Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teppan Edo

Note:  This restaurant was visited on 15 April 2012.  The review was originally written later that afternoon.

This time we're off to Teppan Edo, the hibachi grill restaurant in the Japan Pavillion, at Epcot.

Teppan Edo
My henchmen for this trip were my son Zachary and my niece, Elizabeth.  We left a little early, as this one was inside a theme park and I didn't want to be late. Even with getting there early, we got parked way out in the middle of BFE and had to really hike it to the entrance.  I mean it, we were way the heck out there.

See that vaguely tan blur at the end of the row?  Yeah... that's the halfway point.
As with Le Cellier back in February, you have to keep in mind that this restaurant is inside the Epcot park.  You're going to need admission into the park as a whole in addition to the cost of the restaurant.

For those of you who haven't ever been to Epcot, Teppan Edo is located in the Japan Pavillion, a part of World Showcase.  Once you're inside Epcot, walk under Spaceship Earth, then continue through Future World to Showcase Plaza.  From Showcase Plaza, you have a choice.  You can take the long way by taking the right-hand path.  Walk to the fifth pavillion (going through Canada, England, France, and Morocco), which is the Japan pavillion.  The faster way is to catch the boat across the World Showcase Lagoon.  If you get off the boat at the Morocco pavillion, just walk to your left to the next pavillion (the Japan pavillion).  If you get off the boat at Germany, just walk to your right to the third pavillion (the Japan pavillion).

Either way, look for the Kanji gate on the shore of the lake.
The Kanji gate, the mark of the Japan pavillion.
Once at the Japan pavillion, check in at the reservations kiosk at the base of the stairs.  Once all checked in, you can go upstairs to the upper level of the Mitsukoshi building and walk inside.

The reservations check-in desk, at the foot of the stairs.

The stairs in question.  You're destination is inside that door.

Once inside the Mitsukoshi building, we had to check in again at the desk just inside the door.  This desk was being worked by a small handful of very pretty, very tiny Japanese women dressed up as geishas who were all smiles and politeness.  They handed me a buzzer and told me we'd be seated shortly.
The second check-in desk.
The wait for a table was literally measured in microseconds.  No sooner did I turn away from the second check-in than our buzzer went off and we were escorted by another geisha down a short hallway and into a room with four hibachi grills in it.  The grills were, naturally enough, all surrounded by seats.

Zachary (left) and Elizabeth (right) walking down the long, thin hallway to the dining room.

First view of the dining room.

And the view once we were seated.
The restaurant is very modern and clean looking, with a lot of tight angles.  Our grill seated ten people, and in addition to the three of us.  I've already mentioned the hostesses who were dressed as geishas.  The serving staff were likewise dressed up in an unusual looking uniform (sorry... at Disney they're called 'costumes') and were doing their very best to be utterly invisible.  I mean it.  They never spoke to us, and when it came time to remove a plate or refill a glass they did so in utter silence, finished their jobs, and then vanished into the air.  I shocked Kotone, our server, when I took a picture of her.  I think the surprise came less from the picture and more from the fact that I wasn't supposed to notice her.

Kotone, our server.  The red "Earning My Ears" ribbon on her name tag indicates that she's still in training.
Given that this was festival seating, we shared our table and our grill with other parties.  The first group was a wonderfully nice family of five (Mom, Dad, Older Sister, Middle Son, Younger Sister) from New Jersey whose names, for whatever reason, I cannot remember at this point.  With a single exception... the younger daughter (who looked to be about eight) was named Stephanie.  Nevermind.  They were very nice to talk to, and it turns out that their son wants to be a chef when he grows up. I advised him to start working in kitchens *now* to see if he still wants to in five or six years.

Our other table-mate was a nice young girl from Germany named Eineke, who had just started with the Disney international student program, and was seeing the sites before she had to go to work.

From left to right:  Oldest Son, Oldest Daughter, and Dad.  Very friendly people, and good conversationalists.
Everyone got their drinks quickly, and our entree orders were taken.  The three of us split a sushi appetizer that, I am sorry to say, was gone before I thought to take a picture of it (what can I say, by that point we were all very hungry) as well as an order of gyo no negi-maki (beef wrapped green onions, served with hickory smoked sea salt).  For an entree, I chose a steak-and-chicken combo dish, Zach went with the swordfish, and Elizabeth chose the pork.  These meats would be accompanied by various grilled vegetables (onions, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and so on), as well as some udon noodles and the usual spread of sauces.

