There’s a treasure trove of culinary riches at Disneyland. Whether or not you need snacks, desserts, or full meals at eating places there’s nice delicacies in each single land (nicely, possibly not Toontown). Pound for pound, the a part of the park with the perfect eating is New Orleans Sq..
This gained’t be any shock to Disneyland diehards. Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, Royal Avenue Veranda, and Mint Julep Bar are all virtually Disneyland establishments. Whereas all of them didn’t make our Checklist of the 23 Finest Eating places at Disneyland Resort, there was a cause for that, as New Orleans Sq. was within the midst of a change on the time.
Now that undertaking is full, and Tiana’s Palace Restaurant is open. This new eatery impressed by The Princess and the Frog is at present the most well-liked restaurant within the park, and for good cause–it’s improbable. After eating right here a number of instances over the course of the previous couple of months, we’re now able to name it: Tiana’s Palace is the perfect counter service restaurant in Disneyland.
In equity, Tiana’s Palace Restaurant can be new. Meaning two issues. The primary is that it’s going to have a ton of demand, as Disneyland followers love something that’s model new. If Alien Pizza Planet held its grand opening at this time with precisely the identical (nasty) menu that’s at present supplied, it might see a pointy spike in demand.
The second is that Disneyland eating places are nearly at all times on the prime of their sport after they first open. Over time, menus get dumbed down or streamlined to both comport with visitor expectations or maximize effectivity resulting from excessive demand. Tiana’s Palace presents purple flags on this entrance as a result of it’s a extremely well-liked restaurant that includes a princess.
It’s most likely going to remain well-liked, and it’ll most likely additionally want to chop corners and tone issues down. That is a part of why we’ve waited to publish our evaluation–to check and retest dishes and see what has already change (and some dishes have). It’ll doubtless proceed to ‘evolve,’ which is one thing to bear in mind whereas studying our effusive reward for the dishes in case you’re not eating right here till 2024 or 2025.
Earlier than we get going, let’s begin with the underlying motivation for the addition of Tiana’s Palace, which is the closure and reimagining of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Journey, a brand new journey based mostly on The Princess and the Frog. Building partitions are up round Chick-A-Pin Hill and Imagineers have been noticed on and across the attraction starting work on the overhaul.
The transformation timeline is an aggressive one, however Tiana’s Bayou Journey is at present scheduled to open in 2024. At Walt Disney World, rumors level to an early opening, however we’ve heard that Disneyland is relatively not on time (and never simply because work began later). Whether or not Tiana’s Bayou Journey will make the late 2024 goal at Disneyland stays to be seen; it’s might slip into 2025. Nonetheless, different additions to Disneyland impressed by The Princess and the Frog have already debuted.
For its half, Tiana’s Palace Restaurant replaces the previous French Market Restaurant on Orleans Avenue. Many Disneyland diehards had been disillusioned when this was introduced and, admittedly, we had been amongst them. Nonetheless, our gripe had nothing to do with French Market being an untouchable Walt-era establishment.
Our grievance was that Tiana’s Palace wasn’t changing Hungry Bear Restaurant, which is a bigger venue. If given the finances and time, Imagineers might’ve reworked that right into a desk service Tiana’s Palace character eating expertise, with Critter Nation changing into a bayou. As a substitute, they’d restricted time to retrofit an current buffeteria, that means that Tiana’s Palace Restaurant would essentially be a quick-service spot resulting from area constraints.
Having seen the demand and the way shortly Cell Order slots are filling for Tiana’s Palace Restaurant, we really feel compelled to reiterate this criticism. Though the preliminary fanfare will die down sooner or later, Tiana’s Palace goes to be extremely busy for years to come back. It’s just too well-liked of an idea for this comparatively small spot.
Alongside these strains, our different criticism could be that Tiana’s Palace Restaurant at Disneyland feels nothing just like the model from the movie. In that, Tiana builds her restaurant in an previous run-down sugar mill, a constructing which had been empty for many years. It’s giant and cavernous, basically a giant warehouse.
The previous French Market shouldn’t be that. Don’t get us unsuitable–we love this restaurant and respect the small print and design thrives added in reimagining French Market into Tiana’s Palace Restaurant. But it surely definitely doesn’t really feel like “entering into the film,” which is a missed alternative. We’ve already overheard just a few company who had been shocked that Tiana’s Palace is a buffeteria with no indoor seating, and never a sit-down restaurant. So set your expectations accordingly in case you’re a fan of the movie.
Other than that, we don’t actually have any criticism of the decor or theme at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant. In all probability an unpopular opinion amongst Disneyland followers, however I don’t suppose French Market was sacred. To the extent that it was a spot that held a particular place in Disneyland historical past, that principally stays.
The added particulars improve and supply one thing that’ll assist it resonate extra with trendy audiences; I don’t see an issue with any of that. My massive quibble is the shortsightedness of a quick and low cost overlay right here, versus going larger (and extra genuine) elsewhere.
Luckily, there’s completely nothing lazy in regards to the menu at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant. This can be a marked enchancment over the delicacies that was served at French Market when it closed. That restaurant was as soon as one of many highlights of Disneyland eating, nevertheless it had been going downhill for a number of years, with ever-increasing costs, shrinking parts, and less-ambitious dishes.
