Posts Tagged by maya grill

Friday Feast: Pre-Race Meal at Tortilla Joe’s

It’s no secret that I’m a Mexican food addict.  I could eat chips, salsa and guac everyday without getting tired of it.  Some might think that it is a strange cuisine for a pre-race meal, but it is my go to!  As seen by my pre-race recommendations for Walt Disney World, I’ve eaten at San Angel Inn prior to the WDW Marathon and Maya Grill prior to the 2013 Princess Half, both of which worked out very well!

So it’s probably no surprise that I went with Mexican prior to the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon!  My friend Amanda (a fellow Mexican food junkie) has raved about Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney ever since eating there of Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend and we knew that was going to be the place to go!

01 Tortilla-Jos

Tortilla Jo’s is part of the Patina Restaurant Group, which also runs one of my favorite spots in Walt Disney World, Tutto Gusto, as well as a few other Disney restaurants.  Since we had an early morning that day from the Disneyland 10K and knew we were hitting the sack early for the half marathon, an early dinner was in order.  B, Amanda and I headed over there around 4:45 pm and there was already a 20 minute wait…you should’ve seen it when we left!  The restaurant was massive and can probably hold over 400 people, so having it be that busy was a good sign 😉  I mean look at this menu…YUM!  Click the image for a larger version.

TortillaJos_MainMenu

TortillaJos_Margarita-SpecialDrinks

Once seated, we were brought some chips and salsa and we promptly ordered the table side guacamole we saw being prepared at the table next to us.  Now Tara Gidus advised against fats pre-race in the runDisney meet up earlier that week, but I just couldn’t pass up the guac.  Avocado is a healthy fat, right??

02 Tortilla-Jos-Chips

04 Tortilla-Jos-Guac

05 Tortilla-Jos-Guac

I also ordered another pre-race no-no…a margarita.  Look I had just ran a 10K that morning and it was still early enough in the day that it wouldn’t effect my sleep or the race.  What is Mexican food without a margarita??  Are my excuses convincing??

03 Tortilla-Jos-Margarita

Jo’s Super Gold Margarita

I didn’t want to order something too heavy for my meal and I definitely didn’t want to be weighed down with tons of dairy.  Jo’s Carnitas seemed to be the obvious choice.  Braised pork with some rice and beans for carbs…perfect!  Oh and was it oh so delicious!

Jo's Carnitas

Jo’s Carnitas

Crispy Pork Goodness!

Crispy Pork Goodness!

The pork came with freshly made corn tortillas and extra bonus, the waitress was nice enough to give me a few extra to bring back to the hotel for a morning snack.  You can bet that I loaded those up with some peanut butter the next morning 😉

Amanda ordered the same dish and B went with his favorite Enchiladas Suizas.  I didn’t try them, but they looked great and he said they were really good.  He particularly liked the corn that came with it which had a bit of a kick to it.

08 Tortilla-Jos-Enchiladas

We left there stuffed to the gills and very satisfied.  Probably one of the best Mexican dishes I’ve ever had.  Hey Patina Restaurant Group…can you PLEASE open one of these in Downtown Disney in Orlando so I can eat there more often??  That would rule!

Have you eaten at Tortilla Jo’s?  What is your go to pre-race meal?

Friday Feast: Pre-Race Fuel at WDW

One of the questions I get asked most often is “Where is the best place to eat before a runDisney race at Walt Disney World?”  This is such a difficult question and something I struggle with before every race.  Luckily, WDW has a TON of dining options, so there is generally something for everyone.

Here are a few of the places I have dined at before runDisney events…the good, bad and meh.

Via Napoli

Chicken Parmesan at Via Napoli

Chicken Parmesan at Via Napoli

Italian food always seems to be the go to meal before races, probably because of the abundance of pasta for carb-loading.  So before my first half marathon (Princess 2012), that’s exactly what I decided on and headed to Via Napoli.  I really wanted Chicken Parmesan (one of my favorite pre-race meals anywhere!) which is what I ordered.  At Via Napoli, this comes with roasted potatoes, but I wanted some pasta.  The waiter would not make the substitution, saying that the chef absolutely refuses.  Really?  In Disney?  Interesting…

So I settled for the potatoes, which were good but just didn’t hit the spot.  Also, the restaurant is very loud and busy so I didn’t enjoy the overall experience for before a race.  You can read my full review here.

