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Disney World Dining Review

Just returned from 4 days in Disney World, gleaned a lot of great advice from the boards prior to my trip, thought I'd share a few observations.

We had limited time to book reservations prior to our trip, as it was for a conference at the last minute. Also, my husband is vegetarian, so that always throws us a few curveballs.

The first night we wanted something easy and quick and went to Paradiso 37. I had a delicious citrus salad that was definitely the highlight. Liked the wide range of menu options and service was good, prices were reasonable. Nothing notable except the salad, really.

We had reservations at Sanaa at the Kidani Villas the following evening. We shared the bread sampler and salad sampler, choices of three types of breads, three types of dipping sauces and three salads, and these were all excellent, especially a chickpea, cucumber and tomato salad and the mango chutney with paneer paritha and naan. I ordered the Tandoori Chicken with multi grain pilaf and kind of oddly, the sauce came on the side for dipping (a kind of Disneyfication I assume?) My husband thought his entree could have used a flavor boost, but overall we were pleased with our meal here. It would be fun to see more of the animals during the day for lunch. Prices were very reasonable. Nice to half 1/2 carafes of wine.

I had planned for us to go to Raglan Road the next evening, but we were taken to Portobello by the boss. Definitely nothing to write home about here and VERY expensive for the quality, although if you expect to pay for large portions, than this is justified, I suppose. I did not need nearly as much pasta as was in my bowl! Roasted garlic with bread was nice. I was not expecting anything amazing here.

Thursday we went to Restaurant Marrakesh in Morrocco at Epcot. We shared two appetizers, a mediterranean salad plate with falafel, hummus, tabouleh and babbaganoush and goat cheese and crispy pitas. The falafel was excellent, as was the Morroccan beer and belly dancer! We also shared an entree of roasted vegetables with coucous that could have been seasoned much better, but I suspect is another example of Disneyfication. Fun atmosphere and an enjoyable dinner. Somewhat spendy if you don't share an entree!

An absolute must not miss, in my opinion, was Jiko. This was our final dinner and everything was fabulous. We enjoyed African beers, the Crispy Savannah rolls with sweet corn and goat cheese were heavenly, as was the kalamata olive flatbread. The server offered a vegetarian menu to my husband after politely asking if either of us had food allergies or were vegan or vegetarian (wish more restaurants would do this!) . He chose a tofu dish not on the regular menu upon the recommendation of the server, which he thought was excellent, spicy and flavorful. My maize crusted wreck fish with tomato burre blanc was crispy, flaky and beautiful. We definitely would love to go back here. No room for dessert! The service was excellent and the atmosphere very fun at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Lunches were forgettable. As I was by myself during the day, I usually chose a salad or sandwich from counter service places such as Columbia Harbor House, Backlot Express, Pizzifari and the Patisserie in France. I was deeply saddened that we could not get into Le Cellier for the cheddar beer soup! We did not have the Disney Dining Plan, fyi. Frequently we were allowed to be seated earlier than our reservation, which was very nice.

Thanks for all the recommendations!

Feb 14, 2010
downtownbrown in Florida

Maui Restaurant Help for November '09 Visit

We did the Teralani Sunset Sail and it was really fun. They had a pretty decent appetizer spread, local beers on tap and lots of alcohol if you can stomach it on a boat.

I would also highly recommend the flatbread pizza place in Paia and the Feast at Lele.

Sep 24, 2009
downtownbrown in Hawaii

Lahaina Grill - is it all that?

For Maui, it's worth a visit. We had an excellent meal and the atmosphere and service was very nice. In the grand scheme of restaurants everywhere, no, imo.

Sep 24, 2009
downtownbrown in Hawaii

Maui Recap

I picked up one at our hotel and one on Front Street in Lahaina. A lot of the restaurants have them as you walk in the door as well. We had 50% off a bottle of wine at Umalu, $10 Lahaina Grill coupon and 50% off one entree with the purchase of another an I'O that I had to pass along since we didn't use.

