News! Tahitian Terrace Diamond Luau at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Disneyland

Aloha! Ahoy! AHA! Are you ready to raise a glass in honor of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary — and the no-longer-with-us Tahitian Terrace Restaurant – at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar?

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

The Tahitian Terrace Diamond Luau will be taking place at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel on August 10th and 11th. This ticketed event will feature the Tahitian Terrace Tribute Show (the restaurant and show closed in 1993), an historical overview presentation by Disney Imagineers, and, of course, food! The menu will [Read more…]

Best Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers

Okay. So I tried to come up with the Top Three Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers. But there was no way I could limit my picks to just three. So then, I said, hey, let’s try for the Top Five.

Even still.

So in the end, I cut myself off at Eight. :-)

Disneyland's Matterhorn

Matterhorn!

There is so much good food in Disneyland. Really, it was super hard not to just give you a list of pretty much every restaurant there, and call it a day.

But if you must narrow it down, these are the restaurants that I love. These are the spots that I’d go to every single time if I could. (And mostly, I do.)

Heading to Disneyland, or just dreaming about a pilgrimage there? Check out my picks for the places you have to visit during your very first trip. Whether you’re looking for a meal or a snack, you can’t go wrong with putting these spots on your list.

Cafe Orleans

If I could only eat at one spot in Disneyland for the rest of my life, I’m fairly sure that spot would be Cafe Orleans. Located on New Orleans Square, it’s offers some of the beautiful patio seating that Disneyland is known for.

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

But I’m going to be honest — Cafe Orleans claims the distinction of offering not just one or two, but three of my favorite Disneyland dishes. (And that’s pretty much all I ever eat there.) First, when you visit here, I insist you order the Pommes Frites. Tossed with Garlic and Parmesan, they’re served with a Cajun Remoulade ramekin. I also insist you order TWO remoulades. At least. Per person.

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

While I love their gumbo here as well, it’s the Monte Cristo Sandwich that I can’t live without. Pockets of bread layered with Ham, Turkey, and Swiss Cheese are lightly battered and deep-fried. Served with Berry Puree for dipping, this is pretty much something everyone should eat at least once in life.

Disneyland's Famous Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans

Not a meat-eater? There’s also an All-Cheese Version. No. Seriously. There is.

Behold. The Three-Cheese Monte Cristo. Did I mention the Double Creme Brie?

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland's Cafe New Orleans

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland’s Cafe New Orleans

But save room for dessert — because you can’t pass on the Mickey Beignets served with Dipping Sauces.

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Have this meal just once, and you can say “I’ve been to Disneyland” properly as far as I’m concerned.

Blue Bayou

But Cafe Orleans has an older, slightly more posh sister — Blue Bayou. And while I usually skip it in favor of Cafe Orleans, if you’re visiting the ‘Land for the first time, you really need to experience this place.

Because more than anything, Blue Bayou is an experience; it’s as much an attraction as a restaurant.

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Because the restaurant is fashioned to look like a verandah on a river’s edge. Look below you into the water, and you see travelers, en route to explore the mysteries of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Honestly, the food is less important here to me than the “view.” I have enjoyed the New Orleans Signature Gumbo. And in this setting, it’s even better.

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

And yep, to be honest, I like to order the Monte Cristo here, too!

Le Special de  Monte Cristo Sandwich

Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich

It’s a little fancier (and more expensive), but just as delicious.

Napa Rose

Some of my Disneyland dining choices are obviously sentimental; either I love the restaurant, the food, or both. But it’s not like they’re the tip-top of the culinary pyramid or anything. But then, there’s Napa Rose.

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

Start Your Napa Rose Adventure With a Glass of Wine on the Outside Patio

Nestled inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Napa Rose stands as a testament to fine California fusion cuisine, inspired by fresh farm-to-market ingredients.

Chef Sutton's Chili Base

Chef Sutton’s Chili Base — Even Base Ingredients are Created in House From Scratch

Chef Andrew Sutton is in charge here, and his menus make use of the freshest items. Prepare to be [Read more…]

Best Breakfasts in Disneyland

You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth — Disneyland!! And you’re ready to kick off a fun-filled day of park touring, thrills, and lots of character interaction. These are the streets that Walt himself walked, the Park that started them all!

