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Dining in Disneyland: Paradise Garden Grill

Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers checks out one of Disneyland’s newest additions!

After a few months of being open, my family and I finally made it over to check out the Paradise Garden Grill at California Adventure.  I’d actually been hearing pretty good things about the food there, and I’m excited to say that the things I’ve heard are true!

Atmosphere

Nestled in between Goofy’s Sky School and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, the Paradise Garden Grill is a small counter service restaurant featuring Mediterranean eats.  This place seems to be a hidden gem.  I’ve never once seen a crowd lined up to order, but the folks I’ve talked to that have eaten there rave about it (except for the baklava, we’ll get to that later).

"Teaser" Sign Upon Entrance to the Paradise Pier Dining Area

The outdoor seating at Paradise Garden Grill is shared with Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, so there are tables aplenty.  We’ve never had a problem finding a nice spot to sit in this area, even on a crowded Friday night like this one.

Paradise Garden Grill

Outdoor Seating near Paradise Garden Grill

Eats

The menu at Paradise Garden Grill is simple 2 step process: step right up to the ordering kiosk, choose your meat (or veggies), then choose your sauce.

Menu Board

Skewer options include Grilled Steak, Lemon-Oregano Chicken, Beef Kefta (spiced ground beef), or Vegetable & Tofu.  Next you choose your sauce; there are four options for this as well.  The first option is Moroccan Chili, which is a spicy sauce with tomato, Harissa chili, and garlic.  Next up is the Chimichurri; a blend of fresh herbs, citrus, garlic & olive oil.  There is also a Tandoori Spiced Yogurt that is mixed with turmeric, coriander, and other spices.  And your fourth option, Tzatziki is Greek yogurt blended with cucumber, garlic, and lemon juice.

All skewer platters come with rice pilaf, cucumber salad, and pita bread.  In addition to the skewers, there is also a Greek Salad on the menu.

Ordering Kiosks

Since this was our maiden meal here at the Paradise Garden Grill, we ordered a few items to share.  I went for the chicken with Chimichurri sauce. Everything about this dish was perfect.  The chicken was moist and flavorful and the sauce was tasty but not overpowering.  The pita was served fresh and warm, a perfect accompaniment to the chicken.  The cucumber salad was also quite nice; cool, crisp and flavorful.  As far as the rice goes, I, like my children, am not a huge fan.  I did taste it though, and it was actually pretty good.

Chicken Skewer Platter with Chimichurri Sauce

My husband went with the Grilled Steak Skewer topped with the Moroccan Chili Sauce.  The sauce had a bit of a kick, but wasn’t at all too spicy.  He enjoyed the rice pilaf but wasn’t too fond of the cucumber salad.  So, we were a table somewhat divided on our tastes…

Steak Skewer Platter with Moroccan Chili Sauce

We did both agree on the Greek Salad though; it was delicious.  Fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, feta, red onions, marinated olives, and pepperoncini tossed with lemon-oregano dressing and served with pita bread.  I absolutely love a good Disney salad and have added this to the top of my “list.”

Greek Salad

The kids’ menu offers 2 items: a chicken grilled chicken skewer and a beef kebob (and by kebob, they mean giant beef lollipop).

Dessert, Kid's, & Beverage Menu

Both of my boys ordered the beef kebob, and although I wasn’t too sure they’d enjoy it, both of them were pretty jazzed when a giant meat ball was presented to them on a stick.

Beef Kebob Kid's Meal

Beef Lollipop!

The kids’ meal was served with marinara sauce for dipping, rice, and a package of sliced apples. My kids are not rice fans, so that pretty much went to waste.  The kids’ meal also comes with a drink of choice (milk, chocolate milk, juice, water or soda). My boys ALWAYS choose the chocolate milk!

Now, remember up top when I discussed the baklava let-down? Well, ever since a cast member from the Corn Dog Castle was talking it up to me, like, 6 months ago, I’d been waiting to try it.

I’ve never seen baklava anywhere at the Disneyland Resort, and I really enjoy myself some baklava.  However on this night, the Paradise Garden Grill was out of baklava! Say what!?!

So, we opted for the Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Skewer.  Although I would have loved to try the baklava, the Skewer was a huge hit with the family.  Chewy chocolate brownie cubes skewered with fresh strawberries drizzled with caramel and topped with mini marshmallows.  Pretty yummy.

