Our Dining Reviews - UPDATE!! More Rambling & Day 2! (Pizza Planet & Mama Melrose's)

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Wendy31, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
    Here's a quick list of WHERE WE ATE, w/o reviews, so ya'll can decide right away if you want to keep reading! :teeth:

    Table-Service: Breakfasts - Chef Mickey's & Donald's Breakfastasauras; lunches - Cinderella's Royal Table, Crystal Palace, Garden Grill, & Tony's Town Square; and dinners - Liberty Tree Tavern, Mama Melrose's (FDP), San Angel Inn, & Whispering Canyon Cafe

    Counter-Service: Boulangerie Patisserie (France), Casey's Corner, Columbia Harbour House, Earl of Sandwich, Flame Tree BBQ, & Toy Story Pizza Planet

    Snacks: Aloha Isle in MK, some place in MGM close to the Beauty & the Beast show, a cart in AK, & various carts all across WDW for bottles of water.... in other words, w/ the exception of Aloha Isle, I don't remember - but I'll review 'em anyway! :teeth:

    Now, onto some BACKGROUND info!

    We're a family of 4 from southeast TN, & we drive to Florida in our trusty mini-van - so I have lots of room to stow away breakfast foods, snacks, & drinks, & other stuff!

    We just returned this past Tuesday from a great 7-night/8-day vacation at WDW - Tues, 6/13, through Tues, 6/20. We stayed in a cabin at Fort Wilderness and had the dining plan w/ 8-day parkhopper MYW tickets.

    This past week was our 2nd trip to WDW as a family. (DH & I had been previously on our high school senior trip in 1991, and I had been twice before that - once w/ my family & once w/ a friend's family.) DH & I took our kids last May, and, we had so much fun, we had to go back this year! (In other words, we caught the Disney fever, & we're already planning next year's trip...)

    And, if you've got this far, here's WHO WE ARE as it relates to Disney dining! :wave2:

    ME: 32, loves WDW & adores planning our Disney vacations - especially the restaurants at which we'll dine! I can be a picky eater, but not as much as I once was... I get WAY MORE caught up in the atmosphere of a restaurant than I do the food - if the restaurant's "pretty" or "fun", I'm easily satisfied as long as the food is edible & the service is good

    DH: 33, loves WDW & adores letting me plan our Disney vacations... :goodvibes (*giggle* I have him so well-trained!) He'll eat just about anything & is relatively easy to please

    DD: 6, loves WDW but is an extremely picky eater - she adores PB & J sandwiches & chicken fingers & desserts; she also loves eating w/ the characters, especially the princesses

    DS: 4 (almost 5), loves WDW & has a little more varied palate than his sister - will also eat hamburgers - & enjoys eating with the characters as well

    Now, for the exciting part - the REVIEWS!!

    I'll post each day in a separate post, but I'll list the "index" (example - Day One on Page #1, Post #2) here.


    * Day One (Tues, 6/13) -
    Casey's Corner & Liberty Tree Tavern - Page #1, Post #2
    * General Rambling - Page #1, Post #12
    * Day Two (Wed, 6/14) -
    Toy Story Pizza Planet & Mama Melrose's FDP - Page #1, Post #13
  2. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
    DAY ONE - Tuesday, 6/13: Welcome to Disney World!

    LUNCH (counter-service): Casey's

    We arrived on Tuesday (6/13) right at lunchtime - in the middle of Alberto! So, after we checked in & received our "Keys to the World" :cool1: , we rode the FW boat to the MK for lunch. I had read lots of good reviews on Casey's & thought it would be a cute place for our first meal at WDW.

