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NorCal Hound w/kids heading to Disneyland: critique my plan!

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smiles33 Jun 4, 2011 10:51 PM

I have read a dozen or so threads and think I have a plan of attack for Disneyland now. Special thanks to sku, Das Ubergeek, degustateur, and Kitchen Queen for your great reviews and suggestions in past threads. I learned so much (like avoiding eating in DLR from sku's two great threads).

First a little about us: DH is lactose intolerant but otherwise eats everything. We really only have a problem at French and Italian restaurants that use cream or cheese in many dishes. I eat everything and have a hearty appetite. We have 2 and 5 year old girls who are relatively adventurous eaters for kids. They regularly enjoy Fijian/Indian, Afghan, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Muslim Chinese, Greek, Filipino, etc. Older one doesn't like spicy food but younger one loves it. A prime example of her commitment to good spicy food was when her nose was running, eyes crying with tears dripping off her chin, and wailing when she wasn't swallowing, yet she kept shoveling in spicy Fijian/Indian rice with both hands at 20 months old!

Budget isn't an issue, but I want the most bang for my buck, not a fancy place just because we can afford it. Given the fact that we have our kids. I don't want to do Napa Rose. That kind of experience (and those prices) are best on date nights, IMHO.

THURSDAY

We drive in Thursday, arriving sometime that evening. No dinner plans yet for Thursday night. I would love to go somewhere where leftovers could be reheated for breakfast (we're staying at the HoJo in a Kids' Suite which has a microwave and fridge). Ideas? Probably someplace off the 5 given our drive from NorCal. Not sure what time we hit the LA area which is why we might just play this by ear. I am a Bruin but haven't been back to LA in nearly 15 years. My college favorites were the Cuban and Brazilian restaurants (can't remember where--Sawtelle? Sepulveda?), Monterey Park, and K-town eateries.

FRIDAY

If we don't have any Thursday dinner leftovers for Friday's breakfast, we will just eat Lee's Sandwiches for breakfast or pick up something to go from Mimi's so we can get to the security tables early. I know Ariel's Grotto has crappy food but my 5 year old is obsessed with princesses and I don't want to wait 2 hours in line at PFF. So that will be Friday's lunch.

My girls still nap so we will walk back to the hotel and relax in the afternoon. Before heading back to DL, I want to grab an early dinner at Marisco Puerto Esperanza. Fri dinner hopefully won't take too long (I need to see how early they open for dinner) as I believe DL will close at 7 pm for the Halloween party and then DCA will be packed. If MPE is crowded on Friday nights, maybe we should go to Thai Nakorn Fri? I need a relatively fast option, which is why I'm skipping the Ethiopian restaurants.

SATURDAY

Sat morning we will pick up Lee's Sandwiches for lunch and possibly for Sat breakfast too. Then dinner at Thai Nakorn before heading back into the park.

SUNDAY

Finally, for Sunday breakfast (leisurely since we leave for NorCal and won't be going back to DL), I want try the homemade corned beef hash at Jagerhaus.

Backup options I also have on deck include Park Ave., Break of Dawn for breakfast, and a couple other standard Mexican restaurants (but we have plenty of them up here so the seafood and the Oaxacan paces most intrigue me).

Your thoughts? I am sure we will snack on corn dogs, churros, and Dole Whips in the park. Maybe even try the Monte Christo just to say we tried it (if we don't have to sit down to get it!)?

ETA: Argh! Just found out MPE closed when the auto-add of restaurants didn't include it. Maybe the Oaxacan place Das Ubergeek mentioned in one of the threads?

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Napa Rose Restaurant
1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

Jagerhaus
2525 E Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92806

Thai Nakorn Restaurant
12532 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

Break of Dawn
24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

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  1. h
    hobbess RE: smiles33 Jun 5, 2011 12:11 AM

    Have you thought about Zankou Chicken since you're already going to be in Anaheim?

    3 Replies
    1. re: hobbess
      s
      smiles33 RE: hobbess Jun 5, 2011 12:19 AM

      Never head of Zankou Chicken when searching for DL area restaurants. Will go google it now!

      1. re: hobbess
        Foodandwine RE: hobbess Jun 5, 2011 11:33 AM

        Anaheim has some good Med/Armenian/Lebanese choices.. I would look into them ( They are very close to DL ) Perhaps Das Ubergeek will have some more to say on this.. in his past write ups ( I know for sure that he explores that area, and I have read his posts on the topic as well.) He is an Expert on that area and loves finds.. The Zankou there is not that great compared to other locations in So Cal, but the Bakeries in the area ( same plaza too.. ) have good cookies..
        Enjoy and if its October when your comming, well you have allot more time work on this..

        1. re: Foodandwine
          s
          smiles33 RE: Foodandwine Jun 5, 2011 08:48 PM

          We will be there in Sept, but yes I know we have plenty of time. I am just one those people who like to plan and have back-ups! ;). We all really liked shawerma, dolma, etc. I will go look to that now and find DU's old threads on this.

