“Eat at Flo’s and Get Gas!”
Yep — It’s time to head to Radiator Springs in Carburetor County, for a tasty breakfast along Route 66 at Flo’s V-8 Cafe!
Since it opened a couple of years back, Flo’s has quickly garnered a great reputation for delicious table service-style breakfast with counter service convenience and prices. It even makes our list of favorite fast food joints in Disneyland!
Let’s head over for an early morning visit to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure!
As you quickly see from Flo’s Sign out front, the restaurant is superbly themed. If you’re a fan of the film Cars, you are gonna love this place. With the backdrop of desert rock formations (a.k.a. Radiator Springs Racers!!), Imagineers have outdone themselves here. You truly feel as though you’ve stepped through the silver screen.
And while it’s all stunning in the daytime, you should definitely make a point to visit at night, when the glow from pastel fluorescent lights brings every inch of this place to life!
Flo’s V-8 in the movie is, of course, the only gas filling station in Radiator Springs…which, of course, equates to food for us humans.
Flo’s roof is famously patterned after an oil filter. Get it?
Directly in front of the restaurant’s entrance, you’ll find one of the outdoor seating areas. These are the filling stations in the film, so naturally, you’ll find gas pumps and stacks of oil cans nearby.
As you go into Flo’s, you realize the seating area is enormous. It looks much larger inside than it does outside! It’s more than just Disney magic, though; one of the seating areas is themed both inside and outside as the Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic.
Head inside, and step further back in time. The round-room entrance is crowned by this incredible chandelier — made from tail pipes! Also, stick around, because the lighting in this area is constantly changing.
Check out this earlier post for pics of the cool color changes!
The vintage, 1950s feeling continues throughout the entire space, with distinct themes for each area. First up is the part of the diner celebrating Flo’s days as a glamorous Motorama Girl! Check out the awesome vintage car seats that serve as booth seating here.
View posters from Flo’s heyday, and see a collection of her gold records. Looks like she was quite the hit maker.
I absolutely adore this giant rear view mirror above the retro mural that depicts Flo and her fellow Motorama Girls, Laverne, Sheila, and Rhonda.
The chandelier makes clever use of tail lights in a 1950s-inspired starburst design.
Here’s a close up of those booths — don’t you SO want to sit here?! The matching dinette chairs and formica tabletops are pretty rad, too.
The pink/red and white theme carries into the next section, although your seat doesn’t come with a handy headrest here.
Remember when I showed you the outside shot of the Mechanical Clinic? Welcome to the inside!
Colors here are cool and soothing, as befitting a waiting room. Lots of shiny tools are arranged on the walls in an orderly fashion.
And don’t you love these giant clipboards??
Take a closer look at the details on these “patient information forms”! Oh, you cray cray, detail-freak imagineers.
My favorite part is the “exercise” information! Ha!
There’s also an X-ray machine, complete with a handy example displayed above!
And this poster showing the “The Healthy Combustion Engine” is just completely awesome.
Beyond the clinic, you enter the Mechanic Room. This area has a more upscale feel, with rich brown tones and woodgrain finishes. You’ll find a collection of memorabilia from Doc Hudson’s glory days as a racing champion.
You’ve already seen some of the covered seating outside, but you can also snag a table overlooking the Radiator Springs Racers attraction. Fun!
Whew! So much to see! But now, it’s time to head back up front to the ordering area, and look around there a bit.
Don’t you love this tire-themed clock? Check out that giant white wall! You’ll find this directly above the pick up counter.
And don’t forget to check out your favorite hits on the jukebox at the drink station. Anybody wanna join me in a rousing chorus of “Hubba Hubba Hubcaps”?
The queue area is poised to greet lots and lots of guests, with those familiar ropes. But never fear; every time I’ve been to Flo’s, the line has moved quickly.
Again, here in the ordering area, there is just so much awesomeness happening, it’s hard to decide where to look first!
The approach here is classic Disney. After waiting your turn, you’ll step up to a register and give your order to the cashier.
While you wait, be sure to check out these cool display cases. They remind me of little bakeries and lunch counters from years past. You’ll find these miniature versions directly in front of each of the registers.
Once you place your order, Go with the Flo…to the condiment counter! And check out this cool mural depicting The Mother Road — Route 66!
In addition to all the regular condiment options, you’ll also find real silverware here! It’s such a little thing, but I love this. It’s so much easier to cut stuff with a real knife!
You’ll also find everything you need to dress up your coffee or tea.
All of this sightseeing is definitely kicking up my appetite! Let’s head in to get a look at the food.
There aren’t a ton of different offerings on Flo’s Breakfast Menu, but what they do have is pretty interesting. The outside menu on the patio gives you an idea of what they offer.
Inside, you’ll also find menus displayed at each kiosk. Cast Members hand you paper menus on the way in as well. These are really handy because they have pictures of all the menu items. Pictures always make ordering easier, I think!
Since the menu at Flo’s takes inspiration from a real-live Route 66 diner located in Texas, it comes as no surprise that you see a little Tex-Mex inspiration in the breakfast menu. We were very anxious to try the Chicken Tamale Breakfast!
This entree is definitely off the beaten path as breakfast is concerned, but since we call Texas home, we were eager to dig in!
The plate features a sort of stacked presentation: a Tamale filled with Herbed, Shredded Chicken serves as the base. Scrambled Eggs top the Tamale, and the plate is smothered with Salsa Verde and garnished with a good amount of mild Pico de Gallo.
The flavors are fantastic! The eggs were well-cooked, and tamale was well-prepared as well. The Corn Husk Wrapper on the bottom of the stack is a really thoughtful garnish, I think.
We agreed that we could use a little more zip in the salsas — they were both quite mild — but the fresh taste made up for that. And hey, that’s what those packets of hot sauce are for, right?
But we also couldn’t resist the Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas.
Now, I’ve got to say this here — this dish stretched my definition of French Toast. I’m kind of a French Toast purist, actually, and I think Disney often blurs the lines between French Toast and Bread Pudding, so often interchanging the two as it suits them. French Toast should technically be battered and grilled or fried.
But having that opinion makes this no less delicious. It’s just an important distinction to make, since this is more dessert than breakfast, I think.
But hey, you’re in Disneyland, and not at the office. So do such things really matter? I mean, I’ve been known to eat cupcakes for breakfast. So this will do just fine.
You can see from this photo that the French Toast is baked casserole-style. While the inside is rich and moist, the outside edges have a pleasing crunch.
The layers of rich, cinnamon-y Brioche are topped with Banana and a generous helping of Salted Caramel Sauce. The sauce is thick, rich, and deeeelish.
But I, like others, don’t notice a pronounced flavor of Salt in the mix. I suppose that’s hard to achieve without actually sprinkling a little on top. After all, you wouldn’t want to overdo it.
The dish, though extravagantly sweet and rich, is amazing. I wanted something savory to go with it, though. A side of bacon or sausage would be an excellent addition here.
You’ve just gotta go to Flo’s.
Really, if you have any passion for the detail that Disney is famous for — and hey, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t — then this place is going to blow your mind. It’s hard to convey just how extraordinary a job they’ve done with bringing Pixar’s gorgeous, thoughtful animation to life.
And breakfast is definitely worth your time and money. In fact, we like it here better than lunch or dinner! It’s quick, but with thought and detail usually only reserved for sit down locations, you’ll appreciate the best of both worlds — speed and quality.
Will breakfast at Flo’s be in your plans the next time you visit Disneyland? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts!