Monday, January 20, 2014

Restaurant Reviews - The Great 2014 Carboload - Dopey Challenge 2014

Wednesday, Jan. 8
Epcot - Mexico- La Cantina de San Angel (counter service)
Tacos de Carne - grilled beef tacos with corn tortilla chips - $11.95 - Ok. A bit too salty. A step above Taco Bell but it's not Tucson, Arizona.
Hung out at the nearby La Cava del Tequila with AnneMarie Swanson, Andrea Lammers-Pottage, Mr. Pottage, Wendy Bazinga and other folks.

Thursday, Jan. 9
Family Reunion breakfast - $41.54 - Tent near 5K Finish line - Epcot Parking Lot
Buffet - papaya, pineapple, sweet melon, strawberries, grapes, pastries, egg burritos, four cheese quiche with garden peas, sausage links, baked cinnamon French toast sticks, bread rolls
Characters: Monsters, Inc.
No place to wash your hands before you eat. No toilets. Only port-o-potties. There was very few people there. Kind of a dead atmosphere. The best part was being able to talk with Cathy Ski and a Dopey from San Diego. Food was ok to good. Not horrible but not worth the money. And they kick you out promptly at 9 a.m. I wouldn't do this again. Cape May's breakfast buffet costs $5 less with tax and tip and is much better..

Via Napoli - Epcot - Italy
Tortellini in Brodo - $8
Spaghetti e Polpettine - $21
You don't get much soup for your money. Pasta is good and you get a decent amount but whether it's worth $21 is debatable. Atmosphere and service is fine.

Pasta in the Park - Epcot - between UK and Canada - $48.82+$3.18 tax+$3.50 will call fee = $55.50
Basic salad, regular penne, marinara sauce, cheese sauce, bread sticks, steamed chicken on the bone with skin, bananas, Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, cash bar.
Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Dopey
Entertainment: DJ and music; preferred seating for Illumniations
The food was fine. It wasn't horrible. The chicken was great and not greasy.. Plenty of carbs to consume here. Restroom facilities at least. What arguably made it worth it were the character pic opportunities and dining with other Dopies such as AnneMarie Swanson, Cathy Ski, Karen Oakes, Andrea Lammers-Pottage, Mr. Pottage and other folks. And I got to meet a Runner's World editor. It's more about the experience than the food. The music was just right - not too loud.. Staff started kicking me out at 8:40 p.m. I wouldn't pay more than I did. Another problem is the dinner is too late considering the 3 a.m. wakeup call.

Friday, Jan. 10

Cape May - Beach Club - Character dining 
Breakfast buffet - $28.99 + $1.89 tax+$6 tip =$36.88
French Toast, Mickey waffles, wide array of fruit, cheesy grits, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, pastries, oatmeal, potatoes and other food I can't remember and your choice of drinks like juice and hot tea
Characters: Donald, Goofy, Minnie
I really enjoyed Cape May. Great sunny atmosphere. Great food. Awesome characters. I can't remember having anything I didn't like. This one is a hidden gem. My only issue is I felt the server was giving me these looks to try to get me leave as they were trying to wrap up brunch when there were still people eating there.

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano - by Streets of America - Hollywood Studios
Whole Wheat Fettucini -- with zucchini, squash, olives, spinach, garlic with vegetable broth and goat cheese - $5.99
Vegetarian Minestrone - $15.99
With OK white bread rolls

Food was fine. Not great. Not horrible. Better value here than Via Napoli. But nothing distinctive. Very crowded. Decent place to carboload.

Carrabbas - 7890 Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee (Highway 192 West) 10 minute drive from Disney
Roasted Tomato Bruschette - $8.70
Spaghetti with Pomodoro sauce with free bowl of Sicilian chicken soup - $10.50
with slices of white bread
Great value! If I ever do a WDW race again, this is the place to go to carboload (assuming you have a car). Food tastes fine and lots of carboloading options.

Saturday, Jan. 11
Brunch with Megan Smith and Crystal Campbell!!!!!
Big Kahuna - $11.99 - French Toast, pancakes with pineapple sauce and Macadamia nut butter, eggs, home-fried potatoes, ham, bacon and sausage
Tonga Toast - $12.99 (shared)- banana-stuffed sourdough French toast in cinnamon sugar with strawbery compote with ham, bacon or sausage
Great sunny atmosphere, good service and great values, but way too much sugar. The Tonga Toast is legendary, but don't eat this every day. The Big Kahuna was good as well. I highly recommend coming here as long as you don't consume this much sugar on a regular basis. And a chance to brunch with the Fox sisters is a no-brainer! 

Rainforest Cafe - entrance to Animal Kingdom
Portofino Shrimp Pasta - Shrimp, linguini, basil, tomatos, arugla, basil olive oil, mozarella cheese - $23.99
Carribbean Rice - $3.99
Jungle Safari Soup - Zucchini, tomato, sausage, Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, spinach in a broth with pasta and parmesan cheese - $5.99 with entree

Good service. Food was good. Not the best value, but there's enough here for the carboload. I normally want to minimize the fat from olive oil but the other sauces would have been more fattening. The constant storms in the rainforest got annoying. 

Tusker House - Animal Kingdom - Africa
Middle Eastern food buffet - (no characters for dinner)
$32.99 +$2.15 tax +$7 tip = $42.14
several types of couscous, hummus, curry chicken dishes, curried rice salad, roto chicken,  prime rib, pork, corn bread, cookies and other food I can't remember. I don't recall anything here being subpar. Drinks including orange juice and tea. Best buffet I've ever had at Disney. Very calm and peaceful environment. This beats Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom by a mile. All that couscous and a rice is a perfect way to wrap up the carboload.  I will come back!

Sunday, Jan. 12
Katsura Grill (counter service) Epcot Japan
Japanese curry rice - $8.99
Beef Udon soup - $10.99

A bit too salty, but I can't resist a decent Japanese curry dish. Worthy Disney counter service food.

Mara (Counter service) - Animal Kingdom Lodge
African Stew - $7.99 - stew with beef, turkey, ham, carrots, potatoes, peas, chickpeas and raisins over basmati rice - 
Cold couscous - $3.99

Yes, a bit salty, but this was the most awesome Disney counter service food ever. And if it weren't for Amy Shapiro staying at AKL I never would have had it. And it closes at 11:30 p.m. I ate at the Victoria Falls bar while Amy and AnneMarie Swanson had a drink.

Monday, Jan. 13
Pecos Bill - Magic Kingdom - Frontierland
Lunch with Nancy and Kevin Letts!!!! They messaged me and invited me to join them.
1/3 IB Angus Cheeseburger with sweet potato fries - $10.59

It was insanely crowded. This won't win any health awards, but it's a step above Wendy's. I normally don't eat hamburgers or fast food, but I did'nt have any time to search around. Didn't taste horrible.

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