Chunkymonkey's Year of Disney Dining Reviews Dec 2016 - COMPLETED 1/5/17!!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by chunkymonkey, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    Just read through everything. Thanks for all the dining reviews! You've hit a number of meals that I haven't done. Looks pretty tasty!
     
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  2. Saphire5742

    Saphire5742 Princess Sparkle

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    Here and ready to read all about your food adventures....

    Having trouble again with the quotes function for some reason though. From what I read so far:

    Marrakesh - I fell in love with the Harira soup when I was in Morocco. So so good and I would look forward to it every night at the hotel for dinner. It's also one of those soups that have various versions as I learned when looking up a recipe when I returned home. Had a chicken bastilla at one place we ate and it was oh so good. Your lemon chicken tagine sounds delicious. Then again I do love olives and tangy sauce. Regarding the sauce next to the pastries, I suspect it had rose water in it. I happen to like rose water but it definitely isn't for everyone

    Via Napoli - As soon as saw this I was hopinh you got the Carciofi. Just reading that word made my mouth seriously water. I too ate that based on Kari's review. It was either here or Marrakesh, but reading Kari's report convinced me I NEEDED to have that pizza. And I'm so very glad I did. Especially since I ended up visiting Morocco later in the year (although I did not know this at the time).

    CA Grill- - WOW WOW WOW, those views are just amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your very rich steak and that sweet potato side look out of this world delicious too.
     
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  4. lizzytizzy

    lizzytizzy DIS Veteran

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    Just made reservations at California Grill after reading your report! :worship:
     
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  5. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Dugette! We did eat at a lot of favorites and tried some new places too! We enjoyed it all!

    The soup was really good and the bastilla was great! I really loved my chicken dish and I think you'd really like it too. I thought the sauce next to the pastry did seem like it had some sort of floral taste. Could probably be rose water. It also had an apricot flavor as well so probably a combination of roses and fruit.

    I think we have all been inspired by Kari to order the Carciofi! Definitely a delicious pizza. Even DH, who doesn't really like white pizzas, really liked the carciofi.
    You are so lucky to have visited Morocco! How amazing! A bucket list place for me for sure!

    Thanks! It was a real treat to dine at CA grill. I can't wait to eat there at night for my b-day this year. I hope it's as good as brunch if not better! And can't wait to watch Wishes from there!
    Yachtsman Steakhouse is sooo good. I am planning to go back but I wanted to try other restaurants as well this year. It's always so hard to pick!

    Oh that's cool! I'm glad I've inspired you! I certainly drool over everyone's food report myself! And CA Grill is a real treat! Thanks!
     
  6. soniam

    soniam Wooden leg named Smith...

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    We had a great time. Today was back to work, school, and reality:( NYE at Epcot was really the only day that I would say crowds were bad. They were routing the Soarin lines from outside the Land building in through a back entrance. MK on the 30th wasn't bad; however, it was in the 50s & 40s, so maybe people didn't go much. Keep in mind, that my reference for crowds is summer and Spring Break. Pretty much every park was a 10, except on New Years Day, according to Touring Plans. TP says that most of the days during our Spring Break 2016 trip were 8-10. There were really no same day FP+ available at Epcot on NYE. We were able to get some at the other parks, especially MK, even on the 30th. Lots of slow rides, ie Tiki Room, Carrousel of Progress, Swiss Treehouse, and Tom Sawyer Island, had big crowds. I would do it again and even bring DS. However, I think we would spend less time at Epcot on NYE with DS than we did. We were there from late morning until the midnight show.
     
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  7. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    December 7th: Garden Grill Lunch, Alpine Haus Fondue

    Today was our last day at the parks :( For breakfast we ended up eating the gingerbread cookies that Goofy handed out at the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam dessert party the night before. Those things come in handy :) DH went to DHS early in the morning and rode TSM a few times as well as RnRC. I slept in and packed. When DH came back we checked out of the Dolphin and went to Epcot. We had one final meal booked today - lunch at Garden Grill.

    The last time we were here was in February but we had breakfast instead. We really enjoyed breakfast, that sticky bun bread thing they had was delicious. So this time we decided to do lunch. It looks like the menu has made a few changes since we've been here for lunch/dinner, although the space and the characters are pretty much the same.

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    Here's details on the menu since it's hard to see above:

    Chip ‘N’ Dale Harvest Feast


    Harvest-inspired Farmer’s Salad

    Home-style Pot Roast

    All-Natural Sliced Turkey Breast with Turkey Gravy


    Italian Sausage with Sautéed Peppers and Onions

    Sweet Potato Fries

    Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

    Macaroni & Cheese

    Garden-fresh Vegetables


    Bacon and Leek Stuffing

    Short Cake
    topped with fresh Berries and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream


    Sounds good, right? Although I'm kinda puzzled at the Italian sausage - doesn't seem like something I'd expect on a farm-to-table inspired meal. I kinda missed the sustainable fish they usually have. Also missing was the little dispenser of fruit water they had in the waiting area right outside Garden Grill. When we had lunch here last year, there was one and we thought it was a nice touch. Either way, we were seated as soon as we checked in so didn't have to wait at all.

