fruit and cookies for morning snack, pasta with pesto for lunch, and chips and salsa for an afternoon snack. You might notice a significant lack of two food groups there--which will shortly become relevant.
     
  9. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Having given an awesome presentation at my conference, if I do say so myself, I was in the mood to celebrate, so I went back to the hotel and picked up Chernabog and I headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We actually had quite an adventure getting there, because we just missed a MK bus, so we figured we'd hop on the Epcot bus that was right behind it and then just take the monorail; then we saw a second MK bus pull in behind a few stops later, so we got off and onto the MK bus; but then (1) we got stuck in Trinidad North behind a bus that broke down blocking the path and also (2) we hadn't realized that the buses run different routes. The Epcot and Studios buses, at least while we were there, started at Jamaica and went clockwise ending with Trinidad South before leaving. However, the MK bus started at Martinique and went clockwise ending at Barbados before leaving. So we ended up doing more than a full loop because we'd originally gotten on at Aruba. (Don't ask.)

    This explains why, when we finally reached the MK after an hour and 20 minutes, we were absolutely starving ... and the carbs-and-fruit-only day I'd been having up to that point explains why my body was screaming "I NEED PROTEIN FROM THE NEAREST SOURCE RIGHT THIS SECOND RAWR!!" So when we stumbled upon Pecos Bill's, I had all the best intentions of ordering a veggie burger, but my body was like "Are you kidding? I NEED PROTEIN!!" So I sighed and gave in to an actual cheeseburger. Chernabog, who as far as I can tell has completely given up on pescatarianism when not at home, ordered the Angus burger.

    I went to the bathroom and then went and found a table. Chernabog for some unknown reason came through without having stopped at the toppings bar and insisted he was too hungry to go back (then again, the Angus burger does already come with bacon, onion straws, and barbecue sauce), but I had been in complete awe of the toppings bar so I did go and load up my burger with tomatoes, grilled onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. And for the zillionth time when eating at Disney, I bemoaned the lack of brown mustard and reminded myself that the stuff that looks like green chile (standard burger topping here in NM) is actually pickle relish (which I hate).

    I had asked Chernabog for a Coke, and he'd ordered one regular and one large Cokes, but somehow the smaller one came out as diet, so I drank that one. Of course the meal came with fries, and man do I love Disney fries. OK, so I love nearly all fries, but Disney's are not too thick, not too thin, with the skins on, cooked just enough to not be limp but not so much they get hard ... perfect.

    I wasn't in the mood for dessert, so I'd told Chernabog to just use 1 QS credit for himself, pay for my meal OOP, and save the last credit for his breakfast the next day. He got the carrot cake, of which he is capable of eating nearly infinite amounts. Overall, I think Disney's QS food is at least a notch above fast food, and this meal was no exception. BTW, I have no idea what Chernabog thought of his burger, but it had bacon and barbecue sauce, so I assume he loved it.

    After riding some of our favorites (Haunted Mansion and Pirates) and catching the end of SpectroMagic, we headed for the exit. As we passed by Aloha Isle, Chernabog stopped as if transfixed and insisted we must stop. As we stood in line, I told him I was going to have a cup of just Dole Whip, no vanilla, no float.
    He told me he wanted the Citrus Swirl and I warned him it wouldn't be as amazing as the pineapple Dole Whip. He insisted he didn't care.

    My Dole Whip came out first and was, as you all know, the usual creamy pineapple-y goodness. I let Chernabog taste it and he said "I expected it to taste fake and chemical-y, but this really tastes like pineapple!" ... And then he got his. He immediately took a bite and said "This, on the other hand, does taste fake and chemical-y." As we navigated our way down Main Street (via the Emporium; Wishes was about to start), we were trying to eat our ice cream fairly quickly because it was melting (it was unseasonably hot for May last week, just my luck). As we had almost reached the front of the park, he finished his Citrus Swirl and I decided I'd had enough Dole Whip and didn't want any more. I offered him the last few spoonfuls because the Citrus Swirl had been so disappointing. And then he reported that "Actually, once I stopped expecting it to taste just like an orange the way yours tastes like pineapple, and accepted it for what it is, it was pretty good."
     
