Not Your Every Day “On the Way to Work” Breakfast!

By John Peters

Hi, there!  Long time, no “see”, eh?  Anyway, I’m glad to be back!  Let me present “Dining Recon: Breakfast at The Mara”!

Hey, I recently had a Sunday morning shift over on the train at Animal Kingdom.  Trouble is … that’s when we record the WDW Main Street Podcast!  What to do?

Listen to the show at … Episode 421 – Our Sunday News!

How about recording from the Animal Kingdom Lodge, I thought!  What an awesome idea!  Anyway, instead of stopping at a fast-food joint on the way into work, I decided to eat at The Mara!

For those who don’t know, The Mara is the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s counter service restaurant.  Their bakery opens at 6:00 AM. The kitchen starts serving at 7:00.

Quoting Disney, “Named for a river flowing through Kenya and Tanzania, this savanna-like space serves African stew, pitas, half-chicken dinners and more.”

The Mara is clean, efficient, and offers plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

For breakfast, the menu includes many traditional items … such as WDW’s infamous Bounty Platter! They also serve a Croissant Sandwich.

They also offer one of my favorite breakfasts on property – the Bobotie Platter.  This dish comes with bobotie (baked egg custard with turkey, peppers, and raisins), chakalaka, and pap.

The chakalaka is the hot stewed tomatoes in the picture above.  The pap is like white grits.  Honestly, it’s non-traditional, but the combination of these three, eaten together, is delicious!  Priced at $7.19, it’s also a good deal!

Fans, the next time your heading over to Animal Kingdom, why not swing by the Animal Kingdom Lodge and have a great, inexpensive breakfast!

Dining Recon: Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma!

Hello, folks!  Are you hungry?  really hungry?  Then, a good ole’ Disney buffet is what you need!  And, Boma?  It’s the best!

You know, I find it incredibly difficult to write dining reviews for buffets.  Why?  Too much food.  Too many people!

Seriously.  I don’t feel I can do justice to the breadth of options offered by a place like Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma.

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First, there are way too many delectable options available to catch them all on “film!  Second, there are simply too many people “in the way” of taking a bunch of pictures!

As an alternative, I think the easiest thing to do is to bring you, All in WDW’s Disney dining fanatics, a small slice of … steak!  As well as a selection of other delicious morsels, of course.

Let’s dine, shall we!  We’re going to “fine dine” tonight, in fact.  I started with soup.  Let’s taste Tunisian Seafood Stew!

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Loaded with scallops and shrimp, this dish was phenomenal.  If it weren’t for the rest of the buffet, I’d have had another dish … and another!

Next?  Coconut Curry Chicken Stew.  I’d had it before.  It’s quite enjoyable, actually.  To be honest, though, I wished I had, indeed, grabbed another bowl of seafood-laden “deliciousness”.

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You have to have salad before dinner, right?  OK.  How about Lentils and Hearts of Palm Salad with Goat Cheese, Chives, and Almonds (pictured on the left)?

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No?  Well, it was tasty, but the Shrimp Cous Cous Salad (pictured at top) was outstanding!  I highly recommend it!

Wait!  What was that piece of fish that snuck onto my plate?  Hmmm.  That was a piece of Orange Almond Emulsion Crusted Salmon.  Tasty.  Definitely worth a try!

In my mind, my entrees were Boma’s Slow-roasted Pork Ribs and African Carved Strip Loin!  Oh!  And, lest I forget … liberally ladle some Boma Mustard onto the beef.  It’s excellent!

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You know what I was by this time, my friends?  Stuffed!  But, wait, Bob!  What about dessert?

Uh, Zebra Domes!  You betcha!  Two domes, a piece of Orange Almond Cheesecake (pictured top right), and Oreo Mousse (pictured top left)?  Wow!  OK.  Now, I’m really stuffed!

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Fans, I can’t recommend Boma enough.  What you’ve seen here, today, only scratches the surface.

The choices are too numerous to list.  The tastes are too good to describe.  You have to visit Boma at least once.  If you’re like us, you’ll go back again and again and again!

The Three “Faces” of Disney’s Butter Chicken!

Hello, folks!  Mrs. All in WDW and I recently got an opportunity to meet a family friend at one of our favorite spots – Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village.

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You know, it’s hard for us to try something “different” when we go to Sanaa.  What I mean by that is, like most Disney fanatics who have eaten at this outstanding restaurant, we just love Sanaa’s bread service.

