As promised, I brought some friends to Fantasyland yesterday morning to try the new Red Rose Taverne breakfast at the Disneyland Resort. After tasting nearly the entire menu, we came to a consensus on the best and worst menu offerings. Check out our photos and reviews of each dish now and comment below to let us know what your favorites are!
First Up: Open Faced Croque Madame $9.49
- This is the most accurately represented French cuisine on the menu. It’s the closest to how the dish is traditionally prepared while still giving a fresh Disney spin on things and because it’s open faced, this is also the most Diabetic friendly and low carb item on the menu.
- The portion size looks small, but because of how rich the flavors are, it’s actually extremely filling!
- The béchamel and cheese are so good together; it’s really creamy and I enjoyed that aspect very much!
- The egg pairs very well with the ham and cheese.
- This feels indulgent and decadent. It’s an experience you won’t find very many places and worth trying once, though I recommend asking for it without the tomatoes.
- The watermelon was in season and very sweet and juicy!
- The tomato just does not work. It’s not part of the traditional French dish and there’s a reason. It is really jarring and fights the other flavors, which all work very well together. I think the intention was to cut the richness of the cream, but I liked it better after removing the tomato.
- This dish is really, really heavy! The cheese and béchamel make it super rich, but they also leave it sitting in your stomach for a while. You’ll need to walk the park for a bit after this breakfast item.
- The egg started over-medium, but it looked a bit plastic and not very appetizing.
- The flavors have a tendency to get bland after a while. The first few bites are rich, creamy heaven… but the more bites you take, the more you realize that the quality of the ham is so-so, the bread choice is a bit odd, the cheese and cream are a little too much for a sandwich that size, the egg is a bit over cooked… The more you eat this, the less appealing it becomes. It is an extremely one dimensional sandwich, and the dimension is rich.
- One comment made was, “It tastes like a Hot Pocket.”
- The Table: We all agreed that this was the worst dish on the new menu. I was especially disappointed, because it’s one of my favorite French dishes. The tomato sinks the dish.
- The Restaurant: This was one of the least ordered menu items. The patrons that ordered it all agreed with the table that the tomato is terrible. One patron commented, “This sandwich is just perfect, but I could do without the tomato! It’s unnecessary and ruins the flavor.”
The Breakfast Flatbread: $9.49
- This dish surprised me! I expected it to be my least favorite, but it ended up being quite good! It tastes way better than it sounds! Once we redistributed the ingredients properly, this dish actually worked very well together.
- This is also one of the more low-carb friendly dishes. While it does have potatoes, the flatbread removes some of the high-carb potential you see with the breaded dishes.
- The portion size is really nice!
- These appear to be made to order, because it took a while to get the dish to us.
- It would make a great shared dish for an indecisive family. You both want either this or the flatbread? Great! Order your other dish and share the flatbread!
- The greens are marinated, so it adds a bit of an herb flavored kick to the overall flavor profile.
- The flavors fight each other and don’t really compliment or balance.
- The ingredients are all pretty much centered in the middle of the flatbread. They aren’t evenly distributed throughout the dish. You end up with bland edges and an overly flavored center.
- You can hardly taste the meat on this flatbread. It’s diced in and extremely subtle.
- It could also do with a bit more béchamel sauce. The outside edges are a bit dry.
- You have to start eating this to figure out how to proportion the ingredients, then move them across all the pieces from the pile in the center. By the time you’ve figured out how to marry these flavors perfectly, half your dish is already gone.
- If you’re in a hurry, this isn’t the dish for you. It took the longest to come out. Likewise, because it takes a while to arrive, the other dishes will be in the window longer waiting for this one.
- The menu doesn’t do this dish justice, so I don’t see it being as successful as it ought to be.
- The egg! It fights everything else for dominance. The fried egg was a really weird choice for a flatbread because there’s no real way to distribute the flavor across an entire flatbread. The dish could do without egg, but if they require it, then scrambled would be the way to go for this dish.
- It seems like the thought process for this dish is, “Flatbreads are popular, so we need one. What do we already have? Great! Let’s just throw them all on a flatbread crust!” The greens and mozzarella are snagged from lunch salads, the potatoes are from the Garden Vegetable Hash, and they added the béchamel and egg from the Croque Madame. Ta-da, flatbread!
- I’m not really sure how this fits French cuisine, either. They took some greens and an Italian cheese (mozzarella), and thought that the béchamel and fried egg could make it French. That’s a stretch.
- The Table: We really enjoyed this dish, but it was a slow enjoyment. We had to do a lot of work to make this taste great and get the flavors evenly distributed. Perhaps now that I know how to do the work for flavor balancing, next time it will be the favorite; but, it will have some trouble finding people to try it a first time around, much less a second! Because of this, we decided that we would definitely have this again and enjoy it, but couldn’t give it the victory overall. Of the 3 of us, this was 1 person’s favorite dish.
- The Restaurant: This was the least ordered dish in the restaurant, but the consensus among the 2 people eating it was that it was really, really good but they wish the toppings were more even.
Garden Vegetable Hash: $9.49
- The béchamel sauce married very well with the potatoes and greens. The flavors complemented each other in this dish instead of fighting for dominance.
- The egg was a nice over-medium on this dish. The yolk was just a little runny and the white was fluffy. This is a great way to cook the egg!
- This item came with a petit croissant that was perfectly cooked! It was just the right amount of buttery, flakiness while keeping the soft and fluffy consistency even to the ends! Given that the ends tend to burn quickly, this is an accomplishment. I’m pretty sure the croissant was my favorite part of the entire menu! I would love to see them sell croissants a la carte for a couple dollars.
- This dish got better and better the more I ate it. I started off liking it, and by the end I couldn’t get enough! I didn’t want to share it with anyone else.
- The greens can get a little bit wilted.
- The cooking on the mushroom is a bit inconsistent.
- The potato to other ingredient ratio was a bit out of balance. I would have liked a bit more greens and béchamel because I was left with several plain potato pieces after finishing the seasoning.
- The egg was weird. This dish doesn’t need the egg to communicate that it is traditional French provencal cuisine. The greens, mushrooms, and béchamel do a wonderful job communicating that theme on their own!
- Again, the menu doesn’t really do a great job selling this dish. No one thought much of it going in, and I thought that only the flatbread would be worse. Instead, this was my favorite dish and I never would have tried it if I wasn’t doing a review! In general, they need to do a better job making their menu items sound appealing.
- The Table: This was the day’s winning dish! Of the 3 of us, 2 considered this our favorite dish and we only shared because we like each other.
- The Restaurant: This was the most popular of the French inspired dishes. Of the people who ordered it, there were no complaints. Everyone loved this dish!
Mickey-shaped Pancake: $9.49
- This dish is a familiar favorite. It’s a unique Disney dining experience that people love!
- It’s safe. Generally speaking, you get exactly what you expect. If you have kids, this is probably the best bet for them. They’ll love the Mickey head on their pancake!
- It’s huge. The pancake is more than enough for one person, and younger kids could probably easily share one pancake!
- The berries are perfectly in season and sweet!
- The bacon is cooked PERFECTLY! It was just the right balance of crispy, but not burned. Seriously, that was some incredible bacon. I wish they’d add it to the menu as a side because I’d pay a couple bucks for a few strips of this perfect bacon!
- They don’t make a face with the fruit anymore. They just drop the bacon and berries onto the plate. Similarly, they don’t dust the entire pancake with powdered sugar. There was barely a sprinkle of it on the berries and none to be found elsewhere. The novelty appeal of this dish was how adorable it was to get a smiling Mickey face staring up at you.
- The pancake was pretty dry. Rancho del Zocalo made them really light and fluffy, and while this was okay in the middle, the outside was a bit dry. It soaked up the syrup pretty quickly and still wasn’t as moist as desired.
- It’s pretty plain and not very healthy. Compared to the adventurous French dishes, this one is really plain. Even among American classics, there’s another combo that serves pancakes with eggs and bacon for the same price. If you’re not specifically going for the novelty of the Mickey shape, it’s probably the least impressive and least varied dish on the menu. Likewise, it’s bread and, if you add it, syrup. There isn’t as much protein in this dish as the others. It’s almost entirely empty carbs.
