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Old 09-15-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
TillyMarigold
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Violet & Chernabog Do Disney Dining: Veggies and seafood abound!

Trip dates September 5-14, 2009 ... completed March 30, 2010.

The Cast ...

Me: Violet, 31, originally from New Jersey, former Epcot attractions CM, now a professional language geek, married for 5 years to ...

Chernabog: DH, also 31, originally from Scotland, currently sort of between jobs (he got laid off in July, was working a temp gig just before we left, but is supposed to go back to that same place on a temp-to-perm basis next week), never been to Disney ... he didn't grow up on Disney like I did, and living in the UK never got the Disney Channel. His favorite Disney movies are Aladdin, Mulan, and Fantasia (could you tell? yes, he chose his own pseudonym, I wanted to call him Wart).

... and together, we live with our two cats, one dog, no kids, in the Land of Enchantment. Our favorite things about Disney and the world in general are noticing the small things, watching street performers, and going out to eat. Oh, and we're total geeks. And nerds. Both. And we have a weird sense of humor. You have been warned.

Also, we tend to eat ... I'd say we practice ethical eating but it sounds so New Age and snobby, doesn't it? The gist of it is that we have fairly clear guidelines for what we'll eat and what we won't eat, and we follow them about 90% of the time. The other 10% we break them and refuse to feel guilty.

Anyway the guidelines are, we eat primarily vegetarian, eat a fair amount of seafood (about once every two or three days, maybe?), but in general will not eat other meats unless they are organic/free range/etc. Our plan going in was that at most meals, one of us would order the vegetarian entrée and one would order the seafood entrée and we'd share, unless the restaurant had meat that met our standards (many restaurants at Disney do have free range chicken, and WPE has organic bacon and beef, which meant my first roast beef sandwich in over a decade...)

Before I should tell you where we ate, I should point out that (1) I've always enjoyed every meal I've had at Disney and (2) I am perversely proud of not booking one single TS meal the same as where I've eaten before! (I've eaten at Crystal Palace, Cinderella's Round Table, Coral Reef, Le Cellier, Biergarten, 50s Prime Time Cafe, Whispering Canyon, Garden Grill back when it had breakfast, and Chef Mickey's before it was a buffet.)

On to the first review! (Columbia Harbour House dinner)

The Index:
Table Service:
Narcoossee's (D) (page 3, post 31)
Kona (D) (page 3, post 43)
Boma (B) (page 4, posts 47 and 57)
Akershus (D) (page 5, post 65)
Mama Melrose's (you call this dinner? I call it lunch ...) (page 6, post 77)
Jiko (D) (page 6, post 89)
Sci-Fi Dine In (L) (page 7, post 95)
Cape May Café (B) (page 8, post 108)
Kouzzina (D) (page 8, post 112)

Counter Service:
Columbia Harbour House I (D) (page 1, post 2)
Wolfgang Puck Express I (B) (page 1, post 11)
Sassagoula Food & Floatworks I (B) (page 3, post 33)
Columbia Harbour House II (L) (page 3, post 40)
Picnic in the Park (L) (page 4, post 50)
Sunshine Seasons (D) (page 4, post 57)
Sassagoula Food & Floatworks II (B) (page 5, post 62)
Liberty Inn (L) (page 5, post 63)
Riverside Mill (B) (page 5, post 67)
Restaurantosaurus (L) (page 6, post 88)
Starring Rolls (B) (page 7, post 92)
Wolfgang Puck Express II (D) (page 7, post 98)
Pizzafari (B) (page 9, post 122)
Sassagoula Food & Floatworks III (L) (page 9, post 122)

Snacks
Magic Kingdom Frontierland Pretzel (page 1, post 11)
Epcot Land Pavilion Cart Frozen Raspberry Lemonade (page 3, post 41 ... yes, it's out of order)
Epcot Italy Pavilion Gelato (page 2, post 26)
Magic Kingdom Mrs. Potts' Cupboard Sundaes (page 3, post 42)
Animal Kingdom Asia Cart Jalapeño Cheese Pretzel (page 4, post 50)
Epcot China Green Tea Plum Bao Bing & Plum Wine (page 5, post 66)
WinterSummerland Mickey Ice Cream Bar and Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich (page 5, post 70)
Studios Sunset Blvd. Pretzel & Anaheim Produce Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (page 6, post 84)
Animal Kingdom Camp Minnie-Mickey Soft Serve Waffle Cone (page 8, post 111)
Studios Starring Rolls plain bagel and chocolate chip muffin (page 7, post 92)
Magic Kingdom Auntie Gravity's Coke float and root beer float (page 8, post 111)
Epcot China Strawberry Oolong Bao Bing (page 8, post 111)
POFQ Beignets (page 8, post 111)
Animal Kingdom Royal Anandapur Tea Company iced raspberry black tea (page 9, post 122)
POFQ Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich (page 9, post 122)
Chocolate covered coconut patties (bought at POFQ gift shop) (page 9, post 122)

