Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cafe at Two70

We've really been slacking on our Quantum recaps. We wanted to get them done before the Quantum left the NYC area for Asia but that was over 6 months ago. It's now been so long that M's parents have even taken a cruise on the new Anthem of the Seas and been back for weeks. Oops.

Photo credit to whichever of M's parents took this, since we forgot to take one

When we last left off on our trip, we had gone for an early character breakfast which was largely unsatisfying and then had a couple of sandwich snacks on the promenade. When it was finally time for lunch, we headed over to the Cafe @ Two70. The Two70 venue was located at the very back of the ship, had 2 floors, and tried to evoke the vibe of a lounge. They also held shows there, both a big production called Starwater and mini "roboshows" using these fancy screens. We had heard good things about this cafe and thought it would be good, fresh food. Instead what we encountered there were very long lines, lots of premade food, and then uncomfortable and limited seating once we finally had our food. We tried to keep an open mind about lunch, but in the end, it was fine but didn't live up to our expectations.

We started out with 2 soups - bouillabaisse and potato leek. The better of the two was the creamy potato leek soup. But there didn't seem to be much of a difference between getting a soup at Two70 and getting a soup at the Windjammer buffet. In fact, we found the exact same soups up at the buffet later on.

M had been really interested in the salads at Two70 from before the time we boarded the ship. We sailed on the Quantum before they put the build your own salad bar in the dining room for lunch, so M thought this would be a good way to get a nice, healthy salad for lunch that would be better than what was on offer at the buffet. From before we got on the ship, she knew which one she wanted to try first - the Thai chicken noodle salad. The ingredients were listed as grilled chicken, mixed greens, peppers, glass noodles, toasted almonds, mandarin oranges, and sesame-peanut dressing. Sounded tasty.

After seeing all of the various salad ingredients laid out at the bar, she was expecting them to take a bowl, add the ingredients, and mix it. But after ordering, the worker just opened a refrigerated case and handed her a premade boxed salad. That was disappointing. We're guessing you could have done a build your own salad there instead, but the menu board didn't say that. Maybe you just had to be "in the know" like all the RC devotees we sailed with. On top of that, the salad itself was also disappointing. The chicken didn't have a ton of flavor, those noodles were definitely misrepresented as glass noodles, and just overall everything in it was kind of bland. The Thai chicken salad at Panera is so much better than this one.

One of the things that was being freshly prepared at Two70 was the Kummelweck sandwich, and it of course had the longest line. The Kummelweck had freshly carved roast beef with horseradish mayo on a cumin roll. The roast beef had good flavor, and the jus and horseradish mayo rounded out the flavors nicely. Roast beef and horseradish is a classic pairing, and Two70 did a pretty good job on this. M tried a bite of the sandwich and thought it did taste pretty good, but it just isn't her favorite type of sandwich to eat. At the end of the day, the sandwich was worth the wait to try, but A didn't feel the need to wait in line again for another.

We also got a Cuban pita pocket, which was filled with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. This was fine, but nothing special. After they toasted it and gave it to us, it also seemed fairly empty inside. The combination had the classic Cuban sandwich ingredients, so that was okay, but we've had better Cuban sandwiches on land.

Since the cafe area was so crowded when we were there, there were absolutely no seats in the cafe section of the venue, the area with the big tables. Instead we had to go into the area that was more lounge-like, with tiny tables and chairs that aren't really meant for eating this much food. It was awkward and uncomfortable attempting to share what we got, and on top of that, we were within earshot of a group of passengers having a somewhat racist discussion about all the Asian workers on the ship. That added another layer of unpleasantness and didn't help our already increasingly negative feelings about lunch. We never went back to Two70 for lunch after that, and the food was so uninspired and flavorless and unremarkable (other than the Kummelweck) that we went up to the Windjammer afterwards to get other, better things to eat. We wanted to try every venue we were able to on the ship, so we're glad we went there, but it really wasn't anything that special in our opinion.

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