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August 25, 2016

Cruising on Disney Dream with Preschoolers

Cruising Disney Dream with Toddlers and PreK
Our first Disney Cruise and cruising with toddlers / prek kids on Disney Dream.

Disney Cruise with Toddlers


Growing up I had went on three memorable cruise ships with my father. We even sailed on Disney's The Big Red Boat when I was a little girl. During these vacations together, just the two of us, we made memories I'll forever cherish. These trips are even more poignant now that he has passed away.

Now, over 25 years later, I was able to travel with my own children on a magical Disney Cruise voyaging on the Disney Dream for a 3-night sailing to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. The cruise exceeded our expectations and was an unforgettable family experience that I know I will always treasure too.

While Raphael and I have gone on several cruises as a couple, this was the first time we took our almost four-year-old twins aboard and our first time experiencing Disney Cruise Line. While we always planned to take our boys eventually, we had assumed they were still too young to enjoy and appreciate it, but evidently we were wrong.

During the week's leading up to our trip, our boys kept telling everyone they met that they were going on Mickey's boat. Their excitement was almost palpable and turned into pure joy once aboard. Yet, I still worried how it would go once at sea, would they get seasick, would they be able to sleep in bunk beds, what about the dangers of the balconies would they be okay being left at the Kids Club for awhile when we dined alone one night?

In the end, I had stressed for nothing. I had failed to realize that Disney would have parent's backs. The same care, focus on families and attention to detail that I love at Disney Parks carries seamlessly over to their ships too. Merrily things rowed along without incident. In fact, it was all effortless, we could simply have fun without a care in the world. It really is a dream, see why:


Child Safety On Disney Cruises


During our sail, we learned that the ship was built specifically in mind for children and families. All openings and railings were double-checked to make sure a child's head couldn't fit through them. Even our stateroom's balcony had glass slats in between the bars for extra protection and security. Such wonderful peace of mind for parents.

Disney Cruise Line is also the only cruise ship that has lifeguards on duty at their pools, as well as on the beaches of Castaway Cay. I observed first hand how diligent these aquatic guardians were in their watching when they quickly came to the rescue of a fatigued 8-year-old girl within seconds even before her parents who were standing nearby had realized what had happened.

I was especially floored to learn that the 5th floor, where the kids club can be found on the Disney Dream, has lower ceilings to make children feel more comfortable. It's touches like that which assured me they were in good hands.


Disney's Oceaneer Kids Club & Small World Nursery


Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Lab are open to 3-to-12-year-old children and transports kids to the magical lands of Disney fairies, friendly monsters, adventuresome toys and undersea exploration. The space is large, but well staffed and full of entertainment.

I feared our boys would be overwhelmed by it, but there was so much for them to see and do they were too busy exploring and playing to think about it. They primarily played in the toddler friendly Andy's Room and colored in Pixie Hollow. Meanwhile, seeing a Star Wars Millennium Falcon replica had this mommy tripping! It was all I could do not to sit in the captain chairs and press warp speed myself.

During our trip we checked them into this area after breakfast, but before lunch for two hours while Raphael went to the gym and I went off to explore the ship and take photos. We also utilized this free convenience one evening to partake in the adult-only restaurant Palo. As soon as our meal was over, I hurried to pick them up thinking I was rescuing them. Silly mommy. Instead, they started whining when they saw me, because they didn't want to leave. Apparently, they had just made cookies with a chef and were waiting to have their treats. They had on little pastry chef hats and aprons, it was adorable!

Adults are only allowed in the kids area during open house hours and can not access the area where children have been dropped off. Thus, I felt confident they were secure and in good hands when we were not with them.

Also, in order to check children in and out of the kids club area a password is required along with scanning a child's Magic Band, which are provided to children once you register them into the system. Kids club staff can also locate exactly where your children are via these bands. So, when we picked them up the front desk area they would tell us which room each boy was in at that moment.

Meanwhile, for infants and toddlers not potty trained there is the It’s a Small World Nursery (included in the video below as well), however, this childcare area costs 9/hr, but still a bargain compared to babysitter rates. I thought the space was calm, colorful, and great for little children.


TIP: Pre-register your children online for the kids club, so when you get on the ship you simply have to pick-up their Magic Bands. Also, don't forget to return the bands before you disembark or you will be charged for them.

Family Dining on Disney Cruises


I was really impressed with the quality of food, service and attentive staff.