      2. a
        attran99 RE: smiles33 Jun 5, 2011 12:14 AM

        That's quite an ambitious plan you have laid out. Am I correct in guessing that you won't be down this way until October? I noticed your mention of the DL/DCA Halloween event. They've actually been alternating the Halloweentime event between DL and DCA.
        I believe that for Cuban food, you're thinking Versailles in Culver City on Venice Blvd. I'm not sure if there's a more famous place for Cuban in the area, but Versailles comes to my mind first because the garlic chicken is great and the fried plantains are amazing.
        As for your OC/DL experience, I would really highly suggest skipping Ariel's Grotto. The food is simply overpriced slop. If you're looking to provide your daughter with the Princess experience, there's a special princess exhibit located just south of the It's a Small World ride. There's a show and the princesses come out, I believe (I'm not an expert because I have boys). Check the DL website for more details. If you end up eating inside the park, I discovered the Village Haus restaurant in Fantasyland across the way from the Casey's train ride. Angus burgers are okay, but the Angus Pastrami Burgers and the Chicken Sausage on Pretzel rolls were significantly better. If you're interested in Character dining, Goofy's Kitchen and Storyteller's Cafe are known to be good choices. Snacks throughout the park are plentiful, however, be warned that the corn dogs are not as fabulous as they were before. It's not an all-beef dog anymore, as I understand. The Dole Pineapple whips are a must! Bengal Barbeque has options for meat on a stick. Big Thunder Ranch has an AYCE barbeque meal options served family style, if you're interested. The last time we were there, my cousin invented a new DCA snack by buying a sourdough loaf from Boudin and a turkey leg. With some musturd and mayo we had yummy tiny sandwiches that made other park guests asking us where where we got our snack.
        Thai Nakorn is a good choice, but it gets really crowded on a Saturday night. If you're interested in Vietnamese 7 courses of beef, I would suggest Hong An or Thien An. Pagolac is a good substitute. You're super close to Little Saigon, so a visit there wouldn't be out of the question. Korean BBQ might also be an option with Cham Sut Gol and Shik Do Rak being good choices for that.
        For Sunday, Break of Dawn is in the opposite direction of your way home, so I'm not sure if that's what you intended. Traffic headed up North can't be fun on a Sunday.
        Your pre-trip research is pretty impressive, and you've got some great resources in DU and company...their recs are tip top.

        -----
        Thai Nakorn Restaurant
        12532 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

        Break of Dawn
        24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

        Pagolac Restaurant
        14580 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683

        Thien An Restaurant
        13518 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

        Goofy's Kitchen
        1150 W Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802

        Cham Sut Gol
        3700 W Olympic Blvd Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90019

        Hong An Restaurant
        9862 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

        10 Replies
        1. re: attran99
          s
          smiles33 RE: attran99 Jun 5, 2011 12:27 AM

          Versailles! Yes, that's it. There was a great Brazilian place someplace too, but very much a hole in the wall.

          Yes, we are going to be there in late Sept after Halloween time has started and school is in session. I'm hoping that means less crowds in the parks and on the freeways Sunday morning!

          Princess Fantasy Faire (PFF) is a 2 hour wait at times and I'd rather suffer through mediocre food than wait 2 hours in line for a show and then 2 minutes with a princess. Ariel's Grotto guarantees quality 1-on-1 time while DH and I can drink something alcoholic. That is going to be worth the price! :)

          The turkey and bread option sounds delicious and creative! How clever!

          We have Hong An up here and i do like 7 courses of beef. There is a huge Vietnamese Am community in San Jose so we have great options here too. I am leaning more toward Korean now that you mention it as we have mediocre Korean food compared to SoCal.

          Yes, I know Break of Dawn is south but we don't work on Mondays so the only reason we leave Sunday is to avoid Monday rush hour commutes. We can arrive home late Sunday.

          Thanks so much for the great ideas!

          -----
          Break of Dawn
          24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

          Hong An Restaurant
          9862 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

          1. re: smiles33
            Phurstluv RE: smiles33 Jun 5, 2011 08:16 AM

            They have alcohol at one of the restaurants there?? I thought that was strictly verboten except for the 33 Club, or whatever that's called.

            1. re: Phurstluv
              s
              smiles33 RE: Phurstluv Jun 5, 2011 08:43 AM

              DCA has alcohol and even a BEER TRUCK, with beer on tap. Only DL itself is dry (with the exception of Club 33 as you pointed out).

            2. re: smiles33
              a
              attran99 RE: smiles33 Jun 5, 2011 10:58 AM

              There are, I think, 2 or 3 Brazilian options in the area. Brasa Brasil, Bamboo, and Cafe Brasil. I used to live there a long time ago, and can't remember which one we frequented.
              at DCA, you have few alcoholic options. The Karl Strauss beer truck and the margarita stand in the Pacific Wharf area, the wine tasting area by the Italian restaurant on the way to Pacific Wharf, and Ariel's Grotto. Perhaps if you hit PFF as soon as you enter the gates, you might not have a terrible wait.
              The Hong An down here is owned and operated by different owners. Just a coincidence in naming. You'll love the Korean options, Cham Sut Gol is a favorite of ours when we dine with our 3 boys because of the Trifty/Rite-Aid ice cream bar with cake cones that we have for dessert.
              I second the banh mi from Banh Mi Che Cali below. It's really superb. But I understand the time constraints and the location proximity.

              -----
              Banh Mi Che Cali Bakery
              13838 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove, CA 92843

              Brasa Brasil Grill
              10022 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

              Cafe Brasil
              11736 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

              Cham Sut Gol
              9252 Garden Grove Blvd # 10 Garden, Grove, CA

              1. re: attran99
                s
                smiles33 RE: attran99 Jun 5, 2011 08:43 PM

                I think it may have been Cafe Brasil? I remember it being paintd bright colors inside and white Christmas lights....

                Cham Sut Gol sounds Ike a great option as we do love our Korean food!

                -----
                Cafe Brasil
                11736 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

                Cham Sut Gol
                9252 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

              2. re: smiles33
                Jordan RE: smiles33 Jun 6, 2011 04:55 PM

                I'm onboard with your plan to pay the Ariel's Grotto fee instead of dealing with the Fantasy Faire line. Although it's not well-advertised, Ariel's Grotto does have a breakfast seating right when the park opens. It's a bit cheaper than the lunch prices, will take less time out of your day, and even they can't mess up breakfast basics. They serve pastries, fruit & cheese, and a big platter of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, and potatoes. You get the usual visitation with five princesses, and you're out the door just as the day is getting started.

                1. re: Jordan
                  s
                  smiles33 RE: Jordan Jun 7, 2011 04:05 PM

                  I read about the breakfast option but per advice from the DISBoards, we're making a bee-line for Fantasyland right when they open.