    I got an iced tea to start while DH got a diet coke. It looks like they have started serving drinks in mason jars for that more "farmhouse" feel.

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    Soon our rolls were brought out. These were nice although not as "warm out of the oven" as I'd like them to be. The honey butter used to be a slab of butter drizzled with honey and sea salt but now it's just whipped butter and honey. I think I preferred the former but it was still good.

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    Soon our first course, the Harvest salad, came. This was a good salad. I've always liked the salad course here, and it was filled with fresh vegetables, radishes, bacon, and egg. The dressing was kinda a ranch-style creamy dressing. I thought the bacon could have been crisper though.

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    Soon we had our first visitor! Dale!

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    Then our food started coming. It's served together in a skillet now instead of just a serving platter. Here is our main course:

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    The pot roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans were great, the turkey I didn't care for as much (but I am not a huge turkey fan), and the sausage didn't really taste like Italian sausage, but it was fine. I definitely missed the fish they used to serve. Maybe it wasn't popular? I just thought it was a nice variety before and now it's just a lot of...meat. LOL. Still, a pretty tasty platter. The stuffing was just ok, it wasn't as good as I remembered.

    Here's our sides of sweet potato fries and mac n cheese. Both were quite yummy. Mac n cheese is reminisce of Velveeta, but I happen to like plastic cheese...:cutie:

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    We had rotated about 1/3 of the way at this point.

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    The restaurant moves so slowly that I sometimes forget it's a rotating restaurant. :rotfl:

    Here's Chip!

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    And Pluto...

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    Our server kindly took this one of the both of us. I forget how hard it is when it's just the 2 of us traveling and doing character meals!

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    And finally, farmer Mickey!

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    For dessert we were brought out the short cake. We thought it was quite good. I think this was better than what they used to serve, which was...forgettable apparently!
    The shortcake was just a pound cake topped generously with a berry sauce and whipped cream. Would be better if they had ice cream!

    [​IMG]

    They also brought out cookies which you can see in the back. It was a lot of food. But hey, we were in no rush to leave WDW so we took our time to eat, but we were VERY full.

    Then, DH got a surprise! A birthday surprise! He honestly hadn't been wearing his b-day button because he kept forgetting it, but today he did, and he was surprised with an extra chocolate cake prepared by Dale himself!

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    He also got a card! It was signed by all the characters we saw at lunch.

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    We did our best to finish the cake but we could not. It was huge and it was just the two of us. Here is a cross section of the cake:

    [​IMG]

    We were all smiles as we finished lunch. Although I missed the fish in the Harvest Feast, I still think this is one of the more underrated character meals in all of WDW. It's not too crowded or noisy, the tables are not on top of each other, the food is solid, the service is great, and the characters are fun! I love that it's also in Epcot, my favorite park!

    We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Epcot. I got another Avocado Margarita. So yummy!

    [​IMG]

    Before we left we went to Alpine Haus which was one of the holiday kiosks they had outside Germany. I wanted to try the fondue served in a bread bowl. The portion was quite large!

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    It was a hollowed out baguette with breadsticks, filled with melted cheese sauce (tasted like a gruyere and swiss blend) and there were some sauteed vegges on the side, including mini potatoes, carrots, and zucchini. It was pretty good and definitely filling. We could not finish all the bread. It would definitely be a full meal for one or a nice snack for a few.

    Right before we had to depart I went to Karamel Kusche and got a caramel apple and a chocolate-covered pineapple spear to eat later. I've had the apples before and like them, but the pineapple spear really surprised me, it was super delicious - not too sweet, and definitely refreshing. I ate it as we were waiting for our car pick up at the Dolphin, although the chocolate separated from the fruit very easily and got quite messy. A delicious snack though! I will have to get it again.

    [​IMG]

    Well, that's it everyone! The end of our magical Holidays at WDW Dining Review! I hope to be back again with another dining review after our next trip in February 2017! :wizard:

    See ya real soon! :wave2:

     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  8. Disneyhayes

    Disneyhayes DIS Veteran

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    Great review! Looking forward to the next one
     
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  9. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    Enjoyed your reviews, have a wonderful trip in February! We liked the GG dinner and the breakfast food was good as well except our service for breakfast was poor.
     
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  10. ThreeBoyMama

    ThreeBoyMama DIS Veteran

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    Awesome reviews! Will watch for your next one :)
     
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  11. soniam

    soniam Wooden leg named Smith...

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    That pineapple spear reminds me of Germany so much. At the fairs, markets, and even Oktoberfest, they sell chocolate covered fruit. It comes in milk, white, and dark. They usually have bananas, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, cherries, marshmallows (ok not really fruit:)), sometimes apples and apricots. We thought about getting the fondue, but it sounded like a lot of cheese. Plus, I figured we would end up eating all of the bread too.

