Cafe Orleans is a Classic
Cafe Orleans has been a Disneyland fixture since the addition of New Orleans Square in 1966. This casual table service restaurant is located right between Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Inside, dark wood and character images from Princess and the Frog charm. On the patio, fresh air and people watching is abundant.
Take the Leap with Cafe Orlean’s Unusual Pairings
Reading the menu, unexpected combinations are abundant. This is thanks to the French Quarter inspiration, where unique flavors are commonplace. Take a look at the menu, and you will find each dish has something special to offer. Sweet and savory is always a winner, but doughnut paired with sandwich might push that boundary!
Starting Right with an Appetizer
This lunch started with La Salade de Maison, which is French for the house salad. This is more than a simple salad, however. It features goat cheese, caramelized pecans, and cherry tomatoes atop baby greens. This all comes together with a raspberry vinaigrette. This makes the perfect light appetizer before many of the heavy entree options.
Of course, if you want to go all out, the pommes frites are another great choice. The thin and crispy fries are tossed in parmesan garlic, and parsley. Cajun Spice Remoulade is served for dipping.
Monte Cristo: Famous for a Reason
The Monte Cristo Sandwich is Cafe Orlean’s most well-known entree, with ham, turkey, and swiss battered and fried. The dough is that of the famous beignets, and topped with powdered sugar in the same style. A berry puree is included for dipping. Seasonal fruit finishes this large plate.
The Monte Cristo is a Disneyland classic and an absolute must-try-once food item. I must warn you: this sandwich is giant. Two people could share this entree and feel stuffed. I recommend ordering it to share as an appetizer if you have a larger party. This way, you can all enjoy a taste without overindulging.
The ham, turkey, and swiss are delectably hot and melty. Fluffy and crunchy, the breading is like a great doughnut. The berry puree is my favorite part, as it really brings home the sweet and savory mix of the meal. Grapes and strawberries are a necessary addition to lighten the palate between bites, as this meal can be too heavy if not broken up.
If you can’t make it to try a Monte Cristo from the Cafe Orleans kitchen, we’ve got you covered! Use your culinary skills and make it at home with this recipe.
Crescent City Salad
Although similar in some ways to the Cafe Orleans house salad, this entree salad distinguishes itself well. The same greens and caramelized pecans are used, but navel oranges, grapes, roasted sweet corn, green onions, and caramelized onions set it apart. The Orange-Cilantro Vinaigrette is wonderfully light and bright. I love the citrus elements to this salad.
Blackened chicken and grilled salmon are the protein choices. I went for the grilled salmon, and I was quite impressed! The fish is perfectly cooked, buttery and flakey. The caramelized pecans are sweet with an unexpected cajun spice.
I found the combination of ingredients to be different but delicious. I would never have paired grapes and corn in the same bowl, but here it works so well.
If you still have room, beignets are available for a classic New Orleans finish!
Busy but Worth the Time
This restaurant is well known and usually packed. I recommend making reservations at least a few days in advance in order to reduce your wait time upon arrival. Conveniently for guests without reservations, a name, phone number, and party size will be taken and the hosts will send a text to alert when the table is ready.
The patio is my preference for several reasons. People watching is one of the most fun parts of this location. The exit of Pirates of the Caribbean is right across the street, allowing the smell of Pirates water to occasionally waft over.
There is a pair of water fountains just outside the patio. When one is running, the other can barely muster a trickle. There was much entertainment in watching several groups of Disney guests figure this out the hard way.
Cafe Orleans is a Must Try
If you are an annual passholder or a first time visitor, making reservations at Cafe Orleans is an excellent idea. Enjoy a great meal in the shade at one of Disneyland’s most famous eateries, you won’t regret it!