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Liberty Tree Tavern – Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

One of our favorite Walt Disney World restaurants has always been the Liberty Tree Tavern. LTT is an all you can eat, family style dinner that features several of the popular Disney characters dressed in colonial garb. The meal here is all traditional American fare, hearty and homestyle. This does not necessarily bode well for those of us who have had Gastric Bypass Surgery.

We attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party recently, and while we had booked an advanced dining reservation for LTT months in advance, we debated over whether or not we should go. Of course this is a great restaurant if you come with a big appetite, but I do not have that huge appetite anymore, so dining here doesn’t hold the same appeal for me. But, this is a great place for character interaction, and Granuaile is seriously into characters this trip, so we make the decision to go ahead to the restaurant.

It should be said that Disney really does try to honor your compromised eating capacity. This is the second all you can eat Disney restaurant I have been to since my surgery. I asked the waitress when we sat down if they offered a discount for gastric bypass patients, and she asked to see my card. I know many of you have dining cards from your surgeons that tell them you’ve had surgery, but my doctor doesn’t give them out. That didn’t matter here. I explained to the waitress that I could show her my scars, my sagging skin, my droopy boobs, and my medical alert bracelet, but I had no dining card. She sent a manager over, who very quickly and politely offered to discount my meal to the children’s price. That’s a $15 savings here! Woohoo!!

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You start the meal out with the Declaration Salad. This is a salad of mixed greens – all the stuff you wouldn’t eat as a kid and can block you up big time now – with a strawberry viniagrette. I love this salad, and I think I ate too fast or too much. You’ll learn why I think that in a minute. The waitress also brings out a plate of rolls with a honey flavored butter. You know I skipped the bread, but those of you who do not have issues with bread may be tempted to use way more butter than your stomach can handle. It’s delicious.

After the salad plates are cleared away, the waitress brings a bowl heaping with piping hot mashed potatoes; a generous sized portion of macaroni and cheese; a bowl of vegetables; and a platter that held large portions of roast turkey with stuffing, smoked pork loin, and beef. I helped myself to the pork, a small piece of the beef, and a little of the turkey, and a small scoop of mashed potatoes. It wasn’t long into the meal when I felt that feeling – you know, when it feels like the food won’t go down, and may not ever come back up? I don’t know if I over did the salad or if the mustard sauce on the outside of the pork is doing a number on me, or maybe even the bite of mashed potatoes is revolting. I make a couple of trips up to the bathroom, hoping something will come up, but nothing does. I’m not sure what to blame – maybe I didn’t chew something small enough – but this is certainly ruining the meal for me.

The meal continues for a while with me bouncing back and forth, up and down the steps to the bathroom (word to those needing assistance – the bathrooms are on the second floor here, and you will need to climb the stairs to get there. If you cannot climb the stairs, you will have to leave the restaurant and use a facility nearby.), hoping to dislodge whatever I have stuck. It finally starts to calm down, just in time for dessert – NOT!! The dessert is to die for, but not sugar free. Tonight, it’s a warm apple cobbler, covered with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. They are able to accomodate a special request, but you must contact them in advance to arrange for a sugar free dessert. It doesn’t matter – I’m not going to try to put anything else in at this point!

There are certainly plenty of protein choices to be had here – especially if you have no trouble with things like beef. The turkey was moist and tender, and certainly pouch friendly, but the smoked pork was a little tough. That may have been the culprit in my incident. Next time, I think I’ll stick with what I know will work, and avoid pushing my luck with the salad and tougher meats.

Liberty Tree Tavern is located in Liberty Square – Magic Kingdom

“Goofy’s Liberate Your Appetite Character Dinner”

Menu Date: December 2007

Characters are Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale

PRICES have changed since October, 2007

  • Adults $28.99
  • Adults with medical proof who ask at the hostess station are charged for a Little Patriots meal $13.99
  • Little Patriots (ages 3-9) $13.99
  • 2 and under are free
  • For those Guests not dining, a $5.00 entertainment fee will be applied to your bill.

