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Decent eating in Disneyland?

otis Feb 9, 2008 09:39 PM

Disneyland is not about the food, obviously. But it would be great if some regular Disneylanders who are also CHs could post their advice for getting edible, reliable, reasonably healthy and not exorbitantly priced food that is either within Disneyland or California Adventure, or in Downtown Disney, or maybe just across the street on Harbor.

I'm prompted to make this request by a really bad experience at Cove Bar, a spot that has been commented on favorably on this board. On a slow night, we waited 20 minutes for drinks and when the food finally arrived 3 of 4 "hot" dishes were ice cold. We complained to the waiter and he said "I'll tell the chef" as if it was the chef's fault for waiting till food turned cold to serve it.

I'm sure there were people near me in the park enjoying much better meals and I'd like to know their tips for my next visit. Thanks.

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  1. sku RE: otis Feb 9, 2008 10:26 PM

    Ah, the Disney food conundrum. I have lived it many times.

    My solution of choice is Lee's Sandwiches, the banh mi chain. There is a branch on Harbor off Ball Road (12905 Harbor), just a few miles from the park. I think it opens at 7 so you could go early and take sandwiches in, but I usually swing by afterward for an after-park meal on the way home.

    For in-park eating, good food is tough, healthy is tougher. In general, you'll probably do better in California Adventure than Disneyland. Here area few notes.

    The only truly great food at Disneyland are the corn dogs. There is a corn dog stand on Main Street and Corn Dog Castle in the pier section of CA (get the hot links corn dog).

    Disneyland: The best food is in New Orleans Square. Blue Bayou has a good monte cristo sandwich and you get to eat while watching the Pirate's ride, but you need reservations, sometimes weeks in advance. Country Kitchen does a decent pulled pork sandwich and fried chicken. There is a clam chowder in a bread bowl place which is okay too. All of these are close together, clustered around the Pirates ride.

    Pretty much everything else in the park sucks, with the exception of junk food like churros and other snacks which can be okay.

    And never eat in Tomorrowland!! I can't emphasize that enough.

    California Adventure, in general, has better food. There are a few places I've never been to but have wanted to try...maybe someone else could chime in on them. Right as you enter, toward the right, there is a bbq style place which looks pretty good. There is also a full-on restaurant, Napa Rose, but I've just never been able to justify trying to find fine cuisine at a Disney Park.

    Right outside the tram stop for the parks is a La Brea Bakery which has pretty good salads and sandwiches. This may be your best bet for healthy food. It's a lot more accessible than the rest of Downtown Disney if you want to make a quick meal and then return to the parks.

    Good luck.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sku
      Das Ubergeek RE: sku Feb 10, 2008 08:16 AM

      Boy, are you missing out, then... because Napa Rose is actually one of the best restaurants in Orange County. It's not ridiculously priced, either -- at least no more ridiculously priced than your choice of Newport Beach or Laguna Beach fine-dining restaurants.

      And it IS possible to get a decent meal in the parks -- much easier than in the past. The secret is to not try and eat a whole meal at once. The prices are expensive, of course, but remember to ask for your Annual Passport discount if you're entitled to one. If you are hoping to eat cheaply, bring your own food and put it in one of the rental lockers.

      The skewers at the Bengal Barbecue are OK, but the bacon-wrapped asparagus skewers are excellent. The "spicy" sauces, BTW, tend to be extremely salty so you'll want to stick with sweet sauces, or just get a bunch of asparagus. Each skewer has five pieces.

      Toward the entrance to Adventureland is the Enchanted Tiki Room, where you can get a quite tasty pineapple Dole whip. There's also a fruit cart near the Winnie the Pooh attraction, which has surprisingly good fruit (especially in spring and summer, when the fruits are in season).

      The soup in a bread bowl -- gumbo or clam chowder -- next to Pirates of the Caribbean is always a winner. Expensive, yes. Sometimes you get the bottom of the pot and it's very salty -- if so, return it to any window and complain and they'll give you another (assuming you haven't obviously been eating it up).

      I disagree about not eating in Tomorrowland -- I really like the "pizza salad" at Redd Rockett's Pizza Port.

      Near the Hub (the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse) is the Plaza Inn, which has very tasty fried chicken -- the secret is to ask for it slightly well-done so they have to fry it up for you. They may ask you to step back to allow other, less-savvy people to get the stuff sitting under the heat lamp, and if the line is ridiculous (summer, Spring Break, Christmas) or they're understaffed (rarely), they may not be able to accommodate you.

