Sunday, 26 February 2012

Garden Walk: California Pizza Kitchen (CPK)

After class one day, my roommates and I decided to go out to lunch before I had work. Me having the allergies, they decided to leave the decision up to me where we eat. I picked California Pizza Kitchen in Garden Walk. I had eaten at this particular location before and knew they had gluten free pizza and I really wanted pizza so we agreed to go there.

You can imagine how annoyed I was when I found out that this location no longer had the gluten free crust. The waitress explained that there was a recent change in ownership and they dropped it for the time being and I don't know for sure if they will be bringing it back, but it was good when I had it before.

They do have little 'gluten free' logos next to the items in the menu so you know what is gluten free. I ended up getting a salad. When in doubt, get a salad.

The caramelized peach salad.

Although the peaches were not caramelized- instead just barely grilled- it was still tasty. Leafy greens, nuts, cranberries, and peaches tossed in a vinaigrette. It was a sweet salad with hint of tang from the vinegar to try and cut through the sweetness. It also comes with Gorgonzola cheese, but I asked for no cheese. It was really big too; they have a half size and the full size and the full size is $11 or so. I was expecting it to cost more so to me it was worth the price.

And afterwards I rushed to costuming to change and go to work.


Disneyland Parks: Mickey Shaped Ice Cream Bar

We know them, we love them, and we know Storm Troopers really like them too. They are...the Mickey Shaped Ice Cream Bars.

On this day my friend, Erin, and I had plans to get these while we were in the parks- yes we planned it. They started off as our breakfast but we got side tracked with Star Tours and various other attractions so we postponed our snack till after lunch.

I mean there isn't much to it, just vanilla ice cream cut in the shape of Mickey Mouse and dipped in milk chocolate but it is still so awesome and good even for $4.25.

And no they don't come with a bite out of it already, I did that, just to show that 'yes' there is ice cream in there.

These are gluten and soy free and very delicious. Not convinced of just how delicious they are, well then:

Does that look like the face of someone who isn't enjoying their ice cream? No. That is Erin's 'I'm in Disneyland with Mickey Shaped Ice Cream Bar' face.

So yes, very good but expensive, but come on, it's Mickey shaped! Everything tastes better when shaped like Mickey Mouse!


Thursday, 23 February 2012

New Orleans Square: Cafe Orleans

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! [ after Mardi Gras!]

For me Mardi Gras is a big thing, don't ask me why, it just is. Last year I made myself a giant Mardi Gras feast of jambalaya, gumbo, fruit salad, cornbread, mint juleps, and King Cake. This year I had planned to do the same while also during the day attend the Disneyland Bayou Bash. So I took the day off. Then my friend told me she was coming down to play in the parks on that same day so I changed my plans a bit.

For lunch, we went to Cafe Orleans and sat outside so we could listen to the Bayou Bash that was going on around us.

To drink I, of course, got a mint julep, and my friend tried her first Disneyland mint julep when she had a sip of mine. She didn’t like it much. For lunch there were two Mardi Gras specials and the snapper sounded delicious but ever since I saw something listed on my gluten free list I just had to try it. So I had to get the N'awlins Vegetable Ragout.

For an additional $2, I believe, I got it with blackened chicken. You could also add salmon instead of chicken or no meat at all.

It was really, really delicious. One of the best things I've reviewed thus far. The sauce was spicy which is how I like it and the chicken was moist. I didn't like the shaved cheese that much on top but there wasn't much of it so I placed it to the side. The only thing I was iffy about were the two yellow cakes, but they were polenta cakes with corn kernels in it and lots of cheese. It was amazing and seasoned perfectly. The spicy ragout balanced the sweetness of the cakes and the flavours melded together to truly give you a taste of New Orleans. The actual vegetable part was good but in comparison to the sauce there wasn't that much of it, so it could use some more vegetables.

And here is what my friend and I did after lunch:

We actually had a conversation about my name being 'Charlotte'! Best Mardi Gras ever!


