Tag Archives: Pizza

Walt Disney World (Vacation Dining)

16 Aug

After my work conference, I took a few days off to enjoy Walt Disney World and stay with a friend of mine who is a cast member of the company.  I dined at a few restaurants when in the parks, here is a quick recap:

Hollywood Studios – Pizza Planet

Though I’m sure this is nothing less than a frozen pizza, I have to admit it hit the spot.  The crust was doughy and filling and the pepperoni was your average pepperoni.   It was also served with a small Caesar salad, a good attempt at bringing a little health to the counter service action.  Nothing special, just romaine lettuce with bottled Caesar, but a nice addition when I wasn’t thinking I’d get any vegetables this go around.  And yes, I’m aware that I set it up to look like a hidden Mickey – that’s the Disney fan in me.

Epcot – Morocco’s Tangierine Cafe

I have only heard great things about the sit down restaurant in Morocco, so I decided to give the quick service option a try and ordered the three slider combo.  The trio consisted of three pitas (falafel, lamb and chicken) served with slices of red onion, cucumbers, romaine lettuce and tomatoes.  All were lightly dressed with tzatziki, which I originally wanted more of.  That was until I started to utilize the hummus which was perfect for the sliders.  The parsley relish was also great to give the sliders a bit of freshness.  I really enjoyed this and would definitely consider it again when in the park.

Polynesian Resort – Captain Cooks

Before spending the day by the pool, I grabbed a Hawaiian flatbread from the quick service restaurant.  I loved ordering by the self service kiosk – it made the order process extremely efficient.  The flatbread crust was slightly crispy on the edge, but floppy and soft towards the center.  The ham had good flavor, the pineapple a fresh taste and the red onions have  a sharpness to what can sometimes be a sweet combination.  I would have liked a bit more cheese and sauce, but I wasn’t expecting too much from another quick service restaurant. But this was a great meal, something different and I liked how it matched the theme (maybe next time I’ll carry sliced almonds and cinnamon to add to the pizza – delicious!)

Anyone have a favorite quick service restaurant in Walt Disney World they would like to share?

Moon Dog Tavern

7 Jul

After a morning fundraising event, hubs and I were driving back to the northside looking for a quick bite to eat before I worked a wedding that evening.  As always, I say “I want to try something new!” and hubs stares at me while replying “okay, where do you want to try?” which is when I respond with the standard, “Not sure, just something new!”

Honestly, not sure how he handles me sometimes with responses like that. (Anyone else have a hard time deciding sometimes?  Always a challenge…)

Hubs navigated us towards 96th street knowing there were some back-up plans in place that we could dine at if nothing caught my eye.  Then I saw Moon Dog Tavern and thought, “Well, I’ve been wanting to try that every time we drive by.  Why not this time?”  It was barely 11am, so we were the only patrons as we entered the establisment.  We sat at the bar and while hubs reviewed the drafts (both local and domestic brews were part of the mix), I looked around.  It appeared to be a standard and clean bar/restaurant atmosphere; industrial like in decor, it was quite simple with a large bar and plenty of tables.  Outdoor dining is also available, and from a conversation with the bartender, bands play outside or in a room off to the side during scheduled times.

With a Madhatter in hand (hubs ordered a Sun King Osiris), we opted to share a few sides and pizza.  We didn’t realize how hungry we were until we really started to review the menu and all the options that were available.  As always, I want nachos, but instead, we settled on chili con queso and an order of the Portabella fries.  The queso had a subtle spice to it, enough that it would make both non-spicy lovers happy and spicy lovers content.  It was creamy and was a slight step up from your standard queso while still being on the fine line.  As for the fries, I loved these.  I mean, fried mushrooms are always good in my book.  The breading was light and crispy, a perfect crunch to the portabella.  I believe it was one cap that was battered and fried (happy to report – they tasted freshly fried, so it was probably new oil rather than leftover from the previous night) and I could have had a few more.  They were served with a creamy chipotle ranch, more ranch than chipotle though.  I would have liked a little more of a bite, but it was still a great appetizer.

As for our pizza that we split, there was much debate over what to order.  We settled on the Mexacali Rose (maybe I was craving Mexican – there is a Mexican restaurant next door I also now want to try) t0 satisfy our tastebuds.  It took a little bit to get our pizza, but we didn’t notice it because of our beer and appetizers.  The wait wasn’t excessive or anything; just left me wondering if they make their own dough in house.  The crust was not tortilla thin, but a perfect level of thickness to handle all the toppings but not be overbearing.  I loved the crispness of the crust, especially the edge which had a mix of cheese baked on.  We opted for a chicken topping, which was also baked with the cheddar and Monterrey Jack (and maybe others?) cheese blend.  The chicken wasn’t just grilled, but soaked in a salsa base.  It wasn’t messy or too heavy that it soaked through the crust which I really enjoyed.  Lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and  jalapenos adorned the pizza, making it quite a tasty treat.  Nothing was wilted, all crisp and delicious.  And for only $8.95, it was a perfectly sized pizza to split for the two of us (of course, we did have the apps too) that left us full.