Teacups

But how do you ensure that your day gets off to a great start? By kicking it off with the most important meal of the day!

There are tons of iconic snacks and delicious meals that we love to enjoy every time we visit Disneyland. But there are also some terrific breakfast options, too. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some of our favorites.

Steakhouse 55

If it’s a leisurely, sit-down breakfast you’re looking forward to, you can’t go wrong with Steakhouse 55. Located in Disneyland Hotel, this restaurant has been around nearly as long as the Park itself. It offers a quiet and elegant way to start off a day of Disney fun.

Tables

Steakhouse 55 in Disneyland Hotel — A Quiet Way to Start Your Day

Sometimes, I really love the option to fill up on a big breakfast, and then snack or eat lightly through the rest of the day. And there’s a no more luxurious morning splurge than a beautifully cooked plate of New York Steak and Eggs!

New York Steak and Eggs

New York Steak and Eggs

You can also customize your breakfast a bit and Build Your Own Omelette. Choose three from a list of fillings to make your breakfast totally unique.

Build Your Own Omelet

Choose to Build Your Own Omelette

Add some of those delicious Roasted Potatoes, and you’ll be fueled up for hours of Disney fun.

River Belle Terrace

Other times, my first priority is to get into the Parks super early, and then find a bite to eat. After all, there’s something truly magical about being one the of the first people in!

When I’m more interested in touring than spending precious time waiting for my order to arrive, I head to River Belle Terrace. And actually, there are two reasons that this is one of my favorite Disneyland breakfast spots. First off, the patio area offers gorgeous views of the Rivers of America. For me, this is such a serene way to start my day.

View from River Belle Terrace

View from River Belle Terrace

Although it’s a counter service spot, this isn’t food that you eat on the go. Comforting options like Biscuits and Gravy demand that you stop long enough to enjoy your meal.

Of course, you can’t enjoy breakfast here without at least one Mickey Pancake! Enjoying one while watching for the Mark Twain Riverboat to paddle by is Disney Bucket List stuff!

Mickey Pancake

Mickey Pancake

But don’t pass up the chance to try the [Read more…]

News! Five Disneyland Restaurants to Participate in Orange County Restaurant Week

Okay, you lucky Californians (and anyone who might be visiting Disneyland the first week of March)…

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 9.05.23 AM

FIVE Disneyland restaurants are participating in Orange County Restaurant Week!

Running for just one week, March 1-7, 2015, Restaurant Week features 100 of the best Orange County restaurants offering special discounted prix fixe menus.

Led by Chef Marcel St Pierre, Disneyland Hotel’s Steakhouse 55 will return to the event this year.

Steakhouse 55

Three courses will be offered for $50 (an optional wine pairing is available for an additional $35):

Guests will choose from among the following for their Starter Course: Hearts of Romaine, Chilled Tiger Prawns, or Creamy Onion Soup.

Entree options include: Grilled Petite Filet Mignon, Pan-roasted Double Breast of Chicken, Slow-roasted Prime Rib, Fava Bean & Rye Crusted King Salmon (all served with sautéed French green beans and Delmonico potatoes). Per Disney, vegetarian options will be available upon request.

And, of course, there’s still dessert! Choose from Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee or Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Also participating in Restaurant Week are Naples Ristorante, Tortilla Jo’s, Catal, and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Anaheim. Check ocrestaurantweek.com for menu information as it becomes available.

Reservations can be made by [Read more…]

Review: Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel

Ah, Steakhouse 55, a bastion of yesteryear near the Park That Started It All. Going to this place is like a living time capsule. Some historical exhibits celebrate the past by letting you look at it. But at Steakhouse 55, it’s like you’re actually stepping back through the years. And that’s a good thing.

Steakhouse 55

But if we’ve learned anything about Disney, it’s that change is always potentially on the horizon. Recently, they decided that the menu needed an overhaul. Maybe to match to some degree the rest of Disneyland’s emphasis on healthier fare?

We actually visited Steakhouse 55 prior to the recent menu refresh. But there has been so much to tell you guys over the last month, I’m just getting around to sharing my experience! So be aware that if you plan to visit, the menu will look a little different than what you see here.

