One nice thing about having my own blog, I can say white trash again. For some reason, white trash is banned on the Disboards.
Consider if you will the variety of words which can be posted on those boards.
But white trash is verboten.
That should have been my cue to start a blog.
It's winter here. Where I live. It's winter and there's snow on the ground. On the roof. The trees. The cars. There's a beautiful white blanket covering my yard, my street. My town. Everything looks pretty with snow on it.
But it's cold. And on a night like this when my nose is still cold from the timeI spent outside sledding with ZZUBY and beaming Stafford J. with snowballs, when I sit down in my study and remember those warm September nights in Disney World, I'm unusually nostalgic.
Have I told you of my love for EPCOT at night?
You know what's funny? I don't know why I love EPCOT at night. But I do. I love it at dusk and I love it at night.
Which explains in part why we were having dinner at Tutto Italia. We wanted to enjoy a nice meal in EPCOT and wanted to try someplace new. We originally had an ADR for Coral Reef: the Seafood Restaurant That Doesn't Actually Sell Seafood. Coral Reef is like going to McDonald's to eat a salad. It's like running for president on a platform of change and then getting elected and keeping your predecessor's Secretary of Defense. In other words: stupid. I've heard from some friends that they'd had a nice meal at Coral Reef and it was fun, what with the diver signs and personalized menus. But when we looked more closely at what CR was actually serving, it didn't appeal to us.
Neither does Katie Couric, by the way.
Judging from her ratings, we're not alone.
So then we went searching for another decent place to eat dinner in EPCOT that wasn't fast food and wasn't Le Suckia. Those of you who insist on eating there, admit it: even you don't think it's as good as it used to be.
We almost ate in Japan.
If for no other reason than the sheer comedy of it all.
But alas, even I couldn't bring myself to darken their door again. So to speak.
Mrs. Z wasn't as crazy-go-nuts-for Biergarten as I was. Which is something of an understatement. She enjoyed Biergarten as much as I enjoyed the SEC Championship Game. It'll be awhile before I can bribe her to go back there.
So we decided we'd take a gamble on Tutto Italia.
I don't think I've been in Italy since EPCOT opened. Let's face it, there's not much reason to go to Italy. No ride. Now show. And eating Italian food in EPCOT seems stupid. Like eating a hamburger. Why bother?
I knew a girl in high school, her name was Chandra. She was the kind of person about whom you'd say, "she has no personality." When she walks into a room you think someone just left. I've had sneezes which left a bigger imprint on the world. One time, me and my buddies made a list of people we knew and gave them nicknames. Next to Chandra's name we wrote, "why bother?" Which is roughly the equivalent of eating Italian food in EPCOT.
Tutto Italia wasn't bad. It wasn't like eating at that well-known crapateria, The Olive Garden. Which advertizes, "when you're here, you're family." Which makes me think, "hey, guess what?! I moved 3,000 miles away from my family, so that ain't making me want to eat there anytime soon!" There commercials are as stupid and as insulting as Applebee's. "You belong at Applebees" That's just rude. "You belong at Applebees?" Really?! In other words, the best you're gonna do is some lame ol' riblets and crappy hamburgers. Talk about aiming low.
I'm no fan of The Olive Garden. My favorite thing they serve is salad. And y'all know how I feel about salad. You'll be relieved to find out that Tutto Italia wasn't as bad as The Olive Garden. It has a nice kind of atmosphere. But when you're hot and you've got kids with you, it feels kind of awkward to be in there. I actually thought they were segregating families with kids from normal people until they sat this young, stupid couple next to us. I felt bad for them. Because they got sold a package by some shifty travel agent who oversold them on Disney and Universal tickets. And these two hadn't made any reservations for any restaurants. During Free Dining. Which is why they were at Tutto Italia.
That Tutto Italia is one of the places you can walk up to should tell you all you need to know.
It didn't suck. I want to reiterate that. I don't remember what my entree was but I ordered a Caeser salad and paid a hefty price for a stalk of romaine lettuce drenched under a very out-of-the-bottle dressing. I think with tax, that salad cost me in the neighborhood of $29.
Even now, in the midst of a winter storm as I wistfully remember a warm night in EPCOT, I cannot recall why I ordered a salad before my entree. One can only imagine I must have been plugged up and thought the ruffage would be good for me.
The service was good and the food was middling. Tutto Italia does, however, stock Sweet n'Low, making it the only place on property where I found it. But when Mrs. Z didn't order a drink with dinner and ordered coffee with her dessert, those schmucks tried to charge her.
I said, "HEY! Antonio! We're on the freakin dining plan and it includes a drink."
He said, "It doesn't include coffee."
I said, "Guess again, mojambo. It includes a drink and since she didn't have a drink with dinner, she's having it now. So make with the coffee."
He said, "We're not supposed to do that. But let me see what I can do."
To which I replied, "Tips aren't automatic anymore, so I expect you'll find a way to take care of the coffee."
