Beauty and the Beast Be Our Guest Restaurant at The Magic Kingdom

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Disney, Food, Travel

Beauty and the Beast Be Our Guest Restaurant at The Magic Kingdom

“Tale that’s old as time…” During our most recent trip to Walt Disney World and The Magic Kingdom, we were finally able to secure dinner reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant located in Beast’s Castle. Be Our Guest Restaurant is one of the newer sit-down style dining options at Walt Disney World, and is also one of their most popular. It remains one of the hardest places to get reservations for (just behind Cinderella’s Castle), and thanks to Disney Dining Buddy, I was able to secure a table for me and my daughter alongside my best friend and her daughter. Be Our Guest takes you inside the story of Beauty and the Beast, the tale of a would-be handsome Prince who is turned into a beast after being arrogant and cruel to a woman in need who turned out to be an enchantress . He then entraps Belle in this castle, and despite their disdain for one another, they both begin to fall in love. The only way to break the spell is for Beast to find his true love, which he does in Belle, and they live happily ever after. Inside the restaurant, you have three options to on where to dine during dinner. There’s the Ballroom (where we ate) that looks just as it did in the movie complete with opulent chandeliers and draped balconies and snow falling to the ground outside it’s gallery windows. There’s also the West Wing where The Beast often hid away in the movie. It’s dark and mysterious with lightening and thunderclaps, but features the glass jar in which the rose that holds his fate is stored. The Rose Gallery is more of Belle’s style featuring a music box centerpiece where she and The Beast dance atop. Disney’s Imagineers really brought this fairytale to life at Be Our Guest, and nothing has been left to chance. Everything from the music to the sound effects to the rolling carts of French inspired cuisine is just as it was in the film. We had a wonderful experience eating there, and I plan to eating at Be Our Guest once again for lunch when I visit in December. I was able to snag reservations again since I am 100 days out from my actual visit. It is pricey for dinner compared to other dining options at The Magic Kingdom, but well worth it. For dinner, plan to spend about $85 for two people including an appetizer and dessert. Once you are done with your food, you can take photos with The Beast. During lunch, I am told that you get a chance to see Belle and The Beast dance together, just as they did in the movie. For true Disney fans, Be Our Guest is a must-visit. Are you looking for more 4-1-1 on Be Our Guest Restaurant? Visit the Disney Food...

Read More »

Family Time at Eckert’s Farm in Belleville

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Family Travel, Food, Travel

Family Time at Eckert’s Farm in Belleville

I come from a small family, and we don’t get an opportunity to see one another as much as we’d like. Add to that my 21 year old son now lives in Los Angeles, it is always a joyous occasion when he comes to visit. We wanted to do something extra special to celebrate him coming home for a week and also get my grandmother out of the house and away from St. Louis for awhile. My Aunt organized a family caravan to Eckert’s Farm in Belleville, Illinois, about a forty five minute drive from the city, and we all met up there to eat lunch at their delicious family style restaurant. We also did a little shopping in their store for some fresh fruit, produce, and goodies. I’ve written about Eckert’s Farm before on TheCubicleChick.com. My daughter and I go almost every Fall on a day trip to pick pumpkins and apples and eat in the restaurant. I love having a place that is nearby where we can bond as a family and get fresh fruit and veggies to cook with, and it is an awesome place to visit around the holiday season. And as many times as me and my daughter have went to Eckert’s to spend our day, this is the first time that we have visited Eckert’s together as a family—and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. Eckert’s Farm in Belleville is comprised of a store, a restaurant, a custard shop, and also gives you the opportunity to pick your own fruit. Depending on the season, you can go out on the farm and pick your own berries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, and more. While we didn’t do any picking this go ’round, we did enjoy a great meal and raided the Eckert’s Country Store. Here’s a few photos from our visit: Inside Eckert’s Country Store Eckert’s Belleville Country Restaurant For more information on Eckert’s in Belleville, visit their website. I am so thankful for my family and I cherish these moments. They are the best! And I see more visits to Eckert’s Belleville in the future. What are your family travel plans this...

