Review: Disneyland’s Bengal Barbecue

Did you know that Bengal Barbecue (Disneyland skewer spot extraordinaire) just turned 25 years old?

Bengal Barbecue sign

Bengal Barbecue sign

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!)

Atmosphere

So, what’s the scene like in this Adventureland spot? Well, you’re pretty much looking at it ;) .

Bengal Barbecue sign

Bengal Barbecue sign

Bengal Barbecue ordering area

Bengal Barbecue ordering area

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.

Zebra carving

Zebra carving

Hi, Mickey!

Hi, Mickey!

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.

Bengal Barbecue grill

Bengal Barbecue grill

And what are they grilling

up at the Barbecue these days? Let’s take a look…

Eats

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!

Bengal Barbecue menu

Bengal Barbecue menu

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.

"Extra Provisions"

“Extra Provisions”

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?

Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Safari Skewer

Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Safari Skewer

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.

Outback Vegetable Skewer

Outback Vegetable Skewer

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!

Banyan Beef Hot and Spicy Skewer

Banyan Beef Hot and Spicy Skewer

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.

Bengal Beef Skewer

Bengal Beef Skewer

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.

Chieftain Chicken Skewer

Chieftain Chicken 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.

Tiger Tails

Tiger Tails

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.

Pomegranate Piranha Lemonade on the menu

Pomegranate Piranha Lemonade on the menu

Pomegranate Piranha Lemonade

Pomegranate Piranha Lemonade

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.

Pomegranate Pearls

Pomegranate Pearls

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.

Overall

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!

Comments

  1. Richard says

    Ok, you see the lines for Indiana Jones or the Jungle Cruise are a little long and you want a snack so just get a skewer and jump in line!

    They will make the wait go by while you have a great snack!

  2. Dana says

    We’re going to Disneyland for the first time in September, and I’ve heard this is one of the “must try” places there. It’s good to see the portion sizes, and the bacon asparagus skewer looks awesome!

  3. Evan says

    How filling are the skewers? How much would someone have to buy to get enough for an average quick lunch?

  4. Richard says

    Evan, they are filling but not a meal.

    I’ll have a chicken or the bacon asparagus at mid-afternoon and I’m fine until dinner.

    Dana, they are way, way better than they look!

    If you get in line with the bacon asparagus skewer don’t be surprised if you get asked about it!

  5. Essie says

    First of all, I really enjoyed this report. Even if never get to the DLR, I love reading the blog articles from there and this one was no exception! All of it looked good, except that I can’t do asparagus. I think a chicken skewer, a veggie skewer and fruit cup would be a very satisfying lunch!

  6. says

    It’s decent. Won’t come back after eating here though. They douse the meat with TONS of sauce and they are very small. I do like the grilled green onions they serve with each skewer through.

  7. Nate says

    When did they change the skewers? They were so dinky, I thought it was a joke. :( it’s been a couple years since ive had BB, but come on.

  8. says

    The last time I was there, it had just closed for renovations and I missed out. I love all barbecue places and this was on my list of things to do while there. Glad it has reopened and I’m definitely going to try again in the near future.

  9. Kimi says

    A warning to anyone with the seafood allergy They’ve added shrimp to the menu but it’s on a small plaque on the countertop, not on the main menu where you can see it They only have one grill so the shrimp is cooked in the same area as all the other skewers

  10. Dj says

    I’ve been going to Disneyland for years and never noticed it before. I finally did last week and I have to say the veggie skewer was absolutely the Best!! I also had the beef with sweet sauce…was fantastic!! After I ate each of those, I got in line and got more!!

  11. COURTNEY WHITMAN says

    We just got back from DL and this was one of my favorite meals! So delicious. I had the rice plate with a banyan beef and a safari skewer. It took quite a while on a crowded day, but it was definitely worth the wait.

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