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dundeene

What food does HAL do well?

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What I enjoy consistently most in HAL's dining venues:

 

Croissants; the size of these darlings seem to vary from ship to ship, but, consistently, they are delicious.  All of the breads and rolls are excellent as well.

 The "specialized rolls" when one is sailing in certain areas:  i.e. Panama Rolls.

Room service Club Sandwich

MDR Crisps are uniformly tasty regardless of the fruit.

PG's Pork Chops have been moist and flavorful.  PG's Crab Cakes are superior.

Dive-In:  Everything!  (But, please don't tell my cardiologist.)

MDR Breakfast:  Swedish Pancakes; they rival what I remember when I had them on Royal Viking Sky many years ago.

Sel de Mar:  Dover Sole, Escargots, and Crepes Suzette.

NY Deli and Pizza:  Everything that I ordered was delicious, including the Panna Cotta for dessert.

Lido Restaurant:  Whatever variety:  the cookies at the ice cream counter!

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I have become a fan of the pre-made sandwiches.  Grab one and a fork and it is a great take and eat lunch at the pool.  Leave the bread and I like the chicken salad with bacon and the roast beef with cheese.  The Lido salads are a quick wonderful lunch made to your order  Lobster bisque in the PG.  Sauces on beef, veal and pork.  The veal is usually very well prepared and true veal not beefy.  Shrimp in the PG not so much in the MDR - completely different size and source.  All photos from our Rotterdam cruise last week.  

 

 

Lobster bisque 22319.jpg

Veal roast 22219.jpg

Crab topped filet.jpg

shrimp cocktail 21919.jpg

SJ dinner 21619.jpg

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it was interesting to read the comment about the frozen breads/pastries now.  At the beginning of our Rotterdam cruise the croissants were yeasty not flaky more like the dreadful ones at Starbucks.  Toward the end of the cruise they must have had a new batch or different provider as they were flaky.  Best thing for my self-control was the yeasty croissants at the beginning of the cruise.  

I didn't take a picture of the bread in the PG but they have a new round sourdough roll that they have quarter slashes in it filled with cheese and butter.  They were very tasty.   

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17 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

What I enjoy consistently most in HAL's dining venues:

 

Croissants; the size of these darlings seem to vary from ship to ship, but, consistently, they are delicious.  All of the breads and rolls are excellent as well.

 The "specialized rolls" when one is sailing in certain areas:  i.e. Panama Rolls.

Room service Club Sandwich

 < clip >

1

 

I LOVE the room service Club Sandwich!  Had one on my first ever HAL cruise in 2017, and again on the Voyage of the Vikings last summer.  It's becoming my "usual" light supper on embarkation day -- I'm usually exhausted/wiped out from the day's activities, so a relaxing quiet supper in my cabin or (even better) on the veranda as we sail away is just the ticket.  I've had the sandwich on the Amsterdam and the Rotterdam -- Eurodam is next (March 9).

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

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22 minutes ago, ottahand7 said:

Shrimp in the PG not so much in the MDR - completely different size and source

On one long cruise, we were served in the PG huge shrimp as part of the shrimp cocktail.  Those shrimp were the most tasteless and mealy shrimp I have ever had!

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2 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

On one long cruise, we were served in the PG huge shrimp as part of the shrimp cocktail.  Those shrimp were the most tasteless and mealy shrimp I have ever had!

Seafood can be iffy,  we had a total flop with the $25 upcharge Fruits de Mer in Rudi's Sel de Mer pop up on the Rdam.  Just plain horrible. Depends on what gets put on the ship.   I found if you complain in the comments on the free Holland internet while on the cruise they will make amends.  

 

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5 minutes ago, ottahand7 said:

Seafood can be iffy,  we had a total flop with the $25 upcharge Fruits de Mer in Rudi's Sel de Mer pop up on the Rdam.  Just plain horrible

 

I appreciate learning your experience.  Thanks.  My one Sel de Mer experience with escargots and Dover Sole was exceptional.  

