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    If you love buffets, there's nothing better than table after table laden with massive and sometimes bizarre combinations of food. But if you dislike or distrust the concept of groaning boards, you'd probably be inclined to avoid Boma - Flavors of Africa, the buffet-style African restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. You do so at the risk of missing some unusual and very tasty dishes.

    "Boma" is a fenced space in the Maasai bushland, surrounded by thatch huts and usually home to a chief and his family. The Boma at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is designed as wonderfully as the rest of the building (the massive thatch cathedral ceiling in the lobby still makes me teary-eyed), with pillars like stacks of huge ceramic pots, a massive copper hood over the hot tables, and hanging lights made of orange, yellow, and green glass gourds. The 270-seat restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, with a half-dozen "cooking stations" offering serve-yourself salads, soups, meats, seafood, veggies and desserts.

    The servers, all from various African countries, seat more than 1,000 people a day, and dinner will set you back $21.99 (breakfast $14.99). But that price opens the gate to a world of very different (and sometimes unrecognizable) foods, from salmon baked in banana leaves to "zebra mousse."

    Some dishes change by availability, but you'll usually find a thick and creamy carrot soup spiced with ginger, along with curried coconut soup and mulligatawny that show the Indian influence on South African food. The puzzling flavors in the different dishes come from unusual combinations of tamarind, cumin and cinnamon, along with hot chilis, cilantro and papaya. For a mouthful, try the cucumber chutney with the grilled spiced chicken.

    Prime rib and ham (and mac 'n' cheese for the kids) are by far the most unimaginative of the offerings and not really African at all. Better to check out the seafood stews or a wonderful mix of white potatoes and sweet potatoes spiked with cinnamon and pepper. "Pap," a white corn mash almost identical to grits, is served as porridge for breakfast, but made thicker – and sometimes grilled – at dinner. Wines are strictly South African and equal to vintages anywhere; the coffee is Kenyan.

    Boma is an unusual take on the buffet. But it's best to call ahead for priority seating – it could save 45 minutes of agonizing wait time.

    When I walked into the giant pineapple housing Bongos Cuban Café, I wasn't sure what to expect. As we are all aware, the 470-seat restaurant at Downtown Disney is the brainchild of singer Gloria Estefan (there's another one in Miami), and the combination of the Mouse and the Diva made me wary.

    I went early to avoid the inevitable theme park rush, and was seated at the only table actually under the winding concrete staircase that leads up to the second-floor lounge and live music area in the light, pineapple-themed – and at this point, nearly empty – room. I changed tables immediately, and waited for the expected disappointing meal. I waited in vain.

    I went early to avoid the inevitable theme park rush, and was seated at the only table actually under the winding concrete staircase that leads up to the second-floor lounge and live music area in the light, pineapple-themed – and at this point, nearly empty – room. I changed tables immediately, and waited for the expected disappointing meal. I waited in vain.

    To put it succinctly, dinner at Bongos is superb. Chef Quintin Larios is, if anything, conservative when it comes to his takes on Cuban cuisine. For instance, the appetizer Tostones Rellenos con Camarones ($9.50), tiny shrimp or beef in a thick and tomatoey creole sauce, presented in deep-fried cups made from green plantain. The plantain, more like potato than banana, gives a pleasant earthy taste to the mild dish. Ask for extra creole on the plate and Bongos own hot sauce to add some needed kick. For more authentic starters, order the Tamal en Hoja ($6.75), polenta with seasoned pork and wrapped in a corn husk, or ham croquettes (Croquetas de Jamon; $5.25)

    To put it succinctly, dinner at Bongos is superb. Chef Quintin Larios is, if anything, conservative when it comes to his takes on Cuban cuisine. For instance, the appetizer Tostones Rellenos con Camarones ($9.50), tiny shrimp or beef in a thick and tomatoey creole sauce, presented in deep-fried cups made from green plantain. The plantain, more like potato than banana, gives a pleasant earthy taste to the mild dish. Ask for extra creole on the plate and Bongos own hot sauce to add some needed kick. For more authentic starters, order the Tamal en Hoja ($6.75), polenta with seasoned pork and wrapped in a corn husk, or ham croquettes (Croquetas de Jamon; $5.25)

    Main courses affirm the talent in the kitchen. Mariscos Salteados ($26.95) is a simple combination of seafood in a garlic, butter and wine sauce. It had me eating with eyes closed to savor the perfectly prepared baby scallops, green mussels, mild white fish, tender calamari, grilled shrimp and a toothsome lobster tail that easily lifted out of its half-shell and was eagerly devoured. Pollo Asado ($14.95) was a tender marinated half-chicken, served with a slightly different version of the creole sauce from the appetizer – here it was more piquant and nicely set off the very juicy grilled chicken, virtually falling off the bone. Entrees come with green or sweet plantains, and the choice of rice and black beans is a good one, tasty without inauthentic seasonings and not the least bit dry, as Frijoles Negros can be at times.

    Main courses affirm the talent in the kitchen. Mariscos Salteados ($26.95) is a simple combination of seafood in a garlic, butter and wine sauce. It had me eating with eyes closed to savor the perfectly prepared baby scallops, green mussels, mild white fish, tender calamari, grilled shrimp and a toothsome lobster tail that easily lifted out of its half-shell and was eagerly devoured. Pollo Asado ($14.95) was a tender marinated half-chicken, served with a slightly different version of the creole sauce from the appetizer – here it was more piquant and nicely set off the very juicy grilled chicken, virtually falling off the bone. Entrees come with green or sweet plantains, and the choice of rice and black beans is a good one, tasty without inauthentic seasonings and not the least bit dry, as Frijoles Negros can be at times.

    There's live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7 to 10:30, featuring Latin bands that will make it hard to sit still. Even Desi Arnaz Jr. has played there.

    There's live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7 to 10:30, featuring Latin bands that will make it hard to sit still. Even Desi Arnaz Jr. has played there.

    My waiter was an attentive and helpful chap who knew the menu, checked on me at all the proper intervals, and made good suggestions, like dessert of a cortadito – a small Cuban version of espresso – and Flan de Leche. Pumpkin-pie colored and covered in sweet caramel sauce, the creamy texture of this simple custard is a delight to the mouth and one of life's simple pleasures.

    My waiter was an attentive and helpful chap who knew the menu, checked on me at all the proper intervals, and made good suggestions, like dessert of a cortadito – a small Cuban version of espresso – and Flan de Leche. Pumpkin-pie colored and covered in sweet caramel sauce, the creamy texture of this simple custard is a delight to the mouth and one of life's simple pleasures.

    Oh, and one more thing: Babaloo!

    Every once in a while, a restaurant comes along that is so special, it causes a seismic shift on the restaurant scene. The whole staff performed such a dazzling job at our dinner at Citricos that it earned my highest recommendation even though dinner for two easily runs more than $100, and from some areas of town, a visit could involve a 45-minute drive. But Citricos is worth the travel and expense.

