Friday, July 27, 2012

Carnation Cafe Dining

Last month, after a moderately lengthy renovation and expansion, the Carnation Cafe reopened, to little fanfare. Mostly because across the street, a little thing called DCA 2.0 was unfurling.  Still, that's not to say that this was insignificant.  Long a staple of Main Street, the Carnation Cafe was also the only sit-down restaurant inside Disneyland that I had yet to ever patronize.  Thus, I was pretty excited to have dinner there a few weeks later with a couple of friends and sample a few of the offerings.

Fried Pickles, a fan favorite appetizer--at least among most of my friends!
I started off the meal by splitting an appetizer of Fried Pickles.  Dill pickle spears dipped in parmesan, with what looked like a panko breaded crust, these decadent cucumbers were deep fried--enhancing the sweetness--and served with a zesty house sauce.  They were absolutely fantastic, and my only regret was that each serving didn't come with more.

The Romaine Salad with Shrimp, a nice savory salad.
As her main course, one of my friends opted for the Romaine Salad with Shrimp.  This salad comes with chunks of blue cheese, avocado, red and yellow tomatoes, and a creamy ranch sauce.  It's a lighter but still tasty dish, balanced by the smoky goodness of the grilled shrimp.  Quite nice for pescetarians. Or whatever the word is but for shrimp, not fish.

Green Chile Cheeseburger, incredibly wonderful and gourmet.
My other companion elected to try the Green Chile Cheeseburger, which was like something out of a gourmet burger joint.  A third-pound Angus patty, laden with manchego cheese, roasted poblano chile, tomato, lettuce, a fried egg, and house sauce--all on toasted brioche bun... this was mouth watering from first bite to last.  Served with house fries, it made for a delicious (though slightly-pricey-for-a-burger) dinner.

Home-Made Meatloaf, rich and delicious, and quite filling.
I opted for the Home-Made Meatloaf, served in a ketchup glaze with some fluffy mashed potatoes in mushroom gravy, an edamame succotash, and a surprisingly soft but crisp dinner roll.  The meatloaf was full of flavor, and the succtash was a nice balance to the filling protein and carbs (I wish they included more, though--it was very good).  This dish will definitely feed a hungry diner, and unless you just don't enjoy meatloafs in general, I would certainly recommend it!

There are many other tasty-looking items on the menu, so I will be making a return soon. Plus, the new interiors of the restaurant, which has taken up residence in the area formerly occupied by the Blue Ribbon Bakery, is warm, inviting, and very classy.  What a wonderful facelift to a classic Disneyland dining establishment!

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