Disneyland food guru (and our Dining in Disneyland columnist), Heather Sievers, fit a visit to the brand new Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta at Disney California Adventure into a packed weekend! Check out her review!
Last Friday, three new establishments opened up at Disney California Adventure and, honestly, I didn’t think I was going to be able to check them out until August. Why am I gone for a month you ask? Well, as you read this, my family and I are on our way to Barcelona to board the Disney Magic for an amazing Mediterranean cruise (yes, you will hear much more about this at a later date!).
The new eateries are located in the Paradise Pier section of DCA and include Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, Paradise Garden Grill, & a beer vendor called Bayside Brews (Editor’s Note: A first look at Bayside Brews is coming up later today).
Anyhow, in between packing and preparing, I just HAD to squeeze in a trip over to DCA to check out the new food. Unfortunately, I was only able to eat at Pizza Omm Mow Mow’s replacement: Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.
When we first walked up, I noticed immediately how amazing the new dining area was. Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta is right next door to the Paradise Garden Grill (formerly known as Burger Invasion, aka McDonald’s). So, the enormous seating area is shared by these two establishments.
We loved the openness of the area and also appreciated that there were options for covered and non-covered seating. Even better? The covered area had cooling fans lining the ceiling! Since there is no indoor seating, outdoor options make for a very pleasant meal.
Menus and Ordering Process
When we entered Boardwalk, it was completely empty. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, no lines at all. We noticed that the counter service restaurant was divided into three main areas: a pizza flatbread station in the center, a pasta station to the left, and a salad station to the right. There is also a specific area to pick up kids’ meals right next to the pasta station.
We knew that we were taking one for the team, so we loaded up on a little bit of everything to share with our fabulous Disney Food Blog readers. The way this joint works is that the chefs prepare a little bit of everything and you simply walk up and take what you’d like.
The only downside to this is heat lamps. But I did notice that they only put a few dishes out at a time and refreshed them quite often.
We started at the Pasta section and grabbed a 5 Cheese Ravioli with pesto sauce and toasted pine nuts and an order of Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, which consisted of campanelle pasta lightly tossed with sun dried tomato cream sauce.
Next we headed over to the flat bread area, where we chose to sample the BBQ Chicken Flat Bread.
I am really bummed I didn’t get to try the salads; they looked delicious and I’m always looking for a good salad option to add to my list of go to meals.
There were three different entree salads to choose from: the Chicken Caesar, an Italian Chef Salad, and the Boardwalk Field of Greens. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the Chicken Caesar; there were none out on the counter. Small side salads were also available from the refrigerated case.
Once we figured out the “grown up” meals, we headed to the Children’s Meal pick up area. There were three items for children ages 3-9 and one option for toddlers ages 3 and under. I don’t really think they regulate the age requirements though, I’m pretty sure anyone could have grabbed a meal from the area without being carded… .
The toddler option was Cheesy Macaroni; it actually looked pretty tasty. One of the child options was cheese pizza, which is made to order. If we’d have known this we would have taken care of the kids first, as it took 5 minutes. (This means our food sat for 5 minutes. Next time, kids first.)
There was also Little Bell Pasta with alfredo sauce (basically kid friendly fettuccine) and Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs. Each children’s meal includes a drink, carrots, and a pack of sliced apples or applesauce, which you must pick up on your way out.
As far as drinks go, there is the typical soda fountain area. Water, juice, milk & chocolate milk are also available. There is also a Beer Station where you can purchase Bud Light or Peroni, an Italian Beer.
Unfortunately my Beer Station Photo is very blurry, sorry, but I thought you still might like to enjoy the cute cast member showing off her station.
Of course, we couldn’t pass up the desserts. There were three items to choose from; an Espresso Brownie, Limoncello Cheesecake, and Fruit Pizza which is made fresh to order. We ordered a fruit pizza and grabbed a Limoncello Cheesecake to try.
The fruit pizza is available to order at the Pizza station and the brownie and cheesecake can be found upon checkout.
At this point our acquired food was becoming ridiculous, so we headed to the check out kiosk and made sure to use our annual pass for a discount.
Now that we had multiple trays of food in our possession, we headed out and found a lovely table in the covered seating area under the fans.
My oldest son, who will be 10 in August, is on his last year of kids’ meals. He ordered the kids “pizza,” and it was pretty tiny for him. I actually think that the Cheese Flat Bread Pizza would have been a better option, but he’s still hanging on to those kids’ meals. He did enjoy it, but to me it looked like nothing special.
My youngest had the Spaghetti with Meatballs, but with no sauce. I didn’t even bother to photograph that, it looked so unappetizing. However, he ate every bite, and I appreciate the fact that the Disney Chefs here will make the meal to your child’s liking. So no complaints in this department.
My husband and I shared three meals. The BBQ Chicken Flatbread was really good; I love thin crust pizza and the flavor of the sauce was a perfectly sweetened BBQ flavor that went well with the applewood smoked bacon, smoked gouda, mozzarella, onions, chicken and cilantro it was topped with. We finished the whole pizza.
Next we moved on to the Five Cheese Ravioli with pesto and toasted pine nuts. This was actually my favorite dish. It was light tasting, the pesto was not at all overwhelming and the texture of the raviolis was about perfect. It would have been perfection if we had ordered the children’s pizza first and not stood around letting it get cold. This dish is fully vegetarian (I asked) so it’s a great option for you non-meat-eaters!
Lastly, we gave the Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta a whirl. I was most excited about this dish, as I am a huge sun dried tomato fan. The dish looked really delicious upon first sight, but unfortunately it was my least favorite.
The pasta was cooked to perfection, but the sauce was really spicy and I am not a spice fan. After a few bites my tongue was on fire and I handed it over to my husband in exchange for the rest of the raviolis! The chicken in the pasta was really good, but I did not enjoy the sauce. If you enjoy spicy sauces, you may love this; it just wasn’t for me.
Now, on to the desserts. My absolute favorite item at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta was the fruit pizza. It’s a sweet dough, almost like a danish type of flavor, with sugar crystals on the “crust.” It is then topped with sweet creamy custard and fresh fruit before it runs through a mini oven on a conveyor belt.
The fruity goodness comes out warm and tastes amazing. Ours was topped with kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, apples, apricots, raspberries, and blackberries. Bits of pistachio are sprinkled on top as well. So delish!
My husband and I both agreed that the Limoncello Cheesecake tasted a bit too “Pledge-like.” Not that I taste cleaning supplies, but the smell and taste made me feel like I should be dusting furniture. The cheesecake looked beautiful and the texture was nice, but the lemon flavor was very overpowering and unnatural tasting. What a disappointment. Next time, we’ll try the Espresso Brownie…
Overall we did really enjoy Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. I love the fact that the sauces and pastas are cooked in-house and are very fresh when you order them. I actually witnessed the chef working on some sauces as well as boiling the pasta in giant vats.
I did find it hilarious that there was a “fake” pizza oven at the Pizza Station that was actually a conveyor belt coming out from the kitchen — pretty clever. The pizza chefs were back there sending out the fresh pizzas. It was also nice to see that the chefs were willing to customize any meal that needed a little personal tweaking.
We will definitely be back to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, but not until after we try out the other new restaurant at Disney California Adventure — Paradise Garden Grill. Baklava? Yes please!
Stay tuned for that review! Also, Bayside Brews coming up later today!