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SzczerbiakManiac
09-03-2002, 03:54 PM
Whilst dining at the Golden Vine Winery restaurant.. place.. thing.. yesterday, I couldn't help overhearing (because she couldn't shut up about it :rolleyes: ) a woman make inquiries to the server about the Lasagna Rustica (aka Sausage Lasagna). When the server returned, I heard her say something I found amusing: although they top it with their own sauce, the lasagna is from Stouffer's. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing (it's darn good lasagna), I just thought of GVW as a slightly more upscale restaurant.

For the record, I'm a 20-year veteran of the food service industry and I'm well aware that many restaurants use frozen items--especially desserts. It doesn't bother me unless, of course, they try to pass it off as "home made".

hbquikcomjamesl
09-03-2002, 04:18 PM
If I remember right, isn't (or wasn't at one time) Stouffer's the sponsor of at least one restaurant in DL?

Andrew
09-03-2002, 04:44 PM
Plaza Pavillion. :(

JeffG
09-03-2002, 04:48 PM
They also still sponsor The French Market.

-Jeff

RStar
09-03-2002, 05:33 PM
I agree that the frozen Stouffer's Lazagna is great, but when I go to a resturaunt (or wine tasting plaza or whatever they want to call that place) I EXPECT fresh made food. Not frozen. Now if I was at a caffateria or buffateria, that would be different. In fact if they told me it was Stouffer's I'd be all over it. However, it's expectations that matter when you are paying a premium for table sevice. I'd be upset too!

Now I know I can't make a lasagna at home for half the price of a Stouffer's, and it would only taste as good, not better. I think lasagna tastes better aged a day or two anyway. But if they don't disclose it up front, should they sell it? I don't know. You still get a good lasagna and if the rest of the food and service is good, and you have good atmosphere and a good time, what's the harm, right? I wonder if they would sell less if they put Stouffer's on the menu?

SzczerbiakManiac
09-04-2002, 10:41 AM
RStar wrote:
I wonder if they would sell less if they put Stouffer's on the menu?My guess would be it would not sell as much. What you said before, the expectation in that type of a restaurant is a little higher and folks don't want to think they're eating "TV Dinners".

Am I dating myself by using the term "TV Dinner"?

RStar
09-13-2002, 08:05 AM
Yes, you are dating yourself :eek: (if that is possible. Did you go to the movies, or just dinner:D )....

So, by not admitting that it is frozen TV dinner food that you are eating, does that make it ok? IMHO if it is not made there, you're not getting what you are expecting. The possible exceptions to this may be bread type items and deserts. I've never realy expected that they always made all of that, but entres are another thing.

Kevin, if you read this can you say anything about how often an "outside" resturant may use pre-made foods, and how often DLR may do the same? Or anyone else that may know.

Ghoulish Delight
09-13-2002, 08:46 AM
Many many many restaurants use pre-prepared foods. Especially chain restaurants. A long time ago I was at an Olive Garden. At the table next to us, the guy flagged down the water to show him a piece of plastic that was in his food. The waiter said that it must be part of the bag that the dish comes in, frozen. They just boil the bag and serve it.

Now, I think in the case of the Olive Garden, while it's frozen and shipped, they at least are meals made specifically for the Olive Garden. They aren't off-the-shelf Stoufer's tv dinners. But pre-made is pre-made.

I would think a restaurant as "upscale" as the Golden Vine would not do that. I wonder if it's just the lasagna since lasagna is such a time intensive dish or if they have other items that are just frozen tv dinners.

Not Afraid
09-13-2002, 09:08 AM
Many, many, many restaurants use pre-prepared food items on their menu. The company I worked for provided this type of food (and more) to even some of the swankiest restaurants. But, there is a difference between a Stouffers grocery store TV dinner and a foodservice frozen prepared meal. The quality is much higher. To call the foodservice stuff TV dinners is (fortunately) missing the mark. There are some wonderful, high quality, prepared food that I would be proud to serve at home.

