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Disneyland Article
4 Things To Eat At Tianas Palace And 2 To Skip

Tiana’s Palace
ID:
TMS-5323
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Brady Macdonald
Dateline:
August 23, 2023
Posted:
August 29, 2023
Status:
Current
Competition is expected to be fierce as Princess Tiana prepares to open a real-world version of her “Princess and the Frog” restaurant in a Disneyland neighborhood already brimming with long-established eateries specializing in Southern-style cooking.

Tiana’s Palace will open Sept. 7 at the Anaheim theme park in the former French Market restaurant in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland chefs offered a tasting preview for the media on Tuesday, Aug. 22 of several items from the new Tiana’s Palace menu.

Tiana’s Palace joins a crowded restaurant field in New Orleans Square already offering theme park takes on Louisiana cooking — including Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, Royal Street Veranda and even the super exclusive Club 33.

Disneyland’s culinary team has promised that other menus will be tweaked at nearby New Orleans Square restaurants to avoid too much overlap at Tiana’s new eatery.

So what should you eat and drink in the reimagined Tiana’s Palace restaurant? Let’s take a closer look at four things I loved and two more you should skip.

What to Eat

1) Beef Po’Boy Sandwich

The Beef Po’Boy Sandwich was the best thing I ate at the Tiana’s Palace preview tasting.

Tiana’s version of a po’boy is served with slow-roasted beef and gravy dressed with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayonnaise on toasted New Orleans French bread. It comes with red beans and rice and house-made pickles on the side.

The oh so juicy beef will require a handful of napkins — unless you want to wear your lunch around Disneyland the rest of the day. Each bite finished with a spicy heat aftertaste that was guaranteed to come back for a return visit later in the day.

The red beans smelled like New Orleans and took me back to the streets around Jackson Square. The smoky sausage flavor was somewhat understated and didn’t steal the spotlight from the spectacular po’boy.

The pucker-up vinegary pickles and cabbage served as the perfect palette cleanser between bites.

2) House-Filled Beignets

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill powdered-sugar beignets — which I love eating while they are piping hot.

These are Disneyland’s take on a New Orleans-inspired lemon icebox filling pie topped with lemon glaze icing — which might just be my new Disneyland dessert obsession.

From the outside, it looks like a square glazed jelly donut. I was looking for a fork to eat it — rather than seem like a heathen. What threw me off was the fancy China plate and white linen napkin.

The Disneyland culinary team purposely served the glazed beignet without a fork to see who would pick it up and bite into it first. That would be me.

A bit of advice: Don’t do what I did.

Step one: Find the filling hole and bite into that. I didn’t do that and the yellow filling squeezed out on the plate like toothpaste from a tube.

Then I made matters worse by course correcting and biting into the filling hole. That was mistake number two. Half the lemon filling flowed out of the bite I had just taken.

By now, I was eating a deconstructed lemon icebox beignet and desperately wishing I had waited for a fork — and for someone else to be the first to bite into this out-of-the-ordinary yet extraordinary beignet.

I tried wiping up the lemon filling with the beignet and only made an even bigger mess. By now, I had glaze all over my fingers and lemon filling all over my plate. Thank goodness for the linen napkin.

How did it taste? Sweet but not too sweet. It’s essentially a lemon-filled glazed donut masquerading as a beignet.

I found every part of the experience to be unexpected and delightfully fun. This is nothing like the powdered-sugared beignets that we all know so well. A distant cousin at best and likely no relation at all.

But if you want the old standby you can go around the corner to the Mint Julep Bar where Disneyland will still be serving the Mickey Mouse-shaped powdered sugar beignets.

It probably goes without saying, but I recommend tucking a napkin into your collar if you don’t want to get lemon filling all over your Mickey Mouse t-shirt, pants and shoes while you’re eating these lip-smacking delicious treats.

Disneyland’s culinary team is promising to stuff these House-Filled Beignets with a variety of flavors in the future.

3) House Gumbo

The stew-like House Gumbo served with braised chicken, andouille sausage and heirloom rice has enough kick to make you wipe the sweat off your forehead in between each bite you spoon into your mouth.

Have I had better gumbo? Definitely. Is this the best gumbo you’re likely to find at a theme park? Absolutely.

Order yourself a side of the sticky and spongy buttermilk cornbread to help you wipe up the last of the gumbo at the bottom of the bowl.

4) Gulf Shrimp with Grits

The thick and creamy grits simmered in Creole sauce is perfect for first-timers who have always wanted to taste grits but were too afraid to try.

This is Disneyland after all — so the culinary team has created a tasty version of the Southern staple that will appeal to virtually any finicky and risk-averse theme park visitor.

The buttery and cheesy grits are stick-to-you-ribs good. I actually liked the grits presentation better than the shrimp that I found chewier than I prefer.

The red sauce spread across the top of the grits smelled like a cross between an Italian marinara pasta sauce and a cocktail sauce.

What to Skip

5) Seven Greens Gumbo

This plant-based gumbo looked promising and smelled spicier than it tasted — but the flavor can’t compare to Tiana’s Palace House Gumbo.

Made with white beans, okra, yams, sweet potatoes and heirloom rice, the Seven Greens Gumbo base was more like a runny soup than a thick stew.

The Seven Greens Gumbo tasted like compromise. It was missing the key things I want in a gumbo — chicken and sausage. The big chunks of crunchy veggies sprinkle on top looked like chicken — a cruel tease that never paid off.

Disneyland is going to offer the option to turn the plant-based dish into a more carnivorous offering with chicken and andouille sausage. But that basically defeats the purpose of a plant-based dish.

The Seven Greens Gumbo is a solid choice if you need a plant-based option. But why bother if the real deal is just a few items away on the menu?

Just order the House Gumbo with chicken and sausage. You won’t be sorry.

6) Chicory Cold Brew Coffee

This cold brew coffee had a great bitter smell and a touch of sweetness from the Louisiana cane sugar.

Blending the cream floating in the dark coffee smoothed out some of the bitterness and pushed the signature chicory bite to the end of the sip.

I’m not a coffee drinker and this drink won’t change my mind. Clearly there are plenty of coffee drinkers at Disneyland since the park’s chefs keep adding the drink to the menus.

My recommendation: Skip the cold brew and get a mint julep around the corner.

More to Come What did we miss from the Tiana’s Palace menu during the preview tasting?

The two things I’m most looking forward to that we didn’t try were the Muffuletta Sandwich and the Baked Mac & Cheese.

The Muffuletta comes with mortadella, salami, rosemary ham, cheddar, provolone and house-made olive relish on a toasted New Orleans sesame seed bread. It’s served with red beans and rice and house-made pickles.

Mac & Cheese is one of my four food groups so it will be difficult to keep me away from this one.

I’m less interested in the Cajun Spiced Half Chicken brushed in BBQ sauce. Although it is served with a side of the Mac & Cheese.

The kids menu includes a roasted chicken drumstick with rice and toasted ham and cheese sandwich.
 
Restaurants Referenced

Blue Bayou Restaurant

French Market

Mint Julep Bar

Royal Street Veranda

Tiana’s Palace

 
Lands Referenced

New Orleans Square

 
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