bluezoo’s special for September 2014

This dining experience took place on September 5, 2014

Apologies for brevity – we wanted to get this post out because of the special dining event in Orlando in September… MAGICAL DINING MONTH…

This is bluezoo’s featured entree for the month and it is fantastic!

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Octopus sous vide in buttermilk and then charred – we all know that marinating something in buttermilk makes it incredibly moist and tender…

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… and this octopus is delectable (and moist and tender) …

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(another glamor shot of the octopus)… the fresh pasta is made in house and served with a spring garlic Bolognese sauce… first taste reminded me of my granny’s macaroni & tomatoes (a great memory)

So, if you haven’t planned to… Get yourself down to the Dolphin and bluezoo for Magical Dining Month… the entree alone is wonderful and I’m sure the other dishes on the price fixe menu are going to be fabulous…

And just to remind you…

Crab Nachos are always sure to please (this is a half order)

Crab Nachos are always sure to please (this is a half order)

And we were lucky enough to get to try Chef Jimmy Reyes take on a teeny tiny breakfast …

pureed cauliflower, poached quail egg, jambon and a nasturtium leaf

pureed cauliflower, poached quail egg, jambon and a nasturtium leaf

This was our amuse bouche and it was delicious. We’re really pleased to see that Chef Jimmy is expanding his experience and skills (we’re willing guinea pigs anytime!)

Spice Road Table – Hummus and Calamari, a combo we really like

this dining experience took place on Sunday, April 13, 2014

Today, we tried a number of wines and beers. We weren’t driving and were just having a day of wandering …

Nick started with a different beer… I went with a “favorite”, the Queen of Hearts White wine (Greece)…

Tasting notes:

  • Queen of Hearts White
    • Nick – taste a little sour, I like the nose; this pairs better with the hummus than with the olives
    • Nora – a good balanced white wine; I really like how it goes with the black olives
  • Almaza Pilsner Beer
    • Nick – tastes very dry with no lingering tastes; I like this better with the olives than with the hummus
    • Nora – slightly sweet
#spiceroadtable #hummus #calamari 13APR2014 - 1

Almaza Pilsner (11.2 ounces, 4.2% ABV) from Lebanon

#spiceroadtable #hummus #calamari 13APR2014 - 2

our usual starter – the tomato hummus had really forward tomato flavors and the sliced green olives on top were a nice accompaniment

More beer and wine talk…

  • Mythos lager – a bit floral; paired better with the hummus than the Almaza but the Almaza still better with the olives
  • Marques de Caceres Santinella – this wine is just too drinkable! much sweeter and fruitier than the Queen of Hearts White; Nick was surprised that the nose and the taste were so different for him, he didn’t really like the aromas but he liked the taste, said it was like a Reisling; I think this wine is very good without food … that said the Queen of Hearts pairs really well with food, especially the hummus (TRUST THE PAIRING)
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Mythos (Greece) – original Greek lager beer, 5% ABV, 11.2 oz

Time for fried calamari…

I ordered a glass of Ksara Blanc de Blanc to go with the calamari… Nick liked the nose but not the taste of this one without food. I thought it tasted very floral without food.

Nick ordered an Estrella Damm (we both really like this one!) – 11.2 oz again, 5.4% ABV.

#spiceroadtable #hummus #calamari 13APR2014 - 4

fried calamari – not greasy, nicely crispy, well seasoned

#spiceroadtable #hummus #calamari 13APR2014 - 5

I really like the fried pickled peppers and Nick likes that the spicy harissa is spicy but not HOT

We have lots of tasting notes and comparisons:

  Without Food Hummus Olives Calamari Sauces
Almaza Pilsner Beer Nick – very dry, no lingering tastes

Nora – slightly sweet

  Nick’s preference    
Mythos Greek Lager Bothofus – a bit floral Nick’s preference     Nick – best with harissa sauce
Estrella Damm Bothofus – well balanced and we like it        Nick – best with tartar sauce
Queen of Hearts White Nick – slightly sour, like the nose Nick’s preference Nora’s preference    
Marques de Caceres Santinella (white) Nora – very good without food, maybe too good

Nick – this is a drinking wine, not an eating wine

    Nora’s preference Nora – best with harissa sauce
Ksara Blanc de Blanc Bothofus – citrus & sour     Bothofus – cuts the fattiness of fried food  

This was the day that we discovered a big difference in our preferences for wine and in how we perceive wines…

If Nick likes the aroma of a wine, he’s not likely to enjoy the taste without food. In general, he likes stronger, more sour whites than Nora does. But, he likes fruitier red wines with less tannins than Nora does. So:

Nick = strong, sour whites & soft, fruit forward reds

Nora = mild, slightly sweet whites & more tannins, cherry/berry reds

Spice Road Table – a visit during a tornado warning :O

This experience took place on Saturday, March 29, 2014

Once again, we started with the hummus and olives. Our server today was Soufiane, she’s new to us, and we were seated at table #13… we saw some interesting things out the window today!

