This whole thing started one night when Beth and I were on the phone. Y’all know that we’re best friends, but you may not know that Disney and gift cards and God brought us together. Our friendship was almost immediate. God knew we needed each other. We both started our very different businesses at the beginning of this year. We both work our butts off. We both love to talk. Beth said it best when she said that our friendship was more than she could have hoped for: someone who loves Jesus, Disney and women in business. I feel the same.
So, there we were on one of our many marathon phone calls. She was in Texas taking pictures of LulaRoe for her next album sale. I was in Kentucky putting a MousekaToy Kit together. She said, “I need a break. Do you have your May trip planned yet?” “No.” “Well, we should do a girls trip.” “Ok.” And then we talked food. Beth is way more of a foodie than I am. I love food a little too much, if you know what I mean, so I try to keep it under control so that I don’t wind up 200lbs (again.)
Beth knows a lot about fine dining at Disney so she took the reins on this trip. I kinda loved being bossed around after so many trips where I’m the tour guide. Beth chose the restaurants and booked everything. It was great. So she wrote the majority of this post.
So, here’s Beth:
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
This food was absolutely delicious. The appetizer is noodles, pineapples, pineapple bread, and salad with their ginger lime dressing which was light and slightly sweet and soooo refreshing. The second course was the best. Ribs, (I got one that was dry but the other two were tender and tasty) chicken on the bone that was very moist and flavorful, and it tasted grilled and had a delicious sauce on it. The pulled pork was my personal favorite. Moist, tender, bursting with flavor, it was perfect. Cyrus (9 mo) loved it too! The rice was sooooo delicious. It had this lovely flavor to it that we could not figure outwhat it was. But we ate a lot of it! Last on this tray was veggies. Carrots, squash and green beans. SO GOOD. The green beans were Asher’s favorite. Then came the dessert. Pineapple-coconut guava cake with chocolate crunch on top. HO.LY.SMOKES. This cake was to die for. Very light and fresh. Also, everything is all you care to eat. Funny enough, there was actually alcohol on the list of included drinks with the dining plan. I feel like this is somewhat of a rare occurrence for Disney, so I tried the sangria. I’m not a huge fan of alcohol, and I liked it. It wasn’t too bitter. There was a list of fancy beers and wines that were included that I knew nothing about so I’m no help in the that department.
The show was amazing. I am all about appreciating and celebrating the heritage of other people and this was such a fun way to get to do that. Fire tossing, traditional dance from Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, and Hawaii, AMAZING music, including the nose flute, an instrument that I adore that is highly underrated. All in all a great time. They also did a special “May birthday” dance in which I took place in as this foodie trip is also my birthday trip!
I highly recommend the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, especially if you are a Lilo and Stitch fanatic- they played my two favorite songs from the movie at the end of the show.
LJ’s two cents: The food was excellent. I was starving. It was a good thing it was semi-dark because my table manners weren’t the best. I was trying not to literally shovel that rice in my mouth, but I think I failed. Go do this if you haven’t. Very fun!
This was an AWESOME hidden gem in Epcot. Literally. Hidden. Way in the back of the Morocco Pavilion lies Restaurant Marrakesh. It was quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. We started with complimentary bread, and ordered the appetizer combo that came with beef brewat rolls, chicken bastilla, and jasmina salad. I liked the beef and chicken dishes (they are sweet and savory) but the real star for me was that Jasmina salad. Greens, cucumbers, tomatoes in a mustard vinagrette. Oh my. Light, refreshing, flavorful, UGH. I could’ve had that for my whole meal.
Next we ordered our entrees. LJ got the couscous with lamb shank. It was moist and flavorful, but my entree was the winner. North Atlantic Salmon, y’all. It had a nice crusty top, with delicious fall apart fish underneath, on a bed of mushrooms, served with tomato concassee and their amazing hummus.
For dessert, we had the Moroccan Symphony (assorted baklavas, YUM) and the Marrakesh delight which was just fresh fruit topped with mint ice cream. Good, but nothing spectacular.
They had live music, and we were there so long, we saw the belly dancer twice. She saw me watching (and wearing my birthday button) and invited me up to dance and wrangled a few other ladies into the mix. Very fun and different. We enjoyed this meal a lot.
LJ’s two cents: I was jealous of Beth’s salmon, but mine was good too. The Moroccan Symphony was great. And a word to other moms, they were very nice to Asher. If you want me to like you, be nice to me. But if you want to win my heart, treat my kids well. They did a great job. They spoke to him like he is a person not a pet. They gave him extra food. They were kind about his need to stand up occasionally. If you’re looking for an adult meal that is kid friendly, check it out.