    Part of Citricos' intrigue is the setting – on the second floor of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a Victorian luxury hotel that evokes Old Florida. While the restaurant's menu upon opening late last year called for a Mediterranean-Florida fusion, the current fare is more southern French, with international influences. The atmosphere has modern sensibilities, with earthy tiles and rich decor. The kitchen is "onstage," so you can watch chefs whip up gourmet creations.

    Our waiter guided us through the menu, offering suggestions and tempting descriptions of meats sizzled over oak-mesquite log fires and dishes cooked in the hand-made, iron Chandler oven, acclaimed for bread-baking and slow-roasting excellence. The bread basket got our dinner off to a sensational start. It would be hard to exaggerate how moist and exquisite these breads were. The best were flecked with seaweed and pecans.

    Among the entrees, roasted loin of lamb ($36) is arranged around an incredible Maine lobster ratatouille, with quarters of buerre blanc and spicy cabernet sauce. Another winner is the pork tenderloin ($25), roasted on a rotisserie, served with basil pesto, a spiral cut log of scalloped potatoes, and mixed Mediterranean vegetables.

    Desserts include Key lime cheesecake and citrus crè'me brûlée, but we favored the bittersweet chocolate ravioli – a crescent of sheer escapism, cradled around a divine scoop of licorice ice cream.

    Citricos is worthy of the most special of occasions, or if you're just in the mood for an epicurean indulgence.

    Most of what we're familiar with as "Indian food" comes from the northern part of the subcontinent. Tandoori, tikkas and yellow curry are wonderful things, but special treats are found to the south and western coast. Indian lobster? You bet.

    Reggie D'Souza, who has owned the Northern-themed Far Pavilion restaurant on I-Drive for many years, says he wanted a place "where I could eat the foods I eat at home." And Dakshin (which means "south") is a reflection of his roots in the coastal town of Mangalore. The menu is alive with seafood recipes and tomato-based hot curries with influences of the Portuguese, who first brought hot peppers to India.

    I started with the mixed starter platter ($9.95) to sample the goods, and good they were. Crunchy lentil patties, dense and flavorful fish cutlets, and bhonda -- sort of the Indian version of hushpuppies -- complemented pan-fried shrimp. If I'd known the shrimp was that good I'd have ordered more. Suhke tesriya ($8.95) turned out to be a plate of tender mussels cooked with a green coconut chutney for a rich delight.

    A side of aloo paratha ($2.95), flat bread stuffed with peas and soft potatoes, makes a perfect accompaniment to the lobster curry ($18.95), with its meat simmered in spicy red-curry gravy and fragrant with anisette. My companion's lamb masala ($12.95), a rich, dark sauce spiced with curry leaves and pepper, was so tender it practically cut itself.

    In a nod to northern cuisine, several biryanis appear, and the slow-cooked shrimp and rice casserole I ordered ($14.95) was flavored with a magnificently intense mixture of spices.

    The vegetable dishes, like spicy "paneer capsicum" ($11.95) from Bombay (dense Indian cheese cooked with chilis), are too expensive to just sample, so most folks will miss a wonderful experience. Order bhendi sukhe ($10.95), a thick okra dish, and share.

    There's also a full nonmeat menu available for dinner, with treats such as dosais -- lentil crepes filled with potato and onion -- and uthappam, which is called "Indian pizza" on the menu but turned out to be a savory rice-flour pancake. Try the tomato version ($7.25), topped with onion and thin flakes of coconut.

    The place setting at each table confused me, so a quick lesson might help. On the table is a round copper tray and three bowls. Meat (or vegetables) and sauces go into the bowls for sharing and dipping with chapati or aloo paratha. Spread the rice into the tray, making it easy to pick up with a fork or bread. You'll get smiles from your waiter. And the food will get smiles from you.

    My friend had a theory: The walls were bugged at the Flying Fish Cafe. We couldn't figure out how else the waiters seemed to read our minds when we had dinner at the restaurant at Disney's Boardwalk. As the wait staff roamed through the dining area, stopping by this or that table to bring food or answer questions, they always seemed to wind up at our table at the precise moment when we were thinking of asking for more (and more) of the moist, rich and chewy sourdough bread or wondering, "What's in this sauce?"

    It's rare to find a restaurant staff that anticipates your needs without becoming a distraction or invading your space. But Flying Fish Cafe has this one down. And the menu – new American cuisine with a seafood spin – is creatively and attentively prepared, though most of the entrees are in the $20 range. This is luxury dining that becomes affordable by virtue of the quality and value. Cooking guru Julia Child had visited two days before we were there, and she proclaimed it the best restaurant in Florida, our waiter told us.

    Located along the waterfront collection of clubs, shops and restaurants, Flying Fish has a whimsical atmosphere inspired by the golden age of rollercoasters, the 1920s. There is a faux ferris wheel and a collection of fish sculptures parachuting from the ceiling. The colors throughout the dining area are watery blues and oceanic greens.

    The menu changes daily to reflect what's indigenous and in season in the United States, which amounts to a constant logistics challenge for head chef John State. He consistently and successfully pulls off his synchronized fresh selections.

    For appetizers, we chose the "Flying Fish sampler" ($11) and had "snapper escabeche," which was cured in a spicy vinaigrette of olives and capers. There also was a chilled "rock shrimp roll" of sushi rolled up with wasabi, scallions and mayonnaise. But our favorite was the "peeky toe crab cake." It was so packed with premium crab meat, and just enough peppers, onions and parsley to bind it, that we wished we'd ordered this one as a full appetizer ($10-$20). Meanwhile, we stayed busy with a delicious bread basket that was so alluring we couldn't stop dipping in.

    The evening's entrees included pan-roasted golden tilefish ($23), a Florida fish that takes its sweetness from swimming deep and living on shrimp and lobster. Teamed with a subtle chervil créme fraèche, which had anise undertones, it was a real treat. Another entree, the red snapper ($24), is so popular that it has become one of several standard items on the menu. It was gorgeous in its presentation: The moist, flaky fillet was delicately wrapped in a crisp potato casing and served with leek fondue and cabernet sauvignon reduction.

    Desserts were equally impressive. We took the waiter's advice and had "banana Napoleon" ($7), a concoction of cinnamon crème brûlee, caramel sauce and whipped cream. Also delicious was a warm crepe filled with hazelnut praline and Granny apples, topped with vanilla-bean ice cream ($7).

    A tall crystal mug of Spanish coffee warmed our bones, thanks to a shot of Tia Maria. It was a perfect end to a perfect dinner.

    Casting into the pool of local seafood restaurants has always yielded an uncertain catch – water, water everywhere but not a decent broiled flounder to eat. That's what made a recent trip to Fulton's Crab House – the former Empress Lily gone Huck Finn – seem all the more like a fish tale. Were it possible, our dinner should have been stuffed and mounted, a trophy from a high-priced adventure.

    A Saturday morning call secured a table for 8 o' clock that night. Fashionably late, we were whisked through two checkpoints to an upper-deck booth with a sunset view.

