By Robert Niles: The Red Rose Taverne opened officially at Disneyland this morning, overlaying Fantasyland’s Village Haus Restaurant with a Beauty and the Beast theme to celebrate the upcoming release of the Disney live-action film.
Disneyland revamped the menu as well as tweaking the restaurant’s look with new murals and signs. Since the old menu featured burgers and flatbreads, we decided to opt for a couple of more unique items from the new menu, ordering the Enchanted Cauli-Flower Sandwich and the Slow-cooked Beef Poutine. [$10.99 each]
I really wanted to like the cauliflower sandwich, and I loved each component, especially the tempura-battered green beans and spicy lime aioli. But the stack of thickly-sliced cauliflower, the beans, lettuce, and tomato on ciabatta simply wouldn’t fit in my mouth. Perhaps if Disney had separated the cauliflower florets before seasoning and roasting them, this could have been an even tastier (and flatter!) sandwich, but that would have created the problem of keeping the florets on the bun without resorting to taste-bullying melted cheese to hold the thing together.
Opt instead for the poutine, which might be my favorite counter-service item at Disneyland right now. Featuring pot roast-style beef, big hunks of cheese curds, and pickled onions, all atop spicy waffle fries and drowning in yummy beef gravy, this isn’t finger food — even for a beast. But it’s hearty and delicious and even better than the poutine Disney’s serving on the east coast at Disney Springs. You can order it on a flatbread [$9.49] , too, but it appears that you get much more of the gooey good stuff on the regular plate.
And that ciabatta I couldn’t eat on the cauliflower sandwich served quite nicely in sopping up the extra gravy from the poutine.
— Theme Park Insider (@ThemePark) February 24, 2017
The drink is Gaston’s Famous Brew [$4.99], an apple-mango juice topped with passion fruit foam. It’s basically a sweeter, non-frozen version of Disney World’s LeFou’s Brew (which Disneylanders know as Red’s Apple Freeze from Cars Land). The souvenir mug is an $8 upcharge, but the counter host poured mine into one by accident, so I got it for free. (As others were, too. Score one for opening day confusion.)
But the one thing I saw on nearly everyone’s tray this morning was the Grey Stuff [$5.49]. One of the dishes named-checked in Disney’s “Be Our Guest” song, the Grey Stuff was legend among Disney fans before it became an actual food item with the opening of Walt Disney World’s Be Our Guest restaurant in 2012.
This version is a vanilla mousse, perched atop a sugar cookie and swirled around a chunk of red velvet cake, which encases a single raspberry, like hidden rose underneath. (Get it?) Yes, it’s fussy as all get out, but the combination of flavors and textures works to give life to the rather ordinary mousse, and finding the raspberry inside delights. This is an inspired dessert and well worth enduring the line to try before Disneyland takes it away.
Yes, Red Rose Taverne will be open “for a limited time,” but Disneyland said the same thing about the Star Wars-themed Galactic Grill overlay of Tomorrowland Terrace and that’s still around more than a year later, so who knows? But while it lasts, grab a poutine and a Grey Stuff, cozy up to one of the murals (if you can find an empty table – barring table-saving is one element of Be Our Guest I would have liked to see added here)… and enjoy. “After all, Miss, this is France.”
Well, at least until Disneyland turns it back into the Village Haus and makes it Italy again.
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