                2. re: smiles33
                  j
                  jeffandnat RE: smiles33 Jul 22, 2011 11:33 AM

                  It pains me to say it, but do not let your fellow Chowhounders talk you out of Ariel's Grotto. The food is bad, but the facetime your kids get with the princesses, is priceless. Make sure the batteries are charged, because the photo's/video from that lunch will be your favorites. Chances are your kids wont touch their food. Not because it is awful,(which it is), but they will be way too busy chatting up Cinderella!

                  1. re: jeffandnat
                    j
                    jgilbert1000 RE: jeffandnat May 13, 2013 11:05 AM

                    Having kids that love princesses, I can empathize with you. We found the food to be better at Goofy's Kitchen than at Ariel's Grotto. Goofy's Kitchen is in the Disneyland Hotel. It has lots of characters come by so your kids will love it. For a quick snack while at the Park, go into Downtown Disney and grab a bite at La Brea Bakery.

                  2. re: smiles33
                    susancinsf RE: smiles33 Jul 22, 2011 10:51 PM

                    I am assuming that you know that Versailles in Culver City is not off of the five and not anywhere near where you will be? Wouldn't be a logical stop your first night. I am guessing you just mentioned it as an example of the type of place you used to like when you lived in LA?

                    I've eaten there, btw, several years ago, thought it was good but not great. I'd second DU's suggestion of Ma's Islamic Chinese for your Thursday night dinner.

                    I think the line for the Dole Whips isn't worth the wait. (the line was over a block long and moving VERY slowly on my last visit). You could probably figure out how to make something similar at home, and better to have an extra turn on Winne the Pooh (which is almost never crowded) or the Jungle Cruise than wait in line for overrated food. Just my opinion. :-) (and yes, I've had it before).

                    I just spent a long day at DL with my daughter and three year old granddaughter a few weeks ago. The plan was be there from opening till midnight close, and to skip DCA (even though, yes, that meant skipping Ariel. Not a big deal since we were front and center for the parade and World's Cutest Granddaughter got her princess fix there. Each princess has her own float. Tip: If you pick out a spot in front of the firehouse you can get a great view with less crowds than closer to the start of the parade route) since we only had one day, and we almost made it (at 11 pm D and I were Disney'd out, WCG probably could have gone the distance.) Daughter and WCG observe halal dietary restrictions, which means meat is out at places like DL. I can tell you that vegetarian options have gotten better in DL in recent years. Also, the fish tacos at the Mexican place in Frontierland aren't bad (though they have a weird service system where you can only get the tacos in certain lines.). Quietest place in DL to eat lunch or just to take a break (and I find it quite pleasant as a place to rest whether eating or not), is the back of the porch at Critter Country, overlooking the river. Their fried green tomato sandwich (which is offered in both a vegetarian option and one that isn't, though I think the non-vegetarian option just has anchovies, IIRC?) isn't an awful snack, lines are short even when the park is crowded (so you can just get a soda or juice if you want) and general ambiance is a LOT more soothing than waiting for the Dole whips. For a sweet treat without a huge wait, try an ice cream sandwich shaped iike Mickey from one of the carts. I'd also skip the churros, but I do tend to be fussy about churros.

                    We may have plenty of standard Mexican places in the San Francisco area, but I don't know of much if anything that matches DU's description of Los Chilangos....Wish I had seen that before my last trip, for a stop on the way home! Next time.....

                    -----
                    Ma's Islamic
                    601 E Orangethorpe Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                3. i
                  I got nothin RE: smiles33 Jun 5, 2011 08:03 AM

                  Looks like a good plan so far.
                  Rather than Lee's, I'd suggest going elsewhere for better banh mi, unless it's just the convenience/time factor you are favoring. Since you are from San Jose, I'm sure you have many banh mi choices up there. but there are also many great options here that open early or are 24 hours, such as banh mi Che Cali (3 for $5).
                  For Korean BBQ, I like light town house on garden grove blvd, near magnolia. But you may want a different type of Korean if you are going to do 7 courses of beef at pagolac, etc.
                  as previously mentioned, goofy's kitchen is good for the kids, serves a decent buffet meal, and serves alcohol. Reservations recommended.
                  It was a sad day when MPE closed. But I'm sure someone can give you a rec for a different mariscos spot.
                  Go bruins

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: I got nothin
                    s
                    smiles33 RE: I got nothin Jun 5, 2011 08:47 AM

                    Go Bruins! Yeah, I know Lee's is mediocre but it's open at 7 am and right on Harbor. This way it doesn't sit in the fridge all night and get soggy. We want to be at the security tables 40 minutes before park opening. Is Che Cali close?

                    We probably will do dinner closer to LA, as I anticipate hitting LA area traffic around 4 or 5 and wanting to avoid the rest of rush hour until closer to 7. With young kids, this is going to be a leisurely drive with lots of stops as opposed to powering through.

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: smiles33
                      i
                      I got nothin RE: smiles33 Jun 5, 2011 08:48 PM

                      The closest bmcc to disneyland is on brookhurst and westminster, next to the 22, maybe 10 minutes away. There might be closer banh mi options that others can recommend

                  2. aching RE: smiles33 Jun 5, 2011 08:15 AM

                    For your Thursday night dinner, perhaps stop in Artesia for some great Indian food? I love Indian leftovers. Also in Artesia is a highly recommended Philippino restaurant called Magic Wok - I haven't been yet, but I'm dying to try it.

                    Alternatively, you probably already know this, but traffic on the 5 during "rush hour", which is basically 3-7, is brutal. It may be too difficult with the little ones, but you might want to think about waiting out the traffic in LA and having your dinner there instead. Just a thought!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: aching
                      s
                      smiles33 RE: aching Jun 5, 2011 08:50 AM

                      I agree, I don't want to be on the freeways between 5-7 if I can help it! Artesia sounds familiar but I need to go google it to figure out where it is. Thanks for the Rec--I love Indian food.