      The bakery in Main Street, U.S.A. has what might be the best coconut macaroons in existence. I *love* those macaroons.

      California Adventure is a lot easier -- the lobster nachos in the bar behind Ariel's Grotto, the sandwiches, pastas and salads at the Wine Country Trattoria, and the food at the Mexican restaurant next to the Mission tortilla factory are all quite good. Pretty much all the food you're going to want to eat is in the Pacific Wharf area.

      Out at Downtown Disney, it's a little more difficult. I like the "small plates" at Uva Bar, but don't care for Catal as it's a bit overwrought and very expensive. Depending on what you get, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen can be OK, but the little takeaway shop is to be depended upon only for beignets, coffee and bread pudding. The Mexican place, well, you could go to El Torito and it would be the same food cheaper. The Italian pizza joint is astronomically expensive and the service is the worst, not to mention that the pizza is absolutely disgusting. La Brea is OK -- good luck getting a seat.

      The hotels are the biggest surprise, though. Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel is actually surprisingly good, though Mastro's it isn't. Yamabuki, a Japanese place in the Paradise Pier Hotel, is very, very good for cooked food but the sushi is just OK. (It's not bad, it's just not fantastic.) And, of course, Napa Rose in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel we've already covered. (Stay tuned later this week for a review... we're going for our "not-a-Valentine's-Day" dinner.

      1. re: sku
        n
        nd33x RE: sku Feb 12, 2008 02:01 PM

        I second the clam chowder bread bowl.

      2. b
        Burger Boy RE: otis Feb 9, 2008 11:24 PM

        Get the Corn Dog on Main Street. It is the Best Corn Dog you will ever eat! As you walk up Main Street on the right hand side, before you come to the circle, is a cart/wagon that has these huge fresh awesome corn dogs.

        1. o
          omakase RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 12:33 AM

          I love the Hot Dogs at a place called The Refreshment Corner at the end of Main Street. This isn't to be confused with the Corn Dog Place, which I also love but already mentioned.

          1. m
            mlgb RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 09:25 AM

            You do occasionally get the bad service at Disneyland but it's relatively unusual at most venues. I've always enjoyed the fried calamari appetizer at the above Cove Bar, and the drinks are usually strong. I would have made a bigger stink about what happened, there's usually a manager around.

            Any how, I don't necessarily agree that the best food is at DCA, there's a broader range of choices at Disneyland.

            For DCA my favorite choice is actually just outside the gate to the hotel, Whitewater Snacks, for the grilled chicken and green chile sandwich and fries. It's fast and never crowded. Yes, I know Napa Rose is wonderful but it's not even an option until after you're done with the parks.

            Pacific Wharf Cafe has the bread bowls, choices of salads and soups (they make the bread next door). Just be warned that you will get very little salad inside that bowl.

            The so called "bbq" place is Taste Pilot's Grill, they have a fixins bar for the burgers etc. The bbq is just okay and last time I went the chicken sandwich was pretty bad (pale and cottony).

            Wine Country Trattoria is okay for a sitdown meal, although the service is bad about half the time. They have typical pastas, salads and sandwiches, as well as beer & wine service. Okay if you want a sit down meal with alcohol and won't get freaked out over slow and inattentive service.

            There's a beer truck at the Pacific Wharf that sells Karl Strauss brews. Avoid the Margarita stand, pre mixed slop that is really weak.

            There's a pizza restaurant hidden away near the kiddie rides (Pizza Oom Mow Mow), I went once and it wasn't bad.

            For an upscale experience inside DCA, pretty good really, the upstairs restaurant above Wine Country Trattoria, called the Vineyard Room. I haven't been since they changed up the menu, however. It's another dinner only place, and I think weekends only. But if they're having an evening parade it's a good place to eat dinner.

            Our new favorite discovery is the port and blue cheese tasting flight at the Wine Bar. Three different artisanal blue cheese and 3 or 4 port tastings.

            Inside the trains at the entrance is a decent coffee and desserts place. They have sandwiches and salads. Sometimes the salads are pretty good, but the sandwiches are overchilled.

            Over at Disneyland, my favorite lunch place is the Plaza Inn for Broasted Chicken. It's fast serve but sit-down dining.

            The best food is around New Orleans Square.

            Blue Bayou is overpriced, you're paying for the atmosphere and need to order carefully. Click on my name for two reviews.