Read More »

Restaurant Review: Perla at La Concha in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Posted by on Sep 21, 2014 in Food, Travel Reviews

Restaurant Review: Perla at La Concha in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to eat inside of an oyster? Probably not. But that is just the type of experience you get when you dine at Perla, an American and seafood fare restaurant located inside of the La Concha Resort in San Juan. It is an interesting perspective that lets you dine while being surrounded by the ocean. Perla is a moderately priced to mid-exspensive restaurant with some of your favorites. Enjoy Seafood Ceviche, Fried Oysters, Grilled Shrimp in Coconut Curry Sauce, and more for an appetizer. Pan Roasted Sea Bass, Surf and Turf, Fennel Dusted Scallops, Baked Lobster Tail, amongst other selections for your main course. There are also soups and salads to select from, and a full dessert menu. I found the atmosphere to be very tranquil and appealing. The restaurant looks big from the outside, but is small and quaint once you step in. The tables are rather close together, so you do hear the chatter of the other guests sitting next to you, but the wonderful service and food more than make up for that. The bar area is also well-stocked and accommodated, and is a nice first-stop before venturing into the dining room. Perla is open for dinner only, and reservations are recommended. The restaurant and also be rented out for events. If you are staying at or near the La Concha resort, Perla is a must-visit. Below are a few photos I took during our dining experience at Perla Puerto Rico. Sorry they are a little dark: Here’s a photo of Perla from the outside. You can see it’s “oyster pearl” shape   For more information about Perla, visit their website. You can also read my review of the La Concha Resort in San Juan...

Read More »

Tips on How to Survive the Taste of Chicago

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Food

Tips on How to Survive the Taste of Chicago

A sure sign that summer has hit Chicago is the annual Taste of Chicago. Whether you live here in Chicago or another city, everyone knows about the “Taste”, as we affectionately call it. It’s the time when millions of people converge on Grant Park for a chance to sample some of Chicago’s best cuisines.  It’s also a time to come out and listen to some of the biggest music acts in the business. As the years have gone by the Taste has changed a great deal, while I can’t lie and say I don’t miss the old days, I understand that things do change. This year the Taste will be held from July 9-13, along with good food, artists such as Janelle Monáe, AWOLNATION and more will be preforming under the Petrillo Music Shell. With so much going on, here are AWIP’s tips for surviving the Taste of Chicago. Weather: It gets pretty humid in Chicago, there is nothing worse than crowds and extremely humid weather. To combat the hot temperatures wear bright, lightweight fabrics and super comfortable shoes. If you plan on spending more than a couple of hours at the Taste, I suggest bringing a cooler full of ice and cold beverages. This will help you from spending a small fortune on drinks. I’ve literally spent more money on drinks trying to stay cool than food. Crowds: If you aren’t one for crowds, I suggest attending the Taste early in the day, in fact I suggest going when the Taste first opens. Not only will this ensure fresh food, but you will be able to move around more freely. The later in the day the more people that will be in attendance. Portion Size: If  you are anything like me than you want to try as much as possible, I suggest getting the smaller portions so that your tickets will go a lot further. Then once you decide on your favorites, you can the splurge on your favorite foods. Transportation: Take the train down to Grant Park, it will save you a ton on parking and time. Tickets: Purchase your food tickets in advance.  Believe me, you don’t want to stand in those long lines trying to get tickets, purchase them in advance. Lastly, don’t forget to bring your sanitizer, I’m just obsessive like that so make sure you have something to properly clean your hands. Also, I suggest getting toilet seat covers if  you plan on staying a while, I like to wear short dresses in case I need to use the port to potty.  I’m just weird like that. So now you have the run of the mill, remember to plan your trip and pace yourself. This festival is all about eating good food while enjoying time with the people you love. Location: Grant Park Jackson & Columbus Chicago, IL 60602 Hours: 11am-9pm: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 10am-9pm: Saturday and...