Sep 19, 2009
downtownbrown in Hawaii

Maui Recap

Also, if you are headed to Maui, definitely pick up the "Menu" publication, as well as free "Edible Hawaii" magazine. We used lots of coupons.

Sep 18, 2009
downtownbrown in Hawaii

Maui Recap

Thanks for all the wonderful food suggestions for our trip to Maui last week! We didn't end up doing any farm tours, though definitely might look into Surfing Goat and O'o Farms for next time as we'd love to have eaten more tropical fruit and chevre!

I am very sad that we missed Hali'imaile General Store. It was at the top of my list for lunch one day, but I didn't know it was closed for lunch on weekends!! We drove up to an empty restaurant and were devastated. Definitely top of the list for next time.

In Paia we had some great meals at Fresh Mint, Milagros, Anthony's, Moana Cafe and of course the Flatbread Place. I think I just could have subsisted off of surfing goat chevre all week, in fact.

We had a very nice dinner at Lahaina Grill, though it was really quite spendy. I guess compared to other places in Lahaina you might spend almost the same amount for far worse food. We were very pleased with our dishes - I had the Mahi Mahi and we shared the Buffula Tomato Salad - but have spent similar amounts $$ at Babbo or at restaurants in Napa for far superior meals. For the location, it was definitely a standout.

Ono Gelato must not be missed on any visit! I had an incredible gelato flavor called Sandy Beach - coconut candy, sea salt and peanut butter. There is one in Paia we went to when we stayed there and were so happy to see they recently opened a shop in Lahaina, which we visited as well.

We had lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate, which I wasn't expecting to be spectacular, but it was cheap and the view was amazing. We had a couple lunches poolside at Umalu in our hotel which had a great guava barbeque sauce for their onion rings.

We went to Hula Grill for apps and drinks after a sunset cocktail sail. It was a really fun atmosphere and the food was decent.

One of our favorite meals was breakfast at Plantation House. What a VIEW! The menu was simple enough and breakfast was good - banana french toast, bloody marys, fresh pineapple, Guava Mimosas and their omlettes and eggs benedict looked good...the view was specactular.

We also enjoyed a pretty reasonable wait for brunch at The Gazebo, also a spectacular view and decent food for a great price.

Feast at Lele was definitely a highlight. My husband is vegetarian and they did separate vegetarian courses for him as well, which is the primary reason we chose this Lu'au, though it is also very highly recommended. My favorite dish was the Mahi Mahi and then Kalua pork. The bay scallops were also quite good and the tropical fruit salsa is definitely something I need the recipe for. The show was impressive, though the actual show portions were quite short, I felt. Very beautiful and fun to watch, but short compared to the wait times between portions of the show and the meals being served.The meal was very well paced (good for digestion between courses!). I think we would have liked more drink service than we got. Definitely speak up for more drinks rather than wait for them to ask! Drinks were quite good as well. The setting and show at sunset was incredible. Call early for reservations! We had an amazing front row private table for 2.

Looking at the menus we picked up from Pacific'O and I'O, I'd definitely want to go back to try either of those restaurants.

Overall, I think we liked eating in Paia much more because it was good food for a decent price, but we realize most of the time we were paying for the view at some of these places, and really didn't have a horrible meal anywhere we went. Thanks again for all the recommendations!

Sep 18, 2009
downtownbrown in Hawaii

Maui - Farm/Plantation Tours

Curious if anyone has done the Pineapple Tour at Kapalua Resort or Hali‘imaile Plantation. Is it worth the $$ and 2 hours? Also wondering if a stop at Tedeschi Vineyards and Surfing Goat Dairy are of any interest or if my time is better spent eating.

Thanks for all the restaurant suggestions posted in other peoples' previous threads! So far, plans include the Feast at Lele one night and Hali‘imaile General Store for lunch. We'll be in Paia for a couple nights and would like to try the Flatbread place. We'll be in Ka'anapali for the rest of the time and Plantation and Gazebo for breakfast look great! We might try Lahaina Grill or Merriman's, but also not looking to spend a million $$$. I've heard Umalu in our hotel is a pretty good option. Hoping to do a lot of happy hours!