Last edited by TillyMarigold; 04-12-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:38 PM   #2
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Columbia Harbour House I (Dinner)

We got to Port Orleans French Quarter at about 5 pm on Saturday, September 5, and headed straight for the Magic Kingdom. I was leaning towards Pinocchio's Village House because I wanted to look down on It's a Small World, but we had not only had pizza the night before (easy packing food before a 6:20 am flight) but also Chernabog's work had bought him and the other employees pizza for lunch the day before. So I gave him a rundown of the other quick service options available, and he voted for Columbia Harbour House.

I ordered the fried shrimp platter, which came with fries and coleslaw, the apple pocket, and a diet Coke. Chernabog ordered the fried fish, which came with fries, the chocolate cake, and a bottle of water (corrected). We sat in the part of CHH that extends over the walkway and watched the Haunted Mansion and Riverboat queues.



There were quite a lot of shrimp on my platter, and they were larger than fried shrimp baskets usually have. The breading was very light and not at all greasy. Disney's fries had the peels on everywhere we went, which I love, and these were no exception. I can't stand coleslaw, but I tried a bite for research purposes, and I have to say it was very good coleslaw. (Which I still can't stand.) My only complaint was that the cocktail sauce for the shrimp was very bland. My apple pocket was very similar to the ones we sometimes get from Target frozen to have for dessert and which we love; the filling was even better but the crust was soft and a little too thick and dry. I ate the filling and left the crust.

Chernabog's fish was a white fish that also had a very light, not-greasy breading on it, and the same fries. He could have used one more piece (there were 2) but said it was very good and better than he would have expected. He was very dubious of the cake, which he thought would be dry and tasteless, but pronounced it also very good and better than he expected. It was very moist with a ton of frosting.

And that is what we decided is the key to understanding Disney dining: expectations. Everywhere we ate consistently beat out our expectations. Was this the absolute best fried shrimp and fried fish in the history of the world? No. Was it better than one would normally expect from fried shrimp or fried fish at a theme park? By a landslide.

Back to the Introduction
On to the Next Review (Magic Kingdom Pretzel, Wolfgang Puck Express Breakfast)

Last edited by TillyMarigold; 09-16-2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Signing on, great start!
Welcome!

I've added the photo from CHH (and corrected Chernabog's drink order).
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
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joining in. Great start. Can't wait to read more
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:46 PM   #7
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Great reviews so far, I can't wait to read more.
Thank you.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:52 PM   #8
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I love CHH! Next time you're in there try the Lighthouse Sandwich with hummus and broccoli slaw, it's fantastic! I love the fish and chips and the chowder too.

I'm really excited about your reviews as my daughters and I are pescetarians, so we're always interested in the vegetarian and seafood selections.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
TillyMarigold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Joining in.
Welcome!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooh&OurHunny View Post
joining in. Great start. Can't wait to read more
Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by natesmommy View Post
Great reviews so far, I can't wait to read more.
Thank you.
Thanks! Nice to have you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eventamy View Post
I love CHH! Next time you're in there try the Lighthouse Sandwich with hummus and broccoli slaw, it's fantastic! I love the fish and chips and the chowder too.

I'm really excited about your reviews as my daughters and I are pescetarians, so we're always interested in the vegetarian and seafood selections.
We actually had another meal there a few days later and DH had the Lighthouse Sandwich.

Welcome! I've seen a lot of requests for pescatarian reviews lately, so I'm glad to help out. We ate more seafood on the trip than we do at home, and both had meat a couple of times (mostly from Wolfgang Puck Express, since they use ethically farmed meat), but we were very impressed with the availability and quality of vegetarian options.