            There's also Cafe Orleans which is a more reasonable sit down choice, they serve the Monte Cristo sandwiches. French Market is the fast serve place.

            A lot of people like the bread bowl place but again, you're mostly gettiing bread in those bowls. I like the little fritters (they're cream puff shells, really).

            For grease bombs, the deep fried crumbed items served around Golden Horseshoe are quite good (I think there's a choice of fish, chicken and cheese sticks).

            I also love Bengal BBQ, the Dole Whip, and the smoked Turkey legs (there's a second cart near Big Thunder Mountain). We've also developed a taste for the Vanilla Lemonade in hot weather (again near Big Thunder). The bakery on Main Street has good desserts and coffee but the lines are usually too long.

            Finally, they keep changing the menu, but Rancho del Zocalo has some good choices for healthier food.

            Places to avoid for me are Ariel's Grotto, the Mexican restaurant in Cal Adventure (worse than Taco Bell, with a tiny scoop of awful salty salsa, I can't believe anyone would recommend this place), and the fast serve place in Tomorrowland. If you need to eat in Tomorrowland, the Pizza Port can be okay if you get something freshly made.

            I also don't recommend Yamabuki if you've eaten regularly at any local Japanese places. The quality is good, but the prices will blow you away for what you get.

            If you want to do a character brunch, I like the one at Paradise Pier hotel which is Hawaiian themed.

            A final note, if you're freaked out by the big portions and pricing at some of the sitdown places, you can share, and they've always let me order a childs meal (even at Blue Bayou, which has a kiddy portion prime rib).

            1 Reply
            1. re: mlgb
              Das Ubergeek RE: mlgb Feb 10, 2008 03:37 PM

              Ariel's Grotto itself -- the restaurant -- is a must-miss. But the bar behind it (overlooks the lagoon and the loading area for California Screamin', so you'll have a lot of "FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE... SCREEEEEEEEEEEEAM") has some very good appetizers.

              If you're trying to find inexpensive food at Disneyland, you are just out of luck, and no two ways about it. There is no cheap option. You can always go get food elsewhere and drive back in (parking is multiple-entry, so it's $11 per day, not $11 per entry) but that will take a shockingly long time.

              The nachos at the tortilla factory restaurant (the quick serve) are the thing to get.

            2. EatinThePizzaNaked RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 09:38 AM

              the Storytellers Cafe in the grand californian hotel next to california adventure has a REALLY good cheeseburger / turkey burger. If you get it with gucacamole for $2 more it comes to about $14 but is worth it.

              there's photos on this site:

              http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/asp/d...

              5 Replies
              1. re: EatinThePizzaNaked
                f
                Fru RE: EatinThePizzaNaked Feb 10, 2008 11:04 AM

                I go several times a year and most of the time end up at the Plaza Inn http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disne... at the end of Main Street just before you get to Tomorrow Land and the rockets. They have decent broasted chicken, pot roast and a cobb salad for entres. The kids meals are decent too. I always look longingly at the desserts but I am always too full from the chicken. Make sure if you are going for lunch that you get in line a few minutes before it opens as there will be a line to get in once it is open.
                I think any of their soups in bread bowls are overpriced and undersized (except for the bread). The "pizzas" are terrible and the Mexican isn't very good either. Sometimes there are interesting entres at the French Market but for a sure thing that will have something for everyone and be a very nice place to sit, take my suggestion. Oh, by the way, I don't know where home is but we always go to Hof's Hut for dinner. www.hofshut.com Again, we go several times a year so we never stay til the bitter end. I am going to have to try Napa Rose some day for dinner!

                1. re: Fru
                  m
                  mlgb RE: Fru Feb 10, 2008 11:51 AM

                  The Plaza Inn has great apple pie if you ever have room!

                2. re: EatinThePizzaNaked
                  m
                  mlgb RE: EatinThePizzaNaked Feb 11, 2008 01:23 PM

                  If you don't want to waste time and money at Storytellers Cafe (and they have some REALLY slow service) you can get a decent cheeseburger (and also veggie burger) from the grill inside White Water Snacks, also in the Grand Californian. Thats about $8 including the fries. They're made to order and brought out to you when they're ready.

                  And for nachos, the version at White Water Snacks is actually good, also about $8. Unless one's taste runs to stale Mission tortilla chips and Velveeta, then that awful place in Pacific Wharf is your man.

