Walt Disney World Restaurant Review – Hollywood Brown Derby
BY MIKE WARING – MAY 2011
I’ve reviewed Hollywood Brown Derby in the not-too-distant past. I liked it then. I still like it, now, possibly even more.
The food seems to have improved slightly, though we both felt the grapefruit cake, which is a signature item, was a bit on the dry side and the grapefruit-y flavor wasn’t that pronounced. Other than that, we were not disappointed.
Since we were trying out a fancy package (the Platinum Plan) and it put us in a “what the heck” kind of mood, we both had perfectly prepared cocktails before lunch. Not that we’re in the habit of having cocktails with lunch. Four times a week isn’t a habit, is it? No, I didn’t think so.
For once, Mary did not have the (also) signature Cobb salad, which interestingly enough has been moved from the entrees to the starters. Anyone who can eat this as an appetizer and then down a steak or pork chop, well my hat is off to you! That truly defines a real trencherman. (Now there’s a term that’s gone out of style and it’s a real shame. I always wanted other people to refer to me as a “real trencherman,” but those days are past now, we don’t celebrate the Diamond Jim Bradys like we once did. This is the man that was reputed to regularly consume a evening repast consisting of three dozen oysters, a dozen crabs, six or seven lobsters, terrapin soup, and a steak, with a dessert of a tray full of pastries… and two pounds of bonbons. There probably are people like this still around, but they eat their weight in Big Macs instead of something of real gustatory extravagance.)
Anyway, overeating fantasies to the side, our lunch at the Brown Derby was a great stop in the middle of a busy day. I imagine it’s a better break for a couple than for a family of five. Of course, I suppose you could give the kids a few dozen bucks and send them off to the fast food joints in the park, and then you can go to the Brown Derby and have a little respite. With cocktails.
The menu has some great stuff: my grouper in a beurre blanc sauce was so good that I threatened to lick the plate clean, and Mary loved her “duck three ways,” which is pretty much a dish designed just for her. Years ago, Mary ordered a duck appetizer and a duck entree in Paris, and the waiter lifted one eyebrow and said “you want duck and duck?” Well, yes. Mary did want duck and duck. Donald, look out.
If you want a high-end, leisurely lunch or dinner (the menu and prices are the same at both meals) in a theme park, with better trained wait staff than the other park dining venues, well the Brown Derby is the place. And they have cocktails, did I mention that?