Help me decide!!

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by MickeyMom2Boys, Jul 16, 2008.


If you could only pick one, which one would you choose?

  1. Kona Cafe

  2. Maya Grill

  3. Spoodles

  4. Big River Grille

  5. Cape May Cafe

  6. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. MickeyMom2Boys

    MickeyMom2Boys DIS Veteran

    Nov 2, 2007
    I need to pick one more place for ADRs. I'm considering:

    Kona Cafe
    Maya Grill
    Big River Grille
    Cape May Cafe

    We have never eaten at any of these and are on the DDP. If you could pick one, which one would you choose and why?
  2. freesone

    freesone DIS Veteran

    May 6, 2008
    The Kona Cafe has great food(we are partial to their breakfast),nice atmosphere(we like the openess), and a great staff.

    If you are looking for a character meal, the Cape May Cafe has a very good one for breakfast.
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  4. Tiffany_MommyOf3

    Tiffany_MommyOf3 missing my mouse

    May 9, 2007
    I picked Cape May just because Im in love with all character meals LOL.. I did love the food at Kona though (although I wasnt fond of our waitress.
  5. MickeyMom2Boys

    MickeyMom2Boys DIS Veteran

    Nov 2, 2007
    Which characters are at Cape May for breakfast?
  6. freesone

    freesone DIS Veteran

    May 6, 2008
    They have Goofy, Pluto, and Chip&Dale.
  7. BelleLovesTheBeast

    BelleLovesTheBeast Mouseketeer

    Jun 17, 2008
    I went with Kona Cafe. The only choice that I haven't been to. I think the menu looks great.
  8. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2006
    I know I'm in the minority here but two years in a row our worst meal of the trip has been KONA and two years in a row Spoodles has been excellent!:goodvibes

    ETA: Referring to dinner.
  9. DISNEY1975

    DISNEY1975 DIS Veteran

    May 5, 2008
    Where you should eat depends on where you will be that day?

    I would choose Spoodles over Big River any day. Considering they are both on the Boardwalk, if you think you might want to stroll around a bit before/after dinner, this would be a nice place. If your in a rush to get somewhere else, its not really worth going out of your way.

    Cape May Cafe is a buffet. Are you looking for a buffet? Seafood?(they do have a few other things too). Are you staying at the BC? If not, are you renting a car? If not, do you really want to spend a while on the buses getting there? After dinner, there is really not much to do except leave!

    Kona's...good location to get back to a park if need be. Im not sure if you are picking this ADR for a "down" day where youre just going to be hanging about! Food is OK for dinner.

    Maya Grill...I have never been there, never been to the Coronado, but my favorite reviewer on this board convinced me its not worth the trip...

    Kevin Klose - April 7, 2008

    I’ve been asked if there are any “out of the way” dining spots at Disney that I would consider to be “worth the trip”. It seems people are looking for a new experience….something fresh…..something different.

    You’ve all heard the ravings (whether deserved or not) about Le Cellier and Jiko….but where is the next hot spot? What restaurant is worth a ride on a Disney bus?

    In an effort to find this experience, we’ve started visiting some of the restaurants that you don’t hear about as often.

    Now….where to begin? Here is some background information.

    It was a regular night during the week and we decided to go out to eat. Our destination…a neighborhood Mexican restaurant with great food and awesome prices. Two of us can feast for $22.00 including an appetizer, two entrees and two soft drinks.

    While on our way, we started talking about our schedule for the rest of the week and realized that we had little free time to visit a Disney restaurant for this week’s review. It was obvious our plan needed to change so we headed for Disney.

    As I said earlier, we had decided to go off the beaten path looking for “hidden gems” and with a taste for Mexican food….we decided to head for the Coronado Springs Resort. This is a just a little insight into the scientific way we choose which restaurant to review.

    We have previously extolled the virtues of the Pepper Market Food Court, so our obvious choice was the Maya Grill.