                    2. j
                      Jase RE: smiles33 Jun 6, 2011 02:05 PM

                      You may have seen this post by DU in your research. I've found it handy when I've had to attend conventions.
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6427...

                      I believe Nhu Lan is open early too and would be a better bet than Lee's for the bahn mi's.

                      I'm also a big fan of Los Chilango, another DU find. His post and my follow up in this thread.
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/668274

                      -----
                      Los Chilangos
                      1830 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Jase
                        s
                        smiles33 RE: Jase Jun 7, 2011 04:06 PM

                        Thanks! I missed that thread as I typed Disneyland in the search field.

                      2. n
                        ns1 RE: smiles33 Jun 6, 2011 02:16 PM

                        go to cove bar everyday right after getting fastpasses for space mountain.

                        1. Das Ubergeek RE: smiles33 Jun 7, 2011 10:23 AM

                          THURSDAY

                          If you get down here early enough, there's a Muslim Chinese place on Orangethorpe in Anaheim called Mas Islamic Chinese. Excellent—dough-sliced noodles, lamb with suancai, great bread of course.

                          FRIDAY

                          on't go to Lee's; it's not very good. Go to Nhu Lan Bakery, exactly catercorner to Lee's (on the southeast corner of Garden Grove Blvd. and Harbor Blvd., next to King Harbor Seafood and the Burlington Coat Factory). Better food, cheaper prices, better coffee and I'm almost certain I've been there before 7 a.m.

                          riel's Grotto's food is not terrible. It's not exactly Gary Danko but don't fret about a "lost" opportunity... and skipping the line for the Princess Fantasy Faire is worth the additional cost of eating at Ariel's Grotto—each princess will stop at your table and spend time with your daughters

                          Unfortunately, Mariscos Puerto Esperanza has closed, a victim of a terrible location and a down economy. I would suggest Mariscos Los Primos, on State College between Ball Rd. and South St. instead—their pescado zarandeado is quite good. Thai Nakorn is a good option as well. The Ethiopian places are a little slow, unfortunately. Why don't you go to El Moctezuma instead? It's on Harbor and Lampson, great Oaxacan food and enough options that your non-spicy-eating offspring can enjoy amarillo de pollo or part of a tlayuda or something like that.

                          SATURDAY

                          gain, skip Lee's—by the time you eat the sandwiches the bread will be hard enough to break your teeth. If you want a different breakfast experience, may I suggest Los Molinos Bakery on Chapman and Haster. If you go early enough, their croissants (more like brioche in croissant shape) will be hot, as will the vanilla and maybe the chocolate conchas. Whatever's on trays near the counter is hot; everything else is fresh but not hot, and I believe the running price is 50c or 60c per item.

                          SUNDAY

                          I like Jägerhaus, but if you want something a little more brunchy-buffety, there's a very good brunch at the Phoenix Club, just the other side of the 57 off Ball Road. Their German pancakes... ohhhhhhh. And homemade charcuterie, and of course things like sauerbraten... I also love Break of Dawn, though it's 25-30 minutes south of Anaheim. Their oatmeal galette with smoked salmon... ohhhhh. Another option in Anaheim is Pinoy Fiesta, on Lincoln between Anaheim and Clementine. Filipino breakfast is awesome—but they don't start serving it until 8 or 9 a.m.

                          If you're looking for something on the way back up, go to Los Chilangos on Lincoln west of Euclid in Anaheim. On weekends they do barbacoa de borrego (pit-roasted lamb with consommé) with homemade tortillas and it is very good... they also have all kinds of Mexico City-style antojitos, like handmade quesadillas with squash blossoms or huitlacoche or chorizo, or tlacoyos (thick masa patties stuffed with fava beans).

                          -----
                          King Harbor Seafood Restaurant
                          13018 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

                          Thai Nakorn Restaurant
                          12532 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

                          Break of Dawn
                          24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

                          Mariscos Puerto Esperanza
                          1724 N Tustin St, Orange, CA 92865

                          Nhu Lan Bakery
                          13036 Harbor Blvd Garden, Grove, CA

                          El Moctezuma Restaurant
                          809 N Fairview St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

                          Mariscos Los Primos
                          2600 W Edinger Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704

                          Phoenix Club
                          1340 S Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806

                          Haster
                          12881 Haster St, Garden Grove, CA 92840

                          Los Chilangos
                          1830 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                            s
                            smiles33 RE: Das Ubergeek Jun 7, 2011 04:04 PM

                            Ah, DU, I was hoping you would chime in! I'm going to research these more fully later this weekend. I believe El Moctezuma is the Oaxacan place you mentioned in an older thread.

                            THANK YOU!

                            -----
                            El Moctezuma Restaurant
                            809 N Fairview St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

                            1. re: smiles33
                              Das Ubergeek RE: smiles33 Jun 8, 2011 10:18 AM

                              Just... whatever you do... no matter how desperate you are, no matter how loudly your children might beg... do NOT go to Captain Kidd's across the street from the Harbor Blvd. pedestrian entrance. For ANY reason.

                              I have borne the pain so you don't have to.

                              -----
                              Captain Kidd's
                              1550 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                n
                                ns1 RE: Das Ubergeek Jun 8, 2011 10:29 AM

                                LOL I've always wondered about that place.

                                1. re: ns1
                                  Das Ubergeek RE: ns1 Jun 8, 2011 10:31 AM

                                  Search Google for "Winner, Winner, Don't Eat Dinner"... I won't post the link here.

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                    n
                                    ns1 RE: Das Ubergeek Jun 8, 2011 01:14 PM

                                    shockingly enough, the review of the place is less than a month old.

