Kungaloosh!

It’s been almost nine months since the last “curtain” on the Adventurer’s Club in Disney World’s Downtown Disney, and I figured some of us might be in withdrawal.

Radio-a-thon Library Show

Radio-a-thon Library Show

I don’t know where you can get Kungalooshes these days (2011 Edit: You can get ‘em at Trader Sam’s in Disneyland!), but when it’s late…and you’re lonely…you can always mix up a pitcher at home.

Well, it doesn’t HAVE to be late…and you don’t HAVE to be lonely…:

Kungaloosh Recipe

1 cup Daily’s Strawberry Daiquiri Mix
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
1/4 cup blackberry brandy

Toss it in a blender with enough ice to make it slushy, or serve over ice.

Kungaloosh Old Style from Trader Sam's in Disneyland

This recipe is from All Ears Net, and it’s listed as the recipe used from about the year 2000 forward. (It’s certainly the one I remember.)

Kungaloosh!

What are your favorite Adventurer’s Club memories??

Contempo Cafe

Contempo Cafe

Contempo Cafe

The Contemporary Resort went through a re-model not too long ago, which included the destruction of the Concourse Steakhouse and the creation of the Contempo Cafe in its place.

Contempo Cafe isn’t significantly impressive at first look–it’s a standard counter-service place that happens to be in the middle of the Grand Canyon Concourse. What I love about it, though, is the ordering system that’s in place. The “TV Touchscreen Ordering” is, quite simply, a picky eater’s dream come true.

Instructions

Instructions

If you’ve ever seen Meg Ryan order food in When Harry Met Sally, you’ll know exactly what my dining companions must endure! I substitute this for that, I order most things without one or two of their essential ingredients, I need my sauces on the side…you get the idea. So what I love about the ordering system at Contempo Cafe (reminiscent of my beloved Sheetz Gas Station Made-To-Order service), is that you can make all the little specifications you want! It’s the ultimate “have it your way.”

So, if you’re a picky eater like me–or just like to try out touch-screen technology–

Ordering Screen

Ordering Screen

head over to the 4th floor of the Contemporary for a yummy flatbread (loaded or naked), a deli sandwich (build it as weird as you want it), or an omelet (with or withOUT those pesky veggies…).

Snack series: Turkey Legs

Turkey Leg

Turkey Leg

At over 1000 calories and 50 grams of fat (according to this MSN article), this “snack” could serve as two meals for most folks. So, as a result, everyone’s “down” on the turkey leg. All of the articles I see about these giant drumsticks profess shock that anyone could ever eat such a thing.

But I always thought that vacation was a little bit about letting loose, relaxing, maybe eating and/or drinking a bit more than you would normally… . Who doesn’t gain a few pounds on vacation?

Would love your thoughts–Do you stick to your diet at Disney? Email me at webmaster@disneyfoodblog.com!

Disney World Online Dining Reservation Info

Disney Online Dining Reservations System

Disney Online Dining Reservations System

Keith at MouseMisers has posted his experience with the new Disney Dining Reservations system, currently available only to Travel Agents:

Walt Disney World launched the long awaited online reservation system for dining reservations. Originally due in 2008, it was launched late last night, currently for Travel Agents only. No indication was given when the tool will be made available to the general public, but my guess is 2 weeks of testing should do. Currently, only reservations May 26, 2009 and after are available in the system, so the logical launch date would be May 26, 2009. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Read more of his experience–and see screen shots of the system–on his blog.
mousemisers-logo1

Mid-Century Nostalgia

One of the Waiting Area Living Rooms

One of the Waiting Area Living Rooms

One of the unsung heroes of dining at Walt Disney World is the 50’s Prime Time Cafe, a diner where the food is decent, the servers are funny, and the decor is the real reason you’re there.

Reminiscent of their youth for those over 50 and the Wonder Years for those under 40, 50’s Prime Time takes pride in its less-than-chic furnishings. Knick Knacks prevail in colors like cornflower blue and avocado, and, more than once, you’ll hear “didn’t Mom used to have one of those?”

A Coveted TV Table

A Coveted TV Table

Arrive early and request a “TV Table.” This is a table for four or five that has a TV right next to it, so that you can watch the loop of black-and-white show snippets that includes The Mickey Mouse Club (what’s more fun than an egg race?), Spin and Marty, I Married Joan, The Dick van Dyke Show, and others.

