Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love is in the Air- Wordless Wednesday

A serial love affair with this year's runDisney medal line-up...

Focused on the Magic

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Top 5 Disneyland Restaurants

Welcome to those of you joining me from Return to Disney and those of you just hopping aboard.  I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Since I am still flying high as a pixie after running the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon, I thought I'd share my top five Disneyland restaurants.  Pre-race, post-race, or anytime, these tasty highlights help make this the Happiest Place on Earth!

1.  Blue Bayou
My kids are still talking about the first time we ate at this one-of-a-kind (OK, maybe not if you've been to Disneyland Paris' Blue Lagoon) table-service restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean.

You would honestly swear that you were eating in a New Orleans lantern-lit courtyard on a warm, sultry evening.  In addition to watching the boats depart for their rendezvous with our favorite pirate, you simply MUST order the famed Le Special de Monte Cristo sandwich; turkey, ham and Swiss cheese and battered bread that is golden fried, decadent and delicious.  It is only served at lunch, and is in my mind worth the $24.99 tab. (Don't worry, there's easily enough to share with several others!)

2.  Carnation Cafe
Stroll half-way down Main Street, and start your day at this quaint, outdoor eatery.  I'm a sucker for eating ON Main Street, it just makes one feel as though they are totally entrenched in the action.  You've arrived, and you belong. Though this eatery is presently closed for remodeling (they will be expanding indoors- using space from the Blue Ribbon Bakery- just in case it's not always sunny in Southern California... ), my family has always found the breakfast, lunch and dinner choices scrumptious.  Our favorite?  Breakfast; the promise of a new day combined with the setting and their Croissant Benedict can't be beat.  Just wait 'til July!  

3.  Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
Since my room at the Disneyland Hotel overlooked this new hot spot, I simply had to explore.

I know, it says "bar", but it is so much more.  The terrace was full every night, with folks drinking, listening to great music, and nibbling on delectable Polynesian finger foods.

My favorite was the Pu Pu Platter!  If you are there on a night that is not quite as balmy as this past week, you can belly up to the wild and crazy bar.  Think Adventurer's Club...

4.  Steakhouse 55

History.  One can imagine that this is a restaurant that Walt Disney would have spent significant time in.  Of course, the establishment is only about five years old, but it feels vintage.  Walt himself greets you at the door, and Hollywood faces surround the tables and banquettes.

Steak is my husband's business, so he has a very discerning (or shall I say, competitive) palate. He raved about the Bone-in Rib Eye, and I shared the New York Strip with my son.  Both were done perfectly and full of rich flavor.  They have a well-rounded wine list, and service that rises to the occasion of the food.  (Runners- their oatmeal's not bad either!)

5.  Napa Rose

This fine dining restaurant embodies the California style, complete with Napa Valley's best wines.

We've had the privilege of eating here before, but because we were looking to celebrate our Half Marathon "victory", we decided to splurge and go for the famous "The Vintner's Table" menu, (even though we were not sitting at the Chef's Counter), complete with wine pairings!!

Every single item on the four course Prix Fixe menu was something I might have ordered individually, which for me is rare.  In addition, an amuse-bouche arrived at the table as a bonus course:

Expensive, yes ($135 including the Wine Flight); but made-to-order for that special occasion...

Hungry yet?  The culinary offerings at Disneyland keep getting better and better; another reason it is our West Coast "happy place". 

**Addendum:  Would I include the newer Carthay Circle on this list?  Yes.  Would I bump one of these favorites to do it?  Not yet.  Carthay Circle gets better every time we visit, and I feel it has greatness on the horizon.  Until then, "Top 6 Disneyland Restaurants" it is!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop~ Delightfully Disney
2nd Stop~ Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
3rd Stop~ Return to Disney

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Yellow this month.  We will be back March 2nd with an all new theme.  Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to stay up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories.  If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.