“Foodie Week” at All in WDW? More Delicious WDW Recommendations!

Good morning, my friends!  It kind of has been “foodie week” at All in WDW, hasn’t it?  Hey!  Why stop now?

I joined Doug Davis and Dennis Conroy on the WDW Main Street Podcast a few nights ago to discuss, among other things, their Top 5 favorite Disney meals.

You already saw a handful of my favorite dishes.  What are their “go to” meals?  Where do they recommend you dine in Mickey’s world?

Listen to the WDW Main Street Podcast … right here!

In the meantime, I displayed seven of my all-time favorites in a post earlier this week.

On the podcast, I claim that my list could go on and on.  Well, it can.  Let’s pump my own collection of recommendations up from those original seven gems.

Here’s the rest of my very own Top 10!  Bon appetit!

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Morimoto Asia’s Kakuni Pork Bao. The braised pork belly on this steamed bun is utterly phenomenal! Melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

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The Boathouse’s Firecracker Shrimp. Not too spicy but just right … for my palate, that is. We HAVE had it over and over and …

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A one time a year experience, I highly recommend the Epcot Food & Wine Festival’s Lamb Meatball. Always, delicious, find it at the New Zealand Marketplace!

Welcome to Disney’s Restaurant of the Year?!

Good morning, folks.  OK, so maybe I should re-title this post “Welcome to All in WDW’s Disney Restaurant of the Year”!  After all, what follows is merely my humble opinion.

When I look back at where the All in WDW family dined in 2015, there are a few WDW experiences that really stand out.

For example, worlds “collided” when Mrs. All in WDW and I got the chance to share a phenomenal dinner with Dennis Conroy of the WDW Main Street Podcast and his family.

Where did we have this fantastic meal?  Well, let’s just say that plenty of Bangers and Mash were enjoyed.  Gotta love Rose & Crown.  Right, Dennis?

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But, is this All in WDW’s restaurant of the year?  No.  Close, but not quite.

One place that we haven’t gotten to for dinner in 2015 is the Yacht Club’s Captain’s Grille.  An oversight that I aim to correct next week!

Having said that, we did dine there for breakfast a few months back.  Remember my shot of Captain’s Lobster Omelet?

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It was good, but it wasn’t great.  What is great, however, is this under-appreciated restaurant’s Cabernet-braised Short Rib with Creamy Risotto.  Actually, it isn’t great.  It’s stupendous!

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The single best entrée I have ever had in Walt Disney World, my friends.  You have to try it once.  Nonetheless, even the captain doesn’t win All in WDW’s pick for restaurant of the year.

Back in October, I published a piece about Morimoto Asia.  That post even caught the notice of the restaurant itself!  Mrs. All in WDW and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

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A truly beautiful restaurant!

In fact, Iron Chef Morimoto’s Kakuni Pork Bao was so good that we’ve gone back again.  Steamed bun.  Braised pork belly.  Utterly delicious.

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It’s hard for me to believe I’m going to say this, however, but Morimoto Asia isn’t All in WDW’s restaurant of the year either.  What?!

In fact, we’ve frequented Splitsville, Kona Café, Sanaa, and many other great venues.  All of them are outstanding.  None of them win All in WDW’s 2015 “prize”!

Folks, that honor goes to, in my humble opinion, one of the best-themed restaurants in all of Walt Disney World – The BOATHOUSE!

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A brand new Disney jewel, I posted my first “recon” of The BOATHOUSE back in August.  Our experience there was so enjoyable, we’ve gone back again and again.

To this point, we’ve just toured through selections of the restaurant’s small plates.  For example, the last time we stopped by, we shared three dishes.

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Their Hoison Chili Calamari was fantastic!

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The Dock Side Bucket of Wild Caught Surf Clam Strips was good but not great.

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As always, their Firecracker Shrimp were phenomenal!

When it comes to the size of this brand new restaurant and the way it’s decorated and themed by scores of boats, The BOATHOUSE really catches the eye.