The food here is less than stellar, usually on a par with a bad Denny’s, but you can score some pretty good fried chicken, chicken pot pie, and meatloaf. They recently took the best dish off the menu–a fried boursin cheese served with toasted baguette slices and grapes–but the atmosphere is almost enough to keep me coming back. Service is inconsistent and based largely on your waiter–who happens to be playing the part of your Aunt, Uncle, cousin, or brother and is at liberty to force you to eat your vegetables…no kidding. Be sure to ask if you can see the photo albums!

Chocolate Malt and Dessert Viewfinder

Chocolate Malt and Dessert Viewfinder

Dessert is another good reason to visit this restaurant. Again, the quality isn’t great, but Disney comes through on the themeing! Your dessert menu is a Viewfinder, and you get to feel like a kid all over again when you click through the enticing photos to “choose your poison.” FYI: the milkshakes are great, and the s’mores have a good reputation.

So, if you’ve got one of those free dining slots open, I suggest you pop on by 50’s Prime Time Cafe for lunch. While the food could be better, the experience can be a true Disney highlight.

Cheese Plate Series: Citricos

Citricos Cheese Plate

Citricos Cheese Plate

Ah, another cheese plate post (you can see the first in the series, Narcoossees, here). Let’s stick with the Grand Floridian and head to a restaurant that I truly love and think is one of the best in Walt Disney World.

Citricos has exceptional food and wonderful service. It’s consistent, which we always like. The cheese plate isn’t one of my favorites, unfortunately. There were other appetizers that were just as good, if not better. But the waiter this trip mentioned that they change out their cheese menu often, so perhaps it will improve in the future (this plate is from February 2009).

Cheeses
Lemon Ricotta (Cow’s Milk; upper right hand corner of photo)
Yours truly is NOT a big fan of ricotta, and this was probably my least favorite cheese on the list. I think the lemon taste, along with the texture, was what I least enjoyed. This was the only local cheese on the list and is from central Florida.

Corsu Vecchiu (Sheep’s Milk; lower right-hand corner of photo)
Anything they serve with honey is always going to be my favorite; I’ll just get that out into the open right now. This was the “moderate” cheese on the plate and was undoubtedly our favorite. This is imported from Corsica.

Oregon Blue (Cow’s Milk; lower left-hand corner of photo)
The strongest cheese, as usual, was a blue. From the Rogue Creamery in Oregon, this is an award-winning blue that’s aged for 90 days in Roquefort modeled caves. We enjoyed this–especially with the raisins. It’s one of the weakest blues I’ve had recently.

Citricos Cheeses

Citricos Cheeses

Jungle Juice vs. Frunch

Jungle Juice at Tusker House

Jungle Juice at Tusker House

Jungle Juice and Frunch are very often mistaken for one another, so I figured I’d try to clear up the whole specialty breakfast juice question.

You can find Jungle Juice at the Tusker House in Animal Kingdom (and sometimes at Boma). You can find Frunch at Boma breakfast (at least you used to be able to…the last time I was there, the juice looked a lot like jungle juice, so any confirmations would be helpful!). Also, remember that jungle juice is commonly known outside of the Disney Character Breakfast crowd as alcohol-based…so, definitely don’t add that to you 5-year-old’s morning meal…

Jungle Juice Recipe
1 part Orange Juice
1 part Passion Fruit juice
1 part Guava juice

Frunch Recipe–serves 12
One 8 ounce can Lemonade, frozen and canned (follow directions on can to dilute)
One 8 ounce can Pineapple Juice, frozen and canned (follow directions on can to dilute)
One 8 ounce can Orange Juice, frozen concentrate and canned (follow directions on can to dilute)
12 ounces Mango Juice
6 ounces Grenadine

“Book Early” Series: California Grill

California Grill Logo

California Grill Logo

I’m sorry, but it has to be done.

I know it’s redundant, expected, and utterly stereotypical (three things I try to avoid), but I have to give props to the California Grill.