Downtown Disney: Rainforest Cafe

It was my first time at the Rainforest Cafe and I went there for dinner after work with my friend who had driven down. We sat outside because we were seated immediately and although it was a bit chilly, there were many heaters on outside.

It was nice to chat and catch up and whatnot, you know in person and not over Skype.

We also had a good time making fun of the names on the menu. Some of them are normal, but then some just make you chuckle to yourself. One such name was the Chicken Fried Chicken which my friend got. Here's a picture of it:

For all of those who can eat wheat because as you can see from this picture, it is very much NOT gluten free.

I had a hard time trying to figure out what was gluten free or not. I had a good idea about a few things but some I had no clue so I just steered away from all of those. I also really didn't want to get a salad so I got Maya's Shrimp Skewers.

It had various vegetables and shrimp grilled with some seasoning on top of rice and mango salsa. The only thing that is a problem is the sauce. There is a sort of cheese, white sauce on top that I don't think was gluten free because I was not feeling too great afterwards. It was the end of the evening so I was able to hang on, but right afterwards, or so, I began to feel the 'you ate gluten' feeling.

But despite that it was an okay dish overall. My friend asked me to rate it and I said 3.5 out of 5. It wasn't the best thing I ever ate but it was something different and was for the most part good. The cost was roughly $22.

The experience was pretty much how my friend described it, the atmosphere is great but the food is just okay.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Fantasyland: Troubadour Tavern

Ever since I got my gluten free list and saw that there were baked potatoes at the Troubadour Tavern, I really wanted them. I had no clue where it was located though, but luckily ended up finding it by random happenstance.

I was in line to take pictures with the princesses at the Fantasy Fair when I turned around and right there was the Troubadour Tavern. It is located right next to the Fair and across from the Toon Town entrance. It is kind of out of the way so it doesn't seem to be very popular but it really should be.

They have three different types of baked potatoes: broccoli and cheese, bacon and sour cream, and I do not remember the last one. Those ones are priced at about $7 (rounded up). My gluten free list mentioned a baked potato with butter and sour cream so I asked for that; it sounded perfect, just a simple dish. The baked potato by itself is $4, butter is $0.59 and the sour cream was $1, so it was cheaper than the specials and just as good.

They put a lot of salt and pepper on it and butter so when you get it, it is melted. Then I added a few more butter balls and some sour cream. It was delicious but needed some chives or something just to give it that little something extra. Overall, it was seasoned just enough and you can add how much butter and sour cream you want or don't want. A simple snack but a tasty one, and it does fill you up.

For a drink I went afterwards to New Orleans Square, taking the train since the Toon Town Depot is there, and got a mint julep.


Disneyland Parks: Hot Chocolate

Not the best photo but inside that cup is hot chocolate.

As far as I know all over Disneyland they sell the same type of hot chocolate, as well as in Disney California Adventure. It is a great late night treat and is gluten free. It doesn't have as much chocolate as I would like, and it is water based instead of milk so it isn't that creamy, but it is still tasty and hot chocolate. It doesn't come with whipped cream either, just so you know.

Asking price is $2.79, I believe.


Fantasyland: Village Haus

Last Saturday my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin came down to visit and play in the parks. For my Aunt and Uncle it was their first time back in Disneyland in a long time and for my Cousin it was his first visit!

In the morning, before work, I went with them into Disneyland. My Uncle wanted popcorn for breakfast so he had that (and shared), then we went on the Mad Hatter Tea Party and lastly went on the Astro Orbiter. I then power walked from Tomorrowland to work and preceded to go to my scheduled 8 hours of work.

In the afternoon, they came by and rode the ride I was operating, after having gotten churros for my uncle and cousin. Why not my aunt? Well because she is also allergic to wheat and soy, and in case you are wondering, no they do not have gluten free churros.

I managed to get off work an hour and five minutes early, so I was able to meet up with them and go to dinner. When it came to deciding, I was happy to know my Aunt supported this weird project I have going on here so she asked me where I haven't eaten yet. I really wanted hamburgers and that led us to the Village Haus in Fantasyland.

My Aunt got a cheeseburger on a gluten free bun and I got a regular hamburger on a gluten free bun. It took a while for our food to get to us, I don't know if it was because there was a group of four of us and it was a large order or we just threw them for a loop on the gluten free bun part, but our order took a long while, and it was later at night so it wasn't that busy.

Either way, our food eventually arrived and it was okay.

There was some grain, probably rice, in the bun and it tasted shockingly all right on its own, but you could still tell it was a gluten free bun from the taste.

The meat I was iffy about because it wasn't anything spectacular and just sort of this really flat patty.

But one IMPORTANT thing: they offer a special sauce for your hamburger or cheeseburger and it is NOT gluten free. So ask for no sauce and put ketchup or mustard on the hamburger for a sauce. As you can see, I used ketchup.

The price was decent enough, it was about $7 or so, the angus pastrami burger is a bit more expensive.

Overall, a good hamburger- not great, but good.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

New Orleans Square: French Market

The French Market is located in Disneyland's New Orleans Square, and it has the little gazebo stage in its sitting area where various performers come out to entertain. The Mint Julep Bar is also attached to it in the back, and during Halloween time it is transformed into Club Skelington.

They also always have really cool desserts like:

They do have normal looking desserts like a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and ganache covered in Mardi Gra coloured sugar sprinkles (yellow, green, and purple). The ganache and frosting of it is really good (took a small bit from my mum's piece last year) but I can't comment on the cake itself.

This one I was hesitant about going to because it was on my gluten free list that I received from Disneyland but I just said to myself, “They forgot to add this restaurant”. It isn't me being picky about wanting to eat there, it's more of the fact that I looked at their menu and I'm sure their blackened salmon with herb rice does not have wheat in it. So I took a chance and got their seafood and chicken jambalaya.

And a mint julep.

I've had this before but I don't think the side of wild rice was included last time.

The food there is a bit buffet style where the food sits in hot plates and refilled once they run low. Because of this, my chicken and shrimp were on the dry side but it was still satisfying and the spices used added plenty of flavour. They even use okra in their jambalaya, which is a plus in my book.

I don't know if it was 100% gluten free but I ate the jambalaya and felt fine afterwards, just a little full. They did give me one of their cheddar cornbreads even though I asked them not to, so I just wrapped it in a spare napkin and put it to the side, luckily it didn't leave crumbs. It isn't the best offered at Disneyland, but if you can't get into Blue Bayou, then this is the next best. I don't know if Cafe Orleans has any but I shall find out.


And here's what I did right before getting food:

And here's what I did right after:


*****UPDATE: Last Saturday when my aunt came to visit, she went to the French Market and asked if the jambalaya was gluten free. She waited five minutes for the chef to come out and he brought with him a giant binder full of the ingredients and nutrition facts for everything they use in their dishes. This binder revealed that YES the seafood and chicken jambalaya is in fact gluten free.****

Friday, 3 February 2012

Main Street, U.S.A: Jolly Holiday Bakery

Introducing, new to Main Street, U.S.A....Disneyland proudly presents: The Jolly Holiday Bakery!!!

Sorry It was raining that day.

On the inside.

I love these stain glass windows of the penguin waiters.

Inspired by Walt Disney's classic, Mary Poppins, the Jolly Holiday Bakery serves sandwiches (you can request a gluten free bun), hot and cold drinks, and many, many baked goods.

There are several display cases that look like this:

Filled with Mickey shaped cookies, various muffins, danishes, and my personal favourite (to look at, can't eat it) the Matterhorn Macaroon.

