Dining Recon: Splitsville Luxury Lanes! Better Sushi Than California Grill?!

Oh, you bet, it is!  It’s a ‘cold-as-sushi’ fact!  In our opinions, Splitsville’s sushi is much, much better than that served by the Contemporary’s Signature jewel.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  We love California Grill.  We really do!  On a dollar-to-dollar basis, however, Disney’s “luxury” bowling alley wins any sushi showdown between the two restaurants … no contest!

See yesterday’s post – Dining Recon: Sushi at California Grill!

Hey!  The quality is equivalent, at the very least!  What’s the difference, then?  Hah!  Check out the alley’s full menu, but focus on the sushi!

On this particular day, we shared three rolls.  The Volcano Roll ($16) is one of my personal favorites.  Why?  I just love the ‘spicy volcano krab mix’ on top of the roll!

The Alberto ($13) is a healthy and unusual presentation.  No rice!  Lean protein.  Plenty of veggies.  Wrapped in thinly-sliced cucumber!  Quite refreshing.

Finally, how could we not end with the “king” of sushi rolls?  The Crouching Dragon ($16) is a meal in and of itself!  Take a look!  There’s that ‘krab mix’ again!

All in, $45 for those three rolls, folks.  Look back at yesterday’s post, and you’ll see that we paid $50 for what were assuredly much smaller portions.

Again, in sum, great sushi at both locations, but, in our book, the “bowling alley” at Disney Springs has Contemporary’s flagship beat … no questions!

Dining Recon: Sushi at California Grill!

Happy Saturday, folks!  What better way to come off of a couple of turkey-stuffed days than with a light and refreshing treat?  Say, with some ‘highfalutin’ sushi, perhaps?

Mrs. All in WDW and I got the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds, and, more importantly, the tastes of the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill on a recent trip, and, let me tell you, it was fantastic … as always!

Of course, as you might expect from a Signature restaurant, Cali’s prices are as high as its food is classy.  Nonetheless, we’d recommend that you dine there at least once.  And, hey, if you like sushi, give theirs a try.  It’s expensive, but it’s great!  Bon appetit!

The sushi bar!

You know that a Lobster Roll will require an open wallet. At $26, this little morsel delivered in that regard.

Boasting tuna, watermelon, salmon, apples, hamachi, and crab, Cali’s Sashimi was delicious but it commanded a big price too – $24!

We Present … OUR Disney “Living” Lists!

Hello, folks!  Did you get a chance to catch the latest exciting episode of the WDW Main Street Podcast?  It was Episode #319 – Our “Living” Lists!

You haven’t?  You’ve heard of “Bucket Lists”, haven’t you?  According to Wikipedia, they are “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.”

Well, my friends, here, at All in WDW and on the WDW Main Street Podcast, we prefer to call this type of compilation a “Living List”!

Click the names, below, to see our “menus” of Disney dreams.  What do we want to do in our lifetimes?  Then, think about it yourself!  What’s your Disney “Living List”?

Bob Sikon

Doug Davis

Dennis Conroy

John Peters

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Dining Recon: Splitsville

A few weeks back, on an episode of the WDW Main Street Podcast, I mentioned that Downtown Disney was so torn up by construction that it scares me.

Well, that was an exaggeration, of course, and I’m glad that’s all that statement was.  Why?  Because Splitsville simply rocks!

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In addition, I wouldn’t be able to bring you a tour through some of the best sushi we’ve ever eaten!  Yes, California Grill.  I said that!

But, first, let’s enjoy some of Splitsville’s decor!

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And, folks.  You haven’t seen the half of it! Well, maybe you have … but, we never made it upstairs!  There’s another floor!

But, how about that sushi?

It’s phenomenal!  In spite of what my son says (sorry, buddy), Splitsville’s sushi is better than that served up by California Grill!  OK, so that just my opinion.

Look.  I’ll admit it’s based on my last experience at the Contemporary’s signature restaurant.  It was a bit of a disappointment to me.  Frankly, I don’t think Cali Grill sushi has been the same since the refurbishment and Yoshie Cabral’s retirement.

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Splitsville’s Sushi Bar!