The General Overview (e.g. My Opinion)
I have had good meals there, and I have had not-so-good meals there. There’s been good service and bad service. And the tables that aren’t window tables make the dining experience decidedly “less than.” But, all in all, California Grill–sitting high atop the Contemporary Resort in Disney World–is essentially a great, expensive restaurant with good food worth paying for. And while you might expect the atmosphere to be a
little “nose-in-the-air,” the staff, in my experience, have been knowledgeable, down-to-earth folks who just want you to have a great time and enjoy yourself. For this, I love the California Grill.

Sunset at California Grill

Sunset at California Grill

Booking Early and Watching the Fireworks from California Grill
So why do you need to book early? Well, most of the time, you don’t. But I put it in my “book early” series
because one of the much-touted experiences in Disney World is watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from your table at California Grill. This makes the reservations around the fireworks hour go quickly–you’ll need to book the full 180 days in advance to get a table during the fireworks if you’re headed to Disney World in a busy season, and at least a month ahead to get one during the slower months. That said, fireworks-view
tables aren’t guaranteed–all you can do is request a window table when you check in for your meal.

And if you don’t care whether you’re there for fireworks or not, you should be able to get a table at California Grill realtively easily, as long as you’re willing to eat at unpopular times.

Potato Celery Soup

Potato Celery Soup

I will say that I actually don’t enjoy watching the fireworks from California Grill. The vantage point of the restaurant is too far to the right of the castle, giving you a rather skewed view of the show (many of the fireworks are actually set off about a half mile behind the castle–being able to see this distance could essentially ruin the show for some people). Nope–I don’t care about the fireworks; but one of my absolute favorite Disney World experiences is watching the sun set from my table at California Grill. It sets behind the Grand Floridian, and the resulting skyline reflecting off of Seven Seas Lagoon is phenomenal. This I can highly recommend!

Soup Ingredients

Soup Ingredients

Finally–the FOOD!
California Grill food is amazing. Now, I’m not a food critic by any stretch of the imagination; I have a 12-year-old’s palate at best and still LOVE me some chicken fingers and fries. But the fact that California Grill can please the food critics AND me has to be saying something!

On my most recent trip, I fell for the new potato-celery soup. It was so delicious that I asked our server for the recipe and, unable to do so, kindly brought me a list of the ingredients. California Grill’s market inspired menu means that the soup and other highlights change frequently, but I can only hope they’re all as wonderful as this.

Cheese Board

Cheese Board

My other favorite (as you know if you’ve been following the food blog) is the cheese plate. California Grill has a lovely one, and every time I’ve tried it (it changes occasionally as well, of course), I’ve been pleased. I’ll do a blog in the near future highlighting the plate here.

My companion and I also tried the famous (it’s been on the menu since California Grill opened in 1995) Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, shiitake mushrooms and basil. This was superb. Along with the interesting (and surprisingly light) flatbreads, you could easily make a meal out of the appetizers at California Grill.

But why would you want to?!? From there, I indulged again in the always delicious Oak-fired Filet of Beef with cheesy Yukon gold potato mash, sautéed broccolini, and teriyaki barbecue sauce. Yes, it’s 44 bucks. But if a meal is going to be worth 44 bucks, it’s this.

One of the Many Flatbreads Available

One of the Many Flatbreads Available

Desserts are never the highlight at Disney’s “signature” restaurants (and nothing’s going to come close to ‘Ohana’s bread pudding), but California Grill is quite famous for its butterscotch and banana creme brulee.

Of course, with a theme like California, the Grill is known for its wine list (and extremely knowledgeable accompanying staff). And the restaurant also has a selection of sake to accompany its sushi bar.

Just Go. You’ll Be Glad You Did.
My parents recently asked me to suggest a “signature” restaurant where they could celebrate their anniversary in Disney World, and I immediately settled on California Grill. Although I do enjoy most of the

Filet of Beef and Cheesy Yukon Potatoes

Filet of Beef and Cheesy Yukon Potatoes

other “high-end” restaurants in Disney World, one of the most celebratory and beautiful–not to mention delicious–in my estimation is easily the California Grill.

Make your reservations up to 90 days out by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Don’t forget that California Grill has a dress code (no ripped jeans, bathing suits, flip flops, etc.), and that the check-in desk is on the 2nd foor of the Contemporary Resort while the restaurant itself is on the 15th.