Posts Tagged by Hidden Mickey

Friday Feast: Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant

To say that this restaurant was on the highly anticipated list of places to visit is an understatement.  Ever since the menu was released, I was chomping at the bit to have lunch at the Be Our Guest Restaurant.  Why lunch?  Well there is one menu item that was calling my name and it seriously lived up to all my expectations!

But before we go there, let’s start from the beginning.  Look at the amazing theming at the entrance of the restaurant…

01 BOG_Sign02 BOG_entrance03 BOG_entrance04 BOG_Entrance

When dining for lunch, you are sent to the left of the entrance on on a queue to place your order.  While waiting, you are surrounded by various suits of armor who are having a candid conversation :)  Make sure to keep you ears open!

05 BOG_Armour

Hidden Mickey!

Hidden Mickey!

There are digital menus all in the entrance way so you can make  figure out what you want before entering the ordering area…obviously I have cupcakes on the mind…

07 BOG_Menu

When you come to the ordering area, the host explains the RFID Rose you will get after placing your order and directs you to the next available kiosk.

08 BOG_CheckIn

The “rose” is a sort of tracking device that you place on your table that allows the servers to find you and deliver your meal…super cool technology!!  When I visited, it was still soon after the restaurant opened so they had cast members assisting with the ordering process.  It was fairly simple to understand so I’m not sure how necessary this was…

09 BOG_Ordering010 BOG_Ordering011 BOG_Ordering012 BOG_Ordering

After placing our order, we wer directed to find a table in one of the three dining rooms and place our rose in the center of the table.  The first room you enter is the Ballroom which is expansive and elegant.

Ballroom

Ballroom

To the right of the Ballroom is the Rose Gallery.  This area was actually closed when I was there for “technical difficulties” but I was snuck my way in to snap a photo :)

The Rose Gallery Gorgeous!

The Rose Gallery
Gorgeous!

But my favorite room has to be The West Wing!  It’s dark, mysterious and has everything that embodies Beauty and the Beast.

The West Wing

The West Wing

015 BOG_West Wing016 BOG_Enchanted Rose

Sadly there was no room in the West Wind so we found a table in the Ballroom, placed our rose in the center of the table and waited for our food to arrive.

018 BOG_RFID Rose

I think my favorite thing about the restaurant (well besides the food) is is how the food arrives!  The servers bring it out on on these fabulously old fashioned rolling carts.  It just fits perfectly within the theming of the restaurant.

019 BOG_Food Cart

So now onto the food…my favorite part!  I’m going to start with the quick service dish to top all quick service dishes: Braised Pork.  YUM!  This is served with veggies, mashed potatoes and bacon…how can you go wrong with that?!  Honestly, this is one of the best dishes I’ve had on WDW property, and you know how I love to eat!!

Braised Pork

I was with a group of about 8 other people so I got to see many of the other dishes they had to offer…they all looked delicious!!

Tuna Nicoise Salad

Tuna Nicoise Salad

Quinoa Salad

Vegetable Quiche

Vegetable Quiche

Chocolate Cupcake

Chocolate Cupcake

But seriously…don’t waste your time on anything else.  Just order the Braised Pork and come back to thank me later….it’s SO good.

Overall, I love the restaurant and can’t wait to go back!  Next time, I hope to have dinner there so I can finally have a glass of wine in the Magic Kingdom!

Have you eaten at Be Our Guest Restaurant?  What’s your favorite dish? 

 

Friday Feast: Sanaa

Sanaa Sign

This meal has been a long time in the making.  After reading numerous stellar reviews and given my love of “exotic” foods, Sanaa always sounded right up my alley.  My only barrier was B who HATES anything flavored with cumin (and I mean hates!) and isn’t a fan of Indian spiced food.  So I figured my girls only trip over Princess weekend would be  the perfect time to check it out.  Oh yeah!

After the runDisney meet up and picking all of our things up at the Expo, my partner in crime Amanda and I headed over to Sanaa for a late lunch.  This was my first time at Kidani Village and I was taken aback by how small it was.  After coming over from Jambo House, the lobby seemed tiny but eerily familiar.  We headed downstairs to check in for our 2:50 reservation.  Did you know there is a hidden Mickey  in the woven baskets on the wall next to the check-in desk??