Serving from 4 p.m. – closing varies depending on park hours

Admission into the Magic Kingdom is required.


  • DECLARATION SALAD – Tossed Mixed Greens, served with our special Tavern Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • PATRIOT’S PLATTER – A generous serving of roasted turkey breast, carved beef, and smoked pork loin, with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herb bread stuffing, and Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese
  • Rolls and gravy also included
  • BEVERAGES included in meal price
    • Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Orange, Lemonade, Birch Beer
    • Coffee, Regular or Decaffeinated
    • Hot Tea
    • Hot Cocoa
    • Milk, Whole, Low-fat, Skim or Chocolate
    • Nestea Iced Tea
  • Cappuccino, Espresso, Bottled Water and Tavern Punch are an additional charge
    • Bottled Water (Still or Sparkling) $3.25
    • Cappuccino $3.69
    • Espresso $3.19
    • Fresh Orange Juice $2.29
    • Patriot’s Punch – Enjoy a frozen beverage from our Patriot’s Punch Bowl served with a Liberty Tree Tavern Collector’s Mug — Take home a piece of the Tavern $8.19
    • The Spirit of ’76 – Take home the spirit of Liberty, one of the Tavern Keeper’s Collector’s Mugs from the top shelf $5.00
    • Warm cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream included
    • Assorted fresh desserts from Martha’s kitchen additional $2.25 – $5.50 each

For your convenience, you may purchase film, disposable cameras, autograph books and souvenir mugs from your server.

Beef O’Brady’s – A Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

Beef O’Brady’s bills itself as a “family sports pub”.  I know this is going to be a little off topic for those of you who are only interested in the gastric bypass friendliness of this restaurant, but I want to go a little into the restaurant itself.  First of all, “family” and “sports pub” are diametrically opposed terms.  I am pretty sure that sports pubs were invented by men who wanted to get the hell away from their families and enjoy the football game over a pint or two.  And I don’t know too many women and children who relish the thought of being dragged out to the local bar to sit at a table, eat pub grub, and be ignored by a husband who is risking whiplash by trying to watch the soccer game, the football game, ESPN Sports Center, and a college basketball game all at the same time.  Also, this particular Beef O’Brady’s (on West Irlo Bronson Highway in Kissimmee) provided an obstacle course to get in and out of the ladies room – hardly kid or handicapped person friendly, so if your family includes any of these types of people, you might want to go to a different family sports pub.

Okay, off of that soapbox and onto how food friendly it is for Gastric bypass patients.  Um, this is a sports bar.  ‘Nuff said?  You’re going to find the menu here heavy on the fried, greasy, carb loaded types of food.  Feeling like a burger with your baseball game?  It’s here.  Feeling like fries with your football game?  You got it.  Nachos with your NASCAR?  You get the picture.  This is food that’s not really “good” for anyone, but it all tastes good and your sports crazy family will want to eat here, so what options are there for you, my gastrically challenged compadres?  I’ll tell you.

The soup of the day on the day I was here was chicken noodle, and while the noodles were a little bigger than what I usually like in my soup (pasta is not my friend), there was plenty of chicken and a nicely flavored broth.  My biggest complaint is the horse carrots that sank to the bottom of my cup of soup.  They were huge and not cooked all the way, and huge, and too crunchy to be suitable for my digestive system, and huge.  Oh, and they were huge. 

Beyond the soup, the menu options were limited in terms of saving yourself the unpleasant experience of dumping.  Nearly everything is deep fat fried, covered in breading of some sort, heavily decorated with some sort of cheese, and dipped in bleu cheese dressing.  There is a small selection of salads, but if you look at it, it’s all basically a chicken caesar salad – except one is true caesar, one is southwestern, one is chicken with mushrooms, one is chicken with buffalo sauce – and you know, sometimes I just don’t feel like chicken on a salad.  They do offer a chef’s salad, but I didn’t think I’d want that much food with the bowl of soup.

The salad I did get was a small garden variety salad, topped with a little shredded cheese.  It was pretty average – a little onion, a little tomato – nothing out of the ordinary.

