Perhaps the luckiest girl in the world is the girl whose Aunty and Uncle ask the question: “Do you want to go to Disneyworld with us?” Diva#1 was approached by her Uncle and after squealing in delight she quickly agreed before they could change their mind. It was her first time in Disneyworld and she quickly learned why it was called the happiest place on earth. Although she can spend this whole post rambling about her trip, in the end, it is all about the food.
Day 1 was spent roaming around Downtown Disney, her Aunty, a Disney veteran, exclaimed that a stop at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop was a must. So after walking in the beautiful Floridian heat, we both enjoyed Ghirardelli’s world famous hot fudge sundae. Milk shakes, banana splits, etc caught their eye but simplicity won and we enjoyed the perfect dark chocolate sundae; never had hot fudge that tasted so good.
Having enjoyed Day 1 at Disney we went to the Yachtsman Steakhouse at night, a Disneyworld resort restaurant. Diva #1 started her meal with the lobster bisque, which we were told was the house speciality. Flavourful, thick and creamy but with chunks of lobster, we soon learnt why this was a popular option. It was quite interestingly served with a crisped baguette slice and roe Chantilly. Diva #1’s Aunty had the Caesar salad which was served with huge leaves of lettuce; you actually had to cut the romaine yourself. Aunty loved this rustic presentation but Uncle wondered why he had to cut his own salad, grumble, grumble. This salad was not simply a Caesar salad; it was served with some coppa secca, a type of Italian capicola. A lovely traditional twist to a classic salad
Enough about the appetizers, Diva #1 and her Aunty enjoyed the wonderful 8 oz center cut filet mignon, served with mashed potatoes and a rich cabernet wine sauce. We even ordered a side of sautéed garlic mushrooms, which were a bit mushy and not worthy of such a great hunk of meat. Diva #1’s Uncle was too hungry to wait for her to take a photo of his 12 oz New York strip steak with a gruyère potato gratin and peppercorn brandy sauce. It was aged perfectly and looked mouth-watering. The Yachtsman Steakhouse also had a delicious looking slightly seared tuna, but we could not bring ourselves to not order red meat at a steakhouse.
Day #2 was a whirlwind of adventure at more Disneyworld parks. Our day ended with a visit to Epcot Center where we visited the world pavilions. Uncle had to work, so Diva #1 and her Aunty went to England, France, Italy and Morocco without him. The Pavilions were amazing, whole new worlds to discover where you felt like you were actually in each country. Each pavilion had restaurants, shops, landmarks, Disney tributes, etc geared to their country. We did not go to Canada, hey, we have that at home, and we were disappointed that Greece did not have a pavilion but we will be writing to Walter Disney’s descendents as soon as possible.
Our dinner was at the Nine Dragons restaurant in the China pavilion. Unfortunately we roamed around the Japan pavilion for awhile before realizing we were not in China … not our best moment. Once we figured out where we were going, we entered the restaurant ready for a quick meal before watching the famous Epcot fireworks. We started with the appetizer trio, ensuring that we would try a sampler of what they had to offer. It was made up of the cucumber salad which was seasoned with Asian spices and did not taste like a typical cucumber salad. The cucumber was not crunchy, it was slightly cooked, maybe even pickled and had some unexpected flavours. Our second appetizer was the spicy beef which was our favourite and we were soon fighting over the last few bites. It was satay-like and spicy enough to be enjoyable and not overpowering. The last appetizer was the fragrant chicken which was a cold appetizer and very odd. It was not what we expected because we are not used to cold chicken but it was spiced in an Asian style and interesting.
Our main meals were equally tasty. Diva #1 had the honey sesame chicken that was recommended by the waiter. It was made up of fried chicken balls covered in a honey sesame sauce that were not overly sweet. This was a wonderful change to the typical general tao sweet sauce that is served with chicken in Chinese restaurants back home. Definitely a recommendation for anyone going to the Nine Dragons. Aunty had the fragrant five spiced fish that was a sautéed whitefish fillet that was large and served with the most delectable “five-flavor sauce.” Diva #1 was quickly pouring this sauce over her white rice and enjoying the accumulation of flavours. We had no regrets with this unique Chinese food that was unlike what we have had in the past.
