In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana’s father says “You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces. And when I open up my own restaurant, I tell you, people are gonna line up for miles around, just to get a taste of my food.” A young Tiana corrects him saying, “Our food!” and gets the response “That’s right, baby. Our food.”
On September 7, 2023, anyone visiting New Orleans could see that this statement is indeed true. Guests lined up around the outside of the dining area of Tiana’s Palace to taste new food. While they waited, they could see the smiles of those inside already enjoying the food of this new dining location at the Disneyland Resort. The location was happy, the music was jazzy, and the food… is really good!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to give most of the menu a try during a media preview of what Tiana’s Palace would be like. On September 6, 2023, I had the opportunity to experience Tiana’s Palace the day before it opened. My mouth is watering just thinking about both of these experiences. I’m also finding myself getting relaxed and ready for a nap as well. However, I will resist the urge to yawn and instead share with you my original food review along with my updated notes from trying out the food during the media preview of Tiana’s Palace on the 6th. For those that don’t want to read all the way through my review below, just know this: This food definitely was good and definitely brought people together, quite literally. The food itself created a happy memory and experience that makes me smile thinking about it today.
Now that you know that I think the food and experience is good, let’s take a look at each offering that I have now tasted (yes, there are more now!).
The Menu at Tiana’s Palace
About: Tiana loved to start with dessert first so let’s do the same. The House-filled Beignet is made on the spot where guests can watch! This is Tiana’s famous beignet that is filled with lemon ice box pie filling topped with lemon glaze. The lemon ice box pie is a traditional dish in New Orleans.
August 22 Verdict: The House-filled Beignet is a great way to start a meal with dessert. The beignet itself is light and delicious. It is filled with the lemon ice box pie filling, which has a strong lemon flavor. However, it didn’t make me pucker up which I am prone to do with lemon. The lemon glaze on top was also subtle and delicious. Definitely grab a napkin or two with this one as Tiana’s team is generous with the filling! I look forward to getting this one again!
September 6 Verdict: Once again I really enjoyed the House-filled Beignet, perhaps even more so this time since I knew already what I was getting. I didn’t think the lemon flavor was too strong. I didn’t think it was too sweet. I did think it was a nice balance of pastry, sweet, and sour. I also thought it was very fun to watch the beignet get filled with the lemon ice box pie filling! This is basically the first thing you see as you are lining up to get food and it is such a great way to start the meal. I definitely think this needs to be a part of every order at Tiana’s Palace. I also reiterate, get napkins!
Joffrey’s Coffee Chicory Cold Brew
About: The Joffrey’s Coffee Chicory Cold Brew is topped with sweet cream. A Ray Firefly Glow Cube is also available to add to the drink when purchasing it (there IS a limit of ten per purchase per customer for this glow cube).
August 22 Verdict: This was such a pleasant and refreshing surprise. I am not a cold brew guy. In general, I find it either too sweet or too bitter. This was neither. It was a nice cold brew that I think most people will really enjoy. The sweet cream wasn’t overly sweet and added a nice contrast to the coffee. When it was being brought out I expected to sip it and be done. By the end of the presentation, I had finished most of it.
September 6 Verdict: Over the last couple of weeks, this has been an offering that I have been really looking forward to trying again. I will say this, it did not disappoint. I might have enjoyed it even more the second time around. This will also be a regular for me when visiting Tiana’s Palace. I liked that once again things weren’t too sweet or too bitter. It is a very balanced cup of cold brew. I like to stir it to mix everything else I’m discovering with this drink. soI would do that first if you get this.
7 Greens Gumbo
About: The 7 Greens Gumbo is a plant-based option. It includes white beans, okra, yams, sweet potatoes, and heirloom rice. Chicken & Andouille Sausage can also be added for those who want to have some meat included.
August 22 Verdict: This was a delicious dish. It was unlike any gumbo I had eaten before but I really enjoyed it. The different vegetables in it created a variety of flavors. It also was not too spicy. However, there will be hot sauce available at Tiana’s Palace if you want to spice it up a bit. We did not try it with the meat, however, the chicken and sausage were offered in the House Gumbo and were delicious.