                  1. re: mlgb
                    Das Ubergeek RE: mlgb Feb 11, 2008 01:27 PM

                    I think you and I must be talking about two completely different places. The place I get the nachos -- which I love -- is a quick-serve place near the beer truck. You seem to be talking about a sit-down restaurant.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                      m
                      mlgb RE: Das Ubergeek Feb 11, 2008 01:39 PM

                      Nope Cucina Cucamonga, near the beer truck. Have probably been forced to go a dozen times. Awful, awful. High School cafeteria food is better. Taco Bell is better. Salty watery salsa and rotten guacamole. Stale tortilla chips (although I like the sugar cinnamon ones). Actually those nachos remind me of the type you get at baseball stadiums. I guess to each their own. That is in my bottom 3 places in the entire park (along with the hidden stand in the Farmers Market area of DCA and the Tomorrowland Terrace counter service place). To make it even more painful, the lines seem to move particularly slowly for a "fast food" venue. I might even rather go to Ariel's Grotto.

                      White Water Snacks is better, as is Rancho del Zocalo in Disneyland.

                3. wyatt3290 RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 01:12 PM

                  Everything "inside the park" is over priced and or terrible. I'm not saying a corn dog for $5 is a deal but at least it's fresh and very good.

                  http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/...

                  1. l
                    lakeshow318 RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 03:57 PM

                    the one meal that i've actually been surprised by the quality is the monte cristo sandwich at the restaurant in pirates of the carribean. delicious! probably overpriced, but everything is.

                    1. j
                      jenii RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 04:18 PM

                      Honestly, Blue Bayou is the only good restaurant there, and it's really hard to get in there because of that. But, if you can? Get a Monte Cristo sandwich. I loved those as a kid. Back then, though, there was other decent food at the park, so not everyone was lining up to get into Blue Bayou.

                      Really, when I go to Disneyland, I'm fueled by popcorn, soda, the Dole pineapple soft serve, and cotton candy. Occasionally a churro.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jenii
                        m
                        mlgb RE: jenii Feb 10, 2008 04:57 PM

                        As I said above, the Monte Cristo sandwich is now served at Cafe Orleans which is less expensive and easier to get into than BB. The food at Blue Bayou isn't really that good.

                        I've eaten at just about every restaurant in the parks other than whatever is in Toontown. There is other decent food. Read the postings. Try the Plaza Inn chicken. Try the turkey leg. Try the fish fingers at Golden Horseshoe.

                        Some times you think you're saving money by buying the over priced snacks, but you'd do better to get something substantial and just split it. If you want to compare prices, the following website has menu postings that are kept updated.

                        http://allears.net/dlr/tp/dl/dl_rest.htm

                        For example, the three-piece chicken dinner with sides is $13.49. That easily serves two people. The kids meal (chicken drumstick, 2 veg, drink and fruit) is $5.99.

                      2. notmartha RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 06:54 PM

                        Really nothing that great inside the parks, or within Downtown Disney. Our strategy is usually to eat a big breakfast at Jaegerhaus in the morning, and eat late lunch/snack, and go outside the park (Lee's, IN-N-Out or Zankou's) for a late dinner before heading home.

                        Within the park we like the corn dog (you can ask for one w/o the bag of chips, btw), the turkey leg (can be salty), or sometimes we opt to get the fried chicken strips, fried mozzarella and an ice cream sundae at the Golden Horseshoe. You can watch a show while you munch at the Golden Horseshoe, and somehow you will forget about the OK food and the high prices you pay for them!

                        Went to Blue Bayou a few times. IMHO, once is more than enough.

                        1. j
                          JeetJet RE: otis Feb 10, 2008 07:49 PM

                          Eight in our family have had passes for many years. Sometimes we drive to Disneyland just to spend several hours and have a great lunch or dinner. Once inside the park it would take way to much time to leave, eat and return. Consider also that you are paying hundreds to be inside. Therefore time is money and the cost of the lost time must be added to the price of the meal outside. There is no food outside the park worth that kind of $$$$$$

                          IMO, the best Pulled Pork Sandwich within the L.A. Area is at the French Market in New Orleans Square. The slaw on that sandwich is reason enough to go the park. The price is very reasonable. You will be in a different place at a different time enjoying a live jazz band on stage as the C.K. Holliday and the Mark Twain go past your table. Good food and believing is the magic of Disneyland – sights, sounds, taste, smells... Several times we have shared this sandwich to make it two meals but each of us added one of those perfect chocolate cake desserts. That cake was once served as a slice but now it is your own little cake -- read moboutit below. What I also like about the French Market is you can refill your soft drinks free. I am not sure whether any other place in the park offers free refills.

                          The Fried Chicken dinner at the Plaza Inn located in the hub is one of the best in the L.A. Area also. Again, the price competes with any Fried Chicken dinner outside the park. This meal includes half-of-a-chicken, or upgrade to two breast for a little more, and this my also be enough food for two meals.

                          Mo bout dat choclet cake but you hasta escuz my spellin. I try hard to spellcheck but I can't dodatnokindaway.
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/442294

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: JeetJet
                            f
                            Fru RE: JeetJet Feb 10, 2008 08:21 PM

                            They aren't as good as they used to be but we would go later in the day to sit and listen to music at the French Market while sipping our Mint Juleps and yes getting refills. Actually, if you save your receipt you should be able to get a refill on any of the fountain drinks, coffee and tea. I'm not sure if they are transferable from food place to food place though.

                            1. re: Fru
                              j
                              JeetJet RE: Fru Feb 10, 2008 09:06 PM

                              Tell-me-dat-one-mo-time-again. Are you sayin save your receipt and you should be able to go back to the front of dat long line and refill your drink? On a hot summer’s day it would be a big’ol blessin to jus return and refill dat Mint Julep . Do I need the same cup or maybe just grab a new one?

                              1. re: JeetJet
                                m
                                mlgb RE: JeetJet Feb 11, 2008 12:02 AM

                                I don't care for the Mint Juleps, but I know that any of the places that have self-serve soda fountains (like Rancho del Zocalo and Pizza Port), maybe there are others, would let you refill your drink cup if you showed a receipt. Sometimes the Cast member would say "one refill only" but other times they didn't seem to care, or even ask for a receipt, you'd just wave your cup at them. And for what they charge for fountain drinks, you should get a refill!

                                You're right about the desserts at French Marketplace. I used to love their apple pie with pecans and caramel sauce.

                                1. re: mlgb
                                  j
                                  JeetJet RE: mlgb Feb 11, 2008 08:22 AM

                                  Yah, even though I realy like mint candies (Frango -- OMG) I don't care fo da Mint Juleps eithers. But ya'know, sometimes when in Nawlins a Mint Julep jus seem to be da right thing to do. Kinda like, "When in Rome..." Nevertheless, although I do like it when my food bites back, it jus seems strange when my drink is interactive. So much flavor!

                                2. re: JeetJet
                                  f
                                  Fru RE: JeetJet Feb 11, 2008 09:30 AM

                                  I've never tried to go back later and ask for a new cup but you should be able to insert yourself behind the people who are filling drinks if there is a gap between them and people waiting for food (provided it is not too crowded).

                                  1. re: Fru
                                    j
                                    JeetJet RE: Fru Feb 11, 2008 11:20 AM

                                    I understand. The main rule is to have the receipt when asked but it would be good to keep the cup also.

                                    1. re: JeetJet
                                      f
                                      Fru RE: JeetJet Feb 11, 2008 12:15 PM

                                      Probably better to be safe than sorry. I called my GF who knows better than me (she has a relative that works there) but she has never tried other than to bring the same cup to the same place she originally purchased the drink from. Does anyone remember when Welches had a grape drink stand and you could get unlimited refills for free or is that just my memory and it was wishful thinking? I remember my brother and I going up over and over....

                                      1. re: Fru
                                        j
                                        JeetJet RE: Fru Feb 11, 2008 02:06 PM

                                        Oh that ice cold Welches grape drink was perfect on a hot day. Fru, you are taking me back in time. I can still see the eyes of almost everyone looking at my plastic cup filled with purple grape drink as I walked past them in Fantasyland. I really do not think it was free re-fill but I could be wrong. Now you have wanting to buy some of that grape drink for our first backyard Bar-B-Q this year.

                                        I think this free re-fill thing is something new at the park (began after Michael "M"isner left and the place started to become happy again). Maybe I should not be so hard on Misner, he did bring in the chef who improved some of the food items. However, after he first took control, that great cup of chowder that was only $0 .75 was put inside of a bread bowl and the price went nuts, the sign "Happiest Place on Earth" was removed and then he left with bags of money. Now that he is gone I wish they would bring back that cup of chowder without the tacky timed-out bread bowl.

                            2. s
                              squirrelo RE: otis Feb 11, 2008 12:49 PM

                              Speaking of Rancho del Zocolo, they have a pretty nice "Mexican Ceasar Salad"; it has a yummy cilantro-based dressing that I usually ask be placed on the side, since they're rather heavy-handed with it sometimes. And I always grab a bag of the crispy cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips on the way out. (They're by the register.) This has been my go-to meal for a few years; I love the fried chicken at the Plaza Inn, but it's often crowded, and in my experience, Rancho del Zocolo (the dining patio, especially), is usually pretty quiet. Makes for a nice little escape before heading back out into the madness!

                              1. c
                                christof RE: otis Feb 11, 2008 02:22 PM

                                Anyone have reviews of Club 33? I'd like to eat there someday, but its pretty damn hard to get in. I heard that the food quality has deteriorated in the past years due to a change in chef.

                                My 2 cents
                                Blue Bayou: Decent overpriced food
                                Cafe Orleans: good fries (the monte cristo really dissapointed me) I know its just a deep friend ham sandwich, but it looks better than it tastes.

                                My penny savers in the park: GIANT chocolate cake from Golden Horsehoe Corral for like 5 bucks? w/ AP Discount. Also I think the best deal is a turkey leg, extremely filling for the 6 bucks. I also like pizza port, its decent food, okay price for Disneyland.

                                1. b
                                  breakfastofchampions RE: otis Feb 11, 2008 04:17 PM

                                  The sandwiches at the bakeries like the Carnation Blue Ribbon bakery on main street are actually pretty decent. I forgot the name of the similar bakery at DCA but it's in the front in the train car near the ice cream stand. I like to grab a sandwich, an iced latte, and a cookie - or two. :-) They're overpriced like everything else at the park but they're usually pretty fresh, somewhat tasty, and filling.

                                  Many years ago I worked at an extended stay hotel in the area and we would always refer our guests to Marri's pizza or their sister restaurant Bella Marris. Marri's is more mom and pop Italian sandwiches and pizza and Bella Marris is more of a sitdown family restaurant. I believe Bella Marris is on State College and Lincoln but I could be wrong.

                                  There is also a good Mexican food place on Harbor and Walnut and right across from the south parking. I can't remember the name of it but it's an authentic Mexican mom and pop hole in the wall.

                                  I would suggest calling some of the local extended stay hotels like the Fairfield or the Residence Inn and asking what local spots they recommend to their guests.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: breakfastofchampions
                                    Das Ubergeek RE: breakfastofchampions Feb 12, 2008 08:05 AM

                                    Marri's and Bella Marri's are no longer related; Bella Marri's is at Anaheim and Lincoln, next to Pho Republic; Bella Marri's is much the worse of the two.

                                    Marri's is a sit-down restaurant... they have quite good pizza and very good salads, and the pasta is pretty decent too.

                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                      t
                                      TomSwift RE: Das Ubergeek Feb 12, 2008 04:08 PM

                                      I grew up in Anaheim and have gone to Marri's since the late 60's. Back in the day it really was a hole in the wall, with tables hanging from chains from the ceiling and the salt/pepper shakers placed in holes carved out of the drywall in each booth. It now is much more respectable, caters to more families than Park employees, and my recommendation would be to go there than any place inside (unless you want to invest in NR). I often get to court in Santa Ana and always stop at Marri's for a half-cooked pizza to take home.

                                      1. re: TomSwift
                                        Das Ubergeek RE: TomSwift Feb 12, 2008 04:10 PM

                                        It was a mecca for Cast Members until just a few years ago. Not sure why the change.

                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                          ReelMike84 RE: Das Ubergeek Feb 12, 2008 05:39 PM

                                          I was there last weekend for the first time looking for exactly what the OP was interested in, and for what I wanted it fit the bill perfectly.

                                          We chose the garlic bread with melted mozzarella and the antipasto salad sided with creamy italian dressing as a starter.

                                          The bread was good but not great. It sorely needed a more intense garlic flavor. Actually I think without the added cheese it would of been completely forgettable. The salad however was great and way more than enough for two people. I'd recommend forgoing the bread and getting the salad.

                                          As for the pizza we ordered I believe it was called the "Bella Marri" which was one of the three signature pizza combination. If memory serves it was sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms. It wasn't earth shattering but it was still very good. Great amount of cheese, fair amount of sauce, and a thicker crust.

                                          In the end the total bill came out around $32 with one soda and not including tip. For the amount of food we ordered this was totally reasonable. We even had to take food home!

