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Disneyland Duel: Battle of the Monte Cristos

Many of you know that my very favorite meal in Disneyland is at Cafe Orleans, where I always order the Monte Cristo sandwich. Well, on a recent visit, I decided I needed to give its sister sandwich — the Three-Cheese Monte Cristo — a try as well!

Cafe Orleans Menu -- click for larger image

Let’s see how they fared…

Monte Cristo Sandwich

To make this indulgent creation, a savory combo of turkey, ham, and swiss cheese are battered and fried, dusted with powdered sugar, and served with a sweet-tart berry puree. Sounds simple enough, but the flavors are out of this world!

Monte Cristo Sandwich in Disneyland

The saltiness of the meats and cheese are tempered slightly with that sweet powdered sugar (not too much!). But when the whole thing is dipped into that berry puree, the tartness gives the flavor another level entirely. And I love it!

Add in the light, airy texture of the fried batter, which takes on the oils and flavors of the meats and cheese, and you’ve got a serious winner. No wonder this has become an iconic menu item in Disneyland (also served over at Blue Bayou!).

Close Up of Monte Cristo Sandwich

While I can’t ever finish this sandwich on my own — that much flavor AND that much food make for a daunting meal — I still order it just about every visit!

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo

Now, if you think that’s decadent, just wait until you try the ALL-CHEESE version! Here the Swiss remains, but is joined by mozzarella and…wait for it…Double Creme Brie! Once again, this is battered and fried, doused in powdered sugar, and served with the same berry puree.

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo

Now if you’re a cheese lover, this is your sammich. I was expecting it to be lacking in some way since it didn’t include the meat, but, in truth, this seems even more indulgent than the original Monte Cristo. The super-flavorful, oozingly melty cheese is over-the-top. Again, the fried batter melds with the cheese, taking on the flavor, but giving a strong, doughnut-like texture. (Cheese doughnut? Yes please.)

Pair it with that berry puree, and you’ve got the best fried cheese sandwich of all time.

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo Close Up

So, I guess this was a bit of a tricky “duel” for me. I love them both, and can’t choose a favorite. Like I said, I thought going into the experiment that I would clearly choose that original sandwich, but the three-cheese is a valiant competitor! From now on, I’m going to have to start asking for a plate with half and half!

What do you think would be your favorite version of the Monte Cristo? Let us know in the comments below!

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18 Comments

  1. Erin says:

    When we went to Disneyland in January 2011 we went to Cafe Orleans for our 4 year wedding anniversary. We ordered our 1 year old son the Three-Cheese Monte Cristo and he had a blast with the biggest grilled cheese type sandwich he had ever encountered. We brought lots home in a box of course, and I can definitely recommend this one.

  2. Ruben says:

    holy moley those are some fantastic photos

  3. James says:

    Wait a minute! What do you mean you can never finish the sandwich on your own? Who are you and what have you done with the real AJ? ;-)

  4. Becca says:

    Ooooooh. I’ve only tried the classic Monte Cristo, but I don’t think I could handle it without the ham. I think it breaks up what could be a little too stodgy if it were just bread and cheese!

    On the general subject of Monte Cristos – anyone want to start a petition to bring the Monte Cristo to Boatwrights? I don’t know if we’ll get to visit Disneyland again until the Three Month Extended Second Honeymoon Extravaganza I’m hoping to plan for our 10th anniversary ;)

  5. Barbara Frampton says:

    I live in Florida. Is this served any where in Disney Land?

  6. Leslie says:

    The pic of the 3 cheese Monte Cristo is making me drool. Becca, I would totally sign that petition. I really just wish they’d bring a Cafe Orleans to Florida. That place looks fabulous.

  7. Andee says:

    The Monte Cristo is my favorite sandwich ever. Not just at Disneyland. I mean, EVER. And I haven’t had it at Cafe Orleans – only at Blue Bayou (which used to be the only place you could buy one).
    Someone else in my party may have to order the cheese version so I can try a bite, because I don’t think I could give up my sacred meal.

  8. Shireen Herro says:

    This post is making me salivate! This sandwich reminds me of the one Bennigan’s used to make. I love the berry puree, it aids in the overall yumminess. I will definately have to try this in Disneyland… 1 month from today!!!

  9. Patricia says:

    Warning! Don’t look at these pictures if hungry.

    I can’t imagine anything tasting better than the original Monte Cristo (but AJ has convinced me). I used to eat one every single trip to WDW while we still had them in Florida. I vote with Becca and Leslie. Let’s convince Disney we need both of these awesome sandwiches back in Florida!

  10. Joey B. says:

    I love Monte Cristo sandwiches! They are truly delicious, but I have also never been able to finish a whole one. Luckily, they are not too bad if you take them home and reheat them in the oven. Of course, this is not a possibility for most guests at a Disney park. I am definitely trying these when I get to Disneyland!

  11. Jill says:

    I love the Monte Cristo sandwich…. it’s my favorite! Except I learned to eat mine with just mustard — no powdered sugar and no berry puree. Does anyone else eat it this way? I know I always get an odd look from the wait staff when I tell them no sugar no puree!

  12. AJ says:

    Erin — Thanks for sharing such a fun story!! I wish I was introduced to this when I was 1 year old! ;-)

    Ruben — Thanks much!

    James — Ha ha!! I don’t think people understand how much I eat when I’m on a Disney trip! Gotta leave room for more!

    Becca — That’s what I thought, too…until I tried the three-cheese one! Amazing! Also, can I come with you on your three month trip?! Please?

    Barbara Frampton — This is served only in Disneyland, not yet in Disney World. :-(

    Leslie — Wouldn’t a Cafe Oleans in Florida be amazing?

    Andee — I totally understand. I think it’s a “get both and share” kind of thing!

    Shireen — Yay!! Can’t wait to hear how your Disneyland trip goes!

    Patricia — The three cheese is impeccable. I think you’ll love it!

    Joey B — Great news! (When’s the disneyland trip?)

    Jill — Ha ha! I’ll take your powdered sugar and puree! :-)

  13. Paula B. says:

    Erin is having it in the traditional way while adding the mustard, sounds fine to me! Yes, the pictures are making me so hungry, thanks for posting.

  14. anderson says:

    for me, the classic remains the clear winner. the ham provides that extra saltiness that i need.

  15. I’m a vegetarian and haven’t had the original, but I must say the 3-cheese is very impressive! Incredibly rich – our strategy whilst at Disneyland is for me to order the sandwich, my husband orders the ratatouille, and we each take half of each. Absolutely delicious. Huge thumbs up to Disney for offering a meatless version!

  16. Amanda says:

    Where can I find these sandwiches in disneyworld?

  17. Trish says:

    WAIT!! I can ask for half and half!?!? I am SO there! Thanks for the write-up…i’ve been havering over trying the cheese MC for a while now. How can it not be good with the berry puree?? ;)

  18. Laurie Johnson says:

    I have only been to Disneyland once and it was around 1970. I have been to WDW many many times if that helps! I had the Monte Cristo Sandwich then and I still dream about it. I can’t imagine any sandwich being better than it.

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