Another option that looked interesting was the Kung Pao chicken which is tossed in peanuts and dried chilli peppers. The waiter recommended this dish as well but he warned us that it was rather spicy, Diva #1 was intrigued but did not regret her honey-sesame chicken. This restaurant was not your typical Chinese restaurant where you order a bunch of food that you toss in the middle and share. Though this has been the Divas’ experience of Chinese restaurants in Montreal, the Nine Dragons was very different. This restaurant did not have many dishes on the menu, unlike most Chinese restaurants, and was not about communal eating; it was a new experience. Epcot’s World Showcase was truly remarkable!
At this point Uncle called asking us to bring him some Chinese food; Aunty ordered him the oddest thing on the menu: rotisserie chicken and mashed taro. It started off badly when she thought that taro was a type of potato. Are there potatoes in Asia? So we took his food to go, walked around Epcot some more, watched the fireworks show, walked to the car, drove to the hotel and brought him his salmonella chicken because at this point it had spent 2 hours in 25 degrees Celsius weather, slowly greying the mashed taro and the now rubber chicken. Let’s not blame the Nine Dragons restaurant for that fiasco, that was clearly a Diva #1 & Aunty disaster. He chocked down a few bites, glared at us, asked us who would order rotisserie chicken at a Chinese restaurant and ordered a pizza. And FYI, all dressed pizza doesn’t exist in the US, you actually have to list the ingredients, it isn’t an option. He is currently not talking to us.
Day#3 was a true adventure; the morning was spent in the Animal Kingdom, the afternoon in the MagicKingdom, where Diva #1 ran around like she was five again and couldn’t believe that such a wonderful land existed, and the evening in Hollywood Studios. In two days we saw all four parks, Downtown Disney and the Disney Boardwalk. We only missed out on the two water parks which we hear is something not to be missed.,. We had not made any reservations for lunch so we did not know where to go, we just knew that it was hot, we needed to get inside to AC and sit and eat before trekking on.
We walked into Tony’s Town Square Restaurant which was located on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, a beautiful street that looks like Victorian England. We had to eat at 2:30 pm because we had no reservations and everything was booked for lunch. What a surprise it was when Diva #1 realized that Tony’s was the restaurant from Lady and the Tramp. The romantic restaurant where the two dogs share a string of spaghetti while a fat Italian chef plays the accordion behind them. This Tony’s restaurant was filled with imagery from the movie and helped enhance our wonderful Disney experience.
We started by sharing the zucchini fries which were breaded and seasoned and served with a delicious sun dried tomato dipping sauce. These were delicious and we quickly finished them. We did not want to eat anything too heavy, we had dinner plans and we also had more walking to do so we opted for the Caesar salad. Aunty had it with chicken and Diva #1 had it with shrimp. The romaine was crisp, the dressing not overpowering and there was the perfect amount so that the salad was not soggy. We were soon itching to roam around the Magic Kingdom some more. It was the perfect lunch for an active Disney day.
We left Orlando after three tiring action packed Disney park days. The Concierge said we couldn’t do it all, but we proved him wrong! We were well fed, sore from walking and happy to leave for Clearwater Beach, the more relaxing part of our vacation. More feasts awaited us there!
Keep in mind that restaurants like the Nine Dragons and Tony’s are located within Disney parks meaning that if you want to go to their restaurants, you must by tickets to go to the park. That may not be economical if you are not spending time in the par. , Ghirardelli is in Downtown Disney and accessible by all and the Yachtsman Steakhouse is in the Epcot resort area and not within the park but a hotel. We went to these places in April and during the week and we needed to reserve weeks in advance. We were lucky to sneak into Tony’s but this is not the norm. Do your homework, Disneyworld restaurants are booked solid, so if you plan on going, make reservations online weeks in advance. It truly is the happiest place on earth…
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: American, Buena Vista Drive, Caramel, Charcuterie, China Pavilion, Chinese, Chocolate Shop, Cocktails, Disney, Disneyworld, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Epcot Resort, Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Filet Mignon, Floats, Florida, Ghirardelli, Ghirardelli Ice Cream, Hanger Steak, Honey Sesame Chicken, Hot Fudge, Hot Fudge Sundae, Ice Cream, Italian, Kung Pao Chicken, Lady and the Tramp, Lake Buena Vista, Lobster Bisque, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Meat Balls, Milkshakes, New England, New York Strip Steak, Nine Dragons, Norh Avenue of the Stars, North Monorail Way, Orlando, Pan-Chinese Cuisine, Pasta, Pizza, Porterhouse, Reservations Needed, Rib-Eye, Spaghetti, Splendid, Steak, Steakhouse, Sundae, Tony’s, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, United States, US, Whitefish, wine, World Showcase, Yacht Club Resort, Yachtsman Steakhouse