Thursday, January 23, 2014

What we ate during runDisney Dopey weekend

Planning a weekend around one race is always difficult with food. You need to make sure you start your carb and water intake early enough without overdoing it. When you plan for four consecutive days like I did for the runDisney Dopey Challenge, you find this task near impossible.

Although we have been Annual Passholders for ages, I still find new dining experiences on every trip to the parks. That is the fun of Disney - there are many secrets to uncover and on this trip, we found one big one. Here are a few of the meals we ate on property in Walt Disney World. I am leaving out the Auntie Anne's pretzel wrapped hot dog :)

Tony's Town Square - Magic Kingdom
Tony's Town Square Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Mom and I started off our runDisney Marathon eats on Wednesday night with a reservation at Tony's Town Square located inside of the Magic Kingdom. This sit down restaurant is themed after Lady and the Tramp. I realized after being sat that this was the first sit down restaurant I have dined at inside of Magic Kingdom.
inside of Tony's Town Square, photo from Disney World.
Mom and I started off with an order of calamari with olive relish. At first glance, I gave the calamari the evil eye as it was perfectly rounded. It was delicious though, not sure if it was the light breading and the olive relish but we devoured this appetizer.
I couldn't possibly eat at Tony's without getting Spaghetti and Meatballs but I modified my dish a bit getting the pappardelle noodles instead of traditional spaghetti noodles. The sauce and meatballs were perfect. If I were to dine here again, I would order regular noodles as the pappardelle stuck together (and I cannot complain about something I requested).
Mom ordered the Shrimp Scampi, Linguini with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Asparagus tossed in a Garlic Sauce. If you love garlic, this dish is for you. She really liked this dish but she stunk so bad afterwards that I made her sit opposite of me in the monorail.
We decided against dessert this night, only because we were already looking at a $50+ dinner without alcohol. Plus I didn't want to stay up too late thanks to a sugar high. We headed back to our hotel room, rented a movie and didn't get much sleep prior to our 5K the next morning.

Captain Cooks - Polynesian Resort
Captain Cook's Snack Company on Urbanspoon
My favorite breakfast inside of Disney Parks is hands down Kona Cafe, a sit down restaurant located inside of the Polynesian. We always order the same thing, a coffee press of Kona coffee and Tonga Toast (banana stuffed french toast, fried and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar). While this meal is always something I look forward to, it usually sets us back a pretty penny at the start of our day. When we stayed at Polynesian a few months ago, we came across Captain Cooks, a quick service restaurant which had a decent and cheap menu.
inside of Captain Cooks, photo from Disney World
Now it is time to reveal the big secret mentioned at the start of this post. I found out that Captain Cooks serves the exact same Tonga Toast as Kona Cafe for less than half the price. Meaning you can get Tonga Toast for $5.99 vs. $12.99. Following the Familiy Fun Run 5K on Thursday, we headed to Captain Cooks to test this out for ourselves and was very impressed. Not to fear, all that butter was not mine - I was being nice and grabbed some for the whole table.
The sides offered with the Tonga Toast were either sausage or bacon, both of which were exact to what you receive upstairs at Kona. The only difference was the side of strawberries - downstairs it was literally a side of strawberries in syrup, meanwhile upstairs you get amazing strawberry compote. At less than half the price, I can deal without the compote.
My fried Nicole ordered a Mickey Waffle and sausage. This is one of my go-to favorites inside of Disney World. Our breakfast for three people cost less than $20, so in my mind, this is one of the best breakfast finds inside of Disney Parks and Resorts.
California Grill - Contemporary Resort
California Grill on Urbanspoon

I have been dying to try California Grill since they had their remodel in 2013. Every time we go to Disney, reservations are impossible. I luckily scored an early reservation on Thursday night for a party of two. I also noticed that you can eat at their bar without a reservation, first come first serve, which may be an option for Gabe and I in the future. Besides an amazing menu and world class wine list, California Grill offers the best view inside of Walt Disney World. Panoramic floor to ceiling windows give you a view of the park unlike any other location. This is also the prime location for Fireworks. If you have an early reservation like we did, you can come back that night to watch fireworks. I strongly suggest a visit to California Grill.
photo from wdwmagic.com
Mom and I decided to have a nice dinner and order two higher end glasses of wine. Their wine by the glass menu excited me greatly. I happily ordered a glass of Cakebread Chardonnay while she got a glass of Pinot Noir. We had a difficult time deciding on our entrees, so we split two courses. California Grill is widely known for their sushi and we ordered Tuna Four Ways, which consisted of Tuna Poke, Tuna Tartare, Tuna Maki and Tuna Nigir. Of the four, my favorite was the Tuna Poke (bottom left) with a close second of Tuna Tartare (top left).
We also ordered the Pork two ways, pretty funny we ended up with two dishes with multiple offerings. Pork two ways is a delicious sampling of grilled pork tenderloin, lacquered pork belly, goat cheese polenta, applesauce and mushrooms. This was an stunning meal both in presentation and flavor. I hate that my photos turned out so dark and grainy. Next time, I will bring in my big girl camera!
We had many other meals outside the park but these were the notables for those traveling to Disney World to keep on their list for resort dining.

6 comments:

  1. Love this! I have reservations at Kona for after the Enchanted 10k, I might be cancelling! I've only recently branched out to sit down restaurants at Disney.

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    1. Oh girl! I am very obsessed with the sit down options on property. When your here, go to San angel inn - Mexico. One of the best meals I've had in Disney. Regarding Kona, if you were going for tonga toast, def cancel & go tocooks. But I do love konas version of eggs Benedict which they do not have downstairs. I hope to see you next month!!

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  2. That linguine looks fabulous. I would have gladly distanced myself from everyone for just one bite of that dish.

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    1. It was a stinky yummy dish!!! We need to go to Epcot soon and eat / drink around the world.

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  3. Wow, I can't believe all what there is to choose from. I am excited for our Princess weekend & were we get to eat.... & drink of course!!

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    1. As long as you don't take a scotch flight in the UK, we will be good!! Kidding :)

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