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First Look! Food Photos and Tasting Review From Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land

Today I had the pleasure of walking behind the closed off walls of Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. This brand new land in the Disneyland Resort has been under construction for years, and I couldn’t believe I was actually going to get a sneak peek…and even get to sample some of the brand new menu items that will be served there and on Buena Vista Street when they open next month! 

Standing under the mountains of Ornament Valley with the Radiator Springs Racers whizzing by, I had to take a deep breath.  Goosebumps on my arms, tears in my eyes. What in the world was happening to me? I’ve watched the progress of Cars Land from day one, and now, it’s nearly done.

Flo's V-8 Cafe Under Construction in Cars Land

Just weeks away from the June 15th grand opening and there I stood, inside getting a sneak peek!  The only way for me to describe Cars Land is simple and true. You are IN Radiator Springs. You have stepped into Cars. 

After telling myself to get it together and wishing I could take a photo, I followed the other attendees into Flo’s V8 Cafe for a sampling of the menu!

Menu and Backstory of Flo's V-8 Cafe

Because Flo’s is not 100% complete, photos were not allowed, the pictures you see here were from a “preview” room that we were taken to beforehand. 

Atmosphere

I’ll do my best to describe to you in detail the atmosphere of Flo’s. Flo’s is a counter service restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Upon entering, be sure to look up. There is a giant light fixture made of shiny tail pipes

Flo’s caters to the growing number of Route 66 visitors and race fans coming to Radiator Springs, with a “showroom” dining area that overlooks the Radiator Springs Racers attraction. The cafe also is home to Flo’s personal memorabilia, collected during her glamorous career as a singer with the Motorama Girls.

The service area includes several walk-up kiosks (or food pods) divided by road barrier type blockades to keep you in your line. The main color of the cafe is turquoise. There is a giant juke box fixture at the counter.  Two main dining rooms make up the cafe, and there is both indoor (booths & tables) and outdoor seating.

Best of all? You can’t beat the view from the dining rooms. One side features a perfect view of Sally’s Cozy Cones and the other — a breathtaking view of Ornament Valley.

Flo's V8 Cafe

I was blown away by the research and planning that went into the making of Cars Land.  Michele Gendreau, Disney Director of Food and Beverage, told us that she took a 3 day, 17 stop trip on Route 66 to get inspiration for Cars Land menu items

One of the most memorable spots, the Midpoint Cafe in Midpoint, Texas, played a huge role in the development of Flo’s.

Midpoint Cafe: The Inspiration for Flo's

Eats

Noting the popularity of the “rotisserie” in the 1950′s, Michele shared with us that one of the goals at Flo’s was to contemporize classic rotisserie comfort food dishes.  Examples of this are the rotisserie Pork Loin and the Citrus Turkey and the NY Strip Loin.

The Citrus Turkey was amazing. Moist and flavorful, served atop mashed potatoes with roasted vegetables and a brioche bun.  Talk about comfort food!  The sampling I had included the turkey, potatoes, and the brioche bun.  All three items were fabulous.

Citrus Turkey Plate

Next up was the Coca-Cola BBQ Pork Loin. This dish was was another home run in the comfort food game. 

Again, the meat was tender, juicy and flavorful.  But what really makes this dish is the BBQ sauce — Coca Cola BBQ sauce! Sweet and tangy, this dish is served open face atop Texas Toast. 

We were given a small sampling of the meat with coleslaw, one of the optional sides. The coleslaw was delightful.  Not too full of mayo, and just enough flavor without being overwhelmed by vinegar.

Coca-Cola BBQ Pork Loin Plate with Texas Toast

The NY Strip Loin was not on our “sample” platter, but it does look tasty!  Pictured below, you can see it’s smothered in gravy with a side of coleslaw, “Radiatore” Pasta Salad & a brioche roll. I’m sure the steak lover in you will rejoice when you order this Spit-fire Rotisserie Classic.

Something I was very excited to learn about and try were the vegetarian options here at Flo’s.  There were two prominent dishes that Michele spoke highly of: the Veggie Tater Bake with roasted vegetables and the Vegetarian BBQ Beans. 

The Veggie Tater Bake is Disney’s take on the ever popular comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie. The dish is layered and features a perfect slice of melty cheddar cheese on top. 

Honestly, I feel that the chefs have done an amazing job at creating a vegetarian item that is “original” and exciting — something new that can be ordered as is with no modifications. The dish was very flavorful, and if I didn’t know it was filled with “Boca” crumbles, I would have assumed it was meat. 

The textures were nice and that slice of cheese on top sealed the deal. The photo below shows the item served with classic peas and carrots and a brioche roll. The Disney Parks Blog recently shared a recipe for it here.

Veggie Tater Bake

Here it's called a "Casserole" but we were told it was a "Bake."

