Dining alongside dinosaurs at T-REX

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Prior to arriving in Orlando, Florida, we made a reservation for T-REX in Disney Springs™ . I knew that my son would love dining alongside huge moving dinosaurs.

On the way of our reservation, we shopped around Disney Springs a little bit and then I went to go check in for our reservation. We had two reservations for six and they were able to combine them so we could all eat together. Since, the reservation was very early, they sat us a few minutes after check in.

The hostess walked us by the large animatronic dinosaurs and themed rooms, and led us to a table in the Ice Age room. The whole room glowed blue and we could see a giant fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex. It was pretty cool. We couldn’t see it in our room, but apparently there was a meteor shower periodically that made all the dinosaurs start to move around and roar. We had a Triceratops right behind our heads that moved from time to time.

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When it came time to order, I got myself a Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and the Tuna Tataki. The  beer was light and crisp, and the tuna was fresh and delicate. It was seared ahi tuna with sesame seeds on top of white rice, sauteed spinach and salsa with mushrooms. There was a wasabi sauce drizzled overtop and a soy sauce on the side. I ate around the mushrooms and dipped it all in the soy sauce. It was the perfect meal if you are expecting to eat a Ghirardelli ice cream sundae afterward, which I was.

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After dinner, I made sure to stop in the gift shop because they had children’s sunglasses and my son kept complaining about the sun being in his eyes.

Consider T-REX when you are making dining reservations in Orlando because it is a unique and fun family experience.

T-REX, Disney Springs™, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407.828.TREX

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A New Disney Favorite at Boatwright’s

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After a full day at Legoland in Florida, we returned to Walt Disney World property to arrive for our dinner reservation at Boatwright’s at Port Orleans Riverside. My parents have eaten at this restaurant and RAVE about it. By rave, I mean that my mother said that the Shrimp and Grits is the “best thing” she has ever eaten. Well, challenge accepted, Mom.

I don’t know what came over me, but I ordered the Amelia’s Salad to start my meal. Now, I am not the biggest salad fan and this salad had items in it that I was not a fan of. It was a spinach (like) salad with bleu cheese crumbles (don’t like), sliced apples (like), pumpkin seeds (like) and a house vinaigrette (like). The mix together wasn’t my favorite, but I know some of my girl friends would like it.

Then, the pièce de résistance arrived! The melding of the flavors from the smoky Tasso ham, the creamy cheese, the sweet shrimp and the blend of herbs and vegetables made the Shrimp and Grits simply delicious. I’ve had grits before, but they were never as flavorful as these. I would go back every time just for this dish.

Everyone else enjoyed their meals, and obviously that includes Mom. When we returned home, TK said that the General Fulton’s Prime Rib was the best meal he had all week and that’s a pretty lofty statement.

Boatwright’s will now be a staple when we visit Disney World. Well played, Mom.

Boatwright’s at Port Orleans-Riverside in Walt Disney World, Florida

 

A Tropical Treat at Kona Cafe

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On our first night at Walt Disney World in Florida, we dined at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Village Resort. I love the theming of the resort because it reminds me of my honeymoon in Hawaii and I have a lot of fabulous travel memories from that trip.

We had to wait a few minutes for the hostesses to accommodate us, but we showed up with more people than my reservation listed, so it was appreciated. Our group of 11 was seated at a very long table and we all fit nicely, and we are not a small family by any means.

I started my meal with the Samoan Corn Fritters that I was excited for, but they had a little bit of a soapy taste, so I ended up giving them away to my cousin and aunt who liked them. I did, however, taste one of my uncle’s Sticky Wings and those were delicious. I like saucy wings, so they were sweet and enjoyable with a good amount of meat.

For my entree, I decided on a sushi roll because I read the menu before my trip and got excited about the choices. I ordered the Crab Rangoon Roll because I usually like Crab Rangoon from Chinese restaurants, so I thought this would be an interesting twist on the dish. Everyone’s food came and my dish was still missing, so the manager paid me a visit. He told me that they dropped my roll on the floor and were making me another one. I was glad that they didn’t choose to serve me the dirty one, but that would be the complete opposite of the Disney way. Not one minute later, the waiter showed up with my roll and it was piping hot.

This sushi roll was not like other rolls because it was deep fried. That’s right, deep fried in tempura batterThe crab salad on the inside was creamy, and the tempura shell on the outside had a great amount of crunch. I loved it because I need a little texture to my sushi and I also don’t like when the seaweed is the first item to touch my tongue. I unselfishly let TK try a piece and he said it was not real sushi. Well, it was definitely rolled up and cut into pieces, so that was enough for me to consider it sushi. I immediately regretted sharing it with him.

