Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Specialty Items

We headed back into Disney’s California Adventure to sample two of the Food & Wine Festival‘s signature items this year. Signature items are located at counter-service spots around the park, and the two we sampled were found in Taste Pilot’s Grill and Award Weiners.

These signature dishes are sized larger than the tapas that can be found at the “Taste of California” area in the Festival Center. They are served as standard counter-service meals, including a side dish — usually fries, chips, or apple slices. The cost for the larger items is reflective, sometimes topping out in the teens!

Mangia Meatballs
The Mangia Meatballs are a cross between an Italian Sausage and a meatball sub sandwich. The three meatballs on a cornmeal hoagie roll were accompanied by marinara, onions, and peppers, creating a slightly spicy dish.

While the meatballs tasted pre-packaged and had a mushier texture than I was anticipating, the marinara with onions and peppers was quite good. The whole thing was topped off with fresh mozzarella cheese — un-melted — which added positively to the taste. Overall, I wouldn’t get it as an entree if I had other choices, but it wasn’t the worst meatball sub I’ve ever had. I’d give it a 6 out of 10. This dish can be found at Award Weiners.

Mangia Meatballs at Award Weiners

Meatball Close Up

Pulled Pork Sandwich
The pork sandwich surprised us both. We were expecting dry, over-cooked meat with too little taste (so often the case with mass-produced pulled pork), but the sandwich was actually quite good. The serving of pulled pork was extremely generous, and the taste — with just the right amount of BBQ sauce [Read more…]

Dinner at ‘Ohana

Today, my friends, we’re headed to Disney World’s Polynesian Resort to visit one of my favorite places — and yours — ‘Ohana. Those of you versed in Lilo and Stitch, or those of you who have been lucky enough to visit the beautiful islands of Hawai’i, know that “‘Ohana” means “Family,” and at this restaurant, they drive the point home.

Food is served family style, everyone in the restaurant — including you — are “cousins,” and the Hawaiian entertainment is aimed at bringing everyone together to participate in common activities. It’s a restaurant like none other in the Disney realm, and its high points are what keeps ‘Ohana a tough reservation to get.

Atmosphere
You’re greeted at ‘Ohana by “cousins” at the podium who take your name, give you a buzzer, and send you out into the Polynesian Resort to explore. Trust me, this is one of those rare restaurants where you hope you have 15-20 minutes to wait until you’re seated — there’s so much to do! Here are my favorite diversions while waiting for my buzzer to go off at ‘Ohana:

  • Have a Drink: Grab yourself a giant wicker chair in the Tambu Lounge just past the ‘Ohana podium. Knowledgeable bartenders and friendly servers will cater to your whims as you relax and wait for your table. (One of my favorites is the Lapu Lapu…a drink served IN a pineapple!)
  • Lapu Lapu

  • Listen to the Islands: ‘Ohana often provides a very talented [Read more…]