Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Words and Food

So what I forgot to mention yesterday was all of the great freaking food I ate while I was away. The second day we were there we had lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, which was no big whoop. That place is better suited in New Orleans and Key West than Orlando. Anyway, eating at Epcot was THE BEST. The first day there, we made reservations for the Mexican restaurant, the San Angel Inn. I had heard the guacamole was to die for, but when we got to the restaurant, I wasn't really digging the menu. They didn't even have guacamole on the menu and rest of the menu was fairly limited with items that I could really take or leave. Plus their boat ride, which passes through the restaurant was closed for renovations, so there wasn't even a view. Instead, Ron and I opted for the connected outdoor cafe, La Cantina, which had guacamole, margaritas and a view of one of Disney's two million man-made waterways. They had the kind of low-brow food I like: tacos, burritos, nachos.

Earlier that first day at Epcot, while looking for somewhere to grab lunch, we found the French bakery, um, patisserie and OH MY GOD, we went back every day. We got a cheese plate for lunch with a baguette, and chocolate cake that puts all other cake to shame. Over the course of the rest of the vacation, we got an assortment of pastries. It was brutal on the waistline, but so, so worth it.

The next night at Epcot we decided to make reservations in "Morocco" at Restaurant Marrakesh. The food was good, I was pleased I'd tried Moroccan food, and there were belly dancers. What more could you want? Also, very fun fruity drinks that tasted like Jolly Ranchers. Of course, all the wait staff were dressed up like Aladdin wanna-bees and I couldn't help but wonder if they resented that.

Another night, we ate dinner with the family at CiCi's Pizza. My God, do I wish we had CiCi's up here. It's an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. There are like 12 types of pizza up at any given moment, plus salad, soup, pasta and dessert. And it's good, which I didn't expect. All you can eat. They have all the traditional pizzas: plain, pepperoni, sausage, veggie, white, sicilian, etc. But they also had one like mac-and-cheese, buffalo chicken and barbequed pork. You just helped yourself to whatever slices you liked. The best part? Only $5 per person. I have no idea how they make any money.

One afternoon we had lunch at Epcot in Norway--a lunch that included "the princesses". I stuck to the pulled pork, but Ron actually got a traditional Norwegian dish called Kjottkaker, which looked like meatloaf. It was pretty yummy.

Another night we went to Bongos, a Cuban restaurant owned by Gloria Estefan. I had the Chicharrones de Pollo, which are lightly breaded chicken chunks with a citrus dressing, and which was served with fried plantains. So, so good. I can't remember exactly what Ron got, but he loved it too.

Our last night in Orlando, we ate at one of the French restaurants in Epcot, Les Chefs de France. I had the beef tenderloin and Ron had some sort of seafood dish, which included shrimp. Hands down, it was the best meal ever. The mushroom demi glaze with the beef was outstanding, the green beans had the perfect amount of garlic added and the cheese-infused mashed potatoes...well, who can refuse those?

Yeah, so any progress I made on South Beach in December is now null and void.

In other news, I read two books while I was away: "The Mermaid Chair" by Susan Monk Kidd and "The Guardian" by Nicholas Sparks. First, I've read Nicholas Sparks book. I know they're cheesy as hell, but I wanted some light reading and frankly "The Notebook" wasn't that bad. Of course, I read it back in college. "The Guardian" was light reading all right, and it was totally predictable. But whatever, it passed the time. I was more disappointed in "The Mermaid Chair". Not because it was awful--it wasn't--but it wasn't as wonderful as "The Secret Life of Bees" either.


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