Did you know that Bengal Barbecue (Disneyland skewer spot extraordinaire) just turned 25 years old?
So, what better way to celebrate than a stop for some — okay, make that ALL — the skewers on the menu (and maaaaaybe a few other treats to boot)! That’s exactly what I did on my recent trip to Disneyland.
Say hello to the big ol’ scary Tiger, because we’re FINALLY heading back to Bengal Barbecue! (I missed you!)
So, what’s the scene like in this Adventureland spot? Well, you’re pretty much looking at it 😉 .
Ok, that’s not entirely true. There are a few umbrella-covered tables nearby, but portability is really the name of the game here (in essence, it’s a kiosk). Still, even for a space this small, it’s certainly not without a few Disney details.
And the food itself plays a part in creating the atmosphere, too, since you can watch Cast Member grill masters at work, creating your order with a side of char-grilled smells wafting through the air. This chick, by the way, was awesome.
And what are they grilling
up at the Barbecue these days? Let’s take a look…
It’s all things Jungle Skewers at Bengal Barbecue… and judging by the long lines you’ll almost always encounter here, everyone seems just fine with that!
There are a few other “Extra Provisions” available for hungry jungle explorers, as well — a couple of classic Disney items (Mickey Pretzels and Jalapeño Cheese-stuffed Pretzels, to be precise) and the Bengal’s very own specialty, Tiger Tails.
But we’ll start with the main attraction: the Skewers. An enormously popular choice is the Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Skewer (its given Bengal name is the Safari Skewer), which has reached something close to legendary status. And that’s with good reason. I LOVE me some asparagus, and I LOVE me some bacon, so this combo is a no brainer. Gorgeous, right?
The asparagus takes on some of the smokey flavor of the bacon (not to mention the grill), while still giving you that “Hey, I’m on vacation and totally had a veggie” sense of accomplishment. Nicely done!
Speaking of veggies, next on our list is the Outback Vegetable Skewer: mine was made with zucchini, summer squash, red onion, peppers, and a petite red potato (available veggies may vary a little on your visit). Again, the char looked — and tasted — pretty fantastic.
Obviously this is a great choice for vegetarians, but I’d honestly recommend this one to anyone looking for a light snack that won’t weigh you down. With no sauce to speak of, it’s decidedly simple: what you see is what you get, but it is well-prepared. And obviously you can pair this with any of the others for a little something to round out your meat skewers.
The Banyan Beef Skewer is the “Hot & Spicy” option you see on the menu. This one is definitely my favorite of the bunch. As many folks know, there’s “spicy,” and then there’s “Disney spicy” (which, in many cases, is to say not very spicy at all). The Banyan Beef Skewer, though, really does carry a nice peppery kick!
I love it, but if you’re spice sensitive, you might opt for the next skewer instead.
The Bengal Skewer is the sweet option of the two beefs. In the same way that the hot & spicy lives up to its name, so does the Sweet Zulu Sauce you read about on the menu, though it’s pretty close to your basic teriyaki.
It’s tasty, but I prefer the Banyan Beef.
I’ve long been a fan of the Chieftain Chicken Skewer, served up in a Polynesian sweet-and-sour style sauce. And I enjoyed it this time, too, though on this visit it may have been slightly overshadowed by the Safari Skewer.
Even with all that meat-and-veggie goodness from the skewers, you have to know that it’s not a trip to Bengal Barbecue without a Tiger Tail! Surprisingly soft, grilled bread — they’re just the perfect addition for dipping through whatever sauce you may have leftover from your skewers, but also a great grab-and-go snack in their own right.
To wash it all down, I grabbed the specialty drink, which debuted recently as part of the unique treats available for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration: Pomegranate Piranha Lemonade. It’s lemonade flavored with mango and pineapple, complete with pomegranate boba pearls and topped with passion fruit-mango foam.
Of course, this isn’t Bengal Barbecue’s first boba beverage (remember last summer’s Venomade debut?). But I really enjoyed the occasional bursts of the fruity pomegranate pearls with the tart lemonade. The foam, though? That I could take or leave.
It’s good, but keep in mind that when you’re at Bengal Barbecue, you’re also just steps away from the Tiki Juice Bar, which serves Dole Whips with teeny-tiny umbrellas. So, there’s that. Still, a nice, fruity beverage sure does hit the spot when taken alongside all that char-grilled goodness that I’m glad I had the chance to enjoy once more on my trip.
Don’t let the long lines deter you — there’s a reason this spot has reached icon status over the past twenty-five years. The small, specialized menu manages to boast a something-for-everyone variety with terrific char-grilled flavors. Happy Birthday, Bengal Barbecue! Here’s wishing you many more delicious years!
Have you braved the lines at Bengal Barbecue for a Skewer or Tiger Tail? Please let us know with a comment!