3rd Disney Trip-Dec 2016 (Signature & Character Dining, Gluten Free Reviews)-Completed 1/28

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Raeven, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    We're back from our 3rd Disney trip, and ready to give you our food reviews! We review food from both an allergy and a non allergy perspective since Josh is gluten free and I'm not.

    If you want to follow along on my TR it's here:

    A Birthday Surprise on Kudu Trail Dec 2016 (MVMCP, Wild Africa Trek)

    Universal portion:

    Merry Grinchmas, Happy Birthday!-Dec 2016

    Here are some introductions:

    Screen Shot 2016-12-23 at 12.59.50 PM.png

    My name is Raeven. I'm 24 years old. I'm the planner (and photographer!) for our trips. My food likes include pasta, sweets, burgers, breakfast food, steak, and trying all the french fries. My food dislikes include seafood and BBQ.

    Favorite QS Restaurant: D-Luxe Burger
    Favorite Snack: Food & Wine Snacks
    Favorite TS Restaurant: Homecoming
    Favorite Signature Restaurant: Shulas
    Favorite Breakfast: Ohana & Crystal Palace

    Screen Shot 2016-12-23 at 1.04.43 PM.png

    My trip partner for this trip is my boyfriend Josh. He just turned 31 during our trip! He eats gluten free due to an allergy. His food likes include steak, burgers, alfredo, breakfast food, BBQ (especially ribs), sorbet and anything Erin Mckennas. His food dislikes include anything too chocolatey and most veggies.


    Favorite QS Restaurant: D-Luxe Burger
    Favorite Snack: Erin Mckennas
    Favorite TS Restaurant: Yak and Yeti
    Favorite Signature Restaurant: Shulas
    Favorite Breakfast: Ohana & Kona Cafe


    We have annual passes this year, and are trying to fit in 4 trips before they expire.

    Screen Shot 2016-12-23 at 1.03.08 PM.png


    This trip we went to MVMCP, tried some signature dining, and did some character meals/buffets. We stayed on property at AKL for 4 nights then the Polynesian for 1. This trip I finally didn't get sick! (But Josh did get a little cold for some of it). Our next trip is planned for 19 weeks from now!

    We ate at:

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
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  2. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    I may not be up on your TR yet, but I'm first here :cheer2:

    Merry Christmas to you and Josh!
     
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  4. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Yes you are! Merry Christmas to you and your family too!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  5. ThreeBoyMama

    ThreeBoyMama DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to your reviews! :)
     
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  6. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    D-Luxe Burger, Amorettes

    We had decided on the first meal of our trip being D-Luxe Burger because we had enjoyed it so much on our last trip. For those of you that want to see that review: D-Luxe Burger Sept 2016 Review

    Basically we got the same thing again. :rotfl: For those of you that don't want to click the link though I'll re-review it.

    Josh got the: Barbecue Classic Burger
    Signature Blend topped with a Fried Onion Ring, Smoked Gouda, Bacon, Barbeque Sauce, and Lettuce
    minus the onion ring.

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    I got the: Classic Cheeseburger
    Signature Blend topped with Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, and Pickle.

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    We got garlic ranch and buffalo bleu cheese dipping sauces. I'd eat the fries without dipping sauces (and usually do because they're delicious), but out of the two dipping sauces I preferred the garlic ranch to the buffalo bleu cheese.

    And just like last time these burgers were delicious! The burgers are hot and juicy, and it's just an all around great meal.

    Afterwards Josh stocked up on Erin Mckennas, but I had a little something I wanted to try right away.

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    I got the Snowball which is red velvet cake with a cream cheese mousse. This was a much better choice than Sprinkles last time, and blew me away. The mousse was smooth and creamy and the cake was moist. Josh pointed out that it should be good cake since it was pretty pricey, but it was still better than I thought it would be. Sadly, the Snowball looks like it's seasonal according to what I've read so they probably won't have it when I go back in May, but I'll just have to try another cake then...for review purposes of course. :thumbsup2
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  7. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Trails End

    First of we had to wait 40 minutes to be seated. :mad: Now I know there can be a wait, and I know it’s a busier season than the one we usually go in, but we didn’t wait anywhere else. The wait might've been fine if it was nice out, but it was so cold that night too, and the waiting area was outside. We couldn’t go anywhere else because there isn’t anything there, and we didn’t know how long the wait was going to be.