    A Saturday morning call secured a table for 8 o' clock that night. Fashionably late, we were whisked through two checkpoints to an upper-deck booth with a sunset view.

    With excellent service and insights provided by our waiter, we browsed the exhaustive menu over spicy Bloody Marys ($4.95) and the house crab dip and crispy lahvosh. The horseradish thickness in the drinks prompted an order of the oyster sampler platter (half-dozen $8.95, dozen $16.95) harvested from the Pacific Northwest. Other than names – Spencer Cove, Kumomoto, Malpeque, Penn Cove, Snow Creek and Quilcene – the twist on this succulent sampling was an awakening jalapeño Tabasco ice. We took our waiter up on the suggestion of Manila clams ($8.95), a deep bowl of tender clams steamed in a soy sauce and scallion broth, enhanced by a round of fragrant thyme-onion rolls.

    With excellent service and insights provided by our waiter, we browsed the exhaustive menu over spicy Bloody Marys ($4.95) and the house crab dip and crispy lahvosh. The horseradish thickness in the drinks prompted an order of the oyster sampler platter (half-dozen $8.95, dozen $16.95) harvested from the Pacific Northwest. Other than names – Spencer Cove, Kumomoto, Malpeque, Penn Cove, Snow Creek and Quilcene – the twist on this succulent sampling was an awakening jalapeño Tabasco ice. We took our waiter up on the suggestion of Manila clams ($8.95), a deep bowl of tender clams steamed in a soy sauce and scallion broth, enhanced by a round of fragrant thyme-onion rolls.

    Alaskan red king crab claws ($34.95) was the winning selection from the crab and lobster offerings. The Cousteau-worthy specimens neatly yielded meaty portions for dipping in drawn butter. Though the boiled red-skin potatoes were perfect, I found myself thinking of spicier versions on the menu, like roasted garlic and pepper whipped potatoes.

    Alaskan red king crab claws ($34.95) was the winning selection from the crab and lobster offerings. The Cousteau-worthy specimens neatly yielded meaty portions for dipping in drawn butter. Though the boiled red-skin potatoes were perfect, I found myself thinking of spicier versions on the menu, like roasted garlic and pepper whipped potatoes.

    From the fresh fish and seasonal specials came Alaska's Copper River king salmon – charcoal-grilled, served with field greens, roasted jalepeño tomato vinaigrette, corn salsa and rice ($22.95). This work of art and nature was best enjoyed like a sophisticated salad, scooping together petals of salmon with delicate greens and the chunky piquant salsa.

    From the fresh fish and seasonal specials came Alaska's Copper River king salmon – charcoal-grilled, served with field greens, roasted jalepeño tomato vinaigrette, corn salsa and rice ($22.95). This work of art and nature was best enjoyed like a sophisticated salad, scooping together petals of salmon with delicate greens and the chunky piquant salsa.

    The sun was down by the time we sipped cappuccinos ($2.95), savoring the divine sour cherry pie ($4.95) and milk chocolate crème brûlée ($3.95). But there's nothing like the sight of tourists throwing money around to help you loosen up and enjoy such a costly yet memorable indulgence.

    The "World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae" really is worthy of the title at Ghirardelli (pronounced gear-ar-delly) Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop at Downtown Disney Marketplace (934-8855).

    We polished one off with a friend after a brutally hot day at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and we can honestly say it was memorably outstanding. The hand-scooped chocolate-chip ice cream wasn't bad, but the homemade hot fudge sauce was the clincher: thick and smooth , topped off with sweet whipped cream, chopped almonds and a maraschino cherry – completely decadent. Be prepared to pay the price: $5.95.

    We polished one off with a friend after a brutally hot day at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and we can honestly say it was memorably outstanding. The hand-scooped chocolate-chip ice cream wasn't bad, but the homemade hot fudge sauce was the clincher: thick and smooth , topped off with sweet whipped cream, chopped almonds and a maraschino cherry – completely decadent. Be prepared to pay the price: $5.95.

    The only thing more awe-inspiring is the "ultimate colossal sundae ($19.95) – eight scoops, eight toppings, sliced bananas, almonds, whipped cream and cherries.

    To celebrate their third birthday, House of Blues has strayed a bit from its Southern menu, introducing dishes that might be based on Delta traditions but have taken a few detours.

    First, some HOB dining secrets. After listening to the "30-minute wait" speech and getting a beeper from the hostess, you should stroll around back to the Voodoo Garden. It overlooks the lake, there's live music, and – best of all – there's often an empty table. Second: The Voodoo Garden music ends at 10 p.m., when it becomes a very peaceful place to dine. The last secret? Order extra rosemary corn bread – even at $3.95 – since it's moist, crunchy and satisfying.

    First, some HOB dining secrets. After listening to the "30-minute wait" speech and getting a beeper from the hostess, you should stroll around back to the Voodoo Garden. It overlooks the lake, there's live music, and – best of all – there's often an empty table. Second: The Voodoo Garden music ends at 10 p.m., when it becomes a very peaceful place to dine. The last secret? Order extra rosemary corn bread – even at $3.95 – since it's moist, crunchy and satisfying.

    The staple "seafood gumbo" ($3.95 a cup) has a flavorful soup base, which takes a lot of concentration to notice, since the slightly burnt taste of blackened seasonongs masks everything. With almost none of the promised ingredients showing up (andouille sausage, shrimp, oysters and crawfish are listed, but you couldn't prove it by me), it's not the enjoyable dish it could be.

    The staple "seafood gumbo" ($3.95 a cup) has a flavorful soup base, which takes a lot of concentration to notice, since the slightly burnt taste of blackened seasonongs masks everything. With almost none of the promised ingredients showing up (andouille sausage, shrimp, oysters and crawfish are listed, but you couldn't prove it by me), it's not the enjoyable dish it could be.

    Options for appetizers include "Caribbean jerk chicken wings in Pickapepper sauce" ($8.95) and "seared Gulf shrimp with Blackened Voodoo Beer" ($10.25). For the latter, six decent-sized shrimp come coated in a dark, spicy sauce, the deep flavor accented by a mound of radish sprouts. It's a good precursor of the interesting combinations of textures and flavors to follow.

    Options for appetizers include "Caribbean jerk chicken wings in Pickapepper sauce" ($8.95) and "seared Gulf shrimp with Blackened Voodoo Beer" ($10.25). For the latter, six decent-sized shrimp come coated in a dark, spicy sauce, the deep flavor accented by a mound of radish sprouts. It's a good precursor of the interesting combinations of textures and flavors to follow.

    For the "ahi tuna salad" ($10.95), rare slices of quickly seared tuna are wound around a heap of red cabbage and topped in a drizzle of wasabi mayonnaise. The fish is sushi-grade and splendid, and while the cabbage is a bit too oversoyed, the crisp texture offsets the buttery feel of the fish.