  10. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,313
    I love your reviews! Can't wait for more!
     
  11. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Sunday was the last day of my conference and the day to switch to AKL for our actual vacation, so we packed up almost everything the night before and loaded it all in the rental car at 7:30 so I could take the car to the conference and then meet Chernabog later at the Animal Kingdom Lodge to check in.

    I had expected Chernabog to go back to sleep, but since I had everything in my car except his toothbrush, he decided not to, and instead hopped a bus to DTD. At 8:44 he tweeted "Judging by the fact that I'm the only one on the bus, I'm the only person who knows that Wolfgang Puck Express is the best breakfast on property."

    Chernabog ordered the breakfast pizza (with eggs, cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and ranch dressing) that I had the previous year. I know he had coffee and I assume he had either a bottle of OJ or a bottle of water. He reported that he actually liked the pizza even better this year than when I'd had it, because there was much less ranch on it than there had been so it was no longer overwhelming but instead just a nice accent.


    I was surprised because I'd barely been able to taste it the previous year, but that's what he said, so I'm reporting it. Like I said, he hates taking pictures, so here's mine from last year (see? hardly any ranch dressing on it at all):

    [​IMG]
     
  12. cherjp

    cherjp I am a disney nutter! Every time I reply

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    897
    that pizza looks yummy !!!
     
  13. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    I bet y'all were getting tired of Chernabog's grudging reviews, weren't you? Well, fear not, because at 11:30 that morning, my conference ended early and I was able to head over, check us in at AKL (Chernabog met me there), then we took the rental car and dropped it off at the Dolphin about 1:30. Walking from the Dolphin to Epcot (it was the last day of the Flower & Garden Festival and we didn't want to miss it), we stopped by the Boardwalk Bakery.

    I'd been by it many times but never been inside. I was surprised at how tiny it was! A family of 5 came in as we were leaving, and it was a good thing we were on our way out, because 7 people could not have fit inside it.

    The mozzarella tomato focaccia looked so good that I almost decided to get my whole lunch then and there. However, having failed in my attempt to eat at Tangierine Cafe on the last trip, I was determined that we would do so this time. So we decided to just get one pastry to split between us, using our last snack from CBR. Everything looked so good that I let Chernabog choose. He surprised me by choosing the eclair--he's not usually into chocolate.

    I let him have it first--it was too messy to try to share while walking. While we walked, he told me that when he was a kid in Scotland, his parents used to bring home "eclairs" from the local bakery, but the owner apparently had never actually had an eclair, because what they were, were regular white bread rolls split open down the center with whipped cream in them. So he was very shocked the first time he had an actual eclair.

    Anyway, this eclair was not like that. The pastry was light and flaky and not too sweet, and the cream inside was fluffier than custard but more custard-y than whipped cream. The chocolate was, well, is chocolate ever a bad thing? I practically had to grab it from Chernabog before he devoured the whole thing.

    Walking, eating an eclair, and taking pictures at the same time is beyond my capabilities, I'm afraid. I promise pictures in the next post!
     
  14. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    It was a good thing we'd decided to share a pastry, because of course Morocco is really close to the International Gateway so we had lunch there maybe only half an hour after we had the eclair. We just wandered through France taking pictures of the topiaries, then boom! Morocco.

    Chernabog immediately decided on the falafel wrap, which came with couscous and lentil salad. I don't love couscous, so I was torn between the vegetarian platter (which has couscous, but a greater selection of non-couscous things) and the sliders (which came with tabouleh, green salad, lentil salad, and hummus, but no couscous). I know Tangierine Cafe (and Marrakesh) has a reputation for not being willing to substitute things, so my plan was to ask whether it would be possible to get the sliders with falafel on all 3 instead of 1 falafel, 1 chicken, and 1 lamb; and if I couldn't, get the veg platter.

    So we went inside to order, and it was immediately clear that Tangierine Cafe was having some issues. Namely, that the people making the food were a little slow (probably because they were new) and everyone who'd ordered was waiting to get their food. I've never understood the prejudice against sending most of your party to sit down--there's not space at most QS places for everyone in a party to wait for the food. Anyway we crammed ourselves in at the cash register and I asked, "Can I get the sliders meal, except with only falafel?" and the very nice cashier told me I could, so I ordered that and lemonade. Chernabog ordered the falafel wrap and a Coke. She told us they would give us baklava for dessert and I forked over my KTTW card.