Chocolate Brownie & Strawberry Skewer

Overall

Overall, I was very impressed with the food at Paradise Garden Grill.  I love that it is a tasty AND healthy alternative, and I also love the fact that it is very different from any of the food I’ve ever had at the Disneyland Resort.

The flavors were unique, and although it was a walk up counter service meal, it really felt more like a table service experience.  The fresh pita bread was so tasty and the Greek Salad is one of my new favorite dishes.

Unfortunately, though, I have noticed that there is never a crowd at the Paradise Garden Grill.  This makes me wonder how long it will last. Because it’s not your “typical” theme park meal (no chicken strips, burgers, or fries here…) it may not fly with guests.

I do hope that word gets out on this hidden gem, it’s a nice “healthier” choice, the ambiance of the seating area is relaxing, and no one in my family complained during the entire meal.  To me this makes for a win, win, win dinner situation.

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8 Comments

  1. Danny says:

    I was not impressed by the baklava when I ate there. It tasted OK, but the texture seemed off. It wasn’t flaky. I think the problem was they were kept refrigerated. Besides that I thought the food was good, but a bit too pricey for the portion. All 3 of us were still hungry after our meal. They should offer the skewers ala carte for those wanting a bigger portion.

  2. Pudge the Fish says:

    I loved the whole Garden Grill/Boardwalk Pizza area when I visited DCA a couple months ago. The food was above par compared to other quick service locations. Plus the atmosphere of the dining courtyard and the live music was great. My concern is that this area of the park will get lost in the shuffle when the highly anticipated Cars Land dining areas open next summer. There’s no major attraction to pull people back to that part of Paradise Pier. I hope that Disney doesn’t give up on this dining location.

  3. Savorique says:

    Loving the meatball lollipop! Looks like the chicken meals are served on plastic plates, which is just plain wrong, such a turn off.

  4. Madoka says:

    I love the Paradise Garden Grill. The meat skewers we tried were all juicy and flavorful. I also really enjoyed the cucumber salad and warm pita. Even the rice, which I’m not normally that fond of, had nice flavor and wasn’t bland or overcooked. In terms of the taste and quality, I feel the selections at the Paradise Garden Grill are superior to the offerings at the neighboring Boardwalk Pasta & Pizza. Flatbread pizzas and mediocre pasta? Been there done that. I hope guests will come to discover and love the mediterranean flavors at the Paradise Garden Grill. And here’s a tip: you can ask for *all 4* sauces on the side with your skewer so you can try them all!

  5. AJ says:

    Danny — I had the baklava, too, and I wasn’t all that impressed. It practically fell apart!

    Pudge — I agree. I think this is a great new spot, but I fear folks won’t get past the pizza and pasta next door to try the Mediterranean goodies!

    Savorique — Agreed on the meatball lollipop! Perfect for kiddos.

    Madoka — Love the 4 sauces tip!!!

  6. Heather Sievers says:

    @Danny – I heard the same about the baklava from a few people.

    @Madoka – Totally doing the “sauce sampler” next time, thanks for the tip!

  7. SpectroMan says:

    I haven’t tried it yet, but the menu is very appealing to me; however the pricing is NOT. 11 dollars for that tiny plate? They’re being ridiculous. They really should have started at 9.49 (already inflated from the 8.99 mark of yesteryear) and gradually inflated to 10.95 IF, and only if, sales dictated that it was popular enough.

    Instead, it’ll be closed soon and only opened seasonally “per guest demand”, making the whole area a wasted space even moreso than when it was Burger Invasion.

  8. Bonnie says:

    I had the chicken skewer with chimichurri sauce as well and found it to be pretty much as you described. Moist chicken, sauce was nice, like you said…not over powering at all. I did not care for the rice however. It had an odd taste to it that I didn’t like. The pita bread was very good-soft, warm and fresh. My son had the kids chicken skewers. That comes with 3 chicken breast kebobs, rice and tzatkini sauce. Unlike my chicken, this chicken was dry as a bone and very bland, no seasoning. The yogurt wasn’t good either. We make this at home so I thought he would like it. Whatever they did to it, it didn’t taste right. All in all, I would eat there again but would head next door for the flatbread pizza for the kiddo.

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