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Guest Review: Breakfast and Lunch at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Welcome back guest author Carrie Hayward with a review of breakfast and lunch at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land, Disney California Adventure!

This Spring we got to attend an Annual Passholder preview of Cars Land. Everything was open, including new counter-service restaurant Flo’s V-8 Cafe.

We are usually pretty disappointed by the counter-service options at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland (Jolly Holiday Bakery excepted!), but we waited in the 20-minute line with our hopes high. Who wouldn’t want to eat in a life-size replica of the stylish drive-in from Cars?

Flo's Really Shines at Night!

Atmosphere

Flo’s is HUGE inside, with four dining rooms.

The restaurant actually extends halfway down the block, but one wing is themed to an auto clinic so it looks like a separate business.

There is also outdoor seating at the gas pumps in front and a partially covered patio overlooking Ornament Valley in the back.

Our Dinner View!

Flo’s is a traditional counter-service restaurant. You place your order with a cashier and then proceed directly down the lane to the counter to pick it up.

One small distinction is that food is served on real plates with silverware instead of paper and plastic.

I thought I’d stumbled on Japanese-style fake food in the display cases by the cashiers, but it turned out to be real food that only looked fake!

The specialty at Flo’s V-8 Cafe is rotisserie-cooked meats, and you can watch the spits dance between the flames behind the counter.

Lunch/Dinner Review

The lunch and dinner menu offers New York strip loin, pork loin, turkey breast, turkey salad, and a vegetarian casserole.

You get your choice of two sides from hot and cold lists: roasted corn medley, peas and carrots, mashed potatoes, vegetarian baked beans, “Radiatore” pasta salad, or coleslaw.

Kids have a choice of roast beef sandwich, turkey sandwich or macaroni and cheese.

For dessert there are milkshakes and “ugly crust” pies modeled on the roadside specialty Imagineers discovered at MidPoint Cafe on Route 66.

My husband had the New York strip loin with peas and carrots and pasta salad. It was your typical thin, counter-service-style roast beef. You couldn’t call it dry under all that gravy, but the meat was definitely not juicy.

I was surprised to find the pasta in the salad al dente, and the dressing had a more interesting flavor profile than you usually find in deli pasta salad. Overall, my husband said he enjoyed the meal.

NY Strip Loin with Radiatore Pasta Salad and Peas & Carrots

I had the pork loin with Coca Cola barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, and vegetarian baked beans. Like the beef, the pork loin was cut thin and not particularly juicy. The super-sweet barbecue sauce sauce really helped.

At the media preview, the pork was served on Texas toast, but that was missing on Saturday. Good thing, though, since I had some salty mashed potatoes in salty gravy AND a Parker House-style roll to fill my starch quota. (Basically everything we had was either super-salty or super-sweet.)

The roll was also slightly sweet and very buttery-tasting despite there being no butter to put on it. I don’t think I want to know how the mad food scientists made that happen!

The flecks of garlic and chive that may give kids pause were flavorless, so make them try the roll before they turn up their noses. The most disappointing item was the side of vegetarian baked beans, which was basically a dish of barbecue sauce with chunks in it.

Pork Loin with Coca Cola BBQ Sauce, Mashed Potatoes & Vegetarian Baked Beans

Dessert

For dessert my husband had the Apple-Cheddar Pie-O-Rama. He’d never heard of the tradition of putting a slice of cheddar cheese on apple pie, but the cheese didn’t taste like anything, so it was a non-issue.

The crust was kind of tough and waxy, but the filling was moist and “surprisingly good,” he said. If you can bear to get back in line, it’s better to order this when you’re actually ready to eat it; because after it cools off the cheese gets weirdly crunchy.

Apple-Cheddar Pie-O-Rama

I had the Chocolate Mud Pie-O-Rama, which, mercifully, did not have coffee flavoring in it like so many “mud”-themed desserts do.

The flavorless, wafer-like chocolate crust was a total waste of time, but the filling was like a moist, dense flourless brownie. Tasty!

Chocolate Mud Pie-O-Rama

Breakfast Review

The breakfast menu is short, but it offers a few items that are departures from the typical Disney counter-service breakfast.

For adults there’s an American breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries and a biscuit), a chicken tamale, brioche French toast and a fruit plate. The kids menu offers only an American breakfast, waffles, or a fruit plate.

The display menu doesn’t change at breakfast, so they hand out printed menus as you enter the restaurant.

Flo's Breakfast Menu - click image for larger version

On a later visit, we decided to give Flo’s breakfast a try. After spending an hour dashing around Cars Land during Annual Passholder early entry, it was nice to sit down and fill up.

My husband’s American Breakfast was exactly what you’d expect: rubbery scrambled eggs; that chewy, translucent Disney bacon; a dry biscuit; and breakfast potatoes flavored primarily by bell pepper. He declared it perfectly adequate but nothing to write home about.

My breakfast was hilariously disappointing. I appreciate Disney’s efforts to jump on a trend, but if they’re going to name it “Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce,” there should probably be some brioche and some salt involved.

Basically they took a slab of bread-like substance and drenched it in caramel sundae topping, then dropped a split banana on top. I may consider leftover cake to be an acceptable breakfast food, but this was too much sugar shock even for me at that hour.

Flo's Breakfast

Overall

Overall, I’d say the dinner at Flo’s V-8 Cafe is decent if not thrilling — at least it’s something different than the usual burgers and fries. We’ll probably give it another try and may even order some of the same things to see if the kinks get worked out after Flo’s has been open a while.

But if I need a quick breakfast, I’ll stick to the Grand Californian’s Whitewater Snacks, just outside the gate.