    Casey's wasn't very crowded (it was about 1:00 pm, I think), and we didn't have to wait in line at all. However, Casey's doesn't have a lot of indoor seating, so seating, of course, was a bit crowded - especially since it was raining, and no one was sitting outside. All the tables inside were taken as were all the spaces on the bleachers. At first, I waited at the side of the restuarant w/ our trays of food, while the kids sat in the floor w/ some other children in front of the movie screen & DH went to get straws, napkins, & ketchup. Then, some spaces opened up on the bleachers, so we moved there. It was a bit of a hassle trying to get the kids situated while juggling wet ponchos, my bag, the camera, the food trays, drinks, napkins, & the little, open cups of ketchup, but we managed w/o causing too much of a scene. It was one of those times when you don't have enough hands. At the same time DS was trying to put his staw in his cup, DD was clamoring for ketchup & DH was wiping up the ketchup that had already dribbled out all the while looking more exasperated - ya'll know that look that husbands get! And why do servers always fill the cups so full that when they put the lids on, the drink spills out over the top? It was hard to sit on the bleachers & tend to the kids because I felt like every time I stood up to assist them I was blocking the view of the people on the bleachers behind us, so I just decided to stand at the end of the bleachers - it was easier to reach the kids that way. Anyway, once we were settled, the kids really enjoyed the little movies & it was a fun lunch in a cute setting!

    DH & I ordered hot dogs, fries, cokes, & brownies. DD & DS got corn dog nuggets, fries, cokes, & brownies.

    (Note: Now, before ya'll start whispering that I'm a horrible mother, our kids normally only get to drink juice, milk, or water. However, we were on vacation, and cokes were treats. Plus, cokes gave them little "pick-me-ups".)

    The hot dogs were good - not "this is the best hot dog I've ever eaten" good, but they were decently good. They tasted like hot dogs. The french fries were really good. The corn dog nuggets must have been extremely delicious because my picky DD gobbled them right up - she even ate the french fries. DS enjoyed his meal too. Thankfully, the brownies were packaged, so I could just stow them away in my bag for later - we were really ready to get to some rides in the MK. (We would have ordered boxes of Cracker-Jack for our dessert, but DS may have a peanut allergy.)

    In summary, we'd definitely eat at Casey's again!

    Atmosphere: Crowded w/ limited seating, but fun all the same!
    Food: Good
    Service: Quick & friendly
    Overall Rating: ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo (out of 5 ::MickeyMo)

    DINNER (table-service): Liberty Tree Tavern

    Last May, our first evening's dinner was also at LTT, and, we had such a wonderful time, we wanted to experience it again. But you know what they say! When you have your hopes set for the same kind of experience, it usually doesn't go that way. And it was no different this time.

    Our ADR was for 5:30 pm. We checked in at 5:15 pm & were seated about 15 minutes early. I adore the way the cast members call you to your table at LTT! "The Smiths from Tennessee!" What a great intro to WDW! (We're not really "the Smiths from TN"; names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent...)

    Last time, we were seated at a round table by a window in one of the smaller sections of the restaurant - so it felt more spacious & quiet, and I like sitting near windows. This time, we were seated at a smaller, square table in the main dining room, so it was more crowded & louder - not a horrible, "we're going to have an awful time now!" change from last year, but it just wasn't as relaxing as our experience last year. However, I really enjoy the decor of LTT, and, where we were seated, you could actually see more of the "atmosphere" of the restaurant & get a feel for the setting, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, the food - Last year, I LOVED the Declaration Salad w/ the strawberry vinaigrette dressing! This year, what a disappointment! Many of the lettuce leaves in the salad were brown & wilted, & I could hardly taste the dressing. The rolls & butter were good, though.

    Of course, a little way into our salads, DS announces that he needs to go to the bathroom. It doesn't matter how many times or when we take them to the restroom, it never fails that, once we're seated in a restaurant, either he or DD needs to go visit the bathroom. I think they really just want to see the restroom - whenever one of them comes back from a public restroom, the other one will ask "What color was the soap?" & they'll compare notes - but, anyway, as a parent, you never know if they're really wanting just a scenic tour of the bathroom or if they really "gotta go", so you have to take them unless you're ready to deal w/ the consequences if they really had to go & you didn't take them, so I did - take them. Both of them. Because, also as a parent, you learn, if one child has to go to the bathroom, you might as well take the other child because, if you don't, 5 minutes later, the child that didn't go will suddenly decide he/she needs to go too.

