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A Vegetarian in Disney: Oscar’s Potatoes Recipe

Disney World Moms Panelist Kathie F. brought us some great insights into dining vegetarian in Disney World, and today she’s walking us through a favorite vegetarian recipe from Carnation Cafe in Disneyland! Stay tuned to see more tips, tricks, and recipes from Kathie about going Vegetarian in Disney!

Oscar's Choice: The Cafe Scramble

Being a Disney geek, I naturally follow the official Disney Parks Blog. Imagine my delight when one of this past week’s posts combined some of my favorite things: Disney & Food. And, not just anything to do with food, but a vegetarian recipe that I could make at home to give me a little “Disney Fix” in the middle of a cold and snowy winter!

The post I’m referring to was for “Oscar’s Potatoes” by a favorite Disney foodie of mine: Pam Brandon. Not only did I have the extreme good fortune to meet Pam at a 2010 food blogging event at Disney World, but I look at some of her Disney cookbooks nearly every day! Both “Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs” and “Delicious Disney Desserts” are coffee table books in our house.

Oscar’s story is touching: 54 years in food at Disneyland starting at popcorn and ice cream wagons before moving on to restaurants, then 43 years of cooking at Disneyland’s Carnation Cafe. That’s a long career, one that shows his love of food, pleasing customers and exemplifying everything a Disney Cast Member should be. While I haven’t been fortunate enough to visit Disneyland yet – I will absolutely put visiting the Carnation Cafe and seeking out Chef Oscar as a top priority!

Now, on to the cooking!

The recipe itself is actually pretty simple: potatoes, onions, butter, salt & pepper. But, don’t be fooled. Simple Ingredients + Simple Preparation ≠ Simple Taste.

The first step in my experiment with Oscar & Pam was to thinly slice 1 large white onion and saute it with 2 tablespoons of butter. After they’re translucent, set them aside.

After slicing two pounds of red potatoes, I sauteed them in 2 tablespoons of butter. Then I topped with some salt and freshly ground pepper.

When the potatoes are nicely browned (and the house is smelling pretty yummy), toss the onions and potatoes together and place in an oven proof pan.

Top with foil and add some small slits for ventilation. And then: Into the 400 degree oven it goes!

A long time later… ok, 45 minutes later – but trust me, the air will be smelling so wonderful at this point, it’ll seem longer… it’ll be time to take a peek under that foil. Wow! Take a look at those brown potatoes and the bubbling butter!

The Verdict:

Four thumbs up! While Oscar serves these for breakfast, I opted to pair these with dinner: burgers (veggie & regular). Everyone from tween to adult loved these. First helpings were gone in a flash, and we had to divide up the remainder so each of us could have a second helping! The best, most tasty bits were the bits found on the bottom- those potatoes were golden, buttery and crunchy.

I’m sure this recipe will be going into rotation (dinner AND breakfast), although, unless its for a special meal, I’ll probably be cutting down on the butter. Next time, I’ll try just half of the amount recommended and I’ll substitute just a bit of olive oil instead.

If there had been any leftovers, I would have tried to make the full Oscar’s Choice. Guess I’ll just have to whip up another batch soon – for breakfast!

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11 Comments

  1. Carolyn says:

    Carnation Cafe is my favorite place to eat breakfast at DL. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Oscar a few times as well. He’s so friendly and does love his customers. He did mention he was retiring but glad to see he’s still there! :-)

    The potatoes sound delicious. My tummy actually growled when I read the recipe – I can imagine how yummy it smells, too.

  2. Alan says:

    Nice recipe. I like the idea of mixing in some olive oil with the butter. I would try it this way and then maybe kick it up by using some fresh fennel sauteed with the onions. Maybe also try some dried herbs like thyme or even a little jerk spice too.

  3. AJ says:

    Carolyn — I do love Carnation Cafe! I hope I get to see Oscar before he retires…

    Alan — The fennel sounds like a great add!

  4. Daniel says:

    As good as that looks, i can’t help but get the Cafe Cinnamon Roll French Toast every time. It’s becoming a tradition (sorry Osc!)

  5. AJ says:

    D — Me too. I’m a sucka for the cream cheese frosting.

  6. Abigail says:

    I love Oscar!! I worked in Main Street Foods for a year and a half and Oscar was the sweetest guy, and he’s been saying for YEARS that he’s going to retire. He had a hug for me everytime I saw him and he wasn’t too busy.
    I’m looking forward to making these potatoes! I had no interest in cooking at the age I was then, so I’m glad to get this recipe here!

  7. AJ says:

    Glad to hear it Abigail!

  8. Vicki says:

    My husband and I were fortunate enough to meet Oscar the last time we were at Disneyland. We told him how much we liked the breakfast potatoes and he had us write down the recipe on a napkin. We lost the napkin somewhere, so I am glad to find this recipe. Oscar was such a delight! I hope we get back to Disneyland before he retires! He really loves his job, so I hope he is there for a long time to come! For me and my family, we can not think of Disneyland without thinking of Oscar.

  9. When my family takes a trip to Disneyland we must include a breakfast with Oscar.Its part of our routine that we look forward too.We love Oscar and he always has a cheerful smile when he greets us.He loves to mingle with the customers.The servers are nice and quick to take our orders.If you haven’t tried the lunch menu by all means there’s some terrific dishes such as my favorite the meatloaf sandwich. IT’S SOOOO GOOD!! I suggest that you share it with someone.It’s really filling and to big to eat by yourself.I suggest that you also make dining at the Carnation Cafe with Oscar a Disney tradition .You’ll LOVE it as we do!!!!!

  10. Sandra says:

    I had the honor and priviledge of spending some time with Chef Oscar this past October. He is often seen visiting the diners at the Carnation Cafe. A very nice man indeed. If you ever have the opportunity stop by and ask to see him and try “Oscar’s Special” while you’re there!

  11. AJ says:

    Vicki, Irene, and Sandra — Thank you for your memories and experiences! We love Oscar, too :-)

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