Within a couple of minutes our hibachi chef arrived with his ingredients cart.  His name was Tomo, and he introduced himself as having "been born in that bastion of Japanese culture and tradition:  Jacksonville, Florida."  Tomo was a trip  Eloquent, skilled, and funny to beat the band.  While cooking, he did all of the traditional hibachi tricks, like the onion volcano, and the flaming happy face (here expanded to a flaming Mickey Mouse head), and managed to include everyone at the table in the fun.  In addition, he told a joke a minute, most of which were the "so stale they've come back around to being funny again" sort of joke.

Our chef, Tomo.  A true culinary badass.

Spinning the spatula.  That's "Mom" from the friendly family sitting opposite from me.
Setting up the sauces.
For the record, I am a certified grillmaster.  I know the ins and outs of grilling food to the point that I am a true expert at it.  It is, you might want to call it, my artform.  And as such, I know another one when I see him.  And buddy, while watching Tomo work, I was watching a true master.  As with all artists, there is a certain joy you get from watching someone as skilled as you are create masterpieces.  It might not be possible, but if you go to Teppan Edo, try and request Tomo's table.

Building the onion volcano.

On the far side of the grill:  the mushrooms begin grilling.
Center left:  the swordfish steaks.  Center right:  the udon noodles are completed with the zucchini.
Close:  the chicken breasts.
All grilled to perfection.
At the far side of the grill: the mushrooms.
In the middle:  the onions and zucchini.
At the front:  the udon noodles.

At the far side:  the mushrooms being finished.
Center left:  the steak beginning to grill.  Center right:  the swordfish finishing.
At the front:  the chicken breasts near completion.
Finally, all the food was completed and everyone was served.  Tomo thanked everybody for coming to the restaurant, thanked us for our kind attention, answered any questions we might have, cleaned up his grill, packed up, and left us to eat.


You might have noticed, having read the three previous reviews, that I use words like "amazing" and "fantastic" a lot.  I like those words.  I feel they convey a sense of quality to whatever it is I apply them to.  Unfortunately, here they just sort of fall flat.  I am really having a hard time coming up with adjectives that convey the utter perfection of this meal.  It simply was.  The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender.  The vegetables were cooked to a turn.  The flavors blended together seamlessly, and all was right with the world.

My steak-and-chicken meal.

Zachary's swordfish.  I literally had to rush, and then stop him from eating, in order to get a picture of it.

While I was scrambling to get a picture of Zach's swordfish, Elizabeth was busily cleaning her plate.  I was lucky to get a picture of what little remained of her pork dish.
Finally, we came to the dessert portion of our meal, and we all decided on the green tea flan.  Yes, I know, it sounds weird, and to be honest it looked like something made out of chewed up grass.  But lordy lordy did it taste wonderful

The green tea flan.  Better than it looks.
The table service, as I already noted, was beyond belief.  Kotone, our server, never let a single glass at the table get below 1/4 full before she had a new glass out to us, and empty plates disappeared so quickly it was almost like they were being teleported away.

Lunch for two (Zachary was paying his own way today) with two entrees, drinks, and two appetizers came to $81.80, and I think it was worth every dime.

I'll be going back some time, believe it.  Teppan Edo just landed at the #1 spot for my personal list of the Best Dining Experiences at Disney World.

Five out of five stars.

Guilty Confession Time:  After lunch, we went downstairs to the department store, where I specifically went to the sake tasting bar.  There, I had a sample of a sparkling sake called Hana Fuga.  It was sweet, and delicious, and I'm planning on buying a couple of bottles very soon.

Next up:  The Rose and Crown Pub, at the England Pavillion, Epcot.


Note:  This restaurant was visited on 15 March 2012.  The review was originally written later that afternoon.

Happy birthday to me!  Today is my birthday, and as a present to myself, I'm taking the horde (my mother, Cheryl Butler, my brother, Nathan Butler, and Jared) along on a trip to T-Rex, in the Downtown Disney shopping complex.


Now, technically, T-Rex is not a Disney restaurant at all.  It is a franchise chain owned and operated by Landry's Inc. (along with such other chains as the Rainforest Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company), legally considered a "licensed third-party partner" with the Walt Disney Company.  But as it is operating on Disney property, and you can get reservations through Disney Dining Reservations, we're going to give it honorary "Disney restaurant" status for the purposes of the tour.