I have to say, I had very high expectations for Le Cellier, and it was BETTER than I had hoped! The atmosphere was nice, even though it was a little crowded. The food was absolutely to die for. We started with the Canadian cheddar soup, (which I had eaten at Food and Wine last year, so yummy, but it was spicier than the F&W version) and the steak tartare.
The steak tartare was delicious and super fancy. Look at that egg shell cut so perfectly. For entrees, I ordered the Filet Mignon with mushroom risotto (Cyrus’s fav) and LJ got the Black Angus Ribeye with fingerling potatoes and heirloom carrots. Both were extremely delicious. The filet was a lot smaller obviously, but the meat was SO juicy, tender, and flavorful. I was so happy with this meal.
Our desserts were MAGICAL. I ordered the Chocolate-Whisky Trifle. Listen to the ingredients: malted milk panna cotta, caramel popcorn (no doubt from Karamell-Kuche in Germany), whisky-caramel sauce, and buttered popcorn gelato. Oh my lanta. LJ got the Strawberry-Basil sorbet float with housemade strawberry syrup. Light and refreshing and LOVELY.
LJ’s two cents: Everything was SO good. The appetizers were the highlight to me. And Beth’s dessert. I was like, “Ok, give that to me.” Not really, but I wanted to say that! It was exceptional. I enjoyed the Strawberry-Basil float as well. They were not as kind to Asher and Cyrus. At one point Asher dropped his menu and it should have been no big deal, but somehow their attitudes made me feel like they wished we hadn’t brought the boys. I was surprised to feel that at Disney.
We were not hungry enough for a full two meals for this lunch, so we opted to just get bread service instead. So. Good. It’s 5 types of naan bread, and 5 or 9 types of sauces. We obviously went for 9, and they were so good. They range from hot to not hot at all, and the top 3 hot ones are definitely not kid friendly. Some are more like a pesto, some like hummus, etc. Very, very delicious option at only $15 out of pocket. You can go out on the deck and watch the animals while you await your table, and if you’re lucky, you can still see them from your table. A very fun dining experience.
LJ’s two cents: When Beth says, “we weren’t hungry enough” it’s because we went to the Art of Animation food court for their Naan Bread breakfast, grabbed a smoothie on the way out and headed directly to Sanaa. I told you, I like food too much. We headed directly from breakfast to lunch and grabbed a snack on the way! 🙂 Still, Sanaa was delicious.
Oh, Tiffins. The spot that started it all. Joe Rohde (the highly respected imagineer) helped design this restaurant based on all the travels that his team took while planning Animal Kingdom. If you are an Animal Kingdom buff, this place HAS to go on your list. It’s a signature dining restaurant, which means if you’re on the table service or deluxe dining plan, you must use two credits per person instead of one. So. Worth it. Tiffins blew us away not only in the stylization of each dining room, which had the art they collected on their journeys, but THE inspiration for the tree of life, tall poles with animals on them, hand carved in Bali. The food, and the food presentation, was exceptional. LJ said to me, every time I order, I like what you ordered better, so help me order from now on. Hahahaha.
I suggested LJ get the marinated grilled octopus, which was cooked to perfection. I ordered the sustainable fish causa. It had a delicious raw fish filet (very very very fresh, imported from Japan) over top a purple potato purée, some lovely savory sauces over top, and a poached quail egg. Divine. Next up, the main course. I ordered the seared Hokkaido scallops. Absolutely the best scallops I have ever had. Moist and perfect on the inside. Lightly seared on the outside, in bacon fat I might add. LJ ordered at my suggestion, the swordfish. So yummy. Slightly spicy, with Asian spices on top, it was very very fresh, not a hint of fishiness. Swordfish is a more meaty fish, not slimy or slick like most cooked fish is. She really liked the rice underneath, too.
Last course, dessert. I felt a little lost on this odd dessert menu, so I asked for the help of our AMAZING server, Mike. More on him later. He suggested the Passionfruit tapioca creme and the South American chocolate ganache, describing it as “some of richest most decadent chocolate you can get in almost all the world.” YES, PLEASE, MIKE. I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THAT. The tapioca was absolutely divine. Passionfruit tapioca at the bottom, layer of oranges and grapefruit, whipped creme, and chocolate crumble on top. It was light, refreshing, unexpected, it was actually perfection. The chocolate ganache bar was decorated with chocolate cake bits, chocolate decoration, pomegranate seeds. It was the fudgiest, smoothest, richest chocolate I have ever had. Need I say more? It’s the most expensive dessert, at $12 for just a small chocolate bar, but this thing is so so marvelous.
