Welcome to Disneyland’s newest Table Service eatery, River Belle Terrace!
Of course, that’s not the whole story… not by a long shot. River Belle Terrace has quite the history in Disneyland, existing under its current name since 1971 (and the location itself operated under other names from the park’s first year).
But previously it was a Counter Service option, and maybe most notably as a place you could grab breakfast to start your Disneyland day. February 10th, however, marked its debut as a Table Service restaurant serving lunch and dinner only, so we couldn’t resist heading over to grab a little — or a LOT of — dinner on re-opening day!
So, yep, there are definitely some changes to scope out. But a few things haven’t changed at all…
Just like in the old days (like, waaaay back in January when it was still operating as a Counter Service), limited indoor seating remains available.
But, as always, it’s the picturesque outdoor patio that has the majority of the seating and steals the atmosphere show.
The tables got spiffied up for the occasion with cloth napkins and flowers ‘cuz now it’s all FANCY!!
Okay, so it’s not that fancy; it’s still very welcoming and cheerful overall. Still, a nice touch for the transition!
No matter where you sit, it’s tough to beat the surroundings, with a location right within view of the Rivers of America (though it’s a little less of a view at the moment, without the Mark Twain Riverboat steaming by from now until it reopens). You can however see the Mark Twain parked off in the distance!
Alright, on to the bigger changes, and that’s the menu (delivered to your table now, naturally)…
Southern fare dominates the listings, with items like Pimento Cheese Dip and Grilled and Chilled Shrimp (the twist being a house-made BBQ cocktail sauce) as appetizer options.
And though there are plenty of traditional items that you associate with Southern cooking among the entrees like Pork Spareribs, a Fried Chicken Sandwich, and a Beef Brisket Sandwich, you’ll also notice some less-traditional eats like BBQ Tofu.
Regardless of your selection, your meal starts with a basket of delicious Buttermilk Biscuits.
All the better slathered with Honey Butter, of course!
We just had to try to the Creamy Pimento Cheese Dip, which comes with toasted bread and celery for the dippers. Next time I am asking for extra celery though. It was really refreshing and dipped in that cheese? Perfection!
Rich and creamy with a hint of spice from the mild cherry peppers, this was a hit all around the table (and the awesome bread bites didn’t hurt matters). We loved it.
Next, it was time to go big with the entrees. First up, get a load of the Fried Chicken Sandwich.
It’s a simple name for a pretty mammoth sandwich, topped with BBQ sauce, coleslaw (tangy, not creamy), fried jalapeño (you can spy those on top — they look a lot like the breaded chicken at a quick glance, but they’re there, and they make their presence known!), and a fair amount of cilantro.
There’s nothing subtle about it — this thing more than packs the yummy toasted brioche bun. It’s quite a mix of flavors, but it works!
All of the entrees come with baked beans (which are great, by the way), and your choice of side: the tangy coleslaw, seasoned tater bites (TOTS!!), potato salad, or the seasonal veggie. You might pick up on our love for tater tots, since you’ll see we got them with every entree, like the next one: the Beef Brisket Sandwich.
A word on the tots, though, before we dig in: while I liked the seasoning, and so did the other adults, the kids weren’t into them. For such a kid-friendly side they would probably be better off without the seasoning.
But on to the Beef Brisket! It’s served on a toasted onion hoagie roll and topped with smoked provolone, fried onions, and a steak sauce-mayo. Pretty tasty, overall, though I could’ve happily taken even more of the fried onions. Also, it would have been SO much better had the provolone been melted.
I did the think the steak-sauce mayo was a unique and flavorful complement to the beef, and it was just enough, with the mayo cutting what can sometimes be an overwhelming sauce.
The Half Chicken is given its own Southern spin with a BBQ rub.
It’s simple, but good. Not to mention HUGE. The tender chicken falls right off the bone.
In fact we really enjoyed all the entrees except this last one, the only weak link (pardon the pun) in the bunch: the Oven-Roasted Sausage Link Combo, with Linguica and Smoked Tri-Tip sausage.
Comparing the portion-size, presentation, and overall impressiveness to the other entrees, this one was kind of ho-hum.
Still speaking of entrees, we were actually really impressed with the Kids’ Meals.
With four options to choose from (including two Mickey Check Meals), the kiddos tried the BBQ Ribs. I thought the portion size was really good, and even the seasonal veggie of green beans got the thumbs up.
Time for dessert! And with options like this, you just gotta.
We tried the Maple, Apple, and Bacon Bundt Cake, which delivered everything you expect from the name, from sweet to salty flavors.
The maple sauce gave it plenty of moisture, but the highlight was probably the mini pieces of brittle garnishing the dish.
If you’re going for just one dessert, then trust me that it should be this: the Fried Cheesecake.
I don’t know if the surrounding sauce will change from time to time since it’s just labeled as “Fried Cheesecake” on the menu, but on our visit it was served with cherry sauce.
But not just that… it was old fashioned cherry pie filling!!!! From the crispy-brown batter to the vanilla cream filling slightly softened by the frying, to the awesome cherry sauce, this one is a total winner! Worth a trip to the “new” River Belle Terrace, I’d say.
So, that’s it! Table Service dinner at River Belle Terrace is in the books. I know — believe me, I know — that not having breakfast here anymore is a loss, since it offered one of the most peaceful starts to a Disneyland day I can think of. But who knows? Maybe it will be an option again sometime (even if the Mickey Pancake has found a new home at Rancho del Zocalo). But taken for what it is now, as a new Table Service option at Disneyland, I have to say that overall we really enjoyed our meal, and look forward to dining here again.
Will you be trying out — or have you already visited — the new Table Service offerings at River Belle Terrace? Please let us know with a comment!