29 July 2009

A Fond Farewell

Eric Hoffman, as many of you know, as been the man behind the wonderful design of the Main Street Gazette. I’m good with words and ideas, but Eric has made my dreams of what the Gazette should look like into a stunning reality. As I could never possibly repay him for what he has done for me, the only thing I can do is tell you that you should check out his work over at Netmongrel.

Like many of us, Eric has a taste for Walt Disney World, and he shares a family treasure with us today in the words and pictures of Spoodles.

A Fond Farewell
By Eric Hoffman

One thing that any long-time fan of Disney has to come to terms with is change. In a land where imagination rules it is inevitable that rides, attractions, and restaurants will eventually be “re-imagined” over time. Walt Disney himself said it best: "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." Walt Disney World has also been faithful to Walt's vision of continual change.

It was with these words of Walt's in my mind and a somewhat heavy heart that our family dined at Spoodles in Walt Disney World's Boardwalk resort during our most recent visit. It was announced that come August of this year Spoodles would close its doors, re-opening as Kouzzina and be run by celebrity chef Cat Cora. This new restaurant will no doubt be great and live up to the reputation and expectations of Disney fans. Our family, however, will really miss Spoodles. It had become our family favorite dining spot serving the flavors and fragrances of the Mediterranean that we found so appealing. It also happens to be at Disney's Boardwalk which also is a truly favorite spot for us at Walt Disney World. We were fortunate enough to have dined there 3 times in the last year.

After hearing about the closure, and with no return trip on the books until after the planned change, we emailed Spoodles requesting the recipe for the Mediterranean Dips appetizer, one of the dishes we loved so much. The chef emailed us back and not only sent the recipe for the dips but graciously sent the recipe for the olive tapenade, a lusty flavored spread served with crusty bread. Jackpot! Now we could have a little piece of Spoodles right at home. Needless to say, the ingredients were purchased, and the whole family put to work on our nostalgic culinary adventure as soon as possible. It was so delicious and so much like we remembered that it could have just about been the real thing. We put on some Disney music in the background and ate our dips in bliss.

When a surprise opportunity to swing through Orlando on the way to a beach vacation presented itself recently, we jumped at the chance to have a last meal at Spoodles. This was an unanticipated pleasure, and we had the reservation made with lightening speed. This visit would serve as a farewell breakfast knowing full well it would truly be our last chance to enjoy “our place”.

Suffice it to say the food met our expectations, and flavorful, unique dishes such as their vegetable fritatta, and the Italian breakfast were savored as though it was our last meal on earth! My plate was cleaned with more than my usual enthusiasm not willing to leave a single crumb behind.

While waiting for our table to be prepared, we talked with the hostess about the upcoming changes and our fondness for Spoodles. She surprised us later with some souvenir menus and Spoodles stickers for the kids before we left. What a nice touch.

We walked out soothed by the soft early morning sounds of the Boardwalk Resort area and looked forward to our next trip in January when we would be able to try Kouzzina for the first time. We will try our best to judge it with all the impartiality we can muster.

Thanks for the memories, Spoodles!


Believes in Fairies said...

I am sorry to see Spoodles leave also! I have a special memory of meeting up with some OUTSTANDING women who had just walked at the Race for a Cure (That WDW is NO longer sponsoring?!!). It was wonderful to share that time with them and a memory I will cherish of them at Spoodles

The Artwork of Christi Bunn said...

Fantastic post. Change at Disney is always hard for us because so much of our enjoyment is in the nostalgia of memories we have made at our favorite places. We are looking forward to trying Cat Cora's place and hope that it will have some of that same Mediterranean flair that we have come to love from Spoodles.


watch me eat said...

I never made it to Spoodles. The prices were a bit too high for whenever I was looking for food in the Boardwalk. I've heard nothing but good things about it though!