RStar
09-13-2002, 09:20 AM
Wow, this is an eye opener. I still maintain that if the atmosphere is good and the food taste good, I would still go. And the chain resturaunts I wouldn't care as much if things were pre-made. But at high class places ($50 or more per plate) you would expect more. But then the volume is lower, so they may need to use pre-made for more things.

Not Afraid
09-13-2002, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by RStar
Wow, this is an eye opener. I still maintain that if the atmosphere is good and the food taste good, I would still go. And the chain resturaunts I wouldn't care as much if things were pre-made. But at high class places ($50 or more per plate) you would expect more. But then the volume is lower, so they may need to use pre-made for more things.

Ever been to George's at the Cove in La Jolla or the restaurant at the Getty Center? Yup, those too use this type of food. It's just all a matter of presentation.

MammaSilva
09-13-2002, 09:34 AM
This is just my personal observation but in most cases you really are paying for the "show" more than the food, of course the food has to be quality but at the same time think about it, something as simple as a hot dog... don't they simply taste 'better' either at a ballgame or picnic/bbq than in the kitchen for lunch? same thing.... presentation/atmosphere make a meal 'special' as long as the food tastes good I don't care if they have a chef in the kitchen that made the pasta from scratch or opened a box and popped it in the oven....obviously the "show" won't carry BAD food....but that's not what we are talking about here. Stouffers makes good quality premade frozen foods for the general public and like Not Afraid has mentioned their "food service" quality is even higher... I tend to buy things like that at places like Costco/Smart and Final/Sams places where smaller business shop direct... get good prices and higher quality.

Ghoulish Delight
09-13-2002, 09:48 AM
You're absolutely right, NA. Done correctly, even premade foods can be gourmet. Afterall, I was on a cruise ship that served EXCELLENT food to 600-700 people simultaneously, 4 times daily. I guarantee they weren't cooking it all from scratch in the galley. And yet I had one of the best filet mignons I've ever had. It does depend on the presentation, and the quality of the food that is frozen. There can definitely be a difference between off-the-shelf frozen lasagna and well made frozen meals.

mad4mky
09-13-2002, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Ghoulish Delight
Many many many restaurants use pre-prepared foods. Especially chain restaurants. A long time ago I was at an Olive Garden. At the table next to us, the guy flagged down the water to show him a piece of plastic that was in his food. The waiter said that it must be part of the bag that the dish comes in, frozen. They just boil the bag and serve it.


God, no wonder why I HATE the Olive Garden. Ick...worst food. They should have asked me if I would like a little food with my serving of salt. Even my 2 youngest kids complained it was too salty...and it was just plain not good...

But, reading this thread has opened my eyes to what restaraunts serve. I really must be naive....because I just didn't think that more upscale kind of places served frozen food...this is very interesting. I could see where Denny's and other places like that might...but the fancier places...say it ain't so...(but it obviously is...:( ).

tabacco
09-13-2002, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by Andrew
Plaza Pavillion. :(

Heh... been awhile, eh Andrew? ;)

The Pavilion is an AP processing center now.

hefferdude
09-13-2002, 11:46 AM
Guess I go out and can buy a Stouffer's lasagne and
jazz it it up with some Farmer John sausage.
Get a good bottle of wine for 1/3 the price and call
my kitchen Golden Vine West. The wife'll like it.

PS - For 50 to 70 bucks a head for frozen food, it'd better
be just this side of Buckingham Palace for the show. ;)

Ghoulish Delight
09-13-2002, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by tabacco
Heh... been awhile, eh Andrew? ;)

The Pavilion is an AP processing center now. I think he is aware of that, thus the sad face.

tabacco
09-13-2002, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Ghoulish Delight
I think he is aware of that, thus the sad face.

