Sunday, July 7, 2013

Disney Food

Here, in one giant post, is a grade for all of the food we ate on the Disney trip.

Each entry tells:  the food I ate (what restaurant I got it at/where that restaurant can be found) a brief review, and then the grade.

Day 1 Breakfast:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pop-Tart, (the box of pop-tarts/my hotel room): cheap breakfast for the win.

Pop-Tart: B-

Day 1 Lunch:
Reuben Stromboli w/ Caesar Salad, (Pop Century Restaurant/Pop Century Resort): I like a Reuben [1].  I like a stromboli.  Seems like the two together should be a pretty tasty combination.  The crust had a few random holes in it, so that when you bit into the stromboli, thousand island dressing would come oozing out the holes like some kind of food world gunshot wound.  It made things kind of messy, but overall it tasted fine.  The Caesar salad was awesome. [2]

Reuben Stromboli: B-
Caesar Salad: A

Day 1 Dinner:
Buffet (Crystal Palace/The Magic Kingdom): The food was okay and forgettable.  I had several different things, but all I can remember is boiled shrimp w/ cocktail sauce, some kind of roast meat [3], paella and a cucumber salad.  There was more but like I said, it was forgettable.  There was a buffet full of desserts too: chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, lemon tarts, key lime tarts, tiny cheese cakes, apple cobbler and more. The best part was that they had Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger walking around and meeting folks.  You could get your pick with them and such.  The Bear gave Piglet and Pooh a hug.  He gave Eeyore and Tigger a wide berth.

Buffet Food: B-
Buffet Dinner: B+
Wandering Pooh Characters: A- [B if you're the Bear.]  

Day 2 Breakfast:
Same as Day 1

Day 2 Lunch:
Fish and Chips (Yorkshire Fish Shop/Epcot Center [UK pavilion]): The fish was fully covered in greasy fried goodness.  The chips [4] were fat and hot.  There was tarter sauce, but no cocktail sauce. [5]  For dessert you got a giant sugar cookie.  There was also a squad of ducks pandering for castoffs.  They got quite a few chips from us before we noticed the "Don't feed the ducks" sign.

Fish: A+
Chips: A-
Sugar Cookie: B+

Day 2 Dinner:
Roasted Chicken w/ Potatoes (The Chefs de France/Epcot Center [French pavilion]): Though we arrived early, we got seated pretty quickly.  There were only about four options and while I'm not too particular, my actual choices that I was willing to choose from were pretty small.  French Onion Soup for an appetizer.  It was awesome.  As good as the French Onion Soup I had in Paris. [6]  The Pook and I debated asking if we could cancel our main dishes and just have more soup.  Baked chicken with potatoes and a smattering of gravy and broccoli.  The chicken was fine.  It was pretty good for chicken, but then it was chicken so, meh.  The potatoes were actually quite tasty.  I'm not one to go gaga over potatoes, but I actually quite enjoyed these.  The gravy was great, but like most "fine dining" restaurants you didn't get nearly enough of it.  The broccoli was whatever.  For dessert I had profiteroles.  Basically, small puffs of pastry with vanilla ice cream between them, doused with chocolate sauce.  I seriously debated getting the chocolate mousse but the waiter recommended these.  They were quite tasty, but I really love me a chocolate mousse and afterward I wished I had gotten it. [7]

French Onion Soup: A++
Baked Chicken: B-
Potatoes: B+
Broccoli: C+
Profiteroles: A-

Day 3-5 Breakfast:
Cherry Cheese Danish (Pop Century Restaurant/Pop Century Resort): It was the size of a 45. [8]  And so awesome I had it every morning for the rest of the trip.  The Bear got a Pain au Chocolat, which is essentially a flaky croissant type of roll with chocolate chips and chocolate sauce in it.  He took the tiniest of nibbles and declared he didn't like it. [9] So the Pook and I finished it off for him. [10]

Cherry Cheese Danish: A
Pain au Chocolat: A-

Day 3 Lunch:
Barbecue ribs (Flame Tree Barbecue/Animal Kingdom): I know, there's something contrary to eating ribs in a park all about animals, but hey they were right tasty and I really appreciated them.  Our guide book told us to eat here and it was not wrong.  The ribs, as stated, were excellent.  It came with some coleslaw that was sub-par, some baked beans that were awesome and for desert the Pook and I decided to split between us a Chocolate Mousse and a Key Lime Pie [11].  However, after we each had tasted both, I ate all the rest of the Mousse and she had all the rest of the Key Lime.  Which wasn't unusual at all for me (cause Chocolate Mousse is awesome) but was strange for her since she usually is anti-tart desserts in general and anti-Key Lime Pie in specific.

Ribs: A-
Coleslaw: C- (I didn't even finish mine.)
Beans: A
Chocolate Mousse: A+

Day 3 Dinner:
African Buffet (Boma/Animal Kingdom Lodge): I will admit from the outset that I wasn't really looking forward to this meal.  I wasn't dreading it or anything, but I had a strong suspicion that I wasn't going to enjoy it too terribly much.  The restaurant "Boma" has a buffet of various dishes that are supposed to either be African in origin or at least African influenced.  There were four different meats.  I found two of them (chicken and something else that I've already forgotten) to be just meh.  The beef was okay and the pork was quite tasty.  There were four different soups, but I only had one of them.  It was essentially a spicy chicken soup akin to chicken tortilla sans the tortilla.  The other three soups were non-starters [12].