    I am sad to say that after blowing 100 bucks…and missing our favorite Mexican place…this is definitely not a “hidden gem”

    We approached the podium without an ADR at approximately 6:00pm. Looking into the vast and nearly deserted restaurant, the hostess asked if we had reservations. The old joke of “yes…but we’re still going to eat here” came to mind but we said no and asked if that was an issue. We were quickly shown to a table.

    The Maya Grill is a very large space. The main section is a soaring room containing what I assume is supposed to be a Mayan temple but looks more like 1960’s era modern / modular church. It has windows and natural light and is much more appealing than where we were seated.

    We were shown to the low “ceilinged” Mayan Denny’s section of the restaurant.

    This section has stiff backed booths and chairs that look like they were purchased at one of those discount furniture stores and described as “modern”. It also has the very worst lighting imaginable for people and food. There are recessed fixtures in the ceiling that are a dark yellow color and give everyone a jaundiced pallor.

    It amazes me that a place famed for it’s imagination and creativity would allow the use of yellow lighting in a high end restaurant…and make no mistakes folks…the Maya Grill is high end…..well at least the prices.

    On to our dinner…..

    We decided on the Pulled Pork Empanada ($9.00) served with a Chipotle cream and the Seafood Margarita ($10.00) which is shrimp, lobster and mussels marinated in lime and tequila. We also decided to try the soup of the day, Beef Barley ($7.00).

    There were 2 empanadas served. They were each about the size of a playing card and drizzled with brown gravy and lying on a bed of shredded lettuce. If this appetizer had been 3 or 4 dollars, I would tell you that they were tasty. At $9.00…it’s a rip off.

    The Seafood Margarita came served in a margarita glass. It was basically a salsa with three mussels and a few bits of shrimp and supposedly lobster. There was a lime and tequila sauce over everything. I’m going to take their word for the fact that there was lobster in there…but I couldn’t find it. Again….overpriced at $10.00 but tasty.

    The Beef Barley soup had a smoky, wood fired flavor…but not to keep abusing the dead horse…overpriced at $7.00 a bowl.

    While getting ready to order our entrees, a server walked by with something stacked up on a plate. I asked our server what it might be and she said it’s Mmmmpphh….excuse me….it’s mmmmmppphhh…it’s a dessert. Ok….we’ll get to that later.

    John decided on the Mixed Grill ($32.00) which consists of Filet Mignon, the Fresh Catch and St. Louis Style ribs. It also included a potato choice and mixed veggies.

    I had the Chilean Salmon Filet ($27.00) which also included the potato and veggie.

    Our server described the fresh mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and we both said yes.

    John’s dish consisted of the smallest, saddest piece of beef I think I have ever seen. It was roughly ¾ of an inch thick and over done. There was also a small piece of non-descript mahi-mahi and the highlight of his dinner, the St. Louis Style ribs. I know what you’re thinking….what makes them St. Louis Style and why would you have St. Louis Style ribs in a vaguely Mexican restaurant? The answer to both is…who knows? The good news is that they were very good barbecued ribs. The mashed potatoes were a let down of basic mashed potatoes with some overdone onion bits. Blech!

    I had asked the server what Chilean Salmon might be, thinking it might have a spicy rub or some exotic flavors. Nope…wrong again….it’s salmon from Chile and served in a house butter sauce.

    The fish was oily and greasy and layered over the poorly described mashed potatoes and served with a few huge chunks of barely cooked zucchini and yellow squash.

    I can only say that this food was sloppily prepared and even more sloppily presented. It looked rushed and messy and like something you would get at a department store buffeteria. And to top it all off….it was served under that awful yellow light which made it look un-healthy.

    To finish this mess….we decided to try that un-decipherable dessert. Again…the description was lovely. The reality was that it was three hard meringue cookies with a dollop of chocolate mousse between the layers and it was $8.00.

    With one soft drink and what was listed above….the total came to $99.00 for two people.