Atmosphere

While Steakhouse 55 underwent a bit of a refresh in the decorating department last year, we didn’t find much different when we visited recently. You’re still greeted by this iconic, enlarged photo of Walt Disney as you enter the space. Rich wood trim and painted paneling hint at the more formal environment. Once you’ve entered, it’s very hard to remember that Goofy’s Kitchen is right next door.

Photo of Walt in Entryway

Photo of Walt in Entryway

You’ll come to the Steakhouse 55 Lounge first. Incidentally, this is a great spot to keep on your radar. Reservations are not required and they feature a bar menu with some delicious and satisfying options.

Recently they’ve also begun offering the full Steakhouse 55 Restaurant Menu in the Lounge as well. Stash this away in your bag of tricks in case you find yourself starving and looking for an upscale dining experience if the steakhouse itself is booked up.

Lounge

Steakhouse 55 Lounge

You’ll find shades of plum and silver, with plush finishes like satin and velvet. The bar area features a flat screen television, handy for checking out the latest scores.

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

Full Bar with Seating and Television

Find a spot at the bar, or enjoy comfortable seating in softly upholstered chairs and plush couches and chaises.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Small tables are perfect for Bar Bites and Cocktails, but might pose a challenge if you’re enjoying a full meal.

More Seating

Additional Lounge Seating

Exit the lounge and you’ll find the main dining room. Low lighting and white tablecloths hint at the more formal setting here.

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

But you’ll find the same understated decor, punctuated by those large photographs of famous faces from years gone by.

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

The feeling here is retro chic, and it’s not hard to imagine what this spot may have been like when the name over the door was still Granville’s, and the people in the pictures were sitting at the next table.

Eats

I’ve shared with you that Steakhouse 55 is my absolute most favorite spot for breakfast at Disneyland, and Heather has written about her delicious experience dining in the Lounge. But it had been a while since I had taken in dinner here.

Unfortunately, my timing was just a little off. Immediately after we enjoyed this experience, the menu underwent a change.

Here is the menu that Steakhouse 55 featured at the time of our dinner.

Menu: Starters, Soups, and Salads -- Click to Enlarge

Menu: Starters, Soups, and Salads — Click to Enlarge

Menu -- Main Dishes and Side Dishes -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Main Dishes and Side Dishes — Click to Enlarge

Chef Marcel St. Pierre, a Disney veteran who was most recently over the kitchens of Club 33, has taken over at Steakhouse 55. Not surprisingly, he is eager to put his stamp on things here, and to experiment with some popular trends and classic French preparations.

Since the changes, I’ll try to note where the dishes that we ordered have been updated.

We began our meal with fresh, warm Sourdough Bread, served with softened, Unsalted Butter.

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

My husband was dining with me. And you long-term DFB Readers know — he never passes up the chance to enjoy a Caesar Salad, and this visit was no exception!

The classic version of the salad was served with Olive Tapenade atop a Parmesan Crisp. This salad has been replaced with Hearts of Romaine — served with Caesar Dressing. Yep. Basically the same. Just fancier.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad with Olive Tapenade and Parmesan Crisp

Another classic dish that we couldn’t pass up ordering was the legendary Steakhouse 55 Seven Onion Soup. It’s delicious, but even better — it’s food theater. The soup comes together from two different dishes.

You are presented a soup bowl with [Read more…]

What’s Your Perfect Disneyland Dining Day?

Have you ever stopped to dream up your Perfect Disney Day? I bet I’m not the only one who’s whiled away the hours in this way. But I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that my daydreams about upcoming trips are frequently planned around — what else? — the FOOD!

So today, we’re going to have a little fun. I want to hear all about what your Perfect Disneyland Dining Day would look like! Where would you eat your meals? What would you have for snacks? Would it be an all fancy-meal affair? Or would treats and counter service eats make the cut too?

I’ll get the ball rolling on the food fantasy by sharing my picks!

Breakfast at Steakhouse 55

One of my favorite places for a serene breakfast is Steakhouse 55. This historic restaurant has been welcoming guests since the very earliest days of the resort. Formerly known as Granville’s, you’ll find a cool and classy atmosphere here with a retro vibe to it.

