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A May Adventure: Updated with more Flying Fish

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by auntfrannie, May 13, 2018.

  1. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    My niece and I just returned from a 5 day vacation in the World. We started our vacation out right...our first meal was Brunch at the Top at the Contemporary. It was so good! Definitely something I would like to do again.

    It started with the cold buffet which would have been lovely on its own (albeit at a much lower price point).
    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-11 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-10 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-15 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-14 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-12 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-7 by webster63, on Flickr[​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-6 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-4 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch Buffet-1 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    Then on to our entrees. My niece had the Bananas Foster French Toast which seemed like a small serving, especially when compared to my pancakes.
    [GALLERY=]
    [​IMG]CA Grill Brunch -Carrot Cake Pancakes
    by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    While I had the Carrot Cake Pancakes. It was a pretty large serving with three large pancakes that were delicious!
    [GALLERY=][​IMG]CA Grill Brunch-Vanilla Bean Fr Toast by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    We also split the Spicy Korean Chicken Thighs. It was a nice contrast to the sweet start we got with the other entrees. Crispy and spicy and just the right size to share.

    [GALLERY=]
    [​IMG]CA Grill Brunch-Spicy Chicken Thighs
    by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    The meal finished with a plate of desserts. We took them back to our room because we were just too full to even think about eating them. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take a picture!
     
  2. WDWNan

    WDWNan Earning My Ears

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    Looks like you are off to a delicious start!
     
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  4. margareton27

    margareton27 Mouseketeer

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    That all looks great! Looking forward to the rest of your reviews
     
  5. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    Awesome first meal. We did the CG brunch on our last trip and I'm still kicking myself for not trying your pancakes or the korean chicken.
     
  6. Shelleyfs

    Shelleyfs Mouseketeer

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    Yum! So good! I can't wait to go back to the brunch! Your pictures are really nice. Thank you.
     
  7. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    Joining in! We haven't done the CG Brunch yet but if we do, those pancakes are mine!
     
  8. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    It really was a wonderful way to start the vacation!

    Thank you!

    That just sounds like justification for needing to return!

    I hope they don't eliminate like they did the brunch at Narcoossee's.

    It was served with a maple bourbon syrup and they were wonderful!
     
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  9. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    The next day was our Animal Kingdom day. We decided to just grab a table on the patio at Nomad's Lounge, one of our favorites. Did I mention we had perfect weather for this trip? No rain, no humidity, and highs in the low to mid 80s. Perfect for sitting outside enjoying a nice little drink and sharing some small plates.

    My niece got a beer. She likes beer; to me, it always tastes like beer (except for grapefruit beer). I have no idea what it was other than beer. I got the healthy one with the watermelon. It's hightower rocks and it's a keeper!

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]nomad's lounge_1 (2) by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    We shared three small plates:
    The cheese board (which I forgot to take a picture of) and the Impossible Burgers. These are the vegan sliders that I think came our for the AK 20th anniversary event. They were quite good; I couldn't taste that they weren't regular burgers as the texture was just like ground beef.

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Nomad Lounge -1 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    We also shared the pad thai. This was really good with the peanut sauce, a bit of heat and cilantro. Highly recommended!

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Nomad Lounge -2 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    Next up: Savor the Savanna!
     
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  10. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    Help! Remind me how to edit the thread title! It's been so long since I've done a dining report that I've forgotten.


    NEVER MIND! I found it. Thanks!
     
  11. Nhebron

    Nhebron DIS Veteran

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    The Hightower rocks is my favorite!
     
  12. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    Later that day we did the Savor the Savanna tour. It follows the path of the regular Kilimanjaro Safari but the trucks are bigger & different with the seats going along the inside perimeter of the truck. The tour pulls over at different points of the tour to allow time to really spend some time watching the animals.

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah-39 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY][GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah-42 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah-45 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY][GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah-46 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah-49 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY][GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah-78 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    The tour stops right after the flamingos and pulls up to a building with a large covered porch area. This is where everyone gets off of the truck and enjoys the food! The building does have restrooms (always a plus after a bumpy ride).