    For the "ahi tuna salad" ($10.95), rare slices of quickly seared tuna are wound around a heap of red cabbage and topped in a drizzle of wasabi mayonnaise. The fish is sushi-grade and splendid, and while the cabbage is a bit too oversoyed, the crisp texture offsets the buttery feel of the fish.

    Some of the so-called "Southern specials" come from South Elsewhere. I don't think any bayou cook has ever rustled up a mess of "chicken and penne pasta with wild mushroom cream sauce and Gouda cheese" ($14.95). The "grilled rosemary chicken" ($14.95) comes nicely charcoaled and juicy, along with mashed potatoes that are richly creamy and wonderfully lumpy at the same time, and perfect, tender sautéed asparagus.

    Some of the so-called "Southern specials" come from South Elsewhere. I don't think any bayou cook has ever rustled up a mess of "chicken and penne pasta with wild mushroom cream sauce and Gouda cheese" ($14.95). The "grilled rosemary chicken" ($14.95) comes nicely charcoaled and juicy, along with mashed potatoes that are richly creamy and wonderfully lumpy at the same time, and perfect, tender sautéed asparagus.

    Our attentive server recommended the "white chocolate banana bread pudding" (all desserts $5.95). CrÈme anglaise and dark-chocolate drizzles accent the muffinlike pudding, but by the time we got to the car I felt several pounds heavier. Try the "sweet potato cheesecake" for something lighter.

    Our attentive server recommended the "white chocolate banana bread pudding" (all desserts $5.95). CrÈme anglaise and dark-chocolate drizzles accent the muffinlike pudding, but by the time we got to the car I felt several pounds heavier. Try the "sweet potato cheesecake" for something lighter.

    HOB will always be a theme restaurant, but this theme has the food to back it up.

    I'll be frank. When I first learned that India Palace was located in a strip-mall in the middle of Tourist World, I sighed deeply and thought, "Do I gotta?"

    Let me tell you, I'll be making the trip frequently.

    It's not that the place is, well, a palace. But it is immaculate and attractive: a large room painted soft pink; pink table linen; silk flowers; lovely brass chandeliers; glittery Indian prints on the walls; quiet Indian music in the background.

    My dining companion and I began our meal by perusing a mouthwatering selection of eight Indian breads ($1.25-$3.95). We sampled a delicious chapati ($1.25), which is thin and roasted, and aloo paratha ($3.25) -- a grilled version that's stuffed with delicately spiced potatoes.

    The eight-item appetizer selection was ample and varied and ranged from papadam ($1) -- thin bean wafers -- to Madras fried shrimp ($7.95). I went with the vegetable samosa ($2.50). These crisply prepared patties, stuffed with potatoes and peas and a touch of spices, were delicious, as was the onion bhaji, vegetable fritters that combine onions, green peppers, potatoes and spinach.

    The gosht section of the menu ($10.25-$11.95), eight beef or lamb options, includes gosht rogan josh, in which the meat is cooked with cream, fresh tomato sauce, onions, green peppers and spices. For chicken (murgh) lovers there's everything from murgh curry ($9.95) -- a straightforward, boneless curried chicken -- to the Madras-style murgh ($10.95), which simmers the chicken with fresh tomatoes and special spices. My companion gave raves to his jeera chicken ($10.95) with butter, cumin seed, garlic, ginger, onion and green pepper.

    And there are tandoori choices ($9.95-$18.95) cooked in the traditional Indian clay oven and a dozen vegetarian dishes ($7.95-$8.95), all featuring the exotic spices for which Indian cuisine is famous. I found the eggplant bhartha delectable, the vegetable simmered and blended with spices. Equally tasty was the aloo gobhi, which featured cauliflower, potatoes and green peas, and the mushroom bhaji, a spicy concoction of 'shrooms, green peppers, onions and tomatoes.

    I'd drive a lot farther than the Palace's Buena Vista location to partake of its dishes. The first bite made a Himalayan trek seem reasonable.

    From the moment we walked into Kimonos, we had the sense we were not in an ordinary sushi bar. This small enclave, located deep in the recesses of the Swan resort at Walt Disney World, has an unusual atmospheric cocktail mix that transports its visitors to a place that seems very far away.

    The dining area is smart and spare. Rich, lustrous wood paneling creates a luxurious look. A series of rice paper cylinder lamps are suspended overhead in repetition. A dramatic collection of ornate kimonos are suspended along the fringes of the room. A bustling wait staff are clad from head to toe in Japanese garb, and at the sushi bar by the front entrance, chefs carve and slice a lush assortment of seafood in a form of performance art.

    The dining area is smart and spare. Rich, lustrous wood paneling creates a luxurious look. A series of rice paper cylinder lamps are suspended overhead in repetition. A dramatic collection of ornate kimonos are suspended along the fringes of the room. A bustling wait staff are clad from head to toe in Japanese garb, and at the sushi bar by the front entrance, chefs carve and slice a lush assortment of seafood in a form of performance art.

    Simplicity is the hallmark of the dining experience here. The menu is brief and to the point: There are less than a dozen appetizers which include miso soup and tempura combos. The rest of the meal includes sushi -- lots of it, served exquisitely fresh.

    Simplicity is the hallmark of the dining experience here. The menu is brief and to the point: There are less than a dozen appetizers which include miso soup and tempura combos. The rest of the meal includes sushi -- lots of it, served exquisitely fresh.

    For starters, get numb with a Kimono Cocktail, which is scented with the sharp, distinctive flavors of Absolute Mandarin and cranberry juice, garnished with a snappy lime wedge. It has such an inviting perfume, you might momentarily forget to take a sip ($6.95).

    For starters, get numb with a Kimono Cocktail, which is scented with the sharp, distinctive flavors of Absolute Mandarin and cranberry juice, garnished with a snappy lime wedge. It has such an inviting perfume, you might momentarily forget to take a sip ($6.95).

    Among the appetizers, gyoza dumplings are an attractive Japanese version of pot stickers ($6). Won ton skins are filled with ground pork and a chopped assortment of water chestnuts, scallions and seasonings that are slightly edgy and spicy. Crimped into crescent shapes and pan-seared, they're easily wielded with chopsticks. A dish of Oriental sauce adds flavor; it's slightly salty, but milder than soy sauce.

    Among the appetizers, gyoza dumplings are an attractive Japanese version of pot stickers ($6). Won ton skins are filled with ground pork and a chopped assortment of water chestnuts, scallions and seasonings that are slightly edgy and spicy. Crimped into crescent shapes and pan-seared, they're easily wielded with chopsticks. A dish of Oriental sauce adds flavor; it's slightly salty, but milder than soy sauce.

    "Seaweed salad," however, was marred on our visit by a heavy-handed infusion of saltiness in the ponzu sauce ($4.50). But the seaweed itself was visually pleasing, with a deep, midnight color. The texture was silky and firm, too, accented by nutty hints of sesame seeds.

    "Seaweed salad," however, was marred on our visit by a heavy-handed infusion of saltiness in the ponzu sauce ($4.50). But the seaweed itself was visually pleasing, with a deep, midnight color. The texture was silky and firm, too, accented by nutty hints of sesame seeds.

