Posts Tagged by tutto gusto

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.



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: Tutto Gusto

When I heard a new wine bar was opening in Epcot I was very excited.  Barry and I love this kind of food.  There are many nights that we will have a simple meal of bread, cheese, various meats and salad.  So I knew that eating here was a definite priority on my last trip to the World.

We had been at Star Wars Weekends since 7:30 am, so we were hungry before lunch time.  We headed over to Tutto Gusto a little before they open at 11:30 am.

The restaurant is very dark and the decor is rustic Italian like something you would expect to find in a small village in Tuscany.  My favorite feature was the chandelier over the bar that was made out of numerous wine bottles.  It’s stunning.

Main Dining Area

Wine Bottle Chandelier

Ok, now let’s get to the food.  The deliciously simple food.  When you first walk into the restaurant, you will see the the glowing case of veggies, cheese, cured meats, and mouth watering desserts.  What to choose??

Display Case of Goodness

Cold Antipasto Options

We were the first people there, so we had our choice of table.  We ordered a glass of wine and agonized over the menu.  Everything we saw in the display case was on the menu, along with a few pasta dishes and paninis (mini sandwiches, not the grilled sandwiches).  After much agonizing, we opted for the Chef’s Selection of Four meats and cheeses, the Bufala Mozzarella & Pomodoro panini, the Robiolo & White Truffle Crema panini, and Asparagi Bianchi (white asparagus).

Everything was fantastic.  The asparagus was perfectly tender and was tossed with parmesan, parsley, lemon and olive oil.  So simple, but so flavorful.

White Asparagus with Parmesan

The paninis didn’t skimp on the cheese, but the bread was a little strange.  There was a lot of excess on the sides.  My favorite was the Robiola, which I love.  It’s a creamy, flavorful cheese.  There was supposed to be a white truffle crema on the panini, but I didn’t taste it.  Maybe the cheese is too strong for subtle white truffles.  The one thing that disappointed me about this dish was the salad.  The menu said it came with an arugula salad, which would’ve been a nice accompaniment simply tossed with lemon.  Instead, the salad was romaine with a heavy dressing and was nothing spectacular.


Lastly was the Chef’s Selection of meats and cheeses which came with Prosciutto di Parma, Salametto (a hard salami), Parmagiano-Reggiano, and Fior di Latte (fresh mozzarella).  This plate offered a nice variety of flavors, but I would’ve opted for a different cheese than the Parmagiano-Reggiano.  It is a very strong cheese and they give you a large quantity.  We had a lot left over at the end of the meal.

Chef’s Selection of Meats & Cheeses

And let’s not forget about the dessert…oh the dessert!  This was the highlight of the meal.  We ordered the Tiramisu and a Cannoli.  Both were phenomenal.  The tiramisu was light and just melted in my mouth.  The cannoli was the clear winner!  The shell was crisp and the creamy filling had the perfect tang from the marscapone and a nice sweetness from the chocolate chips inside.  I could’ve eaten 5 more!

Cannoli & Tiramisu

Tutto Gusto will definitely be on my must do list for future trips to Walt Disney World.  I love the small plates and the ability to have tastes of numerous items.  And then there are the cannolis, you will dream about them.  This is a fantastic addition to the World Showcase restaurants in Epcot and I hope Disney continues to revamp the other restaurants with the same quality as Tutto Gusto.

Have you visited Tutto Gusto?  What is your favorite dish?

Friday Feast: One Day in the World

Next Saturday I will be in Walt Disney World for only one day, my shortest trip ever.  Since dining in WDW is one of my favorite things, I’m having quite the dilema trying to figure out where to go.

Here’s the scenario:
Arrival: 11:00 pm Friday night
Departure: 9:00 am Sunday morning
Resort: Beach Club Villas (BCV)
Priorities: Star Wars Weekend (SWW)
Transportation: Rental Car

My original thought was to go to SWW in the early part of the day, returning to BCV for a short rest, then head to Flying Fish Cafe for dinner, and finish the night back at the Studios for the Hyper Space Hoopla.  But my plans have derailed due to a few factors…

1. Tutto Gusto opened.  Wine, meats, cheeses…who can pass that up?  After seeing all of the recent reviews on sites like the Disney Food Blog and Eating WDW, I NEED to go here!  My mouth is watering just looking at the photos!  These are some of my favorite things.  Since I’m staying at BCV, I can probably pop over there, but will have to sacrifice some SWW time.  Is it worth it?

