Big Fish Grill, Rehoboth – August 2015

tonight we dined at Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth, Deleware.  One of many seafood options at this great beach destination.

Laura had the broiled scallops.  This dish came with sweet potato and mushrooms.  Laura says the scallops were wonderful.


Ryan had the grilled chicken with rice.  Ryan enjoyed his chicken until he fell asleep😴

I had the filet with a side of scallops.  This dish was wonderful.


Patty had the 1.5 pound Maine lobster with rice and tomatoes.

Awesome meal with reasonable prices.  If you’re in Rehoboth; consider adding Big Fish Gril to your resturant choices.


Grotto Pizza – Dewey Beach

Tonight while waiting for fireworks for Independence Day; Laura and I got take out pizza from Grotto Pizza.


Grotto Pizza Dewey Beach

Voted number 1 pizza in Delaware and a well advertised food joint in the area; we thought we’d try them out. 

Grotto pizza

Laura ordered a gluten free pizza, no cheese, with jalapeños, peppers, onions, and pepperoni.  It was great.  Just what we needed after a relaxing day at the beach.

If you’re in the Rehoboth beach area you should try Grotto Pizza.

Jake’s Seafood House, Rehoboth – July 2015

Laura and I went to Jake’s Seafood house in Rehoboth, Delaware.  They have a great surf and turf menu with a light, fresh flare.  In past years they had a gluten free menu, but not this time; dispite the menu not changing.  If you’re concerned about an item, just ask.

Jakes on Rt 1 in Rehoboth

Rehoboth has a ton of dining options available from counter service to fine dining.  We find Jakes to be a favorite for us.  We’ve enjoyed eating there when we’re in town and tonight was no exception.

dinner at Jakes

Dayboat Scallops, broccoli, and sweet potato fries are my favorite.  The scallops are served in butter with seasoning.  The broccoli is fresh and great for dipping in the scallop’s sauce.  The sweet potato fries come with a honey mayonnaise sauce which is a great compliment taste for the scallops (we substituted mash potatoes for this).  A Yingling beer for me to make the meal complete.

They had live music tonight that wasn’t bad.  Old country favorites; Not too loud or obnoxious. 

We will definitely continue to visit Jakes whenever we’re in town.

Red, Hot, & Blue Leesburg – June 2015

After a day of tubing down the Antietum Creek, we decided to go to Red, Hot, & Blue for dinner.  


Patty and Ryan making pigs of themselves

Laura and I each got the 5 Meat Platters.  Laura told them to hold the sausage and order sweet potato fries and coleslaw for sides, while I got the beans and coleslaw for sides.  


Laura’s meal


Shawn’s meal


While there are some items on the menu that are gluten free, the kids menu has nothing.  Patty got a bun-less hamburger with tomatoes and ketchup. Ryan are off Laura’s plate.


Patty’s meal – Hamburger patty with tomato

Overall, it was a good meal.  Laura and I both ended up with leftovers.  We will likely add Red, Hot, and Blue to our list of places to eat.

Rubino’s Pizzeria Broadlands – June 2015

Product:3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)
Service:3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)
Accuracy:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Atmosphere:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:2.0 Stars (2.0 / 5)
Average:3.2 Stars (3.2 / 5)

Today for lunch Patty and I went to Rubino’s for Patty’s Softball Party.  Rubino’s is a local chain with 3 locations in Northern Virginia.  It’s a great atmosphere; perfect for bringing kids and watching sports.  

Rubino’s Broadlands

Patty and I got the gluten free pizza.  It was good, but there are definitely better pizzas in the area.


Rubino’s Gluten Free Cheese Pizza

Some of the other girls at the party got Garlic Knots and Macaroni and Cheese.  The girls seemed to like it a lot.

Garlic Rolls and Mac and Cheese

Rubino’s offers an old childhood favorite to drink.  Flavored  ICEE.  All the girls got an ICEE.  Patty enjoyed the blue one.


Nando’s Peri-Peri – June 2015

Product:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Service:2.0 Stars (2.0 / 5)
Accuracy:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Atmosphere:3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Tonight Laura and I dined at Nando’s Peri-Peri at One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA.  The food was pretty good, but thought the setup was a bit cloogy.  

Nando’s is famous for its Portuguese flame-grilled, butterfly‑cut chicken, which is marinated for 24-hours before being basted and cooked in Nando’s famous PERi-PERi sauce!

They first show you your table with menus, then you get up from the table and then go to the counter to order your meal which will be brought to your table when it’s ready. They have one soda machine with patrons backed up trying to fill their drinks which also happen to block the station for silverware and condiments.


decor at Nando’s in Ashburn

Laura ordered the “Red” Sangria.  This potion was mixed with apples, cinnamon, and orange.  It had a very nice, fresh taste; perfect for summer.