Anyway, onto Splitsville’s offerings … who would have guessed that “bowling alley sushi” would be so outstanding?  Let’s eat!  We shared a bunch!

Fantasy Roll

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Fantasy Roll

Ninja

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Ninja Crunch

Volcano and Dragon

Volcano Roll

Volcano Roll

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Dragon Roll

My personal favorite was the Volcano Roll.  In fact, I guess my favorite sushi, in particular, is a Volcano Roll.  That’s what I usually order at our favorite spot in Atlanta, as well!

The Volcano’s spicy krab mix is fantastic.  Amusingly, it looks like shredded cheese, but it’s not.  It is a very tasty component of the dish.

Folks, take my advice.  Whether it’s simply to sit, chill, have a beer, and watch football … or, to enjoy any of Splitsville’s cuisine, you have to give them a shot.

The beer comes in frosted miniature "fish bowls"!

The beer comes in frosted miniature “fish bowls”!

For us, I think it’s safe to say that Mrs. All in WDW and I have found a new “favorite” hang-out!

Visit Splitsville!

Visit Splitsville!

Dining Recon: Back to California Grill!

I said it last Sunday, as we unwound from our drive from Atlanta and enjoyed afternoon beverages at the Coronado Springs Resort’s Laguna Bar …

“Next?  Pork Belly Nigiri.  Spicy Kazan Roll.  Dragon Roll.  Wishes!  California Grill!  Let’s go!”   And, so, we did!

I’m sure I mentioned this already, but Mrs. All in WDW and I have been joined by our son and his fiancee’ on this trip.  You remember them, yes?  I talk about them enough.

Well, we have been enticing them with California Grill’s epic sushi ever since our post-refurbishment visit last Fall.  But, first, we started with a great bottle of wine.  Do you like Zinfandel?

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This is a fantastic red wine.  A little pricey – as is anything at Cali Grill – but very tasty.  A bit of sweetness but not too much.  Very enjoyable.

As always, the restaurant and the scenery were beautiful!

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Pork Belly Nigiri.  Yum.  Just like it was the first time Mrs. All in WDW and I  tried it, it was phenomenal.  The group tagged this one a “winner”.

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A bit too big to take in one bite, we ate the piece of pork belly first.  Then, we followed with the piece of sushi roll.

Next, we tackled the Spicy Kazan Roll.  The spice of the accompanying “fireball sauce” (center of the plate), is just right.  Not too spicy but loaded with scallop and very flavorful.

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Finally, we sampled the Dragon Roll. This is where the differences between ‘then and now’ came forth. Here is the Dragon Roll from last September. I’ve published this shot before …

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Here is what we had this past Sunday …

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For my palate, it was a substantial downgrade in quality. In the kids’ minds … they loved it! Well, everybody’s tastes are different!

For entrees, we all went different ways. I had the Oak-fired Filet of Beef.

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Maybe I’m very spoiled by Atlanta’s New York Prime, but, at $49, I would have expected a better cut of meat.

Plus, the accompanying Sweet Corn Risotto wasn’t as good as I’ve had at the Yacht Club’s Captain’s Grille. I’ll make another choice next time.

Mrs. All in WDW chose the Spanish Seafood Pilaf. It was good, but, in the end, she would have preferred the Scallops.

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Our son, Joseph, enjoyed one of his personal favorites. He ordered the Lamb Porterhouse.

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Calling it “earthy” on account of the herbs and spices, he felt it was a bit over-cooked. Of course, he admitted that he’s spoiled by New York Prime, as well.

Finally, his fiancée, Sarah, did pick the Jumbo Scallops. She summed her feelings up with, “Amazing, magnificent, marvelous!”

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To cap off the evening, and to celebrate Joseph taking his first round of Medical Board Exams, our server brought us a delicious serving of Creme Brûlée! Fabulous!

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This particular visit to California Grill met with mixed success. The sushi – especially the Spicy Kazan Roll – was phenomenal. The entrees, however, were appraised as disappointing when it came to Cali’s cost-to-quality “performance”.

Will we go back? Of course! Sushi! Fireworks! Come on! A few slightly disappointing entrees won’t keep us away. After all, California Grill is still a great spot for a special dinner.