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Its spectacular waterside views and the quality of their food keep you coming back.  When all is said and done, we feel that The BOATHOUSE deserves anyone’s “Disney Restaurant of the Year”!

What about you, my friends?  What WDW venue is your “restaurant of the year”?!

Dining Recon: Morimoto Asia [Tons of Pictures!]

Happy Friday, my friends!  This is one of those posts in which the pictures can tell the story much better than I ever could!

Our initial impressions about Iron Chef Morimoto’s new Orlando restaurant?  Quite simply, it’s beautiful, elegant, classy, and fresh!

The servers are friendly and knowledgeable.  The food is outstanding!  The prices weren’t unreasonable.  Take a look!

Oh!  And, please stick around for the food pics, folks!  They’ll be coming up really quick!

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Chef Morimoto found a home across the street from Raglan Road!

Chef Morimoto found a home across the street from Raglan Road!

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Like I said ... beautiful, elegant, classy, and fresh!

Like I said … beautiful, elegant, classy, and fresh!

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The sushi bar is upstairs!

The sushi bar is upstairs!

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What's going on in that kitchen?!

What’s going on in that beautiful state-of-the-art kitchen?!

Duck!

Duck!

We took a seat at the chef's stylish-looking bar!

We took a seat at the chef’s stylish-looking bar!

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Chef Morimoto has his own brand of saki … a collection of these eight.

And, thanks to a partnership with Rogue Ales, his own beers!

And, thanks to a partnership with Rogue Ales, his own beers!

This one is Morimota Soba Ale - delicate flavor of roasted Soba brings a nutty finish to this light and refreshing ale.

This one is Morimoto Soba Ale – delicate flavor of roasted Soba brings a nutty finish to this light and refreshing ale.

Photo Oct 17, 11 16 08 AMThe day that we visited, we had stopped in for a quick and light lunch.  From starters to sushi and from “Lunch Sets” (combos) to Peking duck, Chef’s menu is pretty comprehensive and complete.

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Mrs. All in WDW and I kept it simple.  We ordered two items off of the chef’s Dim Sum menu.  With a few other stops on our list – namely Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – we didn’t want to get too filled up!

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First, we chose to share the Kakuni Pork Bao.  The braised pork belly on this steamed bun was utterly phenomenal!  Melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

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You get two for $8.  Pretty reasonable, I’d say.  We highly recommend that these be one of your appetizers when you visit the Iron Chef.  The spicy mayo was a great touch, by the way.

Also priced at $8 for two servings, I personally didn’t like Chef’s Grilled Chicken Bao as much as I adored the aforementioned pork.  Having said that, it was still delicious.

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We only experienced a small sampling of Chef Morimoto’s restaurant and cuisine on this visit.  Having said that, we saw enough – and ate enough! – to know that we should schedule a return engagement.

My friends, take our advice … plan to stop in for your own lunch or dinner.  Chef won’t break your wallet.  The food will be outstanding.  And, you won’t be sorry.  Of this, I’m very sure!

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.

Dining Recon: “New” California Grill

Yesterday, before explaining my brief absence from the Disney-sphere over the past week, I asked, “Where Have You BEEN, All in WDW?!”.  Well, I can definitely tell you where we were on September 29, 2013.

To conclude our Epcot 2013 Food & Wine Festival opening weekend visit on a great note, we took a friend up on some great advice.  Kingdom Magic Vacations’ owner Rick Howard urged us to make an impromptu visit to the “New” California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Welcome to California Grill!

Welcome to California Grill!

Earlier in our weekend of frivolity, as we worked our way through Food & Wine, we got the opportunity to join Rick on his Travel with Rick video-cast dedicated to World Showcase’s Brazil Marketplace. After we sampled that kiosk’s Crispy Pork Belly, Rick quickly pointed out that Brazil had nothing on “New” California Grill’s Pork Belly “Sushi”.

I have said many times before that California Grill holds a special place in our family’s heart. We have spent several lovely evenings – including …

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