Enough is enough! Call The Avengers!

What?!  Wait a minute!  Hey, look.  I know I’ve pummeled you with Table Services and Food & Wine, but we love Disney food, don’t we?

In order to get me completely off the topic of WDW cuisine, I decided to go as far away from food as I could.  I’m calling in The Avengers!

The Avengers

Now, can they keep me from hitting you with (Atlanta) Food & Wine pictures later today?  Hmm.  Probably not!

Follow me here on All in WDW, on Twitter, or on Facebook if you want to see the FOOD!  Until then … folks, I have one question for ya’!  Who’s your favorite Avenger?

I think you already know mine.  It’s Iron Man, NO doubts whatsoever!  Of course, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow does run a pretty close second.  😉

Thank Goodness! The Pork Belly Returns!

Oh, so I’m days late on the latest Food & Wine ’14 “newsflash”.  You know me.  I do Food & Wine my way!

A few days ago, Pam Brandon of the Disney Parks Blog spilled the latest details.  By the way, I should express my thanks to Disney.  Food & Wine “tid-bits” seem to be coming out earlier this year.  Nice way to whet our appetities, Epcot!

As she reports, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – 2014 edition – opens its doors on September 19th.  Set to run a record 53 days this year, it charges on through November 10th!

Plan your trips, folks!  You won’t be sorry.  Why?  Lots of food, and lots of time to eat it!  Such as …

Roasted Verlasso Salmon with quinoa salad drizzled with arugula chimichurri.  Served by the new Patagonia Marketplace, I’m looking forward to trying this piece of fish.

Which leads me to wonder … will there be a Scotland booth this year?  They were the “home” of Food & Wine’s salmon in 2013.  Scotland made their debut at the festival last year in theme with Disney’s Brave, but will they return? I have already stated my belief that a Scandinavian kiosk will re-appear in support of the “Disney-verse’s” near-hysteria over Frozen.

Another new booth, “Farm Fresh Market replaces last year’s Florida Local Marketplace.”  According to Pam, they’ll be serving up a breakfast and dinner combination –Bacon and Eggs”.  It will feature “applewood-smoked, pepper-coated bacon, sweet corn, potatoes, Hollandaise, and pickled jalapeños.  Sounds like a really loaded omelet.  Yum!

Another option to be offered by this market is the “Yard Bird”.  That will be a helping of chicken with braised greens.  Not much detail is given, but, if it’s seasoned well and cooked right, it should be tasty.

Perhaps the best news of Pam’s report is the return of Brazil’s Crispy Pork Belly with black beans, onions, avocado, and cilantro!  What a relief!  Mrs. All in WDW loved that dish in 2013.  If it weren’t to make its return, I don’t know what I would have done to sooth her ruffled feathers!

The REALLY crispy pork belly at the 2013 festival.

The REALLY crispy pork belly at the 2013 festival.

Last year, Brazil’s companion dish was a somewhat less-than-impressive Seared Scallop.  In 2014, the menu has been jacked up several notches with the inclusion of a Tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice.  In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy Brazilian Cheese Bread.  Hmm.  Can’t wait to see what that is.  I’ll pass on their Coconut Candy, but it looks like Brazil is angling to be 2014’s “Best Marketplace in Epcot”!

Finally, Poland returns … with a NEW version of their famous pierogi.  How does a Sauerkraut Pierogi sound?  I’m a bit apprehensive.  As much as I don’t like the marketplaces to be complacent and stagnant (I’m looking at you, Germany!), I’m going to miss Poland’s old pierogi recipe.

Pam mentions a Pork Goulash, but, from the way it reads, it’s a bit unclear if this is an accompaniment for the pierogi or a second offering altogether.  For my part, for now, I’ll treat it as its own dish.

So, I said that I do Food & Wine “my way”?  What does that mean?  Well, if you’ve been around a while, you already know.  It’s time to rank the dishes!  Too early?  Premature?  You’re absolutely right!  Let’s do it anyway!  For me, they go like this …

  1. Tilapia
  2. Roasted Verlasso Salmon
  3. Crispy Pork Belly
  4. “Yard Bird”
  5. Bacon and Eggs”
  6. Sauerkraut Pierogi
  7. Pork Goulash
  8. Brazilian Cheese Bread

What about you?  Not knowing any more about the dishes, what looks good to you?  Leave a comment here, on Twitter, or on Facebook and let us know!

Oh, and by the way … Food & Wine (Atlanta) starts today!  Stay tuned tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, or here on All in WDW!  Pictures are bound to be coming your way!

Are You Serious? More Table Service “Champions”?!

Thanks very much for your Table Service patience and support, thus far, my friends!  I’m going to ask you to stick with me for just one more day.

Today, we’re going to hand out some more “hardware”.  Call this post a “roll call” of champions!  You want to know the best part? You guys already did the work!  Now, you get to take some more credit.

