WDW Weekend Eats
February 16, 2012
We haven’t done a “Weekend Eats” in a while, so since Miss Bonnie and I spent our pre-Valentine’s weekend at Disney and had a nice variety of edibles while there, I figured it was time…
We were staying at the Wilderness Lodge and began our culinary adventures on Friday evening there at the Territory Lounge.
In this comfortable setting next to the Artist Point restaurant they have a selection of appetizers available to go along with the featured wines of the the American Northwest (or the usual cocktail or beers of your choice if you prefer).
One of the appetizers is the same cheese plate as served next door at Artist Point, and that was our choice to start the weekend.
The aged Gouda and the Blue were pretty much tied as our favorite… cheese… yummm…
I’ve heard from semi-reliable sources that you can order from the complete restaurant menu in the bar, and we did see a couple of ladies enjoying the mushroom soup (which was not on the app menu for the lounge), so I imagine if you ask real nice…
We made our way to the Magic Kingdom for a while and enjoyed the “romance version” of the great castle show (if you haven’t seen the projection show on the castle that precedes the fireworks, you’re really missing something…) and the fireworks. Following Wishes we hightailed it to the resort monorail and got off at the Poly.
Next to Kona Cafe they set up a sushi bar starting at 5 PM (before this it’s a coffee/pastry venue) and here you can get some really great Polynesian-style sushi and/or order from the full Kona menu if you so desire.
We ordered a couple of items from the sushi menu as well as the potstickers from the Kona appetizer menu.
I was a bit disappointment that the duck potstickers that had been on the menu had been replaced with a more mainstream pork and veggie version, but they were quite good nonetheless.
From the sushi side we tried the Citrus Hamachi Roll (which I think is a new addition to the selection there since my last visit) and one of my favorites, the Tuna Poke.
The Hamachi roll featured marinated raw Yellow Tail with crunchy tempura bits and was quite good.
Dedicated Readers may recall how much I enjoyed chopped-up-and-seasoned-raw-tuna dishes (and I’ve given you a couple of recipes for Tuna Poke in the posts “Let’s Cook! Tuna Poke” and “Let’s Cook! Tuna Poke, a la Aulani”), and the Tuna Poke served here is not only one of my favorite examples of this dish, but truly one of my favorite things served anywhere on Disney property. Very fresh seasoned tuna with a spicy mayoish topping on a crispy base… I could eat a huge amount of this stuff!
Miss Bonnie has been somewhat squeamish about raw fish before (but I give her lots of credit for at least trying most anything), but she bravely gave this a taste… and went back for more… it’s that flipping good…
The next day we again found ourselves in the Magic Kingdom, and around lunchtime we made our way to the Columbia Harbour House. This is probably my favorite quick service location in the Magic Kingdom – it’s menu is quite different from any other on property (believe it or not, you can’t get a burger there), and the seating areas, especially upstairs, are well themed and generally much less hectic than most other quick service eateries.
We had been meaning to get there for quite a while after a menu makeover a few months ago (making broccoli, of all things, a featured element), but this was the first time we’d actually made it there. Broccoli (which I actually quite like) is now offered as a side option to many of the menu items, and is featured in a salad, which we decided to try (along with and order of the fried fish so that Miss Bonnie could get here french-fry-fix for the day).
The Broccoli Peppercorn Salad has “mixed greens (mostly iceberg), garden vegetables (corn and green peas), chicken, broccoli, parmesan cheese, tossed with a creamy peppercorn dressing”. This salad is huge with a very large amount of (I assume) poached chicken. The meat is tender and not dry at all, but fairly bland. The dressing is tasty and the ingredients really need the flavor boost. The peas and corn tend to wiggle there way down, so you see most of them at the bottom of the bowl as you finish. The salad is certainly big enough to share, and we both liked it and agreed we’d gladly have it again (even though my usual choice here is the hummus sandwich). Even though the ingredients are healthy, I can’t imagine the dressing is anywhere near a low (or even moderate) fat selection, so even though it’s a “salad”, it’s probably not really a great dietary choice, especially if you eat the whole thing… of course it’s probably still much better than a burger…
Later in the afternoon we found ourselves in Downtown Disney to take part in the the 5th Anniversary celebration for Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio podcast (congrats on five great years Lou!) being held outside of the Pollo Campero/Fresh A-Peel/babycakesNYC building with goodies being provided by the babycakesNYC bakery.
