Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by spincandy, May 10, 2013.
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So after our Paradiso meal we still had time to kill at Downtown so we went for a bit of a wander around the Marketplace. After a while we got to the Rainforest Café and had a bit of a watch of the gorgeous parrot they have outside every now and again. Matt suggested that we go inside to the bar for a drink (I have no idea why Matt suggested it, being the only one who was restricted to the soft stuff!).
For those of you who havent been to a Rainforest Café, it is themed, not so surprisingly, like a rainforest. As much as Im not a fan of eating at the place, I do love the theming- theyve pulled out all the stops! Theres animatronic animals everywhere, fish tanks, jungle decorations, anything you could really ask for in a rainforest themed place! Every now and again the whole place erupts in a simulated thunderstorm- its not the place for a quiet, romantic meal, but its definitely the place to keep the kids (and apparently the bigger kids, after watching Chris and Matts fascination with the place!) entertained. Here's one of the awesome fishtanks:
The bar area is quite cool too. It has a fairly large bar with plenty of table seating too. The bar stool are super cool- each one represents a different animal- the bar stool legs are painted to look like the animals legs and you sit on its back. They even have tails! Doesnt really take much to excite me, does it!?
Here's the drinks menu we had the pleasure of flicking through:
We hopped onto our various animal backs and ordered up some drinks. Can you guess what Matt had? Yep, he further supported Coca Cola enterprises with a cold Coke! I ordered a strawberry Daiquiri, which is a rum based drink served ice cold with whipped cream (and a cherry- getting in my five a day, even on vacation!) on top. This drink was really good and had a lovely, sweet flavor. My only problem was that it was so cold it was painful! Im pretty sure I iced up my belly! Here it is (you can almost see all that ice sparkling in it!)
Chris ordered up a Panama Punch. This is light rum, dark rum, peach schnapps and banana liqueur. He really liked this and said it tasted very tropical and fruity. I had a sip but the banana liqueur was too much for me- Im really not a fan of banana at all.
So after this we hopped across the way to Goofys Candy Co. to grab some snacks. We always have fun at the create your own treat section. If youre unfamiliar with Goofys- its basically a large, Disney-themed candy store. They sell everything from Jelly beans to cupcakes. They have a section where its possible to create your own personalized snack for a relatively reasonable amount of money. Its pretty cool watching them get made, but I do always want to jump in there and get stuck in myself. For example, heres my order form:
I ordered a Marshmallow treat dipped in white chocolate and covered in M&Ms and milk chocolate drizzle. Heres the finished product:
As you can see it comes on a Mickey Mouse straw (which can be cleaned off with hot water and used in a drink). This was super good but super sweet. It took a good couple of days of munching to get it finished off, but it was more than worth the time and the calories!
Heres Chriss order form and treat:
He also had a Marshmallow with a milk chocolate dip, sprinkles (you get a choice of sprinkle colour) and a milk chocolate drizzle. Candy products stand very little chance of survival where my brother is concerned, and he devoured his treat very quickly (Im pretty sure hes taken a chunk out of it here before Ive managed to snap a pic!).
I dont have a picture of Matts order form, but heres his treat:
He had another marshmallow (they are the best imo) dipped in milk chocolate. He had his covered in sprinkle, M&Ms and milk chocolate drizzle. Matt took more time over his candy, but very much enjoyed it. You really cant lose with something from that store!
We also bought Alishya a pink frosted cupcake- we figured the three of us coming back with sweet treats and nothing for her might be a little too much for a four-year old! She loved the cake- the frosting turned her hands, her face, and everything she touched or even went near a very bright and sticky pink, but it looked like it was worth it!
Phew! All of that sweetness has made me kind of hungry, and that's not the best thing on this post-vacation diet! Next up, dinner at Beni's!
Great updates! Your meal at Paradiso looked yummy and the adult beverages you sampled looked very refreshing.
Yay for Goofy's! Stopping in there for a sweet treat (or 5) is a family tradition, LOL! I agree the marshmallows are the best, but I'm also a fan of the pretzel rods.
Waiting for more ...
I used to love the Raspberry Rainfall at Rainforest Cafe but I don't see it on that drinks menu. I really hope they haven't stopped making them.
Paradiso 37 looks like a great choice for both the more adventurous and the 'safe' options.
Our dinner that night was at Benihana. I know these are pretty common in the States but we dont have many over here- only two, in fact, and both of them are far too far away for us to visit. So when we visit Orlando we like to visit this one. Its located in the Downtown Disney area- at the Hilton, just across the road from the Marketplace.
For those of you unfamiliar with Benis- its a Teppan Grill kind of place where the chef cooks your meal in front of you. Its fun to watch, and the kind of food they make there is like comfort food to me, so I always leave happy. Alishya loves to watch the chefs, so its good for the little kids too.