I washed it all down with a Kona Longboard Lager and it was the perfect beer and reminder of my honeymoon days in Kona. This restaurant is a great escape to the tropics.

Kona Cafe, Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida

Disney’s Must Eat or Drink List (1-60)

As you may already know, I’ve been to a Walt Disney theme park 14 times in my life; 13 trips to Walt Disney World in Florida and one trip to Disneyland in California. Each time I go, it is a necessity that I eat my favorite foods and try some new items that I just might add to my list of menu items to revisit. Fortunately for you, I keep track of what I love and what others love in order to share these delights with you.

Sleepy Hollow

Nutella Waffle Sandwich

To keep up, I will break down the information a little bit for you. I mean, you need to know exactly how and where to get them, if you need them.

Each listing will look like this: Food/Drink Item – Location Name, Area of Park (if there is one), Park or Resort, WDW (Walt Disney World) or DL (Disneyland).

Red items have been eaten by me and the other items are still waiting to be eaten, and there are plenty.

 

 

My Must Eat or Drink at Disney List:

  1. Tipsy Duck – Joy of Tea, China, Epcot, WDW
  2. Lobster Roll – Crew’s Cup, Yacht Club, WDW
  3. No Way Jose – Beaches & Cream, Beach Club, WDW
  4. Dole Whip Float – Aloha Isle, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  5. Naan Bread Service – Sanaa, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, WDW
  6. Zebra Dome – Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, WDW
  7. Profiteroles au Chocolate – Chefs de France, France, Epcot, WDW
  8. Crab Legs – Cape May Cafe, Beach Club, WDW
  9. Minnie’s Bake Shop Cookies – Any Resort Souvenir Shop, WDW
  10. Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich – Trilobites, Dinoland U.S.A., Animal Kingdom, WDW
  11. Nutella Waffle Sandwich – Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  12. Brioche French Toast – Flo’s V8, Cars Land, California Adventure, DL
  13. Beignets – Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, Port Orleans-French Quarter, WDW
  14. Jolly Holiday Combo – Jolly Holiday Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  15. Cheese Fondue – Territory Lounge, Wilderness Lodge, WDW
  16. Peanut Butter Sandwich – Pooh Corner, Critter Country, DL
  17. Pulled Pork Nachos – Tambu Lounge, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  18. Butterfinger Cupcake – Starring Rolls Cafe, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  19. Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake – Liberty Tree Tavern, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  20. Peanut Butter, Banana and Candied Bacon Pie – Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk Resort, WDW
  21. Grapefruit Cake – Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  22. Mickey Pretzel – Various theme park pretzel stands, WDW
  23. Strawberry Shortcake – Sunshine Seasons, The Land, Epcot, WDW
  24. School Bread – Norway, Epcot, WDW
  25. Grey Stuff Cupcake – Be Our Guest, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  26. Berry Cream Puff – Kringla Bakery, Norway, Epcot, WDW
  27. Peanut Butter & Jelly Milkshake – 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  28. Frozen Hot Chocolate – Hilton Bonnet Creek (a good neighbor hotel that is not on property), WDW
  29. All American Sundae – Plaza Ice Cream, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  30. Ice Cream Martini – L’Artisan des Glaces, France, Epcot, WDW
  31. Gold Rush – Ghirardelli, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  32. Viking Mousse – Kringla Bakery, Norway, Epcot, WDW
  33. Cookie Bottom Sundae – Ghirardelli, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  34. Peanut Butter Heaven – Pooh Corner, Critter Country, DL
  35. Bananas Foster Bread Pudding – Ohana, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  36. Rocky Road Brownie Mousse – Smokehouse (Food & Wine Festival), Epcot, WDW
  37. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake – Contempo Cafe, Contemporary Resort, WDW
  38. Filet Mignon with Macaroni and Cheese – Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, WDW
  39. Sticky Wings – Kona Cafe, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  40. Cronut – Refreshment Port, Future World, Epcot, WDW
  41. Apple Pie – Carnation Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  42. Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich – L’Artisan des Glaces, France, Epcot, WDW
  43. Monte Cristo Sandwich – Blue Bayou Restaurant, New Orleans Square, DL
  44. Grand Marnier Orange Slush – France, Epcot, WDW
  45. Lobster Nachos – Cove Bar, Paradise Pier, California Adventure, DL
  46. Pommes Frites – Cafe Orleans, New Orleans Square, DL
  47. Cinnamon Roll – Main Street Bakery, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  48. Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce – Troubadour Tavern, Fantasyland, DL
  49. Cinnamon Roll French Toast – Carnation Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  50. Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich – Earl of Sandwich, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  51. Margherita Pizza – Via Napoli, Italy, Epcot, WDW
  52. Shrimp & Grits – Boatwright’s, Port Orleans Resort, WDW
  53. French Onion Soup – Chefs de France, France, Epcot, WDW
  54. Macaroni & Cheese – Yachtsman Steakhouse, Yacht Club, WDW
  55. Almond Crusted Cheesecake – Narcoosee’s, Grand Floridian, WDW
  56. Bread Pudding – Raglan Road, Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, WDW
  57. Bailey’s and Jack Daniel’s Mousse – Coral Reef, Living Seas, Epcot, WDW
  58. Spicy Kazan Roll – California Grill, Contemporary Resort, WDW
  59. Chocolate Melange – Blue Zoo, Dolphin Hotel, WDW
  60. Pumpkin Beignets – Mint Julep Bar, New Orleans Square, DL