San Angel Inn

Enchiladas Verde De Pollo at San Angel Inn

Enchiladas Verde De Pollo at San Angel Inn

I had a late lunch here before the 2013 WDW Marathon to fuel up for those long 26.2 miles.  I LOVE Mexican food and while it might not be good for some before a race, it’s perfect for me.  Well as long as it’s something mild and not too acidic.  The enchiladas at San Angel Inn are just perfect.  Corn tortillas, rice and beans for carbs and tons of chicken for protein.  Unfortunately, I had to pass on having a yummy margarita, but there’s always next time…

Maya Grill

Grande Taco Platter at Maya Grill

Grande Taco Platter at Maya Grill

Oh look…more Mexican food!  Maya Grill is an absolute hidden gem at WDW.  Fantastic food, fun entertainment and it’s pretty easy to get a reservation.  Before the 2013 Princess Half Marathon, my fellow Mexican food lover Amanda and I headed to Maya Grill to fuel up with some of our friends.  We shared a giant bowl of guacamole to start, which was some of the best guac I’ve ever had, and I ordered the Grande Taco Platter for my entree.  I got a combination of beef, shrimp and chicken tacos, and the beef tacos were by far the best.  The shrimp and chicken were just meh.  It came with a generous portion of rice, beans and corn pudding.  Overall, it was amazing and great fuel for the race!

Kouzzina

Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash at Kouzzina

Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash at Kouzzina

It’s no secret that I LOVE Kouzzina breakfast, so it probably comes as no surprise that this is my go to place for meals before any of the night races at WDW.  Before both the 2012 Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I had a late breakfast (around 10:00 am) at Kouzzina.  Before I found out about my egg sensitivity, my favorite dish was the Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash, which is topped with a perfectly poached egg and arugula.  Drooooooolllll.  Perfect fuel for a night race!!

Since both those races, I have taken tests that have shown that I have a severe sensitivity to eggs.  Booooooo!!!  But guess what??  I found out from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in WDW that Kouzzina has some of the best allergen free waffles around.  And YES they do!!  Get these bad boys with a side of that delicious sweet potato hash and you are good to go.  You know where I’ll be for all the WDW races this fall.  You can read my full review of all the allergen free options here.

Allergen Free Waffles & Chicken Sausage at Kouzzina

Allergen Free Waffles & Chicken Sausage at Kouzzina

Landscape of Flavors

Mango, Blueberry, Banana Smoothie at Landscape of Flavors

Mango, Blueberry, Banana Smoothie at Landscape of Flavors

There are so many options at Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, but my favorite pre-race option is their smoothie bar.  I drink a smoothie everyday for breakfast to get me going, so this was a seriously awesome find for me in WDW.  The only bad thing is that they wouldn’t add any spinach from the salad bar in the next station…come on!!  But even without the spinach, the mango, blueberry and banana smoothie I had was delicious and a wonderful snack before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

ESPN Zone

Championship Chicken Sandwich at ESPN Zone

Championship Chicken Sandwich at ESPN Zone

If you’re staying at the Boardwalk, this is an easy option to get a good meal.  Before the 2012 Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I ate here and ordered the Champion Chicken Sandwich without the bun.  I also got the sun-dried tomato pesto and goat cheese on the side so I could limit my intake of that.  The chicken was very good and the dish was a nice combination of protein and carbs for the race.  I just wish they had sweet potato fries!

I would also recommend getting your food to go if you plan on dining here before a race.  The restaurant is very loud with all of the games going on, so it’s not the best place to relax and get your head together.

In-Room Food

Whole Wheat Bagel Thin, Almond Butter & Banana

Whole Wheat Bagel Thin, Almond Butter & Banana

This combo is my must do meal prior to any race.  Whenever I’m in WDW for a race, I make a point to stop for some bagels, almond butter and bananas.  For me, this is the ideal race fuel…carbs, protein, sugars…perfect.  This combo is also great for staying in a hotel room because nothing needs to be refrigerated.  Trust me on this one…you’ll love it!

Well those are the restaurants I’ve visited so far prior to runDisney events.  What is you’re go to meal before a race?  What is your favorite WDW dining location before a race?