= Cara's Favorite
American cuisine. Lunch and dinner.
Loosen your belt for lip-smacking comfort food as you pass through a time warp into a 1950s family kitchen. Here guests dine while watching The Dick Van Dyke Show and Dennis the Menace on black-and-white TVs sitting on the counter between the toaster and the blender. Linoleum floors, Formica tables, pull-down lamps, plenty of knickknacks, and windows covered in venetian blinds and tacky drapes are accompanied by a menu of savory renditions of good old-fashioned American cuisine. The only thing missing is the sliced white bread. “Mom” herself is your server, making sure everyone in the “family” observes good manners. No fighting at the table! No throwing spitballs! Mustn’t forget to eat your vegetables! Our “cousin” told us to “put away your walkie talkies” (meaning cell phones) and that he had no intention of doing chores, delegating us to set the table.
Stick with the basics here for the best results. My favorite is the sampler plate of crispy, real-deal fried chicken, tender pot roast, and yummy meatloaf accompanied by mashers, and fresh green beans. Of course, it’s all swimming in gravy, so you may want to request it on the side.
Before leaving check out the adjoining Tune-In Lounge for a highball, complete with glowing ice cubes.
Cara’s Tip: Ask to sit in one of the restaurant’s “TV kitchens” for a close up of the monitors, although all seats have a relatively good view of several.
Contemporary American cuisine. Lunch and dinner.
The best food at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® is to be found at the illustrious Brown Derby, although it can sometimes be hit or miss. The setting is perfectly re-created with the glam of 1930s Hollywood seen everywhere from the rich mahogany walls and furnishings to the sway of potted palms. Massive cast-iron chandeliers, crisp white tablecloths, snug ruby red banquettes, and derby-shaped art deco lamps all set the mood for a sentimental waltz through the heyday of Hollywood. The cuisine here, however, is nothing but 21st century.
Begin in true Hollywood style with a round of champagne —then a tantalizing appetizer or two, the best being the artisanal cheese and charcuterie board.
After that it’s on to the Faroe Island salmon atop tasty al dente lentils and shaved brussels sprouts slaw tossed in a mustard vinaigrette. Of course, there’s always the restaurant’s famous Cobb salad with finely chopped greens and swimming with all the various toppings and classic dressing.
Now, you absolutely must order a slice of the fabulous, not-too-sweet but oh-so-perfect grapefruit cake or your meal just isn’t complete. Not your typical cake, this one is juice-infused with chunky grapefruit filling, cream cheese frosting, and a candied grapefruit ring piercing the top.
Cara’s Tip: The restaurant’s lounge offers both indoor and outdoor patio seating serving wine, beer, and classic cocktails as well as martini flights, wine, Scotch and Grand Marnier flights, and small plates of nibbles.
Italian cuisine. Lunch and dinner.
American cuisine. Dine at a darkened drive-in in a car-shaped booth while watching retro movie clips. Lunch and dinner.