In opposition to that backdrop, let’s dig into the menu at evaluation every part at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant…
Let’s begin with the 7 Greens Gumbo, with White Beans, Okra, Yams, Candy Potatoes, and Heirloom Rice. That is obtainable as a plant-based possibility that’s additionally freed from the highest 9 allergens. There’s additionally a model of the 7 Greens Gumbo with Rooster & Andouille Sausage, which clearly shouldn’t be plant-based.
Disneyland’s culinary group developed this dish as an homage to Dooky Chase Restaurant, which historically serves a 9 greens gumbo on the Thursday earlier than Easter. It’s certainly one of many dishes on the menu that pulls inspiration from analysis journeys to New Orleans, or is sourced from Louisiana.
The 7 Greens Gumbo can be probably the most approachable gumbo on the menu at Tiana’s Palace, as long as you may get previous the “greens” within the title. The roux base is lighter however no much less advanced; it options the Holy Trinity of Creole and Cajun, okra roasted with a pleasant sweetness and caramelization, and quite a lot of different components.
The top result’s a flavorful gumbo that’s extra formidable and nuanced than every other plant-based possibility at Disneyland. The one competitors that involves thoughts is the Felucian Kefta and Hummus Backyard Unfold at Docking Bay 7 in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and that is higher than that. Sarah usually opts for the plant-based dishes at Disneyland, and this earns her highest endorsement–she was shocked on the nuance and ambitiousness of the 7 Greens Gumbo.
I agree for probably the most half. I usually wouldn’t intentionally order a plant-based possibility, however the usual model of the 7 Greens Gumbo holds its personal towards something on the menu at Tiana’s Palace. For individuals who like meat, it’s even higher with the Rooster & Andouille Sausage. We each extremely advocate the 7 Greens Gumbo.
The Home Gumbo: Braised Rooster, Andouille Sausage and Heirloom Rice can be wonderful. This makes use of a darker roux and there’s a 50/50 sizzling sauce mix that brings a good quantity of kick to the dish.
The top result’s a heavy and comforting gumbo that additionally has a wealthy and sturdy taste profile. I’ve a good tolerance for spicy meals, and this didn’t strike me as something extreme–nevertheless it may be pushing the envelope for ‘common’ vacationers visiting Disneyland.
Personally, I’d go for the 7 Greens Gumbo with Rooster & Andouille Sausage whereas it’s hotter out; this Home Gumbo as a great possibility for cold Southern California evenings or winter months. However actually it’s a detailed name, and possibly comes right down to how you’re feeling about barely spicy dishes. Each of those gumbos are wonderful.
The most costly dish on the menu is the Cajun Spiced Half Rooster brushed with BBQ Sauce served with Baked Macaroni and Cheese & Coleslaw, which at present prices $19.49.
To my information, that is the most costly counter service dish within the parks–tied with the rooster at Plaza Inn and Flo’s V8 Cafe. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see whether or not it’s the primary dish to interrupt the $20 mark, or if the portion decreases or one thing.
Anyway, the Cajun Spiced Half Rooster is simply okay. In case you’re in search of crowd-pleasing consolation meals, that is it.
In our view, this rooster is pretty center of the highway. It’s by no means spicy, however the taste continues to be tremendous. It jogs my memory of a sizzling rooster you possibly can choose up on the grocery retailer sizzling meals aisle from below a warmth lamp, however brushed with barbecue sauce. There’s nothing essentially unsuitable with it, however for nearly $20 and at a restaurant with a ton of memorable choices…it’s very forgettable.
On a optimistic notice, the baked macaroni & cheese nearly fully redeemed the dish.
The feel and density set this aside, with high quality cheeses and simply the right quantity of richness and creaminess. I can’t consider you possibly can’t order this as a facet–I might need to order the Baked Macaroni and Cheese Youngsters Meal together with one of many sandwiches for our subsequent meal at Tiana’s Palace.
The pickles are additionally good. The cole slaw is precisely what you’d anticipate in case you’ve ever had that facet at different Disneyland buffeterias.
Subsequent up is the Gulf Shrimp and Grits simmered in Creole Sauce with Tacky Grits.
That is one other dish that delivers. The Gulf Shrimp are hearty and have a bit of warmth, with about the identical stage of spiciness as within the Home Gumbo. On this case, the depth doesn’t come on as sturdy until you eat the shrimp by themselves, because the creaminess of the grits properly offsets the warmth.
Whereas not as advanced as any of the gumbo, there’s additionally rather a lot happening when it comes to taste and texture right here. We’ve had associates who thought the grits had been a bit too tacky and low-quality, however that hasn’t been my expertise. I believe that is one other satisfying and comforting dish with simply the correct amount of cheesiness. Once more, extremely advisable.
Turning to the sandwiches, we now have the Muffuletta Sandwich with Mortadella, Salami, Rosemary Ham, Cheddar, Provolone and Home-made Olive Relish on Toasted New Orleans Sesame Seed Bread, served with Purple Beans & Rice and Home-made Pickles.
