Mimis Café

Junior Rabbit and his wife, the panda, love Mimi’s cafe, but I have to admit I’m a bit ambivalent.  It’s a more upscale brand from the same outfit that runs the “Bob Evans” restaurant chain, which is similar to Dennys, except they have very lovely bread for sale to take home.

The muffins at Mimis are fantastic, and the bread is very nice, but much of the menu seems kind of dull.  They do print the calorie counts next to each meal, but mostly that just scares me out of ordering the things I do like, such as the pot pie and the quiche.

One plus, they serve breakfast any time, and their breakfasts are very good.

This time, I had Ceaser salad with grilled shrimp, which was surprisingly low in calories.  The shrimp had a  citrus glaze, which was quite nice.  Like I said, the bread was good.  I especially like the flatbread with baked-on cheese, and the butter is flavored.  This time the service was a bit slow, the waiter seemed distracted.  There were eight of us, so we had to wait a bit for a table, but not bad.

The others had various things, which where apparently acceptable, but nothing stood out, and we didn’t have dessert.



Creekside Dinery

We’ve been there before, but this was the first time we ate inside.  There was a kind of concert by the local School for the Deaf and Blind, so the deck was full.   We could still hear the music though, and most of them weren’t bad.  The dining room is cosy, but a little dark, and Mrs. Rabbit hates the dark.

I had the margarita tilapia, with roasted potatoes and a salad.  Mrs. Rabbit had a combo platter with tilapia, shrimp, and scallops.  Both came with a lime butter sauce that was very nice, and the bleu cheese dressing was quite good.  The squirrel had oven fried chicken, and got the large portion, which was huge. He brought home enough for another meal.  Muppet girl got grilled snapper, which was the only disappointment.  It was fresh, and tasty, but a bit over-cooked.  Expensive, even without appetizer and dessert.  I think Caps would have been cheaper, and better.



A tale of two pizzas

I’m told there are two schools of pizza in the US.  The New York version, with thin crust, and the “Chicago” version, done in a pan, with a thicker crust.  I grew up on the NY version, but I can appreciate the other as well.  One of the things Mrs. Rabbit and I have been missing on our diet is good pizza, so before going back on full-tilt, we decided to indulge.

There are four decent pizzerias in the area, not counting Dominos, which I don’t consider “decent”.  Cino’s, in World Golf Village, is at best so-so.  It’s a cut above Domino’s, but barely.

Pizza Hut is, well.. Pizza Hut.  Thick crust, greasy, lots of toppings, but always the same.  If you like it – and I do, sometimes – great.  But it’s more Chicago pizza than New York, and we wanted New York style pizza.

So that left two:  Antonio’s, on SR13, and Benito’s, on SR210.

We ordered from Antonio’s for pickup.  I want to like them, I really do.  They’re a family, they’re earnest, and they try.  But somehow, the order always ends up costing more than it should, and they can’t seem to get things right.  I phone ordered two pies:  One with pepperoni, and the other with extra cheese, green peppers, and onions.  The order, even with the $8.99 “special” price, came to over $30.  Apparently they get you on the toppings.  I sent the squirrel down to collect the pies after being told it would be about 40 minutes.

He arrived with the pies and they were barely warm.  Obviously they had been sitting a while, so they were quicker than expected.  Okay, our fault a bit, but I have sat in  Antonio’s at least once waiting – once nearly an hour – while they caught up, and I wasn’t going to subject the squirrel to that.  First thing I noticed was that there were no green peppers.  There was pepperoni.  Someone had written “onions, pep”, or similar on the order, and they got it wrong.

That I could live with, Benito’s has done it also, but the second thing was that you could barely tell the difference in the amount of cheese between the two.  I paid for EXTRA CHEESE, which means to me a significant difference from “normal” cheese.  So then I called.

“There is extra cheese on that one, we’ve never gotten complaints before”.  Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, Antonio’s does a good pizza.  They just don’t seem to be very well organized, and I think they charge too much for what you get.

So last night, we decided to give it another try.  Benito’s Italian Cafe is on SR210, about 10 miles from us.  (Antonio’s is a lot closer.)  So we took a ride up for a sit-down pie.

And it was a good one.  Extra cheese and pepperoni, right out of the oven, and you could SEE the extra cheese.  Delicious.  I also had a pepperoni calzone, which was very fresh, and excellent.

The one disappointment was for Mrs. Rabbit.  She decided to have eggplant parmesan, which she loves, and it’s always been good there, but last night it was thick and bready with very little cheese.  She ate about a quarter of it, and couldn’t take anymore.  We complained to the waiter, and he was sympathetic, but he didn’t offer to take it off the bill.  Mrs. Rabbit is planning to write or email the managers at Benito’s, they’ve always been very nice, but nobody we knew was there last night, and we were reluctant to get into a scene.