Disney Cruise Dining Options for Kids
Dining at Royal Palace
Although you are assigned a set time and table to eat at each night, Disney Cruise Line developed an innovative rotational dining concept that remains exclusive to the Disney fleet. Guests get to enjoy different restaurants for dinner each night and still have the same set of servers who also rotate with them. Thus, guests enjoy a variety of dining experiences with friendly, familiar, personalized service.

Without requesting it our dinner table always had two booster seats, cups of water with plastic lids with our boys names written on them and crayons and paper. We just sat down and ordered. It was effortless. If only that could happen every time we ate out. *sigh*

Animator's Palate was by far the boys favorite dinner thanks to interactive video walls featuring the turtle Crush from Finding Nemo, who would play games and talk to the dinner guests around him. Very similar to Turtle Talk at Epcot. Even when Crush wasn't making an appearance, different characters would float by making appearances and entertaining our little ones. They would get excited each time they'd spot another familiar character. There was also this part where a school of fish kept making different shapes and objects and encouraged the children to call out what they were forming e.g. a boat, a pirate flag, etc. Ben eagerly yelled out Boat to the screen, it was great seeing him so engaged while their food was being prepared.

As mentioned earlier, we also had a romantic dinner at Palo without the children one evening. This restaurant requires a reservation and is for adults only. There is an extra charge of $30 per person, but it was well worth it thanks to plush tables that overlook the ocean on the top deck. Time your dinner to close to sunset for extra romance. The lobster linguine and strip steak were amazing. Be sure and order the soufle for dessert too. More on this experience here.

In addition, there is a grand buffet at Cabanas, which we tried for lunch the first day and for breakfast (Mickey waffles!). Room service is also included and we ordered PB&J to the room for the boys and also got fries and pizza to go from Flo’s Café for a quick bite up on deck 11 by the pool. Since my boys are obsessed with Disney Pixar's Cars they loved the them of this quick service stand.

TIP: If you're with younger children request the 5:45 p.m. dining time as the other 8:15 option is too late and you'll have to rush to catch the live shows after too. You can also make a reservation at Remy or Palo online before you set sail.

Entertainment on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship


Besides the water sides, pools, splash pads, movie theater (we watched Finding Dory again!), mini golf and ongoing schedule of fun activities, Disney Cruise Line ups the entertainment ante and lights up the sky with a fireworks extravaganza like only Disney can do.

Every night is show time in the Walt Disney Theatre, an elegant 1,340-seat entertainment palace that spans three decks with orchestra and balcony seating. We weren't sure how our boys would do during a live theater performance, but they were glued to their seats thanks to the familiar songs, colorful costumes, high value sets and spectacular stunts like Tarzan spinning from a rope in The Golden Mickeys' to Mary Poppins flying on stage in Disney's Believe. Best of all, we enjoyed the shows as much as the children. It felt like we were on Broadway.

Our Disney Cruise Stateroom 

disney cruise bunk beds for kids
On a Disney cruise, staterooms are family-size and come with a split bath with tub AND a shower. We've never been in a cruise room with a tub and it was ideal for bathing the boys after their sandy adventures ashore on Castaway Cay.

The boys especially LOVED the bunk bed option in our room with the sofa converting into a bed and the upper part folding down from the ceiling. Each night our steward would open it for us and have the beds ready for bedtime when we returned to our room.

Best of all, there is a privacy curtain in the room separating the bunk bed area and the Queen size bed, which was a super comfy mattress for a cruise ship by the way. This privacy screen though allowed us to do some reading while the boys took a nap or turned in before us, making the room feel like two bedrooms instead of one. Such a great feature for families.

Oh, and besides the live channels offered on the flat screen television in the room there is an on-demand feature too, where you can access almost all of Walt Disney’s animated films regardless of them being in the Disney Vault or not. This allowed us to show the boys some classics that we didn’t have on DVD like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Lion King. This was great, because we could always put on age appropriate content for them while we got ready or packed.


Want to see more? You can also watch this Periscope tour of the room too.

More Disney Cruise Tips


Check out my list of What to Pack for a Disney Cruise and Raphael's recap of the best Adult Options on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.

Tips for Going on a Disney Cruise with Toddlers & Preschoolers


Read More »

August 10, 2016

Duffy's Sports Grill Debuts Best of Land + Sea Menu

A fun thing about moving to Florida has been discovering the different state chains that aren't offered up North. Since moving down here, we have been enjoying Duffy’s Sports Grill, Florida’s premier sports-themed restaurant concept with 33 locations in Florida. Fortunately for us, one such grill is only right down the street from us in Estero at Stoneybrook. There is also two more nearby in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral too.

