Review: New Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari at Namaste Café Food Truck in Downtown Disney

When the Namaste Café Food Truck made its debut in Downtown Disney’s West Side last November, we happily sampled the Butter Chicken (BUTTER CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!), a favorite dish of ours from Sanaa.

The dishes at Namaste Café were chosen to reflect some of the best cuisine to be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I remember thinking, “Cool… now, if only we could get a little of Sanaa’s fabulous bread service, we’d be set.”

But I didn’t really think it would happen. I just didn’t think the setting was conducive to it.

Well, apparently I was wrong, because IT HAS ARRIVED… kind of! Introducing, the Namaste Café Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari!!

Namaste Cafe Menu

Namaste Cafe Menu

Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari on Menu

Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari on Menu

Now, we’re talkin’!!!

Before we “dip in,” I should let you know where I found Namaste Café, because the Food Trucks are still moving all around Downtown Disney as they await their ultimate destination in the upcoming Food Truck Park.  On this most recent visit, I found it right outside of the World of Disney Store in the Marketplace.

Namaste Cafe in the Marketplace

Namaste Cafe in the Marketplace

A few [Read more…]

News! Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Unveils New Lunch Menu…With Some Surprises!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa has debuted a new lunch menu! And we have all the details and a few pics courtesy of guest author Julie B.!

You all know how much I LURVE Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village (BUTTER CHICKEN!!!). And I’m excited to share that there have been some interesting changes made to the lunch offerings since our recent Sanaa lunch review.

In fact, it’s the most dramatic menu makeover since the restaurant opened.

Let’s take a look at what’s been updated…

Bread Service

The Sanaa bread service has been a major fan favorite for years. Basically, you’ve always been able to get a choice of three breads (including the gorgeous and buttery Naan bread) and three accompaniments for $8.99.

A Few Bread Service Choices -- Naan - Onion Kulcha - Paneer Paratha

Now, Sanaa diners can pay an additional $2 to receive all nine accompaniments with the bread service! Just two bucks and NO MORE CHOOSING!

Bread Service Menu.

You’ll get all those delicious sauces and chutneys for $10.99! Seriously good deal.

All nine bread service accompaniments!

Appetizers and Salad Sampler

The Appetizer Sampler for Two has changed its offerings.

OLD Appetizer Sampler for Two -- Potato and Pea Samosas - Lamb Kefta - Roasted Cauliflower

NOW, instead of samosas, lamb kefta kabobs, and roasted cauliflower, it features samosas, lamb kefta sliders, and a choice of Seasonal Soup or Chana Tikki (a new appetizer described as Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Tomato Chutney).

Appetizers and Salad Sampler.

The Lamb Kefta Sliders have replaced the former kabobs, and a seasonal soup is now a regular feature on the menu.

Never fear, the totally awesome Tomato Soup with Paneer Cheese is still there!

Tomato Soup with Paneer Cheese is safe on the menu!

Two new salads have appeared on the salad sampler – Kachumbari (didn’t get a detailed description, the Cast are still getting used to everything, too) and Mango salad. These replace the Golden Lentils and Tomato Salad, and the Roasted Beets salad.

Slow-cooked in Gravy

Another menu change Julie got to sample personally was the different variety of “Slow-cooked in Gravy.”  She says:

You can sleep soundly tonight knowing your beloved [Read more…]

Review: Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table at the Grand Floridian Resort

Today, we travel up the elegant stairway to the pinnacle of fine dining at Walt Disney World, Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Join me for an unparalleled experience as I take you behind the opulence to the excitement and camaraderie of the Chef’s Table! And let me tell you… it’s AWESOME!!

Victoria and Albert’s is the crown jewel in Disney’s culinary offerings. And while it is certainly expensive (that might be an understatement), I aim to show you that for the true food lover, the Chef’s Table experience is worth every penny.

By the way, if you read through this review and decide the Chef’s Table is not for you, you can also dine in the Dining Room to the more intimate Queen Victoria Room.

Victoria and Albert's Plate

Reservations for Victoria and Albert’s go quickly. It is recommended that you book as close to 180 days out as possible. As for cost, the menu is prix fixe, meaning that you pay a set price for the meal. Expect your meal to begin at $135 per person for the Dining Room, with an additional charge of $65 for wine pairings. That price includes six courses. Queen Victoria’s Room and the Chef’s Table menus may include up to thirteen courses, and prices start at $210/person for dinner and $105 for wine pairings. Keep in mind that these prices do not reflect tax or gratuity, so be prepared.

While Queen Victoria’s Room offers the height of elegant dining, the Chef’s Table provides interested guests full access to the restaurant’s culinary team in a meal that is as much performance as it is sustenance.

Atmosphere

Once you check in for your reservation at the Chef’s Table, you are escorted through the well appointed (and very quiet!) main dining room. You’ll notice low light, beautiful fresh flowers, and the strains of harp music. The whole effect is quite romantic and very formal. There is a strict dress code here, and men must wear jackets.

Victoria and Albert's Main Dining Room

The Dining Room consists of a mere fourteen tables, beautifully set with spotless crystal and china. Very chi chi.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

We followed the debonaire Maître d’hôtel, Israel Perez, through this space and into the brightly lit kitchen. At that time, we were informed that Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel would not be joining us because of a conflicting event. In his place, Sous Chef Aimée Rivera would guide us through our meal.

Maître d'hôtel Israel Perez and Chef Rivera

Both Mr. Perez and Chef Rivera were phenomenal, and it’s clear that their passion and driving force is the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. Chef Rivera invited us to interact at will with the kitchen staff, and suggested that we voice any and all questions that we might have (Mua ha ha ha!!! She didn’t know just how annoying I can be!).

An interesting fact: once you are seated, you can’t [Read more…]