    Among the variety of sushi we explored, the Spider Roll ($8) featured six pieces of soft shell crab, fried into a delicious tangle for visual impact. It was gently crunchy and highly flavorful. The Kimonos Roll ($5) was highlighted by rich-flavored tuna flesh and pale pink yellowtail, which had a slightly stronger taste.

    Among the variety of sushi we explored, the Spider Roll ($8) featured six pieces of soft shell crab, fried into a delicious tangle for visual impact. It was gently crunchy and highly flavorful. The Kimonos Roll ($5) was highlighted by rich-flavored tuna flesh and pale pink yellowtail, which had a slightly stronger taste.

    The "sushi deluxe plate" ($17.50) included the chef's selection of nightly offerings. We particularly enjoyed the squid roll, which had a rubbery quality that was curiously pleasing; and a bit of mackerel, which was savory. There also were generous carvings of sweet, firm shrimp and crab rolls, and a selection of red snapper, which was lean and tender.

    The "sushi deluxe plate" ($17.50) included the chef's selection of nightly offerings. We particularly enjoyed the squid roll, which had a rubbery quality that was curiously pleasing; and a bit of mackerel, which was savory. There also were generous carvings of sweet, firm shrimp and crab rolls, and a selection of red snapper, which was lean and tender.

    Kimono's has one distinction that must be noted for those who visit in large groups -- seating is dominated by tables for two, which staff members cluster together when necessary. And the sushi bar scarcely seats half a dozen people. Due to the intimate dimensions of the dining area, it can also be hazardous territory for those allergic to smoke. When someone lit up at the next table over, my allergy-prone friend had to flee while I waited for the bill.

    Kimono's has one distinction that must be noted for those who visit in large groups -- seating is dominated by tables for two, which staff members cluster together when necessary. And the sushi bar scarcely seats half a dozen people. Due to the intimate dimensions of the dining area, it can also be hazardous territory for those allergic to smoke. When someone lit up at the next table over, my allergy-prone friend had to flee while I waited for the bill.

    Nevertheless, Kimono's is one of the most elegant settings for sushi in all of Orlando. The gorgeous collection of ornate robes on display are almost worth a visit in themselves.

    Never say what a restaurant is not. Writing that one restaurant would be better if it were more like another is unfair and pointless. So I won't say that the Market Street Café in Celebration is not Dexter's or Tu Tu Tango or even the College Park Diner because -- of course -- it is none of those things.

    I can say that the Market Street Café is not Max's Café. That's because Max's is gone and Market Street has taken its place. The new cafe is being run by Restaurant Partners Inc., which operates four Pebbles restaurants around Orlando. They've done a good job of assimilating the old-days' Celebration atmosphere. If halogen lights and computers had been around in the '50s, Market Street would have fit right in with its retro-modern diner design. Big booths, wide windows and earth tones prevail, making the place something of an upscale, new-urban greasy spoon.

    I can say that the Market Street Café is not Max's Café. That's because Max's is gone and Market Street has taken its place. The new cafe is being run by Restaurant Partners Inc., which operates four Pebbles restaurants around Orlando. They've done a good job of assimilating the old-days' Celebration atmosphere. If halogen lights and computers had been around in the '50s, Market Street would have fit right in with its retro-modern diner design. Big booths, wide windows and earth tones prevail, making the place something of an upscale, new-urban greasy spoon.

    The eatery is the antithesis of existentialism. One doesn't wear black, drink bitter espresso and read Kierkegaard at Market Street. You order a shake and a burger -- and are happy if you get the special round booth by the front door so you can watch resident Celebrants buzz by on rented electric scooters. I heard one of the waitresses, who was about half my age, say "groovy." Another server must have done well in Celebration Diner school, as she made a point of calling me "hon."

    The eatery is the antithesis of existentialism. One doesn't wear black, drink bitter espresso and read Kierkegaard at Market Street. You order a shake and a burger -- and are happy if you get the special round booth by the front door so you can watch resident Celebrants buzz by on rented electric scooters. I heard one of the waitresses, who was about half my age, say "groovy." Another server must have done well in Celebration Diner school, as she made a point of calling me "hon."

    I'm not complaining, mind you. The Market Street Café is pleasant, just not very exciting. Regardless of whatever preconceptions you may have walking in, the food is prepared well and nothing seems processed. Market Street serves turkey with cornbread stuffing and meatloaf with mashed potatoes. They're so traditional that you'll be tempted to see if mom is in the kitchen.

    I'm not complaining, mind you. The Market Street Café is pleasant, just not very exciting. Regardless of whatever preconceptions you may have walking in, the food is prepared well and nothing seems processed. Market Street serves turkey with cornbread stuffing and meatloaf with mashed potatoes. They're so traditional that you'll be tempted to see if mom is in the kitchen.

    Salads and "starters" are enormous. "Portobello" salad ($5.95 small, $9.95 large) is a dinner plate piled high with romaine, diced tomato, slivers of Gouda, corn and big slices of mushroom with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Order the small. A cheese quesadilla ($5.95) is as big as your head, and if you order fried-chicken tenders (simple white meat rolled in cornflake breading, $6.95) as an appetizer, don't bother with an entrée.

    Salads and "starters" are enormous. "Portobello" salad ($5.95 small, $9.95 large) is a dinner plate piled high with romaine, diced tomato, slivers of Gouda, corn and big slices of mushroom with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Order the small. A cheese quesadilla ($5.95) is as big as your head, and if you order fried-chicken tenders (simple white meat rolled in cornflake breading, $6.95) as an appetizer, don't bother with an entrée.

    I had the smoked chicken pasta ($11.95). The definition of "pasta" is spaghetti, but it was firm to the tooth and dressed in a pleasant wine and garlic sauce -- lots of garlic. The meatloaf ($10.95) was covered in brown mushroom gravy almost as dark as cocoa, with excellent homemade potatoes.

    I had the smoked chicken pasta ($11.95). The definition of "pasta" is spaghetti, but it was firm to the tooth and dressed in a pleasant wine and garlic sauce -- lots of garlic. The meatloaf ($10.95) was covered in brown mushroom gravy almost as dark as cocoa, with excellent homemade potatoes.

    If you're looking for an undemanding meal in a "smallville," you might consider the drive.

    Have you been to the town of Celebration? It's so ... clean. And planned. And it has those "Neighborhood Electric Vehicles" (with reserved parking spots that you al-ways pull into before seeing the "NEV Parking" sign).

    The Celebration planning extends to food as well. If anyone can afford fabulous chefs, Disney can; yet the cuisine at the immaculate Plantation Room is good but unimpressive.

    The Celebration planning extends to food as well. If anyone can afford fabulous chefs, Disney can; yet the cuisine at the immaculate Plantation Room is good but unimpressive.