As for the other diners at my table – those who are gastrically intact – well, it seemed the food was hit or miss.  My oldest daughter ordered the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, and nibbled her way around the outside of it.  The enormous burger (1/2 pound burgers here at Beef O’Brady’s) had a pretty good sized slice of cheese, a generous slathering of BBQ sauce, and then was topped with a mountain of french fried onions.  It proved to be too much food and too ooey gooey for her liking, and as the BBQ sauce mixed with the french fried onions, she had soggy slivers of BBQ sauce coated onion that she scraped off of the burger and left on her plate.  The burger – and all the sandwich platters – come with a choice of fries, cole slaw, potato salad or a bag of chips.  Since we decided to order a large side of curly fries for everyone to share, everyone ordered chips with their platters.  My mother-in-law had what she called a GREAT sandwich.  The sandwich, called a Watterson, after one of the early Beef O’Brady customers, was roast beef on grilled rye bread, topped with swiss cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle.  It sounds good to me!  But, I can’t do bread, and I’m sure the amount of fat between the mayo and the cheese would have sent me running.  The comments from the rest of the table were that the food was “alright” – nothing to write home about (so what the heck am I doing writing home about it???)

There are definitely better restaurant choices out there for those of you who are stapled.  My advice would be to drink a protein shake before you go or nosh on a protein bar after you leave.  You won’t find many ways to get protein here without dumping.  And let me tell you, dumping all over the guy at the bar with the Guinness in his hand while he’s screaming at the rugby game won’t go over too well.  No, I didn’t try it.  I’m assuming. 

Don Pablo’s Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

Prior to having gastric bypass surgery, I might have LOVED eating at Don Pablo’s.  As with many Mexican restaurants, the portions here are large, generally covered in cheese, and served by request with a huge, fruit flavored Margarita.  Since having gastric bypass surgery, my success with finding things I can eat at Don Pablo’s – or many other Mexican restaurants – has been limited.

Today, fortunately, was a fairly successful visit.  To begin with, I have NO trouble eating the chips and salsa – not necessarily a good thing.  We were promptly seated at a booth in the nearly empty restaurant, and after taking our drink order, our waitress brought us a heaping basket of warm tortilla chips and two small bowls of salsa.  Jim quickly tucked in to one of the bowls, and I positioned the other in between Eilis and I, but soon found I was the only one dipping my chips.  The chips here are fresh, served toasty warm and pleasantly salted, and come with a mild, just chunky enough salsa. 

In my past experiences eating here, I have learned that the steak and chicken served with the fajitas is usually too tough for me to eat and digest properly, so I have to skip them.  The soups and the chilis are generally too spicy, and I was not a fan of spicy prior to gastric bypass surgery.  The surgery and the increased risk of stomach ulcers is a good enough excuse for me to skip the spicier foods here.  The guacamole shrimp cocktail the one time I had it proved to be tough to get down.  The shrimp was overcooked, rubbery and cold, and the guacamole reminded me of the gross green vomit from The Exorcist.  The fat content in the enchiladas and burritos frightens me away without even trying them, and on many of my other visits here, I have found myself eating just queso dip with more chips.  Today, I venture into Don Pablo’s world of salads.

Not being the adventurous type, I ask the waitress about the spiciness of the taco salad.  She says if I have no trouble eating the salsa, I should do fine with it, so I take a chance and order it.  The salad can be ordered with either the spicy ground beef or grilled chicken, but having struggled through chicken dishes here in the past, I opt for the ground beef version of the dish.  The salad – served in a crispy tortilla bowl (yeah, I had a bite or two) – is a very typical salad, but for my purposes, it was just perfect.  The lettuce was finely shredded, and all of the vegetables were diced small.  The dish is advertised with sauteed onions and peppers, but I only found a few strongly flavored onions and nary a pepper in mine.  I ordered ranch dressing on the side, in case the beef was spicy enough to need a ranch cool down, but the meat was mildly spiced – enough that you knew you were eating taco meat, but not so spicy you sat with your eyes watering down your iced tea as you gulped.  The dish also contains what Don Pablo’s refers to as “refritos” – refried pinto beans – although the portion in mine was limited to a thin coating on the bottom of the tortilla bowl.  It comes with one small scoop of sour cream and another of guacamole, but if you are watching your fats closely, you can either easily scoop those off yourself or ask that they be left off of the dish.  I mixed the guacamole in with my salad, while leaving the scoop of sour cream pretty much intact.