    And, by the time we made it back, the rest of our dinner had arrived. And it was okay. I didn't eat any of the mac & cheese, but DD & DS seemed to enjoy it. DS ate several pieces of the flank steak & kept asking for more, and DD ate a piece of it as well (after I told her it was like pot roast) & a piece of ham. I didn't eat any of the meat except for the flank steak, and it was okay, I thought - not too fatty & cooked nicely, just not a lot of "oh, that's good!" flavor. DS loved the steak, though! DH tried some of all of it - ham, steak, turkey - and he didn't say anything was terrible, so I guess it was okay to him as well. The mashed potatoes were good. The dressing was okay - too much of some spice, but I couldn't decide which one. DS declared the green beans rubbery, but they tasted okay to me. The meats and veggies were definitely better than the salad, but nothing was "Oh my! This is so yummy!" good.

    The dessert - apple cobbler & ice cream - was the best part. In a word, it was delicious! DH & I both agreed it was the best part of the meal & totally made up for the brown lettuce. The apples were crisp & just tart enough w/o being too sweet. The crust was flaky & moist, & the ice cream melted into the cobbler just perfectly. Very, very good!

    Our server was good - quick & efficient. And the characters - Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Chip, & Dale - were good as well. They seemed a little more rushed than last year, but each one came to our table at least twice. Pluto was the best - very playful! And Minnie Mouse was just lovely. DD & I adore her colonial dress. On his 2nd trip to our table, Goofy posed w/ my DH for a pic.

    In summary, I would be willing to try somewhere else for dinner on our 1st evening, but I think DH & the kids still enjoyed it. I'd eat at LTT again, but I was a little bit disappointed this time w/ the food. It was still fun, though!

    Atmosphere: Noisy & crowded but a nice setting w/ great "themed" decor
    Characters: Good - especially Pluto!
    Food: Okay - except for the apple cobbler which was delicious!
    Service: Quick & friendly
    Overall Rating: ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo (out of 5 ::MickeyMo)

    Coming Soon - Day Two (Toy Story Pizza Planet, Mama Melrose's, & some great snacks)
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  4. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

    Sep 22, 2005
    Great reviews! I cannot wait to hear more!
  5. ufgator

    ufgator DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2004
    Thanks for the reviews so far!
  6. Princess4Eeyore

    Princess4Eeyore " You'll see it, when you believe it!"

    Aug 31, 2005
    Loving the detailed reviews - looking forward to more :goodvibes
  7. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

    Jan 14, 2003
    Really enjoying your detailed reviews ~ Looking forward to reading more.
  8. jeepgirl30

    jeepgirl30 DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2003
    I have to make a comment about the cokes. My kids only ever get milk, juice and water as well. My DD is the same age as yours. As I read your review I never even paused at the cokes! Its vacation, normal health rules go out the window. I'm sure you are a great mom.

    I love the reviews so far and can't wait to read more. Great entertaining details!
  9. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2005
    More please!

    I give your reviews a ::MickeyMo::MickeyMo::MickeyMo::MickeyMo::MickeyMo (out of 5::MickeyMo)
  10. BeckWhy

    BeckWhy <font color=FF99FF>The Tag Fairy prefers to remain

    Feb 19, 2003
    I really like your idea of making the index. It really makes it a lot easier to find the reviews.

    I don't understand why people would say you were a bad parent because you allowed your kids coke. What you choose do with with your kids (and yourself for that matter) is your business and I don't think anyone has the right to critize you for it (except maybe your parents, your parents-in-laws, brothers, sisters, etc).

    I think its so cute that you type out y'all. Not many people type it out. It makes me miss the south so much. :(
  11. Nasus

    Nasus Mouseketeer

    Apr 28, 2006
    Subscribing, can't wait to hear what you think of Toy Story PP and Mama Melrose. We did those in June too.
  12. tinkerbeth

    tinkerbeth Goin' back soon!!