September 6 Verdict: I did not try this during the second media preview. However, I sat next to someone who did. It looked and smelled delicious. She tried the version with the chicken and andouille sausage and I definitely want to try this at some point.
About: The House Gumbo is based on the recipe that Tiana’s father once taught her. It is a New Orleans staple. It combines braised chicken, andouille sausage, and heirloom rice that is put into the base of a roux.
August 22 Verdict: This was a favorite dish at the preview of Tiana’s Palace. It had a nice kick to it, but it wasn’t unbearable. The roux was delicious and dark and was a wonderful compliment to the two meats. The rice was a nice contrast to the heavier roux and meat. It also balanced out the spice. This one did make me sweat a little bit. This might be the first one I eat again when Tiana’s Palace opens on September 7, 2023.
September 6 Verdict: This is still my favorite dish at Tiana’s Palace. I got it at this media preview and regretted nothing… other than maybe how much I ate. Nope, I didn’t regret that. I enjoyed this dish just as much the second time around as the first time. I definitely enjoyed the spice level, the layers of flavors, and the different textures in it too. I definitely want to eat the other offerings from the menu here again in the future but it will be very hard to not order this every time I visit.
Cajun Spice Half Chicken
About: The Cajun Spice Half Chicken is served with house-made pickles, baked macaroni cheese, and coleslaw. The chicken itself is brushed three times throughout the course of its cooking process with house-made chicory BBQ sauce.
August 22 Verdict: This dish was not offered at the media event.
September 6 Verdict: I can now say I’ve tried the Cajun Spice Half Chicken. Thanks to the kindness of a friend, I was able to taste the chicken and accompanying mac and cheese without getting the entire plate! While this chicken has several spices on it, it isn’t necessarily spicy. While some other dishes bring some heat, this one utilized spices in a different way. The spices coupled with chicory BBQ sauce made for a very enjoyable flavor that had spices but wasn’t spicy hot. It was a nice approach to BBQ that I enjoyed. It is also a very generous helping of chicken. I REALLY liked the mac and cheese as well and I look forward to having it again when I’m not as stuffed.
About: This is a sandwich that is made with mortadella, salami, rosemary ham, cheddar, provolone, and house-made olive relish on toasted New Orleans sesame seed bread. This is served with red beans and rice and house-made pickles.
August 22 Verdict: This sandwich was not offered at the media event.
September 6 Verdict: I can now also say I’ve tried the Muffuletta Sandiwch. It was not at all what I expected but I really enjoyed it! It is perfect for a hot day as it is both hearty but also refreshing. I really liked how the relish balanced out the meats and cheeses. For a very warm summer day, this definitely would be the menu item of choice!
Beef Po-boy Sandwich
About: The Beef Po-boy Sandwich has slow-cooked beef that is coated with gravy and then fully dressed with shredded lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. It is served on toasted New Orleans French bread, that comes from New Orleans. It is served with red beans and rice and house-made pickles.
August 22 Verdict: To put it simply, this was delicious. It is a nice and hearty sandwich. The meat was very tender and delicious. The lettuce and tomatoes added a pop of freshness and contrasting texture. The bread that this is served on I would love to just simply eat all the time. This dish is not spicy but the red beans and rice that accompany the sandwich have a kick. The pickles helped balance it all out though and the combo of the whole plate was lovely.
September 6 Verdict: Once again, I really enjoyed the Beef Po-boy Sandwich. It is a crowd pleaser I think that just about anyone will enjoy. All my notes about it from last time seem completely accurate. This is one I would be completely happy eating for lunch regularly when visiting Disneyland. I also really enjoyed the red beans and rice again, maybe even more so this time.
Gulf Shrimp and Grits
About: The Gulf Shrimp and Grits are made up of shrimp that are sourced from the Gulf of Mexico. The shrimp are first slow roasted, then quickly grilled and then tossed in Creole sauce. Then it is put on top of cheesy grits with the sauce.