Our total bill, with the two beers, was under $33 (sans gratuity) which I thought was pretty good/standard.  Besides the music (see their website for a full list of bands), they also offer 1/2 off pizza on Sundays.  There are many tv’s, ready for any sports loving fan to take in the game while enjoying some great bar food.  I’m keeping this in mind when I want to get out of the house to watch a game…

Moon Dog Tavern * 4825 East 96th St * Indy, 46240 * 317. 575.6364

Moon Dog Tavern on Urbanspoon

Thr3e Wise Men (return)

26 May

Our last visit to the Thr3e Wise Men wasn’t the best first experience.  Scotty and his staff, being stellar at customer service, invited me back by providing comp tickets for our meal.  It was about time we make our way back to the brewery, and since the coupons could only be used during the week, we ventured out on Tuesday for dinner.  Full disclosure – though a portion of our meal and drinks were complimentary from the Thr3e Wise Men, my opinions are honest and all my own.  

I knew the establishment wouldn’t be as busy like our first visit because it was during the week.  We walked into an empty restaurant inside, but the patio was full of patrons.  Luckily we were able to grab the last outdoor table to soak in the setting sun and were quickly sat.  Our server, Katie, quickly greeted us with a bucket of popcorn and water.  We ordered a few beers (the Blonde and hubs the blackberry wheat) and perused the menu.  The server who delivered our beer struck up a convo (hubs was wearing a Wisconsin shirt) as she too was from Wisconsin.  In a matter of 5 minutes, we were seated, had a beer in hand, and already encountered 3 friendly staff members.  Things were looking good.

We began with appetizers; hubs ordered stuffed breadsticks while I ordered the chopped salad for the two of us.  Knowing the stuffed breadsticks wouldn’t contain cheese, I found that I was more pleased with them this time around.  The dough was once again slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft and tender on the inside with the pepperoni.  I would have liked a bit more pepperoni, it seemed slightly lacking.  Hubs ordered nacho cheese as the sauce, and once again, it seemed like your basic ballpark nacho cheese sauce.  But still great breadsticks.

I was more about the salad – it included many ingredients I adore and I was ready to dig in.  Our server tossed together the ingredients table side – a nice surprise for a casual brewery atmosphere – and served the family style salad in individual bowls.  The salad was light and flavorful, mostly a mix of spinach and iceberg, dressed with an oil and vinegar based house dressing.  Simple in flavors, the dressing was perfect and didn’t overwhelm the ingredients.  Chopped applewood bacon (local from Lone Pine Farms) gave a nice salty crunch while my favorite, goat cheese, added a creamy touch.  There was also mozzarella, mushrooms, pepperoni and red onions.  The red onions were a nice addition, giving a sharpness that cut the rich pepperoni and cheese.

While we were finishing up on our appetizers, the pizzas quickly arrived.  We each ordered a small for ourselves; the menu indicated a small could feed 1-2 people.  However, I could easily see three people eating this pizza pending on how hungry you are.  After eating the salad and a few breadsticks, we didn’t eat much and had a lot of pizza leftover for lunch (or maybe two).  Hubs had ordered spicy Italian sausage and mushrooms for his (pictured below on the right) while I indulged a bit more with spicy Italian sausage, basil, mushrooms and yes, more goat cheese (pictured on the left).  At a pricey $5 add on, I have to say I was happy to have received a lot of goat cheese.  So much goat cheese though that it slightly overpowered everything else.  I couldn’t really taste the mushrooms, their delicate flavor was just lost.  And even basil, such a fresh ingredient, I only got tid bits here and there.  The sausage was good and I enjoyed how crumbled it was, covering the whole pizza, but I would have liked a bit more spice to it.  There was a thin coating of chunky tomato sauce, but once again, it was only a hint of taste.  The crust was very thin, crispy on the edges but soft and flimsy at the center.  The ingredients weighed down the crust, making it a necessity to fold and hold to eat.  The pizza was good despite not being what I anticipated (not sure what I was expecting, but I was still surprised.)  I had a bite of hubs pizza, I just had to know how it tasted without the goat cheese, and overall, it was a light tasting pizza.  From the crust to the ingredients, I wanted more from his in taste.  Fortunately, I found it in mine and enjoyed the goat cheese love.

