Saturday, January 10, 2015

Donald is good-Duck not so much-Eats at Hollywood Studios

During our trip we ate at Hollywood Studios three times.

We had fond memories of the ABC Commissary  and planned on stopping there for lunch, but when we scanned the current menu we discovered that all of the more unique items had been taken away and replaced with the same burgers, sandwiches, etc… as most of the other quick service eateries.  

After feeling momentarily uncertain where to go next, we headed to The Brown Derby Lounge.

Not to be confused with The Brown Derby Restaurant, the patio lounge sits just outside of the restaurant and serves small bites and drinks. 

They even have Shirley Temples, but it was so hot that day, all I wanted was a big tall glass of ice water.  Barbara, who was our amazing cast member/server, kept the ice water flowing without ever being asked. She even offered us two cups of ice water to go before we left.

 Since we had reservations for dinner, we only wanted a little something to tide us over. We ordered the cheese and charcuterie platter and the sliders.  

The sliders consisted of one beef slider and one duck slider.  The beef slider was one of the best burgers that I have ever had. I probably could have eaten five of them; the duck slider not so much. If you like duck, it’s probably very good, but I’m starting to learn that duck is not my favorite meat (good news for Donald I think).  Barbara assured us that next time if we wanted to get the sliders again, we could switch out the duck and get two beef sliders. I love a good fresh homemade potato chip and the chips that came  with the sliders did not disappoint. I could have eaten an entire plate of them along with the five additional sliders.  

Since the lounge wasn’t crowded, we lingered there for a bit people watching while we nibbled our chips and sipped our waters.  It was one of our favorite meals of the trip and we look forward to going back there again.

Though often maligned, we decided to make dinner reservations at the Hollywood and Vine buffet.

 We actually haven’t eaten at a ton of Disney buffets so we don’t have a lot of comparison, but I think Hollywood and Vine receives more criticism than it should.  Our main reason for reserving there was  to get passes for Fantasmic. Not because the seats are so fantastic, but so we wouldn’t have to line up hours before the show to get seats.  With the passes we could enjoy the park longer without worrying about whether or not we would get a seat for the show.
The food at Hollywood and Vine isn’t necessarily spectacular, but it’s good.  It’s nice sometimes to not have a challenge and to dig into a bowl of endless mashed potatoes or mac and cheese. 

We sat beside a cheeky almost unreal southern grandmother who repeatedly called her teenage granddaughter, “Missy.” She said things like, “I’m going to tan your hide Missy until you learn some manners.” 

My favorite part of the buffet was the dessert table, particularly the chocolate fountain.  

I appreciated that at a buffet filled with often unsupervised children scampering about, the fountain was kept out of reach of germy hands.  The best chocolate covered item was the dried mango.  We both ate a lot mango pieces.  

On our last day at Disney we ate at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater.  

This was our first visit to this restaurant.  I know, I know it doesn’t make sense on a lot of levels that we have never been here, but the word has always been that the food was just okay and being a foodie, I tended to avoid going there.  This trip we decided that we should probably go there just to do it at least once.

If you have never been there, The Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater is an indoor restaurant that is set up to make you feel like you are dining outdoors at a 1950s drive-in theater.  The theming is fantastic. It was one of the most fun meals of our trip.

  We were seated in the front seat of our car/table.  

There was a fun quirky couple that sat behind us (the girl’s hair and dress were vintage perfection). For someone who has social anxiety about being seated with strangers it was a relief. It might have been a less pleasant experience if there were grumpy addicted to complaining people behind us.

Since we were planning on having a larger meal in the evening we decided to get snacks instead of a full meal.  Shannon got the buffalo popcorn chicken.

I ordered the fried dill pickles with spicy ranch sauce.  

Maybe I set my expectations low, but both snacks were very yummy.  I liked dipping my pickles in the blue cheese sauce that came with the buffalo chicken more than the ranch.  Since this was our first visit we found the old Sci-fi movie clips and vintage movie advertisements that ran on the screen highly entertaining, but I understand that if you visit the restaurant a lot it could get a little tiresome since they never change (I wondered if the cast members there see those clips in their sleep). 

Exiting the caf√© can be a bit disorienting.  The inside immerses you in a pleasantly cool starry skied night and it takes you a moment to adjust to a sweltering bright sunny outside. Once our eyes were no longer blinded by the sunshine we declared that the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater was worth a repeat visit. 

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