Saturday, April 14, 2012

Disneyland Dining - Cafe Orleans

Walt himself enjoying a cup of coffee at the Cafe Orleans - A Disney Parks Blog Photo
Its surprising that when I talk about Disneyland's Cafe Orleans I often get the response "I've heard of it and know where it is but I just haven't bothered to go in there yet". Yes, the Cafe Orleans is the New Orleans Square table service restaurant people kind of conveniently forget about as they make their plans to go to the neighboring Blue Bayou. Often times, when the Blue Bayou is booked up for the day, a trip over to the Cafe Orleans will allow you to get a table in a relatively short amount of time as a walk-up guest (though, as with all Disneyland table service restaurants, its always a good idea to call ahead for dining time).

I've had some people tell me that the didn't even know where the Cafe Orleans was. Really?  While the entrance (which has recently been moved) may be small, unassuming, and a bit out of the way, the restaurant itself  has quite a presence with the dozens of tables and chairs that sit on an outside dining patio with a wonderful view overlooking the Rivers of America from New Orleans Square.  (Oh, that place.....) The Cafe Orleans also has an inside dining section but from a quick view, the larger dining section is what you see outside.

For Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I, it took many trips before we actually made it into the Cafe Orleans.  If we were going to splurge on table service dining in New Orleans Square, it was the Blue Bayou or nothing.  That and the fact, the cajun inspired menu of the Cafe Orleans didn't really match Mrs DLT's sometimes rather bland palette.  Then one day a few years ago, we just decided we wanted to eat lunch at the Blue Bayou.  This was one of those times we didn't call ahead and so we were politely told the restaurant was booked up for the day.  Darn it!  And then we made the choice, let's just go try the Cafe Orleans.  We were seated in about 30 minutes, maybe less.  I waited while Mrs. DLT marched her way through the New Orleans Square shopping establishments.

Old entrance to Cafe Orleans across from the Blue Bayou
Once we were seated, we were greeted with one of Disneyland's best food offerings. We ordered Pommes Frites as our appetizer.  You can call them Pommes Frites if you want but for us Americans, these are garlic fries and for me anyway, they may be the best I ever had which is saying something for Disneyland food.  Served nice and hot, the fries are liberally coated with a delicious mixture of garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and a little olive oil.  They are also served with a cajun dipping sauce but I have always enjoyed them better without the accompanying sauce.  While you are enjoying your fries take a good look at the neighboring tables around you.  At least half of them will have a basket of these fries.  Many Disneylandphiles know a really good thing.

Since Mrs. DLT isn't a fan of spicy foods, she usually opts for the legendary Monte Cristo sandwich.  Cafe Orleans delivers this popular favorite for several dollars cheaper than the neighboring Blue Bayou.  If you never had one, try it here and save a few bucks.  They aren't for everybody mostly because these things are so rich and decadent, I think its kind of hard for one person to eat a whole one.  What is a monte cristo?  Think of it as ham, turkey, and swiss cheese served between two pieces of french toast, then deep fried, covered in powdered sugar, and served with some kind of jelly.  Wow!  Who came up with this concoction?  But it is good in a perverted kind of way and you can see why they are a favorite and have been on Disneyland menus for years and years.  If you eat one, you just kind of have to put the number of calories and fat content out of your mind.  When Mrs. DLT go the monte cristo route invariably, a chunk of it is bagged and taken to go.

The Cafe Orleans Monte Cristo sandwich.  Good luck trying to finish it.
I'm a crepe guy.  What the Cafe Orleans serves that you cannot get any place else in either park are crepe dishes.  I've had both Seafood Crepe and Chicken Gumbo Crepe and have enjoyed them both.  Both are quite filling with the cream sauce on the Seafood Crepe being, to me anyway, the little richer dining experience of the two.  You can't go wrong with either.

Seafood Crepe - Cafe Orleans Disneyland

I haven't tried it yet but I'm told the French Onion Soup is also very good so that is on my list of things to try next time I am at the Cafe Orleans.  French Onion Soup and Pommes Frites, that'll work.  At the top of this post is a picture of Walt Standing in front of a copper coffee pot.  The pot is still in the Cafe Orleans taking a prime spot in the inside dining portion of the restaurant.  Look at this  photo, go to the Cafe Orleans and look at the actual pot.  Make the connection.  You will be glad you did.

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