There was another display case that had mini cheesecakes, brownies, tarts, and cake slices from which my roommates and I choose. One of my roommates got the chocolate cream cheese bar that was like a cheesecake on top of a brownie and a small chocolate Mickey face. If I could have eaten it I would have gotten that, and my roommate’s exact words were, "Charlotte I am so sorry you couldn't eat it because it was really good." My other roommate and myself both got the same thing: flourless chocolate cake slice.

My gluten free Disneyland list didn't list any baked goods that were gluten free but I felt safe with getting something that said 'flourless'. On top was a layer of chocolate ganache and both of us got a milk box because it was a big piece and very rich. The price for one piece was $5 so it was expensive, but it was worth every penny. The rich chocolate was smooth and filling, cool to the touch and just the right amount of sweetness.

Inside the Jolly Holiday Bakery everything, from the decor to the displayed food, looks too good to be true and smells, the food not the decor, even better. Even if you don't want to eat anything at least step inside and look around.


P.S. Before we went to the bakery I got a mint julep at the Mint Julep Bar. I told you I was addicted.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Tomorrowland: Redd Rockett's Pizza Port

Let me begin with a little story.... and of course it shall start Disney style.

Once upon a time, in a two bedroom apartment in Anaheim, there lived a young lady named Charlotte. Charlotte happens to be sensitive to gluten and soy, so after spending her day watching baking shows on the television, she was craving some baked goods of her own. Being too lazy to make any, and not having gluten/soy free options at the local market, she went on the Internet and searched for gluten free bakeries in the area.

The first link was for Yelp and it showed a list of gluten free restaurants in Anaheim. The very first thing listed was Redd Rockett's Pizza Port in Tomorrowland in Disneyland. Confused, she clicked on the link and read the review that mentioned gluten free. To her surprise, this reviewer mentioned one could obtain a list of all of the gluten free food in Disneyland and its hotels.

The very next day, after a six hour shift at work, Charlotte changed out of her costume, marched across the way to Disneyland park, and avoided Cruella de Vil as she went up to city hall. She got the list and found it to be a very long list, more so a packet. She skimmed it quickly before making her way over to Tomorrowland and into Redd Rockett's Pizza Port.

There was hardly anyone in there, for it was the middle of the afternoon, and there were three distinct stations: salads, pasta, and pizza. She walked over to the pizza station and asked for the gluten free pizza. The cast member went and got the chef who took note of it and put the pizza in the oven while Charlotte paid. Once she paid, she waited a few more minutes, and received her steaming pizza.

The ending: Disneyland has gluten free pizza and all of Charlotte's dreams came true.

I know not the best story but it was a happy discovery and I thought I'd share the experience of discovery and satisfaction.

Now to the pizza! I did take a picture of it but I had eaten about 1/4 of it so for you, I shall not post that picture. I was really hungry and once I had my food I pretty much devoured it and only barely remembered to take a picture. I apologise for that, but it did look like any other ordinary cheese pizza.

The gluten free pizza (either cheese or pepperoni) is your own personal mini pizza that is 8 inches in diameter. If you get a regular, non-gluten free pizza you get only a slice and it is about 3/4 the amount of food that you get with gluten free and the price is different. Gluten free pizza is $6 and the regular pizza is about $7 and you get more food with gluten free so it's a really good deal.

My roommate claims the pizza at the pizza port tastes like cardboard, but I guess that is the regular one and not the gluten free one because I liked mine a lot. I have had gluten free pizza at Amicis so my like for this pizza isn't coming from 'I haven't had pizza ever since I became gluten free so any pizza I can eat is better than no pizza'. The crust was both crispy on the edges and soft on the inside (which is how I like my pizza crust) and the cheese was still melted yet crispy on top, slightly greasy but it's cheese pizza, you get grease. The flavour wasn't anything spectacular, but it wasn't bad, it just tasted like normal pizza, and that was perfectly fine with me.

Overall I liked the pizza. If you think the regular pizza there tastes like cardboard, then maybe you should try the gluten free one.


P.S. And afterwards I went to New Orleans Square and got a mint julep from the Mint Julep bar.