After eating about half of the salad, I was definitely full.  I recommend that you ask for a box immediately, and remove half of the salad for later.  If you eat your taco salad like I do, you mix all of the ingredients together to eat them, and that doesn’t make for good left overs.  Take half away before you mix the wet tomatoes in with the crisp lettuce, and you have a chance of making this last for another meal.

I cannot rave about Don Pablo’s restaurant because I find it difficult to find food there that works for me, however, by sticking with something simple and basic like the taco salad, I was able to eat a pleasant – although nothing spectacular – meal with my family. 

And for the record – the steak and chicken served with the two orders of fajitas WAS overcooked, and would have been virtually impossible for me to eat. 

Cafe TuTu Tango A Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

As a person who has had a gastric bypass procedure, it can sometimes be challenging to find something on the menu at a mainstream restaurant that I can – or want to – eat.  As an overweight person, I didn’t realize how absolutely HUGE the portions can be at restaurants, so no matter where I go now, I end up taking most of my meal home with me – and even doing that, much of it ends up going to waste.  I try to steer clear of the things that are fried, things that have rice or pasta, anything with bread.  It really does wake you up to the fact that my options are limited wherever we go.

Cafe TuTu Tango was one of our favorite places to get a bite to eat when we lived in Orlando.  Jim even organized an office Christmas party there one year, and everyone had a blast.  While driving down International Drive in Orlando during our recent trip, thinking we might find a new restaurant to try, Cafe TuTu Tango popped up and a quick decision was made to revisit our old stomping grounds.

The “theme” of Tutu Tango is “Food for the Starving Artist”.  Everything here is served tapas style – or appetizer sized.  This keeps the cost of getting something to eat at a reasonable level, and it allows you to try a couple of things, or a table to try several things, that can be passed and shared.  This place is a gastric bypass patient’s dream come true!

On our lunch visit, we walked in to find the restaurant virtually empty.  We were quickly seated, and both girls given crayons and pictures of Backyardigans characters to color.  Granuaile LOVES the Backyardigans, and she was thrilled.  Jim and I browsed the menu, and quickly discouraged Eilis from ordering off of the children’s menu and allowing us to pick some things we thought she might like to try.  The kids’ menu at Cafe TuTu Tango is similar to every other children’s menu you’ve seen – heavy on the fried and fatty.  Any kid would be glad to have something – corn dogs, chicken strips, the usual fare.  But we’re emphasizing healthy eating, and the adult menu has a bigger variety of better for you choices.

The specials menu features a hummus with pita chips, and it’s only $3 for a good sized portion.  I order that, as I currently love hummus, but Eilis apparently enjoys it as well and is scooping up quite a bit of it on the tiny pitas and pita chips.  Jim orders a bowl of black bean soup for he and I to share, and I have to say, of all the foods we ate, this was the one disappointment for me.  There was an overwhelming citrusy taste to it, and very little of any other flavor.  I felt like I should add salt, but then didn’t want to add salt because it tasted so citrusy that I thought the salt would make it taste funny.  Jim ended up with the whole bowl after I braved a second bite to determine I really didn’t like it.

The kids practically devoured the shrimp and chicken potstickers, which you can order steamed like we did or deep fried.  Eilis didn’t even try the sauce until the very end, and then was dipping everything into it.  We also ordered a chicken pizza to give the kids something familiar.  The flavorful, thin crusted pizza had chunks of chicken, carmelized onion, and three cheeses.  The chicken pizza is a white pizza with a nice garlicky flavor.  Another big hit was the scallops – broiled to perfection and with a lime sauce that was really tasty.  Scallops are one of the foods I can easily eat, and after sharing one of the large scallops between Granuaile and Eilis, I ate one whole one myself and split the last one with Jim. 