Thanks!

Sep 01, 2009
downtownbrown in Hawaii

Need: Bar with Potstickers & Sliders

A request from the birthday girl

Hollywood, Clinton area, NW or Pearl district preferable

Thanks!

Jun 22, 2009
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Cupcakes in Portland

Try Two Tarts Bakery up on 23rd & Kearney. The woman from The Sugar Cube food cart joined up with them and they sell her cupcakes, though you might have to special order in advance...

Feb 26, 2009
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Lapellah a New Restaurant in Vancouver, Wa - has anyone been yet?

I'm glad someone else mentioned the limited "meatless" options. My husband and I had been counting down the days until the restaurant opened since we are big fans of 360 Pizzeria and Roots, but were disappointed to see the lack of vegetarian options. I hope this will improve. I too am thankful for another option in the area and excited to try it out in the near future. Thanks for the write ups!

Feb 16, 2009
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

European visiting Portland

Lucy Brennan at Mint/820 is also a cocktail master.

I would say local beer and wine are much more "Portland" than cocktails though! Try any of the brewpubs around town - Bridgeport, Deschutes, Henry's, Bailey's Tap Room, Laurelwood, Lompoc, Roots, Lucky Lab, etc....

Dec 05, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Quiet, romantic after dinner drink (PDX)?

Alu Wine Bar & Lounge in North Portland. Beautiful patio and very romantic.

http://www.alupdx.com/

Oct 29, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Dinner recommendations in Bend

I posted on our recent trip to Bend a couple weeks ago on this board. Definitely recommend Merenda!

Sep 27, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Anchorage, Alaska

My motto in Alaska was, since you're going to pay through the nose for food anyway, might as well make it count! We had a great lunch at Glacier Brewhouse. I've heard rave things about Orzo (someone on this board posted about it a bit ago). For drinks - the bar at the top of Captain Cook's Hotel - The Crow's Nest - had a great view and upscale food options. We also stopped in Humpys for drinks and the bar called SubZero (in the same building) for specialty belgium beers and wine. In Seward, went to Ray's on the Waterfront which was definitely one of 2 clear choices in town and very well done - not so much the vegetarian option for my husband, but hey, it's Alaska! Moose's Tooth is another great brewpub in Anchorage.

Sep 21, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Bend Recap

A surprise anniversary weekend trip to Bend did not disappoint food/beverage-wise!

A pub crawl the first night took us to Silver Moon Brewing, McMenamins St. Francis and dinner at Bend Brewing Company - hearty pub grub - I had a great turkey club sandwich. The beer was good. At Silver Moon had a hoppy, but excellent Hob KNOB IPA. We skipped over Deschutes since we'd been there and it was so crowded. Would have liked to try Cascade Lakes Brewery and Wildfire Brewery (currently undergoing a name change due to pending lawsuit from restaurant in LA) and do the Deschutes tour next time.

After amazing doughnuts at Richards, we packed a picnic and headed to the mountains for lunch.

That evening we had a spectacular dinner at Merenda - Jody Denton's restaurant. For starters rissotto fritters and a beautiful garden salad. My husband had the potato gnocci with asparagus - a little on the heavy side, but delicious. I had the rotisserie chicken with potato puree. The highlight was the additional sides of vegetables - we had roasted corn, apsparagus which really rounded out the dishes. We kind of wanted to get the sampler platter of vegetables and should have. Everything was excellent. Service was very attentive, the wine list is tremendous and you can do flights of wine or beer which is fun.

After dinner we hit up Bend Distillery's Martini Bar which was so fun. We each tried 3 different cocktails - fresh fruit citrus crush to a chocolate infused vodka cocoa puff (my dessert of the evening). I found all the recipes are on their website for at home concoctions. Service was great and the bar was packed later in the evening with a live dj. Very fun atmosphere and excellent drinks.

For breakfast we wanted to do Staccato at the Firehall, but walked over from our hotel to find that they are no longer doing brunch. We stopped for a quick breakfast at Old St. Francis school, which was pretty good, before heading over to Sisters.

Before we left Sisters to head home, we tried out the new the new Three Creeks Brewery. What a gorgeous building and so elegant, yet casual for a brewery! The beer was excellent. The coconut onion rings were delicious. Burger was decent. Probably would get one of their specialty burgers next time. A great new option for Sisters, though.

Sep 12, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Portland this weekend

Apizza scholls for sure! NY pizza, honestly, has yet to prove itself for me. Apizza Scholls is the best outside of Italy.

Here's a fun event happening this weekend - http://www.nwchocolatefestival.com/in...

I might look into the beer + chocolate pairings myself!

Sep 12, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Three Days In Spokane

Luna on the South Hill (Perry St.) is my favorite dinner place. A little formal for kids probably, but The Elk in Brown's Addition (for lunch). I think Spokane has some great places to eat/drink! Huckleberrys on the South Hill Monroe St. is a wonderful little (expensive though) grocery store with a great deli for salads, sandwiches and picnic materials. Visit the Rockwood Bakery for coffee/breakfast - always tons of kids there. Take the kids to Riverfront Park to see the garbage eating goat and the big red wagon. Manito Park on the South Hill is also really fun - the English Garden and definitely Greenbluff! Agree!

Sep 10, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Best Pizza in Portland Is?

Apizza Scholls is the only pie that I have dreams about. As for the food cart at 4th and College, Al Forna Feruzza - it is delightful! Still does not blow Apizza Scholls out of the water, but it has a very nice crispy crust, fresh toppings - I had the margherite, perfect ratio of sauce and cheese and fresh basil. They are opening a restaurant on NE Alberta this October. I need to go back to try the calzone!

Sep 08, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Downtown Seattle Recommendations, with CONDITIONS!

Alki Crab & Fish

Sep 02, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Miracle Fruit

Food Dude on www.portlandfoodanddrink.com just posted about a Miracle Fruit party he hosted. My friend just recently tried the tablets and said it was awesome! I think both she and Food Dude purchased their "fruit" online or via phone order.

Aug 29, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Vancouver, WA excellent new Mexican chow

This is great! Thanks for the new find - I think we passed by here the other day and mentioned we had to go in and now we will definitely have to try it out. We've been impressed with Provecho in downtown Vancouver, but it's always nice to have another option!

Aug 28, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Portland Bachelor Party

Deschutes is NOT a chain. They have a brewpub in Bend (HQ) and one here in Portland.

Aug 27, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Upscale dessert, PDX

Thanks for the suggestions Mallory. We'll have to try Ten01!

Aug 20, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Upscale dessert, PDX

Any suggestions for an upscale restaurant, preferable in the downtown area, that does dessert very well. Only thing coming to my mind is Papa Haydn's. Thanks!

Aug 19, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Cannon Beach, OR - need help!

Aug 13, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Anchorage? Gotta get some fish n' chips, microbrews and live music!

yeah, Humpys is awesome. and always packed!

Aug 13, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Weekday lunch Higgens or Wildwood

I'd take Higgins over Wildwood most days. Plus, you can sit at the Higgins bar and enjoy an amazing beer selection - definitely one of the best, if not the best, in Portland.

Aug 12, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Best Restaurant for Salmon in Pacific NW?

This probably won't help much because you are unlikely to head down to Gold Beach, Oregon but I had amazing fresh Chinook salmon at Nor' Wester Seafood there.

Aug 12, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

Sell yourself, Portland!

Agreed with Leonardo's suggestions re: Farmer's Market - and also, I personally don't try to convince people to move here - sensitive topics for native Oregonians!!

Portland food carts downtown (do a google search for the blog or here for great suggestions). If you love coffee, beer, wine, etc. there are plenty of beverage options to explore also.

Aug 11, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest

ORSO Anchorage

Sad I did not get to ORSO when we were in Anchorage this past June, but we did go to the same owner's brewery which was a great lunch.

Aug 09, 2008
downtownbrown in Pacific Northwest