    Apr 13, 2004
    Can't wait to read more. :)

    Beth :wave2:
  13. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
    Oh, thanks, everyone! I'm glad you're enjoying the reviews! I always enjoy reading reviews. The reviews on this board have helped me so much when picking restaurants these last 2 years, that I just wanted to "give a little something back"! :goodvibes

    When we began our trip, I really meant to take pics of every single thing we ate - because pics of the food make the reviews so much more exciting. And I'm all about excitement. I even gave DH a cool new digital camera as an early Father's Day present specifically for this purpose. (He only thinks it was for him - it was really for me to take pics of all our dishes at WDW so I could share them w/ all of ya'll.) But I'm an "all or nothing" kind of girl. And, at Casey's, our first meal, I forgot to take pictures of our hot dogs & fries. And, so I thought to myself upon leaving the restaurant, "Self, it's okay, you can just pics of the table-service dishes - not the counter-service dishes." But, then, I forgot to take pics at LTT of our food until half-way through our meal, and who wants pics of a plate of 1/2 eaten food? So, there you have it. I have a couple of pics of some desserts, a pic of the plate of food at Garden Grill because it was darn attractive, and that's it. Well, except for pics of us at the tables & the characters at our character meals & pics of the outside of the restaurant - because I'm kind of obsessive that way. I have to have pics of us in the restaurants at which we dine while on vacation, & I have to have pics of the outside of the restaurants as well. But, alas, I don't have pics of everything we ate, so my mere words will have to suffice.

    Oh! I do have nifty little pics of the menu from our CRT lunch AND of THE Fantasmic Dining Package menu at Mama Melrose's! Which I was so proud of. I also asked the CM if I could keep the menu for my scrapbook. DH looked at me as if I were crazy. After the CM left our table after telling me "Sure!", I explained that everyone on the DIS wanted to know what the FDP menu at Mama Melrose's was, and now I had it! It's currently still w/ my folder of all things Disney. I was so excited to get back here & share it w/ everyone, so imagine my disappointment when I get back & see the post that the menu has been posted on AllEars! Foiled, I tell ya!

    Anyway, moving on...

    Thanks so much for not reading me the riot act on letting our kids drink coke! (We're from the south, so it's all coke, you know! ;) ) My mom is the type that, whenever we're out & I let the kids have cokes, will say something like, in that totally passive-aggressive voice that mothers have, "You're letting them have coke? Won't that make them hyper? I never let them have coke, because I didn't think you wanted them to." And, while milk or water or juice is, perhaps, better for them, we're not letting them drink cokes (or sodas or pop :teeth: ) 24 hours/day or even every day. But, letting them drink coke at Disney w/ their meals did serve as little "pick-me-ups" for them. So, anyway, sorry for the off-track ramble! (I have a major tendency to ramble!)

    And, yeah, the "ya'll"... :teeth: I can't help it... :wave: So, ya'll just come on in & set yourselves down for some more reviews, ya hear? :teeth:


    "Garsh!" as our dear Goofy would say - This little post is just one big ramble, isn't it? Stay tuned for Day 2 of Disney Dining Adventures!
  14. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
    DAY TWO, Wed (6/14) - Let's Go to MGM!

    BREAKFAST - In our cabin. Remember me telling ya'll that we drove down in our trusty mini-van, so I had loads of room to pack all sorts of things? Like cereal. And pop-tarts. And waffles & milk & OJ - all which traveled surprisingly well in the cooler all the way from the St. Augustine Publix. So, that's what we had. Plus, coffee for me & DH because we're only semi-tolerable in the mornings until we've had our coffee. And, even then, me - not so much. I'm just not a morning person. So, ya'll must know how much I love Disney. It's not for everyone that I will get up at 7:00 am ON MY VACATION.