Oh, I thought he just didn't like their food :)

RStar
09-13-2002, 12:50 PM
Unless he ment Plaza Inn. I always confuse the two names myself.

SzczerbiakManiac
09-13-2002, 01:15 PM
RStar wrote:
Yes, you are dating yourself :eek: (if that is possible. Did you go to the movies, or just dinner:D )....I/we went to see The Lion King and then TV Dinners at home! ;)
- - - - -
I used to work at Olive Garden (18 months) and TGI Friday's (9 years). Both places have approximately the same price range as GV. (And considering how much just being in the Park jacks up the price, OG & TGIF may technically higher priced/calibre...?) Both restaurants used a few frozen items, but not too many. The notable exceptions being desserts. We tried making some of them in-house, but the consistency and quality of the frozen products was much higher (and less expensive) than anything we could make ourselves.

What both establishments make extensive use of is portion bags. Prep cooks would do just about everything but cook the foods and then seal them in bags. This way, all the "line" (what most of us think of at the kitchen proper) had to do was heat and assemble the final plate. I wonder if what Ghoulish Delight's table neighbor actually got was a piece of portion bag? I'm not excusing them not removing all of it prior to serving, but at least the food might have been prepared on the premises.

Ghoulish Delight
09-13-2002, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by SzczerbiakManiac
I wonder if what Ghoulish Delight's table neighbor actually got was a piece of portion bag? That could very well be. I was, afterall, eavsedropping, so I may have missed part of the conversation.

I hadn't taken into account that GV is no longer as upscale as it had been while under Mondavi. I gurantee that they weren't serving anything out of a cardboard box then!

TP2000
09-14-2002, 01:32 AM
My mother, who is an impeccable hostess and is known in her community as the tops when it comes to dinner parties, has used the family portion of Stouffers frozen lasagna as a dinner party entree before. She puts the platter of lasagna in the oven, after sprinkling additional fresh paremsan cheese and fresh sprigs of basil on top. She then serves it in a lovely serving platter after a tossed italian salad and home made sourdough bread. And her guests RAVE about it! And she smugly sits and graciously accepts the compliments.

Stouffers hosts The French Market in Disneyland. It was Contadina who used to host The Plaza Pavillion, the last time they were serving food there in the late 1990's.

I should have had the lasagna the one and only time I've eaten at the Wine Country Trattoria in DCA. I had a pannini when I ate there, and it was really horrible. I never returned after that awful meal with lackluster service from a college kid waiter with baggy trousers and spiky hair and a very basic grasp of polite things to say using the english language. DCA food service is kind of a mess if you ask me, but that's a topic for a different thread.

By the way, we are talking about the Wine Country Trattoria at the DCA Winery, aren't we? The Golden Vine Winery is the name of the entire location that includes two restaurants, several wine bars, and the Seasons of the Vine movie/attraction. The Vineyard Room is the fixed price restaurant upstairs. The Wine Country Trattoria is the table service bistro type place downstairs on the patio. I assume that we are all talking about the Wine Country Trattoria, and not the more expensive Vineyard Room. I ate at The Vineyard Room three times in early/mid 2001 when it was still run by Mondavi, and it was EXCELLENT. Even under it's Disney ownership I find it hard to believe that they would serve frozen lasagna there. They coulnd't have sunk that low, could they? I haven't eaten there since summer, 2001, and it was still run by Mondavi then.

SzczerbiakManiac
09-14-2002, 09:55 PM
TP2000 wrote:
By the way, we are talking about the Wine Country Trattoria at the DCA Winery, aren't we?Yes, sorry for the confusion. :eek:

RStar
09-16-2002, 01:25 PM
Oh, I forgot about that myself. I ate at the Vinyard room ($50 each) myself. I know nothing about the Trattoria. That is why I would be surprized as well if they served frozen Lasagna.

Ace
09-16-2002, 05:45 PM
I think we need a new forum for threads that were once related to Disneyland but now are about lasagna.