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

But the digs aren’t the only retro touch. The menu celebrates the past too, with classic dishes. That’s true for dinner as well as for breakfast.

And that combination of serene surroundings and delicious food with a touch of elegance makes Steakhouse 55 a great way to start your day on vacation.

New York Steak and Eggs

New York Steak and Eggs

Besides, how you can resist a good plate of steak and eggs? :-)

Morning Snack at Corn Dog Castle

I must admit, a plate of steak and eggs will probably keep me going for the better part of the day, so I’m likely to skip the morning snack after a meal like that in the real world. But this isn’t the real world at all — it’s the Best. Day. EVER! Right? So you guys, there’s totally gonna be a morning snack stop at Corn Dog Castle.

And making a choice here is no small feat. I mean, you’ve got the amazing classic Hand-Dipped Corn Dog, and you absolutely cannot go wrong with it. But there’s also the nearly-as-delightful Cheddar Cheese Stick if you’d like to skip the sausages altogether.

For me, on this Dream Day, I’m going all the way — and opting for the Hot Link Corn Dog!

Hot Link Corn Dog Meal

Hot Link Corn Dog Meal

In this case, that hand-dipped, made to order treat consists of crunchy Cornbread Coating that enrobes a Hot Link. And it’s definitely got a little zip to it.

Hot Link Corn Dog

Hot Link Corn Dog

Believe me when I say to you — Go there. Get this. One of the three options, anyway. A trip to Corn Dog Castle must be on your list. I insist. (You’ll thank me, I promise.)

Lunch at Cafe Orleans

OK, you guys KNOW that this place is going to be on my “list of anything awesome in Disneyland,” so if you’ve read all of my goings-on about the restaurant already, you’re allowed to skip this section. ;-D Yep. One of my very favorite Disney table service stops is Cafe Orleans.

As much as I love their Gumbo here, it’s the Pommes Frites that I never pass up. Perfectly cooked fries are tossed with Parmesan, Garlic, and Parsley and served with a side of Cajun Spice Rémoulade for dipping. So, so good!

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Next, I always make space in my Disneyland eating plans for a [Read more…]

Best Table Service Restaurants in the Disneyland Resort

We’re counting down some of our all-time favorite spots to dine when we visit Disneyland!

Best Disneyland Table Service Restaurants

And while snacking abounds and counter service can be delicious, today we are turning our attention to our favorite table service spots.

While Disney’s original park may not offer the same number of dining locations as Walt Disney World, there are certainly some places that you won’t want to miss. And we love them for all different reasons. Some are sentimental favorites, while others offer fantastic food.

Head out with us as we tour our Top 6 Table Service Spots in Disneyland Resort!

Steakhouse 55

Our first stop takes us to a spot steeped in Disneyland history — Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel.

Dark, cool interiors are replete with luxury and plenty of nods to the past. Named for the year that Disneyland opened, of course, Steakhouse 55 channels a bygone era with the glamour of Old Hollywood. Close your eyes, and you can easily imagine power lunches by the entertainment elite taking place at the next table.

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

There’s more here than just posh surroundings, however. The food is incredible, too. For dinner, expertly prepared Steaks and classic steakhouse Sides are the draw. And don’t forget the famous 24-layer Chocolate Cake!

No time for an epic meal, but still want to experience this awesome place? Stop in for Drinks and delicious Pub Grub in the Lounge.

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

But don’t forget breakfast! If you’re after a quiet start to your morning, you can’t go wrong with specialities like Eggs Benedict or New York Steak and Eggs.

Napa Rose

When I’m up for a culinary experience with a modern, California vibe, I head to Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

The Craftsman style and open floor plan gives the restaurant a warm, welcoming feel. It never feels too intimidating or hoity-toity, even though you are dining in one of Southern California’s most celebrated eateries.

Begin your evening in [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Tangaroa Terrace in the Disneyland Hotel

Today, we’re heading into one of my favorite places — the Disneyland Hotel — to enjoy lunch at Tangaroa Terrace.

The counter service spot, billed as “casual island dining”, is a newer addition to this landmark. While the hotel has been around since the beginning of Disneyland time, Tangaroa Terrace opened only a few short years ago as part of a massive renovation.

