We arrived at our resort, The Shades of Green around 1:30PM. I should add, for those who don’t know, that Shades of Green is a resort used by our military, both active duty and retired, and is also available for civilians who work for the Department of Defense (DOD). Our room was ready. I might add that it was raining and continued to rain most of the rest of the day. We got checked in, had our luggage delivered to the room and then went down to the Attraction Ticket desk to obtain our annual passes. We had discovered that they were cheaper to buy here as we saved on taxes. We received certificates for the passes and headed to DTD to get the actual pass and also to purchase our Tables in Wonderland card. Of course while we were at DTD we had to make our regular stop at the Margarita bar and enjoy a couple of margaritas. We then did a small amount of shopping, including picking up some Annual Passholder Pins. Unfortunately, they were already sold out of the Valentine’s Day pins. L Since it was already so late in the day we skipped our planned trip to MK and headed back to our resort to take showers and get ready to go to dinner.
Let me tell you a bit about our room. The room itself is huge. There are two queen beds and a pull out sofa bed. Oddly there is no desk so I am sitting here at a small table typing. The dresser has four good sized drawers and a refrigerator built in. There is what I am guessing is a 32” flat screen TV sitting on the dresser. The bathroom however, is quite strange. There is a tub, with shower, but no safety bars. There is a sink with lights on each side, one of which is currently not working correctly but I haven’t been able to get hold of maintenance yet. Then there is the toilet which is behind a separate wall, but has no door of its own. What makes it strange is that all of the towel racks are in the toilet area and thus not easily accessible when one steps out of the shower. The room rate ($131 tax free per night) is great but I wouldn’t choose this resort again. Our room overlooks the Mickey Pool but there are palm trees in the way so we really can’t see the pool even if we go out on the balcony.
I had ordered, unbeknownst to Donna, a bottle of Proseco, some chocolate covered strawberries and a rose to be delivered. They were delivered while we were at DTD. And, unbeknownst to me, Donna had ordered some things for the two of us. These included a bottle of wine, some etched champagne glasses, cheese, crackers and a few other items, plus a Mickey bag that was chock full of goodies.
Dinner tonight was at our favorite Disney restaurant, JIKO. We arrived at AKL, valet parked the car and went into Victoria Falls, our favorite bar at WDW. Donna had a couple of Cosmopolitans ($19.50), while I enjoyed a glass of red wine called Chakalaka blend ($11.00) Soon it was time to go downstairs to dinner. We were seated at the Cooking Place, which is my favorite place to sit at JIKO. However, these chairs have no foot rests and are very uncomfortable for Donna so we probably will not sit there again. Our server was Oscar, who did an outstanding job of spacing out our meal. We have had him as our server before and he is very good. Our favorite flatbread, a Kalamata Olive flatbread, is no longer on the menu but there was a new one that had Kalamata Olives on it. It was a roasted Kubota Squash and Kalamata Olive, with Cipollini Onions, Goat Cheese, and Pumpkin Seed Duqqa ($10.00). Donna, who doesn’t care for squash, while I do, declared it quite tasty. Next up, for Donna was the Taste of Africa, consisting of African inspired dips with Pappadam, Poppy Seed Lavash and house made Naan ($10.00). Pappadam is round shaped, crispy bread that is very thin. It is an Indian bread made from lentil flour. It is very similar to a very thin cracker. The Poppy Seed Lavash is triangle shaped and is a thin, crispy flatbread, most often baked in a clay oven. The Naan is leavened oven-backed flat bread, cut into small rectangles, though the restaurant calls them squares. It also contains yogurt and flax seeds. The dips provided were Bhuna Masala (red), Sagh Dahl (green), Moroccan Chermoula (red with green specks) and Kalamata Hummus (tan). Bhuna Masala is a curry consisting of tomato, coconut, tamarind and chile peppers. JIKO’s version is roasted. Sagh Dahl is also known as Dhal Saag. It is a paste or sauce made of lentils, spinach, garlic and chiles. Moroccan Chermoula is a marinade, typically used to flavor fish or seafood, but it can be used on meats and vegetables. It is often a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt. Kalamata Hummus is a traditional spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with Tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic, and Kalamata olives. Donna says that if they ever take this dish off of the menu she will stop going to JIKO. My next course was called Inguday Tibs in brik ($10.00). This was a fried Turisian Filo, stuffed with mushroom, spinach, and cheese and served with an apple and curry vinaigrette. I would order this dish again. For our main courses Donna had Spicy Botswana Style “Seswaa” Beef Short Rip, which fell apart at the touch. It was served with Cassava Potato Puree, Sambal, mushrooms, and Fava Beans ($44.00). There was far more meat than Donna eats so she didn’t finish it. My main was Curry-rubbed Lamb Loin, cooked to a rare to medium rare ($37.00). It was accompanied by cauliflower puree, eggplant-artichoke “Zaalouk” and olive-walnut tapenade. It was delicious. Donna’s appetizer and meal were accompanied by a glass of Vilfonte Blend ($17.00). My appetizer was accompanied by a glass of Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir (2009, $17.00) and my main course by a Penny Black Blend, a very hearty and spicy red which went extremely well with my lamb ($14.00). The total bill came to $168.27 without tip and before our Tables in Wonderland was applied. After the 20% deduction on food and drink and an 18% tip added in it came to $163.06, which I rounded up to $165. It was an extremely satisfying meal. We then retired to our room for a good night’s sleep, as neither of us had slept well on the train.
Tomorrow, Magic Kingdom and Flying Fish.
JIKO Cooking Place
Taste of Africa
Donna Short Rib