In the “category” of WDW Buffet/Family Style dining options, after crunching through the overall vote totals that we cast in our recent campaigns to name our Resorts and Parks Table Service favorites, I declare the following Top 10:

  1. ‘Ohana – 46 (average votes per round)
  2. Boma – Flavors of Africa – 29.5
  3. The Crystal Palace – 22.8
  4. Tusker House Restaurant – 19.5
  5. Whispering Canyon Cafe – 16.3
  6. Liberty Tree Tavern – 15.3
  7. Chef Mickey’s – 14.0
  8. Biergarten Restaurant – 11.8
  9. The Garden Grill – 10.8
  10. Cape May Cafe – 6.8

Of course, this means that ‘Ohana, once again, wins the title of All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Buffet/Family Style Restaurant!  It did it by a large margin, too.

The Polynesian Resort’s marquee “festival of skewered meat” makes it a habit of winning “trophies” around here, doesn’t it?  Not only has it just repeated as our Buffet/Family Style “champ”, but it also starts its second year as the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Monorail Loop Restaurant!

  1. ‘Ohana – 46
  2. California Grill – 32.8
  3. Kona Cafe – 21.5
  4. Whispering Canyon Cafe – 16.3
  5. Chef Mickey’s – 14.0
  6. Artist Point – 6.0
  7. The Wave … of American Flavors – 5.8
  8. 1900 Park Fare – 5.5
  9. Narcoossee’s – 3.0
  10. Trail’s End Restaurant – 2.8

‘Ohana’s continued dominance is only surprising to me because most of the feedback I get, or see, about the restaurant is on the negative side.

For example, most recently, there was a measure of anxiety over the table service’s decision to exclude skewered chicken as one of its dinner offerings.  It will be interesting to see if our opinions of the restaurant continue to slide.  Will it, then, translate into lower vote totals?  We’ll see.

In closing, let me ask you a question … have I shown you my Beaches Bacon Angus Beef Burger lately?  How about my No Way Jose sundae?

Beef Burger


I REALLY have to get back to Beaches & Cream Soda Shop.  Especially now that it has become the NEW All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Crescent Lake Table Service Restaurant!

  1. Beaches & Cream Soda Shop – 14.8
  2. Yachtsman Steakhouse – 9.0
  3. Cape May Cafe – 6.8
  4. Flying Fish Cafe – 6.3
  5. Captain’s Grille – 3.8
  6. Todd English’s bluezoo – 1.5
  7. Shula’s Steak House – 1.3
  8. Il Mulino New York Trattoria – 1.0
  9. The Fountain – 0.5
  10. Cabana Bar and Beach Club – 0.5

So, back to that burger and sundae, let me ask you this … if you had a choice between the two, which one would you pick?

Is it the juicy, cheesy deliciousness of the burger that catches your appetite?  Or, would you rather experience the decadence of that chocolate-loaded ice cream?

Leave a comment and let us know!

Eating in the Magic, Under the Stars, and with the Beasts!

Mrs. All in WDW tells me I should REALLY … “Change topics for Pete’s sake! How long can you ramble on about Parks Table Services?”

Uh, one more day, dear.  Then, I’m going to pop back over to Resorts Table Services for one last bit of “data crunching” and ranking.

For today, however, let’s tackle the remaining three parks, starting with …

Magic Kingdom

  1. Be Our Guest Restaurant – 119 total votes
  2. The Crystal Palace – 91
  3. Liberty Tree Tavern – 61
  4. Cinderella’s Royal Table – 38
  5. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant – 7
  6. The Plaza Restaurant – 5

The All in WDW family has NEVER dined at a Magic Kingdom table service restaurant.  To be honest, IF we eat in The Kingdom, we typically choose to have a burger at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café.

Anyway, will we try a table service at some point?  Oh, I’m sure we will, but it will most likely be to enjoy a meal at Be Our Guest or Liberty Tree Tavern.  The other four choices hold little appeal for us.

Hollywood Studios

  1. 50’s Prime Time Café – 94
  2. The Hollywood Brown Derby – 19
  3. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant – 17
  4. Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano – 13
  5. Hollywood & Vine – 7

Wow!  50’s, and, then, everyone else.  In fact, the Readers have spoken.  When in the Studios, go to 50’s Prime Time Café, folks.

We’ve dined at 50’s Prime Time, but I might not be allowed to return.  Why?  Well, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but Mom caught me cheating on my homework.  Actually, not only do we like 50’s, we like the fact that you can also enjoy its food, ambiance, and theming from a seat in the attached Tune-In Lounge!

It has been a very long time, but we have actually made a version of The Hollywood Brown Derby’s famous Cobb Salad.  That was years ago, pre-Atlanta and pre-blogging, but thinking about that salad makes me want to recreate it again.  Might have to happen in the near future!