Hidden Mickey next to the check-in desk

Hidden Mickey next to the check-in desk

The restaurant is small, but incredibly detailed to look like an outdoor African marketplace.  There are beads, artifacts and other various artwork scattered throughout the restaurant.  I love the lanterns and really wanted to steal them for my patio set at home!

Sanaa Quote

Sanaa Entrance

Sanaa_Lights

To the left when you enter is a really nice lounge area that I didn’t even know was there.  I will definitely be returning here for drinks and appetizers on a future trip.  I think I can probably get B to agree to that!

Sanaa_Bar

We were seated at a table right nice to one of the giant windows overlooking the savanna…how lucky were we?!  The restaurant was actually pretty dead at this time, which is really good to know because I’m sure you could easily get a walk up.  We were greeted by a few zebra who hung out with us the entire meal!  Our server was even taking pictures of them because she said it was very rare that they would come this close.  They must have known we were animal lovers :)

Zebra_1

Whatcha eatin??

Whatcha eatin??

I told the server that I have an egg allergy and was brought a separate egg allergy specific menu.  This was the first time I’ve seen this at a Disney restaurant…super cool!!  I think I was so excited about the menu that I completely forgot to take a photo of it…total fail on my part, but here’s the link to the menu so you can see all of the fun offerings!  The chef came out as usual to consult with me on what I can and can’t eat.  I also can’t have cucumbers or squash, so she pointed out those items I should avoid.

We were there on National Margarita Day (February 22nd), so obviously we both started out with the Malawi Mango Margarita.  This is a frozen margarita with tequila, tangerine liqueur, mango puree and lime juice.  It was tasty, but a bit too sweet for my taste overall.

Malawi Mango Margarita

Malawi Mango Margarita

Margarita with a side of zebra butt??

Margarita with a side of zebra butt??

Earlier that day we gorged ourselves with delicious Kouzzina breakfast, so we weren’t going to order too much food.  I was having a really hard time deciding what to have, but we finally settled on sharing the Indian-Style Bread Service and the Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs.

When you order the bread service, you have a choice of 3 breads and 3 accompaniments.  Let’s start with the breads.  We chose naan, garlic ginger naan and papadum.

Indian-Style Bread Service

Indian-Style Bread Service

I LOVE naan.  The texture, the flavor…everything!  This was great naan, but I couldn’t really tell the difference with the garlic ginger naan.  Usually garlic naan is incredibly strong, but I could hardly taste it here which was a tad disappointing.  I’m sure Amanda was happy about that though so she didn’t have to smell my garlic breath for the rest of the day.  The papadum was the surprise hit of the group.  It is crisp, cracker-like bread made from lentils and rice flour (gluten-free!) and has caraway seeds throughout.

For our accompaniments, we went with the mango chutney, red bell pepper hummus and tamarind chutney.  Our selection was more limited since neither one of us eat cucumbers and 3 out of the 9 choices have cucumbers, but we were very happy with what we got.

Clockwise from the top: Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney, Mango Chutney

Clockwise from the top: Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney, Mango Chutney

All 3 choices were on the sweet side, but went nicely with our bread selection.  There are some very spicy choices on the menu, but we decided to steer clear of those.  The hummus and mango chutney went really well with the naan since they were thicker.  The tamarind chutney was more like a thin sauce and was great for dipping the papadum in.  Overall, this was a hit!

As an entree, Sanaa offers a choice of two proteins that are simply slow-cooked in gravy and served with basmati rice or a five-grain pilaf.  Instead of getting two different proteins, we ordered 2 short ribs so we could each have our own little dish…genius!

Short Ribs in Gravy & Basmati Rice

Short Ribs in Gravy & Basmati Rice

Oh. My.  This was INSANELY DELICIOUS!  The short ribs were incredibly tender and just fell apart when you cut them with a fork.  And the gravy…whoa.  This was intensely flavorful with both Indian and African spices incorporated.  At the suggestion of our server, I poured the rice out on to my larger plate and then poured the short ribs and gravy all over it so it would soak up all the goodness.  This is one of the best things I’ve had on Disney property…hands down.