    LUNCH (counter-service) - Toy Story Pizza Planet

    This is that kind of restaurant that you go to strictly for your kids. Kind of like Chucky-Cheese's. Does any parent on their "date night" look at his/her spouse & say, "Hey, the kids are at your parents. Let's go eat at Chucky Cheese's!" Well, they might. But, if my DH said something like that to me, I'd wonder what he'd been drinking.

    So, anyway, last year, when we dined at Toy Story Pizza Planet, it was way crowded. Like "I'll stand in line & wait for our food while you take the kids & circle the tables like sharks moving in the for the kill" crowded. And the kids were beyond grouchy. When I took our "must have a pic" pic last year, I remember snarling to everyone, "Smile and look like you're happy until after I take this picture." So, this year was... going to be different. DH had fastpassed RnR, and, while we waited, the kids & I got whinier & whinier. So much so, that when DH walked over to us after riding the RnR w/ a "that was incredible!" goofy grin on his face, I semi-snarled, "Let's go get lunch. Your kids are melting." So, off we went - treking from RnR to Toy Story Pizza Planet, even though it was only 11:15 am. As an aside, why is this restaurant at the complete back side of the park?

    But, surprisingly (& happily & blessedly), Toy Story Pizza Planet was not yet crowded at all - which just goes to show you that those people who suggest eating at counter-service restaurants at "off-times" are spot on.

    DD & I got the cheese pizza meal deal. Is that the Woody Meal or the Buzz Meal? DS & DH got the pepperoni pizza meal deal. Which means, we all had personal pizzas w/ salads and, yes, cokes - for all of us. 'Cause, remember? The kids were whiney. And I, innocently, think cokes will serve as little "pick-me-ups". But, as everyone knows, giving kids cokes will make them not whiney for about 5 minutes, and then after the initial sugar rush has worn off, they will go right back to being whiney. Plus, they will have to use the bathroom. And one would think that I would learn. But I never do. I exist in my own little "Wendy" world. Where just because something is one way on one day doesn't mean it will be that way on every day. It's some sort of physics law or something. I know. I took Chemistry in high school. :teeth:

    And we got cute little Mickey Rice Krispie bars for dessert.

    While I got the straws, forks, knives, napkins, & salad dressings, DH took the kids upstairs to find a table - because it was my turn. Remember? At Casey's Corner, he got to get all the condiments while I waited w/ the kids, my bag, wet ponchos, & cardboard trays of food. So, yeah, I took my time deciding what dressing I wanted for my salad. Even chatted w/ the very nice CM who was straightening up the condiment area. And, as an aside, don't ya'll just love Disney? There are always CM's scurrying about trying to make our stays cleaner & neater & nicer. And, even though there are rude guests who leave garbage lying around (more on that later), the Disney CM's still manage to keep WDW a lot cleaner & nicer than any other park. So, thank you, CM's!!

    Anyway, the food! It was pizza. It was fast-food pizza. But, actually, the crust was kind of good. DD gobbled up every bit of hers - beginning what was to become a trend for our trip. At lunch, DD would eat very well & not so much at dinner while DS wouldn't eat as well at lunch but would gobble up everything in sight at dinner, so, between the two of them, they managed to eat very well.

    The salad was the "mixed salad from the bag" variety - but it was fresh. It was actually fresher & crisper than the salad had been the night before at LTT. My only complaint was that the condiment bar didn't offer "French" dressing - my fav. But the Italian was good. And they had Bleu Cheese which is DH's fav & Ranch which is DD's fav. DS will only eat French, but he didn't eat any salad (except the grape tomatoes) anyway, so he wasn't particularly concerned that they didn't have French dressing.

    And the Mickey Rice Krispie bars! Yum! I love Rice Krispie treats, and these, even though they're pre-packaged, tasted really fresh - still had that "springy-marshmellowy" texture. Last year, we had about a gazillion snack credits left, so we used up our snack credits on our last day w/ Mickey Rice Krispie bars. This year, since they've expanded the snack choices, we didn't have any snack credits to "waste". So, these we're the only Rice Krispie bars we got, and they were good. And I was happy.