As we were wrapping up, we ordered a round of the Hubbard & Craven’s Porter to round out our meal.  Always a smooth brew, I just love how it isn’t heavy and rich in that coffee flavor.  As we sipped, we had the growler we brought filled with the Blonde for $6, a discount they offer on Tuesdays.  I have to talk about how great the service was through the duration of our visit as the growler is the perfect example.  When we first sat down, our server offered to put our growler in the fridge because we were sitting outside in the sun to ensure it was cool for the pending brew.  Then, after we decided on a beer, Katie kept in the fridge until we were ready to go.  And thanks to Chris as well, the manager on duty who wanted to ensure our meal and experience was better this time around.  The food and drinks were good and the service was excellent – looking forward to next time.

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company * 1021 Broad Ripple Ave * Indy, 46220 * 317.255.5151

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company

31 Jan

This much anticipated brewery in Broad Ripple has been a piece on conversation for quite a while.  Scotty, from Scotty’s Brewhouse and Lakehouse, opened his brewery to the public on January 17.  Hubs and I decided to meet up with a few friends to experience the beer, food and buzz of this anticipated venue, the Thr3e Wise Men.

 

We had just left another local brewery downtown and made our way to Broad Ripple around 6:45.  I knew the other Scotty establishments took call ahead, so I happily did this with the hostess who informed me it would be a one hour wait (note – I recently saw Thr3e Wise Men tweet that they do not take call ahead so this must have changed).  I completely anticipated this as it was a Friday evening, first week and all, and didn’t think too much of it.  We were a larger group of seven and I would happily wait until 8pm or so to nosh.

 

Upon arrival, the place was busy.  Picnic tables are all around for patrons who are dining and drinking and there are also cocktail tables for the same purpose or to wait at until you get a table.  I checked in, made sure we were on the list (we were) and we got comfortable around a cocktail table we were lucky to find.  Hubs and I instantly ordered a beer, he the Centennial Martyr Double IPA and I the Hoggy Style Amber.  Both were great tasting brews – I appreciate the local honey love.  We munched on some popcorn while we waited  – loved having the popcorn available as a pre-dinner nosh.  Almost movie style, it was salted and buttered perfectly and was continuously filled while we waited.

 

We also ordered stuffed breadsticks.  I didn’t really read the menu, so I was anticipating a cheesy pepperoni breadstick.  The dough was great, had a crunchy texture and soft, chewy inside.  There was no cheese at all, just pepperoni, which left me wanting a bit more with the stuffing.  The marinara was slightly chunky with tomatoes and had a great roasted garlic taste.  Nacho cheese was the other dip, which I found to be a standard nacho cheese sauce.  Overall, they were very good – cost was about $6.50 for the small order which was more than enough with six sticks.

 

Two of our friends also ordered an appetizer, the Goat cheese & marinara.  Creamy, smooth goat cheese was dolloped into a plate of warm marinara.  The marinara was was the same from the breadsticks and paired great with the rich goat cheese.  Lightly seasoned, toasted flatbread crisps were the vehicle for the dip.  The ratio of chip with dip was good which sometimes can be a problem.  Around $6.50,  well worth it for an appetizer.

 

We continued to enjoy a few more pints – hubs enjoyed the hops of the Golden Zoe IPA as well as the light but still creamy Snow Bunny Blonde.  I  adored the Hubbard & Cravens Porter.  It was rich with coffee flavor from the local coffee house and at the same time didn’t sit heavy on the tongue.  All of the beers ran for about $4.50 for a 16 oz. pour which I find to be standard for some great, local brew.

 

Unfortunately, that is all we tasted. Though told we would be seated in one hour, we ended up waiting for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  We checked in a few times only to find that they had gone three sheets of customers beyond our name.  I wasn’t really given any explanation either, and this is where I become disappointed and my pleasant experience turned unpleasant.  I’ve always had great service at Scotty’s establishments but they couldn’t even explain why they continued to skip our group.  I was extremely frustrated and we ended up walking out and enjoying dinner elsewhere because of this.  To say the least, I understand it was opening week, but the wait was ridiculous.  Our server, Allison, was absolutely phenomenal and if it wasn’t for her, we would have left much earlier.  Yes, the restaurant was busy (Scotty was even there enjoying himself) and it was new, but honestly, the wait was quite frustrating and unnecessary with no customer love to back it up.

 

I’ve only heard great things about the establishment so I know this isn’t something that happens to everyone.  I do plan on returning, but it will be a while before we do so.  I still want to try the pizza and the brew we did have was tasty.  I personally like the picnic style seating, but the flow has to be worked out.  The environment was great and I could see relaxing there for a football game while at the bar.  I just won’t be back soon at peak hours if there are more than four of us.

 

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company * 1021 Broad Ripple Ave * Indianapolis, IN * 317.255.5151

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon