The new GCH Craftsman Bar & Grill has soft opened at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, adding another dining option for guests of the Disneyland Resort, although it didn’t arrive without inciting some change. White Water Snacks is now known as GCH Craftsman Grill and will continue serving its current menu, but there are some fresh new eats by the pool.
The new lounge area is called GCH Craftsman Bar, set alongside the Mariposa pool and sporting an extensive menu of food and drink options. We decided to give this new bar a try and we were impressed by the opening day selections. Keep reading for our review!
GCH Craftsman Bar – Cocktails
Prickly Pear Rosé – $14.00
First, let’s dive right into some cocktails. We went with the Prickly Pear Rosé, which is made of Rosé wine, prickly pear purée, and lemon juice. This drink is very straightforward and will satisfy guests who like sipping on sweet, fruity concoctions. It tasted more like fruit than Rosé, but there’s still a hint of wine with each sip. Something to note: All of the drinks are served in plastic drinkware.
Matcha Maker – $16.00
Our second drink of choice was the Matcha Maker. This cocktail is composed of St. George Botanivore Gin, Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur, lemon juice, Aquafaba, and matcha. And it’s… interesting. It didn’t taste very alcoholic and tasted more like a green juice you’d find at a fancy juice bar. That’s fine if you’re a fan of green juice, but this isn’t typically what we’re looking for in a cocktail. We felt healthy sipping on it, though!
GCH Craftsman Bar – Shareables and Entrees
Double-Baked Beef Nachos – $21.00
We can’t resist a restaurant with nachos on the menu, so we had to give this dish a try. And we cannot emphasize enough how large this bowl of nachos is. We highly recommend ordering this if you’re a party of at least three and plan to share this.
The Double-Baked Beef Nachos include tortilla chips, melted cheese, bacon lardons, black beans, scallions, silvered jalapeño pepper, cilantro, queso fresco, guacamole, and crema. The beef was really tough and chewy, which is our only real complaint about this dish. We loved all the other toppings and we appreciated a decent portion of guacamole.
Overall, these nachos are a solid choice and will keep you full for a long time.
Black Truffle-Charred Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwich – $18.00
Cauliflower is a having a moment right now, so we were curious to see what this sandwich was all about. It’s made with sourdough bread, charred cauliflower, cheesy Béchamel, black truffles, and pickled vegetables with French fries or fresh fruit.
This sounded like it could be really good or really bad, so we’re happy to say that we enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a standard grilled cheese you’d make at home, you probably won’t like this. But if you’re a fan of a gourmet take on grilled cheese, then this should do the trick. The bread is toasted perfectly; it has a crunch to eat bite while still being soft so as not to tear up the roof of your mouth. There’s not much cauliflower flavor, but there is a lot of black truffle flavor––something to keep in mind.
Maine Lobster Quesadilla – $23.00
Before moving onto dessert, we went for one more entree. The Maine Lobster Quesadilla is made with a flour tortilla filled with Monterey Jack, queso fresco, caramelized onions, roasted corn relish, sour cream, and spicy mayo.
The flavor of this dish is spot on. We highly recommend eating the quesadilla with the corn relish, sour cream, and squeeze of lime juice, because that’s when it really shines. There’s a decent amount of lobster and the pieces are pretty thick. Our only complaint is that the tortilla is pretty thin, so it doesn’t hold together the chunks of lobster very well. This is a quesadilla you will need to eat with a fork and a knife for the best results.
GCH Craftsman Bar – Desserts
Waffle-Churro Sundae – $12.00
Moving onto desserts, the first option we went with was the Waffle-Churro Sundae. Vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, Chantilly cream, and sprinkles bring the churros and waffle pieces together in this dessert.
This dessert was just okay, there was nothing special about it. It felt like they just threw together a bunch of different sweets and called it a day. It’s very basic, so if you like churros, waffles, and ice cream, then we don’t see why you wouldn’t like this.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Fingers – $11.00
We were more impressed by this second dessert. The Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Fingers are covered in drizzled icing and sprinkles and served with strawberry marmalade and hazelnut dip, and a chocolate-covered strawberry.
We don’t have any complaints about this dish. If you like chocolate chip cookies (who doesn’t?), then you’ll love this. The cookie fingers look like they would be hard, like biscotti. But there were actually really soft and fresh. The hazelnut dip was okay, but the strawberry marmalade was the real winner. The strawberry really enhances each bit of cookie and we couldn’t get enough.
GCH Craftsman Bar – Overall
Overall, we really enjoyed tasting some of the foods and drinks at the Craftsman Bar. The prices are a bit high, but the portions are decent and the food is really filling. This is a great place to visit with a group and split items off the menu.
The best part is that you don’t need to be a hotel guest to dine at the new Craftsman Bar. So feel free to stop by and check out the menu next time you’re visiting the Disneyland Resort.