    The atmosphere of Toy Story Pizza Planet is really fun, and I kid when I say we only go there for the kids. Well, maybe we do. But aren't we glad we have kids so we can go to fun places like Toy Story Pizza Planet? :teeth: DH had managed to snag a table overlooking the game room below which totally entranced the kids. Mid-way through our meal, DD said, "Wouldn't it be neat if there was a character meal here and Buzz & Woody & Jessie came to the tables?" Well, yes, darling, it would be. And a bunch of us here on the DIS had been hoping & praying & wishing & watching w/ baited breath for a Toy Story character meal... But, alas, apparently someone somewhere didn't agree w/ us - at least for this summer. But that led to a thought-provoking conversation between the kids as they discussed which characters would be there & how the characters would get into the restuarant. (DD had Buzz coming through an opening in the roof, and DS had Woody galloping in on his horse.) Anyway, after we had finished eating & had visited the bathroom, we let the kids play a couple of games in the arcade which they enjoyed. Last year, we were always in such a hurry that we kind of neglected the small things at WDW, so, even in such a little way, we slowed down for a bit & just enjoyed the moment which was nice. But not for too long, you know. There are other things to see & do, so let's go, kids!!

    In summary, Toy Story Pizza Planet was a nice mid-day break for lunch. It was clean & not very crowded. And the food is not-bad, even bordering on good, for counter-service. We'll be back next year!

    Atmosphere: Fun & engaging for the kids (And thought-provoking as well!)
    Food: Average to Good
    Service: Clean, Efficient, & Friendly!
    Overall Rating: ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo (out of 5 ::MickeyMo )
    (I know! I know! There are many of ya'll who would disagree w/ me. But I'm not comparing Toy Story Pizza Planet to other table-service restaurants - I'm just judging it based on other counter-service restaurants, and it's really not that bad!)

    Snack - ???

    I don't know the name of the place. It wasn't a cart, but it wasn't an "inside" place either. It was close to the Beauty & the Beast theater - kind of across the street. While DH waited w/ the kids, I bought 2 frozen lemonades, 1 bottle of water, & 1 small-ish container of grapes - all w/ our snack credits! Don't ya'll just love the new snacks on the dining plan?! :banana: We ate & drank while we waited for the Beauty & the Beast show to begin. And how refreshing! The kids enjoyed the grapes & shared a lemondade. I drank a lemonade, & DH had the water.

    Overall Rating: ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo (out of 5 ::MickeyMo )

    DINNER (table-service) - Mama Melrose's

    I was really rather worried about this restaurant after reading many so-so reviews & even negative reviews here. But, I figured it had to be better than Hollywood & Vine. We ate at H & V last year for our FDP, and it was just horrible. And, admittedly, we could have been there on a bad night; every restaurant has an "off" night. However, out of all the places we tried last year, DH said "never again" to H & V - so Mama Melrose's it was since we didn't want to use 2 TS credits for Hollywood Brown Derby.

    Our ADR time was for 6:20 pm (I wanted to give us plenty of time to get there after the 5:30 pm parade), and we checked in around 6-ish & were seated within 5 minutes. In fact, right after we checked in, a CM came to take us to our table while DH & DS were in the restroom. (DH had done some pre-planning & had decided to take DS to the restroom before we were in the middle of our meal. DD & I went after the meal - so, yeah for us! No mid-meal bathroom breaks!)

    The restaurant's interior is very cozy & dark w/o being too close & too dark, if that makes sense. There's plenty of room between tables. And the decor is interesting & unique too - very Italian/old Hollywood/movie-ish. Overall, cool & relaxing. We had a very attentive server who very nicely let me keep my Mama Melrose's FDP menu which, of course, I can't "wow" ya'll w/ any more! (See my previous post.) :teeth:

    For drinks, I got unsweetened ice tea. (I may be from the south, but I only drink my tea unsweetened.) DH & the kids got cokes.