    That was the start of our unpleasant experience at Trails End. This is something I talked about in my TR, but I'm also going to go into detail about the food we had here.

    This is my plate I got: corn bread, fried chicken, a pasta with a semi spicy tomato sauce (literally what my notes say I'm not sure what this really was called), mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and a baked potato with some toppings.

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    The best thing on the plate was probably the semi spicy pasta and the mashed potatoes. The mac and cheese was incredibly bland tasting, the fried chicken was alright but not anything special, the baked potatos were so cold none of the toppings like cheese or butter could really melt, and I don't usually do more than nibble on cornbread.

    Also on my first trip to the buffet I saw some chili. I had been watching a Chopped earlier where every round was some kind of chili dish. Normally I don’t eat chili, but I decided to have some because of that. Unfortunately I didn’t realize they had separate bowls for chili, and put it in my plate. Oops. :oops: I quickly realized my mistake, but it wasn’t like I could put the dish down somewhere and start again so I decided to bring it to the table and then get a new dish for the food. Josh was being shown around with the chef by this time so I walked up to him first, and the chef with him gave me an annoyed look and told me there were bowls for the chili…it made me feel even more awkward. I put it down at the table and went back to get an actual plate of food…but when I came back the chili was gone. :confused: I guess they assumed I didn’t want it because it was in the wrong type of dish? I had to go back up, and get more after.

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    The chili was okay, but it started to bother my stomach after I had a bit.

    During the meal Josh also realized he left one of his more important medicines at home. He was worried about it, and combined with the fact that it was also quite loud in there, and he started to develop a headache. I felt bad because he loved the food at the Hoop De Doo, and he barely got to eat anything here.

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    I think he just got brisket and mashed potatoes. He doesn't really remember anything sticking out to him.

    For dessert I got: banana pudding, apple cobbler, red velvet bites, a brownie, and bread pudding.

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    The red velvet bites were so disappointing. I got 2 because I love red velvet and they were just gross. Very dry and just didn't taste like red velvet. I didn't really like the brownie or the apple cobbler either. The winners of this dish were the bread pudding and the banana pudding, I'm quite partial to bread pudding (but you can find bread pudding at a lot of places on property), and it's really hard to mess up banana pudding so those things alone wouldn't have me coming back.

    Not helping any we had a family with a college aged son next to us and not only we’re they being very loud, but they also invited other people to join them halfway through the dinner. It seemed like they possibly knew somebody there, but it kind of made me wonder if part of the hold up with reservations was people dining that didn’t have ADRs.

    We were both very disappointed by the experience at Trails End especially after hearing so many people praise it as a hidden gem. It was very much out of the way, and even taking into account Josh not feeling well it was rather unpleasant. The long wait in the cold had me already in a not so great mood by the time we got in the door, but the staff (I should mention our waiter was never around and even when we were trying to show him our AP he disappeared but came out to chat with other tables near us before finally coming back to us 15 minutes later), and the atmosphere didn't help either. I also found the food disappointing and Josh didn't think his was very memorable. Nothing we ate really stuck out as a reason we'd have to go back. I'd be willing to try it again someday or even try the breakfast buffet, but not anytime soon.

     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  8. UKDisneyJoe

    UKDisneyJoe Mouseketeer

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    Interesting to hear your Trails End report as looking to go there on our next trip. Cant wait for the homecoming review as this was on my list as soon as it opened as a place I want to eat.
     
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  9. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    I was also very excited to eat at Homecoming since it opened. Not to spoil too much of the review, but we really enjoyed it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  10. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    I know I said this over on your TR but it sucks you didn't like Trails End :( The long wait and Josh's worry over forgetting his one med certainly didn't help I'm sure. I will say though that as someone who loves cornbread, there's is delicious! I'm pretty positive it's the same that's served at HDDR.
    Amorettes on the other hand, YUM! I haven't gotten to it in my TR or dining report, but Chris and I went there last month. Pricey yes, but worth it! Although now I kind of wish I got what you did because it sounds like it was :cloud9:
     
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  11. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    I know! I really wanted to like it too. I know those things didn't help, but I also found the food disappointing too. Amorettes though is so worth it! I can't wait to try more.
     