So, there are my first 60 items that need to be eaten on your next trip to a Disney theme park. Did I forget one of your favorites? Do you need to know about an item because it sounds so good? Let me know in the comments.

An Italian Feast at Via Napoli

Like I said in my last post, my family is in Walt Disney World enjoying meals at a few places on-site. The decided to try Via Napoli and said it was delicious. Via Napoli is in Italy in the World Showcase at Epcot. I’ve never eaten there, so of course, I am now jealous. Just look at these photos and tell me that you aren’t jealous too …

Via Napoli, 1510 Avenue of the Stars, Orlando, FL, 407-939-3463

Top Restaurant at the Top of the Contemporary: California Grill

We travel to Walt Disney World every other year and love it every time. This year, I wasn’t able to go (since I went in November 2013), but some of my family did and they had an enjoyable meal at the California Grill in the Contemporary Resort.

The California Grill is one of the best places to get sushi in Walt Disney World and it is a great place to watch the Wishes fireworks show, other than Main Street in Magic Kingdom, of course. The restaurant pipes the music from Wishes through every night so that you can watch and listen to the show from your table. They also have an extensive wine and cocktail list.

So, without further ado, here’s some food from the California Grill …

Now, my family will know that I am not fibbing when I tell them that the California Grill is delicious. They know for themselves, and so should you.

California Grill, 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407-939-3463

Gloria Estefan knows what she is doing at Bongo’s

On the last night at Walt Disney World, we rushed to our reservation at Bongo’s Cuban Cafe in Downtown Disney. The parking was a bit of a nightmare because they were doing construction to turn Downtown Disney into Hyperion Wharf, a new waterside dining, shopping and entertainment center for families.

When I checked in for our reservation, we had to wait a little bit because they said they had a table outside for us, but with the baby and the chill in the air, I figured it was not a good idea to be outdoors. So, Tom and I went to the bar for a couple of drinks. I got a Bongo’s Cuban Original Mojito and it was very good, but strong and I’m no lightweight.

When we were finally called in, we sat at a long table and ordered a few appetizers. We ordered two Bongo’s Combos with Fried Stuffed Potatoes, Pork Tamale, Cuban Mojo Marinated Fried Pork Bites, Traditional Cuban Ham Croquettes and Stuffed Yuca Cups. I enjoyed the Stuffed Potatoes and the Stuffed Yuca Cups the most. I love when my father makes Stuffed Potatoes, so I was ready for them to be delicious.

For my entrée, I got the Lechon Asado with Moro Rice and Tostones because Cubans know pork and it was delicious. I always get fried plantains (tostones) instead of sweet plantains because I’ve always liked the salty better than the sweet. My cousin Georgie got the Paella and it was insane. It came out with an entertaining lobster and a lot of delicious shrimp, chicken, sausage, clams, mussels and other seafood that I can’t remember all that well because I only ate a little bit of it. The moral of this story is that when a menu item says “Market Price” and “for Two” it may be a bit pricey. The paella was $75, but, from what I ate, it was good.

Unfortunately, we did not get anything for dessert, even though I hate Flan, so we finished the meal and headed back to the room. As you may already know, I am always down for Hispanic food, being a Hispanic myself, and Bongo’s is a great place to have some because they even have some great live entertainment.

Bongo’s was a great way to finish up our family vacation and I was very happy to end it with one of my favorite cuisines.