    The bread was warm & crusty, and the dipping sauces - 2 different kinds of pesto w/ E.V.O.O. (as Rachel Ray would say, "extra virgin olive oil" for everyone else who doesn't watch her show) - were yummy. One sauce was kind of a marinara-y sauce (it was red), and the other sauce was more pesto-y (it was green). And, since I'm not a chef or a "foody" (remember I get more hung up on the atmosphere of a restaurant than the food specifics) I can't tell you what herbs & spices were in the sauces. But they were good.

    As part of the FDP, we shared a family-style "Field Green Salad" which was tossed w/ balsamic vinaigrette & gorgonzola crumbles. (I thought it was bleu cheese but the menu says "gorgonzola" crumbles, and maybe they're the same thing & I'm just showing my ignorance, but whatever...) I loved the salad dressing but didn't like the "gorgonzola crumbles" - but I really don't like crumbly cheeses like bleu cheese anyway. The salad, w/ the exception of the cheese, was very yummy! Very fresh. As DH said, it's hard to keep field greens tasting fresh, and this salad was very fresh, "springy", & tender - not wilted & tough. I adore Italian salads w/ vinaigrette dressings. DH also loved the salad (& the "gorgonzola" crumbs). The kids contented themselves w/ the bread.

    As an appetizer, w/ the FDP, we got to choose one wood-fired flat bread to share. We chose the grilled chicken w/ sun-dried tomato pesto, pancetta, asaigo cheese, & fresh chives - except we ordered it w/o the chives because the kids & I don't like chives. It was really good, but I was trying to save room for my entree, so I didn't eat much. (Plus, if I'm not careful, pizza cheeses will give me a migraine headache, and, since I had already eaten pizza at lunch, I was trying to avoid a headache - alas, it didn't work, but that's another story...) The kids both ate some of the flatbread (after we told them that "flatbread" was really "pizza), and they both liked it - which was a little surprising because normally they wouldn't like "weird" pizza - meaning pizza w/ things like chicken. Ah... the magic of Disney! One more thing to say about the flatbread, the chicken was very good. I don't like chicken that has lots of "fatty" pieces in it, and this didn't. The tomato base was good too - sweet w/o being too acidic-tasting.

    Anyway, for their entrees, the kids ordered pipette pasta (sea shells pasta) w/ the meat sauce on the side. Sometimes, DD will eat the meat sauce & sometimes not, so I didn't want to ruin the whole dish for her if she wasn't going to like the sauce. Plus, ordering the sauce on the side is not as messy - sometimes. DS gobbled every bit of his pasta down - and it's quite a lot of pasta for a 4-year-old little boy. (The pasta comes in a bowl, and it's a large serving.) DD picked at hers. Again, w/ the lunch-dinner thing going on between the two of them.

    For our entrees, DH & I both ordered the charred butcher tender steak on roasted red pepper polenta w/ grilled asparagus w/ gorgonzola butter & red wine reduction. We were going to order 2 different entrees, so we could try 2 different things. But we didn't. I had planned to try the Penne Alla Vodka that everyone raves about, but I decided I needed protein to try to head off the migraine that I was sure I was going to get from the cheese pizza at lunch. Anyway, I ordered my steak medium-well. (Sorry, to all you "foodies", I just can't eat meat that's too rare. But you'll be happy to note that "medium-well" is an improvement - I used to order everything "well done".) And it was cooked perfectly - which is unusual for a butcher steak since it's a thicker cut of meat. It was tender & didn't have a lot of "stringy-fatty" pieces in it which frustrate me. I did not like the roasted red pepper polenta & didn't taste any roasted red peppers in it all - which I love. But that's just me, DH liked the polenta. The asparagus was good - prettily green & tender w/ a little "snap" to it. I don't know if that's how it's supposed to taste or not. See, after years of being a picky eater, I'm trying to expand my horizons & try new things - moving beyond the "The only green vegetables I eat are green beans & lettuce". I've been inspired by the Food Network Channel. NOT inspired to cook, mind you - just inspired to eat more gorgeous-looking food. While the Food Network Channel inspires some people to cook, it just makes me want to go out to eat. :thumbsup2 So, anyway, I ate the asparagus. Go, me! :cool1: And it wasn't bad. While I didn't like the gorgonzola crumbles on the salad, the gorgonzola butter sauce was good - which just goes to show you that sometimes a food's "texture" is as important as its "taste" - well, at least to me it is. Oh, and the red wine reduction sauce - you could definitely taste the red wine which was a huge plus to me! :teeth: And it made the steak extremely tender. (As a rule, we don't drink, so I take it where I can get it. More on the margaritas in Mexico in Epcot later!) So, all in all, we were very happy w/ our selections.

    On to the best part - dessert! The kids had Italian ice cream - vanilla, not chocolate. Because they were drinking cokes, and I'm not a complete idiot. And they enjoyed their ice cream. It was very creamy - creamier than American ice cream.

    DH & I both had the tiramisu. The dessert menu looked fabulous, and I had a dreadfully hard time choosing. In the end, I went w/ tiramisu, because that's what I was most looking forward to when I had planned our Mama Melrose's ADR. And the tiramisu was delicious! I love desserts that have a bit of coffee flavor - couple coffee w/ chocolate, and you have perfection. What else can I say? The ladyfingers were spongy & not so soaked w/ liqueor that they were soggy but soaked enough that you could taste the bite of the liqueor (again, I'll take it where I can get it!). The filling was light & refreshing, and I was completely happy. (I have a pic of the tiramisu, but, since I don't have a pic of everything else...)

    Our server was quick & efficient. We never felt rushed, but she kept our drinks filled & there was never "lag" time between courses. Honestly, w/ kids, you really don't want a lengthy meal, and, when at Disney, I don't want the meal to last so long that I miss out on park time. Our dinner at Mama Melrose's was just perfect - relaxing & refreshing, but, when we were done, we still had enough time to ride "The Great Movie Ride" before finding our seats for Fantasmic.

    One other "FYI" for those w/ kids - not every restaurant does this, but Mama Melrose's had coloring pages/menu & crayons for the kids.

    In summary, we were extremely pleased w/ our dinner at Mama Melrose's. In fact, DH said it was his favorite restaurant of our trip. We'll definitely be back.

    Atmosphere: Excellent
    Food: Excellent (even the asparagus!)
    Service: Excellent
    Overall Rating: ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo ::MickeyMo (out of 5 ::MickeyMo )

    Stay tuned for Day 3 - Crystal Palace & Columbia Harbour House!
  15. Cupmom

    Cupmom DIS Veteran

    Mar 14, 2003
    Thanks so much for the MM's review. I have a ADR booked for Aug. with the FDP and was worried about the limited menu. I'm glad to hear that it was great!
  16. Snoopygirl

    Snoopygirl DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2005
    Great reviews!!! Can't wait to hear more. Glad you had a great trip!
  17. TikiGoddess

    TikiGoddess DIS Veteran

    Aug 26, 2005
    Loving the reviews! Sounds like y'all had a delicious time! Can't wait for the rest. I can actually hear the TN accent. Can you hear the Oklahoma? :goodvibes I look forward to the rest. Did you think the Fantasmic pkg. was worth it?
  18. swankybeth

    swankybeth <font color=teal>Loves bubble tea!<br><font color=

    Aug 1, 2000
    Great reviews, I love all of the detail. Looking forward to more, more more! :sunny:
  19. *~ellagirlsmama~*

    *~ellagirlsmama~* Mouseketeer

    Jul 1, 2006
    I am loving your reviews! Keep them coming please! :goodvibes
  20. dizfam4

    dizfam4 Mouseketeer

    Jun 16, 2006
    I love your reviews. You are a great writer. I love your humor too. Loved the Mama Melrose FDP review. I just switched from H&V to MM for this August. I am confident that this was a good trade. :sunny:

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