                                          The amount spent was put more into perspective later when we went ate our fried chicken dinners at the "Plaza Inn" IN Disneyland. At around $15 each, with a soda and AP discount, we certainly got more bang for our buck at Marri's.

                                          1. re: ReelMike84
                                            Das Ubergeek RE: ReelMike84 Feb 12, 2008 07:39 PM

                                            Obviously you're going to get more for your money outside the park than in... so I'm not surprised. Marri's is a good place after the park, but unless you have an annual passport and can go in and out and not need to worry about getting your $91 worth of entertainment, you're not going to want to go off-property to eat.

                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                              ReelMike84 RE: Das Ubergeek Feb 12, 2008 08:04 PM

                                              Of course I know that I'd be getting more for my money outside the park than in. I'd just never had it put into perspective before having never left the park mid-day to eat and come back.

                                              You are right in saying that you'd want to eat IN the park if you already spent half your retirement fund to get in. There are plenty of good food options to be found, and some that won't even break the bank.

                                              In CA Adventure I frequent the "Corn Dog Castle" and the "Pacific Wharf Cafe." In DL I can be found at the "Bengal BBQ," the "Little Red Wagon" and the New Orleans Square quick eateries.

                                  2. rednyellow RE: otis Feb 11, 2008 05:30 PM

                                    I like the mc donalds fries. I think they are near either the pirates or the haunted mansion

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: rednyellow
                                      a
                                      aurora50 RE: rednyellow Feb 12, 2008 08:28 AM

                                      I miss the tuna sandwiches they used to have at that little shack just outside the Haunted Mansion. I'm sure the McDonald's fries are fine, but you can get them at any McDonald's!!

                                    2. Alice Q RE: otis Feb 12, 2008 02:53 PM

                                      I posted this extensive description of our eating adventures in Disneyland on my blog last May - http://aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/2007...
                                      see also - http://aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/2007...
                                      and here's Joy's list (profanity alert - but she's very funny) - http://www.meshsf.com/blogs/2005/04/g...

                                      We have had good meals at the Napa Rose, and I recall a nice glass of wine and some olives at the openair upstairs Mondavi restaurant that isn't owned by Mondavi anymore - but it never seems to be open when we are there. It's kind of too bad, because it's a gorgeous room with murals, etc. Has anyone eaten there recently at all? I always thought they should let people eat there without buying park admission, but maybe they don't have any way to do that.

                                      I also like the La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney for breakfast pastries - though it is pricey, and I had the best chocolate malted milkshake of my life at the Haagen Dazs there last year. We also had a good lunch at the revamped Cafe Orleans. They now have a lot of the same items as the Blue Bayou. I like Blue Bayou better for the novelty - but the food is as good or better at the Cafe Orleans. Bengal BBQ is also pretty good, I especially like the beef skewer.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Alice Q
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                                        mlgb RE: Alice Q Feb 12, 2008 03:29 PM

                                        That upstairs winery style restaurant is called the Vineyard Room. It's only open for dinner and only Friday-Sunday, as far as I know, although you can always call Disney Dining and ask. Yes it is quite good, although it's probably been 2 yrs since I've been there.

                                      2. s
                                        sadjeans RE: otis Feb 12, 2008 03:49 PM

                                        My favorite place to eat around Disneyland is La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney. It's an offshoot of the original bakery started by Nancy Silverton (of Mozza and Campanile) in L.A. They have amazing rustic sandwiches and paninis, with a cafe side if you want a sit down meal, and a counter if you want to pick up something to bring into the park.

                                        My favorite guilty pleasure inside of Disneyland is the Dole Pineapple Whip in the Dole Stand at the Tiki Room. It's pineapple flavored frozen yogurt soaking in pineapple juice, and I usually end up finishing two before the day is over.

                                        I've heard the chocolate muffins inside the Blue Ribbon Bakery come highly recommended.

                                        And I've had good experiences at the upstairs winery restaurant in California Adventure (skip the downstairs, which is different altogether).

                                        And remember, there is no alcohol served inside Disneyland, but there *is* in California Adventure. :)

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sadjeans
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                                          JeetJet RE: sadjeans Feb 12, 2008 05:10 PM

                                          I agree with La Brea Bakery. I get the bacon & eggs breakfast with that good coffee they have. Not a oversized meal yet it holds me past lunch.

