Lunching at The Wave…of American Flavors

One of my favorite “under the radar” restaurants at Walt Disney World is The Wave…of American Flavors (The Wave for short) at the Contemporary Resort.

Comtemporary

The menu here features American cuisine and many of the ingredients are sourced locally. I’ve always felt that the food I’ve eaten here has been fresh and prepared so that these fresh ingredients, especially produce, can shine.

The restaurant is located in the back corner of the lobby, just past the check-in desks. The entrance is definitely one of the coolest on property!

Entrance

Various elements of the décor also bring out the “wave” theme. It also features close up photographs of produce, like an ear of corn.

Picture from Disney
Picture from Disney. Interior.

I’ve eaten at the Wave several times now of the past few years, at least once for every meal. Recently, it’s become a tradition for my mom and I to eat Easter brunch there after church service. They always have a fantastic breakfast buffet there (sweet potato pancakes anyone??), but for Easter they add a few extras, like carving and omelet stations.

Today though, I’m going to focus on lunch at the Wave. I’ve eaten lunch there a couple of times now. I love that you can usually always get in without a reservation there and that is especially true at lunch. It’s very quiet and I think could be a great break from a busy (and hot) theme park day. Plus, it’s an easy walk from the Magic Kingdom!

Now onto the food…I will warm you that I’m not the greatest when it comes to food reviews. They usually consist of varying degrees of yumminess! But I’ll try to be a bit more descriptive this time!

Most of the time, I like to keep it light at lunch with a salad and maybe an appetizer. My first lunch there, I fell in love with the Wave’s version of the Cobb salad.

From the menu: MacGregor Farms Greens, Naturally Raised Eggs, Bacon, Florida Avocados, Chile-Lime Vinaigrette, and Midnight Moon Cheese
From the menu: MacGregor Farms Greens, Naturally Raised Eggs, Bacon, Florida Avocados, Chile-Lime Vinaigrette, and Midnight Moon Cheese

Most Disney fans know of Brown Derby’s version, which is great, but I give the Wave’s a bit of an edge because of the bigger pieces of the ingredients. With the Brown Derby’s I feel like it all sort of mushes together. I’m also a bit obsessed with the bacon on this salad. It’s thick-cut and has a bit of sweetness to it. It goes great with the tangy vinaigrette. I know there are people who aren’t fans of the traditional bleu cheese found on most Cobb salads. You will be happy to hear that the cheese on this version is much more mild and has a parmesan-like texture.

You can choose to add chicken or steak to the salad to make it more of an entrée. Instead, I decided to go with the soup of the day, which was a Zellwood corn and chicken chowder. The restaurant happened to be a bit chilly that afternoon so sop actually sounded fantastic. And it was! Zellwood corn is known for being sweet. The chicken was shredded and there was some spice with red peppers in the base. This was also paired with a jalapeño corn bread muffin, which also added a bit of heat, but nothing overwhelming. Our server made sure to warn us.

Season Soup - corn chowder
Season Soup – corn chowder

I will definitely be back to The Wave…for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Lunch is definitely a treat and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a break from the parks for an hour or two. The only complaint I have is I’ve had some inconsistent service there. The servers have always been very nice, it’s just some have been more on top of everything than others.

Have you been to The Wave? What would you recommend for my next visit?

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Bonefish Grill Review

Bonefish Grill
Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill is one of my favorite restaurant chains. I eat at Bonefish Grill at least every other month as they have fantastic seafood and my favorite filet if you like a great steak. With locations in over 30 states across the country, it is likely that there is a Bonefish Grill restaurant near you. If not, there are several locations within a few minutes drive of Walt Disney World property to check out on your next visit to Florida.

I absolutely love the feel of the restaurant as you enter. Outside, most locations offer great seating areas with different sections with inviting couches, benches and chairs to have a drink outside or just enjoy while waiting for your table. Inside, you are greeted with the vibe of an upscale, yet still casual feeling restaurant with a great bar and high top tables as well as regular tables and booths.

Bonefish patio
Bonefish patio
Restaurant interior
Restaurant interior

Some of my favorite dishes on the Bonefish Grill menu are the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer, the aforementioned Filet Mignon, Chilean Sea Bass, and the Bonefish Caesar or House salads. This past weekend I took my mom out for dinner after enjoying the new Monsters University movie. We opted to start with some martinis – she with her usual Winter White Cosmo, and I decided to try the new Fresh Watermelon Martini. The martini was so clean and refreshing, with a hint of the cucumber infused vodka balancing out the sweetness of the fresh watermelon. It was a great way to start the meal!

