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Dining in Disneyland: DCA’s New Eats — Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta

Disneyland food guru (and our Dining in Disneyland columnist), Heather Sievers, fit a visit to the brand new Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta at Disney California Adventure into a packed weekend! Check out her review!

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta Entrance

Last Friday, three new establishments opened up at Disney California Adventure and, honestly, I didn’t think I was going to be able to check them out until August. Why am I gone for a month you ask?  Well, as you read this, my family and I are on our way to Barcelona to board the Disney Magic for an amazing Mediterranean cruise (yes, you will hear much more about this at a later date!).

The new eateries are located in the Paradise Pier section of DCA and include Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, Paradise Garden Grill, & a beer vendor called Bayside Brews (Editor’s Note: A first look at Bayside Brews is coming up later today).

Anyhow, in between packing and preparing, I just HAD to squeeze in a trip over to DCA to check out the new food.  Unfortunately, I was only able to eat at Pizza Omm Mow Mow’s replacement: Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

Atmosphere

When we first walked up, I noticed immediately how amazing the new dining area was.  Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta is right next door to the Paradise Garden Grill (formerly known as Burger Invasion, aka McDonald’s).  So, the enormous seating area is shared by these two establishments.

First View Upon Entrance

We loved the openness of the area and also appreciated that there were options for covered and non-covered seating.  Even better?  The covered area had cooling fans lining the ceiling!  Since there is no indoor seating, outdoor options make for a very pleasant meal.

Open Air Seating

Covered Seating Area with Ceiling Fans

Menus and Ordering Process

When we entered Boardwalk, it was completely empty. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, no lines at all.  We noticed that the counter service restaurant was divided into three main areas: a pizza flatbread station in the center, a pasta station to the left, and a salad station to the right.  There is also a specific area to pick up kids’ meals right next to the pasta station.

Flat Bread Pizza Menu

Pasta Station

Salad Station

We knew that we were taking one for the team, so we loaded up on a little bit of everything to share with our fabulous Disney Food Blog readers.  The way this joint works is that the chefs prepare a little bit of everything and you simply walk up and take what you’d like.

The only downside to this is heat lamps.  But I did notice that they only put a few dishes out at a time and refreshed them quite often.

We started at the Pasta section and grabbed a 5 Cheese Ravioli with pesto sauce and toasted pine nuts and an order of Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, which consisted of campanelle pasta lightly tossed with sun dried tomato cream sauce.

Five Cheese Ravioli: A Great Vegetarian Option

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta & Spaghetti with Meatballs

Next we headed over to the flat bread area, where we chose to sample the BBQ Chicken Flat Bread.

Cheese Flat Bread Pizza

Portabello Mushroom & Spinach Flat Bread Pizza

Pepperoni Flat Bread Pizza

BBQ Chicken Flat Bread Pizza

I am really bummed I didn’t get to try the salads; they looked delicious and I’m always looking for a good salad option to add to my list of go to meals.

There were three different entree salads to choose from: the Chicken Caesar, an Italian Chef Salad, and the Boardwalk Field of Greens.  Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the Chicken Caesar; there were none out on the counter.  Small side salads were also available from the refrigerated case.

Italian Chef Salad

Boardwalk Field Greens Salad

Side Salad

Once we figured out the “grown up” meals, we headed to the Children’s Meal pick up area. There were three items for children ages 3-9 and one option for toddlers ages 3 and under.  I don’t really think they regulate the age requirements though, I’m pretty sure anyone could have grabbed a meal from the area without being carded… .

The toddler option was Cheesy Macaroni; it actually looked pretty tasty. One of the child options was cheese pizza, which is made to order. If we’d have known this we would have taken care of the kids first, as it took 5 minutes. (This means our food sat for 5 minutes.  Next time, kids first.)

There was also Little Bell Pasta with alfredo sauce (basically kid friendly fettuccine) and Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs.  Each children’s meal includes a drink, carrots, and a pack of sliced apples or applesauce, which you must pick up on your way out.

Children's Meal Station

Children's Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

Children's Little Bell Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

Drink & Side Options for Children's Meals

As far as drinks go, there is the typical soda fountain area.  Water, juice, milk & chocolate milk are also available.  There is also a Beer Station where you can purchase Bud Light or Peroni, an Italian Beer.