We typically go on Wednesdays on Kids Eat Free night with our boys or on Sunday's for the NFL Ticket (Go Broncos!). Best of all, it's a place we can take the kids to and are welcomed. They have crayons, highchairs and on Wednesdays a balloon artist too. The TVs also keep our boys entertained while the food arrives.

beer battered Mozzarella Sticks at Duffy's

Last week we were able to catch the Olympics as we ate. As you can see, they have plenty of screens to choose from. They even have a television playing in the bathrooms.

Duffys in Estero Stoney Brook

Their menu changes seasonally, offering new options every few months to keep things interesting. This summer for a limited time only, they are celebrating the best of land and sea with the launch of their new seasonal Surf or Turf specials such as Lobster Street Tacos, USDA Prime Steak Salad, 24 oz. Prime New York Strip served with herb butter on top and Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl-sushi-grade yellowfin tuna, hand cut and tossed in a signature poke sauce, served over cilantro-lime rice and topped with avocado, scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

12 oz Prime NY Strip with maitre d' butter 

Go in hungry, because we particularly enjoyed their starters. Take a look:

Besides the food, we LOVE their drink deals, which include BOGO specials all day, every day. Currently, their handcrafted  2-for-1 seasonal cocktails include – an Apple Tart-ini or Pear…fect Martini, featuring hand-muddled pear, fresh sour mix, and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, garnished with a slice of pear. During our recent visit, we ordered the Guavatini and a Gummy Bear Mojito that's dangerously easy to drink and garnished with real gummy bears. Since gummy bears are my favorite candy, I was in sweet tooth heaven!

Duffy's Gummy Bear Mojito and Martini


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July 27, 2016

National Chicken Tender Day at PDQ

Source: PDQ
You might think it's just another Wednesday, but today is also National Chicken Tender Day (July 27).

In honor of this very delicious day, PDQ, which stands for People Dedicated to Quality, is providing codes for FREE chicken tenders. Anyone who signs up now for the PDQ Fan Club at PDQ before Sunday, July 31 will receive a coupon for 3 Free Chicken Tenders and other offers.

PDQ, which has 55 locations nationwide and counting, is a fast casual restaurant specializing in fresh hand-battered chicken tenders, made-to-order sandwiches, daily cut fries, hand-spun milkshakes and fresh salads made in store, everyday.

The location by me at Gulf Coast Town Center in Ft. Myers is very kid-friendly and immaculate. Inside there are TVs playing sports programming and by the Coke machine there is a sink that is operated with your foot via a peddle, which kids can reach. Mine enjoyed washing their hands before eating for a change. Yay! Also, by the cash register they have crayons and coloring paper available, which was a hit with my boys too. Outside meanwhile they have two corn hole bean bag toss boards set up, which they also played with before going inside to eat.



PDQ Gift Card Giveaway:


To help When Tara Met Blog readers celebrate National Chicken Tender Day properly, PDQ is providing the chance to win a $25 gift card to sample some of their yummy tenders. Enter below:



a Rafflecopter giveaway
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July 25, 2016

LeapFrog's LeapStart Interactive Learning Books

LeapStart Learning System
I'm always looking for age appropriate learning tools for my twins as they continue to discover and grow.

As a LeapFrog Mom Squad member, we recently tested out their latest learning solution, the new LeapStart ($39.95), an all-in-one interactive early learning system for Preschool through 1st grade, jam packed with key school and life skills for curious 2-7-year-olds.

The LeapStart works with a library of replayable activity books (not games) that are sold separately for $12.99 each. The device comes with a sampler book though to get you started. Each book focuses on different skills from reading and writing to math, coding and STEM and more. Every book has the proper age range recommendation listed, which is super helpful.

Once a parent registers the device, you then need to download the compatible audio for the activity book, but it's pretty easy to do so. The book's binding then gets inserted into the LeapStart holder, much like an old school Trapper Keeper, but without the scary claws.


A pen-shaped stylus is connected to the device and encourages fine motor skills and supports proper writing grip. With this pointer children then tap to discover more within the book and solve the questions being asked in the different activities. Kids can tap any page or image to activate audio responses and play tasks designed to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

My Take: This is the perfect aged tool for my preschool boys right now as they start to trace, learn their numbers and practice letter recognition. I also like that while it incorporates technology, it's not another screen, but more like an interactive book. In fact, it needs a book to make it work. Unlike a delicate screen that I have to make sure they don't drop or break, the LeapStart is kid-tough. My twins have even stood on it and all was well, although of course I don't recommend doing that.