Drink specials
Drink specials
Fresh Watermelon Martini
Fresh Watermelon Martini
Bread with oil and herbs
Bread with oil and herbs
Macadamian Nut Encrusted Mahi
Macadamian Nut Encrusted Mahi
Shrimp and Scallops
Shrimp and Scallops

Since we had a few snacks at the movie theater, we decided to skip appetizers and just split one of the great house salads with several kinds of lettuce and greens, hearts of palm, tomatoes (no olives for me) and all with a fantastic light citrus dressing. This along with the fresh bread, olive oil and herbs was enough to kick start our appetites. Mom ordered the grilled Sea Scallops and Shrimp with Herbed Jasmine Rice and the seasonal vegetables of tomatoes and zucchini. She asked for all of the different sauces they had that day: lime garlic tomato, lemon butter, asian, mango salsa and chimichurri. I have had this dish before and it is amazing! My favorite dipping sauce for the shrimp and scallops is definitely the lemon butter. I picked one of the specials of the Macadamia Nut Dusted Dorado (mahi) wood grilled with a mango rum sauce. For sides I selected the seasonal vegetables and steamed broccoli. The meal was absolutely perfect, with the mahi mahi being nice white and flaky and was great with the mango sauce.

After our entrees and salad, we were completely satiated. Despite being full, we both ordered dessert to go. My mom got her usual Coconut Rum Pie and I chose to take the special Chocolate Creme Brulee with a hint of Grand Marnier, which I tried for the first time a couple weeks ago. The desserts as always were wonderful even later that night at home.

I absolutely love the fresh food that is mostly grilled and served with incredible side options. Bonefish Grill gives me a great meal with friendly service, unique drink offerings and convenient locations nearby. I highly recommend Bonefish Grill to anyone who enjoys a night out at an affordable price. The restaurant also offers kids and gluten free menus upon request. Wine and beer lists are extensive, but I often find myself trying their various drink specials. If you get the opportunity, try to take advantage of their great happy hour drink and appetizer specials. Have you tried Bonefish Grill before? What are some of your favorites? Next time you can, swing in to the nearest Bonefish Grill for a great dining experience.

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Joe’s Crab Shack Lunch and Learn

Joe’s Crab Shack entrance

Recently I visited Joe’s Crab Shack on International Drive, one of five in the Orlando area, for a Lunch and Learn about some of their great offerings. I was fortunate enough to experience this great luncheon with a handful of others to taste many of the menu items. Joe’s Crab Shack was founded in 1991 in Houston and now has over a hundred locations in more than 30 states.Their menu features great seafood from Alaska, New England and the Gulf Coast.

Shrimp

The lunch was hosted by Chef George, who had come in from Texas just for this event. As he introduced each item samples were brought out for us to try. First we tried the Gulf shrimp first, both hot and cold, served with Old Bay seasoning, ready to peel. These were amazing! I loved these. I had a slight preference for them chilled as opposed to warm, but both were great.

Before we tasted the food, Chef George made sure he let us know the best way to approach each type of seafood. For instance, I learned that snow crab is sweet and mild and their crab legs can be opened using a zipper. The also sweet king crab can also be opened using the zipper, but the more mild Dungeness crab legs need to use a cracker. We each had an opportunity to try the different kinds of crab that are the stars of most of the Steampots on the menu. Different crab appetizers and entrees make up half of the entire menu at Joe’s. Don’t worry, even if seafood isn’t your thing, they have plenty of items like steak, pasta, chicken and burgers as well as salads for the vegetarians.

Chef George displaying the Bean Town Bake Steampot

The food was all incredible, and the luncheon was very informative. I have never been to Joe’s Crab Shack before, but have always been a huge fan of seafood, and I even learned some new things. For instance, a 1 1/4 lb. lobster only is about 90 calories. The kids’ menu was inspired by Chef George’s son and is color coded to make picking different options fun for the kids. Fun fact, one person’s job is just to shuck corn all day. Joe’s sells between 1 and 1.5 million crab legs each year. Crab legs are very low in calories and have the good kind of cholesterol.

After having tried a good portion of the menu items, we came to the consensus that the favorite was the Samuel Adams Steampot, which has snow crab, a pound of clams, lobster claws and smoked sausage that have all been steamed in Sam Adams. This was the most delicious thing that I tried hands down! Everything was fabulous, but the flavors complemented each other so well and the Sam Adams just married them all together perfectly. To finish up, we sampled some of the new drinks on the menu and then had the delectable Homemade Berry Cobbler for dessert.

Homemade Berry Cobbler a la mode

I learned a lot about the variety of menu items Joe’s Crab Shack has to offer. The food and service were awesome and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any and all of what I tried to anyone who enjoys seafood. I cannot wait to go back to Joe’s sometime soon and highly encourage you to go visit your nearest Joe’s Crab Shack soon. They even have a great playground area for kids and tons of outdoor seating and sometimes offer live entertainment. With lots of seating inside and out, Joe’s Crab Shack is a great venue for parties of all kinds and sizes. Check out Joe’s on your next visit to the Orlando area or find your nearest Joe’s here. Thank you to Joe’s for hosting such a great event and I look forward to visiting again soon!

 

Chef George demonstrating proper method
Crackers and zippers
Eat Me
Joe’s Classic Steampot
New drinks on the menu
Outdoor seating
Playground
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