Last edited by TillyMarigold; 09-15-2009 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:08 PM   #10
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Count me in! And thanks for sharing! I lean towards vegetarianism, so am very interested in your thoughts!
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:39 PM   #11
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MK Snack, and Wolfgang Puck Express Breakfast


After I had nearly finished this review, I realized that I forgot to mention that after dinner and wandering around the MK a bit, we decided we were a little bit hungry and decided to split a hot pretzel. Disney uses SuperPretzels for its plain pretzels, which I really like--I don't like the sweeter, mushier pretzels like you get at Auntie Anne's. The pretzel had a lot of salt on it, not as much as the crazy amount you sometimes get, but we knocked a bit off before eating some parts. It was hot and fresh and the CM who took the order was very comfortable with the dining plan, which was nice because we were still getting used to it.

----------

I had promised Chernabog we would sleep late the first morning, so we did. At 10:00 we took the boat from POFQ to DownTown Disney. First stop was breakfast at Wolfgang Puck Express.



Our cashier was Matthew and he was extremely on top of things. He told us that with the dining plan, we could get an entree and drink with either a second drink, a cookie, or fruit cup. We had both been debating between the same two entrees, so we decided to order them and swap halfway through.
Chernabog ordered the Three Cheese and Tomato Omelet, which came with breakfast potatoes.



He says I should tell you this is his "Can you please get this over with so I can eat?" pose.

As I mentioned above, Wolfgang Puck Express gets its pork and beef products from Niman Ranch, a company I was able to easily research and decided I was comfortable with their treatment of the animals. Or in other words: bacon! I hadn't had bacon in ... I can't remember, actually.

I ordered the applewood smoked bacon pizza, which had scrambled eggs, plum tomatoes, bacon, a sprinkling of mozzarella and cheddar, and a tiny bit of ranch dressing.



We both ordered coffee and orange juice.



So this turned out to be a common theme: we had both been debating between the same two things and each ordered one, and ended up deciding we liked our own choices better.

The pizza was actually pretty light--the crust was very thin and the element that it had the most of was the plum tomatoes (which I love). It was plenty of food, but much less than a regular pizza of that size would have been. When Chernabog tasted it, he said the ranch flavor was really strong, but I didn't really notice it.

The omelet was excellent, just absolutely perfectly made. However, I had two bites of my half and decided it was too rich for me, and gave it back. The potatoes were excellent ... they had some sort of herbs on them but I wasn't sure what. Chernabog also said that he thought the ketchup was exceptionally good and he wondered if it was made in-house.

The coffee was decent but nothing special--a marked improvement over what we found elsewhere, by the way. We had brought our own coffee and made that in the room every day, but was accept that part of the problem is that we like it really strong and most people don't.

All in all, I had about 2/3 of the pizza and two bites of omelet, and Chernabog had the rest of the pizza and most of the omelet (he didn't finish it). We split the potatoes, which I thought were the best part of the meal, but I have a serious potato addiction--you'll see I had potatoes in some form with nearly every meal.

Back to the Beginning
Back to the Previous Review (CHH Dinner)
On to the Next Post (Preview of Things to Come)


Last edited by TillyMarigold; 09-16-2009 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:43 PM   #12
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Geeks?
Nerds?
Dinks?
Weird sense of humor?

FOOD???!!!

This is my kind of food review.

BTW ... is it wrong of me to find it funny that you are referring to your hubby as Chernabog? I'm going to have "Night on Bald Mountain" going through my head for the rest of the night.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:52 PM   #13
TillyMarigold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardengirl628 View Post
Count me in! And thanks for sharing! I lean towards vegetarianism, so am very interested in your thoughts!
Thanks! I'll give something away--there wasn't a single meal we didn't think was very good or better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi View Post
Geeks?
Nerds?
Dinks?
Weird sense of humor?

FOOD???!!!

This is my kind of food review.

BTW ... is it wrong of me to find it funny that you are referring to your hubby as Chernabog? I'm going to have "Night on Bald Mountain" going through my head for the rest of the night.
Oh, he chose that himself actually (I did give him a list of suggestions ... I had been going to go with Wart, but he hasn't seen The Sword in the Stone). He has a degree in classical music, and has always particularly loved "Night on Bare Mountain," as he calls it (I think it's a British thing). You should have seen his face at the Chernabog scene in Fantasmic--it was like being with a small child.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:21 PM   #14
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We're thinking of having breakfast at Wolfgang's. Thanks for the review!
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:20 AM   #15
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im lovin this! i was so sad when i came to the end and there was no more! cant wait to read more!!
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