Continuing from Mexico with reviews of La Hacienda de San Angel/San Angel Inn and China through Germany, we’ll pick things up at Italy. It’s 12:25pm on July 7th and things are not real busy back here.
The first kiosk you’ll see as you approach Italy from Germany is unnamed. You would think they could just make something up that sounds Italian – like Verizziollinizziollinidicciolinni del Ziollini.
Selling mostly gelato and wine, lines can get kind of backed up with only two people working most of the time. We’ll see better wine options shortly at the Enoteca.
The Italian Sangria is made on the fly with cheap wine out of a beverage dispenser and Sprite. The taste is sweet and refreshing, but you’d have a tough time convincing me you’re looking at $15 worth. You’d be better off going into Tutto Gusto and ordering a pitcher.
The Italian Margarita is a tasty frozen drink that’s usually passed over in favor of the France frozen drinks. It’s a shame because the Italy version is a much larger portion and tastes just as good, if not better.
Birra Moretti is more prevalent than you might imagine. Again, I would head into Tutto Gusto for a draft Moretti if that’s the direction you want to go in. Plus, Gusto is air-conditioned.
The Bellini isn’t much to write home about either, particularly at the $10 price point. More peach puree than wine, it has what may be described as an off-putting aftertaste. I’m not sure if others have had better experiences.
The Primavera might be the best thing on the menu – a fruity and refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail that’s easy to drink and will “literally” cool you down 15 degrees.
The wines taste like wine.
Italy is not real sure what to do with one of their carts.
Or maybe the mule has a mind of its own.
It usually sits outside the Pavilion next to the kiosk we first saw. Generally unpopular in plain sight, it must be even less further inside the Pavilion.
I won’t regurgitate past Tutto Italia reviews here. A lunch review is available here about half way down the post and another is available here. I may like Italia more than most people. While most items are a dollar or two over priced, even by Disney standards, almost everything is freshly made and the attention to detail is higher than most restaurants. And where else can you have 15 to 25 Italian people intently watch you eat from the corners of a room?
The current lunch menu with pricing $1 to $3 more expensive than when the restaurant reopened after a lengthy refurbishment last May.
Dinner is similar, though pricing is slightly higher than lunch on items that appear on both menus.
They also have a few hundred bottles of wine available by the glass and bottle. This is my favorite spot in the World Showcase to stop for a drink because this is the only place in the United States that serve several of the beers on draft. You also don’t need a reservation, it’s air-conditioned, service is excellent, and you can order anything off the Tutto Italia menu in addition to what’s available at Gusto. Pricing is high on the “Gusto Plates,” but you can also order a single item if you prefer. A case in the front displays the items so you have an idea about what you’re ordering.
This is an excellent stop for a drink and a snack.
Via Napoli is the Pavilion’s best restaurant in my opinion. Current menu:
At first glance, pizza pricing in the $30 to $40 range may seem absurd. And it might be. But this is one of the rare Disney phenomenons that lives up to the hype – the pizzas really are that good. And when you consider per-person-pricing, you can often get out of Via Napoli for less than other table service restaurants and for not a whole lot more than it would cost to go to Pizza Planet. For example, this $35 pizza stuffed two very hungry adult males.
Like the wine bar in Germany and the wine bar we’ll see up in France, Italy’s Enoteca is often overlooked, despite sitting in plain sight. You’ll see it inside the building on the right side of the Pavilion. Tutto Italia is the first restaurant you see on the left and then Gusto is a little further in on the left. Napoli is straight ahead.
Wines by the glass available as well as flights.
The Enoteca started selling shots of Grappa a couple of months ago for $10/shot.
Moving on to the United States, “Espresso, Coffee, & Pastries” features a similar menu as the other Joffrey’s stands:
With most quick service outlets now serving Joffrey’s, one wonders whether these kiosks will be seeing a future overhaul.
Hopefully Jameson will stay. I just hope I live long enough to see a dive bar go into the U.S. Pavilion somewhere.
Big donuts. Big cookies.
I feel like you’d have to be pretty desperate to order a BBQ Sandwich from Fife & Drum Tavern.
The Phineas & Ferb items are a mainstay here at Fife & Drum too, in addition to the delight that is Sutter Home wine.
Liberty Inn continues offering a 6oz fast food steak.
The one I had was actually pretty good. It’s obviously not the best steak you’re ever going to eat (I would hope), but it’s perfectly serviceable. I mentioned in the original review that the potatoes had been sitting somewhere for a while and it looks like they’ve been replaced with the typical Disney fry. I’ll bring you what I’m sure will be an enthralling review of the Texas Style Chicken soon.
The rest of the menu looks unchanged:
The Grilled Chicken Flatbread and Black Bean Vegetable Burger are actually good, potentially healthy alternatives. And the Chili-Cheese Fries are a hearty use of a snack credit.
The small store in the back of the Pavilion is often overlooked by guests passing by.
American flag items made in China are the star of the show here.
Vaguely patriotic shirts.
Few things are more American than a Bret Michaels hat.
At $24.95, the pillows might be approaching a reasonable price. The tapestries proudly state “made in the USA” on the side.
The popular t-shirt print with illustrated pictures of the food and drink found in the World Showcase has made its way to the Tervis Tumbler.
I bought one.
A heavy does of Ronald Reagan literature.
An exciting construction picture for your enjoyment. About 75 bathrooms are slated to open in about five weeks. Food & Wine fans rejoice.
Double Chocolate Funnel Cakes for summer.
Kabuki Cafe, popular for kaki gori, has added some additional sushi options.
I was after the Combo Sushi, but it was sold out.
So we’ll try the Temari Sushi – Curved “Bite Size” Nigiri topped with Tuna, Salmon, and Shrimp – $4.98.
The three bite size nigiri with ginger and wasabi.
Pricing is in line with what you’d receive up the stairs at Katsura Grill. The nigiri here are merely okay. It’s potentially a quick snack that’s on the healthy side of things, but it isn’t going to sustain most people for very long.
For $9.50, this is the Spicy Roll you’d receive at Katsura Grill. It isn’t much to write home about, but you could probably do worse.
Speaking of Katsura, here’s the current menu:
Some people really like Japan’s quick service. I have never been too impressed – not because I’m a sushi snob. Their food just isn’t very good (in my opinion)!
Teppan Edo’s all-day menu. We took a long look at dinner at Tokyo Dining not too long ago, so I won’t rehash that post. I have not been to Teppan Edo in almost forever…
While Tokyo Dining also offers one menu all day, they have lunch specials as described. Considering the cost at Katsura Grill, popping into Tokyo Dining for a much better, more relaxed meal might be a wise choice if you’re planning to eat in Japan.
The Sake Bar is still offering the same menu:
The Sake Bar cocktails are potentially a good choice if you’re in the market for something that isn’t a beer or a frozen drink with a splash of vodka or rum. The Strawberry Amisake Mist is sweet with very little alcohol taste. And with sake not being particularly alcoholic to start with, you’d fit in just fine with one of these in your hand without much concern over throwing up in the bushes with the 17 year olds by the time you arrive in Morocco.
The Green Tea Sake Cocktail is similar, though much creamier and less sweet.
Always nice to see Miyuki packing them in with her candy artistry.
Not a whole lot of news back here in World Showcase. In the next installment, we’ll finish up with Morocco, France, and the UK. February 2014′s operating schedule is still unavailable. Hopefully we’ll see it later today.