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Lunch at Bengal Barbecue

When I was planning my recent Disneyland trip, there were two counter service restaurants I knew we couldn’t miss — French Market and Bengal Barbecue. Bengal is a tiny counter-service spot — no bigger than a booth or a kiosk really — tucked into all the action of Adventureland. Located across the way from Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones, you get the idea that you’re supposed to sense a little danger around here…

Atmosphere
Pretty menacing tiger, eh? Once you get past the fear, just head under the little thatched roof and get in line. Speaking of lines, I can almost assure you there will be one. Bengal Barbecue is one of the most popular counter service spots in Disneyland, both for its great, simple food and for its easy grab-and-go style.

Ordering at Bengal Barbecue

Of course, you’ve also got some more placid animals at the Bengal. (I’m confused, though, as Animal Kingdom has taught me that tigers are Asian and giraffe are African…hmm…)

Bengal Friend

Because seating is severely limited, you’re most likely going to have to jockey for position around the large, circular, stand-up counter that serves as a table for most Bengal-ians. Don’t worry, though — pretty soon you’ll be eating and your woes will have been forgotten. (Until someone comes to jockey for position next to you!)

Luckily, Bengal Barbecue food is great for quick eating. If you’ve got a fastpass opening up or you want to maximize your ride time in the parks, this is a great spot to eat-and-run. But don’t run too fast; those are skewers you’re carrying.

Eats
The menu at Bengal Barbecue is short. Five main items (all under $4), some “extra provision” side items, and some drinks. The most expensive thing on the menu is a yogurt parfait at $4.99. Even the travel mug only clocks in at $4.79. So, right away, Bengal has two things going for it — a high recommendation and incredibly cheap prices. (Click the photo for a larger version.)

Menu -- click to see larger version

After waiting in a lengthy line, we quickly decided on our order: the hot and spicy Banyan Beef Skewer, the Chieftain Chicken Skewer (in Polynesian sauce), and Tiger Tails.

Chicken on the Grill

We took our foods over to the circular table and snagged a spot. I tried the spicy Banyan skewer and my husband tried the slightly sweet Chieftain skewer. We both pronounced them our favorite. Then we switched skewers and again pronounced them our favorite. So both skewers were winners!

Banyan Beef Skewer

The spicy Banyan skewer was rich and hearty. I definitely could have used a separate serving of the sauce for Tiger Tail dipping! The Chieftain skewer was tangy, mild and delicious. This is clearly a gateway to the Banyan skewer. ;-)

Chieftain Skewer

Of course, those tiger tails were amazing. You can see my earlier review of them here.

Tiger Tails

One thing we didn’t order and subsequently regret not tasting are the bacon-wrapped asparagus skewers, or “safari skewers.” Here’s a pic from our awesome friend Lynette!! She says each piece is individually wrapped with bacon. I think the words she used to describe them were, “smokey deliciousness!”

Overall

This is a fantastic stop on both your commando days and your relaxing days in Disneyland. The food seems to be consistently good, I continue to hear great recommendations about the place, and the Dole Whip stand is right across the way…so you’re going to be over in that area anyway. :-)

So have you eaten at Bengal Barbecue or do you have another Disneyland counter service restaurant in mind that you’d prefer? I have many more reviews of Disneyland counter-service in the DFB hopper, so let me know what you’d like to hear about next!

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11 Comments

  1. robin says:

    of all my years of going to disneyland (25+ years now), i’ve ALWAYS passed by bengal BBQ because of that line & the lack of dining space. i’ve also never paid much attention to what they serve (mainly because my appetite has been momentarily satiated by the dole whip i had earlier at the tiki room — heh!) HOWEVER, now that i’ve seen your review, i will DEFINITELY be partaking in such deliciousness! i can’t wait to try it all!!! :)

  2. allyn says:

    the spicy banyan beef skewers are one of my favorite foods at disneyland, and i’ve been eating them there for at least 15 years. love them. i always ask for extra sauce for dipping the tiger tails in. everything at bengal is definitely on the pricey side, though.