    We gave our server our Disney Dining Experience card. She returned with our bill and explained that she had taken the 20% discount but had NOT added the 18% mandatory gratuity. Smart server! She got the full 20% plus on the pre-discount total and she deserved it. She had worked for it and her only fault was her descriptions. We found it interesting as this is the only place that this has ever happened.

    Going back to our original idea of finding Disney’s “hidden gem”…..look elsewhere…..there are no gems in this temple.
  10. MickeyMom2Boys

    MickeyMom2Boys DIS Veteran

    Nov 2, 2007
    Wow! Looks like Maya Grill is definitely out!

    I'm not sure where we'll be that day. Right now I'm thinking that would be our Animal Kingdom day. One poster made a good point about Kona being at the Poly - monorail accessible. We could leave AK, hit Kona for dinner, then hop on the monorail and head to the MK for a bit - if we're feeling adventurous :rolleyes1

    Anyone else??
  11. Neesy228

    Neesy228 DIS Veteran

    Apr 9, 2008
    I voted for Kona, but it was a close race between that and Cape May...either are wonderful, just different experiences!

    Have a great trip!:goodvibes

    ROEDISNEY DIS Veteran My name

    May 30, 2004
    I never had dinner at any had Bk. Here good reveiws on Kona & Spoodles.
  13. familyS

    familyS DIS Veteran

    Feb 17, 2007
    I voted for Kona. :thumbsup2

    Why? The food is great and it is easy to get to- just hop on the monorail.

    Unless you are staying at BC, BW or YC, then I would vote Spoodles.
  14. simonkodousek

    simonkodousek DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2007
    Definitely Kona! If possible, try to get an ADR for breakfast because...

    Tonga Toast + Kona Press-Pot Coffee = Best Breakfast EVER!!!
  15. beroh2253

    beroh2253 Love Dixie Landings(POR)

    Mar 24, 2007
    Great to here we are going to Spoodles in Sept. But we have been to Kona twice and really like the place. We are also going to try Big River Grill in Sept.
  16. In Luv with Disney

    In Luv with Disney DIS Veteran

    May 4, 2004
    I voted Kona because I really do love it there, but I have to disagree on Maya Grill. We went on a fluke in August last year...we loved it so much, we cancelled Whispering Canyon to go back there! Both nights, our meals were amazing. My favorite meal is Le Cellier...and Maya Grill is almost up there!

    Don't decide against a restaurant just because of someone's review. EVERYONE has different taste and you just might love the place. Form your own opinion. :thumbsup2
  17. MissMagnolia

    MissMagnolia DIS Veteran

    Nov 17, 2003
    When we were at the Cape May breakfast Minnie was also there (total: Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale).

    I'd vote Kona.
  18. chocovrdmicears

    chocovrdmicears DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2007
    Kona - I have had many meals there (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and have enjoyed every single meal.:lovestruc
    We are trying Spoodles this year for the first time & i am very much looking forward to it!

    PS. Maya Grill was by far the worst dining experience my family has ever encountered. :sad2: The service was really bad and the food was even worse. JMO.
  19. Duke&Tree

    Duke&Tree Mouseketeer

    Jun 21, 2008
    I chose Kona, because we've never been there and are planning on it. After being on the boards, I *have* to try the Tonga Toast! And, the kona coffee is going to be a special treat, too.

    We did go to Spoodles on our last trip and we both enjoyed it. We're hoping to make it back next time, but we're are hoping to try a lot of new (to us) restauraunts. If there's time, we'll definitely do Spoodles again.
  20. jknstrickland

    jknstrickland Earning My Ears

    Jun 9, 2008
    Love Kona Cafe, especially for breakfast!
  21. 4forMe

    4forMe DIS Veteran

    Jul 21, 2007
    I voted for Kona also. I love the atmosphere at the Poly. I've never eaten at Kona but love the menu. I have an ADR there in less than 2 weeks to have dinner with my mother while DH stays back at the vacation home with our boys :cool1:

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