    Although Café D'Antonio, Columbia and the Market Street Café -- the more visible dining spots along the main drag -- were packed, Plantation Room, ensconced in the Celebration Hotel, was eerily quiet on both midweek evenings I visited. It's more of a special-occasion kind of place than somewhere to go on impulse. The room itself is gorgeous, alive with the subdued sparkle of crystal glasses and good china. And the background music of 1930s' jazz is fun. But The Plantation Room misses the goal of a well-manicured dining experience: a spectacular dinner.

    Although Café D'Antonio, Columbia and the Market Street Café -- the more visible dining spots along the main drag -- were packed, Plantation Room, ensconced in the Celebration Hotel, was eerily quiet on both midweek evenings I visited. It's more of a special-occasion kind of place than somewhere to go on impulse. The room itself is gorgeous, alive with the subdued sparkle of crystal glasses and good china. And the background music of 1930s' jazz is fun. But The Plantation Room misses the goal of a well-manicured dining experience: a spectacular dinner.

    Head Chef Jean-Louis calls his creations "New Florida Cuisine." Well, they're new and in Florida, but nothing cried out "Sunshine State" except for the sweet and spicy fruit salsa, full of mango and pineapple, which flavored the crab-cake appetizer. And covering firm escargot with an overpowering cream sauce did nothing for the flavor or Floridaness of the wee mollusks (both $8).

    Head Chef Jean-Louis calls his creations "New Florida Cuisine." Well, they're new and in Florida, but nothing cried out "Sunshine State" except for the sweet and spicy fruit salsa, full of mango and pineapple, which flavored the crab-cake appetizer. And covering firm escargot with an overpowering cream sauce did nothing for the flavor or Floridaness of the wee mollusks (both $8).

    The filet mignon ($28) was one big honkin' piece of meat, a good 4-inches thick; unfortunately, it was served in a much-too-salty mushroom sauce. Salt also was the villain with the breast of duck ($19) that was tender and darkly tasty, but a little too far removed from the oven to be as crispy as it should have been. The accompanying and impressive tower of crisp sweet-potato slices filled with mashed sweet potatoes was delicious, though.

    The filet mignon ($28) was one big honkin' piece of meat, a good 4-inches thick; unfortunately, it was served in a much-too-salty mushroom sauce. Salt also was the villain with the breast of duck ($19) that was tender and darkly tasty, but a little too far removed from the oven to be as crispy as it should have been. The accompanying and impressive tower of crisp sweet-potato slices filled with mashed sweet potatoes was delicious, though.

    Sweet potatoes (if it's a plantation, this must be the crop) showed up flavoring grits around the grouper ($22), a nice combination. In fact the fish was the best taste of the evening, lovingly uncomplicated and cooked to firm and juicy perfection, served with baby bok choy. So why was the whole dish covered with threads of deep-fried scallions? The selection prompted my companion to ask, "What am I eating here, grass?"

    Sweet potatoes (if it's a plantation, this must be the crop) showed up flavoring grits around the grouper ($22), a nice combination. In fact the fish was the best taste of the evening, lovingly uncomplicated and cooked to firm and juicy perfection, served with baby bok choy. So why was the whole dish covered with threads of deep-fried scallions? The selection prompted my companion to ask, "What am I eating here, grass?"

    Even though we ordered both the cherries jubilee and bananas foster, neither was flambéed at the table -- and that might tell the whole tale of the Plantation Room. The bits are all there, but nothing really lights a fire.

    I've always considered Irish food to be similar to British food in the sense that it's something you eat because you're already at the pub, have had a few pints and don't feel like driving somewhere else to get a real meal. So it's bangers and mash, maybe a shepherd's pie, to soak up the hooch and settle the stomach; not bad, but not stellar. It'll do.

    Now that I have been to Raglan Road, an Irish pub and restaurant at Disney's Pleasure Island, however, I'm going to have to reconsider that assessment. Their Irish fare is tasty enough to entice a teetotaler into a pub, and I now understand that there is no excuse for mediocre Irish food.

    My expectations of the place, frankly, were low. Given the location, I assumed they were slinging the same old Emerald Isle standards at the tourists and doubling the prices. Surely the menu would be nothing but boiled this and cabbage that, heavy on the corned beef and a crock of stew on the side.

    But once inside the place, I quickly sensed that it was not a typical Americanized Irish pub, and it turned out that it wasn't. While walking back to our table after a short wait, the chatty hostess informed us that the room we were dining in was actually an Irish estate house, disassembled there and shipped here piece by piece. The furniture is all antique, and the framed photos hanging on the dark wooden walls are authentic. The result is an amazingly cozy atmosphere for such a large restaurant.

    We started with an appetizer named "Smokie City" ($10.95) which sounded sketchy ("oven baked layers of smoked cod with mature Wexford cheddar and double cream") but turned out to be brilliant. The smoked cod, dense and lovely, was offset perfectly by the tangy cheddar sauce in which it swam. We lapped up every bite, smearing it like a spread on large slices of crusty sourdough, then turned the crock over to get the last few drops.

    Entree No. 1 was "Planxty" ($19.95), a dish that I ordered because I liked the name. What I got was roast pork shank poking up out of a bed of mashed potatoes, with a side of apple chutney. About that roast pork: When the meat falls off the bone before you can get it on the fork, it's tender. And this was tender. The chutney added a note of sweetness, and the potatoes were nice and lumpy, so no complaints at all. It was a very satisfying dish.

    Entree No. 2, "It's Not Bleedin' Chowder," was similarly expensive ($19.95) and just as good. The name is supposedly a quote from the chef when he was asked exactly what the dish was, which is a rich mix of scallops, fish, mussels and prawns, mixed in a white wine sauce infused with saffron and finished with cream. At that price it better not be bleedin' chowder, and it better not look like anything that came out of a can. It wasn't, and it didn't. The seafood was fresh, the sauce was tangy and lively, and I can't recall having tasted a better fish stew, if you can call it that.

    The only item that disappointed was the bowl of "Down the Middle" ($5.50), a hearty but bland tomato and vegetable broth soup. That was for the vegetarian in the family, because there wasn't much else on the menu she could eat.

    Dessert, which took almost 20 minutes to get to the table for some reason, was "Ger's Bread & Butter Pudding" ($7.99). I'm not much of a bread pudding fan, which is exactly why I ordered it. So far the meal had exceeded all my expectations. Would dessert disappoint? Not a chance. Ger, whoever he/she may be, has concocted a heavenly bread pudding. It comes out in a warm crock with tiny pitchers of butter and butterscotch that you add yourself, as much or as little as you like. The sourdough bread soaks it up, and you get a raisin-infused mush that's sweet, rich and cinnamony. Once again I upended the serving dish to coax out the last drop.

    This being Disney, there's entertainment in the form of table dancing and an Irish band. But that's just dressing. This is a pub you can come into for dinner, and maybe hang around to grab a Guinness or two or three.

    We didn't review this location but you can check out the review of Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

    There's something unsettling about eating a bowl of pasta with a squawking parrot perched overhead. Or getting fanned by the flapping ears of a life-sized elephant as another round of Rainforest Rickys arrives from the Magic Mushroom organic juice-and-smoothie bar.