I ordered the 1/2 chicken with the mild sauce and Portuguese rice.  The chicken came out pretty good.  It had a couple of dry areas, otherwise it was very juicy.  The sauce had a little kick to it – I wished they put more on it.  The Portuguese rice was good too.


1/2 chicken with rice

Laura got the Butterfly Chicken Breast with Mango & Lime sauce.  She said her chicken was a little dry.  The Mango & Lime sauce was very fresh and tasty.


Butterflied Chicken with Mango and Lime sauce

The food was good the service was just okay especially for the price.  I think we’ll be back occasionally, probably with the kids next time.  I don’t think it will ever be one of normal eateries, but might be good once in a while.

Fantasy Rotational Dining

Product:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Service:5.0 Stars (5.0 / 5)
Accuracy:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Atmosphere:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)

Disney Cruiseline has rotational dining as one of the many perks associated with cruising with them.
For the Fantasy the three dining rooms are Royal Court, Animater’s Palette, and Enchanted Garden.  On a 7 day cruise, you have the opportunity to experience each dining room twice and one of them (your first dining room) for a third time (the last dinner).

On the Key to the World card (your ID card onboard the ship), it shows your rotational schedule.  Our rotation was RAERAER (the first letter of the dining room is the cypher for this code). I.e. We ate at Royal Court the first night then Animater’s Palette the next night, and so on.


Royal Court is a Rotational Dining restaurant located on Deck 3, Midship aboard the Disney Fantasy that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inspired by the classic Disney films Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, the décor and atmosphere of Royal Court is especially beautiful.

Our first dinner on board was bad.  First off, we had late dining (8:00 pm), which is ok for Laura and I, but for the kids, it was their normal bed time.  The wait staff seem off, ordering was difficult (they weren’t ready for our food allergies), the food took a while to come out.  By this time the kids were both asleep and we eat whatever they were able to get from the kitchen for us.  

Royal Court Dining Room

This was probably the worst sit down meal we ever had on a Disney cruise :(.  It wasn’t horrible, just not spectacular.  We know that turn over day is hectic for the crew and we figured we had had such wonderful service in the past, that maybe this time we were due for just good.  All of a sudden Faisal, the head server, stopped by the table.  He saw the kids asleep and asked about our meal.  We were honest, but pleasant about our experience.  He insisted that we change dining to the Main Dining and switched our table number to 17.  We thanked him, finished our meals and left for the evening.

Laura with Faisal – Head Waiter


Animator’s Palate is a Main Dining restaurant located on Deck 3, Aft aboard the Disney Fantasy that serves dinner. Paying homage to the magic of Disney animation, Animator’s Palate includes a unique dinner show starring some of your favorite Disney characters.

The next night completely turned our dining experience around.  We were introduced to our new server Andriana and assistant server Elvin at Animater’s Palette.  I could tell right away we were going to get great service for the rest of the trip, I just didn’t realize how incredibly awesome it was going to get.  Right away, they brought out gluten free bread which was devoured quickly.  She had our allergies already and was working with Laura to get the best meals out for us quickly.

The meal was great the service was fantastic and the kids were happy…oh, and we enjoyed a little Turtle Talk with Crush.


Turtle Talk with Crush

So third night, where’s dinner?  Wrong!  We skipped Enchanted Garden, because of our Remey Dinner (Covered later).  Since Remey is an adult only dining experience the kids were at the Kids Clubs, however Andriana made their night by having dinner delivered from the kitchen to the club.  This was particularly important since the food that is usually available to the kids is not safe for them.  Thanks to Andriana, Laura and I were able to enjoy our romantic dinner for two without worrying about the kids.

Forth night, back to Royal Court and back with Andriana.  It’s Pirate Night aboard the Fantasy.  A night where the ship is overrun by Pirates in the Caribbean and some of the guests join the Pirate League.


Pirate Laura and Ryan


Pirate Patty


Special Pirate drinks to celebrate the night


Pirate Shawn


Andriana and Laura had worked out a plan for preordering meals.  This is a great solution, because it gives the chefs time to prepare food that makes their guests happy.  Every night at dinner Laura would order Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for the next day.  Andriana would tell us where she was and insist we find for that that meal.

I’m sure everyone is following the pattern by now, but just in case, it’s the fifth night which means our second trip to Animater’s Palette.  Tonight everyone tries their hand at artistry.  Guests young and old create their own unique character by drawing and coloring on a magical sheet of paper which is collected by your server very quickly.  Be sure to be on time for this mean and don’t doddle while you dabble into doodling.