    They had African wines (2 whites and 2 reds) and a few African beers. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures. Even the food pictures, I apologize because I was towards the end of the line so the food is half gone. The tour has a maximum of 12 guests plus two or three tour guides. There were 9 guests on our tour and they do two tours a day. I think the first is at 5 pm and the second is at 6:15.

    This section had edamame, pita bread, shrimp, and roasted cauliflower.
    [GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah Food-1 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    This section had 2 or 3 cheeses, a fig bread, jerky, prosciutto, spiced nuts and a berry jam.
    [​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah Food-4 by webster63, on Flickr

    Finally on to the desserts! Magic bars, shortcake cookies and the tins were s'mores.
    [GALLERY=][​IMG]AK Savor the Savannah Food-5 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    Everything was very tasty! While my pictures look like things were picked over, there was plenty left when everyone was done. It was an excellent tour. My niece and I really enjoyed it and would do it again. I think it does spoil you for the regular safari tour because this allowed you to actually stop & focus your camera to take pictures. It seems like whenever I'm on the regular safari as soon as I get my camera focused the driver hits the gas and I'm left with blurry pictures!

    Next up: Amorette's cake decorating class
     
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  13. bluejasmine

    bluejasmine DIS Veteran

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    CG Brunch looks amazing and I cant wait for Sept to experience it! Savor the Savanna looks amazing as well, cant wait to see the cake decorating as I have been curious for awhile about it..
     
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  14. ALEXandFAB

    ALEXandFAB Mouseketeer

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    Oh, that brunch at California Grill looks spectacular. Those carrot cake pancakes :lovestruc

    I'm with you on the beer. I don't get it :confused3. Give me some cocktails/mixed drinks any day :drinking1

    Beautiful photos of the safari animals!
     
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  15. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    Savor the Savanna looks so cool! I've never actually looked into it but now maybe I will. Especially since they have

    MAGIC BARS???? OMG I'd be in heaven!!!!!
     
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  16. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    I would do the savanna tour again in a heartbeat. The cake decorating, while a nice experience, isn't something I would repeat.

    The main draw for me doing the savanna was being able to get better photos of the animals. I think we were pulled over by the giraffes for at least 20 minutes. We were told that 3 of the female giraffes were pregnant. At one point there was an animal specialist working and our driver pulled up alongside of her truck so we could ask questions. Very interesting!

    Yes, they were delicious and they had plenty of them!
     
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  17. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    My reviews are out of order because we actually started our day at Disney Springs to do the cake decorating at Amorette's. They do one class a day at 9 am, I think only M-F but I could be wrong. When we got there there were two other couples and another couple came a few minutes later. Amorette's doesn't open until noon so the front doors remained locked and they took us around to side entrance.

    Once we got there they offered us something to drink: OJ, coffee, tea, iced tea. They might have had soft drinks but I'm not sure.


    Each reservation is priced for 2 people and each 2-person team had their own table.

    There were two pastry chefs facilitating the course. They gave us some background on Amorette's (which I quickly forgot) and themselves. One of them used to be a driver on the safaris and then decided she wanted to be a pastry chef. It was interesting stuff but I have a sucky memory.


    They explained that it takes 3 days to make each of their signature dome cakes. They have so many thin, delicate layers and they need to be baked, put together, and iced with a butter cream. During this entire process they have to keep taking the cakes back to the freezer before they can do the next step.

    Each table was set up for the supplies and tools we would need along with aprons to wear. We would be making a Minnie Mouse domed cake. They brought each table an already iced dome cake. Their buttercream is really light and doesn't take anything like buttercream that you typically see on bakery cakes. They explained that they only use real butter; unlike most buttercreams that use a shortening like Crisco.

    Our first step was applying the glace. That's the red covering you see on the cakes. Three thin layers are applied with the cake going back in the freezer after each application. The end result is the ultra-shiny red finish. After the third return from the freezer, we did the decorating with the dots, the ribbon, and ears.

    Here is our end result:
    [GALLERY=][​IMG]Amorettes_1 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    Here's a picture of the inside:
    [GALLERY=][​IMG]Amorettes_2 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    Would I do it again? No and here's why.