                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                      ocshooter RE: Das Ubergeek Jul 22, 2011 03:17 PM

                                      Thank you for that review. It had me laughing quite a bit.

                              2. re: Das Ubergeek
                                nolanani RE: Das Ubergeek Jul 23, 2011 03:41 PM

                                Hello DU. I really enjoy your reviews. I too live in Anaheim and am two minutes from Pinoy Fiesta. What do you recommend besides the breakfast? And what is a Filipino breakfast?

                                -----
                                Pinoy Fiesta
                                160 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805

                                1. re: nolanani
                                  Das Ubergeek RE: nolanani Jul 23, 2011 04:26 PM

                                  It's a Turo-Turo ("point-point") steam tray place, so whatever looks good. Filipino breakfast is a series of "silogs", a portmanteau word of the protein of your choice, garlic fried rice (SInangag) and fried eggs (itLOG). So if you choose sweetened dried beef (tapa) it's tapsilog. If you choose sweet pork belly (tosino) it's tosilog; with Filipino sausages (longganisa) it's longsilog, etc. It comes, if you ask, with fresh tomatoes and coconut vinegar which helps cut through the richness.

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                    nolanani RE: Das Ubergeek Jul 25, 2011 05:01 PM

                                    Thanks so much for the info. The sausage sounds great. I just discovered your blog and am really enjoying reading about all the different places to eat in the area.

                              3. t
                                Teeson RE: smiles33 Jul 23, 2011 12:47 AM

                                If you are interested in getting banh mi, avoid Lee's and go to Banh Mi My Tho in Alhambra.

                                http://www.yelp.com/biz/banh-mi-my-th...

                                -----
                                Banh Mi My Tho
                                304 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Teeson
                                  Das Ubergeek RE: Teeson Jul 23, 2011 07:59 AM

                                  My Tho is good but Alhambra is more than an hour's drive from Disneyland... there's plenty of great banh mi in Little Saigon. :)

                                2. b
                                  bulavinaka RE: smiles33 Jul 23, 2011 08:17 AM

                                  >>They regularly enjoy Fijian/Indian...<<

                                  As far as places serving Fijian/Indian, there used to be a Fijian/Indian market in Culver City, but they're long gone and that's all I know of. I'm guessing the place(s) you're referring to are in the San Francisco area?

                                  1. scottca075 RE: smiles33 Jul 23, 2011 09:39 AM

                                    How about not taking the 5 all the way in would be my first thought, as you come off the Grapevine, if you take the 210 east you can avoid the nightmare that is the 5 especially as it enters and leaves downtown L.A. You can then come down the 605 or 57 Freeways. In addition to being an easier drive, it opens the possibility of great dining in the San Gabriel Valley. It only adds about 15 miles to the drive, but is maybe 30 minutes or more faster. Check it out on Google Maps.

                                    As to the food choices, do you mean Park Ave Cafe on Balboa Island? That would be my choice over Jagerhaus or Break of Dawn, although Break of Dawn probably has the best food of the three, but because I think your kids would enjoy Balboa Island. Walk to the end of Park and take a ride on the ferry to the Peninsula and back (or take your car on the ferry and head north from there).

                                    -----
                                    Jagerhaus
                                    2525 E Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92806

                                    Break of Dawn
                                    24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

                                    1. s
                                      smiles33 RE: smiles33 Sep 11, 2011 09:42 PM

                                      Bumping this thread up again as we're now just DAYS away from making the trek down to Anaheim.

                                      Our Thursday plan for lunch right now is to eat at Harris Ranch and then figure out where to eat dinner depending on where we are. I have no idea how bad traffic will be, as I've heard the traffic on the 5 near Bakersfield can be tortuous due to the construction. Our plan now is to take the 99 around that section. I hope to try Cham Sut Gol or Indian food in Artesia.

                                      We also decided to have quick easy breakfasts as we're now spending 3 days in the park (well, only about 3 hours on Sunday but it gives us Magic Morning access on Sat so I upgraded to the 3 day parkhoppers). More important will be delicious but relatively fast lunches so we can maximize our mornings at DLR, grab lunch, and then get back to the hotel in time for our 2 year old's nap at 1 pm.

                                      The other new issue is that our 2 year was JUST diagnosed with a peanut allergy and I am worried about cross-contamination given how much peanuts are used in Thai cuisine. So we may have to ax Thai Nakorn. I also think we have to be careful with some Vietnamese restaurants, as I know they have chopped peanuts in my grilled pork bun before.

                                      Anyone have ideas about peanut-free cuisines/restaurants in the Anaheim area? Do Mexican restaurants ever use peanuts?

                                      -----
                                      Cham Sut Gol
                                      3700 W Olympic Blvd Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: smiles33
                                        j
                                        Jase RE: smiles33 Sep 12, 2011 08:24 AM

                                        If you're still considering Nhu Lan, I think there's some severe downhill reports lately.

                                        I don't recall running into any peanuts in a lot of Mexican cooking, but since I'm not around anyone with allergies I don't pay real close attention. Los Chilangos may still be a good bet as I don't recall anything that had peanuts there.

                                        -----
                                        Los Chilangos
                                        1830 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                                        1. re: Jase
                                          Das Ubergeek RE: Jase Sep 12, 2011 10:25 AM

                                          I don't think I can in good conscience continue to recommend Nhu Lan. Not when there's stuff just a few minutes further.

                                          I don't think there are any nuts of any kind (except maybe in the shakes?) at Los Chilangos. It looks like there's been a change of staff, but the food is still good. Peanuts aren't common in Mexican food, except in things that are very obviously peanut-related, like peanut candies.

                                          Every Vietnamese restaurant in Little Saigon will have at least one "designated English speaker" if the staff isn't comfortable in English. It would depend on how severe the allergy is, honestly, but you should be able to ask for no peanuts in your dish. If it's truly one of those cases where even peanut dust from yards away is an issue, then yes, skip.

