Review – Shades of Green In Room Dining

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After a long, hot day shopping, we opted to cancel a dining reservation at ‘Ohana (maybe it was the threat of matching grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts?) in favor of an evening of air conditioned comfort in our resort room.  Room service began at 6 PM, and by then, we were starving!  The menu wasn’t extensive, but everything sounded delicious.

SoG Menu

 

SoG menu 2

Eilis decided she was just going to get the chicken wing appetizer, so because I thought she might still be hungry, I added an appetizer of fried calamari to share.  For my entree, I selected the ribeye steak.  The $19.99 price for the steak also included a choice of house or Caesar salad, garlic mashed potatoes, and a vegetable.  Let’s just say, for $20, my expectations were low.  Wow, was I about to be surprised!

We live in Jersey, where the only thing we have more of than diners are Italian restaurants.  Fried calamari is a restaurant staple here, and they give you a huge portion pretty much everywhere we go.  They are a bit risky for me, because if they are overcooked just a little, I can’t swallow them.  No matter how much I chew a rubbery ring, it’s going to get stuck and cause serious discomfort.  The calamari at Shades of Green were so tender, lightly breaded, and seasoned practically to perfection.  I have had calamari that I needed to dunk pretty liberally into the accompanying sauce to give them flavor, but I almost didn’t need the sauce for these – they were THAT good.  Only complaint – it was a small portion.  I toyed with the idea of just ordering this as my dinner, and I’m glad I didn’t.  Eilis and I shared, but you would need another order if you were going to share any further.

There were a few more pieces, but we were starving - this couldn't wait for photos!

There were a few more pieces, but we were starving – this couldn’t wait for photos!

The Caesar salad was simple and good, nothing special, but tasty.  I love roasted vegetables, and these were perfect – onions, peppers, and zucchini, tender with just a bit of a texture to bite into.

Who doesn’t like steak and potatoes?  The garlic mash were a  hit with Eilis, who helped me get through my plate.  They were a tad thick and “sticky”, but did have a great taste.  The ribeye was the star of the plate – absolute beefy perfection.  The seasoning enhanced the flavor of the medium steak, and there was just the right amount of juice to mix in with the potatoes for added flavor there as well.  This was possibly one of the best steaks I’ve had at Walt Disney World.

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Eilis loved her wings – a healthy portion of 10 with a bleu cheese dressing.  Don’t expect heat, though – these were kid friendly.  Brighid inhaled, ummm, I mean enjoyed a chicken penne alfredo.

I would say the portions were just enough – I was able to share thanks to gastric bypass, but a hungry Dad would be able to easily finish a meal and possibly an appetizer to boot.

We’re so glad we opted for in-room dining.  The meal was great, the room service attendant awesome, and the price for our entire meal was less than the price for two at ‘Ohana.  A delicious bargain – definitely a winner on two fronts!

Shades of Green – Military R&R At Its Finest

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SoG entry

Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC), located within the Walt Disney World Resort property.  As the only AFRC resort in the United States, this is a popular destination, and the resort has more than 500 rooms that can each accommodate at least five guests.  There are rooms that are ADA compliant for those with accessibility requirements, and there are a couple of suites for larger parties.

SoG guard house

As we pulled up to the beautiful flag lined entrance, the gate guard checked to make sure our name was on the list, and you must have your military ID to show him.  We pulled up to the front of the resort, and a valet came over to see if he could help us.  He explained that there was a parking garage available for $5 per day, or we could use the valet for $5 each time we needed them to get our car.  We opted for the garage, which was a multilevel facility with ample parking.

The lobby is beautiful and simple, with comfortable furnishings and a nice fireplace.  The registration desk is in an alcove just off of the lobby, which is kind of nice, because you are removed from some of the noise and busyness of the lobby.

SoG lobby

The room, on the Magnolia side of the resort, was easily as big as a room at the Grand Floridian (and a check when I got home shows the Shades of Green standard room is actually 40 square feet larger than a room at the Grand Floridian).  It’s not fancy, but there were two queen sized beds with comfortable mattresses and a convertible sofa for a fifth person.  Not a fan of the color scheme, but they are definitely aiming for a tropical feel.

SoG whole room SoG sofa bed SoG seating SoG dresser SoG beds

The bathroom was very generous, although I wish they had separated the toilet from the shower, which I think works better for families.  There was a definite lack of toiletries – one small bottle of shampoo, no conditioner or lotion, and a small bar of soap on the sink and in the shower – but I always bring my own, so it didn’t impact our stay very much.

SoG bathroom

One of the pools was open during our stay, and it was a zero entry pool with lots of seating, tables and umbrellas, and room to move around without bumping into people.  The Mickey pool was being renovated during our stay, but just near the pool was a small play area.  Not huge, but it was cute.

The people here were all very friendly and really helpful, from the valet and the front desk people to the store clerks and the room service attendant.  The resort is laid out so it’s easy to find everything – even for the directionally challenged.

We used the room service option for dinner once during our stay, and the food was delicious.  I had the very best steak I’ve had in ages, and the calamari was just delicious.  The portions are not huge, but sufficient.

Overall, our experience was great.  This was kind of a no-frills resort – but the comfort and quality were certainly there.  We paid $95 a room for the night, and taking that into consideration, this was a huge bargain for what we got.  We would totally stay here again.