Carrie Hayward is the author of PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons and the host of the Disney Wedding Podcast, a weekly show about planning weddings, honeymoons and other romantic occasions at the Disney parks and resorts. Follow her adventures at Disney Travel Babble and @lurkyloo.

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17 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    while none of the other breakfasts appealed to me, I had the chicken tamale breakfast twice on my trip last week and definitely enjoyed it! The tamale was nicely made, although I could have used a little more chicken. And the green sauce and pico definitely hid the fact that the eggs weren’t real eggs. :)

  2. Jessica Anne says:

    I’m with Jenn, the chicken tamale breakfast is wonderful!

  3. Darlene says:

    My daughter and I ate at Flo’s just last week. We loved it. We had the turkey with the roasted corn and mashed potatoes. The meat was super tasty as was the rest of the meal. We also tried the Brioche French Toast and thought it was amazing! We shared it as a mid-morning snack though. I don’t think I could eat a full one for an actual breakfast. It is super sweet. Maybe Flo’s worked out the kinks.

  4. Alan says:

    The Disney folks have spent a lot of money and effort on re – imagining the California Adventure area of Disneyland and my hat is off to them. Every thing I’ve seen looks beautiful and makes me jealous of our west coast friends. For those of us on the East side of the country, it’s time to focus on the Pleasure Island area. I know these things take time, but at least give us some new possible ideas and renderings. Hyperion Wharf looked exciting but now has disappeared.

  5. @Aaron_Ardle says:

    I’m sure that the reason the roll tastes like butter is because it’s soaked in butter.

  6. We had a totally different experience than the author at Flo’s. Everything we had was delicious, easily the best counter service food we’ve ever had in a US Disney Park.

    We also found the counter service food to be much better overall at Disneyland than it is at Disney World.

  7. Meagan says:

    Flo’s needs to come to WDW! It looks amazing :D

  8. Rich T says:

    Flo’s has become, hands-down, my family’s favorite restaurant at Disneyland Resort. Between the view of Radiator Springs Racers, the music, the good food, the characters driving past, the decor and the friendly cast, we return time and again to talk, eat, unwind and people-watch. :)

  9. Sara K says:

    Carsland needs to come to WDW. Sorry the food was disappointing but the place and the views sure look awesome!

  10. Matt says:

    We ate there last month and I wasn’t terribly impressed with the food. To me it was just “o.k.”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super glad that there are new dining options at DCA. I just pretty much felt exactly the same way as this review. And honestly, I’d go get a chili cone carne again before having a meal here. That said, I loved the pies! Including the apple, and I am not a fan of apple pie.

  11. Juliana says:

    I agree with the above comments and have had totally different experiences than the review-Flo’s is hands down one of the best restaurants in California Adventure and one of my favorite places to eat at the Disneyland Resort. I was there last week for my birthday and it was great-everyone enjoyed their meal (we tried the pork and strip and turkey with mashed potatoes, beans, corn between 3 of us along with a apple/cheddar pie) and it’s a lot of food and worth the value. The beans are one of my favorites because they are tangy and sweet and a good flavor. And nothing is better than sitting by Radiator Springs Racers and watching the Cars race by! Also, the kids meal can come in a lightning Mcqueen racer which is super cute!

  12. Pudge the Fish says:

    Yikes, this is a bit of a bummer of a review. We had breakfast at Flo’s last month and thoroughly enjoyed it. We both had the brioche french toast. I have a sweet tooth so I loved it. The brioche was almost actually like bread pudding. After an early morning ride on Radiator Springs Racers we found that Flo’s was nearly empty and we had no problem finding a spot in the room overlooking the RSR. What a view!

    Sadly we never made it back to Flo’s to try the pies or the milk shakes (sigh, maybe next time.) Too many other great options at Cozy Cone and on Buena Vista Street.

  13. Meg says:

    We’ll be in DL/DCA at the beginning of next month and we’re eager to try Flo’s (as well as the other new options like Carthay Circle). That pasta salad looks tasty! Thanks for giving the flavor profile of the BBQ sauce – my DH would have ordered that, but he’s not a fan of super sweet BBQ sauces, so he’ll give it a pass now.

  14. Kelly says:

    We did breakfast at Flo’s. My Mom had the breakfast platter, and I have to agree, it’s nothing to write home about. I had the brioche french toast. It had promise, it really did. But that caramel sauce! It was just drowned in it. I love sweet foods, I have a giant sweet tooth, and even still, that french toast was wayyyy to sweet. Oh, there were maybe 3 salt crystals. Not sure if you can call that salted caramel.

    What they needed to do is put the caramel sauce down first, then french toast (which was more like bread pudding than anything else) on top of it. It could have been good, but it was just entirely too sweet.

  15. Bri says:

    I absolutely love Flo’s, and I don’t like heavy diner food. The turkey is moist and flavorful, with a hint of citrus, and cranberry sauce served on the side. And I really love the beans. I thought the flavors were more complex than mere barbeque sauce. I’m glad that California Adventure has more dining options than it had just a year or so ago. In fact, we’ve been to DCA a couple of times just to eat at Flo’s lol

  16. Tamara says:

    We had breakfast twice and lunch once at Flo’s when we visited DCA in early August.

    We liked it a lot. The brioche French toast is sweet, but we got the sauce and banana on the side. It was very good that way because the sweetness is less overpowering. You can control the amount.

    We also enjoyed the fruit plate. It comes with a very good blueberry muffin. Here’s a secret. Order the kids version. It’s the same price and item as the adult version, but you get a drink with the kids size but not the adult one.

    The salad I had at lunch was very good too.

  17. dkozisek says:

    Flo’s is one of our favorite places to eat at the DLR. We usually have the beef with mashed potatoes, pasta salad. Love the roll. At Christmas time they had AMAZING cupcakes-better than any other cupcake at the resort. Wish they would have them again.

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