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12 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I appreciate learning your experience.  Thanks.  My one Sel de Mer experience with escargots and Dover Sole was exceptional.  

 

Must say the Dover Sole is wonderful!  

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I love the pecan pastries they serve at breakfast, like a croissant with pecan pie filling.  I usually get an extra one from the Lido to take back for an afternoon snack.  I also love the muesli.

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Thank you to Dundeene for starting this informative, enlightening and entertaining thread.

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On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 8:31 PM, Fouremco said:

LOL. I agree totally, I think there's a wonderful selection of really tasty sandwiches that are quite original. I'm laughing because your post is in such sharp contrast with some of the highly negative threads when HAL first introduced them a few years ago.

I am still "negative" on the "grab and go" sandwiches replacing the old sandwich station where one could have just about any kind of sandwich made to their own specifications.   HAL could have kept their sandwich station option and still put out some pre-made stuff.  If I want a basic Reuben (with extra corned beef) or a freshly made Rachel....it no longer is an option.  There are times when I will grab 2 or 3 of those grab and go things, deconstruct them and reassemble a pretty decent sandwich.  But that is truly a waste.

 

Hank

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23 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

I am still "negative" on the "grab and go" sandwiches replacing the old sandwich station where one could have just about any kind of sandwich made to their own specifications.

Maybe I've just been lucky and have grabbed sandwiches that were to my liking. A camembert and pear on a crusty baguette  that I had on the NA a couple of weeks ago was a good example of some of the delicious sandwiches I've enjoyed. What I lost in not being able to order one to my specifications I've gained in trying some that I would otherwise have never considered. I'm from the "I'll try anything at least once" school of eating, and so far I've not been disappointed in the slightest with the "grab and go" sandwiches. 

 

 

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I am the world's pickiest eater and having never been on Hal before and seeing the menus I am a little nervous, but you all make it sound so yummy!  I wish they had Gazpacho!  Can I order a steak if there is nothing else I would like on the menu?  Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, beaming90 said:

Can I order a steak if there is nothing else I would like on the menu?

Yes, a broiled New York strip loin is on the "available daily" menu.

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18 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Yes, a broiled New York strip loin is on the "available daily" menu.

The available daily broiled NY strip loin is not something that Holland does well.  The meat quality seems to have gone downhill over the last year or so and is like Select.  The roast chicken on the available daily is usually very well prepared.   

I noticed on the Rotterdam last month that the French Onion Soup had slipped a great deal.  It used to be served in a small bowl and now it is in a large bowl with thinner broth and less onion.  I don't know if that has changed on other ships, a long time favorite I won't order again.   This was room service but the bowl is the same size as in the MDR.  They did carefully prepare the tray with the bread wrapped separately so it wasn't a soggy mess when it got to the cabin.  

deck dinner 21619.jpg

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33 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Yes, a broiled New York strip loin is on the "available daily" menu.

 

I struggled to come up with a list of what they do well because ingredients, especially meats,  have been cheapened so much.  

 

You will seen lots of “strip loin” variation  on the menus.  Designed to fool you into thinking you are getting restaurant quality steak.  And at best they are select grade, below what an average supermarket sells (choice). 

Average butcher shops will feature and sell whole strip lions for five, six dollars a pound and they will cut and package for you.  Carnival corporation, buying in bulk, pays much less.  Viking river cruises, which spends little on food, features this cut a lot. 

 

Lower expectations.   Most of it is decent but it is a far cry from what it used to be. 

 

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21 minutes ago, ottahand7 said:

The available daily broiled NY strip loin is not something that Holland does well. 

 

2 minutes ago, sammiedawg said:

 

Lower expectations.   Most of it is decent but it is a far cry from what it used to be. 

beaming90 wanted to know if steak was available if he couldn't see anything else he wanted on the menu. The answer, as I posted, is "yes".