Enchanted Garden on the Disney Fantasy is a Main Dining restaurant located on Deck 2, Midship that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inspired by the opulent gardens of Versailles, Enchanted Garden magically transforms from day to night. 


Ok, this is my least favorite dining room on board.  The decor is ok, the color scheme seems a little gloomy, and the transition to night is a bit understated.  The ceiling is lower on deck two, so it feels a little claustrophobic, unless you happen to get a window seat.

If eating at fancy dinners every night is too much and you are thinking about skipping a dining location; EG might be the best to skip.  I strongly recommend asking your server to see the menu the night beforehand, to make sure your not going to miss your favorite dish.  If you do decide to skip a dinner in your rotation, be kind to your server and let them know ahead of time.

For our last dinner, we return to the first dining room, the Royal Court.  This is the last chance you have for your service staff to “wow” you.


Menu for the saddest meal of all


Andriana serving Ryan

 The pastry chef the last night made a special desert to celebrate Laura’s birthday.  Gluten free and Dairy free.

Happy Birthday treat for Laura

Magical Extras

  • Faisal saw our dining experience was a bit disappointing, so he changed our mealtime and server and completely turned our cruise around.
  • Andriana made sure that the Laura and the kids meals were awesome with several special orders and surprises. 
  • Faisal made sure we had at a gluten free snack when we were at port.  He even stopped me in the hallway once to give me a sealed box of gluten free cookies on my way off the ship.
  • Andriana and Faisal wanted to make sure our breakfasts and lunches were successes too.  They told us where they were going to be each meal and insisted we visit them each time.
  • Andriana offered Patty gluten free macaroni and cheese.  Patty loved the original Mac and Cheese disk from previous cruises;  she was so happy that she could have this dish that she started to cry.
  • For the port of call mornings we had to get off the ship before the dining rooms opened to make our excursions.  Faisal and Andriana each transferred our special orders to Cabanas, the casual dining; all you can eat; buffet restaurant.
  • Faisal also let us in on a secret.  They make gluten free pizza at Flo’s Cafe.  Flo’s is a quick food service perfect for that quick bite to eat (chicken tenders , pizza, burgers, fries, etc.). I never would have expected Flo’s to accommodate gluten free pizza requests.  BTW the pizza is awesome.


Chef Mickey’s Breakfast, May 23, 2015



In the Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contemporary hotel is Chef Mickey’s an all you can eat buffet style breakfast.


With the food allergies, Disney sends out their chief at each restaurant to go over the food options.  Chef Mickey’s held true to that form. The Chef made some gluten free Mickey pancakes and said that the meats and fruit were safe in the buffet.


Of course what would a place like Chef Mickey’s be without the Fab 5.  Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto and came by for a visit.  Of course Goofy had to spill the water – poor Goofy!


Chef Mickey taking some time out of the kitchen to say hi to his guests


Minnie and the kids


Goofy and the kids


Goofy after spilling the water


Happy Birthday hug from Goofy


Chef Donald and the kids


Pluto and the kids


Pei Wei, Sterling, VA

Today we went to Pei Wei for lunch.  We were surprised that their Gluten free menu was greatly reduced.

Laura got the GF Vietnamese Rolls.  They were pretty good.  She wished they were deep fried.


I ordered the Mongolian Style Steak with Fried Rice. It was pretty good, but not gluten free.


The kids shared a Gluten Free Sweet and Sour Chicken with white rice.  We were split on the taste.  Laura and Ryan liked it while Patty and I felt we’d have better.


Mon Ami Gabi, Reston, VA

Mon Ami Gabi

Product:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Service:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Accuracy:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)
Average:3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Laura, Ryan, and I ate at Mon Ami Gabi for lunch today at their Reston Town Center location on this beautiful day in May.
Reception was a bit awkward.  On a day like today we would have loved to eat outside, but they said it was a 20 minute wait, even though the tables were half full.  We ended in up sitting inside, but close to an open wall, which made it a little better.

They knew we were gluten free, but brought bread.  The waiter noticed the gluten free menu and offered gluten free bread, but brought out enough for just one of us.  He did correct this too.

After that things got better.  I ordered the Make Your Own Bloody Mary.  We’re getting closer to our May destination review so I’m always there in my head.  They bring out the Grey Goose Vodka and send you over to the fixing bar.


Make Your Own Bloody Mary

For lunch Laura had the scallops, Ryan had a kids hamburger (no bun) and I had the steak with bernaise sauce.  Both were good meals, but I think we’ve had better.

Mon Ami Gabi Scallops

Mon Ami Gabi Scallops


Mon Ami Gabi Steak

Mon Ami Gabi Steak

I would go back, but I’d try something else next time.