T-Rex is located on the western edge of the Downtown Disney Marketplace, or the eastern edge of Pleasure Island, depending on which way you're coming from, across from the Pollo Campero.  It is close to the parking lots, so my advice is to park in either Lot D or Lot E and hoof it to the curb.  Look for the big green animatronic dinosaur on the parking lot side, and you'll have no trouble finding it.

See?  Big green dinosaur.

The day started out cloudy, and by the time we made the trip from Apopka to Downtown Disney (a 45 minute drive) the clouds had given up holding it and were outright raining.  And not the nice, springtime rains that come in Florida just in time to cool the day off.  No, these were the last-vestige-of-winter rains that make things really, really chilly.  So in the rain, we jogged from the car to the curb.  With the bulk of the restaurant protecting us from the lake-effect weather (Downtown Disney is on Village Lake; its a pretty big lake, as local lakes go, and you get a nice breeze off of it), we not-quite-ran around the corner to the entrance of the restaurant... only to discover that not only was the reservation check-in kiosk outside, but there was a line.

A long line.

Not the best way to start a dining experience.
Yeah... our dining experience today began with us waiting in the cold, windy, awful rain for nearly thirty minutes.  Now, the rain and the wind and the cold were not the fault of the restaurant, so in fairness I cannot blame them for it.  Let's just say that our moods were not as good as they could be going in.

So we eventually checked in and got to go inside.  The restaurant is divided up into two major sections.  The largest, on the left, is the restaurant itself.  On the right is a huge gift shop that includes a Build-a-Bear Workshop that specializes in stuffed dinosaurs and sabre-toothed tigers and mammoths and such.  The gift shop, which we had time to peruse while we were waiting for our table, is actually pretty cool.  Lots and lots of pro-science learning toys, and I am all for anything that promotes science.

There's also a "fossil pit" just outside where the kids can dig for "dinosaur bones".  On the plus side, this is a clever idea, as it gives the potentially fidgety kids some place to blow off steam while they're waiting on their table.  On the minus side, it gets the kids dirty just before they eat.  But weighing the plusses and minuses, I'd say I'm in favor of the idea.

Jared, digging for the bones.

A wider view of the sandpit.  You can actually see the "fossils" from this angle.
The wait for a table only took about eight minutes, so it wasn't all that bad a wait.  It was just long enough for us to get a good look at the gift shop (from which several Christmas presents will be purchased later in the year) and to get really tired of the atmosphere in this place.
And wow, this is a very atmospheric restaurant.  And by "atmospheric", I mean its LOUD and CROWDED!  The acoustics of the place amplifies every little sound, and in addition to the background music (which, if I remember from my trip to the men's room... the only place you can actually hear the music above the roar of the roar... is some kind of Caribbean dance music), you've got the roars of the mammoths and dinosaurs, the rumbles of volcanoes erupting, the shrieking of pterodactyls, the crashing of meteors hitting the ground, and last but not least the sound of 400+ diners, all of whom are trying to talk over the background music,  the roars of the mammoths and dinosaurs, the rumbles of volcanoes erupting, the shrieking of pterodactyls, and the crashing of meteors hitting the ground.

This big guy is right in front of the door, and greets you as you come in.

He was hanging over our table.

This little fellow was next to our table.

The room we were in was called the "Fire Room" for a reason.

The Ice Cave Room.

The aquarium under the giant octopus, around the bar.
The mammoth at the entrance to the Fire Room.
And all of these audio-animatronic creatures were making noises.  Shrieking and bellowing and roaring and gnashing their teeth and complaining about their car insurance... Wowsers was it loud.  I mean, "make the water in your drinking glass vibrate" loud.  Ear-bleeding loud.

But where was I.

Oh yeah... getting to the table.  The wait for the table was, as I mentioned, less than ten minutes.  We were seated at a pretty good table for four people.  It was large, and wasn't crowded out by the centerpiece.  And once we were at our table, the waiting began.

So we waited...

... and waited...

... and waited...

... and waited...

... and waited...

... and waited.
We sat for more than 15 minutes before our waiter, whose name was Thomas showed up to give us menus and take our drink orders.  Then it took him nearly 10 minutes to bring the drinks to the table and take our meal orders.  We waited close to half an hour for our food to arrive.  Another twenty minute wait after we were done with our entrees for the dessert order to be taken. Then another half hour for the check to arrive.  Then another twenty minutes for Thomas to come back to pick up a credit card.  Then another fifteen minutes to...