So that’s it.  Two pizzas.  If you’re in the area, and want a quick pie, you can do Antonio’s, but eat it in, and watch them to be sure you get what you want.  Otherwise, go to Benito’s, it’s consistently better for pizza and most dishes.

Antonio’s has no web site, but here’s the Yelp entry:  http://www.yelp.com/biz/antonios-pizza-and-grill-st-augustine

And Benito’s:  http://www.benitositalian.com/



Chefs de France Epcot

We rounded off the Disney trip with another visit to Chefs De France at Epcot.  We were on the “dining plan”, so it encourages you to over eat.  We always do.

For appetizer, we had Alsatian flat bread w creme fraiche.  Only order one, it’s like a mini pizza with the creme and bacon.  Good, but rich.

I had the duck with cherry confit, which came with some kind of little green crunchy gourd things, and mashed sweet potatoes.

Mrs. Rabbit had scallops and shrimp.  Lighter, and quite nice.  The squirrel didn’t join us, he was off at Disney Quest, and had dinner at Boma, which is the buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

For dessert, we both had strawberry and cream cake.  Excellent, but too much, we were both stuffed by that time.

This ends the latest Disney eating extravaganza.  We did have breakfast at the hotel the next morning, but it isn’t worth mentioning.


Japanese counter service at Epcot

I don’t recall the exact name of the counter service restaurant at Epcot, but we go every visit.  I think it’s the best of the counter service restaurants there.

I had udon noodle soup with shrimp tempura.  Mrs. Rabbit had teriyaki salmon.  The iced green tea looks like algae pond water, but it’s actually very good.

Biggest complaint was there were flies everywhere, which is unusual for Disney.  I’ve been here during the summer, and it’s never been that bad.

Sanaa at Kidani Village, Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sanaa is one of my favorite restaurants at Disney.  They serve an Indian/African “fusion” menu, and unfortunately it’s one of the places where I like certain things, so I rarely try anything new.

I had the “sustainable fish”, and I forget what it was.

Mrs. Rabbit had tandoori lamb.  I generally avoid tandoori, it sometimes comes out dry, but this was superb, moist and tender, with a lot of flavor.

The squirrel had tandoori chicken, I didn’t try it, but he liked it.

Excellent all around especially the tandoori lamb

They offer a “bread service”, which is pricey but worth it.  Along with naan bread and others, we had mango chutney, coconut chutney, and a coriander sauce.  It was so good we ordered more, and ended up with too much.

For dessert, Mrs. Rabbit had Tanzania chocolate mocha mousse, which even I liked, and I don’t like coffee, but this was very light.

I had an excellent mango mousse

The squirrel had rice pudding, which he found disappointing and ordinary.  Perhaps targetted at those who like less exotic fare.

Rainforest Cafe at Disney Animal Kingdom

Here begins a two-day Disney eating orgy.  We do this a couple of times a year, and always overdo it.  We started by going to Animal Kingdom to collect our tickets, and stopped at the Rainforest Cafe for lunch.

I’m always on the lookout for a good burger.  The one I had at Rainforest was good, but not great.  My main gripe was that the mushrooms on the burger were very ordinary, and could have been right out of a can.  Not what I expected from this sort of establishment at those prices.  Longhorn and even TGI Fridays do better.

The service was very good though.

Mrs. Rabbit and the squirrel had chicken wraps, which were quite nice. Good mash potatoes, with garlic in them maybe?  Not sure.  Excellent guacamole.

Caps on the Water again

We went back to Caps on the Water with Mrs. Rabbit and some friends for Mothers Day.  They still had the watermelon salad with the haloumi cheese, even though it’s not on the menu.  It was delicious, as before.  The calamari was also excellent.

I had a stilton salad with shrimp, and it was excellent.  Our friends had the “she crab” soup which was a bit like bisque.  The crab cakes were also good.

Dessert was the Pana cotta, a cream with a marsala reduction and berries.

There was a bit of confusion over which desserts were actually available, but otherwise the service was excellent.

Another member of our party had the creme brulé and another the coconut cake.  Both were tasty, but small. Disney gives a much bigger creme brulé.  The Amarerti pie was bigger and also very good.


Beaches at Vilano

A bit less formal than Caps, and I thought the menu was a little uninspired, especially since Mrs. Rabbit and I are on diets.  I had a very nice grilled mahi with green beans and Cilantro lime butter, and Mrs. Rabbit had salmon over a salad.  It does say something though that I thought the french fries were the best part of the meal.

They did seem a little disorganized though, they changed waiters on us after we ordered, and then brought the salad with cheese (it was ordered without), and without the salmon.  Then they brought the salmon alone, and then finally got it right.  While that was going on, I was eating my mahi, which was excellent.

Apparently they had a big menu change recently, there were lots of regulars unhappy over the removal of certain items within the last couple of weeks.  I gather the no-long-available seafood dip was a popular item.

The menu appears a bit pricey, but overall, lunch/dinner for two was reasonable.  Certainly no worse than Red Lobster, once you figure in the extras.