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

“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!

Flo's Sign

Flo’s Sign

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!

Atmosphere

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.

Flo's Sign

Flo’s Sign

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 Cafe at night

Flo’s V-8 Cafe at night

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. :-)

Outside View

Outside View

Flo’s roof is famously patterned after an oil filter. Get it?

Oil Filter Roof -- Up Close

Oil Filter Roof — Up Close

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.

Motor Oil and Gas Pumps on the Patio

Motor Oil and Gas Pumps on the Patio

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.

Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic

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.

Period Chandelier

Entrance Chandelier and Cool Color Morphing!

Check out this earlier post for pics of the cool color changes!

Light Fixtures -- Up Close

Tail Pipe Chandelier — Up Close

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.

Mural and Vintage Carseat Booths

Mural and Vintage Car Seat Booths

View posters from Flo’s heyday, and see a collection of her gold records. Looks like she was quite the hit maker. :-)

Vintage Art Work

Flo’s Concert Posters and Gold Records

I absolutely adore this giant rear view mirror above the retro mural that depicts Flo and her fellow Motorama Girls, Laverne, Sheila, and Rhonda.

How Cool is this Humongous Rear View Mirror??

How Cool is this Humongous Rear View Mirror??

The chandelier makes clever use of tail lights in a 1950s-inspired starburst design.

Cool Light Fixtures and Rear View Mirror

Cool Light Fixtures and Rear View Mirror

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.

I Love These Booths!

I Love These Booths!

The pink/red and white theme carries into the next section, although your seat doesn’t come with a handy headrest here. :-)

Booth Seating

Booth Seating

Remember when I showed you the outside shot of the Mechanical Clinic? Welcome to the inside!

Long View of Additional Seating

Clinic Seating — Long View

Colors here are cool and soothing, as befitting a waiting room. Lots of shiny tools are arranged on the walls in an orderly fashion.

Additional Seating

Clinic seating

And don’t you love these giant clipboards??

Mixed Seating

More Clinic Seating and Decor

Take a closer look at the details on these “patient information forms”! Oh, you cray cray, detail-freak imagineers.

Clinic Clipboard

Clinic Clipboard

My favorite part is the “exercise” information! Ha!

Clinic Clipboard

Clinic Clipboard

There’s also an X-ray machine, complete with a handy example displayed above!

Diagnostic Machine

X-Ray Machine

And this poster showing the “The Healthy Combustion Engine” is just completely awesome.

Looking to Learn About Combustion Engines? You're in Luck!

Looking to Learn About How to Keep Your Combustion Engine Healthy? You’re in Luck!

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.

Mechanic Room

Mechanic Room

You’ve already seen some of the covered seating outside, but you can also snag a table overlooking the Radiator Springs Racers attraction. Fun!

Outdoor Seating Overlooking Radiator Springs and the Desert

Outdoor Seating Overlooking Radiator Springs and the Desert

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.

Cool White Wall Tire Clock

Cool White Wall Tire Clock

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”?

Jukebox Song Listing

Jukebox Song Listing

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.

Queue Area

Queue Area

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.

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

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.

Full View of Display Cases at Each Ordering Kiosk

Full View of Display Cases at Each Ordering Kiosk

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!

Go with the Flo Mural

Go with the Flo Mural

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!

Condiments and Silver Ware

Condiments and Silver Ware

You’ll also find everything you need to dress up your coffee or tea.

More Condiments and Napkins

More Condiments and Napkins

All of this sightseeing is definitely kicking up my appetite! Let’s head in to get a look at the food.

Eats

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.

Breakfast Menu -- Up Close

Breakfast Menu — Up Close

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!

Breakfast Menu at a Glance -- Click to Enlarge

Breakfast Menu at a Glance — Click to Enlarge

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!

Chicken Tamale Breakfast

Chicken Tamale Breakfast

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.

Chicken Tamale Breakfast

Chicken Tamale Breakfast — Another Angle

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.

Brioche French Toast with  Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

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.

Brioche French Toast with  Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas -- Another Angle

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas — Another Angle. I Got the Corner Piece!

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.

Brioche French Toast with  Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas — Look at All that Sauce

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.

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas  - Up Close

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas – Up Close

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.

Overall

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!

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3 Comments

  1. Deneice says:

    I love the Chicken Tamale Breakfast. Took a chance on it in August and was so glad I did! And to sit outside and watch the cars whizz by and/or watching Mater or Lighting McQueen head to the Cozy Cone is so much fun!

  2. Nicole says:

    The Chicken Tamale… Best. Breakfast. EVER.

    I had it the very first day Cars Land opened. (I was crazy enough to wait in the 7 hour line for Racers and got hungry!)

    I was never really a fan of DLR breakfasts as a child and I’m rarely there in the mornings to have breakfast and but after having on opening day, I have had constant cravings for this dish! The flavors from the tamale, eggs, chicken and salsa (which is quite mild but considering it’s breakfast, is just enough) is a slice of tex-mex breakfast heaven! I really wish this was served all day!

    Now I want one.. :c

  3. Tony Tavares says:

    I love Flo’s especially for breakfast…I think one thing you got wrong is…that the roof of Flo’s is the air cleaner/air filer of a car engine…given it’s position above the pistons it could only be the air cleaner since the oil filter would be below the pistons…at least that’s the way I see… :)
    Thanks for the review :)
    Tony T

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