Sabotage de la Diet: June 17-23 UPDATED Rice Cream and Our Holy Mother 7/1

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by NormanMaine, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. NormanMaine

    NormanMaine Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2010
    Attention! I have discontinued my report. BUT, you can find it intact and continuing over on the Trip Report board, where I think it's a better fit.

    Sabotage de la Diet: The Not Just Food TR 6/17-6/23


    Two twentysomething guys back from the world. Reports rolling in!

    Pre-Dinner: Sassagoula Floatworks Factory
    Dinner: Jiko / Ghiardelli

    Lunch: Pecos Bill's (changed to Liberty Tree Tavern)
    Dinner: Artist Point (changed to Pecos Bill's)

    Lunch: Le Cellier
    Dinner: La Cava de Tequila/Kringla Bakeri

    Lunch: Tusker House
    Dinner: Hollywood Brown Derby (Replaced with Pizza Planet)

    Monday (My birthday!)
    Breakfast: Crystal Palace (with pics)
    Snack: Kringla Bakeri of Cafe (Rice Cream)
    Dinner: California Grill

    Lunch: The Three Broomsticks (God willing)
    Dinner: Kona Cafe

    A few last fake beignets before it's off to MCO. :(
  2. disneyfav4ever

    disneyfav4ever No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep

    Mar 19, 2005
    Sounds like you're eating at some good places.
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  4. athenna

    athenna DIS Veteran<br><br><font color ="blue">I've been w

    Dec 18, 2004
    I love the title:lmao:

    Got a few good places on your list! I'm in!:thumbsup2
  5. NormanMaine

    NormanMaine Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2010
    Thanks. :rotfl: Of course, I may be sabotaging the diet after the trip is over. Disney treats will travel. And no matter how much I used to buy the chocolate covered Mickey pretzels from the Disney Store, they never tasted the same as those bought at WDW. And we're talking about the same packaging and everything.
  6. NormanMaine

    NormanMaine Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2010
    We're back!

    Just to note, there are no photos... so kindly move to the dead center of the next post if photos are your thing. They're my thing. Maybe I'd move too. But as it is, there are no photos. So photos or not, here we go. Photos schmotos. Damn, why didn't I take photos. Bah.

    Day 1 - Lunch/Pre-Theater... oh where is my head... Pre-Dinner Snack/Whatever

    After checking into the French Quarter (a surprise, I might add, to my SO. I had told him we'd booked Pop Century) which was gorgeous as always, we... oh side note: I haven't been back since '02, so the old-to-many-of-you renovations were met on virgin eyes. Love 'em. But to the food. The food! This is the dining board, after all. No bad dancing. Just eating.

    We arrived at 3 pm and since our dinner reservation wasn't until 6 -- and neither one of us had eaten anything of sustenance that morning/noon -- I thought we might meander over to Sassagoula. Isn't that a great word? Sassagoooooooooula. Or you could say it with an Eastern European accent and really "goulash" that last syllable. I studied music. Language excites me. Moving on.

    Since my SO had introduced me to my first authentic beignet at New Orlean's famed Cafe du Monde, I thought i'd return the favor by introducing him to the "aw, isn't that cute" Disney version. I.e., sopapilla. Good thing for him that he lives in Texas. He's familiar with the sopapilla and loves them. I didn't enjoy these babies as much as my first two visits pre-New Orleansification, but at least we got the requisite powdered sugar all over us. That's a beignet classic.

    Getting them was an ordeal though. My stars! We put in our order to the pimply-faced, squeaky, but kind-hearted teenager for 6 beignets, and went to grab our drinks. SMARTWATER! When did this get to Disney? Brava. Dasani is only merely eency weency, like, minutely better than Florida's toxic faucet concoction. So Smartwater's expensive... at least it's digestible. Sigh. Love it. Anyway, we grabbed our waters and mosied (great word) back over. And waited. And waited. Going on twenty minutes. Maybe we shouldn't eat, spoil our dinner. We find out from the similarly disgruntled kid in front of us that the lady who ordered before we got there was getting 8 sets of 6 beignets. That's FORTY-EIGHT for those of you (like me) who failed math. Do you know how long that takes? And not one word of caution/warning from the pimply-faced, squeaky, but kind-hearted teenager when we placed our order? And what of the poor little kid waiting patiently for his 3 beignets? BAH, I say.

    So, against SO's very understanding Southern upbringing (he was raised in Louisiana), I took my Yankee self up to the counter and said "Ten more minutes makes a half hour. What's going on?" Pimply faced, squeaky but well meaning Sassagooooooula employee panicked and said "We're finishing her order." Well, I don't mean to be intimidating, sometimes I am, though... because less than 2 minutes later, we had our beignets.

    I try to be virtuous and kind. I fail.

    So, beignets in hand. (Kid received his next, btw, as original MAMMOTH ORDERING LADY waited for her special order. I mean, really, that's a bulk order. That's like those crazies going up to the cookie and hot cocoa counters at Mickey's Not So Scary Christmas Party and asking to receive 12 cookies and cocoas for their parties saving four tables at the Noodle Station Veranda-whatchamacallit).

    Sugary, tasty, fried. We were off to explore the hotel in a RAINSTORM. Welcome to Florida. Dinner in the next update.
  7. lblume91

    lblume91 It's magic wrapped up in pixie dust!

    Sep 25, 2009
    :rotfl2: I love it!! Way to take charge! I can't wait to read the rest of your reviews. I like you already!! ;)
  8. scanne

    scanne <font color=blue>OK, I must have really small ears

    May 13, 2000
    Great start! With your humor and writing style, who needs pictures?! LOL! I am hooked! Bring on the rest!
  9. jakenjess

    jakenjess DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2005
    Fabulous!! Can't wait for more!
  10. hopeforus

    hopeforus Mouseketeer

    May 4, 2009
    I am trying to decide between some of these and can't wait for your take. Artist's Point looks great, but I am torn iwth California Grill. Waiting....
  11. NormanMaine

    NormanMaine Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2010
    Thanks for all of the sweet comments! :love:

    To hopeforus: Based on all of my trips to both restaurants, I'd say it all boils down to soup vs. polenta, really. Oh and sushi. But really, soup vs. polenta. If Smokey Portobello Soup is your thing, then by all means choose Artist Point. But I swear, if heaven is a dish -- unless you're a vegetarian -- the Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Goat Cheese Polenta would be it. And Miss Yoshi's sushi as an appetizer? Lord save me. But I'll get to that later.

    There are other points betwixt the cuisine at the Haus of the Five Legged Goat vs. that of the Wilderness Lodge. I find the service at the former to trump that of the latter by a landslide. A screaming your head off reaching for homeplate landslide. I promise I'll cover more of this later. Promise. To take your hand, as tomorrow dawns. We go on. Anyone ever notice how those songs flow into one another? Kinda like Gloria Estefan's ballad collection. It's all the same song. But what wonderful deviated septum music she makes.

    Back to the food, yes?

    Day 1 - Dinner

    After the great Beignet Massacre of 2010, where poor rounds of dough were fried and sugared, only to be left waiting in boxes... as nearly fifty of their brother and sister beignets piled up around them, cold and listless. To quote James Cameron's most recent not-3D epic, "They were waiting for a resolution that would never come." I mean, who in their right mind would eat a 45-minute old beignet? The lady who ordered them had chutzpah all right. Impractical, but chutzpatic all the same.

    So. Oh! Did I mention we had groceries delivered? That's food, so it applies. Yes, more importantly, water. Bottled water for making the morning coffee. Because, as stated earlier, Florida water = :eek: I threw in some Apple Bran muffins for the SO, as they are his favorite, and a few essentials like half and half (a precious commodity in a sea of Nestle Non-Dairy Powder packets and pumpy liquid from chemical plants in Taiwan.) It was my first time using Garden Grocer, and their customer service is nightastic. Fantasmic. Expelliarmus. Oh for heaven's sake. It's just good. And the FABULOUS Bell Services guys at the French Quarter are to be commended. Absolute dolls, and kindly kept our refrigerated items cool for us until we arrived. Our delivery arrived a little while before we arrived (because of course, Magical Express had to stop at those gargantuan resorts Saratoga Springs and Old Key West. Both resorts have doublehandedly terminated any urge to ever join the DVC fiesta. It took 45 minutes to get from the road to the darned bus stop. But I embellish. Heck, if we'd had to continue on to Riverside, we may as well have taken and completed a course in Portuguese right there on the bus.)

    But back to the food. OH wait. We left a few bucks and a little thank you note for Bell Services on the munchkin fridge before we left for dinner. Do you know they wrote "Thank you" and a drew a heart right below our note? Precious! And totally won over SO. Go Garden Grocer. Go Bell Services. :goodvibes

    Somewhere after the Beignets, Groceries, a rainy tour of French Quarter/Riverside, and a stop through the afterthought of a store that is Jackson Square (though I do like the Mardi Gras masks!), we looked at our options. Take a bus to Animal Kingdom and transfer to the lodge or take a taxi to spend a little time at the hotel before dinner. The latter won out. A fabulous lady (all the cast members this trip were fabulous) called for our cab and wondered what in the heck SO was wearing. At check-in, we were given two pins.. Since my birthday landed smack dab in the middle of the trip, mine was pretty straightfoward: Happy Birthday (with a little mouseear picture he drew in). But for SO, the trip was recognizing his recent college graduation. His pin said "Paying off my college loans". Everyone from bus boys to Snow White (yes, Snow White) and nearly every character we met...who wasn't mute...asked what it meant. Had he paid the loans already, or was he going to? It was a cute inscription, and it gave the SO conversation opportunities. Especially with Lady Tremaine and the Stepsisters. This isn't about food. Back to the cab.

    Cab arrives, off to the glorious glamorous Animal Kingdom Lod - EW! Jambo House? What kind of messed up pixie dust is this? I know, I can play the "but many of my closest friends are DVC members", but I ask you, was this really necessary? My first time back since the changeover, and ew. Just, ew. And now there's an added bus stop. Isn't AKL far enough away without adding something else to delay them? I don't know about you, but the Deluxes, DVCs and heck, 75% of the Moderates have CRAZY bus stop numbers or share with other resorts. Moderates aside, thanks for the $400 a night, now get in line!

    So there are four wondrous Disney smells that keep bringing me back. The first is the water of Pirates of the Caribbean (which can also be experienced over at the Mexico Pavilion). The water I so abhor to imbibe does have it perks in the olfactory. I mean, Disney water ride smell? Check.

    Burning of Rome in Spaceship Earth, otherwise known as the Disney Soup smell? Smokey Portobello Soup or Canadian Cheddar Cheese. That's the scent.

    The nasty Monorail cushion smell. Sure it isn't a pleasant thing, per se. But it's memorable, nostalgic, and unmistakable.

    Then, there is the smell of walking into the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Roasted animal. A strange dichotomy, what with the Disney Conservation Wildlife Express or what have you. But for years, I mistook that smell for heavily seasoned, exotic game. I was wrong! I have corrected this calculation in recent years and discovered that it isn't animal at all. It's butter. The delectable bread and butter served at the beginning of every meal at the Lodge's signature restaurant, Jiko: The Eating Place. I could be mistaken, but the flavors match that smell. A very subdued and clean cumin/cardamom/coriander, "tandoori"-like mixture. The most delicately fragrant mix. Not at all heavy or lingering. The bread, light as a feather. The modern plates and silverware and the Jiko-emblazoned napkins are a gorgeous way to start one's Disney trip.

    I'm bad with names, so I can't remember any server's name from any restaurant. But I can remember character, so that'll have to suffice. I told the CM who checked us in that I was sorry we were ridiculously early (which we were, those faux-beignets didn't bring us very far) and she kept walking through and saying "Is your dinner ridiculously wonderful?" :laughing: At the end of the night she even told us to have a ridculously great night. The SO got a card from the cast of the restaurant to celebrate his graduation. He loved it. And this was his first trip. Everything about Jiko won him over, but the card, with all the South African CMs giving him good wishes and congratulations, was a lovely gesture. Disney just does it right, y'know?

    Our server was extremely energetic and wonderful. He was very involved at the outset of the meal, and quietly left us to ourselves once our food service began. The SO had Iced Tea (I know, it's water...but he's not afraid of Florida water), and I had a South African Hard Cider. It was a little too sweet for me (hey, it is Cider), but I ended up enjoying it. I usually have a glass of wine from their extensive collection, but I didn't get around to it. I wish I had, because I would sure love a glass tonight! Goats Do Roam still makes me laugh.

    For our appetizers, the SO had the Florida Salad, which he immediately dubbed the best salad he's ever tasted. Peaches, some kind of walnut chunky brittle and :: checks the internet :: Okay, it's called the Florida Seasonal Salad, peaches, walnut brittle, and humboldt fog cheese. I recall it being a goat cheese, I guess that's what it is. That combination was wow. I highly recommend being seasonally peachy when you visit. I wasn't so successful with my choice. The Cucumber, Tomato, and Red Onion salad with cottage cheese and watermelon vinaigrette looked much better on paper. The flavor wasn't complex, it was like eating sashimi in a watermelon water broth. I guess cottage cheese, cucumber, tomato and watermelon vinaigrette should hae been my first clue. A noble effort, beautifully composed on the plate, but just...:confused3 So, the SO kindly let me sample ample morsels of Peachy Florida.

    Boom boom chakalakalaka boom. I was THIS close to getting the chakalaka. I just wanted to say that I had actually eaten Chakalaka. The SO was innundated by my chakalaka joke that got old faster than Ke$ha. But then our server came by and pointed out the Maize-crusted halibut and said that he thought I would like it. I'm easily persuaded. I once went to a Red Lobster with a friend the day it opened in Times Square. Oh yeah. Three hour wait. Why? Because Red Lobster was such an ooh aah thing in Manhattan. Hell in most of New York City. You see the commercials on TV and it's like, "but why can't I ever go?!" Sonic, Red Robin? Who knows from them? Long John Silvers? What's that? So, we waited. Got in. The server said "You should try the Rockzilla." We said sure! Three giant lobster tails rolled around a skewer, dry and flavorless. $40. And we were sitting right next to the window where scores of tourists and New Yorkers alike were queueing up. With our giant lobster tail skewers and Lobsteritas (which she had also recommended). Suffice it to say, future Red Lobster trips around the country have not involved either. For the record, Lobsteritas don't contain lobster. Can you imagine? It's more ew than the bus stops at Sasparilla Springs.

    Back to Jiko. I get the Maize-Crusted Halibut with Jiko's tried and true pink butter sauce. I've had it with all sorts of fish before, monkfish being my favorite. This was flaky and deliciosa. I recommended the Short Ribs for the SO as he is more of a steak and taters guy. He proved me wrong this trip, he seems to be branching out a bit... I love introducing different flavors and cuisines. I definitely saw Disney through new eyes on this trip. Anyway, he kept taking bites of the Short Ribs and pausing to imitate Peter Boyle from Young Frankenstein. Closed eyes, savoring. Golly gee, this place was a winner. Phew! I always get nervous when I book restaurants by myself, because I hope they'll work out! Oh, and the potato gratin stack thingy was majorly thumbs uppy.

    Jiko: The Eating Place and California Grill happen to be my two favorite resort restaurants. But what do they both have in common? Subpar desserts. I have never enjoyed any of my desserts from either place, which is a puzzlement. Desserts at the latter are way too sweet and syrupy with too many components. If it were Top Chef, Colicchio would tell 'em there were too many notes. And Jiko tries too hard. So, we both passed on dessert. Nothing looked appetizing to the SO. No cheese plate either, though I have had the Jiko cheese plate and it is divine. Manchego, how could you go wrong?

    Oh! And can I just say that every time we told a CM that we were not on the dining plan, they smiled and "phew"ed. Makes me question the impact it has on them.

    We explored the hotel a bit more, sat with our feet up at Jogun's fire pit, and looked at the giant orange blue I-don't-know-what-it-is sculpture across from it in the lobby. We've dubbed it the Malawi Maiden. Madonna walks into it to absorb the souls of African children on her visits to the lodge. We're sick. :rolleyes1

    Considering the night was still young, we decided to hop on over to Downtown Disney. Via bus. Sangali House, what's it called? Nahtazu House? Whatever that other place is, we had to stop there first. Bah. I mentioned that before, but a direct bus is a precious Disney commodity. After browsing a few shops -- I'd go into detail, but this is a dining review -- we joined the crowd of lemmings at Ghiardelli's. There are what, six registers? Everyone crowds into one space, so I grabbed SO's hand and zoomed past an understandably irate family who were waiting at the first register. Well, dang, the dude at the second register kept calling them, and they wouldn't listen.

    I hope they weren't ordering beignets.

    Karma is a beach.

    I ordered a simple hot fudge sundae, the SO ordered a chocolate milkshake. I loved my sundae, but I desired that milkshake. I wish I had ordered it instead of my sundae. I recommend the shakes here folks. We had to sit outside because all of the other tables were crowded. The rain had subsided, and it was drippingly humid, but the ice cream made for a comfortable outdoor respite.
  12. NormanMaine

    NormanMaine Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2010
    My apologies to the DVC Saratoga and Animal Kingdom Lodge members. I got especially cranky that day... mea culpa. :worship:
  13. bluejasmine

    bluejasmine DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
    LOL I love it! What a different take on food reviews but its a refreshing change! Bravo! Looking fwd to more!
  14. k&a&c'smom

    k&a&c'smom DIS Veteran

    May 29, 2002
    LOL! Thanks for the reviews, they are very entertaining!:goodvibes Can't wait for the rest.
  15. ohanaMAMA

    ohanaMAMA DIS Veteran

    Feb 4, 2003
    loving your reviews! As I am resigned to a week of DIAL UP (which is akin to having to drink Florida water) whilst waiting for the cable guy to get his slow butt here. the non-photo status of your review is delightful! :)

    I cant convince dh that jiko would REALLY be ok for his nonadventurous totally boring pallete. SIGH. Sounded good though!
  16. NormanMaine

    NormanMaine Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2010
    Thanks again for the comments!

    OhanaMAMA: If my SO could conquer Jiko, anyone could. Truly. And when he hates something, he lets you know. In the most veiled way possible, but he lets you know. Eventually. With guilt. But I'll get to that later.

    DAY 2

    Before moving on to the second day of our gustatory adventures at the Walt Disney Resort, I should remind you that I am on perpetual sugar cookie lookout. Every step of the way, I'm in a crows nest of my own design... searching, seeking, hoping to spot a Disney sugar cookie. Now these cookies have been supplemented over the years. At one time, at least in the last ten years, they came in one form, and one form alone. Flat, round and chewy. They're still chewy, but now they come with two-tone mickey sprinkles or dusted with large sugar crystals. The snickerdoodle variation has also been added to the mix. Then, there arrived those giant globs of goodness which I have dubbed the Cookie Dough Cookies. Redundant, but an apt description. You know to what I refer; those domed, chewy on the outside, raw on the inside cookie creations?

    Before leaving Downtown Disney the night of Day 1, I spotted my first sugar Cookie Dough Cookies sitting, gorgeously, in the bakery/fudge counter cases at Goofy's Kitchen or whatever. Should I get one now? Not after that hot fudge sundae from Ghiardelli's. And bringing it home wouldn't be fresh. Oh but there are the packaged ones hanging in the candy section. White chocolate raspberry? Blecch. No sugar cookies here. Okay, well, I'll just have to get them later.

    DAY 2 - For real, this time, I swear on the Wicked Queen's whiskers.

    At the Magic Kingdom, I had originally planned to do lunch at Pecos Bill's (I was trying to hold back on doing table service establishments all day long for both the wallet and the appetite. Sabotaging a diet is one thing, but forcing a large meal is another), and dinner at, oh where was it...::checks itinerary:: Artist Point. It would have been lovely to take the boat over to the other Lodge on property and have some of that there portobello soup and cedar plank salmon. But alas, this was not to be. Once we gauged the crowds that morning - even having been there at rope drop - we decided to shelf Artist Point and spend more time in the park. So what now. We switched Pecos Bill's for dinner and snagged a 1:00 lunch reservation for Liberty Tree Tavern.

    I didn't really have any strong desire to go to Liberty Tree Tavern, but as Kona Cafe didn't appeal to the SO (imagine that, he gets scared of anything Asian despite my reassurance that the restaurant was fusion southeast asian american), and I'd read nothing but blargh about The Wave (it doesn't look too appealing to me, sadly), we went with Liberty Tree. Maybe Tony's has resurrected itself since my last dreadful visit. The Plaza was great for me as a kid, but doesn't hold the same charm it once did. And as for Crystal Palace? I was saving that for my birthday breakfast a few days from then.

    Our server was a young 20something girl with an almost Wednesday Addams approach to her work. Deadpanned, with a twinkle in her eye. I chalked it up to the SO as being her proximity to the Haunted Mansion. We too are rather strange and unusual, so she complemented us perfectly. She didn't even bat an eyelid when she brought out our Tinkerbell drinks. Yep, we both sprang for the souvenir cups with the little clip-on light-up Tinkerbells. We proceeded to wear these on the collars of our shirts each night of the trip, and ended up fielding I don't know, 40 or 50 people total asking us where we got them. If Disney sold these clip-on tinkerbells before Illuminations, the Main Street Electrical Parade or Fantasmic, they'd make a killing.

    "Here are your tinkerbells", Wednesday Addams of the Liberty Tree Tavern, off of Haunted Mansion Way said as she lowered them to the table.

    "Do you still have those delicious rolls and honeybutter?", I asked.

    "I have to warm them first."

    "That would be great."

    I can't quite explain how cool she was, and yet, how interstellar. She was from the Planet Zorb. Never did anything wrong, was very helpful. In fact, when I ordered a salad for an appetizer and the Crab Cakes for my entree she said, "I like salad a lot. But your entree comes with salad. Lettuce can be kinda boring." Yes it can. And she was right! I ended up getting the Beef Stew for an appetizer (which was delicious, and perfect for the rainy weather outside).

    So the food. The SO got the Tri-Wizard Sandwich and I don't remember what came on it. With potato chips, or fries, or something. He loved it. And I had the Crab Cakes which looked like giant biscuits. I didn't put much stock in expecting greatness. But they were one of my favorite dishes of the ENTIRE TRIP. I don't remember what kind of vinaigrette they used on the accompanying greens, but it reminded me of the champagne vinaigrette they used to serve at Cinderella's Royal Table back before the Princess Invasion. If it even was champagne. Not in a "dry" park. But it is the best dressing ever. So, crab cakes at Liberty Tree? Winner. So was the Tri-Corner Sandwich, because the SO loved it. I don't know what was in it, but it must be good.

    Oh, and the rolls and honey butter. More yays! A blast from the past that they only serve at dinner now, I guess. But relive the days of yore and request a few. That butter is just the bee's knees. Literally. First the butter at Jiko, and now at Liberty Tree Tavern. What is it with Disney and butter and soups? Oh, I know. It's salt. Must be the salt. No low-sodium Mary Poppins here.

    I love the attire at the Liberty Tree Tavern, but found it rather noticeable that the manager - who was very visible and engaged with guests at check-in - didn't dress anywhere near the era of Colonial America. A checkered shirt tucked into a pair of slacks doesn't cut it babe. Unless it's the lumberjack lady liberty lounge and I missed the memo.

    Moving on... since the night's Artist Point events had been cancelled, we strolled on into Pecos Bill's. I remember it being extremely late. We didn't want to eat before lining up for the Main Street Electrical Parade (Tinkerbell's float wasn't working, so the poor thing just overracted her way down Main Street, trying with all her might to electrify her float bulbs out of unconsciousness. I waved to her and blew her a kiss. She was my favorite performance of the night), and then the not-Fantasmic fireworks happened, followed by the requisite exodus. Since there would be another showing of the parade and the park was open until 3 am, we delayed dinner even further by going on a few more attractions. So, late late dinner that it was, we strolled into Pecos Bill's and got our cheese sauce on.

    We both ordered the Angus Burger special, though mine was nearly $2 more expensive and we couldn't figure out why. We both had bacon and an onion ring on our burger, so I must have been duped. Or there was some other distinction. In any event, we both got fries and took full advantage of the worst-kept secret in Disney food history: the fixin's bar! I love at Pecos Bill's that you get the taco fixin's in addition to the burger stuff. "Caution Hot Cheese". Three beautiful words. We both highly enjoyed our burgers, and I let the SO know that of all the burger places in Disney, you just can't beat Pecos Bill's. Soon he'll visit some of the others, but even my burger at Le Cellier a few years ago wasn't as fun as the ones here. Must be the cheese sauce.

    Sorry they took away those heavy, highbacked chairs. They used to act as soundproofing against shouting, temper tantrums and other noise within those echoed halls. Alas, now we have these footstools acting like chairs. No back support, and noise noise noise from all around. We even had to move. And like every restaurant we visited, the topic of loud conversation surrounding us had to do with the Disney Dining Plan. What counted as a snack, what counted as a dessert, did you ask for a receipt to show how we were stiffed, and the list goes on. God I miss when the most that happened at a counter service restaurant was a feud over what the next ride would be.
  17. NormanMaine

    NormanMaine Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2010
    Day 3 - Lunch

    We had a breakfast of Apple Bran Muffins back in our room at the splendiferously charming French Quarter, and then headed off to MGM. That's right, MGM. I called it that since I was a wee lad and ain't nothing gonna change. Besides, it gives me pause to remember the pre-Big *** Hat days.

    After our morning rush of Toy Story Mania and assorted pleasantries, we made haste to meet our lunch reservation over at Epcot. I had planned on walking, but we wouldn't have made it in time. As for that boat? A) You can walk faster, and B) There's what, 4 stops? LOL.

    Le Cellier. Like everything on the trip, it would be a first for the SO. Do y'all (he's from Texas so I'm an honorary y'aller) remember when this place was a walk-in? I do. Everyone always booked up San Angel Inn, Rose and Crown, Alfredo di Roma and Coral Reef, but Le Cellier was always this cozy and cool hidden gem. Remember Mo? He was my server nearly every visit, and he might still work there, but I haven't seen him in years. Sometime in the mid-00's during the internet and ADR explosion, Le Cellier became this sensation. Then there was the predictable backlash, and eventual backlash to the backlash. Now, this quiet little restaurant that never expected to be such a phenomenon is held up to such unfathomable expectation, it's no wonder people are so divided.

    Remember when people weren't divided? It was just... another place to eat? Albeit, one with the most heavenly soup on Earth?

    That's how I treat it, and that's how it was this time. Our server - again, her name escapes me - was bubbly and lovely. I opted for the prix fixe menu, seeing as none of the other entrees caught my eye.


    To our right was the most obnoxious thing EVER to happen in America. The loudest lady ever. You know Le Cellier's table proximity. You either get lucky... with quiet neighbors. Or charming neighbors (like those to our left on this particular visit). Or you get stuck with the group from hell (those to our right). I felt sorry for the two ladies accompanying someone I can only say was a mix between Ethel Merman and Ursula. With two pin lanyards and a cell phone that managed to ring despite... okay, moving on. Anyway, we could barely hear one another, and we formed somewhat of a camaraderie with our neighbors to our left. They shared our death sentence.
    Why I didn't ask to be moved is beyond me. I should have. Because it managed to ruin an otherwise glorious-as-usual lunch.



    Our breadsticks arrived, with the multigrain and pretzel being my lifelong favs. The SO preferred the sourdough so it all worked out. I ordered the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup - what else? - and the Sirloin Tips Salad thingy. The SO got a Croque Madame that wasn't a Croque Madame. It had salmon in it. I told him I had never seen it before on the menu, and couldn't vouch for it. He also ordered the soup. The soup was velvety, thick and smoky as ever. With the pretzel bread, I was almost too stuffed for my entree. As was the SO, who did an "mmm" sound after every taste. He looked up at one point and said "now I understand". I should remember next time to just do the soup, breadsticks and a dessert. The Steak Salad/whatever was lovely, and SO ended up liking his not-Croque Madame. It wasn't anything extraordinary, but a perfectly serviceable lunch. For dessert we both ordered the Maple Creme Brulees. I've had creme brulees the world over, and this one is my second favorite (right after the one served at Les Halles in NYC). I don't find any of the flavors overwhelming. The SO however thought it tasted like a McGriddle, too sweet and sticky. Oh well.


    I didn't order my usual post-meal glass of Ice Wine because I wanted to get the heck out of dodge. Whomever she was, I feel for her travel companions. I think I may even have caught a glimpse of longing out of the corner of my eye. A cry for help. "Save us, for our friend knows not how she squawks."

    Back out into the sunlight.
  18. kayrosek

    kayrosek DIS Veteran

    Nov 14, 2009
    Wonderful reviews. I can't wait to read more.
  19. scanne

    scanne <font color=blue>OK, I must have really small ears

    May 13, 2000
    Loving your report so far!

    Ursula + Ethel Merman = :rotfl2::rotfl::rotfl2:

    I'd love to hear more about that part of the trip - perhaps a trip report is in order fair sir?

    Thanks for the great reading!!!
  20. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

    Aug 12, 2003
    I'm really enjoying your dining report! I read this and thought of MY very favorite creme brulee in all the world: the pistachio one at La Bergamote, the little french cafe on the corner of 9th and...20th? (maybe 19th). If you love creme brulee and you can tolerate pistachios, you MUST try it. Nirvana!

    Thanks for taking the time to do your reviews.
  21. gardengirl628

    gardengirl628 Help, help, a Herrible Hoffalump!

    Jan 25, 2009
    Count me in! Your reviews are hysterical....not missing the pictures at all!

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