                                          -----
                                          Los Chilangos
                                          1830 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                            s
                                            smiles33 RE: Das Ubergeek Sep 14, 2011 09:22 PM

                                            Uh-oh, Nhu Lan went downhill that fast? Where do you recommend now? We can drive there instead of walk, since we're planning on leaving DLR everyday for lunch and the girls' nap.

                                            As for my youngest daughter's peanut allergy, it doesn't seem severe so far (she broke out in a rash when I gave her some peanut butter when we ran out of almond butter) so I took her in for a blood test. I don' t think that peanut dust in her vicinity will set her off. I'm more concerned about peanuts being put in some sauce or thickening agent.

                                            1. re: smiles33
                                              Das Ubergeek RE: smiles33 Sep 15, 2011 08:39 AM

                                              Banh Mi Cho Cu, Tip Top Sandwiches, Mr. Baguette or Banh Mi Che Cali. Che Cali is arguably the most driving-friendly, since it's got a giant parking lot and is closest to the freeway (on Brookhurst).

                                              Actually, though, let me rescind that—go to OC Poultry and Rotisserie, on Ball Road just east of State College Blvd. in Anaheim, about 5 minutes' drive from the park. Their speciality is chicken banh mi, which is just outstanding, but they also make dac biet (mixed cold cut) and bo xao (lemongrass beef) banh mi, as well as xoi ga (sticky rice with shredded chicken and fried shallots), ca ri ga (chicken curry) and canh bun ga (chicken noodle soup). Tai (the man) and Thu (the lady) speak good English, so you can definitely express your child's peanut allergy.

                                              If you go to OC Poultry, make sure you try their homemade da ua (pronounced "yah oo-ah"). It's yoghurt made from condensed milk, so while it's "plain", it's got this fantastic tang and sweetness to it.

                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                s
                                                smiles33 RE: Das Ubergeek Sep 16, 2011 08:13 PM

                                                Great rec, DU! We got 2 rice plates (lemongrass beef & shredded chicken) and ordered bang mi for breakfast. Kids loved it and the owners were really nice. Thanks again.

                                                1. re: smiles33
                                                  trolley RE: smiles33 Sep 16, 2011 11:26 PM

                                                  fyi, about peanut allergy (my 3 yr old has one) that it can possibly get worse with every contact. our friend who is also 3 first ate peanut butter and broke out. they thought nothing of it and didn't figure out it was a bite from a cookie. 2nd time it was hives and 3rd anaphylaxis etc. as our allergist says you can't predict every reaction and how it's going to play out.

                                                  but not to get you too paranoid, i'd avoid all thai as they just can't guarantee cross contamination. but sounds like you're already there at disney?

                                                  we go almost every month (we have passes) and disneyland is heaven for those with food allergies. every restaurant or stand can accommodate your childs needs. and banh mi's are usually pretty safe. good luck with your trip and the allergies!

                                      2. s
                                        smiles33 RE: smiles33 Mar 28, 2013 09:28 AM

                                        I'm not sure of CH etiquette when it comes to reviving old threads, but we are heading back for our second visit to Disneyland in 2 weeks. I also swear I came back to update this thread but I don't see it now....

                                        We ended up eating at OC Poultry for dinner the second night (picking up banh mi for breakfast) and 5 Guys for dinner the 3rd night, with all other meals INSIDE the resort (sadly). We had Ariel's Grotto for lunch just to see the princesses (so food quality was as expected--UCLA's dorm food was better!), Corn Dog Castle (surprisingly good corn dogs!) for lunch the second day, and the Big Thunder BBQ dinner on our first day in the park (as we were starving and could see/smell it right there but it was mediocre BBQ for the price).

                                        I haven't been as thorough in researching this time but thought maybe bumping this thread up will get folks to chime in about new restaurants.

                                        Two changes for this trip out:

                                        1) We discovered that my now 3 year old daughter has an allergy to both peanuts and all fish. So we have to be careful of cross-contamination issues for 2 foods now.

                                        2) I've already booked two "mediocre" meals in order to get character experiences in without long lines: breakfast at Plaza Inn with Minnie and Friends and a Sunday brunch at Goofy's Kitchen.

                                        This still leaves 3 dinners, 2 lunches, and various snacks in-between. I think I prefer to eat lunches off-site (as I know food will always be better outside of the park) and we have to leave every afternoon anyway for my 3 year old's nap. We really liked OC Poultry so I think lunch there is a given and we'll pick up banh mi again for breakfast in the hotel room. Maybe we can try Los Chilangos for lunch this visit since we missed it last time?

                                        Yet I may want to stick around DLR for dinner to save on time (20 minute round-trip walk back to HoJo plus travel time to the restaurant). We never even went to Downtown Disney last trip. What are Chowhounders' opinions of Catal or Ralph Brennan's? I know it will be overpriced, as we're paying for convenience. But is is decent?

                                        I was also thinking of Plaza Inn's chicken dinner for one night.

                                        Also, would it be ridiculous to splurge on Napa Rose or Carthay Circle just to try it? Or are those two not worthy of a "fine dining" bill? It definitely would not be a fast experience, nor would it necessarily be our girls' first choice in food, but I'm intrigued.

                                        Any other suggestions are welcome!

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: smiles33
                                          n
                                          ns1 RE: smiles33 Mar 28, 2013 09:58 AM

                                          go to downtown disney and eat at "earl of sandwich ". eat there every day breakfast lunch and dinner. i'm only partially joking.

                                          1. re: ns1
                                            s
                                            smiles33 RE: ns1 Mar 28, 2013 10:02 AM

                                            Is it that good? I've seen it mentioned on DISBoards but when I went to the website, it just had photos of hot sandwiches with what looked like traditional toppings (e.g., turkey and cheese).