 

Now, the quality of the steak is another issue entirely. I agree that HAL's steaks have slipped in quality, and size, over the past few years.

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Posted (edited)

The NY Strip is usually a last resort.   I would 86 it from the OP's dream menu.   I would probably 86 the Liver and Onions too and definitely I would 86 the Grab and Go sandwiches.

 

Sticking them out there like they are in a 7-eleven store seems really tacky.

Edited by JRG

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, JRG said:

The NY Strip is usually a last resort.   I would 86 it from the OP's dream menu.   I would probably 86 the Liver and Onions too and definitely I would 86 the Grab and Go sandwiches.

 

Sticking them out there like they are in a 7-eleven store seems really tacky.

 

The virtue of the Grab and Go sandwiches, besides being very fresh and delicious, is no lines and no waiting.  Only delay is surveying them all to make your own best choice. They have cut samples on the counter shelf above them so you can see the insides. 

 

Nothing tacky about the speedy service feature at all. Grab a little bag of potato chips as well from the same station. Take that sandwich anywhere you want to enjoy it now or later. They have been a great addition to the HAL bill of fare.

 

Hungry and lines in the Lido- hit the Grab and Go station. They picked the perfect name for this option.

Edited by OlsSalt

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10 minutes ago, JRG said:

Sticking them out there like they are in a 7-eleven store seems really tacky.

I challenge you to find a camembert and pear on a baguette or any other of HAL's original creations at a 7-eleven.

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12 minutes ago, JRG said:

The NY Strip is usually a last resort.   I would 86 it from the OP's dream menu.   I would probably 86 the Liver and Onions too and definitely I would 86 the Grab and Go sandwiches.

 

Sticking them out there like they are in a 7-eleven store seems really tacky.

 

I was surprised to see someone recommend the liver and onions to begin with, which is an old school cheapie meal.  I remember hearing my grandma made it during the post depression era.  

Even Subway custom makes the subs.

 

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3 minutes ago, sammiedawg said:

 

I was surprised to see someone recommend the liver and onions to begin with, which is an old school cheapie meal.  I remember hearing my grandma made it during the post depression era.  

Even Subway custom makes the subs.

 

Well, they do calves liver, which is something very hard to find in the grocery store these days.  If you're into liver, it is quite good.

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5 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

Well, they do calves liver, which is something very hard to find in the grocery store these days.  If you're into liver, it is quite good.

 

The liver and onions choice is an old world delight. They do it very well - I assumed it came from more of a Dutch dining tradition as wall as a depression era or even WWII rationing choice - the meat when to the boys overseas and we got what was leftover. 

 

Liver still shows up a lot on ever top rated European restaurants today - a staple on Swiss rustic menu choices, and elevated to high art as Fegato alla Veneziana in Italy.

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27 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

The virtue of the Grab and Go sandwiches, besides being very fresh and delicious, is no lines and no waiting.  Only delay is surveying them all to make your own best choice. They have cut samples on the counter shelf above them so you can see the insides. 

 

Nothing tacky about the speedy service feature at all. Grab a little bag of potato chips as well from the same station. Take that sandwich anywhere you want to enjoy it now or later. They have been a great addition to the HAL bill of fare.

 

Hungry and lines in the Lido- hit the Grab and Go station. They picked the perfect name for this option.

 

I don't recall seeing cut samples on the K. With the very different opinions on these sandwiches, I wonder if quality varies from ship to ship, as does so much with HAL.

 

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Posted (edited)

The liver and onions choice is an old world delight. They do it very well - I assumed it came from more of a Dutch dining tradition as wall as a depression era or even WWII rationing choice - the meat went to the soldiers overseas and we got what was leftover. 

 

Liver still shows up a lot on ever top rated European restaurants today - a staple on Swiss rustic menu choices, and elevated to high art as Fegato alla Veneziana in Italy.

Edited by OlsSalt

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