Unfortunately my Beer Station Photo is very blurry, sorry, but I thought you still might like to enjoy the cute cast member showing off her station.

Soda Fountain

Beer Station

Of course, we couldn’t pass up the desserts.  There were three items to choose from; an Espresso Brownie, Limoncello Cheesecake, and Fruit Pizza which is made fresh to order.  We ordered a fruit pizza and grabbed a Limoncello Cheesecake to try.

Espresso Brownie

Limoncello Cheesecake

Fruit Pizza

The fruit pizza is available to order at the Pizza station and the brownie and cheesecake can be found upon checkout.

At this point our acquired food was becoming ridiculous, so we headed to the check out kiosk and made sure to use our annual pass for a discount.

Dessert Case

Check Out Area

Eats

Now that we had multiple trays of food in our possession, we headed out and found a lovely table in the covered seating area under the fans.

My oldest son, who will be 10 in August, is on his last year of kids’ meals.  He ordered the kids “pizza,” and it was pretty tiny for him.  I actually think that the Cheese Flat Bread Pizza would have been a better option, but he’s still hanging on to those kids’ meals.  He did enjoy it, but to me it looked like nothing special.

Kid's Cheese Pizza Meal

My youngest had the Spaghetti with Meatballs, but with no sauce.  I didn’t even bother to photograph that, it looked so unappetizing.  However, he ate every bite, and I appreciate the fact that the Disney Chefs here will make the meal to your child’s liking.  So no complaints in this department.

My husband and I shared three meals.  The BBQ Chicken Flatbread was really good; I love thin crust pizza and the flavor of the sauce was a perfectly sweetened BBQ flavor that went well with the applewood smoked bacon, smoked gouda, mozzarella, onions, chicken and cilantro it was topped with.  We finished the whole pizza.

BBQ Chicken Flat Bread Pizza Close Up

Next we moved on to the Five Cheese Ravioli with pesto and toasted pine nuts.  This was actually my favorite dish.  It was light tasting, the pesto was not at all overwhelming and the texture of the raviolis was about perfect.  It would have been perfection if we had ordered the children’s pizza first and not stood around letting it get cold.  This dish is fully vegetarian (I asked) so it’s a great option for you non-meat-eaters!

Five Cheese Ravioli Close Up

Lastly, we gave the Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta a whirl.  I was most excited about this dish, as I am a huge sun dried tomato fan.  The dish looked really delicious upon first sight, but unfortunately it was my least favorite.

The pasta was cooked to perfection, but the sauce was really spicy and I am not a spice fan.  After a few bites my tongue was on fire and I handed it over to my husband in exchange for the rest of the raviolis!  The chicken in the pasta was really good, but I did not enjoy the sauce.  If you enjoy spicy sauces, you may love this; it just wasn’t for me.

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Close Up

Now, on to the desserts.  My absolute favorite item at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta was the fruit pizza.  It’s a sweet dough, almost like a danish type of flavor, with sugar crystals on the “crust.”  It is then topped with sweet creamy custard and fresh fruit before it runs through a mini oven on a conveyor belt.

The fruity goodness comes out warm and tastes amazing.  Ours was topped with kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, apples, apricots, raspberries, and blackberries.  Bits of pistachio are sprinkled on top as well.  So delish!

Fruit Pizza Close Up

My husband and I both agreed that the Limoncello Cheesecake tasted a bit too “Pledge-like.”  Not that I taste cleaning supplies, but the smell and taste made me feel like I should be dusting furniture.  The cheesecake looked beautiful and the texture was nice, but the lemon flavor was very overpowering and unnatural tasting.  What a disappointment.  Next time, we’ll try the Espresso Brownie…

Limoncello Cheesecake Close Up

Overall

Overall we did really enjoy Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. I love the fact that the sauces and pastas are cooked in-house and are very fresh when you order them.  I actually witnessed the chef working on some sauces as well as boiling the pasta in giant vats.

Pasta Sauce Vats

Pasta Boiling Area

I did find it hilarious that there was a “fake” pizza oven at the Pizza Station that was actually a conveyor belt coming out from the kitchen — pretty clever.  The pizza chefs were back there sending out the fresh pizzas.  It was also nice to see that the chefs were willing to customize any meal that needed a little personal tweaking.