The Twins Take: They like it, especially the activities that incorporate music and songs, which most do. Because it folds like a laptop, they call it their computer. The other day while I was working on my laptop, Logan went and got his LeapStart. I looked over to see him studiously tapping away alongside me as I typed. It was too cute.

Your Take: Enter below to win your own LeapStart learning system and try it out with your kiddos! :)


As a LeapFrog Mom Ambassador I receive products, promotional items and educational material to use and share as I see fit. However, any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience. Links may be affiliate.
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July 19, 2016

Blogger Bash Recap 2016

For the last three years, I have been attending the annual Blogger Bash conference in Manhattan. This summer however, it was on a boat! Check out the highlights below from the celebrities that joined us to cool new products and blogging tools.


Celebrities on Board


Ginger Zee at Blogger Bash
Ginger Zee the Good Morning American weather anchor came on board to introduce the child voice actors of the new Peanuts vignettes on Boomerang network. I really enjoyed hearing about her honest experience as a new mom. I was especially sad to hear that she was attacked online for pumping and not spending enough time with her baby while being on Dancing with the Stars. As a mom, I know how terrible mom guilt is and that's mostly the guilt I put on myself, so I can't imagine how difficult it would be to have outsiders being negative and making me feel worse. Terrible. I also teared up at the video she shared of how she informed her husband Ben that she was pregnant thorough an edited video to him, so sweet.

Met the amazing Noah Galloway too, while the combat Army Veteran and Dancing with the Stars finalist was over at the Armitron Watches booth. I was a fan of his on DWTS where I was dazzled by his handsomeness and strength.
DWTS Noah Galloway
I then felt even shorter than I normally do while hanging out with NFL Lineman for the Baltimore Ravens John Urschel 🏈 who was over at the Texas Instruments booth to discuss their STEM Behind Sports program to get kids interested in math and excited for back-to-school. Besides being a cool sports star John is an MIT Mathematics PhD Student. Thus, showing kids that it can be cool to learn math.
With NFL's John Urschel
Oh, and I was excited to send the following pic back home to my boys of me with Jet from the favorite show Super Wings on the Sprout Channel. Also got to preview Auldey Toys' new Super Wings-inspired toys, which I have now added to my boys' future birthday gift list!

Super Wings! 

Products that Stood Out: 


While we met dozens of brands during the two day conference and received demos and samples of new products, some of which I'll go into more detail at a later point, but for now here are some that I found particularly interesting.

So yeah, while on the boat, I ate a cricket! Yes, you read that right. A dead, dried insect. Why? Because apparently they are a high-protein, nutrient rich, environmentally friendly, alternative to meat. Surprisingly, covered in salt and spices, it tasted like a crunchy pumpkin seed. Aketta produces cricket flour and dried roasted crickets in a bag. My boys are in need of protein so I brought back some for them to try. Hopefully they find the idea disgustingly fun and will try it. Boys!

Hello Peanut
Did you know you should be introducing your infant to peanuts before six months of age? Scientific research shows EARLY introduction of peanuts to infants helps prevent peanut allergies from developing. Hello Peanut is a new way to gradually introduce peanuts to infants! Made of an all-natural USDA certified organic blend of peanut and sprouted oats, the introductory system includes seven packets that are mixed into stage one foods over the course of seven days. The amount of peanut in each packet gradually increases each day.

Four Roses Bourbon
Four Roses Bourbon - As you may know, I'm a whiskey drinker and while I normally prefer single malt Scotch, I really enjoyed the Small Batch bottle of Four Roses, which was surprisingly smooth. I also thought the bottles were lovely with their wooden tops and etched roses on the glass bottles.

Since we aren't coffee drinkers, we only keep a single serve Keurig machine in the house and K-Cups for when guests visit and need their java. My mother included. However, I always ask that they save the used cups instead of tossing them, so I can cut into them and add the grinds to my compost. It's dirty and time consuming, but not for much longer. Now there are certified 100% compostable pods from Chock Full o' Nuts, Kauai Coffee and Hills Bros. Publix carries them even. I'm so going to be buying these from now on. Visit CoffeeComposting.com to learn more. Your garden will be greener – and so will the planet.

neckerchew cheeky chomper teething toy
Neckerchew teether
How genius is this product for baby? I wish my boys had Neckerchews from Cheeky Chompers when they were teething. This chew toy catches drool since it is attached to a bib. Also, you don't have to worry about them dropping their teether since it fastens behind their neck. Love the colors and soft fabric and it's reversible too.

