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Where to eat? Lunch at Paradise Garden Grill at Disney California Adventure

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Published: September 26, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Last month, I had lunch at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, one of the two new counter service restaurants in the renovated Paradise Pier section of Disney California Adventure. On my trip last week to see the new Blue Sky Cellar exhibit, I dropped in for lunch at the Paradise Garden Grill.

Paradise Garden Grill sells skewer platters - you get to choose your meat (or tofu) and sauce, which are served on rice pilaf, with a pita and a side of cucumber salad ($10.99). Based on a recommendation from one of the cast members out front, I chose the vegetable and tofu skewer with the chimichurri sauce. (He also recommended the steak with tzatziki, but I wasn't in the mood for something that heavy on a relatively warm day.)

Vegetable skewer

And yes, that's real silverware there on the left and my lunch is setting on a real plate, not paper or styrofoam. Disney's newest restaurants are using real tableware instead of the flimsy plastic stuff you typically get at theme park counter service eateries. The hefty ceramic plate helps keep your food warm, and it's nice to eat with a real knife.

My skewer included two large pieces of tofu, two slices of zucchini and one of summer squash, plus some onion. The chimichurri gave the vegetables some zing, without overpowering them, but the combination wasn't so perfect that I wasn't curious to taste the yogurt or tzatziki options with the skewer sometime, too. Like at the Lucky Fortune Cookery across the park, the Paradise Garden Grill's tofu is not fried. It seems like every time I order something with tofu at Disneyland Resort, I get the steamed or sauteed version, but whenever I order something with tofu at Walt Disney World, it comes deep-fried. Perhaps some Florida visitors or residents can jump in with an observation on that.

I understand Disney's desire for uniform pricing, but it seemed to me that the veggie-and-tofu skewer was a couple bucks overpriced at $10.99. At other skewer places where I've eaten off-property, the all-veggie option is usually a buck less than the meat skewers. (And, FWIW, the seafood ones are a buck more than the meat ones, but there's no seafood option at Paradise Garden Grill.) Still, with an annual pass discount knocking a buck off the price of my skewer, I left satisfied enough to return again and give some of the other sauces a shot.

Have you eaten at DCA's Paradise Garden Grill? Share your impression in the comments, or cast your vote on our Paradise Garden Grill review page.

Readers' Opinions

From Anon Mouse on September 26, 2011 at 3:17 PM
I think the prices are outrageous for only one skewer. In other similar places, you get 2 or 3 kabobs. Its a good idea to eat there to lose weight, I guess. Oh yeah, there's a better way, just don't eat.
From James Rao on September 26, 2011 at 6:29 PM
Looks like a fairly nice platter. I am not a fan of tofu, though, so let me know how the steak version is when you visit again...
From Nancy Mast on September 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM
We love the skewers at Paradise Garden Grill. I agree the pricing is on the high side for one skewer, but it is prepared well, relatively healthy for a theme-park meal, and will definitely fill you up. I have not tried the tofu skewer but did try both the chicken and the beef. The meat was juicy and not tough, definitely tasty.

Also, you can ask for *all 4* sauces on the side with any plate, so you don't feel like you have to only choose and try one sauce at a time!

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