iPad Used At The Carmel Café & Wine Bar For An Improved Dining Experience

Carmel Cafe iPad

Recently I went to Carmel Café & Wine Bar in Sarasota for a friend’s birthday lunch. It was my first time visiting the restaurant and was very pleasantly surprised by what I encountered. The aesthetics were nice and it was welcoming and comforting from when you enter. What I was most excited about after I walked in was seeing the stack of Apple iPads on a table by the hostess stand.

I immediately asked the hostess jokingly if we got iPads to play with during our meal. Surprisingly, she said we got one, but not to play with. She explained as she escorted us to our table that the iPads are used for ordering. The menus are all on there along with the ability to order.

I had a new toy to play with during lunch and couldn’t wait to explore the functionality! The menus were very clearly laid out and featured full color pictures as well as written descriptions of each menu item. You could swipe from right to left to select the next category from appetizers to entrees, beverages to dessert. You also have the ability to search from the menu at the top and quickly jump to the desired category instead of scrolling through them.

Flatbread menu
Menu Search
Gluten Free Menu
Vegetarian Menu

This was such an awesome experience! To be able to control your food and the timing and not have to depend on servers to come around was great. We first ordered our drinks, then appetizers, then when we were getting towards the end of our first course, we ordered our entrees. This made the process so much smoother and more fun than the typical dining experience. Service was prompt and the timing flowed much better instead of food being brought out before you were ready only to get cold, or long after you had finished your previous course.

Our server still stopped by periodically, but it felt like at natural times to see about water refills, instead of the often annoyance of a server coming too frequently or not frequently enough. This felt like we had more control over our meal and the experience was made more enjoyable by the technology Carmel Café brought to the table. We even had the ability to see our check as we added items to our order on the iPad.

On top of the amazing use of technology to ameliorate our meal, the food was excellent. There were tons of healthy options including gluten free and vegetarian menu options. I cannot wait to go back to Carmel Café again since this was such a pleasurable experience and the food was great! They even offer great specials like “After 5 at Carmel,” which feature $5.00 wines, small plates and martinis on weeknights from 5-7pm, Wine Wednesdays, and Prix Fixe Dinners for 2. In addition to the Sarasota restaurant, they have locations in Tampa and Clearwater.

I highly recommend Carmel Café and hope that some of this use of the iPad technology will spread to other restaurants and maybe even to our theme parks. I was recently listening to an episode of the Betamouse podcast from last year and they talked about their desire to see something of this nature at Walt Disney World. I would love to see this come to fruition in the near future whether by iPad or even your own smartphone. Like they say in Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom, “What will they think up next? … Who know? We’ve got a whole new century waiting for us out there.”

If you are interested in learning more about how Carmel Café uses Apple technology to improve the dining experience, check out this video here on Apple’s website.

Carmel Cafe bar
Carmel Cafe dining room
Grilled Lemon Chicken & Artichoke description
Grilled Lemon Chicken & Artichoke flatbread
Soup Menu
Tomato Basil soup
Glass of red wine
BLTA description
BLTA Sandwich with Fresh Fruit
Grilled Chicken Caprese description
Grilled Chicken Caprese Salad
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A Look At The Disney Second Screen: Lion King And Blu-Ray Contest!!!

While I have already posted my review of The Lion King: Diamond Edition on Blu-Ray. I thought I would do a review of the Disney Second Screen feature and while I was at it throw in an opportunity to win a copy of your own!!!

The Disney Second Screen takes the movie watching experience to a whole new level by letting viewers to explore the story behind the film perfectly synched on a second device, like an iPad™ or laptop.

The Disney Second Screen app is free on iTunes, and allows users to interact with their Blu-ray™ player in an awesome way. Once the app is downloaded and you start the Blu-ray movie, you will then be prompted to sync the Second Screen to the film automatically. The directions were super easy to follow! Then when everything is synced up you will be able to access interactive galleries, play games, and learn interesting facts about the scenes they’re watching.

While the The Lion King Diamond Edition, is the third Disney title to feature the Second Screen technology, the experience has been kicked up a notch with the addition of some new Second Screen features.

There is an “ink” function that has been added to the Ink & Paint feature that lets you become the animator and trace designs of favorite characters, step by step. On the “paint” side you can color the characters in greater detail using pinch and zoom within 13 ink and paint games


Also, the Second Screen goes social with features connected to Facebook and Twitter that allow you to “like”, check-in and share messages from characters and earn 21 achievements and rewards:

  • Check in to 16 virtual movie locations, such as Pride Rock.
  • 5 exclusive E-ticket rewards, based on the famed old Disney ride ticket booklets, that can be unlocked through participation in social features and can be redeemed for additional bonus content.
  • Disney Second Screen Facebook app that tracks all of your achievements


Other features include:

  • Galleries featuring a look into the creation of Lion King with over 1000 images of storyboards, concept art and designs
  • Tons of trivia and facts
  • Video Extras
  • Deleted scene sequences
  • Flipbooks
  • Scene Scrambler Games


Alright, now I am sure that you are wondering how you can win your own copy of The Lion King: Diamond Edition on Blu-Ray!

It is SUPER easy, and there are ways to have multiple entries!!!

1. Leave a comment on this post letting me know who your favorite character is from The Lion King.

2. Leave a comment that you have gone to Facebook & ‘Liked’ On the Go in MCO.

3. Leave a comment that you follow @onthegoinmco.

4. Leave a comment that you have tweeted the following message: ‘I want to win a copy of The Lion King on Blu Ray from @onthegoinmco – www.onthegoinmco.com #itsthateasy’

You can enter to win a copy of The Lion King: Diamond Edition on Blu-Ray until MIDNIGHT on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2011.

The winner will be chosen by using the number of comments on www.random.org, and I will be announcing and contacting the winner on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2011. So please make sure to enter your email address on your entries!!!

Have fun entering and I hope you enjoy my first contest!!!!

UPDATE October 13, 2011: Congratulations to Rich Miller who won the contest!!!!!


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