Tangaroa Terrace

Tangaroa Terrace

Early reviews weren’t extremely positive. But after the kitchen staff settled in a bit, our Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers visited and had a mostly positive experience here.

Fans of Captain Cook’s Snack Company in Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort (nope, apparently the name hasn’t officially changed yet) are going to find the place very familiar. Time to show you around a bit!

Atmosphere

Tangaroa Terrace isn’t just a renovated space — they built it from the ground up. The standalone spot is located adjacent to the hotel’s three pools, making poolside dining for guests of the hotel a snap.

Enter the restaurant, and you’ll see immediately that ordering your food is going to be an interactive experience. That’s because guests CAN place their orders at kiosks. The concept is a familiar one for veterans of Walt Disney World. But kiosk ordering is still pretty rare around Disneyland Resort.

Ordering Kiosks

Ordering Kiosks

The kitchen offers the same open concept like so many other Disney kitchens these days. It’s also worth noting that the staff here service not only Tangaroa Terrace, but Trader Sam’s and poolside orders as well.

A Closer Look at the Kitchen

A Closer Look at the Kitchen

Indoor seating is extremely limited…but hey, the restaurant isn’t called Tangaroa Terrace for nothing.

Taking a page from the Polynesian Islands, they meld the indoor with the outdoor here. Inside, soaring ceilings and big windows let in plenty of light.

Indoor Seating

Indoor Seating

But as far as seating goes, [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Steakhouse 55 Lounge at The Disneyland Hotel

I can easily say that Steakhouse 55 is one of my top 3 favorite Disney Resort restaurants.

steakhouse55 Logo

We eat there several times a year, and we always wait for our table in their lounge.  Because we’re such fans of Steakhouse 55, we’ve never ordered anything but drinks in the lounge; we’re always on our way to a fabulous meal in the restaurant!

Well, we recently decided to give the lounge a try and I’m so glad that we did.  Let’s be honest though, we only ate there because it was a last minute decision.  The Earl of Sandwich line was too long and there were no walk ins being accepted for Steakhouse 55… But it was great!

Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the lounge complements the decor inside of Steakhouse 55.  Classic and dark, but also inviting, the room is located at the entrance to the restaurant.  In addition to a full bar with seating, there are options to sit at small tables, couches, and some gorgeous high back chairs as well.  The decor includes lush velvet drapery and pillows in deep purple.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Looking to catch a game? No need to hit ESPN Zone, there’s a TV here too!

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

More Seating

More Seating

Eats

The menu is not very big, but I did think that the choices were fabulous for a lounge.  Options include Salads, Flatbreads, Bar Bites, and three different “Between Bread” choices.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu Book

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu Book

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu

AND what would be a meal without the fabulous Steakhouse 55 hot out of the oven Sourdough Bread??? Although not on the menu, [Read more…]

News! Valentine’s Day Menus and Treats at Disneyland

Will you be spending February 14th with someone special at Disneyland Resort? If so, you may want to check out some of the special treats and menu options to celebrate the day!

Disneyland

Carnation Café will offer a Surf and Turf dish for $19.99 (Sirloin Steak, Shrimp Skewer, Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomato Butter and Herb Beurre Blanc Sauce).

If you’re visiting in the morning, you can enjoy Strawberry and Chocolate Chip Pancakes ($10.49).

Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

Plaza Inn will be adding a Spicy Glazed Salmon with Chipotle Pineapple Glaze, Mixed Vegetables and Mushroom Quinoa for $16.99. (But why would you NOT get the fried chicken? That’s romantic, right?)

Plaza Inn entrance

Plaza Inn entrance

Café Orléans  will offer a “Bouchee of Love” :) . What’s a “Bouchee of Love,” exactly? It’s a puff pastry filled with shrimp, chicken, spinach, and tomato concasse in a creamy diable sauce with a drizzle of roasted cauliflower couli. ($19.49)

If you’ve already scored your Blue Bayou reservation, you’ll be able to enjoy Pan-Seared Hawaiian Hamachi, Spaghetti Squash, and Array of Roasted Potatoes (Sweet Potato, Yukon, Purple Potato), with Persimmon burr blanc ($36.99).

Blue Bayou

Blue Bayou View

Club 33 will also be [Read more…]