After a bit of a hair-raising issue getting to Disney (big storm, flights cancelled, end up flying to Tampa, renting a car, driving to Disney, arriving at 2am, cellphone lost, luggage missing, ahoy!), I am pleased to say that we had an absolutely excellent time! Disney is one of those places where you truly have to just let yourself go IF you choose to go there. Yes, it's corporate craziness at it's absolute finest, but, the whole place runs like clockwork, it's fairly clean, and with a little advance planning, it's a relaxing place to spend a few days.
For anyone planning on a trip to Disney, you absolutely MUST get the Disney Dining Plan. It's an amazing dining plan that allows you an enormous amount of flexibility when it comes to eating. Basically, with the plan, you pay something like USD $39 a day for food. You are allotted one snack (meaning a cappuccino at a Park, an ice cream float, mickey ears ice cream, etc), one 'quick counter meal' which is essentially a lunch or breakfast at the park or resort. This includes a main course, a dessert and a drink, plus gratuity. Then you also get one table service meal which can be used at most Disney restaurants, including those in Epcot. With this, you get an appetizer, main course, dessert and drink plus it still includes gratuity. To get your money's worth, you have to use it all, eat at the restaurants where you order off the menu or a Character buffet which are more expensive.
We spent our first day at Epcot. In the Morocco area of Epcot there is a great 'quick counter' restaurant called 'The Tangerine Cafe'. There, G and I had a fantastic lunch! I ordered the meatball and rice plate (which were a lot like the albondigas that G makes) and G ordered the chicken and lamb platter. We got this with an eye towards sharing.
The meatballs were really good. Not Chef Boyardee-y at all!
The lamb and chicken plate was fantastic, as well. You received the meats, plus this really dense crusty bread, hummus, tabbouleh, and sauce. The meat was gyro, but had a really solid flavour.
Because you also got dessert, we received little cupcake wrappers of baklava. Oh my, it looked kind of iffy, but it was absolutely DELICIOUS!
Really, it was very very nice. As I said, we got this in the Morocco section of the World Showcase at Epcot. The patio is under a beautiful orange tree that was incredibly ripe!
From there, we did some wandering around, rode lots of rides, and basically enjoyed the only warm day that Florida boasted while we were there! For dinner that night, we ate at Chefs de France, which was really really nice.
They boast of their French onion soup, and despite both G and our love of this, we opted instead to have two different appetizers. G had the French cheese plate, and I had the wild mushroom and four cheese tart. This tart was so American sized, it was hilarious! The pic is awful the food was delicious!!!
And the bread they served, I kid you not, it was easily the best bread I have had since returning from France. It was warm and soft inside, crispy on the outside, with this delicious whipped butter. My goodness, it was truly magnificent! I had to take a picture of the inside!!!
For the main course, G and I both had, as quoted from the menu:
Filet de boef grille, sauce au poivre noir gratin dauphinois et haricots verts $27.95
Grilled tenderloin of beef with a black pepper sauce, original potato gratin of savoy and green beans.
Did it taste as good as it sounded? Oh yes!
It was absolutely amazing, though I did find it slightly disturbing how frog shaped my potatoes were. Who can care, I ate those little potatoes with gusto!!!
Dessert was profiteroles for me, and macaroon for G. The macaroons were much like the ones we had in France, and which we can't find here at all...
And the macaroon...
Thus ended the culinary adventures of Day 1. G has pictures of actual stuff. I have all the food pics. We did end the day watching the Illuminations fire works extravaganza. It was really an incredible day.