    Rainforest Cafe, an addition to the Downtown Disney Marketplace, is a slickly packaged, 550-seat restaurant loosely patterned after a lush jungle, with faux wildlife and vegetation, special effects and colossal fish tanks.

    Rainforest Cafe, an addition to the Downtown Disney Marketplace, is a slickly packaged, 550-seat restaurant loosely patterned after a lush jungle, with faux wildlife and vegetation, special effects and colossal fish tanks.

    Outside, there's a 65-foot spewing volcano, which generated some enthusiasm from afar, until I got closer and saw the snaking Disney-style line. At 8 p.m. on a weeknight, it took 20 minutes to get our "passports," followed by an hour's wait for our table. We headed for the retail area, which sells $30 T-shirts and semi-educational jungle knickknacks. In our estimation, hunkering down on a stool fashioned into a gazelle's hindquarters at the aforementioned Magic Mushroom was a more attractive way to bide our time.

    Outside, there's a 65-foot spewing volcano, which generated some enthusiasm from afar, until I got closer and saw the snaking Disney-style line. At 8 p.m. on a weeknight, it took 20 minutes to get our "passports," followed by an hour's wait for our table. We headed for the retail area, which sells $30 T-shirts and semi-educational jungle knickknacks. In our estimation, hunkering down on a stool fashioned into a gazelle's hindquarters at the aforementioned Magic Mushroom was a more attractive way to bide our time.

    The menu offers casual, familiar items with clever names. Best of our entrees was the seafood Galapagos ($14.95), which blended fresh sautéed shrimp and fish pieces with vegetables and pesto sauce over linguine. I also liked the rasta pasta ($11.95) -- grilled chicken, pesto, broccoli, red peppers and herbs in a garlic cream sauce. Less appealing was the marinade in the Siam stir fry ($12.95), chicken sautéed with vegetables, served on rice with wontons and sesame seeds.

    The menu offers casual, familiar items with clever names. Best of our entrees was the seafood Galapagos ($14.95), which blended fresh sautéed shrimp and fish pieces with vegetables and pesto sauce over linguine. I also liked the rasta pasta ($11.95) -- grilled chicken, pesto, broccoli, red peppers and herbs in a garlic cream sauce. Less appealing was the marinade in the Siam stir fry ($12.95), chicken sautéed with vegetables, served on rice with wontons and sesame seeds.

    The desserts we sampled ($4.95) were delicious: "gorillas in the mist," a chocolate-topped banana cheesecake, and "chocolate diablo," rich cake with gooey layers of pudding.

    The desserts we sampled ($4.95) were delicious: "gorillas in the mist," a chocolate-topped banana cheesecake, and "chocolate diablo," rich cake with gooey layers of pudding.

    There's a healthy selection of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads and comfort foods like meat loaf and fried chicken. When asked, the server brightly informed me that I could take home a menu -- for $15. Service was adequate, but we had to hunt our server down for the check. (Attempts to call her from across the room were rendered futile by the loudly trumpeting elephant.)

    There's a healthy selection of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads and comfort foods like meat loaf and fried chicken. When asked, the server brightly informed me that I could take home a menu -- for $15. Service was adequate, but we had to hunt our server down for the check. (Attempts to call her from across the room were rendered futile by the loudly trumpeting elephant.)

    As with other themed restaurants I've tried, the heavily merchandised atmosphere and slightly above-average menu at Rainforest Cafe outweigh the novelty of the overall dining experience.

    'Eighty percent of everything you see here is authentic,â?� says Charlie, our greeter for the evening at Sanaa, the newest dining option at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

    'Sanaaâ?� is the Swahili word for 'work of art.â?� The comfortable, earth-toned restaurant, sited in the Kidani Village, is patterned after an African spice market. Charlie, according to his name badge, is from Johannesburg, South Africa. So far, so authentic. The cloth draping the walls and ceilings? Authentic. Most of the artwork and knickknacks? Authentic.

    Naturally, Charlie's scripted claim led me to wonder what around here wasn't African in origin, but he handed us off to our server before I could get a journalistically satisfying answer. As in all things Disney, it's often best to just go with the flow. Thankfully, that's not hard to do. Disney has food service down to a science, and it would take one far more curmudgeonly than I to let that mystery 20 percent spoil dinner.

    Sanaa is billed as 'the art of African cooking with Indian flavors,â?� and while I'm no expert on African cuisine, I do know Indian flavors when they across my plate. And that is largely what will cross your plate at Sanaa. The appetizer sampler plate ($14.99) featured potato and pea samosas, pulled duck with red curry sauce and a few pieces of roasted cauliflower. With the exception of the duck, indistinguishable from pulled pork, it was all Indian-light; nothing too spicy or challenging here.

    Our server, whose name tag indicated that she hailed from the exotic land of the University of Central Florida, painstakingly explained the workings of the on-site tandoor oven, after which it would have been almost rude not to order something from it, which we did. And it was a wise decision. The tandoori chicken ($17.99) featured moist, perfectly cooked chunks of yardbird, a small bowl of rich, tangy, yogurt-tinged dipping sauce in which to dunk them, and a bed of basmati rice. It proved satisfying, if a bit small for the price.

    From that same oven came 'Indian-style bread serviceâ?� ($8.99), a sampler of naan, paratha and paneer paratha accompanied by your choice of three dipping sauces. I've had lighter, tastier Indian breads at any number of I-Drive establishments, and the sauces ' mango chutney, tamarind chutney and cucumber raita ' were flavorful if just a little too sweet, likely a concession to the American palate.

    We also ordered a dish called, plainly enough, 'slow cooked in gravyâ?� ($18.99), again a sampler of two out of three options: beef short ribs in red gravy, chicken with red curry sauce or shrimp in green curry. I chose the beef -' falling-apart tender, but the gravy was too close to barbecue sauce for my comfort -' and the shrimp ' large and succulent in a mild green curry sauce that left me wanting more ' and along with a generous portion of basmati, it was more than I could eat.

    Dessert was a float-off-your-spoon'light chai cream mousse ($5.49) and a pot of robust, pressed Kenya AA coffee ($6.29), one of the strongest and most distinct flavors of the whole meal.

    Sanaa's limited menu options, somewhat muted flavors and detailed atmosphere make for a safely exotic experience. It is, as my dining partner put it so aptly, starter Indian food. If you like it, don't let your culinary adventure begin and end there.

    The Disney community of Celebration, steeped in 1950's atmosphere and designer architecture, isn't a place one would associate with English high tea or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yet this is the place that two Londoners have decided to open a tearoom filled with Sherlock Holmes memorabilia and the aroma of Earl Grey.