From what I could tell, entrees were ordered and then served with two “sides.”  Sides include coleslaw, veggies, mashed potatoes, “Radiatore” pasta salad, and vegetarian BBQ beans. The beans, which are pictured above with the pork loin plate, were really amazing.  The tangy BBQ sauce (yes, that Coca-Cola sauce) makes for some yummy beans.  I didn’t have a chance to confirm it, but I believe that the same Boca crumbles were also in this dish.

Beverages

Our “tasting” didn’t stop here.  We were lucky enough to also sample the milkshakes that will be available at Flo’s. Three different flavors will be available — your classics of course: chocolate, strawberry & vanilla. 

We were able to taste the vanilla shake, which would’ve been my first choice in flavor, so YAY for me!  The shakes served at Flo’s are all topped with “road gravel,” aka chocolate and strawberry pearls.  A really fun touch, and they look pretty too!  I also enjoyed the crunch of the pearls atop my frothy rich shake.

As far as beverages go, Flo’s serves Coca Cola products, of course.  But, if you’re looking to get your “adult” beverage on, they will also feature beers from two local breweries. You’ll find Racer 5 IPA and Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewery as well as selections from Anaheim Brewery.

California wines by the glass will include Fess Parker Riesling, Silverado Chardonnay, Chappellet Mountain Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon, and Eppa Superfruit Red Sangria.

Dessert

Enough with entrees and beverages though.  Let’s get down to business and talk about PIE

This is where that Midpoint Cafe inspiration REALLY comes in.  Known for their “Ugly Crust” pies, Disney Food and Beverage was so impressed by these that they came back from their Route 66 trip wanting to create their own versions of the pies. 

We were told a funny story that the Disney pastry chefs are such perfectionists that they had a very hard time using “ugly” in their creations. The individual serving pies are made on premises, and I was incredibly lucky to taste all four of them. 

The Apple Cheddar and the Chocolate Mud Pie will be offered daily, and the Blueberry Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb are rotating flavors. Disney also mentions cherry pies on the menu above!

Ugly Crust Pies Display

My absolute favorite was the Apple Cheddar. While it sounds like an odd combo, apple pie was traditionally served with a slice of cheddar cheese, especially in the 1950′s. 

The cheese is not at all overwhelming, in fact it’s very complimentary.  The crust was thick, but not hard; cooked to perfection, it was golden and flaky to boot.

Apple Cheddar Ugly Crust Pie

My second favorite was the Blueberry Peach.  I LOVE both blueberries and peaches, and this combo was divine.

Peach Blueberry Ugly Crust Pie

Next up was the Strawberry Rhubarb.  Also tasty, and my third favorite, it was a lovely combination of sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb.

Strawberry Rhubarb Ugly Crust Pie

And finally, you might think I’m crazy, but my least favorite pie was the Chocolate Mud Pie.  I’ve said it before, but I’m really not a big chocolate fan.  I like chocolate, but when given the choice, I always go for fruity desserts.  Although I found out it did not have coffee in it, I swear I tasted a hint of coffee. AND my lovely friend Mr. Daps said that he tasted the same, so I know I’m not totally crazy! 

Anyhow, the chocolate was smooth and I liked the addition of chocolate crust.  In fact I’m sure most people would love this. I just wasn’t a big fan especially compared to the awesome fruitiness that was happening alongside it.

Chocolate Mud Ugly Crust Pie

Overall

Overall, I was beyond impressed with the menu here at Flo’s V8 Cafe.  The whole experience was fantastic and the menu is full of so many creative new dishes.

The decor is beyond fabulous, and, like I said, you can’t beat the view from the dining rooms.  The whole time I was sitting there, I was daydreaming that a cast member would come up to me and say, “Hey Heather, let’s go take a spin on Radiator Springs Racers!”

I can’t wait for you to enjoy Flo’s V8 Cafe for yourself! I got the chance to sample a few items from Buena Vista Street as well, so stay tuned for those reviews coming soon!

Are you planning to head to Flo’s when Cars Land opens?  Any must try menu items on your mind?

Thanks to Disney for inviting me to attend this Food Preview event! While the food was complimentary, all of my opinions are my own. See more on our disclosure policy.

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

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26 Comments

  1. Mindy says:

    Thank you for the awesome preview!!

  2. Jenny says:

    I haven’t been to DLR in such a long time, but this looks like it’s going to be a great place to eat yummy food. Love the fruit pies.
    :)

  3. Melanie says:

    It all looks delish! Thanks for the preview, I love this site!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    In our family we ALWAYS eat cheddar cheese with our apple pie! Can’t wait to try these items.

  5. anderson says:

    looks amazing! i can’t wait to see more cone food though!