    • They will hold it for you at Amorette's until you're ready to leave Disney Springs but you still have cart it back to your hotel. Note that it does fit in the little fridges in the hotel room.
    • It has a short shelf life of 5-7 days so you either have to have enough people to eat it or you will have to toss some of it. Since it was only the two of us, a big chunk of it got tossed.
    • They didn't give you anything to take notes nor did they give any handouts on the the tools and techniques they discussed.
    • It was pricey with no lasting memory to take home with you. At the end of the Savor the Savanna tour we got a set of wooden coasters.
    Next up: Baseline Tap!
     
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  18. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    My niece and I made some time for Hollywood Studios. With no fastpasses for TSMM we went there first from rope drop. Although the line was long it moved pretty fast and the way they had the lines crisscrossing, it seemed like we were always moving.

    Last year when we went, my niece and I stopped at the Brown Derby lounge for some drinks and small plates. We were quickly joined by the other 7 people in our party! This year we decided to try Baseline Tap. Have I mentioned my niece likes to try new beers? :rolleyes1

    She got a beer flight and wasn't really impressed with any of them. She enjoyed the ones she got at various places at the Flower & Garden much better. I was only here for the food!

    Because Baseline Tap only sells beer and wine and maybe two mixed drinks, I went with the Blue Sky Black Cherry soda. It was good with a nice black cherry flavor. it's been a long time since I've had anything other than sugar-free soda (gotta save the sugar intake for desserts, ya know).

    So for the food we went with the pretzel with mustard and beer cheese fondue. It was your regular pretzel with plain mustard. The beer cheese fondue was good but the pretzel itself wasn't warm enough and just didn't taste as fresh as I was expecting.

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]IMG_0805 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    We also got the charcuterie board. Neither of us are big on the sausage-type meats so we focused on the cheese. They didn't have anything that showed which cheese was which so we were on our own for guessing. The blue cheese in the upper left was pretty obvious but we had no idea what the other two were. The one in the lower right (covered with seeds) was maybe a goat cheese? It was soft and somewhat spreadable. The triangle shaped cheese to the left of that was thin and kind of sweaty; I'm not sure how appealing that look when the hot, humid Orlando weather kicks in! Baseilne Tap is a one & done for us. Next time we'll go back to the Brown Derby Lounge as they have a much better small plate menu and definitely better drink options.

    [GALLERY=][​IMG]IMG_0804 by webster63, on Flickr[/GALLERY]

    Next up: Spiceroad Table
     
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  19. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    Well even though you weren't impressed with the cake decorating class, your Minnie cake came out great! And if you didn't try it you'd probably forever be wondering if you'd enjoy it :)

    Oh yeah, I definitely save most of my calories for dessert rather than drinks with only a few exceptions when in Disney! We haven't been to Baseline Tap House or the BD Lounge, but I've wanted to try the Lounge for awhile now. One day we'll get there.
     
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  20. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    Joining in. You've had some great meals already. I'm doing brunch at California Grill for the first time in a couple of months and I am soooo excited. The food all looks so delicious. Nomad lounge and that tequila drink in particular are among my absolute favorites -- love that place! Your savannah tour looks amazing- I'm going to have to look into that. You really got some fantastic shots of the animals. I think sipping a glass of wine and watching the giraffes walk by would be pretty spectacular and sounds like a nice small group. Sorry the cake decorating didn't turn out to be your favorite. Your cake looks like professional perfection though -- hope it tasted even half as good as it looks! I agree the Brown Derby lounge is probably better than Baseline but I still think Baseline was a good addition. The only thing that makes me crazy is the ordering process. I think it's supposed to work like a true bar (i.e. no line) but people are so conditioned to expect a line that one always forms and it's just confusing and inefficient. Looking forward to more!!
     
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  21. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    Make time for the Brown Derby Lounge; it's worth it! Plus there really aren't too many great places in HS to relax like that. I think the cake looked great because my niece did all of the work!

    We really had some great meals the first couple of days; the meals in the middle of the trip were just okay.
    I should have mentioned that the during the cake decorating they gave you samples of each component to try on its own, including a small piece of cake. The cake was delicious with 3 or 4 different flavors between each layer. Buttercream, a raspberry jam, crispy white chocolate pearls and I think one other one.

    I didn't have a problem at Baseline Tap because there were only 2 other people ordering so no confusion over lines. But you're right that if there were people it would be an issue!
     

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