Special Disneyland Post!!
How else would you want to celebrate your 24th birthday besides enjoying a beautiful day at the happiest place on earth? Especially when you start off your day by going to City Hall and picking up your birthday pin and then getting flooded with Happy Birthday wishes. Anyway, this is not a Disneyland review, but one for Blue Bayou which is located inside the theme park. Now for those of you who are not Disneyland fanatics, the Blue Bayou shares its location with the first scene on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. If you glance to the right of the swamp you notice a dining area, and as you exit the ride you will notice the entrance of Blue Bayou. Usually, reservations are needed to grab a seat at this “highly desired” restaurant, but lucky for my friend Joyce and I, we were able to get walk in seating (I swear it was because of the birthday pin). Now onto some ambience pics.
Now due to the nature of restaurant and the creative movement of Disney’s Imagineers, the restaurant was extremely dim lit which made taking pictures impossible without flash. The funny thing is, no matter how intimate the setting could be, the presence of a 10-year old Jack Sparrow and his 8-year old Cinderella sister always reminded you exactly where you were.How adorable, the butter that comes with the bread is supposed to be shaped into a Mickey silhouette, a hidden Mickey perhaps?
Each entree is accompanied with either their signature New Orleans Gumbo or their “Cajun Inspired” salad. The gumbo is actually really good, despite how plain it appears. Off to a good start Disney, I’m in for a treat.When we looked at this salad, we pondered to ourselves how it was supposedly “Cajun Inspired.” The addition of Pecans? Genius! (sense the sarcasm please). I mean at least construct a creative dressing that at least has some New Orleans Cajun inspiration instead of asking us if we wanted Ranch on our salad.The entrees that they served didn’t bode to well either. Now as soon as we saw how limited the menus were and how quickly the entrees came out, we knew that Blue Bayou was set up Cafeteria style with food already prepared and the waiters just had to grab and go. The Cajun-Spiced Salmon has a very enticing description: “Blackened, with citrus crawfish beurre blanc, with Blue Bayou Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables.” How exquisite, how delicious, how Disney. Leave it up to them to embellish the dish with a whimsical sophisticated description to hoax their casual middle class diners (who probably could have got the same dish at Applebees for a third of the price). Anyways, I will admit that I was also tricked, but to my defense it was the best there was on the menu. If you break down the description into simpleton terms, it makes it a lot easier to understand. Blackened – I know there’s supposed to be some sort of pepper, salt and herb crust, but my goodness do the chefs not know how to season. The entire fish was over-salted and near inedible. The citrus crawfish beurre blanc, is just a fancy way of saying a butter sauce, but this provided no relief to the salt fest going on in my mouth. Next up were the Blue Bayou Potatoes, which were actually the best part of the dish (you know the dish is pathetic when you crave more of the sides). They were a very basic potato au gratin, but done fairly well. Finally, the seasonal vegetables were just cuts of asparagus that I let Joyce enjoy after I saw the look of disgust on her face.Here comes Blue Bayou’s highly touted Jambalaya! Restaurant savior? Not quite. The Jambalaya taste exactly the same as the Gumbo I had earlier. Good right? Yes, but as a diner you’re always craving something different. I will admit that the Jambalaya is hearty. Filled with large portions of shrimp, mahi mahi, ham, sausage and chicken. There’s actually more proteins than rice, which is a plus. Yet, you sit there unsatisfied because you remember that this Jambalaya cost you $29. Sigh.What is this?? A special birthday dessert?! SCORE! I love chocolate ice cream with little Mickey heads as sprinkles and a healthy dollop of whipped cream. Wait a minute. This isn’t ice cream, it’s just chocolate mousse. Wow, I just understood why they serve chocolate mousse, because the word looks like mouse, get it? Mickey Mouse. Anyway, a chocolate mousse to me is just a fancy way of saying chocolate whipped cream. So not only do I get a Matterhorn Mountain amount of whipped cream, I get more on the bottom. No thanks. I’ll just nibble at the sprinkles.
As much as I love Disneyland and all it’s spectacular glory, Blue Bayou is not something I can recommend. The 10% annual pass saving is not enough to get me to come back, I’ll stick with the bread bowls, turkey legs, and churros outside at a fraction of the price instead.
Blue Bayou Scores:
Food: 3/10 – The first thing they teach you in culinary school is how to well season a dish, but it just so happened that this chef had a heavy hand for salt.
Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – Even though restaurant is filled with children screaming about going on more rides, and morbidly obese Americans (sorry if that’s offensive, but it’s true) the calmness of the bayou wins you over.
Service: 8/10 – As with everything at Disneyland, customer service is key, and the service at Blue Bayou was no different. But really, sometimes you just want your server to slow down a little and allow you to enjoy your meal.
Value: 1/10 – I try to tell myself to remember that I’m at Disneyland, but I just couldn’t. $30 per disgusting entree is not value. Note: The best value in my opinion at Disneyland are the pastas at the Pizza Port, even though they got rid of my favorite Chicken Alfredo.