  6. Diana says:

    Oh– I’m so jealous that you got such a great preview! I am so excited about Carsland. Flo’s looks great and, yes, I am really hungry right now but that food looks spectacular.

  7. Heather Sievers says:

    @Mindy – My pleasure!

    @Jenny – The fruit pies are amazing, can’t wait to hear which one is your favorite!

    @Melanie – So glad you found us! Thanks for your kind words!

    @Elizabeth – Your family is awesome!

    @Anderson – Cone food coming soon ; )

    @Diana – Cars Land is amazing, can’t wait for it to officially open. You will love it!

  8. Mimsy says:

    Thanks for your tempting review. I’ve been watching the construction Cars Lands and it sounds like Flo’s V-* Cafe is going to be a delicious addition.

  9. Marcellina says:

    oh WOW!!! Can I first say that I finally saw the movie Cars a few weeks ago and loved it? and I can tell by the pictures that Cars Land is going to feel so immersive and like you are really, actually there! I love it! and the food?!? That turkey looks amazing and I LOVE BBQ beans!! Plus I’ve always wanted to try apple pie with cheese! Now I have to figure out a way to convince my husband we have to take a trip to Disneyland! Thanks for this AWESOME review!!! :D

  10. Elana says:

    Looks amazing! The only thing I question is the cheddar cheese on top of the Veggie tater casserole for the simple fact that a lot of vegetarians don’t eat cheese. My sister is a vegetarian and its always a challenge for her at Disneyland. I was excited when I heard about this dish, but not going to work for her unless you are able to order it without the cheese or with a veggie cheese option.

  11. Christal says:

    Cant wait I really want to try the veggie tater bake and the apple pie ( never had apple pie with cheese on it but I will so try it).

  12. Lisa G says:

    I wish they had the Veggie Bake somewhere in Disney World!

  13. Heather Sievers says:

    @Mimsy – You are welcome! It’s so exciting to have all of these new options!

    @Marcellina – The turkey and beans ARE awesome! Glad you saw the movie, now start working on convincing your hubby to get out here! ; )

    @Elana – I didn’t ask, but it did look like it could easily be served without cheese. I can try and find out for you.

    @Christal – Both are fantastic!

    @Lisa G. – You’ll just have to get out here to California!

  14. Jeff C. says:

    Oh wow! That all looks so amazing. It’s fantastic to see something that looks so new and fresh and innovative. Thanks for the review and all the great pics.

  15. Heather Sievers says:

    @Jeff C. – Of course! Glad you enjoyed it. I’m excited for these new innovative options too!

  16. Essie says:

    Boy, I’d like to try all of those pies; they sure don’t look ugly to me at all.

  17. Brandy says:

    I can honestly say I’m just as excited as my kids are for Cars Land to open! We went to DL Sunday and seeing the tippy top of Cadillac Ranch/Monument Valley made me all giddy! This is,to me,seriously the best themed land Disney has done. To recreate as much as they could,to make like you are walking up the street Lightening fixed,it’s just so cool! If they went all out for this,I CANNOT wait for Pandora to come to AK! Now if they’d only sell chimichangas in Radiator Springs!!

  18. Kim says:

    Heather, thanks for this detailed (and heartfelt!!) review. I was getting goose bumps just reading how thrilled you were to be there for this sneak peek. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

  19. Brooke says:

    Heather – those pies look amazing! Especially the apple cheddar – one of my faves. Thanks for the thorough write up…I can’t wait to see pics of this place!

  20. Susan says:

    Thank you so much for the detailed review! I’ve made the Flo’s V-8 Bake numerous times since Disney released the recipe (I make the non-vegetarian version) and it is delish! Now I can’t wait to try everything else!

  21. Shawn says:

    Thanks for the review. I really want this to come to Disney World!

  22. Brandy says:

    Der..Ornament Valley..I knew it ended in “ment” at least ; )

  23. Rebecca says:

    I can’t wait to see the new Carsland!
    The food looks awesome and my DS is beside himself in anticipation to see the new addition.
    The food looks great!

  24. Heather Sievers says:

    @Essie – They were so delish!

    @Brandy – I am excited as my kids as well. They were very mad at me that I got a “sneak peek”

    @Kim- I can’t wait to get in there when it’s “officially” open!

    @Brooke – It was killing me that I couldn’t take pics, soon though, soon!

    @Susan – You should send us a photo of your “home made” bake!

    @Shawn – You might just have to plan a trip to CA!

    @Brandy – ; )

    @Rebecca – My boys are dying to get in there too!

  25. Connie says:

    Are there plans to add a Carsland to WDW in Florida? They could do it in the Backlot Tours area in Hollywood! It would be awesome!!

  26. lillien says:

    tried the veggie tater bake yesterday, but without cheese (holla to all the vegans!) and it pretty delicious! my choice of side was the roasted corn, not bad either.

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