  3. Josh says:

    Good, I was worried that you had forgotten the Tiger Tails for a moment there.

    I’d have to say that the Safari Skewer looks the least appetizing of the three that I have seen so far. I’m more of a spicy sort of guy, so I would have to go with the Banyan Beef Skewer and several sides of Tiger Tails. Yum! (The Jalapeno Pretzel doesn’t sound too bad either…)

  4. Mykelogan says:

    This is my favorite place to eat in the Disneyland Park! Love to see it get some recognition. The “alley” it is in is indeed one of the craziest places traffic wise in the whole park, but the food is worth the chaos. I would go so far to say that the bacon wrapped asparagus alone is worth a trip to Disneyland! hehe

  5. Jason says:

    The bacon-wrapped asparagus skewers were amazing. I actually hit them up a number of times in my short visit there a few years back. I had heard good things and remember anxiously waiting for them to open up around lunch time. In the meantime, I dashed around the corner to Royal St Veranda for some gumbo. The next day i timed it so that the skewer was my appetizer before another bowl of gumbo. That’s the kind of intriguing quick food that Disneyland is good at, but WDW seems to lack much of.

  6. AJ says:

    robin — Yes! Please! I think it can even be sort of healthy if you try ;-)

    Allyn — I must have gotten that idea from your last comment! Will definitely be getting extra sauce for dipping next time!

    Josh — No bacon-wrapped asparagus? Gotta eat your greens! (The Banyan skewer was amazing. If I wasn’t eating at three other counter service places that afternoon I would have gotten five.)

    MykeLogan — Check it out! I got a pic of the asparagus thanks to Lynette!

    Jason — I wholeheartedly agree. I could do an entirely counter service trip to DL and never get bored or feel like I was getting less quality products. That place seriously knows how to “plus” their counter service. It’s outstanding.

  7. Corey says:

    The Bengal Beef and Chieftain Chicken skewers are amazing, along with the bacon-wrapped asparagus. Then again, just about ANYTHING wrapped in bacon is gonna be good. I might even save some bacon for my Dole Whip next time!

  8. Melissa says:

    Is it just me or have the portions, quality, and flavor of the food changed? I have always loved the Bengal Barbecue, I have always been loyal and I *know* the flavors. I just had the chicken, and the sweet beef and it was just off. The portion was definitely smaller and I actually spit out the beef. I can’t believe I didn’t care for it. My husband said it had a liver flavor. I was so sad, I think the state of the economy has affected the food. I wish Disney knew I can definitely tell the difference and the food is seemingly generic. :-(

  9. Heidi says:

    Could someone possibly describe the sauces to me? I’ve searched and searched and haven’t found any descriptions of “polynesian sauce” or “zulu sauce” (or “hot and spicy” for that matter) The pictures help a tad, but only so much…

    @Melissa- Are there any other places you’ve discovered just aren’t quite the same? We haven’t been in over 6 years, and now I wonder if our favorites might be different. (something I’ve noticed at lots of my favorite restaurants)

  10. Louisa says:

    My husband and I are low-carb eaters and we always get skewers at Bengal BBQ. They are pricey, sure, and you have to walk around to find a place to sit (we usually carry ours over by the Jungle Cruise and sit in the little unused courtyard near the exit) but the quality is among the best in any Disney Park. The Polynesian sauce is sort of like sweet and sour sauce; the Zulu reminds me of a spicy, peppery salsa type flavor. I usually eat 2 of the asparagus and bacon skewers as a snack; super tasty!

  11. Heidi says:

    Thanks for the info! I never did find any descriptions anywhere else online. We went in March and just bought them all and did a taste testing. I also picked up the recipe for our favorite-can’t remember which at the moment-at City Hall. In my years as a passholder, we’d never tried them, but now we certainly will be going back for more on our next trip! Unless I actually make some at home…

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