We went in on a 12:30 pm reservation, and we left somewhere between ten and twenty minutes past 4:00 pm.  That right there tells the story.

In fairness to Thomas the waiter, he was (for the longest time) the only waiter in our entire section.  And by "section" I mean the entire Fire Room (the room we were in).  We're talking maybe eleven or twelve tables, all of whom were full of people.  Seriously, our party, with only four people, was the second smallest (there was a party of three in the corner), and the largest party in the Fire Room was fourteen or fifteen people.

Thomas the Waiter.
I have to give him credit for trying real hard, but there were far too many people for just one guy to cover.
Bless his heart, he tried his best to keep up with everything, but there was no way only one guy could cover the entire room in any sort of efficient manner.  Another couple of servers showed up about 3/4 of the way through our meal, but by then the room was even more crowded and it turned into a situation where it was too little, too late.

Thinking about it, the whole experience would have been survivable had the food been better.

Nathan and I both ordered the Supersaurus Sampler (normally an appetizer) as entrees.

Level One of the tacky tower that was the Supersaurus Sampler:  the bruschetta and crustini.  The stuff in the center is guacamole and sour cream.

Level Two:  onion rings and quesadillas.

Level Three.  Queso and tortilla chips.

Barbecue ribs.  These are an optional add-on for the Supersaurus Sampler.
The Supersaurus Sampler was this tackily arranged tower on three levels.  The top level contained bruschetta with crustini; the middle level had quesadillas and onion rings; the bottom level was tortilla chips and a cheddar-based queso for dipping.  There was an option to add a plate of barbecue spare ribs, and both Nathan and I took it.

The whole thing looked nouvelle cuisine and ridiculous.

The ribs were fantastic, the quesadillas were superb and the bruschetta was amazing.  So amazing, in fact, that when I got home I searched around online, found the bruschetta recipe, and immediately replaced my own (a recipe I've been using for ten years or so) with the recipe from T-Rex.  The onion rings, on the other hand, tasted okay, but it was clear that they had been utterly not seasoned before they were cooked.  And in my book, there's very little that's worse than a bland onion ring.

Except, of course, for the the queso and chips.  Those were horrible.  Horrible to the point that right now I really, really want to use a series of vulgar words and phrases to describe it.  Words that rhyme with "cod hammed ducking snit", as a matter of fact.

The chips were just chips.  They could have been poured out of any Tostitos bag.  Absolutely nothing special about them at all.  And the cheese.  It was obviously not real cheese, because it had turned to inedible plastic sludge before it even hit our table.  Seriously, when I called the manager over to point out how awful the cheese was, I turned the bowl over in my hand and held it upside down over the tabletop and none of the cheese fell out..

I'd like to repeat that, because it sounds vaguely important: 
I turned the bowl over in my hand and held it upside down over the tabletop and NONE OF THE CHEESE FELL OUT.

Needless to say, she gave us a break on the Supersaurus Samplers.

Nathan summed up the Supersaurus Sampler as "Very well done mediocrity", a sentiment I could not disagree with.  The good stuff (the brushetta, the ribs, and the quesadillas) was very, very good.  The bad stuff (the queso and chips) was very, very bad.  So on average, this was a bleh meal.

Mom started with a bowl of French onion soup and continued with the fish and chips.

French onion soup.

Fish and chips, with tartar sauce and cole slaw.
The French onion soup was the highlight of the day.  It was very well done... better done than a lot of French onion soup served at much better restaurants.  It was very tasty, and Mom really enjoyed it.  Her fish and chips were, like the onion rings, unseasoned and on the bland side, but at least they had a good basic flavor, being made from fine cuts of cod.

Lastly, Jared ordered a kid's pizza.
Jared's pizza.

This was another disappointment.  While he said he liked it, and that it was tasty (I tried a bite, and it wasn't that bad, given what it was), the truth is that this pizza was just half-a-step above the frozen pizzas one could get at a Publix supermarket.  Heck, some of the frozen pizzas you can get at a Publix supermarket are better than this pizza by a fair climb.  But at least Jared liked it.

And finally it came time for the dessert.  This was a mountain of deliciousness called the "Chocolate Extinction".  Four slabs of fudge brownie covered in fudge sauce with vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with ground up butterfinger candy bars.  In the center of this mass of chocolatey goodness was a martini shaker filled with water and dry ice, making it all smokey and cool-looking.

This dessert made up for a lot, to the point that it effectively turned things around completely.   And of course Mom made sure to let them know it was my birthday, so I got to suffer the public humiliation of having the serving staff came out and sing and clap at me.
  I just wish I'd remembered to take a picture before we devoured the thing.