We were meeting up with Momma Ginny there, and she gave us the heads up on a tasty beverage to sample: Watermelon Sangria.
There is a small beverage area there with several Latin favorites (alcoholic and non… as if anyone should bother with the latter) and other usual beers and wine. On this day they had a very refreshing and yummy Watermelon Sangria, so we ordered one of those (primarily) for Miss Bonnie along with a Stella draft for myself. They do now offer discounts (20%) here for DVC members, Annual Passholders, etc., so our two drinks (before tip) were less than $10.00 – quite the adult beverage deal for being on Disney property!
Attendees were treated to small cupcakes with your choice of frosting (we selected a very assertive mint).
And later a very moist and delicious Blondie cake with vanilla frosting was sliced and gladly devoured by the crowd.
Babycakes is known as the “healthy” dessert location – vegan, gluten-free, yadda, yadda, yadda… this equals taste-free to many… this cake converted any doubters…
That evening was our pre-Valentine’s dinner at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge resort.
We ordered a couple of glasses of Kung Fu Girl Riesling (a nice choice) and perused the menu. While we looked we nibbled on some nice Sourdough Bread served with soft butter sprinkled with Black Sea Salt.
We were tempted by several new appetizer offerings (including Roasted Oysters with Crab Ceviche and an Asian-inspired Beef Noodle Bowl), but settled on the Roasted Heirloom Beets.
This was not only a beautiful dish, but an absolutely delicious one as well! Of course it’s hard to go too wrong when you start with a base of truffled goat cheese… I would have gladly eaten a larger portion of this as a vegetarian entree.
For her main course Miss Bonnie chose the Sweet Potato Gnocchi (another new addition to the menu replacing another gnocchi dish) while I selected the Prawn and Crab “Hot Pot”.
The gnocchi arrived on a slender plate along with mushrooms, spinach and (yet more) goat cheese. Bonnie was ecstatic about the dish and keep talking about it for days.
With the large number of people of Asian descent on the West Coast, it’s not surprising that Artist Point usually features several Asian-inspired dishes, and my entree was one of these…
the “Hot-Pot” is in quotes as you don’t actually cook the dish yourself as in a traditional hot pot, but this is an “inspired” dish from the flavors of a seafood hot pot… a flavorful broth was on the bottom of the dish, topped with the slightly sticky rice along with some mussels, a few cubes of pork belly, some pieces of crab and two large prawns. Overall the dish had very good flavor and was quite filling as well – the mussels were on the small side (which disappointed me as, like Janet Weiss, I’m a mussel fan…), but other than that I was quite satisfied.
We very both so stuffed that we passed on dessert, but just to be on the safe side we stopped in at the Wilderness Lodge quick-service venue, the Roaring Fork, to pick up a Magic Cookie Bar (which did make it unscathed until the next morning).
On Sunday we went to Epcot (which will not shock Dedicated Readers in the least) and started wandering around World Showcase. After considering the new temporary Italian quick service (which is open while the Tutto Italia restaurant is closed for a refurbishment), we decided on my new/old favorite, the Katsura Grill for lunch.
The former Yakatori House, which was one of my favorite places in all the World, recently re-opened as the Katsura Grill (yes, we will give you more details on this venue sometime, soon I hope…), and I have been very pleased with the results. Most of the old menu is still intact, and several new items have been added. It was a very cool weekend, so on this visit Miss Bonnie was in the mood for soup and she went for the Miso Soup along with a California Roll.Both items hit the spot for her, especially the soup.
I picked one of the older dishes to see how it was now faring – the Shogun Combo of teriyaki chicken and beef served with steamed veggies and rice. The boneless chicken thighs were juicy and took well to the sauce. The thinly sliced beef was much better than the last time I’d had it, even though I still wish they’d bring back the sukiyaki beef. The vegetables and the rice were both cooked well. This was a very generous portion and a quality dish. Of course, a Kirin washed down a good lunch.
So there you have it, a culinary overview of our most recent weekend in the World – I hope you enjoyed it and were able to eat a bit vicariously…
We also came across several interesting things in the parks that weekend, so we’ll try and give you an “Odds & Ends” from the weekend soon…
Now, back to the kitchen! See you soon!