- The Table: We liked this dish, but found it boring. It wasn’t the worst, but also not the best. This is a “play it safe” option and the closest that this menu comes to having a kids item.
- The Restaurant: This was pretty popular among children. Nearly every kid had one of these on their plate. Several adult patrons were disappointed by the pancake consistency.
Breakfast and Buttermilk Pancake Platters:
I must admit that I didn’t order these. There’s only so much food 3 people can share and these seemed to be holdovers from Rancho del Zocalo with a few minor adjustments. These are straightforward. The breakfast platter comes with scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, and a croissant. The pancake platter comes with 3 pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. The Breakfast Platter was the most frequently ordered dish among all the restaurant patrons while I was there and seemed especially popular among the men. The Breakfast Platter is $8.99 and the Buttermilk Pancake Platter is $9.49.
- These are safe. They’re breakfast classics and you know what you’re getting when you order. You are unlikely to hate these options and because they’re classics, they’re usually pretty well done.
- The bacon and croissant served with our meals were both cooked perfectly! The breakfast platter comes with both the bacon and the croissant.
- They are filling without being as rich and creamy as the French provencal dishes. They won’t sit as heavy in your stomach throughout the day.
- The downside to ordering a safe meal is that there’s no room for the pleasant surprises and potential new favorites and these options can be a little boring. Although they wouldn’t rank among the worst of the ambitious French dishes, they also won’t beat out the best of them.
- They’re not very original. Not only are they boring for the palate, but they don’t really contribute much to the overall Disney dining experience. They are not unique to Disneyland – these dishes can all be found at Denny’s and IHOPs across the country.
- Based on the Mickey-shaped pancake I received, I would say that the pancake platter is also in danger of being too dry and not fluffy and light.
- Inside sources say that the scrambled eggs used in the breakfast platter are not fresh. They are liquid eggs. At least with the French dishes, you know they can’t fake out of a real egg.
Overall Menu Notes:
The eggs seem inconsistently cooked. Some came out over medium and others came out over hard. A couple of ours sat in the window, too, so it’s possible that some will get over-easy eggs. If you’re particular about eggs, then be sure to let them know how you want yours cooked.
Speaking of egg, the menu is very fried egg heavy. It seems like Disney decided that “French breakfast” meant “just slap a fried egg on top!” They only need 1 or 2 dishes with an egg. If you go with a Croque Madame, then leave the egg off the Garden Vegetable Hash. If you leave the egg on the hash, then remove it from the sandwich and call it a Croque Monsieur – just as French, but more friendly to picky eaters. The egg didn’t need to be on the flatbread at all. It overpowered the rest of the dish. My recommendation would be to move to a little bit of scrambled eggs if you leave egg on the flatbread.
I definitely think that they have missed a golden opportunity to introduce the wildly popular Flo’s French toast to the Disneyland park, or to bring back the French Toast Brioche they served at Cafe Orleans during the Diamond Celebration (pictured above). While it isn’t strictly French provencal in tradition, it would certainly play well to children and adults alike! I see absolutely no reason for there to be two pancake breakfast platters on the menu. The pancake breakfast dish is superfluous and only adds eggs to the Mickey-shaped pancake platter. It would make more sense to trade it for a French Toast platter and have a couple traditional breakfast platters that don’t involve eggs.
Finally, this menu is not very friendly to various dietary needs. There aren’t any options that have been built just for kids. Diabetics and Atkins dieters will have to heavily customize most dishes in order to meet their low-carb needs because everything is served with potatoes and bread. While there are a couple of vegetarian options, none of them are vegan-friendly. None of these are gluten free, either, unless you order the Breakfast Platter and ask them to skip the croissant. Overall, the French menu requires a pretty adventurous palate and a diet without many restrictions, and the holdovers from American breakfast classics are not friendly to special dietary needs.
The Red Rose Taverne breakfast is ambitious, and it’s a really solid first menu. I think that with some small adjustments – like replacing one of the pancake dishes with French toast and reevaluating the necessity to top every French dish with a fried egg – this menu will do very well here once people give it a chance! With such strange sounding menu descriptions, their biggest challenge will likely be getting people to try the new dishes!