    Now, however, we had a problem: there were only about 3 parties in front of us waiting for food, but they all had at least 4 people in them. There was literally no possible way for the people standing behind us in line to get to the cash registers because the queue to get your food has a railing that everyone crams behind. I immediately saw that the only way for the women behind us to order would be for me to go find a table and get out of the line. So I did. (By the way, in Disney parlance, a "line" is made up of people, and a "queue" is the physical things that keeps people in line. Which is why I said the people behind us were in line, whereas the people in front of us were in the queue, i.e. standing between the counter and the wrought-iron railing designed to keep them in line. When British guests used to ask me "How long is the queue right now?" my first instinct was always to answer the way I'd answer a fellow CM: "We were just able to pack up the extension and now we're only using the ramp.")

    View from our table (I snagged one outside but with an umbrella):
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, while I'm being pedantic, the reason the restaurant is called Tangierine Cafe (not Tangerine Cafe) is that it's named for the city of Tangier. Not the citrus fruit. (I know my DH never remembers the unusual names of things unless he knows why they're called that. We had a dog-obedience-class instructor named Toi, pronounced "twah," and he could never remember her name until one day he said "Why on Earth does she go by Twah?" and I said "Well, I assume her real name is Antoinette" and then he never forgot it again. So if it helps, it's Tangierine with an I, after the city of Tangier.)

    Now that I've killed about as much time as it took Chernabog to get the food, I'll tell you about it.

    First of all, this is our platter:

    [​IMG]

    You might notice that there was a little mix-up with my order. Somehow "only falafel" became "on the falafel slider, don't put anything else" and Chernabog hadn't been able to get the person making them to understand that I wanted three identical sliders, all with falafel. Oh, well, it was made now; it wasn't going to do the chicken and lamb any good if I returned it and it got thrown away, was it?


    Chernabog's falafel wrap was very good except he proclaimed the falafel a bit on the dry side, but the lettuce, tomato, and tahini were wonderful so that made up for it. He loved the couscous but pronounced the lentil salad gross.

    I started with my chicken shawarma slider (the one in the middle) and wow, it was good--moist and juicy and perfectly spiced, and the tahini was a great compliment to it. I have to say that shawarma meat used to be one of my favorite things. I alternated between eating it and eating the lentil salad, which I really liked a lot. The lentils were perfectly cooked, not al dente but also not at all mushy. By the way, the pitas were wonderful, fresh and fluffy.

    I had wondered what one would do with a pile of hummus without anything to dip in it, but the falafel slider (which I ate next) gave me the answer: since there was nothing else on it, and it was very dry, I put the hummus on it. The hummus was good--the falafel, not so much. Very dry, as Chernabog said.

    After the falafel slider, I munched on the other salads. The lettuce/tomato/pickled onion was good (I think it was supposed to go in the sliders though), but the tabouleh was absolutely divine. I don't know if I'd ever had tabouleh before that really was mostly parsley--American versions seem to focus more on the tomato, making it almost like pico de gallo. But this was mostly marinated curly parsley and it was wonderful. Actually I saved some of it to eat after the lamb shawarma pita, in case that wasn't as good.

    The lamb shawarma pita was actually really good, but not quite as moist as the chicken or as heavily spiced, I guess because lamb itself has a strong flavor? It was good, though. The only meh thing on the plate was the falafel balls themselves, although the tabouleh was the standout.

    Chernabog finished his wrap and couscous, leaving the lentil salad, and moved on to the baklava. I reached over and took a forkful of the lentil salad, and guess what? His was pretty gross. It was mushy and kind of warm and had too much of the marinade. I think he must have gotten the very last of an old batch and I got the first serving out of a new batch.

    As far is Chernabog is concerned, all baklava is wonderful. However, I didn't think this was very good. The phyllo had been worked too much and was starting to get tough. I couldn't get through it with a fork and hard to pick it up and bite it. The flavors of the filling were excellent, though.

