Each time I visit Café Orleans in New Orleans Square, the song “Gonna Take You There” from the Princess and the Frog movie pops into my head. This establishment offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The difference between the experiences is quite pronounced. Inside you will find warm mahogany-colored wood, red wallpaper, and stained glass windows. It’s almost like walking into an old fashioned Southern manor. Outside is a parade of light blue patio umbrellas surrounded by a decorative wrought iron fence. Both locations have their appeal, but the view from the outdoor seating area is one of the best in Disneyland. There’s nothing like seeing the Mark Twain floating by on the Rivers of America while dining on Cajun-Creole food.
The lunch and dinner menus at Café Orleans are exactly the same. Their most famous item is the Monte Cristo Sandwich. It’s identical to the one at Blue Bayou. The only difference is that you get an extra side at Blue Bayou, so it costs $7.50 more. Plus, Café Orleans offers a “Three-Cheese” version as well. Other popular dishes include the French Onion Soup, New Orleans Gumbo, and “Crescent City” Salad.
Food and Drinks
In the past few months, my wife and I dined here for both lunch and dinner. Our lunch visit was just the two of us, while dinner was a party of four. As such, we were able to sample a majority of the dishes.
For lunch, we decided on the Monte Cristo Sandwich, Pommes Frites, French Onion Soup, and La Salade de Maison. It was more than enough food for the two of us.
Their La Salade de Maison is one of the best small salads at Disneyland. I thoroughly enjoyed the dark green lettuces mixed with cherry tomatoes, candied pecans, crumbled goat cheese and Raspberry Vinaigrette. The balance of textures and flavors was exceptional.
One the side, we shared a basket of the Pommes Frittes. It’s basically french fries tossed with minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and parsley flakes. The batch we received was cooked perfectly. I also loved the Cajun-spiced rémoulade. Much better than ketchup, especially with this style of french fries.
Next up was the French Onion Soup. This is a favorite of many people, but my wife and I weren’t as impressed. The presentation was nice with the gooey caramelized Gruyère cheese and there were ample onions inside the soup. However, it lacked a depth of flavor when it came to the broth.
Our main course was the Monte Cristo Sandwich. This is the type of dish that you know is bad for you, but it tastes so darn good! It’s totally worth the extra time on the treadmill. It’s a perfect balance of salty and sweet with a hearty crisp exterior and gooey inside. On the side was a berry purée for dipping, as well as fresh strawberries and grapes. Hands down, it’s the best Monte Cristo Sandwich I’ve ever eaten.
As stated previously, my wife and I went to dinner with two other people. This allowed us the opportunity to share multiple dishes.
I started my meal with the New Orleans Gumbo. It tasted rich and flavorful with a pleasant spicy kick. The gumbo consisted of chicken, andouille sausage, and ham. Traditional recipes call for shrimp, but ham is a cheaper alternative. In any case, it came with what they call a Cajun-style “Dirty Rice.” I would highly recommend this to anyone who can tolerate a little bit of heat.
Our friend got the Mardi Gras Chicken Sandwich. This dish is a blackened chicken breast with avocado relish served on a multigrain roll and sweet potato fries. My overall impression of this dish? Meh. The sandwich was somewhat dry and I’m not a fan of sweet potato fries. My wife said the fries were “okay.”
Speaking of my wife, she ordered the Braised Beef Crêpe. Café Orleans touts this as being “made to order.” We didn’t notice there was any extra care put into it and everything was pre-assembled upon arrival at our table. That said, the flavor was pretty good overall. The braised beef was tender, although a bit dry. Two highlights in this dish were bordelaise sauce and mushy peas. Cremini mushrooms, pearl onions and bacon blended perfectly with the bordelaise and beef. Mushy peas are a favorite of mine, and this one tasted excellent. As for the crêpes, they were rather thick and kind of chewy. It’s doubtful we would order this again.
My main course was the “Crescent City” Salad with Blackened Chicken. This offering comprises of mixed greens including spinach, candied pecans nuts, caramelized onions, orange slices, red grapes,, green onion, and roasted corn. It was dressed in an orange-cilantro vinaigrette. Lots of ingredients for sure, but unfortunately not a great deal of flavor. I enjoyed their La Salade de Maison much more even though it didn’t come with meat.
During both times we ate at Café Orleans, the service was very good. Our water glasses were never empty and the servers came by enough times to make sure everything was copacetic. The food came out in a timely manner as well.
If you’re searching for a place with good food and a great view at Disneyland, this is the perfect spot to dine outside. Looking at New Orleans Square and the Rivers of America from this vantage point is spectacular, especially on a sunny day. Most of the dishes are hit and miss, but the Monte Cristo Sandwich is a sure-fire home run. Although not the healthiest choice, sometimes being bad can feel oh-so good.