Gravy Goodness

Gravy Goodness

We were pretty full after all of this, so we sat and enjoyed the view while sipping the rest of our margaritas for dessert.  I’m glad we came for lunch so we could see all of the animals out on the savanna.  I would think that the experience wouldn’t be as good for dinner when it is dark out.

I really loved my meal here and can’t wait to go back and try some of the other menu items.  I think the Tandoori Chicken and the Shrimp with Green Curry are next on my list to try!

Have you been to Sanaa?  What is your favorite meal there?

Wilderness Lodge & Fort Wilderness Exercise Trail

Last week during our stay at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge, I got up early one morning and went for a run on the exercise trail.  It starts at the Wilderness Lodge and goes over to the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.  This was definitely one of the major perks of staying at the Wilderness Lodge and I had been looking forward to this run in the weeks leading up to the trip.  When we checked into the hotel, I asked for a map of the exercise trail so I could get familiar with where I was going.  I haven’t spent much time in Fort Wilderness, so I didn’t want to be running in circles.

Fort Wilderness Exercise Trail

Fort Wilderness Recreation Map

It was a cool, foggy morning and I went out just after sunrise.  Guests were coming back to the Villas with fresh cups of coffee and breakfast from Roaring Fork, and the buses were just beginning to roll in.  I had been on this trail once before when hubs and I did the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway Tour on our honeymoon, but being out this early in the morning was just breathtaking.  The sun was just peeking through the trees and trying to burn off the morning fog.  It was a little eerie, yet beautiful at the same time. 

On my way over to Fort Wilderness, I saw some pretty amazing things.  Near the beginning of the trail, I saw a grouping of pinecones out of the corner of my eye.  On closer inspection, I realized they were in the shape of Mickey Mouse!  What a cool hidden mickey find.  I sent the picture to Steve Barrett, the Hidden Mickey Guy, and even he hadn’t seen that one.  Another great thing about this trail is all of the wildlife.  I saw more squirrels and birds than I could count, and I even saw a woodpecker.  But the best wildlife sighting was a mother and a baby deer out for breakfast.  It was like Disney planted them there.

Pinecone Hidden Mickey

Mama & Baby Deer in the Distance

When I entered Fort Wilderness, I stayed to the right and headed down Fort Wilderness Trail.  The first thing I saw was a huge trailer that I think was larger than my house, all decked out for Valentine’s Day.  It’s so great how the residents in the Campground get very festive for all of the holidays.  I loved this part of my run.  There was so much to look at and the sidewalk wound in and out of the trees.  The only difficult part were all of the delicious breakfast smells that were coming from the trailers!  It was really making me hungry.

Valentine's Trailer

Even after looking at the map before my run, I still was unsure of where I was going.  I didn’t know the name of the road I had to turn down to head back to the main exercise trail.  Luckily there were a few bus stops along the way that had maps of the resort so I could figure out where I was.  I found Big Pine Drive and headed back up towards the Settlement Trading Post, all the while watching for chipmunks along the way. 

When I got back up to the Settlement Trading Post, I noticed a sandy nature trail off to the right.  I remembered taking this trail on our Segway tour and that is offers a great view of Bay Lake, so I took off down the trail.  As I got closer to the lake, the sand got a bit deeper so I took it easy because I didn’t want to twist my ankle since I had a lot of park touring to do that day!  When I got to the end of the trail, I was greeted by a phenomenal view of Bay Lake with Space Mountain and the Contemporary Resort in the distance.  This was also a great place to enjoy the peace and quiet for a few minutes and stretch a little bit.

Nature Trail to Bay Lake

Before I headed back to the Lodge, I took a detour past Pioneer Hall and over to the Tri-Circle D Ranch to say hi to the horses.

According to my Garmin, round trip my total run was 3.5 miles.  At that time of day, there weren’t many other people out on the trail.  I think I saw about 8 other runners.  Later in the day, I’m sure it gets a bit more crowded with bikes, Segways and even horses.  I just can’t say enough good things about this trail.  The whole run was incredibly peaceful and there was so much to see along the way.  If I had a trail like this at home to run on, I think I would train more frequently!  You definitely need to check out this trail next time you’re in Walt Disney World.  Even if you aren’t staying at either resort, it is worth taking a trip over just to take in the scenery.