With drinks – a very nicely flavored unsweetened ice tea for me, and sodas for the kids (Jim only drinks water), and a magnificent looking dessert of banana pizza (bananas, caramel, and ice cream atop a pizza crust), the bill came to about $50 for the 4 of us.  Because the portions are smaller sized, there really is no waste for someone who has a compromised gastrointestinal tract like we do after weight loss surgery, and you really can choose from a good selection of proteins, salads, the soup (there are two on the menu).  I would have been more than content with the scallop dish and a small salad (there are 5 salads on the menu, and 3 contain some form of protein) if I was there eating alone, but had PLENTY to eat even in choosing foods I knew the kids would like.  The pizza crust is thin enough that I could easily eat it without getting sick, which a lot of pizza crust can do to me, and there are many other options on the menu I could have tried with a table full of WLS patients that would have skipped any type of bread/crust at all. 

The added bonus to Cafe TuTu Tango is they feature art work throughout the restaurant from local artists.  You can purchase any of the pieces on display, and you really get a good sampling of local talent – in everything from sculpture to painting. 

This is definitely a must do restaurant for Gastric Bypass patients – and anyone who is looking for a menu filled with delicious surprises, international flavors and eclectic flair.

CiCi’s Pizza Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

CiCi’s Pizza, for those unfamiliar with the place, is a pizza buffet restaurant.  For a set price – around $6 or $7, depending on the CiCi’s you go to – you can eat as much as you want of their many varieties of pizza, macaroni with a red gravy or an alfredo sauce, and two or three kinds of pasta.  They also have a small selection of desserts – a dessert pizza, that is kind of like an apple pie on a pizza crust; cinnamon buns; and chocolate brownies. 

In terms of the gastric bypass patient, CiCi’s might not be your first choice.  Pizza is high in fat, after all, and fat is one of those foods we should avoid.  Pizza rests on pizza crust, and that is another thing that for many gastric bypass patients is not a safe food.  But I say go, my fellow WLS buddies!  Enjoy the pizza, have some salad, skip the pasta, and you’ll come away happy.

The pizza at CiCi’s is mostly thin crusted (although you will see one or two Sicilian varieties), and if you don’t eat the back of the crust, you really shouldn’t have any trouble at all with the bread part of the pizza.  You can skip the pizza with tomato sauce (although I do not know if CiCi’s uses sugar in their sauce, I always assume that any place that serves red sauce uses sugar), because you will find many options without red sauce.  But even the pizza with the red sauce doesn’t overload the crust with the sauce, and for most of you, it should still be a safe bet.

The cheese, as we all know, is chock full of protein, and some of the CiCi’s toppings are added protein.  There is a ham and cheddar, chicken, BBQ chicken, as well as the more traditional pepperoni, sausage, beef, and ham and pineapple pizzas.  You can make a good choice even at the pizza buffet, and they are really very accomodating, so if you want them to make you something, they will. 

The salad bar varies from restaurant to restaurant.  Some of them have two or three pre-made, pre-dressed salads, usually including a pasta salad, a caesar salad, and a mixed green salad.  Other CiCi’s have a regular salad bar.  This one we went to had the pre-made, pre-dressed salads, and I stuck with the mixed green salad with an Italian type dressing.  You can certainly skip the salad if you fear the fat content in the pre-dressed salads, but I had no trouble with it.  I even had a little bit of a bacon ranch salad that was offered – a mixed green vegetable salad with bacon, a little cheese, and ranch dressing.  It tasted good and I didn’t dump, so I was pleased with that.