    Tony David worked right next to the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London for many years and came to Florida with the aim of bringing a unique experience to Celebration. He and his wife June opened Sherlock's not on tourist-attractive Market

    Tony David worked right next to the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London for many years and came to Florida with the aim of bringing a unique experience to Celebration. He and his wife June opened Sherlock's not on tourist-attractive Market

    Street, but on Bloom Street. It's a small, intimate shop packed to the ceiling with deerstalker-capped bears, boxes of loose tea, a diverse selection of wines and miniatures of Sherlock, Watson and Moriarty. The room holds only a few tables, but the outdoor courtyard affords a delightful place for a hot cuppa and a serene lake view.

    Street, but on Bloom Street. It's a small, intimate shop packed to the ceiling with deerstalker-capped bears, boxes of loose tea, a diverse selection of wines and miniatures of Sherlock, Watson and Moriarty. The room holds only a few tables, but the outdoor courtyard affords a delightful place for a hot cuppa and a serene lake view.

    Most Yankees know little about what goes into a proper English tea ("tea" is the entire meal, not just the drink), something David is emphatic about. "Serving loose tea is an art form," he says. "You must heat the pot first, and steep the leaves for only five minutes." And if you're in the company of Brits, never put the milk in first (milky tea is the lifeblood of the English.) The teas at Sherlock's come in four formal varieties, the largest being "Sherlock Holmes' Tea" ($13.50). The three-tiered tray had other customers peering in envy at the buttercream-rich pastries and moist, rich scones (it's "skon," not "skown"), and these are the best in Orlando. An authentic "tea" would have had little finger sandwiches instead of spinach pies and egg rolls, but I guess it's a compromise for Americans. The other offerings are smaller versions, the "Mrs. Hudson's" being the best value of a fresh pot of tea (your choice of variety) with homemade scones, real Devon cream and strawberry jam ($6.95).

    Most Yankees know little about what goes into a proper English tea ("tea" is the entire meal, not just the drink), something David is emphatic about. "Serving loose tea is an art form," he says. "You must heat the pot first, and steep the leaves for only five minutes." And if you're in the company of Brits, never put the milk in first (milky tea is the lifeblood of the English.) The teas at Sherlock's come in four formal varieties, the largest being "Sherlock Holmes' Tea" ($13.50). The three-tiered tray had other customers peering in envy at the buttercream-rich pastries and moist, rich scones (it's "skon," not "skown"), and these are the best in Orlando. An authentic "tea" would have had little finger sandwiches instead of spinach pies and egg rolls, but I guess it's a compromise for Americans. The other offerings are smaller versions, the "Mrs. Hudson's" being the best value of a fresh pot of tea (your choice of variety) with homemade scones, real Devon cream and strawberry jam ($6.95).

    The hot items are still in the shakeout stage. "Vegetable egg roll delight" ($7.95), three crisp rolls filled with julienned veggies, were tasty, but nothing I'd travel out of my way to eat. Meanwhile the microwave does nothing to enhance the puff-pastry shell of the tiny "brie en croute" ($6.95).

    The hot items are still in the shakeout stage. "Vegetable egg roll delight" ($7.95), three crisp rolls filled with julienned veggies, were tasty, but nothing I'd travel out of my way to eat. Meanwhile the microwave does nothing to enhance the puff-pastry shell of the tiny "brie en croute" ($6.95).

    There are more than enough other venues for egg rolls; Sherlock's should be your destination for a real tea in the grand English manner.

    The Wolfgang Puck Cafe could be appealing or annoying, depending on how you feel about its location in Downtown Disney West Side.

    The tourist zone seems to creep inside the dining area, clashing with the original concept of upscale-casual California cuisine. Not surprisingly, the decor is wild, colorful and playful. Corporate touches are found even on the menu, where a simple motto ("Live, Love, Eat") is flanked by a trademark symbol.

    The tourist zone seems to creep inside the dining area, clashing with the original concept of upscale-casual California cuisine. Not surprisingly, the decor is wild, colorful and playful. Corporate touches are found even on the menu, where a simple motto ("Live, Love, Eat") is flanked by a trademark symbol.

    From the moment we entered, we were primed by the tantalizing aromas of fire-roasted pizzas, pastas, burgers and grilled fare. We discovered some delicious menu items, but the barbecue duck quesadilla ($8.95) was a letdown for starters.

    From the moment we entered, we were primed by the tantalizing aromas of fire-roasted pizzas, pastas, burgers and grilled fare. We discovered some delicious menu items, but the barbecue duck quesadilla ($8.95) was a letdown for starters.

    Each guest took a slice, and there were polite pronouncements of "Mm, good," but no strong opinions. It was filled with more cheese than duck, and it was topped with chili sauce, sour cream and pico de gallo.

    Each guest took a slice, and there were polite pronouncements of "Mm, good," but no strong opinions. It was filled with more cheese than duck, and it was topped with chili sauce, sour cream and pico de gallo.

    "Puck's Pucks" were by far our favorite, although they were horrendously overpriced. For $11.95, we received two crab cakes the size of powder puffs.

    "Puck's Pucks" were by far our favorite, although they were horrendously overpriced. For $11.95, we received two crab cakes the size of powder puffs.

    The waitress described them as "90 percent bluefin crab lump meat," which made several of us wonder when crabs started growing fins. But the meat was fresh and sweet, seasoned with mustard caper sauce, bits of carrots and corn and a bittersweet baby arugula salad on the side.

    The waitress described them as "90 percent bluefin crab lump meat," which made several of us wonder when crabs started growing fins. But the meat was fresh and sweet, seasoned with mustard caper sauce, bits of carrots and corn and a bittersweet baby arugula salad on the side.

    Everyone at our table gave a rowdy thumbs-down to the "signature pizza" ($14.95), which was topped with chilled salmon, red onion and dill sauce. The comments ranged from "Ugh" to "God-awful." The salmon was obviously premium. Yet it was too clammy for our pizza sensibilities.

    Everyone at our table gave a rowdy thumbs-down to the "signature pizza" ($14.95), which was topped with chilled salmon, red onion and dill sauce. The comments ranged from "Ugh" to "God-awful." The salmon was obviously premium. Yet it was too clammy for our pizza sensibilities.

    Spinach papardelle ($10.95) was a pleasing blend of textures and flavors. Wide strips of egg and spinach pasta were crimped on the edges, and tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, Chenel goat cheese, basil and double-blanched garlic cloves.

    Spinach papardelle ($10.95) was a pleasing blend of textures and flavors. Wide strips of egg and spinach pasta were crimped on the edges, and tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, Chenel goat cheese, basil and double-blanched garlic cloves.

    Service was a bit overzealous. We received three updates in 10 minutes on the status of an appetizer. One guest was still working on his Diet Coke when a waitress swooped in for a re-fill, adding iced tea.

    Service was a bit overzealous. We received three updates in 10 minutes on the status of an appetizer. One guest was still working on his Diet Coke when a waitress swooped in for a re-fill, adding iced tea.

    Another friend complained of dizziness at the end of the meal, only half-jokingly. We attributed it to the busy decor and that general lack of bearing that sometimes sneaks up on you in Disney country.

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