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  12. Vernie822

    Vernie822 DIS Veteran

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    Aww sorry you didn't love Trails End! We haven't been yet but its on my list to try, since like you mentioned it gets great reviews. Those DLuxe burgers still look great though ;)
     
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  13. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Sanaa

    Once Dine with an Animal Specialist was under way they started bringing out our food. I was a little worried at first that people would be annoyed or think it was strange if I were taking pictures of the food during an event such as this, but the lady next to me was also taking pictures of every course (perhaps she had a dining TR to write too?) so I felt comfortable snapping a quick picture of each course.

    The first course you get is naan bread with the dipping sauces.

    You get Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha, or Paneer Paratha. Choice of Three Accompaniments - Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chuntey, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, or Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle

    Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 6.33.54 PM.png



    I have no idea which bread was which to be honest. They explained it that they were layered on top of each other but if you look at the picture you can see our board didn't really have clearly defined layers, and since I was sharing the board with 4 other people I just grabbed whatever was on top at the time. The board on the other side of the table looked to be in a more formal stack. I did try several of the sauces but I didn't really enjoy most of them. My favorite was the roasted red pepper hummus which I used almost exclusively. They did bring Josh a few gluten free pieces, but I didn't take pictures of Josh's food if it looked the same as mine as this meal and his naan bread looked about the same. Our side of the table either really like the naan bread or really hated the salads because we ate everything on our board while the other side didn't even clear half of it and they had more people. :rotfl:We enjoyed the naan bread course.

    Here's the salad sampler.

    Watermelon, Cucumber and Fennel, Chickpeas with Cucumber and Tomato, Nigerian Root Vegetable and Citrus



    IMG_0030.JPG

    Josh's basically looked the same I think they modified the third one on his.


    We didn't really care for the salad course. If I were ordering for myself there this wouldn't be my pick. Josh ate some of the third salad, but he doesn't like watermelon and wasn't a fan of the chick pea salad. I ate some of the chick pea salad because I thought it tasted the most refreshing. I like watermelon, but didn't care for the fennel, and I tried a small bite of the third salad and thought it was pretty gross.

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    Our main course was butter chicken and seafood curry served with basmati rice. The butter chicken was unbelievably good. Josh briefly tasted the seafood curry, and didn't care for it. I told them I didn't eat seafood (I had seen in another review that they let someone pick something different due to not liking seafood) but they just brought out 2 butter chicken dishes. This was fine with me, but by the 2nd one I was too full for more. I'm not sure what the sauce in the middle was because I didn't feel the need to try it.

    Finally I got my dessert sampler.

    Dessert Trio
    Afrika Povu, Lemon Lychee Tart, and Seasonal Kulfi

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    The Afrika Povu tasted like a chocolate mousse with alcohol on top but was pretty good. I'm not a fan of lemon but I did take a bite of the tart. I wasn't a fan, but obviously that's because I'm not a fan of lemon. Finally the seasonal kulfi was strawberry, and it was delicious.

    Josh got a bigger plate of the kulfi because that was the only gluten free one. Personally I wouldn't have minded that myself.

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    All in all a good meal at Sanaa. I talked more about the experience of Dine with an Animal Specialist in my TR, and like I said there it was interesting especially because it's something Josh really likes; but I don't really see the need to do it more than once. However I do see the need to go to Sanaa more than once, and plan to go there on our next trip too. I enjoyed what we had during this event, but I'd like to go back on our own so we can have more freedom to order whatever we want.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  14. ArielSRL

    ArielSRL DIS Veteran

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    Good reviews thus far. As I said in your TR, I settled on Amorette's today, and we have both Trail's End (brunch) and Sanaa in June! I'm a tad worried about Sanaa as we aren't very adventurous eaters but I've heard the bread service is good so I'm gonna go for that and a dessert (maybe a side if available though I didn't see them on the online menu) and my DH can do the steak, no problem. I hope I enjoy the bread service!

    Looking forward to more!
     