And when it was all said and done, Thomas the waiter got the bill wrong.


When it was all straightened out, the damage came to just under $75 for three adults (two of whom had appetizers) and a child.

So... did we have fun?  Did we have a positive dining experience?

Yeah, much to our surprise we actually did have a good time.  Despite all the waiting and the bad food and the waiting and the crowds and the waiting, the whole thing added up to a fun time.  Especially for Jared, who ate up the entire dinosaur theme with a spoon.

Would I recommend this restaurant to anyone?  Well, maybe if they had small children who were into dinosaurs.  But would I recommend it to anything else?

Absolutely not.  No chance in hell.

Overall I can't give this restaurant more than two stars out of five.

Next stop:  Teppan Edo, at the Japan Pavillion in Epcot.

Le Cellier

Note:  This restaurant was visited on 12 February 2012.  The review was originally written later that afternoon.

Le Cellier.  

The myth.

The legend.

Le Cellier is a  Canadian steakhouse and it is absolutely the most popular restaurant in all of Epcot.  Not only that, it is one of the top five most popular restaurants on the Walt Disney World property, and one of the top ten most popular Disney restaurants on the entire planet.

Le Cellier

For the longest time before I began this project, I kept hearing horror stories about people not being able to get reservations at Le Cellier.  I kept hearing about how this or that group of people tried to get reservations a year-and-a-half ahead of time and were unable to do so.

Imagine my surprise when, back in December [note:  once again, this review was originally written in February 2012; the December in question was the December of 2011] when I went searching for potential dining spots for the tour and up popped three seats in the restaurant I'd been told was impossible to get into.  Naturally, I jumped at the chance to eat here without having to wait until I was an old man.  (Okay, okay... an older man.  No smart remarks, please.)

It is important to note that this restaurant is inside the Epcot park.  You're going to need admission into the park as a whole in addition to the cost of the restaurant.  This wasn't a problem for us, as both I and Mom are cast members, but its something to keep in mind.

My guests for the day were my mother, Cheryl, and my father, Jack Sr.  This being February in Florida, it was a cold day, and windy.  This was a problem on the way to the main gate at Epcot.  I don't know about Mom and Dad, but I felt like I was being stabbed by ice spikes.  We huddled up, rode to the entrance, and made our way into the park.

Mom, weathering the cold in the Epcot parking lot.

Dad, trying to pretend the wind isn't that bad, in the Epcot parking lot.
The Epcot entrance.
For those of you who haven't ever been to Epcot, Le Cellier is located in the Canada Pavillion, a part of the World Showcase.  Once you're inside the park, walk under spaceship earth (the iconic big metal golf ball that you see at the entrance to the park), then continue on through Future World to Showcase Plaza, the entrance to the World Showcase.  Go right, and the first of the pavillions you come to is the Canada Pavillions (look for the wooden buildings and the totem poles and such).

The restaurant is down a garden path, at the head of which you'll find the reservation kiosk.  Its outside and in the open, which meant that the young ladies who were manning it were freezing their collective butts off.

The reservation check in kiosk.  These young ladies are making a brave show of not looking like their freezing.  Of course, they are Canadian.  But you notice that its the supervisor wearing the jacket?
The garden path leading up to the restaurant.
The reason I call it "the garden path".

The whole garden from one side...
... and from the other.

Once inside, we had to check in again for some reason.  We were given a buzzer and told we had about a fifteen minute wait for a table.  The waiting area of the restaurant was pretty much full (remember, this is one of the most popular restaurants on Disney World property), so we made the most of it by talking to some of our fellow would-be diners.  We met a nice family (a big family... there were thirteen people in their party) from Pennsylvania who had never been to Epcot before, but had heard this was the best place to eat, so here they were.
Waiting for a table...

... and talking to our neighbors from Pennsylvania

"Le Cellier" means "the cellar", and that's how the interior of this restaurant is done up.  You go down a steeply sloping hallway from the entrance to the dining room proper (and to be honest, I think the dining room proper, as I call it, is actually underneath the entrance.  For that matter, I'm sure that part of it is actually underneath the top end of the garden path.  Its a good looking restaurant, neatly organized, and it didn't feel crowded despite being wall-to-wall people.  The decor was subtle and appealing, and the room was obviously designed with soundproofing in mind because despite the crowd, it was a relatively quiet place.