    Overall, Tangierine Cafe is an experience I don't know if I'd repeat--I might, but I might not. The meat was good, but I only got that by accident. The falafel was pretty bad, as was the baklava, and clearly the lentil salad is variable. Apparently the couscous was good, but I don't like couscous. And tabouleh and hummus are not a meal by themselves (also, the Internet tells me that tabouleh is not actually Moroccan!). I guess I'd say my overall impression is of a place that could have really excellent food at times, but can't be counted on to have it all the time. So I'd have to really want Moroccan food to risk it.
     
  15. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    So, as we wandered around World Showcase, and until this day, I had been thinking "Okay, so it's more crowded than it was in September, but at least it's cooler." Uh-uh. Starting Sunday, each day was the hottest day of the year so far!

    So, as we reached China, Chernabog decided he'd like a bao bing slush (OOP, not a DDP option) from the Joy of Tea kiosk in the China pavilion. He ordered the mango green tea bao bing, and it was seriously awesome. You could taste both the green tea and the mango separately, neither overpowering the other, and the texture was really good--there was never a point where you had sucked out all the flavor and had just ice left, if you know what I mean (isn't that annoying?)

    Unfortunately, I'm not actually a huge fan of mango. So I had a few sips and agreed it was awesome, but wished I'd gotten for myself the other option, the strawberry oolong bao bing. Actually I'd considered the alcoholic plum wine green tea bao bing, but it was too hot for alcohol. (Someday I'll go in, like, December, when it's not 95 degrees and 95% humidity, and I'll drink all the alcohol I want.)

    And then, it started getting hot. So I started stealing more and more of the slush and wishing I had one. But there didn't seem to be any non-alcoholic slushes available anywhere else.

    I didn't get a picture of the slush, but here's the awesome dragon topiary in China from the end of the Flower & Garden Festival:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Symans3honeybees

    Symans3honeybees DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    648
    Great review and your pictures are awesome!!!
     
  17. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Thanks. I was experimenting with my camera and high-speed, no-flash pictures this trip, so not all of them are very good. My Jiko pictures are terrible. :(
     
  18. Symans3honeybees

    Symans3honeybees DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    648
    You're too modest. The pictures are all crisp and vivid (except the pizza one:rolleyes1)
     
  19. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Well, the pizza one is from last year because Chernabog was the only one at WPE this year and he thinks taking pictures is dumb. We haven't seen most of my pictures from this year yet.

    Flying Fish coming up ...
     
  20. Gouden Leeuw

    Gouden Leeuw Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    Great review so far!
     
  21. TillyMarigold

    TillyMarigold DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223
    Sorry for not getting this up yesterday when I promised—my sister's getting married next week and my plans for her bachelorette party fell through and I had to spend yesterday re-doing them.

    By the way, apologies in advance if I get the name of the restaurant wrong at some point in this review. One of the most popular eateries here in Albuquerque is a local counter-service chain (I'd say it's similar to Wolfgang Puck Express, but 'Burqueans would not appreciate that comparison! and truth be told, it's better) called Flying Star Café.


    I'd known we'd probably get a late lunch on Sunday (my conference had been supposed to end at noon, then check in at AKL, then return the rental car) so I'd booked us an 8:35 dinner reservation at Flying Fish (the entire reason we'd gotten the dining plan for the first stay was actually for this reservation, and yes, it did end up being quite cost-effective).

    I should probably mention here that it was so hot at Epcot that we'd ended up going back to AKL and hanging out for awhile before heading to dinner. Not the world's best use of time, but the room was lovely and hanging out was fun. So we ended up taking the bus to the Studios and then walking over to Flying Fish. We stopped briefly to watch a sword swallower and a bit longer to watch a guy balancing spinning plates on his head. When we tried to check in at the outside podium, we saw that the CMs had tablet computer things that they were trying to use to check things in, but they told us that actually they didn't work that well (I think they were new) and we'd need to check in inside.

    It was weird because we checked in immediately after three other groups, and they were all seated immediately, while we had to hang out awhile. I think we ended up being seated right on time at 8:35.