Theres also the option of sitting in the bar area- same food, no show- Matt and I have done this a couple of times when we are on our own. Part of the fun of Benis is meeting the new people who are sat at your table, but sometimes its nice just to be your party- and thats what the lounge is for.
This time we were a party of six, so we took up nearly a whole table to ourselves. We were joined by a lovely Floridian couple who were really nice but no so chatty, which was fine, because we are good at making up for that!
Firstly, there was the drinks order. I ordered a Mai Tai, and it was uh-mah-zing! I havent quite figured out what they put in this thats different from others, but its my favourite! Mum ordered a Baby Blue Ocean, which is Malibu, pineapple vodka, sake, blue curacao and fruit juice. I had a sip of this and it was really good, really refreshing. I thought it would be a bit too much with the sake in, but its not, it just tastes really fruity. The driving boys (Matt and Dad) had soft drinks, Chris had a bud and Ali had Sprite in a takeaway kids cup (which she has not put down since!).
Benis have plenty of options for food including sushi, sashimi, rolls, grilled foods, noodles and salads. From the many times Ive been to the Teppan grill section, the most popular selections by far are the entrée packages (for want of a better word!) that comes with various appetisers, sides and desserts. We choose these every time and add on sushi if were feeling particularly hungry.
So you start out with Benihana onion soup. This is a fairly clear broth with onions, spring onions, musrooms and other veggies suspended in it. I love this soup and I could sit all day with a huge bucket of it. Theres no fancy flavours, its just good old comfort food for me, and I love it.
Next comes the Benihana salad. This is greens, red cabbage, carrots and tomatoes in a tangy ginger dressing. The dressing is pretty tangy, theyre right, and for any of you who are wary of ginger, I would ask for it on the side. Chris isnt a fan of having the dressing mixed in with his salad, but he likes to dip into it on the side. I thought I had a picture of the salad, but I don't You can pretty much imagine it easily though!
By this point the chef had arrived at our table and begun cooking. There is a show about the cooking and most of the chefs are very happy to chat and interact with you. Our chef was a baby to the whole thing and had only finished his training a couple of weeks prior. He was very good though, and we never noticed any amateurness about him. Here he is in action:
The chef cooked up our food and had lots of fun while doing it! We got a shrimp appetizer, which I passed on and let Matt have it- I always find it a bit chewy, but its the only shrimp Matt will eat, so go figure! We substituted the regular steamed rice for Hibachi chicken rice. This is the best rice ever- honestly, if you told me I could only eat this forever, that would be fine. I make a mean chicken rice, but this beats it hands down. Maybe I should buy a teppan grill? Here's the gorgeous stuff:
We all had slightly different meals and they all come with slightly different sides. Most of us got fried onions and mushrooms, and they were tasty. I got teriyaki chicken which was very good. The sauce was sweet and sticky and the chicken was cooked nicely. Looking back, I do wish Id been a bit more adventurous and got some sort of fish, but I was very happy with what I did get- it tasted fab. Here's a picture of 'something' teriyaki! Matt had steak and I had chicken and I can't tell which this is!
We do really enjoy Benis- its my kind of food, and its definitely different to watch someone cook your food in front of you! Its not gourmet, but Ive never had a bad meal there, and it satisfies all of us.
We loooove Goofy's but I must say I haven't sampled the pretzel rods yet- that'll have to be on my to-do list for next time!
Eep I didn't see the Raspberry Rainfall on the menu. I love raspberry in any form so I probably would've given that a go if it had caught my eye. To be honest, I did kind of struggle to pick something that appealed to me from that place.
Thanks for reading along!
How do you compare BEni's with the one at Epcot. Can't remember the full name but it is Tepan -- something.
Reading along. That daquiri at Rainforest Cafe looks great! Wish I had one for breakfast right now. I'm sure my boss wouldn't like that though.
Great start to your reviews.
Benihana's looks great. Did that chicken rice have peas in it? I have a real aversion to them - a pea-phobia, if you will - but most rice dishes that I have seen (other than boiled/steamed rice) seem to have them in
Do you mean Teppan Edo? We've been there a couple of times and always enjoyed ourselves. The food is good, and the show is very similar to that at Beni's. However, we do feel a bit crammed in at Teppan- it's very busy and crowded, especially at peak times. Also, we felt the prices were a little high for what you actually got. To be honest, I would choose Beni's every time.
Lol yeah my boss probably wouldn't be too impressed at breakfast cocktails either! Although, I'm pretty sure it would make me a much more productive worker!
I'm with you on the pea thing- I hate the things! Our Chinese takeout place knows me as the 'chicken fried rice, no peas, extra soy' girl! It's the texture for me, bleurgh! I can say with absolute certainty there are no peas in that chicken rice!
Thanks for staying tuned in everyone! Hopefully today I should be able to fire out an update with Gaston's and Gasparilla in it- far more exciting than any of this work I have piled on my desk!
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