The dining room.  You can see where the name "Le Cellier" (which means "The Cellar") came from.

Myself, Mom,and Dad at our table.

Our server, Brittany.  She was quick, she was efficient, and she was friendly, and I liked her a lot.
Once sat, it took maybe fifteen seconds for our server, a young lady from Saskatchewan named Brittany, to get to us.  We had our drink orders at our table within three minutes of her taking them, and I have to say, her quickness and efficiency carried through the entire meal.  She was also very friendly and when I told her what I was doing, she rather enthusiastically asked about the other stops along the tour.

I can hear you guys out there getting restless, so let's get on with the food.

As I mentioned above, Le Cellier is a Canadian steakhouse.  It is upscale, but not impossibly so, and certainly isn't as unapproachable or expensive as some other places I could name (I'm looking right at you, Victoria and Albert's).  The restaurant has a very friendly, accomodating feel to it, as if the people who ran it were more concerned with the food and the dining experience than the atmosphere.  This is precisely as it should be.

I should mention, before I get to the food, that the place just smells good.  We walked in from outside and the first thing Mom said was, "Oh my God, do you smell that?  I don't know what that is, but I want lots of it."

We started out with a bread plate that was stacked with sour dough bread, some whole wheat something or another, and a couple of "pretzel bread" sticks.  The sour dough was great, the whole wheat somethings were good, but the pretzel bread was just amazing.
To accompany the bread, we ordered a three-offering appetizer that had duck meatballs (it was duck, it was a meatball, it was okay but not spectacular), some absolutely amazing cheddar-beer soup, and the crowning achievement, a "tomato stack" that seemed to be a Canadian version of pico de gallo and was very, very tasty.

Collectively, we discovered that the best way to eat the soup was to use it as a dipping sauce for the bread (especially the pizza bread), while simultaneously using the bread as a platform for eating the other parts of the appetizer plate (especially the tomato stack).

The Appetizer Trio to Share.  Duck meatballs, beer-cheddar soup, and the tomato stack.

The bread plate.  Pizza bread, the whole wheat something, and the sourdough bread.

When it came to the entree's, Dad and I ordered the filet mignon, while Mom went with the New York strip steak.  The filets were served with a wild mushroom risotto in a white truffle sauce, while the strip came with cream cheese mashed potatoes and Bercy butter sauce.  We also ordered creamed spinach, roasted mushrooms, and poutin as sides to share.

The filet mignon with wild mushroom risotto and white truffle sauce.

The New York strip steak with cream cheese mashed potatoes.

Creamed spinach.

Roasted mushrooms.

The poutin.  For those not familiar, poutin is basically french fries with cheese and gravy on them.

The filet mignon was literally melt in your mouth tender.  On his steak (he ordered the same entree as I did), my Dad said, "This may be the best steak I've ever had."  Mom sang similar praises for her New York strip.  The risotto (and Mom's mashed potatoes) was excellent, and really completed the taste of the steak in that way that good food sort of melds together into one amazing taste.  The mushrooms had been roasted after being steeped in a beef broth, and tasted great., and went along with the steaks in perfect harmony.

Unfortunately, the creamed spinach and the poutin were horrible.  Specifically, the spinach was okay by itself... the melted cheese they topped the spinach with was okay by itself.  Add them together and it created a dish that was way, way too salty.  It was simply inedible.

And speaking of inedible, the the poutin got too cold far too quickly.  By the time I managed two or three bites of it, the cheese had hardened and the gravy congealed.  This was really disappointing to me, because I love poutin, especially when it is well done.

Folks, I have to tell you, those were the only two problems with the entire meal.  And the manager was kind enough to remove both of the failed sides from our check.

After the mains was desert. Dad had the berry cobbler while Mom and I had the over-sized maple creme brulee. Both were excellent.

The maple cream brulee.  This thing was huge compared to the standard brulee.

Dad's berry cobbler.  It came with a crisp, a smear of some berry something, and some vanilla ice cream.

A definite four and a half stars out of five (and had it not been for the spinach and the poutin, it would have been five).

The filet was $26 while the strip steak was $31. Sides (the mushrooms, the creamed spinach, and the poutin) were $6 apiece, as were the desserts. With drinks and everything, dinner came to $145 for three people. This restaurant was a step up from last months in class and service, so the higher price was a bit justified.

I do recommend it, if you can afford it and can get in.

Next stop:  T-Rex, in the Downtown Disney shopping complex.