Read More »

Restaurant Review: Ocean Prime Atlanta Georgia

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Food

Restaurant Review: Ocean Prime Atlanta Georgia

It’s amazing to me  how big a role social media plays in all of our lives. Some people that I follow on Instagram were constantly raving about the restaurant Ocean Prime, so I knew that I had to go there the next time I was in Atlanta. Well as luck would have it, this past weekend I was in Atlanta for a conference so my girls and I headed to dinner at Ocean Prime. As soon as I arrived I could tell from the ambiance that the food was going to be good. I don’t know if it’s the foodie in me but I can tell when the food is going to be amazing and boy was I right. We started our dining experience with the Berries & Bubbles Cocktail, check out that experience below… Believe me when I tell you the drink tasted as good as it looked!! I’m addicted!After going over the menu, I knew I had to try the Colossal Shrimp Sautee’ in Tabasco Cream Sauce, when I tell  you guys this appetizer was so good, I almost shed a tear. No, I’m serious, ask Danyelle!If you don’t try anything else in this restaurant you must try these shrimp, I swear they are magical.You know I’m all about seafood, so of course I ordered the twin lobster tails! Once again the food was amazing!! This is the point where I started rocking back and forth humming because the food was so good.My friend Janice ordered the scallops with parmesan risotto, when I tasted it I almost fell out of my chair! I was starting to wonder if this restaurant could do any wrong. If the main dishes didn’t get you then the sides would. We ordered a side of truffle mac and cheese and a loaded baked potato. Once again, Ocean Prime could do no wrong. I know I keep using the same words to describe the food but I promise there’s no other way to describe just how great everything was. Overall, I give Ocean Prime a 5 out of 5 stars! The food was amazing, the ambiance was a amazing and the cocktails were amazing. This restaurant could truly do no wrong in my eyes. I wish we had one here in Chicago but until then, I will visit Ocean Prime the next time there is one near...

Read More »

Restaurant Review: White Chocolate Grill

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Food

Restaurant Review: White Chocolate Grill

A few weeks ago an old friend of mines invited me out to dinner. We wanted to try something new, so she suggested we stop by a restaurant called White Chocolate Grill. Since I’d never been I was happy to oblige. Before heading to the restaurant, I decided to check out the menu to see what they were all about.  “The White Chocolate Grill is a contemporary American restaurant. The White Chocolate Grill has a diverse menu of classic American fare; made from scratch using only the highest quality ingredients. A selection of house-made white chocolate and other desserts complement this offering and are proudly served in a unique team-service format assuring friendliness and efficiency.” The description alone had me sold. So we headed to Naperville to see what the food tasted like. As soon as I arrived, I immediately loved the ambiance of the restaurant. White Chocolate Grill has such a chill vibe that, I instantly fell in love. I could sit there for hours talking and relaxing, so I wanted to know more about the design. Per the White Chocolate Grill website,  “The restaurant was designed with rich wood and real stone which creates an upscale, Frank Lloyd Wright inspired atmosphere. From the leather booth seating, soft lighting and spectacular bar, every element of the design evokes a classic yet sophisticated setting.” Everything about this restaurant was perfect whether you are having dinner with your girls or you significant other. Now for the food, to start the night off I ordered some guacamole! I’ve been going through a guacamole addiction recently which is weird because it used to gross me out but now I’m obsessed with it. The guacomole was so amazing, that I ordered one to go! By this time, I was ready to eat! There were so many good looking dishes that it was tough. I finally decided on the rotisserie chicken and rib meal with mashed potatoes! It was so good, I was licking my fork clean by the end the meal. I’m usually not a rib girl when I go to restaurants but I’m glad I decided to try something new. After the amazing meal, my friend wanted dessert so we shared a white chocolate brownie. It was rich and decadent, the perfect ending to a great meal. With locations in Naperville and Schaumburg, IL as well as locations in Arizona and Colorado, I will definitely be back. I love a good meal that won’t break the bank and that’s exactly what White Chocolate Grill has to...

Read More »