This can be a easy sandwich, nevertheless it’s piled excessive with meats and cheeses, and that olive relish is great. That alone takes this out of unusual territory and makes it (nearly) extraordinary. The opposite spotlight right here is the purple beans and rice–this can be a hearty facet that has a ton of taste and a bit of warmth. (I’m skeptical these will stick round for lengthy.) Due to that facet and the quantity of meat, this can be a surprisingly filling dish. Really helpful.
The ultimate and first-place entree is the Beef Po’Boy Sandwich: Gradual-cooked Beef in Gravy dressed with Shredded Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle and Duke’s Mayonnaise on a Toasted New Orleans French Bread, served with Purple Beans & Rice and Home-made Pickles.
I’m a sucker for sandwiches, so it’s not shocking that one rated so extremely for me. Even by sandwich requirements, that is improbable–the highest sandwich at Disneyland proper now. The spotlight right here is the bread, which is sourced from New Orleans. No, not “impressed by” or “utilizing the identical recipe as” breads in NOLA, however actually shipped in from New Orleans. And the additional effort completely reveals.
Earlier than you even get your first style of that dressed slow-cooked beef, you’re handled to a few of the greatest sandwich bread you’ll ever style. A slight crispness on the surface giving approach to softness inside, with nice taste from begin to end. Hopefully.
I say “hopefully” as a result of I’ve now had this sandwich 3 instances, and gone 2 for 3 on it. Far and away the perfect time was the primary time. After that, I obtained unfortunate with bread that appeared day (or a number of days) previous, and it was not practically pretty much as good. The ultimate time, prime tier once more. When it’s contemporary, it’s improbable. When it’s not…it’s nonetheless actually good, with the substance greater than choosing up the slack.
Duke’s mayo provides the juicy beef simply the appropriate creaminess and tang, and the entire sandwich is manner higher than it has any proper to be. Extremely, extremely advisable–to the purpose that it’s a prime 5 dish in Disneyland.
Oh, and another tip is that it is best to be capable of swap out the purple beans & rice for the baked macaroni & cheese (see above). “Ought to” is the operative phrase right here, as I’ve had spotty success doing this. I wouldn’t essentially advocate going out of your approach to do it, as each side are wonderful (and I say that as somebody who usually has bias in the direction of mac & cheese and towards beans).
There are solely a pair issues we’d advocate you keep away from at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant, and affordable minds might differ on each.
The primary of those is the Joffrey’s Espresso Chicory Chilly Brew with Candy Cream. We don’t significantly look after Joffrey’s Espresso, in order that’s most likely a part of it. To its credit score, the candy cream cuts the flavour of that espresso, nevertheless it nonetheless tastes like Joffrey’s–simply with quite a lot of cream and sugar in it to masks the flavour of subpar espresso. It’s an particularly robust promote or advice for me when paired with dessert, which most individuals will most likely need to do.
Lastly, we now have what I believe will turn into probably the most “controversial” menu merchandise at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant: the Home-filled Beignet That includes Lemon Ice Field Pie Filling topped with Lemon Glaze.
Reasonably than being a standard beignet, that is Disneyland’s tackle New Orleans Ice Field Pie. I assume that is to distinguish it from the Mickey Beignets which might be obtainable elsewhere in New Orleans Sq..
Our recommendation could be to stay to these basic Mickey-shaped desserts. The prevailing taste right here is sugar. Though the lemon taste and texture are good, it’s simply overpoweringly candy. Sarah has an excellent decrease tolerance for sugar than me, and he or she likewise thought that this was merely an excessive amount of.
Finally, the primary programs at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant are principally improbable. Solely the Cajun Spiced Half Rooster was simply okay, and we will perceive why Disneyland would need a couple safer dishes. (We’ve additionally had associates who raved about this, and their images made the rooster look completely completely different than ours. Regardless, it’s not one thing I’m in a rush to order once more–I solely even obtained it as soon as for the sake of this evaluation.)
With out query, the menu at Tiana’s Palace is way superior to what was obtainable at French Market when it closed–and even 5 years in the past when it was really good. Disneyland’s culinary group indicated that their objective was to ship desk service high quality in a counter service atmosphere, as they wished extra company to have the ability to expertise Creole and Cajun delicacies. Mission completed.
A number of of the entrees at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant simply could be at house at Cafe Orleans; they’re that good and impressive. We thus extremely advocate Tiana’s Palace Restaurant–simply remember to seize a Cell Order slot just a few hours upfront, rope drop the restaurant proper when it opens for an early lunch, or do an early dinner!
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Have you ever dined at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant? Favourite or least favourite entrees and sides? What did you consider the drinks or dessert? In case you’ve but to eat at this Princess and the Frog-inspired restaurant, does it sound good to you or too spicy? In case you’re from New Orleans, does the menu strike you as moderately genuine–taking into account that it’s a Disney theme park restaurant named after a princess? Do you agree or disagree with our tackle the Cajun and Creole delicacies at Tiana’s Palace Restaurant? Any questions? Listening to your suggestions—even while you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!