Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dining in (All Other) Resort Restaurants

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Here it is, everyone!  The last of the posts in this dining series!  This post encompasses all other restaurants in Disney resorts (minus those in the Magic Kingdom area.  For those, look here).  So many great options are at these resorts, with varied price ranges and atmospheres suited for everyone!

Shall we get started?

First, we'll look at the Beach Club Resort and Yacht Club Resort!

Look at the Beach Club Resort to find Beaches & Cream Soda Shop.
Ideal for: The Saver
Price Range: Under $15, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: Beaches & Cream
  • This restaurant is great for the saver, because the food and theming are great, but prices are reasonable.  Also, share the kitchen sink with a group for a great value!
  • Pros:
    • Large menu of desserts, all of which are wonderful
    • Fun, nostalgic theming
  • Cons: Though it's done well, the food on the menu is pretty standard
  • Other Notes: Beaches & Cream is home to the Kitchen Sink, an ice cream dessert that is served in a replica kitchen sink, and has a large host of ingredients.  It's huge, but a Beaches & Cream favorite.

Next, look at the Beach Club's Cape May Cafe.
Ideal for: Those who want to have Fun, the Planner
Price Range: $15-60, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: BreakfastDinner
  • When I think "Clambake," I think of a bunch of friends at the ocean with a seafood buffet.  And to me, Cape May Cafe provides that feeling with their dinner buffet.  Also, this venue is great for the planner, because it's popularity and proximity to Epcot makes it something that much be planned ahead of time.
  • Pros:
    • Comfortable seating
    • Lots of really good seafood at the clambake dinner buffet
  • Cons:
    • Lots of kids at breakfast, because it's a character meal
    • Food traffic is pretty heavy in the restaurant because of the buffet location
  • Other Notes:
    • If you want to see the characters, keep in mind that beach-themed Mickey does not appear here.
    • If you are a seafood lover, keep this in mind as a choice on a day you're in Epcot.  The Beach Club resort is in walking distance, and the seafood at this buffet is really tasty.

At the Yacht Club Resort, try Captain's Grille.
Ideal for: The Impulsive
Price Range: $10-30, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: BreakfastLunchDinner
  • It is typically very easy to get a table here without a reservation, even with it's great location in the Yacht Club Resort.
  • Pros:
    • Delicious seafood and good breakfast choices
    • Good service
  • Cons:
    • Limited menu choices for lunch/dinner.
    • Theming is subtle and nice, but slightly outdated
  • Other Notes: Though the breakfast buffet has some nice, standard options, be sure to consider the menu.  The selection of specialty breakfast items is definitely not to be passed up!

Also at the Yacht Club, reserve a spot at Yachtsman Steakhouse.
Ideal for: The Spender
Price Range: $30-60, or 2 table-service credits
Link to Menu: Yachtsman
  • A signature dining option, the Yachtsman Steakhouse is really great for those willing to pay top dollar for a delicious meal.
  • Pros:
    • Comfortable seating
    • The food is consistently very good, despite the fact that the menu frequently changes based on seasonal ingredients
  • Cons:
    • Very plain, pretty unexciting theming
    • Service is often slow
  • Other Notes: The entrance of the restaurant offers a view of the steak trimming room, where you can observe the aging process of the delectable steaks offered here.

Another deluxe resort with a lot of dining options is the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

First, we'll look at Boma, located in the Jambo House.
Ideal for: Those who want to have Fun
Price Range: $15-60, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: BreakfastDinner
  • The ethnic flavors on the buffet and extensive list of alcohol would make this a great venue to dinner after a day at Animal Kingdom.
  • Pros:
    • Beautiful, African-inspired decor throughout the restaurant
    • Large selection of African wines and beers
    • Really great food and desserts (including the "cult favorite," zebra domes)
  • Cons: Though there is some plainer food, it is a lot of ethnic flavors and might not suit all tastes
  • Other Notes:
    • Boma loosely translates to a fence made of sticks, and this motif is found throughout the decoration of the restaurant.
    • The Animal Kingdom Lodge boasts the largest collection of African beers and wines outside of the African continent itself.

Also in the Jambo House is Jiko - the Cooking Place.
Ideal for: The Spender, the Romantic
Price Range: $30-60, or 2 table-service credits
Link to Menu: Jiko
  • The beautiful scenery is very fitting for a date night, and the price tag of this signature dining option is really worth it for the great food and decor.
  • Pros:
    • Also has a huge selection of African wines and beers
    • Beautiful scenery inside and outside the restaurant, with very intricate details
    • Food is really great, and consistently remains that way
  • Cons:
    • Seating in many places, but not all, are quite cramped
    • African and Ethiopian flavors are not suited to everyone's palate
  • Other Notes: This is a really great signature dining option with very different flavors and themes than many of the other signature restaurants.  This is a great pick for a day spend in Animal Kingdom!

