Disneyland - Lunch at Blue Bayou
(I started this review at the end of May...I guess it's time to finally finish it, huh?)
Lee and I had lunch at Blue Bayou in May - the first time we'd been there in probably 9-10 years! We had a good-sized group - Deb Wills and LindaMac, Beci and Chris from Mouse Fan Travel, and Panama Canal cruisers and first-time Disneyland visitors George and Ann. Between us we managed to try most of the menu items, I think, except for dessert.
We were in the first seating of the day, and even with our large group we scored a Bayou-side table, where we could watch the "fireflies" as the boats from Pirates of the Caribbean attraction floated by. It's really hard to touch Blue Bayou where sheer ambiance is concerned! But one disadvantage of that - it's DARK in there. The only lights we had were these little flickering candles on the table - and that was not sufficient light to read the menu. Fortunately George had a little pocket flashlight, otherwise, who knows what we might have ended up ordering! :-) That also meant we could hardly see what we were eating - guess that means they can save time and money on presentation of the food since you can't see it anyway...
Beci and I indulged our inner child and ordered the Pirate's Punch - Minute Maid Light Raspberry Lemonade served in a souvenir "pirate" cup, which includes lighted clip-on figurine: Tinker Bell or Captain Hook. I chose Captain Hook, and Beci opted for Tinker Bell. In the dark restaurant you can see them really well!
Our entrees came with choice of wedge salad or gumbo, and most also included choice of two sides. I had the wedge salad, which was quite good - a wedge of iceberg lettuce with goat cheese, a slice of tomato and some rather spicy sausage. As you can see it was sort of one of those "deconstructed" salads, though - some assembly required, or you could eat the individual parts. You can see a couple of french rolls in the picture, and those were really good - warm and crusty. The gumbo was another option, and while I didn't try it, I heard favorable comments from some of my fellow diners.
My entree was the Molasses-Brined Bayou Pork Chop - 10 oz. chop, pan-seared and topped with sauteed Granny Smith apple wedges. Choice of two sides: Blue Bayou potatoes, seasonal vegetables or sauteed spinach. I ordered it with the potatoes and vegetables. The chop was a little bit dry, unfortunately, though the brining and apples gave it a nice flavor.
Lee ordered the Buccaneer's Beef Short Ribs - slow-roasted, then finished in a Zinfandel demi glaze. He chose the seasonal vegetables and sauteed spinach (ewww!) for sides. I think he enjoyed his selection very much - more than I liked mine.
Others in our group ordered the Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya - A robust combination of king crab, jumbo gulf shrimp, mahi mahi, tasso ham, andouille sausage and chicken, tossed with Cajun-style "dirty rice" and also the Tesora Island Chicken - Blackened, roasted and finished to perfection in pan au jus. I think someone chose the Cajun-Spiced Salmon - Blackened, with citrus crawfish beurre blanc as well, but I don't remember now. I don't think any of us had room for dessert, though - between the soup/salad, the bread, the entree and two sides, that was quite a bit of food. If I had to do it again I would probably order just the salad, a side of potatoes, and the rolls, and save room for dessert!
We had decent service - certainly not exceptional, though. The pacing was fine - I hear that sometimes it's very slow, but maybe we lucked out because we were in the first seating of the day.
It was a nice meal (and good company!), and I have to say that the food is a lot better than it used to be. But it was SO expensive - $36/person for lunch NOT including dessert!!! (And that included a 15% AP discount.) For that kind of money I'd rather eat at the Vineyard Room at DCA - or we could *both* eat at the Trattoria.
I know a lot of people really love this restaurant, but it just doesn't do much for me - I think it's too expensive for what you get.
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