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hummus olives more hummus!

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the deep black, fully ripe, squishy olive have so much umami! they went really well with Nick’s Estrella Damm and my glass of Queen of Hearts white

An interesting storm blew in while we were at Spice Road Table. The only camera we had was on my iPhone AND we were taking photos through a window… sorry about the quality. Do you see the two small dots over the trees? Those are gulls, they are flying furiously but not going anywhere! The wind was so strong that those birds were flying with all their might and not going anywhere. We enjoyed watching the storm, the sheets of rain made nice patterns on the lagoon and it was especially nice to be sitting inside dry and comfortable with food and adult beverages while it was storming outside. We found out later, when we got home… there were tornados in the area and Epcot had a tornado warning in effect while we were just sitting in Spice Road Table enjoying ourselves!

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watching it storm over the World Showcase Lagoon

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Queen of Hearts White (saving a little to compare to the next wine)

We next ordered extra spicy mussels. Nick had an Efes Light (Turkey) and I ordered a glass of the Marques de Caceres Rose (yes, there’s a rose thing going on lately). The Efes Light had a nose with a bit of smoke, maybe tobacco? Nick didn’t really care for it by itself without food, I thought it was very yeasty tasting. The Rose had a bright, tart nose at first (while it was still rather cold), as it warmed there were more fruit aromas; the taste was sour on the sides of the tongue, definitely caused your mouth to water.

#spiceroadtable 29MAR2014 - 5

The mussels had a lot of tomato on top, there weren’t as spicy or as garlicky as they’ve been lately. (Maybe there’s someone “new” in the kitchen?) They were very tasty nonetheless. 25 mussels to a serving, these continue to be a good value… And they’re really good.

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more mussels, are you surprised? of course not!

Another nice experience at Spice Road Table. It was a bit surreal to be sitting inside safe and dry and warm and watching the storm raging outside. I think one of the big attractions for us at Spice Road Table is being able to look out that window and disconnect a bit the hubbub of Epcot. At first, we were often alone for at least part of our visits to Spice Road Table, as spring progressed and custom began to pick up, that happened less often – but somehow, sitting at the window and looking out, the tourists didn’t bug me as much as they might have.

Spice Road Table – Fried Calamari (and hummus of course)

this experience took place on March 23, 2014

Yay! We’re back at table #13, seated at the window and enjoying the view. Our server today is Zineb – this is the first time that we’ve had a female server at Spice Road Table – she’s very friendly, in fact she tells us that

continue reading Spice Road Table – Fried Calamari (and hummus of course)

Spice Road Table – Spicy Garlic Shrimp “more spicy please”

This experience took place on March 16, 2014

We’re still sitting outside at Spice Road Table with Nabil taking care of us. The mussels tagine “more spicy please” that Nabil helped us with on a previous visit were so good, we wanted to find out how the shrimp would be if they were

continue reading Spice Road Table – Spicy Garlic Shrimp “more spicy please”

Spice Road Table – Moroccan Lamb Sausage

This experience took place on March 16, 2014

For the first time, we were seated at the outside dining area at Spice Road Table. I’ll agree with those who say it’s a nice spot when the weather is nice (and yes, it’s usually quite nice in March) – there was a slight breeze

continue reading Spice Road Table – Moroccan Lamb Sausage

Eating fruit at the theme parks …

We’ve returned from our summer travels and as a result (of the weight that we gained!), it’s time for loads of walking plus fruit and healthy snacks while walking. Our thought was to walk around Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts, stopping when hungry for said fruit and healthy snacks.

Our first day started

continue reading Eating fruit at the theme parks …

Spice Road Table – Mussels Tagine “more spicy please”

This experience took place on March 15, 2014

Nabil (Big Nabil) was our server on this occasion. We had already had some olives & hummus and were still hungry… so it’s time to get the mussels again. Nabil knew that we like things spicy and so he suggested that we get them “more

continue reading Spice Road Table – Mussels Tagine “more spicy please”

Spice Road Table – Spicy Garlic Shrimp v2

This experience took place on March 13, 2014

We kept a sip or two of the Bodegas Zerran from our earlier sampling of the Mixed Grill. Abdou (Food & Beverage Manager for the Morocco Pavilion) had stopped by and talked to us some about the various wines they’re offering at Spice

continue reading Spice Road Table – Spicy Garlic Shrimp v2

Two Salads – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

This dining experience took place on June 8, 2014

We often walk to Downtown Disney, and let me tell you this year… May and June have been hotter than usual and stopping at Splitsville at the outside bar for a cold beer and a cool bite to eat has been very attractive!

So, on this

continue reading Two Salads – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

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