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Review: Fairfax Fare and the Macaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil (and Bacon) Hot Dog

Another fun review of a new (to me) item in the parks that’s a little over the top!! Remember when we told you about the Gourmet Hot Dogs that are now being served at Hollywood Studios’ Fairfax Fare?

I finally got my chance to give one a try! Knowing I had a Mama Melrose reservation in just a couple of hours, I headed over to Fairfax Fare just in time to hit smack dab in the middle of Spring Break lunch crowds! Woo! Anyway; here’s the sordid tale…

Atmosphere

With a primo location in the shadow of Tower of Terror, the open air market vibe of Fairfax Fare makes it a terrific place to grab a bite while you’re waiting for your FastPass time or the next street show along Hollywood Boulevard.

Fairfax Fare Sign

However, if you’re visiting during a busy season be ready for the crazy that is the crowdiness of Dinney Whirl. Seriously; I waited for at least 20-30 minutes in these lines. Off the charts.

Fairfax Fare Spring Break Crowds

Once you grab your snacks here, head over to the condiment bars to the left of the building, then snack yourself a table somewhere in the sea of seats in Sunset Ranch Market.

Condiments

Selection of Condiments

Condiment Choices

Eats

So, just to re-cap, there have been a LOT of these “gourmet” hot dogs popping up in the parks over the past year or so. Casey’s Corner and Lunching Pad in the Magic Kingdom for example. And now we have these lovely additions.

Once I made it through the crazy, I quickly spotted the treats I was after on the huge menu board. But there was no choice here…I knew which dog I was getting!

Gourmet Dogs - click image for larger version

But for non-hot dog, non-mac and cheese, non-truffle oil, and non-bacon fans, Fairfax Fare continues to feature smoked and barbecued specialties, like the chicken and spareribs, the barbecue sandwich, and smoked turkey legs. (Interestingly, Toluca Legs Turkey Company was shut down on my visit and the legs were only available here.)

Slightly lighter fare comes in the form of the Fairfax Salad, which sounds a little like a taco salad to me. And of course, a small selection of kid-friendly options.

Menu - click image for larger version

But…I was here for the hot dog! Since my love for mac and cheese is well known, I’m sure you aren’t surprised.

And mac and cheese that has that amazingly awesome, impossibly neon yellow color of plastic cheese? Sign me up!

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog Meal

And the whole thing is topped with bacon bits. Just when you didn’t think it could get any better.

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog Close-Up

Now, I’ll admit that I was ready to NOT like this hot dog. It just seemed too over-the-top even for me.

But, we all know how I felt about the Picnic Burger at Sci-Fi Dine-In, so it makes sense that I would love this, too, eh?

The creamy mac and cheese with the salty, snappy hot dog? It just worked. And even though the mac and cheese wasn’t a sharp flavor, the creaminess and texture really added to the dish overall.

Now, for those who are concerned about the bun, this one was fine — perfectly pliable, soft, and fresh, without being the least bit dry or crumbly.

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog Cross-Section

One flavor I didn’t taste strongly, though, was the truffle oil. I’d heard conflicting reports about this and wondered if it would be a distraction, but I didn’t really taste it at all, sadly.

And once I realized that I understood the flavor of the dog minus condiments…I broke out the ketchup. Yes; yes I did. And, I’ll be honest…it tasted even better.

Mac and Cheese Dog with Ketchup

Overall

I had heard some negative comments about the Macaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil hot dog, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. But overall, it was surprisingly good!

Again — the truffle oil wasn’t a huge flavor in my experience, so don’t worry about this aspect if you aren’t a big fan of mushroom or earthy flavors. The bacon was a terrific addition, enhancing the overall flavor, rather than dominating it.

I have to say…I definitely recommend giving these more interesting hot dogs a try!

Have you had the gourmet hot dogs at Fairfax Fare? Which one do you want to try the most?

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16 Comments

  1. Donald says:

    I also tried this hot dog for the first time on my most recent trip – I loved it! On mine, I could taste and smell the truffle oil, and I loved the flavors overall. The whole thing is just a strange idea that really, really worked for me.

  2. V says:

    I also tried this hot dog and wrote my review here.

    http://noprivacyatallaroundthisplace.blogspot.com/2012/03/nearly-wordless-wednesday-blog-hop_20.html

    I think I got more truffle oil than you did and wasn’t a fan. I also found it REALLY hard (and very messy) to eat. Can’t wait to try the other gourmet hotdogs at Fairfax Fare though!

  3. There is no bigger fan of plastic cheese than AJ. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  4. Kelly says:

    I’m really excited about trying this too. Growing up, my mom made homemade mac ‘n cheese with slices of hot dogs mixed in once in awhile, and I always loved that. This sounds so good!

    The Philly Steak hot dog at MK is my other must-try dog on this coming trip. Especially since they took away the actual Philly Steak sandwich at Cosmic Ray’s, which I think was the only CS one in the parks.