Then there were a variety of side things.  I tried a little of this and that.  The guide book recommended the watermelon rind salad, so I took some of that.  But the one bit I put in my mouth didn't stay there very long.  It tasted nothing like what you would think watermelon rind salad should taste like and everything like bad.  I tried to spit it out without the Bear noticing.  Nothing else was memorable enough to remember.

There were again a bunch of desserts.  The highlight for me was the Kenyan Coffee Tarts and as I usually can't stand coffee that was odd.  The Bear ate chocolate chip cookies and wished for ice cream.

Boma buffet overall: B-
Watermelon Rind Salad: F
Chicken Soup: B+
Kenyan Coffee Tarts: A-

Day 4 Lunch:
BBQ Hot Dog (Casey's Corner/Magic Kingdom): There was a bun.  It was much bigger than your average hot dog bun.  There was a giant pile of coleslaw and there was a giant pile of pulled pork barbecue.  I suppose there must have been a hot dog in there somewhere, but you certainly couldn't taste it.  Don't get me wrong, the barbecue was right tasty, but I was craving a good dog.  I should have got the chili cheese dog that the Pook ordered.  It was the same giant bun but with a lake of chili and cheese.  Either way it came with a pile of fries too.  The fries were average.

For dessert I got a brownie which was prepackaged and okay in its own prepackaged brownie kind of way.  The Bear and the Pook got cotton candy. [13]

BBQ Hot Dog: B+ [14]
Fries: B
Brownie: B
Cotton Candy: A

Day 4 Dinner:
Chili Nachos (Pop Century Restaurant/Pop Century Resort): Our dining plan only paid for five dinners, so we had to slum it for one dinner.  We decided to go cheap and eat at the hotel. [15]  I had the nachos even though they looked kind of weird.  But the menu board said the were homemade chips so I gave them a try.  They came with ample amounts of the usual assortment of nacho toppings.  When I got to the table I found that they were not nacho chips at all, but instead homemade potato chips.  Which was strange but okay.  The biggest problem is that they were seasoned with something that made them taste like barbecue potato chips.  That was kind of off putting.  So once I ran out of nacho toppings, I quit eating the chips.  We may have had some kind of dessert, but I'm drawing a blank.

Chili "Nachos": B-

Day 5 Lunch:
Pizza Bread (Pop Century Restaurant/Pop Century Resort): Just as we only had five prepaid dinners, we also only had five prepaid lunches.  So after spending a hot morning/early afternoon at Disney's Hollywood Studios we went back to the hotel for lunch.  Judging by how often everyone else ordered it, the hot dish at the restaurant was the Pizza Bread.  It came from the same line that my Stromboli from day one did.  It was pretty standard french bread, sauce, cheese and pepperoni.  As an added bonus, it came with the same Caesar side salad as the Stromboli as well. Only this time the salad was not nearly so good.  The service however was just as bad as the first day.  This time there were two ladies, one of which was leaving and thus couldn't be bothered to do more than a minimal amount and the girl just coming on shift who clearly didn't like the girl leaving telling her what to do and thus took it out on us customers by sucking at her job.

On the plus side, after lunch we got giant ice cream sundaes from the ice cream counter.  Mine had mint chocolate chip and chocolate ice cream, toffee, chocolate fudge, cherries and two gummy worms that I have to the Bear.

Pizza Bread: B
Caesar Salad: B-
Ice Cream Sundae: A

Day 5 Dinner:
Ohana Dinner Buffet (Ohana/Polynesian Resort): You start off with a salad that has honey-lime dressing [16], pork dumplings and chicken wings.  Then for the main course you get some noodles, stir-fried vegetables and all you can eat pork, beef, chicken and shrimp that have been cooked on their giant grill.  The waiters bring the meat around on skewers much like a Brazilian restaurant and give you all you want.  The salad was okay as were the wings.  But as I didn't want to fill up on them, I didn't each much of them.  The dumplings were awesome, even though they had honey drizzled on them.  I think I ate four.  The noodles were no good, too much of some seasoning for my taste.  The Pook said she thought it was ginger.  The vegetables were standard.  Of the meats, the first round of meats we got were hot and juicy and awesome.  The second round were mostly overcooked and not so awesome..  The shrimp are giant and unpeeled.  I must have eaten twelve or so.

For dessert there was a bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and a banana caramel sauce.  I'm not usually a big fan of things with bananas cooked in them or of bread pudding.  Nevertheless the Pook and I finished the whole thing and all of the Bear's leavings. [17]  I contemplated pouring the remainder of the caramel sauce straight into my mouth, but ultimately restrained my self.

