When I took my trip to Disneyland and the D23 Expo this past summer, we booked almost no dining reservations. For a Walt Disney World veteran who makes reservations 180 days in advance, this felt crazy! We booked one lunch at Ariel’s Grotto but nothing else. About a week before we left I panicked I decided on a whim to book a dinner reservation at Carnation Cafe. I’m glad I ended up doing this, because the parks were very crowded that day and it was nice to have a sit down meal.
Carnation Cafe focuses on American favorites and homestyle foods, with an emphasis on Walt’s favorite meals. This seemed like an appropriate choice since we were there on July 17th, the 61st anniversary of Disneyland! We had also done the Walking in Walt’s Footsteps Tour that morning, so it was just a day full of Walt.
In honor of Walt, I started with Walt’s Chili (Hearty Chili topped with Cheese, Sour Cream, and fresh Tomatoes). I also apologize because my photos here are not great. I’ve since learned how to use my camera better in lower lighting, but some of these came out a little more blurry than I was expecting:
I asked for it without the sour cream, since I don’t like sour cream. It was a nice, typical bowl of chili. I remember reading in some Walt biographies about how chili was one of his favorite meals, but he needed the perfect balance of meat and tomatoes. Hopefully they got it right here for him. It was definitely tasty.
My traveling companion had the Baked Potato Soup for her appetizer (with Bacon, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Sour Cream, and Chives):
This looked like a delicious baked potato soup, and according to her it was. Lots of delicious, gooey cheese, bacon bits, and warm potato. Another great comfort food item.
For my main course I went with the Sourdough Bacon-Cheese Melt (Angus Chuck Patty, Pepper Jack Cheese, Grilled Onions, Hickory-smoked Bacon, and Spicy House Sauce on Grilled Sourdough served with your choice of fresh Fruit or Seasoned French Fries):
And of course since we’re doing comfort food I went with the fries. I did end up pulling off the grilled onions from this sandwich because I’m not a huge onion lover and there were WAY too many of them. Once that was done all of the flavors went really well together. It was rich with some spiciness from the pepperjack cheese and the sauce. I think they could serve it on a more interesting type of bread, but for a basic sandwich I enjoyed it.
My friend went with the Main Street Cheeseburger (Angus Chuck Patty, Tillamook Cheddar, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Lettuce, and House Sauce on Toasted Brioche served with your choice of fresh Fruit or Seasoned French Fries):
A very straightforward but delicious cheeseburger. On some days this might be just the thing you want after walking around for hours in the parks. It was also a pretty hefty burger too – just like I couldn’t finish all of my sandwich, my friend was not able to conquer the whole burger, either.
But that was okay, because by not eating all of our entrees we saved room for dessert! I went with one of the classic malts (available in chocolate, vanilla, or cherry):