    I took a picture of the awesome tile in the waiting area:

    [​IMG]

    And of the restaurant itself:
    [​IMG]

    We were eventually seated about 3/4 of the way towards the back of the restaurant. It was very funny because our table was one that had a bench seat on one side, and the table had been pulled so close to the end of the bench that you couldn't get in that way! I had to crawl around the other end of the table to get to my seat. Chernabog and I ended up shoving the (quite heavy) tables down.

    I forget our waitress's name, but I remember she was very nice, extremely good, and had pigtails. And she was much too old to wear pigtails ... maybe 40-ish. But she was seriously incredible.

    The bread was sourdough, just a few fairly small thin slices. It was good, but not as stunning as the sourdough we'd had last year at Narcoosee's (I love sourdough).

    All the appetizers looked amazing, but I still had Boardwalk Bakery's mozzarella tomato panini in my head, so the only thing that I could think of was the "Fresh Mozzarella di Bufala, “Ugli Ripe” Beefsteak and Tiny Florida Grape Tomatoes, Balsamic Glaze, Exotic Peppercorns, Petite Basil, and Sicilian Olio Verde" even though I am a serious seafood fanatic and this was a seafood restaurant. Chernabog went along with it, though, and we ordered it to share. We also ordered a glass each of the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc.

    They brought out the appetizer plated separately for each of us! That really surprised me, I'd never seen them do that before, and we'd shared appetizers at other places, even other signature places.

    It looked so good that I started eating before I remembered to take a picture, so I'd already eaten 1 slice of tomato and 1 of mozzarella when this was taken:
    [​IMG]

    It was a good size for a shared appetizer--I think if I'd tried to eat it by myself, I wouldn't have had room for dessert, which might be what Disney is going for, since appetizers are OOP.

    Anyway, entrées.


    Chernabog ordered this:
    [​IMG]

    It's clearly scallops, but I wish I'd thought to take a photo of the dinner menu (I did take one of the dessert menu), because I'm hazy on the details. Flying Fish's menu, unfortunately, changes quite often ... I'm a big fan of "decide on the spot what you want to eat rather than getting attached to the current menu," but here it kind of bit me in the butt.

    Anyway, both the WDW site and AllEars list the scallops as coming with "Butternut Squash, Sage, Mascarpone and Pecorino-laced Risotto di Carnarolli, Proscuitto di Parma Cracklins'," but I'm pretty sure that's wrong. WDWInfo lists "Served with Artichoke, Opal Basil and Mascarpone-laced Risotto di Carnarolli, Clamshell Mushroom, Crispy Capers, Artichokes and Pancetta" which at least would explain the green-ness, but I'm not sure that was it, either. Anyway it was perfectly-grilled scallops over fantabulous risotto (he thinks it might have been pea risotto, and it was topped with microgreens) and some sort of smoked pork product (he thinks it was prosciutto, but I wouldn't take his word for it). He loved it and only gave me half of one scallop.

    So, remember that part about biting me in the butt? My favorite food in the world is seared ahi tuna, and against my best advice to myself, I was loving the sound of the "Smokey Citrus and Fragrant Pepper-spiced Yellowfin Tuna - Saffron Potatoes, Piquillo Peppers, Roasted Fennel, Tiny Tomatoes, Chorizo and Saffron-Vegetable Nage" listed on both AllEars and the WDW site.

    The fact that they didn't have it was actually not the problem. The problem is that what they did have was "Citrus-Pepper-Crusted Tuna 'a la Niçoise' with String Beans, Baby Red Potatoes, Olives, Tiny Tomatoes, and Vegetable Nage." (Or something like that.) And the problem with that is that, although I know what a Niçoise salad is and eat them frequently, I really wasn't in the mood for those heavier flavors that night. But, since I was thinking of the other dish, I assumed that "Citrus-Pepper-Crusted" meant some sort of Caribbean flavors like the other dish had, like orange and piquillo peppers, which is one of my favorite flavor combinations. So I went with the tuna.

    Unfortunately ...
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the crust was actually lemon (I think) and black pepper, which is entirely different from actual peppers, and tasted nothing like what I was expecting. (Also, I don't know what "nage" usually means, but this was a very thin sort of vegetable soup that everything was sitting in.)