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  15. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Thank you! I'm not an adventurous eater either so I was a little nervous too. I was pleasantly surprised that I did like a lot of what we had. The butter chicken is good for a non adventurous eater too as well as the bread service!
     
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  16. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Your review of Sanaa makes me want to go there even more! I love butter chicken and the bread service sounds fun.
     
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  17. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    Subbing in. D-luxe burger looks so good!!! Of course I'm totally craving a burger right now so this is not helping :-) Sorry Trails End was a bust for you though. We did breakfast and while it was decent, I wasn't blown away like others yet. But if I had to wait 40 minutes for it that would have been a different outcome all together.

    Never heard of the dine with a scientist at Sanaa. Headed over to your TR to see what its all about :car:
     
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  18. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Thank you for following! The burgers are so good there!

    Dine with an Animal Specialist is interesting and a good value especially if you're really interested in the animals and behind the scenes care. I'm not as interested as Josh, but I still had a pretty good time and loved the meal.
     
  19. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Shulas, Boardwalk Bakery

    That night we were on our way to Shulas for Josh's birthday dinner!

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    (Josh took this because his friend is a Dolphins fan).

    Josh himself isn't the biggest football fan, but he does watch it with friends sometimes, and when he heard this was the best steak (after I read some Disboards threads on the best steak) he wanted to come here.

    Our waiter suggested some cocktails, and I decided to go with the blueberry martini. This was very good, I don't always like martinis because I've had some that aren't well mixed, but this one was.

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    Josh rarely drinks but since it was his birthday he had some 18 year Glenfiddach Scotch. (Hopefully I got that right. I asked him while we were there because I didn't think I'd remember). I guess this is a really good Scotch. He asked me to have a sip, but I don't like Scotch so I didn't think it was very good. :laughing:

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    Next up they brought out the bread. I don't think they brought GF bread, but I don't think we asked for it either since Josh wanted plenty of room for dinner. I thought the bread tasted a little strange, but overall bread is bread. I didn't want to fill up on bread either so I only had a piece.

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    Josh got a 22 oz cowboy ribeye. I'm pretty sure he ate it all, and he loved it. The only issue was the next day he was barely hungry at all :rotfl: (That might have been partially because he wasn't feeling well, but he thinks it was because he ate so much steak).

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    I got the 12 oz filet mignon with Bernaise sauce and I ordered a Mary Anne sauce to try too. Both sauces were really good with it, but you could tell the Bernaise sauce was meant to go with it. It was so delicious I ate every bite. This was an amazing steak, and the Bernaise sauce went with it very well.

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    For a side we got the twice baked potato. This was good, and I ate as much of it as I could but I don't think we finished this because we ate so much steak.

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    Josh decided to end the meal with a cappuccino. It came with a stirrer made of rock candy which puzzled Josh. I'm not sure if he's never had rock candy or if he just didn't understand why it came with the drink but he was confused :laughing: He did enjoy his cappuccino though.

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    Following the meal we went to the Boardwalk and to check out the resorts. I decided I had room for dessert and went to the Boardwalk Bakery. I got a cheesecake brownie (which I ate then and it was delicious). And a cannoli and strawberry chocolate cupcake which I had on another day.

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    I enjoyed the bakery, but was a little disappointed they didn't have the salted caramel chocolate gananche I've seen on here before. Do they still make those? I'm hoping I just went too late, and they didn't have anymore that day.

    All in all a very good and enjoyable meal at Shulas, followed with some tasty treats at Boardwalk Bakery.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
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  20. ArielSRL

    ArielSRL DIS Veteran

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    Shula's sounds like an excellent meal. I have heard good things from people that go and try it our but I think a lot of people tend to go to Yatchman's or Le Cellier instead.

    Those desserts, though! Yummy! Desserts and comfort food are why I will never be skinny again.

    Glad the birthday dinner went so great!
     
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  21. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    It was a great meal! I would've picked one of those too but a lot of threads on here rank Shulas as the best. Once he heard it was the best and had some football themeing that was his pick!

    Since then we've looked at the menus for all the steak places on property (including Stk and Boathouse too) and determined Stk will be our May choice!

    They were so good! Though the cupcake got a little smashed up, I'd get more cheesecake brownies next time :p
     
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