Mike, our server, was so excellent: patient with a very rambunctious Asher (3 yo), answered every question we had with detail, his love for his job was so evident. He even told us that Joe Rohde had been in that night and sitting right over at the bar and we hadn’t known. What a night.
LJ’s two cents: I loved Tiffins. It is a great memory. We were tired and worn out from our time at Pandora. The atmosphere was welcoming, the art was amazing. I enjoyed the food, but the company was the best part. Beth, Asher and our server, Mike, made my night.
Bon Voyage Breakfast
HOW FUN WAS THIS. A definite highlight of the trip. They start you off with a cast iron frying pan (frying pans, who knew?) full of pastries to share, and then we got the fruit salad and berry, yogurt and granola parfait.
The entree choices were some of the best breakfast options I’ve seen on property. LJ got King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno, which was a breakfast calzone! I ordered the Royale breakfast: an oak grilled steak, cheesy egg torte topped with asparagus, and roasted potatoes. So so so tasty. We had to order a third entree because Asher was with us and being a character dining experience, we weren’t allowed to not pay for him. We chose the Swimmers Delight, an egg white omelet with smoked salmon, goat cheese, spinach, mushroom and tomato, with roasted potatoes on the side. It was a VERY flavorful choice. The character interactions were great, and we had a good experience with some very friendly cast members, too, that came and played with Asher for quite some time.
LJ’s two cents: I was blown away! This is a must do. Put this on your list FOR SURE. The food was excellent. The characters were excellent. I very much enjoyed the experience. Book it!
The Yachtsman Steakhouse
Oh, the Yachtsman. Honestly, I didn’t know ANYTHING about the Yachtsman Steakhouse other than the menu looked delicious, but this is a serious winner. Our cast member was AMAZING and patient and friendly, so great. We started with the jumbo shrimp cocktail for LJ, which was super yummy, the shrimp was extremely fresh, and the fried shrimp and calamari platter for me. LJ was not interested in trying the calamari until I forced her to eat one and then she kept coming back for more. It was fresh, PERFECTLY fried, topped with a yummy sakura sauce, sesame and cilantro, it was divine.
We both ordered the 1.5 Steamed Maine Lobster with garlic mashed potatoes. Holy cow. Best seafood I have ever had.
For dessert, we ordered the chocolate peanut cake, rich, chocolately and fabulous, and the lime semifreddo, which was light and fresh and everything I love in a dessert. They also brought out a super nice birthday dessert of a berry mousse topped coated in chocolate ganache.
LJ’s two cents: Beth is an expert orderer. That’s all there is to it. If you ever eat with her, just let her order for you. Thank me later. Yachtsman was a great experience and I can’t wait to take my husband. He’s going to love it.
I love Be Our Guest. This was probably my 5th or 6th visit. We went for lunch this trip, and my biggest tip for an enjoyable meal at BOG, is PRE. ORDER. YO. FOOD. Do not be that person waiting in the super long line just to order your food. Preorder, people. You literally just check in, bypass the ordering line, pay, find a table, and sit down and they will find you. It’s the best ever. We ordered my favorite thing on the lunch menu, the braised pork bowl. Juicy braised pork, green beans, mashed potatoes, all hanging out in a bowl together, like get in my belly, stat. We also ordered cupcakes (because, duh), the strawberry cream cheese and the master’s. Yum, yum, yum. Get to Be Our Guest if you haven’t yet. It is THE best use of a QS dining credit, in my humble opinion.
LJ’s two cents: I’ve never had the braised pork bowl. It’s not something I would have chosen on my own, but I’m going to be ordering it again and again! Side note, the people eating next to us had just adopted a newborn baby boy two weeks before and we had THE BEST time chatting with them. Beth and I are both baby crazy and it was all we could do not to beg to hold him. Heart Eyes!
Columbia Harbour House
My favorite Quick Service Restaurant. The lobster roll, the broccoli peppercorn
salad, (LJ thought it was a little heavy on the broccoli, but I loved it. VERY flavorful.) the clam chowder, the “Disney” french fries, it’s hard to go wrong here. Casual and quick, in the heart of Liberty square, it’s a must-do every trip for me. I have eaten many, many, many lobster rolls. Sometimes 2 or 3 a trip. Hahahaha.
LJ’s two cents: Beth introduced me to CHH in February and I’ve eaten A LOT of Lobster Rolls in the last few months. Put this place on your list!
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