Oh, and we want/need Uncle Bubble's MEGALOOP, a giant bubble maker available this holiday season. Take a look at this quick Instagram video where I was able to go inside the bubble, so fun! 

Blogging Tips


Besides the partying and swag, even this seasoned blogger learned a few new tricks and tools the trade to try.

Discovered Tailwind for scheduling pins on Pinterest. The app is currently offering a FREE trial, which I am now starting to take advantage of.

Several bloggers shared that they generate revenue through Linqia. Just signed up to be an influencer there too.

Blogging Concentrated offered lots of great SEO tips. Mostly though, it sounds like I need to finally move over to WordPress, but the idea of moving over 11.5 years worth of content and learning a new system at this stage in the game just makes me depressed and tired. lol


More From Blogger Bash


Caught Periscoping the after party cruise. Photo Credit: Blogger Bash
Want to see more? Check out my Periscope video from the after party cruise around the Statue of Liberty.

For more read my blogging pal Destiny's Blogger Bash 2016 recap.

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July 8, 2016

Making Cleanup Fun for Kids - Swiffer Sweeper Hockey

This post was sponsored by P&G as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. Thanks for the fun!

P&G Household Needs Available at Costco


Like most families, we seem to head to Costco weekly to buy milk, eggs and everyday P&G Household Needs products from Costco. I'm also grateful that all the shopping carts at Costco allow for two children to ride up front, without having to search for an extra-large wagon type cart like we have to do at other stores. As a mom of multiples, this makes my life so much easier.

Speaking of making life easier, I'm all about life hacks, especially when it comes to cleaning, which is my least favorite part of adulthood. Thus, my love of the little details in P&G Household essentials that make them different from other brands, especially their Swiffer products.

We long ago ditched our mop for a Swiffer WetJet. Now that the boys are drinking out of big boy cups, there are a lot of spills and sticky spots being discovered on our tile floors. However, with Swiffer WetJet I can easily clean it up without the hassle and in no time. It's so simple to use and leaves our home smelling fresh and our floors spotless. The Swiffer Sweeper is also great for that touch-up cleaning around the house.

Cleaning Hack: Kids Swiffer Hockey 


I don't know about your kiddos, but mine like to mimic adults. Early on I noticed that when I would vacuum, they would go grab their toy vacuum and pretend to clean up behind me. Same thing when I would use a broom. This got me thinking...instead of pretending to clean with me, why not actually have them help more. Thus, Swiffer Hockey was invented for added Sunday fun in our household.

Materials Needed:
  • - Swiffer Sweeper or Swiffer WetJet (in our case both)
  • - Swiffer Sweeper Dry Pad Refills or Swiffer Sweeper Wet Mopping Pad Refills from Costco
  • - Frisbee or if you're in a bind you can use a soda cap or other puck-like material. 
  • - Net or some sort of goal. You could even use the legs of a chair. 
  • - Silly active kids 

Directions:

I think you can see where I am going with this.  Start in one area of your floor, arm your kids with Swiffer Sweepers and accompanying pad for hockey sticks, throw down a Frisbee, set up a goal and get out of the way. Remember to keep moving the goal around so they can cover more ground.

It's a win-win -- they have fun, while also helping to clean. Skeptical? You'd be surprised what these pads can pick up, even after you already swept or cleaned. Designed with thick, dirt grabbing ridges and grooves the Swiffer Sweeper dry pads grabs dirt, dust AND hair! We have two cats, so this is especially helpful when they are shedding. Swiffer Sweeper Dry Pad Refills have 3X the cleaning action (common inanimate allergens from cat and dog dander and dust mite matter) and are safe on wood floors, tile, laminate, concrete. So, while they are busy going after the puck, they are also collecting dirt, dust and hair.

Meanwhile, Swiffer Sweeper Wet Mopping Pad Refills are loaded with thirsty little dirt-dissolving cleaners to pull away dirt and grime effortlessly while gliding across your floors.