If you’re craving dessert, this is not the place to find happiness.  Your options on the dessert buffet are limited to ooey gooey chocolately delicious looking brownies; ooey gooey sticky sweet cinnamon buns; and ooey gooey caramely delicious apple pie type pizza.  I would guess that the sugar content in any of the desserts is enough to send you into some kind of serious, laying on the floor, begging for mercy dumping situation, and if the sugar doesn’t bother you, the fat likely will.  But if you are the kind of WLS patient that can handle that stuff, they do cut the brownie pieces into small squares, and the apple pie pizza thing into thin slices, so you may be able to get away with a taste of either of those.  The cinnamon buns are much smaller than those you would get at the mall Cinna-Bon store, but they are the most generously sized dessert, so you might want to skip those.

You can add whatever kind of drink you want to the buffet, and they do have water at no additional cost.  I stick with unsweetened iced tea.

CiCi’s is certainly not gourmet pizza, but it is good tasting pizza, and it’s a great restaurant to take a family with kids.  For those of you who hesitate to go to a buffet with your family because you know you can no longer eat your money’s worth, CiCi’s is a reasonably priced enough option that even if you can only eat one or two slices and a bit of salad, you won’t feel you’ve wasted money. 

I highly recommend CiCi’s pizza to those of you who have had Gastric Bypass surgery – and to those who haven’t.  It’s enjoyable for the whole family.

Kunkel’s Seafood and Steakhouse Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

Opened in June, 2005, Kunkel’s Seafood and Steakhouse restaurant is like finding the pearl in the oyster from the looks of it.  Standing alone at the end of a mostly abandoned strip of stores who’s primary resident is Tony Soprano’s Pizza, Kunkel’s looks like a charming little restaurant that you would find in a much more upscale neighborhood.  When you walk inside, you really are transformed into what you might think of when you think of a dinner club – rich woods, warm colors, roaring fireplaces.  Everything from the beautiful mahogany bar to the lovely yet subtle paintings on the wall gives you a feeling of warm and cozy.

Back in September, we ate at Kunkel’s for my birthday.  At the time, we found service to be a bit lacking and the food needing a heavy hand with the salt and pepper shakers.  That was okay.  The atmosphere was lovely, we were out of the house without our children, and we had a nice, leisurely meal that lasted nearly 2 hours. 

When we were trying to decide where to eat on this particular evening in February, 2006, Jim decided he wanted to go back to Kunkel’s.  It was, afterall, much cooler now, so those roaring fireplaces would be roaring and making the place even more comfortable.  We arrived just after 8 on a Thursday evening.  The bar had a couple of patrons seated there, but the restaurant was virtually empty.  There was one couple just finishing their meal, another couple close to finishing, and one couple who must have arrived shortly before we did.  By the end of the night it was just Jim and I, leaving at about 9:20.  We were seated immediately, and after a couple minutes of a wait, our waiter came over to introduce himself and describe the specials.  Jim interrupted him and ordered drinks right away (It should be noted here that Kunkel’s is a BYOB restaurant).  Another few minutes passed, and he came back with the drinks, then gave us the list of specials.  We placed our order, and after some confusion with the clams Jim ordered, a large plate of a dozen top stone clams was delivered to the table. 

I want to mention that when we were here last, they spoke of the awesome raw bar that they would be putting up at the front of the restaurant.  I think one of the reasons Jim wanted to go here was because of the raw bar, that would surely have been up and functioning by now.  Well, the waiter explained that the raw bar was closed because of the smell and because it was just easier for them to open the seafood in the kitchen.  That was disappointing.  Jim had not really looked at the raw bar options, so he placed an order for “cherrystones” – meaning clams.  Our waiter finished taking our order and said, “I’ll be right back with your oysters.”   I waited patiently to see if that was just a mix up in vocabulary, but a minute later, he came back and told Jim which kinds of oysters they had, since they did not have cherrystone oysters.  Jim told him they were clams, so the guy set off again.  I heard someone giving him a lesson on clams and clam sizes, and he came back yet again to let Jim know that they had no cherrystones, only little necks and top necks.  Jim settled on the top necks, and eventually, they showed up.

