The sun shone brightly, though the temps were still low not getting past a high of 54 but I did not care, I was going to eat in my favorite place in Epcot - Akershus. In my 7 trips to the World, I have eaten here 6. I started out when they were an obscure out of the way eatery to its present condition as a center of Princess Pandemonium. It's meet that the word "demon" is hidden inside pandemonium because you really feel like you have entered the 9th ring of hell when you enter Norway now. The courtyard is usually a sea of squealing, screaming, hyper, cranky children and tired, exasperated, crackberry addict adults who are either texting madly in an effort to escape or just starting blankly into space, their ears not even registering the din. But I wait my turn because I am dying for that wonderful food. Once my name is called, I enter the castle. Belle is there in her ball gown taking pictures. I go straight to the host and tell him "Look, can you seat me now? I don't need a picture." He looks at me confused "It's included in the price." I look at him with pity "I'm not here for the Princesses, I'm here for the food. Besides what these ladies are doing is my job back home in a way so I don't need to stand on que for that." Now he is confused but he takes me to a table. A nice 4-top RIGHT BY THE BUFFET!!! OK, I'm good. My server comes over, a lovely girl and gives me the menu. I freeze in horror. Where is my food? I know there is food on the menu but the lunch menu is now infested with American crap. WHERE IS THE NORWEGIAN FOOD?! Where is the wonderful trout with stewed cabbage and beet jam? Where is the amazing open-faced salmon sandwich with a cup of Jarlsberg cheese & leek soup?! They were on Deb's site for January?! Before you could get one of the two items I mentioned above or the Kjottkaker (kind of like Norwegian meatloaf) and a pasta dish. NOW you can have the Kjottkaker (the only old item left on the menu) or * Salmon Burger on a toasted Onion Roll with choice of winter bisque or veggie soup * Open Faced Chicken Sandwich on Sourdough with tomato, arugula, mushroom vinaigrette, jarlsberg and lingonberry mayo served with choice of winter bisque or veggie soup * Grilled venison sausage over white bean stew with bacon, carrots and potatoes *Grilled veggie-stuffed pasta with sauteed veggies, tomato truffle broth and parm * Sauteed chicken breast with vegetable barley risotto Kids options are Grilled chicken breast, cheese raviolli, cheese pizza or hot dog with corn. whee. I am sooooooo disappointed. They have Americanized the menu to appeal to the Princess hoards. There was NOTHING WRONG WITH TROUT! They serve trout all over the US. i am bummed. My world has just fallen around my ears. I can't decide what to order because I want Norwegian food. I can't go to the buffet until I decide so I pick the chicken sandwich. Now I can bask in the glory that is the buffet! [/IMG] OK, let's start at 11:00 on the plate and travel clockwise. *cavier with capers & onions *smoked goat cheese (grab these brown thin slices - they taste like CARAMEL! And are just amazing!) * lox * Peel & eat shrimp * Grain roll * Smoked salmon * Smoked mackerel (the white fish with the pepper on it) * Herring 2 ways - one looks straight, the other has a tomato based sauce * asparagus * Beet & sliced apple salad * cube cheese * Salami I went back for seconds on the Herring (both kinds), the salmon and the mackerel. Soooooo good! Then I get my sandwich: [/IMG] The soup was AMAZING and I ate all of it! I wasn't into the potatoes since I was trying to cut as many excessive carbs as I could. The sandwich... ahh yes. Let's look at that closer shall we? [/IMG] It sure is purty but ummm, how in tarnation am I suppose to eat that?! That sandwich is 2 boy howdy feet high! So I picked off the bacon and ate that, then cut it in half but that is a lot of chicken and now I am a little full. The chicken was good but not exceptional. It was chicken. The Princesses came through and we had Aurora (wrong color dress, I know I need to stop beating the dead horse about it), Cindy, Snow and Ariel. All of the Princesses were lovely, very nice, took pictures with me, chatted with me about Disney and my own "princess type job". The dessert plate had changed as well but I didn't care because there was my beloved rice cream! [/IMG] So in the bottom left we have the yummy strawberry rice cream, next to it is their new (to me anyway) chocolate mousse, up top on the left is a new dessert. It is an apple tart. Patry filled with apples and served with vanilla ice cream next to it and caramel sauce. I was so full. I ate the apples out of the shell with the ice cream, ate half the mousse and all of the rice. All of the selections were yummy I was just about to burst, like that guy in the restaurant in Monty Pythons "The Meaning of Life". I did get the most Norwegian aquavit drink - Fjellbekk (Mountain Stream) that also had vodka, sprite ad lime in it. Very refreshing. They put my left over drink in a mickey kids to-go cup. YAY ME! While I was a bit bummed about the food changed, they did tell me that the trout is now on the dinner menu so next time I will have to decide if I suck it up and do lunch or change to dinner. The food is just too good to pass up even if I have to battle hoard of kids and Princesses to get to it!