                                            1. re: smiles33
                                              n
                                              ns1 RE: smiles33 Mar 28, 2013 10:34 AM

                                              It's my favorite sandwich joint. they have one in Vegas and I go there everytime, usually a few times. cheap and tastes freaking great.

                                              earl's club is by far my favorite.

                                              I'm not saying it's ground breaking btw, but it's most certainly the best sandwich option around IMHO.

                                          2. re: smiles33
                                            susancinsf RE: smiles33 Mar 28, 2013 02:02 PM

                                            I had Sunday Brunch at Goofy's Kitchen with my granddaughter (five years old) and daughter about a month ago. Completely worth it for the character interactions and because it is a pleasant dining space: tables well-spaced, not too noisy, the redone DL hotel generally is a treat. And the food is a step (only a step, but still a step) above mediocre, with lots of choices. You will be able to find something you like (it is all buffet, but with some items such as omelets made to order). I particularly enjoyed the sopes and other Mexican choices in general (IIRC they had a good pozole), and the eggs benedict weren't bad at all. (Probably wouldn't have tried them at a buffet, but my daughter picked one up without realizing it had ham, which she doesn't touch. I was able to take it off her hands so it didn't go to waste). Lots of dessert choices, as one would expect of Disney. My granddaughter LOVED having soft serve ice cream with chocolate sprinkles for breakfast.

                                            I enjoyed Napa Rose when I dined there several years ago, but as an adult experience, and the service had a lot to do with my enjoyment. I doubt I would have enjoyed it nearly as much with kids in tow: it wasn't just about the food, it was about finding an oasis....

                                            However, I would take kids to Catal, which I thought was very good when I went there with a group a few weeks ago. Delicious cocktails, very good food, very family friendly service. I didn't even think it was overpriced for what it was, but then I was on an expense account....If you do go there, whatever you do, MAKE A RESERVATION! We were there at a slow time, and waits everywhere in DD (Even on week nights) were ridiculous without reservations. Catal is on Open Table, I believe. Oh and by the way, I never saw a line at Earl of Sandwich that was LESS than a block long, even shortly after opening. The Italian place in DD was also ok to decent one night (Sorry, can't remember the name of the place). Good salads, good service, cheaper than Catal (but not nearly as nice in terms of atmosphere).

                                            I had a good beignet and coffee at Brennan's to go area one am on the last trip there. I would have seriously considered it for dinner if it were not for the fact that I knew I'd be in New Orleans two weeks later... :-)

                                            My one truly awful meal was at the Mexican place in Disneyland, where we have had decent meals before. Shudder. A year ago I did have a good snack at the place in Critter Country...Edited to add: I see I mention both the Mexican place and Critter Country in an older post below: I liked the fish tacos last time which is why I went back, but they were none too fresh and not good this time. The fried green tomato sandwhich is the snack I remember from earlier trips...

                                            Have fun!

                                            1. re: susancinsf
                                              s
                                              smiles33 RE: susancinsf Mar 29, 2013 10:16 PM

                                              Thanks so much for the tips re DTD options like Catal and Brennan's. I think I'm going to pick one of them for dinner, since it's close and doesn't involve walking back to our hotel for the car.

                                              I'm willing to wait in line for awesome food, but I don't know that I'd do it for a sandwich with "normal" toppings like Earl. So it sounds like we will be skipping that if lines are consistently so long.

                                              Also glad to hear Goofy's was worth the expense! I hear Storyteller has better food per DISBoards but my girls won't recognize the more obscure animal characters there. The dessert selection at Goofy's is likely to mean my girls will be on a sugar high and then crash for the long drive here. Great strategy!!!

                                              Thanks again for taking the time to craft such a long helpful message!

                                              1. re: smiles33
                                                susancinsf RE: smiles33 Mar 31, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                Your girls will be happy to hear that the characters at Goofy's included at least one of the Princesses (Snow White, and there may have been others...). Actually, there was only one of the many characters that my five year old Granddaughter did *not* recognize. :-)

                                            2. re: smiles33
                                              j
                                              js76wisco RE: smiles33 Mar 29, 2013 01:53 PM

                                              I went to Carthay Circle for lunch the other day. It was expensive but not unreasonable. Both of us had the cheeseburger. It was very nicely seasoned patty, not too tightly packed, well cooked to medium rare-ish and good smokey bacon. The bun was way too big. It made the burger almost impossible to put into your mouth. The fries were good. I believe it was $18. All of the other entrees were in the high teens to mid/low $20s.

                                              The Ranch is a 5 minute drive from Disney. I haven't been but gets very high marks from many on the board. Good wine program and good steaks, chops, etc...

                                              I liked Earl of Sandwich. If the line was out the door and around the trees as it has been known to I wouldn't wait on line. My biggest complaint is the portion size. I need to usually order 2 but only want like 1.5 sandwiches. The portion size is probably right based on daily calorie counts and all but not for the American palate.

                                              Don't forget the dole whip in Disney. It's next to the Tiki Room in the area where Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones ride is. It's basically pineapple soft serve ice cream but it is delicious. Well worth the wait.

                                              1. re: js76wisco
                                                s
                                                smiles33 RE: js76wisco Mar 29, 2013 10:27 PM

                                                I think your post has convinced me to wait until my girls are older to take them to Carthay or Napa Rose. :) if I pay $18 for a burger, I want something out of this world added to it!

                                                Oh yes, my Dole Whip Float was one of my favorite snacks last time and even better, I learned from DISBoards of the "secret" short line inside the Tiki Room waiting area. My girls were napping when i went to single ride a bunch of E ticket rides and just stopped in after riding Indy. So this time I will have to bring the whoe family to try this great treat!

                                                1. re: js76wisco
                                                  emily RE: js76wisco Mar 30, 2013 01:21 PM

                                                  In all my years of going to Disneyland (since I was baby by the photos), I don't ever remember trying a Dole Whip! Will have to remedy this if I ever get back there.

