Tuesday, April 04, 2006
We're Going to Disneyworld!
Isn't that what all the athletes say after they win? Well, Suzy won her first bike race, so off to Orlando and the land of Disney we went. It was actually our Valentine's Day present to ourselves, but hey, this is my story, and I'm telling it like I want to! We went to an Atlanta Braves spring training game, where we got to see them beat the Cincinatti Reds on a glorious Spring afternoon, that, as Jim Stoll would surely put, "It's a beautiful day for baseball!". While we were in Orlando, we went to City Walk at Universal Friday night and had dinner at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant, which was absolutely packed, but had wonderful service and great beer and drinks and a wonderful band that started a few minutes after we finished our meal. After we left the game, we came back to our hotel, and on a whim, I called to see if Emeril's had any reservation cancellations, but they did not. Since he has two restaurants in Orlando, I called the other one, and they did have a slot for us at 8pm, so we made a mad dash to the outlet mall to find something appropriate to wear out to Emeril's Tchoup Chop (pronouced "Chop Chop") restaurant. The restaurant was THE nicest place I've ever had the pleasure to eat in. It is a polynesian/asian fusion themed menu, and the interior decor was stunning. An elevated water garden with copper lily pads was the center showcase with seating all around. Bamboo hardwood flooring, bamboo on the walls, a waterfall over the open kitchen, complete with bar stool seating overlooking the working kitchen, the works. We were running a tad late, and were glad to see they had valet parking. We were seated almost immediately, and were called by name by our server. We actually had a team of 3 folks waiting on us all evening, and it was so unlike our normal dining experiences at home, or for most other places, for that matter. The menu was almost intimidating it was so extensive, but I chose a steak, and Suzy chose fish. Even the chefs at one of Emeril's restaurants can't seem to cook a steak to order, as I ordered it medium rare, and it came out VERY medium, medium well in some parts. It was still excellent, just a bit on the tough side. I mentioned it to one of our server team when they asked how everything was, and he offered to fix it for me by having another one prepared. I declined, knowing it would take them at least 10 minutes to fix another, and then Suzy's food would be ice cold, or gone. I just wanted to mention it to them, because at the price we were paying to eat here, I thought the food should be as ordered. A few minutes later, a manager came over and asked again if he could fix it, and I again declined, but thanked him. He returned a few minutes later and informed me that he had told the chef about it, and the chef insisted on buying us dessert. So, after drinks, an appetizer, a bottle of wine with dinner, and our meal, we managed to stuff in a fabulous dessert on the house.
We never did make it to Disney, but there's always next time!