Perhaps the worst part of the experience was the "floor show".  A Hawaiian lady gathered all of the kids and had them do a race around the restaurant with brooms and coconuts.  Then she taught everyone a Hula Dance.  Both of which were fine.  Her condescending demeanor however made the whole thing seem annoying and interruptive. [18]

Honey-Lime Salad: B-
Chicken Wings: C+
Pork Dumplings: A-
Noodles: D+
Stir Fried Vegetables: C
Pork the first time: A
Pork the second time: B-
Beef the first time: A-
Beef the second time: C+
Chicken the first time: B+ [19]
Shrimp Every Time: A+
Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Banana Caramel Sauce: A++

Day 6 Lunch:
Quiche Lorraine (Boulangerie Patisserie/Epcot Center [French Pavilion]): I got the Quiche Lorraine [20] and the Pook got a ham, cheese and bechamel on a baguette sandwich and then we went halfsies.  The quiche was very good.  The sandwich was okay.  For dessert I got a chocolate tart.  It was amazingly good.  Though a tad large because by the end I was a little over done with the chocolaty goodness.

Quiche Lorraine: B+
Ham Sammie French Style: B-
Chocolate Tart: A

Day 6 Dinner:
Pork Chop (Akershus[21]/Epcot Center [Norwegian Pavilion]): The Pook had fond memories of this restaurant from when she had eaten here with her parents as a kid.  Among other things was the memory of butter pats pressed into Mickey shapes.  Sadly the butter pats were gone, but they've been replaced with a lot of princesses.

For an "appetizer" you can eat all that you want off of their appetizer buffet.  The buffet has enough on it that you don't actually need to order anything else.  I had salami, muenster cheese, salad, cucumber salad, and several other things that I no longer remember.

My main course was a pork chop with lingonberry sauce, potato casserole, and asparagus.  The pork chop was the size of my head and a bit over cooked to my taste.  When it is served anywhere else in the south, the potato casserole would have been called hash brown casserole, but nevertheless was pretty standard.  The asparagus were grilled and as good as you could ask asparagus to be.

For dessert you weren't given a choice.  Instead they brought you a plate with Chocolate Mousse Cake, Apple Cake and Rice Pudding.  The Chocolate Mousse cake was as good as the words chocolate mousse profess it to be.  The apple cake was a bit dry and thick.  Even though rice pudding is evil, I dutifully tried a tiny bit.  I think I only shuddered once.

The real draw of this restaurant is that it is filled with Disney Princesses.  You get your picture taken with Belle when you first enter [22] and then Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Mary Poppins all wander around the room chatting with everyone and getting their pictures taken.  The Bear wanted nothing to do with any of them.  Pook got her picture taken with all of them. [23]

Appetizer Buffet: B
Pork Chop: B
Potato Casserole: B
Asparagus: B
Chocolate Mousse Cake: A
Apple Cake: C+
Rice Pudding: D-

Well there you have it.  Way too much info on the food that we ate.  If you bothered to read this far, give yourself a pat on the back.  I'm gonna go see if I can find anything close to a chocolate mousse.

[1] - In case you don't know, a Reuben is corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing, usually on rye bread.
[2] - The service at the counter that prepared the food was horrendous.  The guy taking orders had the short term memory of a goldfish.  The next day I saw him cleaning off tables.  Just sayin'.
[3] - The kind where a guy dressed like a chef (but who actually had nothing to do with cooking the food) slices you off a bit of the whole and lays it on your plate with his knife and two pronged fork thing.
[4] - French fries to you unwashed heathens.
[5] - There was ketchup too, but I'm not much of a fan of ketchup.
[6] - Actually I had French Onion Soup several times in Paris.  Most days it was great, but on some days it wasn't that good.
[7] - When the Pook and I went to Paris, I had chocolate mousse just about every meal as well.  Much like the French Onion Soup, it was a varied experience.  The one I had the first night was to die for.  The one I had the last night was no better than Jello Pudding.
[8] - The record, not the hand gun.
[9] - Leave it to my son to turn down chocolate for breakfast.
[10] - We went back to the room and got a Pop-Tart for him.
[11] - Technically it wasn't a "pie" but a cup of Key Lime Pie goodness.
[12] - Curry soup, coconut soup and butternut squash.  No thank you.
[13] - Blue and pink respectively.
[14] - Probably would get a higher rating if I were to have it knowing to expect BBQ and not so much hot dog.
[15] - Which was good because dinner at the hotel was about $30.  Dinner at any of the other places we went too would have been between $120 and $150.
[16] - The dressing doesn't sound right to me.  I could have sworn it had pear in the name, but that's what the website says.
[17] - He just had ice cream with Mickey Mouse sprinkles.  But he wasn't feeling very good and we could let the ice cream just go to waste could we?
[18] - Which is a word that I just made up and doesn't at all mean the same thing as annoying, except for a bit.
[19] - I didn't have the chicken a second time, but the Pook said it was just as overdone.
[20] - Ham and cheese quiche.
[21] - Gesundheit
[22] - They give you a big picture and several smaller prints for free.  Well, not free but the price is included in your meal.
[23] - Later the Bear got his picture taken with some snails we found on a ledge.  He was quite excited by that.

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