August 22 Verdict: This was a delicious dish. It really isn’t spicy so if that is a concern, this is definitely a safe option. The shrimp was not overcooked and was very enjoyable. I have found this dish in other places to be very hit-or-miss for me. This was a definite hit. I’m still thinking about how creamy and cheesy those grits were!
September 6 Verdict: Surprisingly, I didn’t try this on this visit to Tiana’s Palace. While my taste buds regretted this choice as I saw others with it, my stomach was glad that I didn’t try to cram anything else in it. From what I observed second hand, it appeared that this dish is still quite good. One friend, who had never had shrimp and grits before, said they really liked it.
- Buttermilk Cornbread
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Red Beans & Heirloom Rice
- Cheesy Grits
- Plant-based Heirloom Rice
August 22 Verdict: The sides for Tiana’s Palace were created with heart and care by the team at Disney. A couple of these sides were offered to the media at the preview. The buttermilk cornbread was a nice moist cornbread with a little bit of sweetness to it. The Red Beans & Heirloom Rice were delicious. It did have a kick and was one of the spicier offerings of the day. However, it really was good and I look forward to having it again.
The Cheesy Grits and Heirloom Rice were part of other dishes that were previewed by the media and were both delicious. The Baked Macaroni and Cheese and Coleslaw were not a part of the offerings, however, the team that created these two dishes was quite passionate about them.
September 6 Verdict: The sides that we consumed at Tiana’s Palace were delicious. As I sit here replaying lunch in my mind, I will admit, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I think the red beans and rice might edge the others out. I loved the pieces of ham found in it, the spice, and the rice. I would be very happy to have it as a main course! This is followed very closely by the mac and cheese and then the cornbread. In both of these cases, neither side was dry. Both dishes are easy to get too dry and I was thankful that they weren’t. I was very happy having these three sides once again. In hindsight, I do need to try the coleslaw at some point. I don’t know if it is because I’m not a huge coleslaw guy or I just spaced it but I did miss this one.
About: There are three options for kids at Tiana’s Palace. This includes a Roasted Chicken Drumstick. It is served with Heirloom Rice and is covered in sweet BBQ sauce. There is also a Toasted Ham & Cheese Sandwich that has savory ham and provolone. Finally, there is also an option for the Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Each kid’s meal comes with a Cuties Mandarin Orange, applesauce, and the choice of DASANI water or a small low-fat milk.
August 22 Verdict: Kids meals were not previewed. Based on the crossovers with the adult menu, however, it appears that the kid’s meals will be delicious and fairly healthy!
September 6 Verdict: Kids meals were available. I, however (and unsurprisingly), did not try them. The kids I did see eating them looked like they were enjoying them.
Lily Pad and Lotus Cup Ceramic Set
About: The Lily Pad and Lotus Cup Ceramic Set comes with a House-filled Beignet and is bound to be a popular souvenir for guests at Tiana’s Palace. This set is limited to two per person, per transaction.
August 22 Verdict: This looks like a lovely set that fans of The Princess and the Frog, Disneyland, and Tiana’s Palace will want to bring home.
September 6 Verdict: My only question here: how quick will they sell out?
Opening Day Verdict on Tiana’s Palace Menu
The menu at Tiana’s Palace might be my favorite comprehensive new menu since 2012 when I first experienced the original menu at Flo’s V-8 Cafe. The food is really enjoyable and it fits within the story of Tiana creating her restaurant. The environment at Tiana’s Palace really is enjoyable and the live jazz music courtest of Jambalaya Jazz just adds to the whole thing. Even better is when Tiana occasionally makes an appearance! Hopefully this continues beyond the opening day. My final verdict on the menu for Tiana’s Palace is that I still take my hat off to it. This is now currently my favorite quick service restaurant in Disneyland.
If you’d like to read my full review of Tiana’s Palace, read it here. As I think back about this preview, my feelings remain the same. Let me know what you think of this new restaurant and its menu in the comments below!
Mr. DAPs Hat Rating Scale
- No Hat – Didn’t meet expectations
- Hat Nod – It was ok
- Hat Tip – It was good
- Hats Off – Loved it!