Also, while they are busy "playing hockey" you can focus on other clean-up tasks that little kids can't help with. Unfortunately. I'm making it sound like I run a sweat shop or something, lol, 


More Fun Tips to Get Kids Involved with Chores


  • - Like P&G's campaign, "details matter" especially to kids, so whenever possible, make cleanup fun. Thus, the hockey example above. 
  • - Take your children shopping with you for cleaning supplies. During our Costco run my boys enjoyed helping to load supplies into the cart, making them more eager to use them later.
  • - Play the Clean Up Song or Whistle While You Work to make mundane toy pick-up and other cleaning choirs more fun for kids. Sing along too. This can also function as a timer or countdown for how long they need to be putting away their stuff before the song stops. 
  • - If you have more than one child. Make it a friendly competition. Most children are much more willing to participate in a game of “Who can clean up the most toys before the three minute timer goes off?
  • - Make it a scavenger hunt. For instance, first pick up everything that is red, then anything with wheels -- you get the idea. This turns clean-up into a game of hide and seek and can also help with teaching colors and shapes too. 
  • - Get them toys that mimic cleaning role play - we have a toy vacuum and broom. 
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June 17, 2016

Why I started using fabric softener, are you?

Before the boys came into the picture, I would only do our laundry once a week ... if that, now every other day. Ugh!

Since I always used dryer sheets, I figured liquid fabric softener was redundant. However, I've now learned with the simple filling of a cap, you can say goodbye to stretching, fading, and pilling, giving your clothes a longer, happier life. Okay, no one told me this before.

Downy Fabric Conditioner also keeps your clothes fresher longer and reduces wrinkles better than using detergent alone. All via a simple pour into every load of laundry.

Apparently, during a ride around the washing machine, garments pull stretch and rub together. Downy conditions, strengthens, and lubricates each fiber to protect clothing from the friction and agitation of a typical washing cycle.

I'm also loving the fresh fragrance that it leaves behind on our clothes, especially on our towels and boys bathing trunks after a day spent at the beach or pool since it successfully rids the strong smells of salt water and chlorine. The boy enjoy sniffing the flowery soap scent right from the bottle too.


Planning on saving your child's clothes for possibly your next baby or planning to resell them?
Downy extends the life of fabric by keeping your clothes looking and feeling like you just picked then up from the store!

TIP: In addition to the protection Downy fabric conditioner offers, turning garments inside out, and washing soft fabrics like cotton on the gentle cycle will keep your clothes looking the best.



Downy Fabric Conditioner is available at Walmart and Walmart.com for everyday low prices. Learn more and shop for it here.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G. I already owned the other Downy products seen in my laundry room.
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June 15, 2016

Applebee's New Hand-Cut Wood Fired Grill Menu

Applebee’s recently unveiled its new American-made, wood-fired grills as the centerpiece of nearly 2,000 U.S. locations, inviting guests to follow the enticing aroma of American Oak smoke into their neighborhood Applebee’s to try a new Hand-Cut, Wood Fired Grill item. These restaurants have renovated kitchens, revamped menus and selected trained chefs to be official in-house Meat Cutters to evaluate and then cut each steak or chop.

The head chef here at the Applebee's location in Estero, FL said in his 15 years of working with the company, he has never seen a kitchen overhaul of its kind and touts the upgraded beef selection.


Now their menu includes hand-cut wood fired offerings include USDA Choice Top Sirloin Steaks and Bone-in Pork Chops.

The new certified USDA Choice Hand-Cut Wood Fired Steaks and Bone-In Pork Chops are also hand-cut by trained meat cutters through a comprehensive process to ensure the highest quality, freshness and optimal thickness. Intrigued? I was.

8 oz USDA Choice Top Sirloin Steaks, Mac and Cheese and Garlic Green Beans

The Wood Fired menu includes: 

  • • 8 oz. and 6 oz. Hand-cut USDA Choice Top Sirloin Steaks (I went with the 8oz rear and it was delicious, cooked to my liking, thick and not too tough or fatty)
  • • Hand-cut Bone-in Pork Chops with Honey Apple Chutney (Raphael tried this item and loved the spicy seasoning) 
  • • Cedar-grilled Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze 
  • • Grilled chicken breast

Hand-cut Bone-in Pork Chop, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Broccoli
We typically dine at our neighborhood Applebee's on Sunday nights when kids eat for $1.99 with the purchase of an adult meal and now I'm excited to be able to have these delicious options for us adults! More Kids Eat Free Restaurant Listings in Lee & Collier Counties.

The new Wood Fired menu items are available at Applebee’s locations owned and operated by Doherty Enterprises in New Jersey, Long Island and 44 restaurants in Florida and Georgia.


Outside of the Wood Fired menu though, we also really enjoyed their Cheeseburger Egg Rolls appetizer with ground beef, cheddar, onion, pickles and signature sauce. It was sinfully cheesy and delicious!

Yummy Cheeseburger Eggrolls
Disclosure: We were skeptical, but really enjoyed our complimentary meal as stated above. No other compensation was exchanged. I eat what and blog about what I like.
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