                                              2. Servorg RE: smiles33 Mar 28, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                In place of the departed Mariscos Puerto Esperanza you can substitute either Mariscos Mocorito or http://bahiamexicanseafood.com/ and you will still be happy.

                                                Mariscos Mocorito
                                                320 E Katella Ave
                                                Orange, CA 92867
                                                (714) 771-0050

                                                And I see your trip is now long over (g) but anyone else who comes to this thread can still avail themselves of these recommendations and "they" will be happy.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  s
                                                  smiles33 RE: Servorg Mar 28, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                  Thanks for the tip! I bumped the thread because we're going again in 2 weeks and wanted to see if there were any newer recs (keeping in mind that I got some great recs 2 years ago).

                                                  1. re: smiles33
                                                    n
                                                    namstermonster RE: smiles33 Mar 28, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                    some ideas in the nearby vicinity: brodard or dat thanh for nem nuong cuon spring rolls (the former has killer sauce), ngu binh for banh beo, tito's for tacos vapor, wok coco for indonesian, al amir/forn al hara/zait & zataar/papa hassan/olive tree for middle eastern. of course these recs aren't taking into account the peanut/fish allergy factor, but they're just some suggestions off the top of my head.

                                                    1. re: namstermonster
                                                      s
                                                      smiles33 RE: namstermonster Mar 29, 2013 10:12 PM

                                                      Awesome! Thanks namstermonster. We love ethnic so I'll google these choices.

                                                2. trolley RE: smiles33 Mar 28, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                  Let's face it the food there is always going to be mediocre but i don't think it warrants a trip out of the park and back into the park during the day. i don't know about you but we're there for rides and the food is secondary. The trip to the car in itself is a 20-30 minute ordeal depending on where you are walking from and parked in. The last time I was there we had lunch at Wine Country Trattoria in California Adventure. While it's no Scarpetta it serves ok food at not too astronomical prices.

                                                  I haven't been to the Napa Rose but I have been to the Steakhouse 55 and the cost is just slightly more per person than Goofy's Kitchen and the food is much better.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: trolley
                                                    s
                                                    smiles33 RE: trolley Mar 29, 2013 10:11 PM

                                                    Yup, I've significantly lowered expectations after our first trip but we have to leave the park anyway for my 3 year old's nap every day so I figured that would be a chance to get something tasty. Dinner will be back in the parks, likely. I am doing the character meals for time value, as it saves me from an hour plus of various lines inside the park to meet characters. I am trying to remind myself that the prices are the cost of convenience, not an indication of food quality! :)

                                                  2. s
                                                    smiles33 RE: smiles33 May 10, 2013 08:43 PM

                                                    UPDATE:

                                                    Sorry, I forgot to come back earlier to report what we did on our 2013 trip.

                                                    We ended up doing 3 character meals and eating a lot inside the parks (sigh). Convenience trumps good food.

                                                    Breakfast at Plaza Inn with Minnie and Friends--worst cafeteria style breakfast I've ever had. Good selection of characters but we won't be doing this again.

                                                    Lunch at Ariel's Grotto with the princesses--we did this on the 2011 trip and did not plan to go again but my in-laws called and said they wanted to treat us to something special for the girls (and since they had just had their princess makeovers, we decided to go here again). We were surprised that food was better than we remembered. Still, grossly overpriced for a meal with only 5 princesses (and they are quick walk-bys).

                                                    Breakfast/brunch at Goofy's Kitchen--this was our last meal and by far the best combination of decent food and great characters. We'd eat here again for the convenience and the above-average (by Disney standards) food.

                                                    Dinner at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen--obscenely overpriced, annoyingly long wait (over an hour despite being told it was just 20 minutes!), and then to top it off, incredibly mediocre/bland food. The saving grace was the live performer who played a great saxophone. Yes, I should have known better but this was our first night in the park and first time in Downtown Disney. NEVER AGAIN.

                                                    Dinner from OC Poultry and Rotisserie again (thanks again Das Ubergeek!) that DH picked up because my eldest and I kept riding until we were starving! He got 2 or 3 rice plates and they were all delicious (but the lemongrass beef was not as good as I hoped it would be)!

                                                    Lots of in-park snacks, including Dole Whip Floats (yummy), Bengal BBQ skewers (Banyan Beef and bacon-wrapped asparagus were ok but not impressive), corndogs from the Little Red Wagon (yummy!), turkey leg (DH's favorite item of the trip--surprisingly GOOD!), cotton candy, popcorn, churros, frozen strawberry lemonade, and Mickey beignets from the Mint Julep Bar (these were 100 times better than Ralph Brennan's dense cake-like chewy beignets!!).

                                                    All in all, a trip to Disneyland is not about the food, but there were a few nice surprises.

                                                    Thanks again!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: smiles33
                                                      l
                                                      latindancer RE: smiles33 May 10, 2013 09:33 PM

                                                      <a trip to Disneyland is not about the food>

                                                      I have to admit we've found some nice surprises, like you.
                                                      I LOVE those corn dogs from the Little Red Wagon.
                                                      One of the highlights of the trip for us is Catal's (Patina Group). Even though we stay in the park at The Grand Californian we bypass the restaurants in the hotel and make reservations for adults and children at this outstanding restaurant just around the corner from the hotel.
                                                      When/if you go back to Disneyland it is definitely worth it.

                                                      1. re: smiles33
                                                        susancinsf RE: smiles33 May 13, 2013 03:24 AM

                                                        Thanks for the report back....good to hear a report on Brennan's even if it wasn't good; I will probably stick to Catal again my next trip. But sorry to hear about their beignets, which I don't remember being chewy or cake like at all when I got them from the take-away side. Indeed, they were not all that different than the beignets I got at Cafe du Monde two weeks later...(although I will admit that for me Cafe du Monde is more about the scene than about the beignets or the coffee).

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