  5. Jim Rawlings says:

    I tried the BBQ/Cole Slaw dog. The slaw was good, the BBQ was too sweet (neede some heat to balance it), but the main problem is they are terrible cheap hot dogs. You can’t cover up that fact, so we’ll be eating elsewhere while at Studios. Unless, we get ribs which looked great for the people we shared a table with. But recapping, if you really like hot dogs, be prepared to be very disappointed, regardless of the toppings!

  6. Sherri Erwin says:

    Truffle oil is not without some controversy, as it rarely contains truffles and can really taste off if you are a fan of truffles, depending on the oil used. So, probably a good thing it was not outstanding on your dog. Though, in V’s case, it was and I think we can see why truffle oil is not always a good idea. I had the Chicago dog at Casey’s and it was good but such a mess to eat. I had to sit down and scoop some of the toppings off in order to eat it, just way too much stuff on it– but all tasty. I wouldn’t say they are terribly cheap hot dogs, but WDW has gone from using all beef dogs to a meat mix with chicken to make them a slightly healthier choice, I think, from what I’ve heard, as AJ has probably reported in the past.

  7. Mark D. says:

    I really wanted to try this on our trip last month but traveling with 10 people really hampers your ability to travel from one side of the park to the other just for a hot dog. Maybe next time. Thanks for the review.

  8. Bill White says:

    This item is mighty tempting to me as it combines 3 of my essential food groups (hot dogs, bacon, and cheese), but based on your review, I think I may stick with the Turkey Leg if I am in this area at mealtime. Oh man, now I am thinking of Disney Turkey legs, and my mouth is watering!

    A.J. have YOU had a leg of turkey goodness yet?

  9. marcellina says:

    I heard you mention this on the podcast and couldn’t wait for you to post about it on the blog so I could leave my comments! (I’ve been missing over here on your blog lately too.. not that you’ve noticed I’m sure! lol)…

    anyway.. I have to quote you here: “And even though the mac and cheese wasn’t a sharp flavor, the creaminess and texture really added to the dish overall.”

    I agree.. I didn’t think the mac and cheese was sharp enough for me. In fact, it was a very bland cheese flavor… I was disappointed….. not to mention I also agree with you on the fact that there was hardly any (I almost want to say no) truffle flavor. To be completely honest, this just tasted like a hot dog with bland, chewy macaroni on top of it. I was very sad at the taste of this dog. I was expecting bold flavors.. lots of cheese and truffle oil.. but alas, there was none. The bacon couldn’t even save it… honestly, I don’t even remember if there was bacon on there or not. How can Disney take the flavor out of BACON I ask you?!? lol.

    I will never buy this hot dog again (and I am a huge mac and cheese fan). :(

  10. marcellina says:

    that should be “the mac and cheese WASN’T sharp enough for me”.

  11. Alan says:

    Hot dogs can be made to so many regional tastes that reviewing or rating them is like opening a can of worms. Maybe a better way of saying that is we all usually love the taste and condiments of the dogs we grew up on. To me the roll (bun) in AJ’s pics seem a little too big for that hot dog. But my wife mixes cooked onions and cheese on the ones we make at home, so Mac and cheese makes sense. The bacon is probably used to give a little crunch and saltiness to the taste. Maybe a little spicy mustard would kick the whole thing up.

    Beware the truffle oil- it can ruin more dishes than it can help.

  12. Holly says:

    Tried this in December and loved every bite of it! About the truffle oil, I saw the Cast Member spritz it on there with a spray bottle, so I’m sure it depends on the Cast Member assembling it (and it looked like she was a regular CM, not a culinary), and I’m sure if you were curious about the hot dog but didn’t want the truffle oil it would be easy to ask for the hot dog without it. :) The amount I got was perfect, though!

    Definitely something I’ll be back to eat (but I want to try the others, too)!

  13. Pudge the Fish says:

    I really wanted to try one of these last weekend but I just couldn’t bring myself to order one. I just felt that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Looking back now, I don’t feel that I missed out on anything.

    Ketchup on mac and cheese AJ?! I no longer need to sulk in shame when people look down their nose at me as I “jazz up” my Kraft mac ‘n cheese. Sometimes you just can’t outgrow childhood habits. :)

  14. Kelly says:

    When did Disney switch over to a “hybrid” hot dog, anyone know?

    I had a couple last May, and they were fine. Not as good as they were years ago though. I hope the change was before then. so I know what to expect.

  15. Leslie says:

    I went in September (light crowds) and this was on my must do list. I purposely waited until about 2:30 to avoid the lunch rush. At first, they said they were out of hot dogs. Then, they somehow had just one more, but when my order came out (10 minutes later) it was the bbq hot dog. I told the cashier that this was not what I ordered and she rather rudely insisted that I was wrong. Needless to say I wasn’t too happy. Hopefully there will be better service on the next trip – of course this is not the kind of treatment I expect from Disney, so I’m hoping this woman has either become nicer or no longer works there.

  16. Hazel says:

    I didn’t really like this and I really wanted to! I felt the Truffle Oil was wayy distracting. I’ll probably try it with ketchup next time.

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