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Their naan is incredibly fresh, hot, and soft.  Their spreads, or accompaniments, are delicious.  We can’t get enough of it.  In fact, we can’t not order it!

Of course, for me, personally, the same goes for Sanaa’s Butter Chicken.  A pretty well-known Indian dish of chicken that is pleasantly drowned in a mildly spiced curry sauce, Butter Chicken tastes phenomenal!

In fact, this dish is so good that Sanaa actually offers two recipes!

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First, look to the center section of the restaurant’s menu.  You’ll find a set of options labeled “Potjie Inspired”.  Here, accompanied by rice, you can choose any two main dishes to highlight your meal.

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Me?  Well, though all of this section’s entrees look great, I always double-up on Butter Chicken!  Deee-lish!

On this particular visit, Mrs. All in WDW went in a pleasantly different direction.  Under “Spice Route Favorites”, she selected Sanaa’s other Butter Chicken entree!  Way to go, dear!

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Served with peas, carrots, rice, shallots, and cucumber, it, too, was very, very good.  In fact, it’s now on my “list” for next time!

Of course, I mentioned that Disney boasts three “faces” of Butter Chicken, now, didn’t I?  How so, you ask?  Well, it just so happens that Sanaa is a pretty inspiring restaurant.  It inspired this 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine dish, at least.

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A “abbreviated” but delicious version, to be sure, this particular delight was a festival favorite of mine.  In fact, it earned the #3 spot in my infamous All in WDW Final Top 25!

So, there you have it, my friends.  The Three “Faces” of Disney’s Butter Chicken.  But, wait!  There’s more?!  Yes, folks, there is.  There is one last place at which Butter Chicken hides in Walt Disney World.

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To this point, I have walked by the Namaste Cafe food truck in Disney Springs on countless occasions.  Sadly, it has always been before they’ve opened for the day.

They, too, are on my “list”, however.  Why?  Well, they serve Butter Chicken, of course!  One more stop for me to make in the future.  Have they been inspired by Sanaa as well?  I bet they have!

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My friends, I have just two words for you … Butter Chicken.  If you find it, you have to try it … even if it’s just once!  It is phenomenal!  And, frankly, I think it’ll leave you wanting more and more!

Deluxe UPSET! Life is a “Beach”!

What a fantastic “tournament”!  You know, unless you’re “Geekin’ on All in WDW Poll Results”, you don’t see some of the things that I do.

Listen to me on the “Geekin’ on WDW” Podcast.  We chat about Deluxe resorts!

For example, are you aware of which resort led this “competition” in total votes received as we entered yesterday’s finale?  The Polynesian, you say?  Uh, no.

As I followed your votes this week, I had the pleasure of wondering if this was going to be the year that Crescent Lake’s Beach Club finally toppled its nemesis.

ME at BC!

After all, it entered the finale with a two-round, 11 vote lead over WDW’s South Pacific paradise.  What a shock!  Why?

You see, in early 2013, Disney’s [then] Polynesian Resort bludgeoned 2nd place Beach Club with a 34 vote, landslide victory.

In 2014, 10 votes separated the two as the Poly retained its All in WDW “title”.

Well, the Beach Club led this year’s “competition” all week long.  Yesterday, the Polynesian Village made a run, even tying it up at one point, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort?  You’ve dethroned the two-time “champ”!  You are the NEW All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Deluxe Resort!

Mickey and Minnie love the Beach Club too!

Mickey and Minnie love the Beach Club too!

Great week, fans!  Thanks for all your support and votes.  You’ve selected a new “champ”!  You’ve set a great Top 10.  Fabulous work!

All in WDW Readers’ Top 10 Favorite WDW Deluxe Resorts!

  1. Beach Club Resort
  2. Polynesian Village Resort
  3. Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  4. Animal Kingdom Lodge
  5. Wilderness Lodge
  6. Beach Club Villas
  7. Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  8. Yacht Club Resort
  9. Contemporary Resort
  10. Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Four Fitting and Fabulous Finalists! VOTE for a “Champion”!

Fantastic work, everyone!  You’ve settled on four worthy finalists, indeed.  Today should be a really great day of voting!

A "Grand" sight!

It made its first finale!  What a “Grand” sight!

So, which will it be, then?  Which resort will become the 2015 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Deluxe Resort?  I can’t wait to find out!

You get ONE last vote today, my friends!  Which one would you pick for YOUR family’s next visit?