Turns out we both got free coffee.
Dessert, by the way, was the bomb diggity. Bomb Digg-it-ty! It was so good, that after the first bite I bummed a cigarette off the young, stupid couple sitting next to us.
I had the meanest canole I've ever had. It was pretty dadgum good. It's now my second favorite dessert at Disney World. And while I don't plan to eat another dinner at Tutto Italia, I'll stop by for a canole. Whether they sell it to go or not, I do not know. But I will make them sell me one if I have to. I can be persuasive when I have to be. Or so I tell people.
So now you know that my new favorite dessert is at Ohana. Big surprise. But let me tell you a little bit about our experience there.
I've never wanted to eat at Ohana. I'm not a big Polynesian guy. NOTikiman. I enjoy Kona and I have fond memories of our stay there as children, but it has never been high on my list of places to stay. Ditto: the Beach Club/Yacht Club. I also think Coronado Springs is THE UGLIEST DISNEY RESORT EVER! Seriously, if the only rooms open were at Coronado Springs, we'd either stay off property or not go. If I wanted to stay at a LaQuinta Inn, I'd vacation with the LaLas.
I also hate how people refer to the Polynesian as "the Poly." That is so gay. Not gay meaning Clay Aikenesque, but gay meaning stupid.
Wow! This got un-pc pretty quickly, didn't it?
I like Kona but generally, I think the atmosphere at the Polynesian is pretty schlecky. So Ohana has never been high up on my list of places to try. In case you're wondering, other places I have no designs on trying: Victoria & Alberts, Spoodles (can't get past the gay name), Wolfgang Puck's, Tony's, Maria's, Cathy's, Nancy's or LaShaun's.
I also NEVER plan to eat at Mickey's Backyard Barbecue.
For the obvious reasons.
So how did we end up at Ohana? Our stupid friends, Glenn and Lori. I blame them for everything. Except for global warming. Which is REAL! And a CRISIS!
They suggested Ohana and I thought,"well, how bad can it suck?! They serve meat. I like meat." My expectations were as low as my law school advisor after 6 semesters of advising me. Maybe a touch lower, actually. If that's possible.
We arrived a few minutes early because I hate to be late. The check in area was loud and packed. Which immediately annoyed me. I hate loud and packed. I do NOT belong at Crapplebees. We checked in and found a place to wait for our friends. Who were late.
We didn't have to wait too long; it seems like they seated us within about 10 minutes of our ADR. Or about the time the McBrides showed up.
We were seated somewhere in the dining room. I can't tell you where we were in relation to the food pit or even the windows. Seriously, I was so consumed with hunger, I have no recollection of where we sat. I'm reasonably certain it was inside.
The whole "Ohana means family" schtick is as gay as Olive Garden's "when you're here, you're family." I don't go out to eat to feel a part of a community. I go out to eat to get full, fart and then dump off the excess about 2-4 hours later. I don't need to feel connected to the wait staff.
So don't call me cousin. Or I'll stab you with my steely knife. Or a big spoon. Whatever's handy.
If Mrs. ZZUB is right (and let's face it, she most often is), food is love to me. Which is why I think Ohana is Polynesian for Beat Auburn.
One thing I loved about the place, no sooner had we sat down then they started bringing me food. There was some salad that didn't suck and some pretty good bread. And then the noodles and the meat. And then some peapods. ZZUB loves him some pea pods. And then more meat.
Good night nurse! They kept brining us meat!
Mrs. Z was busy catching up with Lori and I think Glenn was trying to talk football but all I could hear was, "More steak?" The answer to that question is always yes!
It was so freakin' good that Ohana was and is the ONLY time it's correct to say, IT'S ALL GOOD!
BECAUSE IT WAS ALL GOOD!!
It was so good, I didn't even care that Ohana looks like Obama.
I was knocking on full and a little voice told me to save some room.
So I did.
And oh my lands am I ever glad I saved space.
Because the banana bread pudding was THE BEST FREAKING' THING I'VE EVER HAD AT DISNEY WORLD!
I never thought I'd say this and even now I can't believe I'm writing it, but it was better than Butter Grilled Pound Cake.
It doesn't sound very good and I was pretty skeptical when other people talked it up. Bread pudding sounds like something they serve at a homeless shelter. Or a middle school cafeteria. But the banana bread pudding at Ohana was like beating Auburn 36-0 and getting Tommy Tutone fired. It was like finding out that for just $50,000 I could be the next junior senator from Illinois. Like paying for 4 days and getting 3 days free. Like having your office Christmas party cancelled so you don't have to go and spend an insufferable evening with people you spend too much time with anyway. Like throwing a shoe at George W. Bush. Like eating at a really expensive restaurant and expensing it back to your firm. Like $1.68 a gallon gas. Like getting bumped to first class. It was like everything I wrote about Butter Grilled Pound Cake. And it was like having your Trip Report locked so that you finally start your own blog.
In other words, it was very good.