Where to eat? Lunch at the Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta at Disney California Adventure
Published: August 25, 2011 at 4:27 PM
Paradise Garden Grill is a counter service restaurant serving Mediterranean skewers and Greek salads. You can choose from steak, chicken, beef kefka or veggie/tofu skewers and pair the skewer with a Moroccan chili, chimichurri, spiced yogurt or tzatziki sauce. Desserts are baklava or a chocolate brownie and strawberry skewer with caramel and chocolate sauces and mini-marshmallows.
The restaurant shares a shaded outdoor dining area with the adjacent Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, which is where I chose to eat today.
The serving area of Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta is indoors and features station service, with pizza, salad and pasta choices.
I'm not a fan of Disney's counter-service pizzas - their thick, doughy crusts make the pizza taste too much like sauce and cheese sitting on half a loaf of white bread. But Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta serves flatbread pizzas, on a thin, almost cracker-like crust, so I gave the Portobello Mushroom and Spinach pizza ($8.99) a try.
This is a fussy pizza, with a herbed marinara sauce, artichokes, pesto and ricotta in addition to the mushrooms (plentiful) and spinach (not so much). But the flavors came together for me, allowing me to taste plenty of spice, but not weighing me down with an overabundance of cheese or sauce. I like veggie pizzas when I'm visiting a park because they don't leave me with a post-meal meat hangover, where I'm spending all my energy digesting instead of hitting the park.
While I didn't love the flatbread crust at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta nearly as much as the delightfully airy and crispy crust at Downtown Disney's Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria (or its Disney World sibling, Epcot's Via Napoli), I'll come back to Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta next time I'm in the mood for a quick pizza inside the parks.
Other choices at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta include cheese, pepperoni and barbecue chicken pizzas, spaghetti with meatballs, a five-cheese ravioli and a chicken pasta in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce, and chicken caesar, field greens and Italian chef salads. The Italian chef salad includes cured meats, roasted peppers and mozzarella in a red wine vinaigrette. Give Disney points for serving the pasta dishes on actual china, instead of paper plates, to keep the sauces warm and for offering real silverware rather than plastic utensils. Both are welcome upgrades from most counter-services theme park eateries and I hope that those touches endure.
I also love the well-shaded dining area in front of the two restaurants, lining the Paradise Pier promenade. I found a seat under one of the many trees in the area, and enjoyed a live musical performance by Rumba y Cajon while eating my lunch.
Just a couple new photos from the ongoing work at Disney California Adventure. The new, Pan Pacific Auditorium-inspired front gate is open.
And construction's topped out on the Carthay Circle restaurant that will stand at the end of the new Buena Vista Street entry plaza.
The pathway between the entry plaza and Paradise Pier remains closed, so visitors must continue around Grizzly River Run to get to the back side of the park.
Remember, you also can cut through A Bug's Land to reach Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier from Tower of Terror and the Hollywood Pictures Backlot.