Pizza Oven... I Mean Conveyor Belt to the Kitchen

We will definitely be back to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, but not until after we try out the other new restaurant at Disney California Adventure — Paradise Garden Grill.  Baklava? Yes please!

Paradise Garden Grill Menu Board

Paradise Garden Grill Menu Board #2

Stay tuned for that review! Also, Bayside Brews coming up later today!

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9 Comments

  1. Alan says:

    This looks like a nice moderately priced place to grab a meal. As usual with Disney it has a very nice look and ambiance.

    I wonder if this is one of the types of restaurants we will be seeing when the Hyperion Wharf is finished at WDW?

  2. Shayne says:

    I’m so bummed we missed the opening of these new dining spots by just a few weeks! The menu at Paradise Garden Grill looks great, so I can’t wait for your review.

    The flatbreads looked yummy, as did both of your pasta dishes. We like spicy, so I may have to give the chicken and sun-dried tomato pasta a whirl! It’s also good to know that the chefs can tweak things to your liking, as some of my family have been known to be a bit on the “selective” side. ;)

  3. Savorique says:

    Glad to see rather healthy meal options. The fruit pizza is a neat idea to lure kids into eating fruits.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I will definitely be trying that fruit pizza when I am out there in September!

  5. Janet says:

    We’ve tried several things at both Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and the Paradise Garden Grill. All of us who tried it determined that the Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta was too peppery. That was the explanation that came out of everyone’s mouth.

    I tried the Barbecue Chicken Flatbread & had hesitations as I don’t particularly like cheese & it’s hard to find pizza that doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of cheese. This fit the bill as it had many other flavors & I would order it again. Now that I know I can special order if I need to, I might have them leave off the mozarella & keep the smoked gouda, or leave off both, if I really don’t want cheese that day. (No allergy – just don’t like cheese).

    Friends had the Spaghetti with Meatballs and said it was ok. On our next visit, I tried the pasta from the Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with the pomadora (?) sauce & meatballs. That was so much better. The pasta seemed to work well with the meatballs once I chopped them up & the sauce was a hit. Our friends might do that when they want something other then spaghetti again & don’t want the chicken or the spicy sauce.

    As for the Paradise Garden Grill, my husband had the grilled steak. It tasted wonderful, so tender. He had the sauce on the side, as he didn’t know if he would like it. He also said that it seemed to be dumped in large quantities on the skewer, so that if you didn’t like it, you were in trouble. (Hint: For any sauce that is put on after the meal is cooked, always ask for it on the side, unless you know you’ll like it).

    The baklava is interesting. It reminds me of a egg roll or children’s burrito. It was about 3 1/2 or 4 inches long & about 1 & 1/2 inches across – open on both ends & round. The filling was all in the center. It reminded me as if they laid out flaky pastry, then poured on the filling & rolled it up to form a round tube, cutting portions after it was baked. It was so good, but not your ordinary triangles of layers of filling & pastry.

  6. Madoka says:

    I can’t wait to try out the new Paradise Pier restaurants. We will be there on Saturday! :D DH and I are spicy food fans, so we will be trying the Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta and Pesto Raviolis. Of course, the steak and beef kafta skewers need to be had from the Garden Grill as well, and possibly the chicken. I heard that you can get multiple sauces on the side to try so we will probably do that for try all the sauces.

    I do wish that they sold the skewers a la carte in addition to the plated option like at the Bengal BBQ.

  7. Keith - SuPeR K! says:

    The food at Paradise Garden Grill is amazing. The skewers are great! They come with a pita and rice and a delicious cucumber salad. It’s a perfect portion and the taste is spectacular. I recommend the Grilled Steak or Lemon-Oregano Chicken with the Tandoori-Spiced Yogurt or the Tzatziki Sauce.

  8. carolyn says:

    So nice to see a nice QS place in DCA that I actually want to go to. I wasn’t a fan of Burger Invasion or Pizza Om Mow Wow (sp?) so am floored there’s new dining options. Since I love pesto and love cheese raviolis, I know what I’ll be ordering! The fruit pizza looks really interesting!! I’m weird about my fruit so not sure if I’ll try it, but it does look fun.

  9. Lenore says:

    Those ravioli look SO good.

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