I do not eat clams, but I did order a salad, which Jim did not.  It would have been nice if the waiter had brought my salad while Jim was eating his clams, but perhaps he thought we would share the clams.  After the clam plate was cleared away, he brought our soup.  Jim ordered the winter vegetable soup and I ordered the crab soup.  I only took a bite of Jim’s vegetable soup, but was completely unimpressed.  The crab soup, however, was a huge disappointment.  The broth was tomato based, but there was so little crab in the soup that there was absolutely no crab flavor.  There was a ton of corn in it, so most of what I tasted was the corn.  In addition to lacking crab flavor, the soup was terribly bland, and I was grateful for the salt and pepper shakers to add my own bit of spices. 

About mid-way through my cup of soup, my salad arrived.  It was a mixed green salad and I ordered the poppy seed dressing.  The dressing is essentially honey mustard dressing with poppy seeds in it.  It had a nice flavor, but I am a big salad dressing lover.  The tiny portion that was served in a cup next to the salad barely covered the top layer of greens and one or two of the grape tomatoes.  The rest of my salad, I ate dry 🙁  

Next up, the entrees.  I have to say, the menu here, although it calls itself a seafood and steak house, is rather limited in both options.  Jim asked me several times to check the menu for a broiled seafood platter or something more than just one type of fish.  I could find nothing.  He settled instead for one of the pasta dishes – billed as spaghetti with lump crabmeat.  I ordered the chorizo encrusted Mahi-Mahi, which was served with greens and chipotle sweet potatoes.  Jim’s “spaghetti” turned out to be more of an angel hair pasta, and the thin tomato sauce, which seemed to have been mixed in with the pasta, had just a hint of crabmeat.  There were definitely no “lumps” of crabmeat – more like strings of crabmeat mixed in.  The biggest pieces of anything we found were a few pieces of sliced garlic, which really were the only flavor powerful in the dish.

The Mahi-Mahi was a bit of a mixed bag.  The fish itself tasted fine – if a bit bland.  The problem was, as soon as the fork was set to it, the chorizo crust crumbled and fell apart on the plate.  You had to scoop up the fish, then scoop up some of the chorizo to get both flavors together.  And can I just say, continuing on with the bland theme of the evening, I have never had a more mild chorizo in my life.  I am not a spicy food lover, but I don’t mind a little kick to things.  I enjoy a nice chorizo mixed in with seafood, rice, pasta, but this had literally no true flavor.  The mashed sweet potato did have a bite from the chipotle peppers – almost too much for me.  Again, not being a lover of hot and spicy foods, I thought the peppers in this dish over powered the sweet potato.  But, knowing that lack of flavor was one of the problems we encountered on our last meal here, I never expected there to be as much heat in the potatoes as there was.

That brings me to the greens – the highlight of the evening.  To use an old Southern saying, the greens were so good, they made you wanna slap yo’ momma!!   They were smokey and delicious, and I could have eaten a whole plate of just those and left the fish and potatoes behind.  YUMMY. 

Because we were enjoying being in each other’s company, we took a chance on dessert.  We ordered the caramel apple and pumpkin strudle.  The strudle was almost egg roll in shape and was cut into two generous pieces.  It was served drizzled with caramel and next to a small scoop of a maple ice cream.  Oh man, the ice cream was so good – and served topped with a few sugar coated nuts.  The strudel was okay – I only tasted one bite of apple in the half I ate, and the rest was basically a pumpkin pie filling.  I’m not sure I like warm pumpkin pie, but when you took a bite of the strudel with the cold ice cream, it was very good.  The ice cream was the star on this plate.

Service – well, considering the fact that we were the only table our waiter had, it was awful.  Our drinks were never refilled in the nearly hour and a half that we were there until we ordered dessert and asked for them to be filled.  During the whole time, our waiter only came over once to see how everything was.  Dirty plates were left there too long, and when dinner was served, I had to clear away my salad dish myself, even though it had been sitting empty for quite some time. 

It really is a shame that such a beautiful restaurant is so disappointing.  You really want to love the food here, because you love the atmosphere.  I am sorry to say we won’t be back – and I mean that.  I love the cozy, warm ambience the restaurant has, I just don’t love the food.  And since for two of us to dine, without alcohol, it cost nearly $90, I would have to LOVE the food to go back.