    So, there you have it. It's beautiful, it was fantastically well-prepared from all the best ingredients (I asked to have the olives left off), perfectly cooked, beautifully arranged ... and on that night, I just did not enjoy it. Maybe some other night I'd have been in the mood for it--probably I would have; like I said, I like Niçoise salads once in a while. But it was much heavier and earthier than I was in the mood for. And I felt really guilty about that, because it was really, truly an excellent dish. But I didn't enjoy it. :(

    Then we got to dessert. And again, almost every single thing that had been on the menu before we left, had been changed--mostly to reflect changes in what fruit was available. Problem is, what had been on the menu before were mostly strawberry things (which I love) and now peaches (which I like, but don't love) were in season. So once again I was forced to think outside the box.

    I already said my dinner had been too heavy for what I was in the mood for, so I didn't want to continue that by having the flourless chocolate cake or the cheesecake. Clearly I was in an odd mood, because I ended up ordering this:

    [​IMG]
    Our Signature Flying Fish Caramelized Banana Napoleon: Phyllo, Banana Mousse, Crème Caramel, Exotic Fruit Coulis, and Bitter Chocolate.

    I should explain here that I was never a huge banana fan growing up; but Chernabog has a serious banana phobia, so we hardly ever have them around the house because he can't stand the smell. So since I rarely eat bananas, I appreciate them much more as an adult. I promised to keep my dessert far away from him ... honestly, I was glad not to have to share it!

    The phyllo dough was sort of crispy rather than flaky, which was nice because it needed to balance out the dense richness of the fillings. The banana mousse was the top filling, I think it was mixed with mascarpone cheese. Then below that were caramelized and cinnamon-ed bananas, then the bottom filling was the creme caramel. The exotic fruit turned out to be starfruit (I think; I've only had it once or twice, but at breakfast at the conference was one of those times). Overall it was a very rich dessert, but not overly sweet--the mousse was sweet and so were the bananas, but the phyllo, creme caramel, starfruit and chocolate were not (the starfruit and chocolate cut through the richer parts nicely, too). I absolutely loved it.

    Chernabog is a big peach fan, so he ordered the "Trio Celebration of Sweet Florida Peaches: White Chocolate and White Peach Crème Brulée, Schnapps- and Cardamom-Scented Torta with Ginger-Laced Peach Compote, and Peach-Almond Cobbler with Almond Gelato."
    [​IMG]
    Okay, so first of all, the crème brulée was so good that he called the waitress over to tell her that it was the best crème brulée he'd ever eaten in his life (and Chernabog has something of a crème brulée obsession). I had a taste and it was incredibly good, and that's saying something since I can take or leave both peaches and white chocolate. The torta was similarly pronounced the best cake thing he'd ever had in his life. The cobbler was the worst thing on the plate, but he would like to make it clear that if he'd had it on its own without the other two, he would have been very happy with it. Actually, he was very happy with it; but the other two were amazing and the cobbler was "just a good cobbler."


    OK, so I have to share this, because it was hilarious. Our waitress and another waiter had been standing over at a computer screen off in a corner by the kitchen talking. I finished my glass of whatever I was drinking (I think just water) and set it on the table ... and the waitress immediately picked up a pitcher and walked over to the table and said "Since I was just walking by, can I refill your drink?" :lmao: I mean, we were the only ones left in her section (it was almost 10:00), she was not in any way, shape, or form "just walking by." I appreciated the refill and the attentiveness, but I thought it was funny that she tried to make it seem like she wasn't really paying attention to us.

    Another weird thing: the hosts/hostesses open doors for you! I went to the bathroom, which is in the confectionery, and the hostess stopped what she was doing to open the door to the confectionery for me! (Chernabog said she did the same thing for him when he went.) And then when we left, she sprinted around the table to get the door open for us.

    As we were leaving, we asked the waitress to take a picture of us:
    [​IMG]

    Next time I will remember than when wearing a dress of that style, I should not lean forward towards Chernabog so that the dress billows out as someone takes my picture, because doing so makes me look pregnant. (I'm not.)
     

Share This Page