Review: The Bayou Burger and Southern Fried Shrimp at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, Riverside, is beloved by guests for its charming setting, classic accommodations, and location along the Sassagoula River.

Dining at Riverside is also quite good when it comes to resort eats, with four options for food and drinks. Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a hidden gem (though not everyone agrees with me on this ;-D) of a table service option serving up southern favorites like killer Jambalaya. River Roost is a comfortable lounge that offers a small apps menu. And Muddy Rivers on Ol’ Man Island, where you can grab a beverage while lounging by the pool (including the new Frosé).

But for a huge variety of quick service options, you want to head to Riverside Mill Food Court. Riverside Mill is known, of course, for classic Disney eats like Chicken Nuggets and Create-Your-Own-Pasta as well as southern-stylized grub like Fried Shrimp and Cajun Chicken Sandwiches.

The Riverside Mill

The Riverside Mill

So, welcome to The Riverside Mill… established in 1875!

Atmosphere

Riverside Mill Food Court is fairly distinctive against the lush backdrop of the resort, with its blue exterior paint and chunky white wood railings. I love the terrific front porch feel of the building.

Riverside Mill Food Court

Riverside Mill Food Court

But if you’re still not sure you’ve arrived? Look for the massive water wheel on the side. You can’t miss it, outside or in!

Water Wheel Runs the Mill

Water Wheel Runs the Mill

The mill design continues into the seating area inside. Huge wooden pillars and beams run the width of the space, which consists of mismatched wooden chairs and tables. It immediately feels like you could kick back and hang for hours — like a neighborhood spot cobbled together over time.

Seating at Riverside Mill

Seating at Riverside Mill

The food court itself is what you’d expect: food stations offer specific eats, with queues and large menus overhead. But these are stylized as well, with arched openings and bright paint with contrasting trim.

Ordering Stations

Ordering Stations

Grab and Go grub is available in case you need to eat and run! Coolers are stocked with beverages and snacks.

Grab and Go

Grab and Go

Drinks and Eats

Drinks and Eats

More Grab and Go snacks are scattered throughout, so keep your eyes peeled if you’ve got a certain something in mind.

Grab and Go

Grab and Go

Grab and Go Snacks

Grab and Go Snacks

Desserts are on display, but don’t waste your time on the cupcakes. There are better desserts between Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter!

Dessert Case

Dessert Case

Beverages are readily available. And the theming continues even around the drink station. Check out that cool wheel-mechanism-thingy in the background!

Beverage Zones

Beverage Zones

You won’t find Coke Freestyle machines here (they’re at Riverside’s sister resort, French Quarter), so these will do.

Soft Drinks

Soft Drinks

You’ll see a wall of menus featuring the usual offerings right upon entering the food court area. This can be a good way to get the lay of the food land before joining the masses in the ordering area itself.

Menus

Menus

Sandwiches

Sandwiches

More Sandwiches

More Sandwiches

Flatbreads

Flatbreads

Burgers

Burgers

Customize-Your-Own-Salad

Customize-Your-Own-Salad

Desserts

Desserts

You’ll also find signage letting guests know about their Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Options.

Disney Dining Plan Sign

Disney Dining Plan Sign

The Lunch and Dinner menu also gives you a good overview of what kind of food you’ll find.

Lunch and Dinner Sign

Lunch and Dinner Sign

So, let’s grab some grub!

Eats

The big news at Riverside Mill Food Court is the addition of three relatively new burgers: the Bayou Burger, the Swamp Burger, and the Baton Rouge Burger. The Baton Rouge Burger with Pimento Cheese, Fried Green Tomato, and Bacon has gotten the most buzz from foodies online, but — even with my deep love of Pimento Cheese — I skipped it because it seems pretty similar to the Southern Classic Burger at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs.

Also… the Bayou Burger comes with Abita Beer Cheese Fondue. So. Obviously I had to get THAT.

Bayou Burger with Fries

Bayou Burger with Fries

You’ll find the same fondue poured on (and under!) the Loaded Potato Puffs at the River Roost. And it does not disappoint (how could it?!). But the burger was… drum roll, please… as dry as expected. Why? Why can’t Disney find a way to do a quick service burger well? D-Luxe has it down, and the french dip burger at Epcot’s Electric Umbrella is great, but otherwise? It’s cardboard-meets-hockey-puck.

Cardboard burger

Cardboard burger

Aside from the burger patty, though, there’s also Braised Prime Rib and House-Made Pickles on a Brioche Bun. And THESE are all really, really good. I kind of wish I had ordered this burger… well, sans burger… and just enjoyed the prime rib, pickles, fondue, and bun. Seems possible (and preferable, if I’m being totally real).

Prime Rib, Abita Beer Cheese Fondue, Pickles

Prime Rib, Abita Beer Cheese Fondue, Pickles

And in case you were wondering: yes, I ordered a cup of the cheese fondue on the side. It totally made the burger. Plus, I could dip my fries in it, too!

I also like to check in on the old stand-bys, so I ordered up the Southern Fried Shrimp. It was crunchy, salty, and perfectly cooked.

Southern Fried Shimp

Southern Fried Shimp

It comes with remoulade — not Disneyland’s Cafe Orleans caliber, but still decent. It was cold, though, which was off-putting.

The sides include a Fried Green Tomato. Thin, but tasty!

Fried Green Tomato

Fried Green Tomato

I opted not to have dessert on this visit, but if you do, consider the Magic Cookie Bar, especially if you love butterscotch. (You can also find this at Roaring Fork in the Wilderness Lodge!)

Magic Cookie Bar at Riverside Mill

Magic Cookie Bar at Riverside Mill

We’re bummed the Cherry Cobbler is gone, though. Here’s hoping it makes a comeback someday! And you can always head over to Sassagoula (an easy walk to Port Orleans French Quarter) and grab the beignets or beignet sundae for dessert. Definitely worth it.

Nosh or Not?

Make your way to the Mill if:

  • You’re staying at Port Orleans — Riverside and need a quick service meal option.
  • You are staying at Port Orleans– French Quarter and want to enjoy a pleasant walk over to Riverside for a change of scenery.
  • You want to grab a quick bite ahead of a Yeeha Bob show!

Make your way somewhere else if:

  • You’re not in the vicinity of Port Orleans — Riverside, and aren’t inspired to make the trip over.
  • You prefer more upscale dining… even if it’s just a more upscale burger.
  • You don’t care for quick service meals and want to indulge in table service instead.

Overall

The Riverside Mill Food Court is a beautifully designed space that serves up decent-to-good quick service food. It’s more than passable, if you’re staying at the Resort. But it’s not really worth the trip over if you’re not. Still, being a short boat ride away from Disney Springs, the Resort is really worth seeing at least once.  And a food tour of both Sassagoula and Riverside Mill at the sister resorts here is more than worth the trip. And if you do make your way here for any reason, be sure to get yourself a Magic Cookie Bar!

Have you dined at Port Orleans — Riverside? What’s your favorite thing to get? 

Comments

  1. Jean says

    Mmmm, beer cheese fondue!!! I have a really hard time passing up on the Warm Apple Blossom at Riverside. I had it once at DAK (way back when), and it’s the best, warm, delicious apple pastry, especially a la mode!!

  2. Laurie says

    Stayed here 2 weeks ago and Magic Cookie Bar not so magical, did not enjoy that at all….but cherry cobbler was on the menu and it was fantastic!

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