Animal Kingdom

  1. Tusker House Restaurant – 78
  2. Yak & Yeti Restaurant – 20
  3. Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 3

As big fans of Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma, Mrs. All in WDW and I had been anxious to find a time to drop in on the Animal Kingdom’s food-fest – Tusker House.  We finally did it last year and enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s victory over Yak & Yeti and Rainforest Cafe came as no surprise.

Alternate Tusker

So, let me close with a few more blasts from the statistician’s side of my brain …

Margins of victory.  We know who the “champions” are, but by how much did they win their respective park’s title?

Epcot – Via Napoli won by 35 votes over Le Cellier
Magic Kingdom28
Hollywood Studios75 (Again, WOW!)
Animal Kingdom58

How do I interpret this?  Easy.  There is a clear and definite favorite in each and every park.  You want to eat once in each theme park?  We’ve got the four ADRs for ya’!

Average vote totals – all restaurants by park. What I mean here is … if all restaurants in a given park are taken together, what was the average of their collective OVERALL vote totals?

Epcot – an average overall vote total of 28.5 across its 17 restaurants
Magic Kingdom53.5
Hollywood Studios30.0
Animal Kingdom33.7

Interpretation?  It’s just plain hard to beat the love we have for the Magic Kingdom!  Buoyed mainly by Be Our Guest, Crystal Palace, and Liberty Tree Tavern, The Kingdom’s table services really racked up the support!

The Sudden and Surprising End of Parks Table Services? Huh?

No.  Not quite yet!  If you remember, as we forged through WDW’s Park Table Service offerings last week, I mentioned that … “[o]ver the course of this entire competition, we’ll, undoubtedly, choose a favorite from EACH park.”

Well, indeed, we DID anoint the restaurants with the highest overall vote totals for THEIR particular parks as our favorites!  To remind you, they were:

Magic Kingdom:  Be Our Guest Restaurant
Epcot:  Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
Hollywood Studios:  50’s Prime Time Café
Animal Kingdom:  Tusker House Restaurant

I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at each park’s full list, with votes, in order to see just how close the competition was (or wasn’t).

In addition, we’ve essentially made up our ‘Top Recommendations’ lists by park.  In other words, if someone asks you where to dine in Epcot, we’ve drawn up a pre-populated list of options … in order!

As such, the All in WDW “super computer” has been crunching data for days!  So, since we’ve already mentioned it, let’s start with …


  1. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria – 110 votes
  2. Le Cellier Steakhouse – 75
  3. Biergarten Restaurant – 47
  4. Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room – 47
  5. The Garden Grill – 43
  6. La Hacienda de San Angel – 33
  7. Tutto Italia Ristorante – 28
  8. Chefs de France – 24
  9. Tokyo Dining – 15
  10. San Angel Inn Restaurante – 13
  11. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – 12
  12. Teppan Edo – 9
  13. Coral Reef Restaurant – 8
  14. Restaurant Marrakesh – 8
  15. Spice Road Table – 5
  16. Monsieur Paul – 5
  17. Nine Dragons Restaurant – 3

First, some “points of order”.  Although tied, Biergarten beats Rose & Crown because it made it to the 3rd Round of the tournament.  The U.K.’s pub did not.  In addition, Mrs. All in WDW “broke the tie” between Coral Reef Restaurant and Restaurant Marrakesh.  She did the same for Spice Road Table and Monsieur Paul.

My comments?

When overall vote totals are compared, Epcot’s competition wasn’t even close.  Where Via Napoli lost to Le Cellier by four votes in 2013, “The World’s” best pizzeria destroyed Canada’s steakhouse by thirty-five (35) this year.  Not quite “apples to apples”, but still …

We’ve only been to five of Epcot’s seventeen options.  We’ve never been to Via Napoli.

I was surprised at how well Garden Grill did … landing in the park’s Top 5?  Is it because it’s a character dining spot?  Then, again, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall received a meager twelve votes and never left Round 1.

Tokyo Dining made it to the 2nd Round.  That surprised me somewhat, but I’m very pleased.  Our son and his fiancee’ will be visiting them on our next trip to Orlando.  I can’t wait to see their pictures and read their review!

Spice Road Table’s support was surprisingly disappointing.  That has to be because it’s brand new.  It will be interesting to see if it shoots up the rankings when we repeat this poll in 2015 … and after more of us have had a chance to dine there.

Photo Apr 19, 1 23 20 PM

Nine Dragons Restaurant tied with the Animal Kingdom’s Rainforest Cafe for the lowest vote total in the entire tournament (3).  When I have asked people about China’s table service, they’ve typically commented that it’s the same as any local Chinese restaurant “you have at home”.  Maybe that’s a true assessment.

For us, we’ve been to:

  • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Teppan Edo
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

I would rank them in that order.

We’d (I’d?) like to go to:

  • Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
  • San Angel Inn and/or La Hacienda de San Angel
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • Tutto Italia
  • Spice Road Table

In that order.

Hey!  Come back tomorrow and we’ll address the other three parks. In the meantime, have a fun Sunday!