2. Hubs has requested sushi at California Grill.  How can I say no to this??  This is one of our favorite things about WDW and something we look forward to every visit.  Sushi back home just doesn’t compare anymore now that we’ve been privileged to California Grill’s Sushi.  The Dragon Roll is simply life changing.  This will take a serious chunk of time to get over to the Contemporary Resort, but it will also make us both VERY happy.

Who can pass this up??

So what to do??  We are both HUGE Star Wars fans and this will be our first SWW, so we want to take in as much as possible.  On the other hand, this is our first vacation in a while so we feel we should indulge in our favorite thing…dining.  Oh the first world problems we have… 🙂

I want to hear from you!  

What would you do?  If you had only ONE day in WDW, what would your priorities be?  What would your dining priorities be?

RAD Reads & Weekly Review – April 29, 2012

I hope you all had a wonderful week!  I’ve been pretty busy this week and feel behind on my blog reading, but I think I’ve found some interesting RAD Reads for you.

Also, make sure to check out Walt Disney World for Grownups where I am the new runDisney columnist!  My first contribution was on Why I runDisney.  It’s a great site and I’m very excited to be a part of the team!

Running Posts
The Wannabe Athlete is feeling the burn with 10 minute Daily Burn workouts.  These look great and I need to give them a try!

Running With Sass features guest blogger Malinda Ann Hill from Twins Run In Our Family who shares her story of running with chronic illness.  This is an inspiring story and something I am all too familiar with.

Meals and Miles knows she is stronger than she thinks she is while prepping for next week’s Flying Pig Marathon.  Good luck!

Running Down a Dream 23 recaps the Carmel Marathon from last weekend.  Awesome finish!

Disney Posts
The Disney Food Blog shares the new menu at Tutto Italia and new exterior photos of the restaurant and the wine bar Tutto Gusto.  I can’t wait to try the wine bar!

Touring Plans give some great tips on where to start your Disney day.  They also discuss the new partnership of Disney and Starbucks that was announced this week.

Studios Central reveals some of the merchandise for Star Wars Weekends.  I NEED those vinyls!  Can’t wait to check out my first SWW in 3 weeks!

Main Street Gazette talks about some of the secret perks of volunteering for entertainment at Disney.

This Happy Place Blog wraps up Animal Kingdom Appreciation (AKA) by exploring extinct attractions at the park.  Kudos for the photos!  🙂

Weekly Review
It’s been a long week full of both hectic days at work and fun times in NYC yesterday.  I’ve struggled with motivation this week, but worked though it and managed to get some good workouts in there.

Here is my week in training:
Monday: Spinning – 1 hour
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 3.2 mile run
Thursday: Spinning – 1 hour
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8 mile run
Sunday: Rest

Yesterday I did my longest training run since the Princess Half Marathon.  8 miles in 1 hour and 45 minutes.  That’s an average pace of 13:07, which I’m really happy with.  My next race is the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon in just under 5 weeks.  I’m hoping I can keep this up with this pace and finish the race in under 3 hours.  Fingers crossed for a good few weeks of injury free training for the race!

I haven’t had the healthiest week of eating.  Pastrami, pizza, burritos, beer and grilled cheese round out some of the menu, but you have to live a little, right?  DailyMile says I burned over 4,000 calories this week so I don’t feel too guilty about it 🙂  Barry and I also had an amazing 6 course meal yesterday that I will be covering on the Feast this week.  You won’t want to miss it!

Pastrami Ruben at Junior's
There are no calories in this, right??

Giant Grilled Chicken Burrito
I got 3 meals out of this sucker!

This week, I have also realized that I have an obsession with frozen yogurt.  After my life changing trip to Pinkberry last week, I have been on the hunt for FroYo in my area.  I found a place called NuVita, which is a pretty good substitute.  It’s a serve yourself place, which was very confusing at first, but it’s kind of fun.  This could be dangerous over the summer…

Cheesecake & Dulce de Leche FroYo with Mini Chocolate Chips and Toasted Coconut...YUM!

My goal for the next few weeks is to add a mile to my long runs on the weekend until it’s time to taper for the race.  I’m feeling good about this and I’m looking forward to that wine at the finish line 🙂

Have a great week and I want to hear from you…let me know how your week went and what your goals are!