Guest Review: The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guest author Rebecca Dolan returns today with a restaurant review from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Let’s join her at The Hollywood Brown Derby!

Recalling the golden days of Tinseltown, The Hollywood Brown Derby sits just beyond where Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards converge.

A replica of the once iconic California restaurant, where famous faces of the day met to see and be seen, it exudes ‘30s/’40s style. “Meet me at the Derby” and let your inner star or starlet shine.

Meet me at the Derby


The restaurant is located in a Mission-style building complete with tile roof and crawling bougainvillea. The building is fairly understated, but a neon Derby sign on the roof gives it away. A long awning-covered walkway leads the way into the small check in area. It’s in here that guests get their first glimpse of the Derby’s iconic caricatures. Everyone who was anyone was represented on the walls – see how many stars you can spot.

Dining Room

Beyond the hostess desk, guests emerge from the unassuming lobby into the cavernous dining room, which feels like entering into a glamorous Hollywood club. The main floor is flanked on two sides by double rows of booths, the outer two being raised above the rest of the room.

Large art deco-esque chandeliers light the room and rich wood accents the walls. Entrants step first onto one of the overlooks, allowing a full view of their dining companions – famous or otherwise.

View of Dining Room

The constellation of stars’ caricatures continues onto these walls, from which bronze derby lamps hang over tables.

Brown Derby Decor

If you can, try to take a seat in one of the rounded booths – perfect for canoodling with your Hollywood heartthrob or generally enjoying a touch of seclusion.


The Brown Derby’s contemporary American menu isn’t lengthy, but provides a nice amount of variety. Don’t be put off by the level of detail when it comes to its descriptions; the food’s not too hoity toity. (Note: This is a two-credit restaurant on the Disney Dining Plan.)

Menu — click image for larger version

Bread service, with sea salted butter

As this is the birthplace of the Cobb salad, it felt like a must to order the appetizer size as one of our starters. It won’t look like a typical salad, however, since the lettuce and the toppings are all chopped so finely you could, no kidding, eat this salad with a spoon. The kitchen is generous with said toppings; so two people could eat this comfortably.

Cobb Salad

The lobster bisque was a bit on the salty side, and nothing too exciting. I’ll give it points for being the thickest lobster bisque I’ve ever had. Don’t expect true ravioli to be floating on top, the “ravioli” were more like little dumplings.

Lobster Bisque

The clear winner in the appetizer category was the andouille-crusted prawn, which sat on a bed of greens and grits. This dish stole this Southern gal’s heart, and I would like to lobby the restaurant for an entrée version.

The large shrimp was perfectly cooked, the greens tender, and the grits creamy. There’s only enough here for one, so don’t plan on sharing!

Andouille-crusted prawn

For the next course: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Disney’s Least Ordered Menu Items

Join me in welcoming guest author Tracy Antonioli to the Disney Food Blog!

While we usually review menu items that are commonly ordered and enjoyed, Tracy is turning the tables with an interesting experiment! She wanted to find out what some of Disney World’s least ordered menu items were like… Read on to find out the results…

My last trip to Disney World happened to fall over One More Disney Day, the 24-hour celebration of Leap Day that occurred in the Magic Kingdom and in Disneyland on February 29th. In thinking about what I’d do with one more day, all the things I’d eat came immediately to mind.

Of course, the hardest part about dining in Disney World is deciding what to have. There are so many great choices, from food on a stick to filet mignon. But I wanted to do something different. And so, a rather bizarre experiment was born — the least ordered item experiment.

Popular Dishes

You see, there are many dishes in Disney World that are well-known and sought after. The dole whip float. A hot dog from Casey’s. The cheddar cheese soup from Le Cellier, the wings at ‘Ohana, and the ubiquitous turkey leg.

Cheddar Cheese Soup at Le Cellier Steakhouse

And while there’s likely a good reason for the popularity of these items (all but two of which I also enjoyed during this trip), I imagined that there were just as many amazing — yet unknown and under-appreciated — menu items in Disney World. So I set out to find them.

During my trip, at two different restaurants — one counter service and one table service — I chose to sample the least-ordered menu items. Of course, this was in no way a scientific study. I didn’t ask for ordering statistics or an ‘items sold’ pie chart.

I simply asked the cast member taking my order ‘What item on the menu is ordered the least?’ Yes, they both looked at me kind of strangely at first, but so what? I was also walking around sporting gold sequined, feathered Mickey ears.

Least Ordered Dish — Counter Service

Because I was super excited to get this experiment underway — and I had an early morning flight and skipped breakfast — my first stop after getting off of the Magical Express was the closest counter service location, which in my case was The Mara, at Animal Kindgom Lodge Jambo House.


Unsurprisingly, the least ordered dish at this counter service location is the most exotic-sounding dish — the [Read more…]