The last restaurant, Sanaa, is located in the Kidani Villas.
Ideal for: The Planner
Price Range: $15-30, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: LunchDinner
  • The food here is really yummy and reasonably priced, but it's location in the Kidani Villas makes some forethought and planning necessary.
  • Pros:
    • View of Sunset Savanna as you dine
    • Food is very interesting and flavorful, and definitely worth trying
  • Cons:
    • Bread service is not complimentary here
    • Food has very ethnic flavors, like the others at the Lodge, and might not be best for all
    • Takes a good bit of time out of your day
  • Other Notes: Sanaa means art in Swahili, and the restaurant really embraces that theme with the rich designs and decorations throughout.  As the restaurant includes a view of the savanna, you might want to stick to lunch or early dinner here to be sure that you will be able to see the animals before it gets too dark.

The Old Key West Resort Villas has Olivia's Cafe.
Ideal for: The Saver
Price Range: $10-30, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: BreakfastLunch/Dinner
  • The food here is good, and for great prices, making it an ideal option for the saver.
  • Pros:
    • Very homey, comfortable atmosphere
    • Really good desserts
  • Cons:
    • Typical visitors are vacationers from the Vacation Club Villas at Old Key West, so others visiting may feel like "outsiders"
    • Food is good, but nothing special
  • Other Notes: The pictures on the walls come from vacationers at the Villas that send in pictures themselves to be hung there.

The Saratoga Springs Villas host the Turf Club Bar and Grill.
Ideal for: ...sorry, Turf Club, but no one.
Price Range: $15-30, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: Turf Club
  • Unless you're staying at this resort, Turf Club's not-so-great reviews means that there isn't too much of a reason to make your way here.
  • Pros:
    • Standard fare that can fit most people's tastes
    • Get's away from the "Disney" feel if you need a break
  • Cons:
    • Very little theming, mostly just feels like the hotel itself
    • Food is just mediocre
  • Other Notes: It seems that this restaurant is going through a "tired out phase," and unfortunately isn't the best quality anymore.

The Maya Grill is the table-service option at the Coronado Springs Resort.
Ideal for: The Romantic
Price Range: $15-30, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: Maya Grill
  • This restaurant is located in the most romantic of the moderate resorts, Coronado Springs, so hungry couples should think about stopping in.
  • Pros:
    • Really good margaritas
    • Decor is nice, with a relaxing but still classy atmosphere
  • Cons:
    • Waits to be seated can be long, even when it isn't busy
    • There is a mixture of Latin American foods and standard burgers and things, which makes the menu feel very non-authentic
  • Other Notes: The food here is fine, but probably not worth the trip if you aren't staying in the Coronado Springs resort.

And at the Caribbean Beach Resort you will find Shutters.
Ideal for: The Impulsive
Price Range: $15-30, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: Shutters
  • Typically easy to get a seat, Shutters offers some yummy food, and a fun atmosphere.
  • Pros:
    • Outstanding service
    • Pretty good food, especially menu items with a Caribbean flair
  • Cons:
    • The rooms are large and echo-y
    • Desserts here are pricy and not great
  • Other Notes: Like Maya Grill, this restaurant is probably best for those staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort, and does not warrant a trip there specifically.  That being said, it is quite good for being a moderate resort restaurant.

And the last table-service restaurant on Disney property is in the Port Orleans Riverside Resort, named Boatwright's Dining Hall.
Ideal for: It's difficult to say.
Price Range: $15-30, or 1 table-service credit
Link to Menu: Boatwright's
  • It's hard for me to narrow down one type of vacationer to send here.  Boatwright's is an experience, and has a great feel, so if you have a chance to try it, it's worth a trip for just about anyone.
  • Pros:
    • Really nice theming with a cozy, homey feel
    • Delicious creole inspired food, with a real comfort food feel
  • Cons:
    • Like the other heavily themed food restaurant, not all people may like the flavors
    • Desserts are hit or miss
  • Other Notes: Make sure to check out Yehaa Bob in the River Roost Lounge next door.  He's a resort favorite!

Anddddd we've done it!  If you've read the series of posts (Magic KingdomEpcotHollywood Studios, Animal KingdomDowntown and Boardwalk, and Magic Kingdom Resorts) prior to this, and now this one, you have reviewed basically all reservation-accepting restaurant on Disney property.  Congratulations!  Hopefully it has helped you to make an informed decision about where YOU want to eat on your next trip!

I have a few ideas of what comes next, but would love to hear what anyone needs help with!  So please, comment!  Ask questions!  Suggestions are welcome!  Please!

That being said, the spring semester of college quickly approaches.  As does internship seeking for the upcoming summer.  I will still post, but with what consistency, I can't guarantee.

Happy Planning!

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