    Garden Grill looks good, but that fish did sound nice. I thought about doing it with DS next trip, but I don't know if he would like it. He's so picky and really hates velveeta-like mac n cheese. I remember eating there on my first trip to Epcot, a year or two after it opened. The didn't have characters then, but they had some of the best key lime pie ever. I just remember it being a very good meal, but I don't think it was family style.
     
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  12. ArielSRL

    ArielSRL DIS Veteran

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    That shortcake looks soooo good! I'm a huge fan of berries...especially with cake! Nt sure about the chocolate covered pineapple. I like them separate and I love chocolate covered berries so maybe....

    The cheese in the bread bowl looks yummy! I love cheese...and bread....lol. I've recently got on this brie and french bread kick, which isn't doing anything good for my waistline...

    Enjoyed the report and I'll be waiting for the February one!
     
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  13. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the report! And, of course, now I'm hungry!
     
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  14. superme80

    superme80 DIS Veteran

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    I loved it! Can't wait for your next one!
     
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  15. cinderkelly

    cinderkelly DIS Veteran

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    Awesome report Su-Lynn! That rainy day you were at HS we were at MK and were on BTMRR and got hammered with rain! It was during one of the more intense downpours, it was both funny and miserable all at the same time. We did luck out though and have perfect weather the rest of the trip!

    Your cob salad at HBD does look like a lot of "stuff" and little greens! And wow, the dressing! I'm a big salad dressing person but this even looks like a lot to me.


    I also enjoyed reading about your Garden Grill lunch, what a fun day to wrap up your trip. That pineapple spear does look awfully yummy!

    We will hope for awesome weather again in Feb!
     
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  16. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    Thanks for sharing all our first trip adventures. GG lunch is getting me hungry. My daughter would be in heaven with unlimited mac and cheese and sweet potato fries. And of course the characters :-) And your fondue looks amazing!!!! Wish they had this year round (or at least in the winter months), I'd love to have some on our trip next month.
     
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  17. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!! I appreciate it!

    Thank you! A friend of mine went for breakfast at GG and wasn't that impressed, so I think it will vary. Luckily we've only had good experiences here. *knocks on wood!*

    Thank you! Thanks for reading!

    I do usually like chocolate covered fruit, but mostly stick to strawberries and bananas. I did really enjoy the pineapple though!
    The fondue was a lot of cheese. It was a bit heavy for us but we had fun eating it.

    Oh interesting how GG was different before. Our first experience was just a few years ago. When we were younger and my parents took us to WDW, we did not eat at table service a lot, so don't really know what it was like before. Yeah the mac n cheese is very box-like, but I am easy to please, hehe. Maybe breakfast will be better?

    The shortcake was good! It was huge though, since I think they give the same portion regardless of party size. For larger parties they will bring more out though. I was surprised at the pineapple and chocolate too. I love them separately but never had them together. You have to try it though as it's delicious!

    The fondue was great but was a little heavy. I love love love baguettes and any sort of crusty bread so I know what you mean. I'll never be skinny minnie!

    Thanks! it was fun short trip, hopefully we'll get to meet in the future!
     
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  18. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Kelly! That's so funny you were on BTMRR during the downpour...there's always a new rainy day adventure at Disney, although I would probably be miserable coming off the ride soaking wet, lol. The rest of the weather was great wasn't it?

    Your cob salad at HBD does look like a lot of "stuff" and little greens! And wow, the dressing! I'm a big salad dressing person but this even looks like a lot to me.

    Thanks! We enjoy GG but didn't book it for the Feb trip...I figure I would try some new places, although I really want to do breakfast there again. I really do want to go Sanaa and Yachtsman again but we just don't have enough meals!

    Thanks Kari! I definitely take inspiration from your meals to design ours!
    I wish they had the Epcot booths for longer, but it looks like Disney is finding ways to incorporate the booths into other times of the year, although I don't think there will be anything in Feb when we're there...it's right before F and G starts.
    GG was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the sides...maybe ever more than the meats!
     
  19. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!!!
     
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  20. Saphire5742

    Saphire5742 Princess Sparkle

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    Just realized that I commented about your YS meal under CA Grill. I blame that on catching up here during my night shifts.
    I am totally dreaming of having a meal at YS.

    Somehow I totally missed this in your previous report. That is an interesting concoction. I do love me some whipped cream. Good thing where I live the canned stuff is fake and disgusting. If I want whipped cream I have to work and I'm kinda lazy.

    Lemon meringue is one of my favorite desserts!

    Great that you had those options as well. While I do love my sweets there has to be some balance

    Nice touch! Love it!

    Awww, how sweet.
    Getting me real excited to wear my bday pin at DL!!!!!!!

    Reminds me of the HUGE strawberry shortcake at Hoop Dee Doo which I also could not finish even though I wanted too.
    Looks like a solid lunch at GG.

    That's too bad about HBD though.
     
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  21. princess aleya

    princess aleya DIS Veteran

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    I enjoy reading all your TR! Thanks so much for sharing.
     
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