                                        2. h
                                          High Maintenance RE: otis Feb 12, 2008 07:38 PM

                                          The corn dogs at the cart are EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          1. mpken RE: otis Feb 12, 2008 11:14 PM

                                            Is there no love for Bengal BBQ near the Jungle Cruise? I was pleasantly surprised last time with the grilled asparagus. OK, maybe not grilled, but it did come on a skewer. The meats weren't bad either. I would say the food has improved over time. Finish that off and then get a Dole Whip.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: mpken
                                              Das Ubergeek RE: mpken Feb 13, 2008 08:11 AM

                                              I'm all for the bacon-wrapped asparagus.

                                              1. re: mpken
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                                                Oh Robin RE: mpken Feb 13, 2008 08:20 AM

                                                That bengal beef skewer peppercorn sauce is so addictive.

                                                1. re: mpken
                                                  notmartha RE: mpken Feb 13, 2008 11:06 AM

                                                  I get some of the skewers once in a while. Tasted OK, a little pricey for a couple of cubes of meat. The sauce is kind of sweet though.

                                                2. r
                                                  rawkstar04 RE: otis Feb 13, 2008 02:30 PM

                                                  I worked there for 4x years and am a little biased since I've been in the kitchens where the food is prepared. Corn dogs--hands down. Chicken Fusilli at Pizza Port in TL, Monte Cristo at Blue Bayou. Appys at Catal at DTD. Napa Rose at the Grand Californian.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: rawkstar04
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                                                    miss louella RE: rawkstar04 Nov 8, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                    Another enthusiastic thank YOU for the corn dog tip--we loooooved these. If you go to the corn dog castle in CA, there's a spicy sausage option. Loved the first few bites of mine, but the flavor tired me out. Would split one next time or get the regular hot dog.

                                                  2. b
                                                    bboy RE: otis Feb 14, 2008 05:08 PM

                                                    I will take a shot at defending Ariel's Grotto, at least for families with young girls who are into the Disney Princesses. No, the food isn't anything special (unless you consider warmed-over mac & cheese or hamburgers special). But we took my daughter there for her birthday last year, and she was transfixed for 90 minutes by being up close and personal with a handful of the Princesses. They came by, talked to her, took pictures, etc. It's not cheap -- about $25-$30/person. But when I saw the 2-hour wait inside the park to meet a princess, I thought this alternative was well worth it. Don't go for the food, but go instead for the time and headache it will save you later if you want to visit with some of the Princesses.

                                                    1. i
                                                      irishiwasdrinking RE: otis Nov 18, 2010 06:29 AM

                                                      We just dined at the Avalon Cove Bar just above Ariel's Groto and we had mixed results. I enjoyed sitting by the water by the coasters and my kids looked for characters that were walking around. My 2 and 4 yr. old ate the BBQ pizza which was not spicy and editable. I had the tri tip sliders. Worst ever! One small over cooked tough piece of meat. I was able to charge my phone while I was there and the service was good. Today after reading through the reviews I am excited to try New Orleans and the corn dog cart.
                                                      BTW if you are an addict of the white mocha at starbucks and can't find another like it except at starbucks, the Compass Book Cafe has a great one with good prices.

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                                                        rweller RE: otis Sep 15, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                        For breakfast, if you have a car: drive to Anepalco's Cafe in Orange. Andorran cuisine, a mix of Spanish and French. Just amazing. And inexpensive. Savory and sweet crepes, great coffee, Spanish-style tortillas. Take an hour out of your morning and get away from the crapola food near Disneyland. You will not regret it.

                                                        1. m
                                                          Martin Strell RE: otis Oct 29, 2012 10:01 PM

                                                          Old thread, I know, but we're just back from Disney. Corn dogs, turkey legs and Dole Whip are as good as ever. We enjoyed the fresh Mickey Mouse shaped beignets at the French Market. We REALLY liked the pizza at Pizza Press, just outside Disney on Harbor. Fresh 10'' pizzas made-to-order with your choice of ingredients for $10. Open until 1AM every day - very friendly place too. There was quite a bit of love for the Big Thunder BBQ on Yelp, but we tried it and found it average at best. Nice, relaxing atmosphere, but the all you can eat meal was overpriced and the food no better than standard themepark fare. Everything was too sweet.

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                                                            flowergirl RE: otis Oct 31, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                            Chowder in a bread bowl in New Orleans Square is always delicious - everything at Bengal barbeque is decent but not great - Blue Bayou is pleasant but food is not good and even more expensive than every place else - fried chicken at Plaza Inn is tasty -

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