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Where to eat? Lunch at Disneyland's French Market Restaurant

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Published: October 5, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Last weekend, Laurie and I had lunch at the French Market Restaurant in Disneyland's New Orleans Square.

Disney, appropriately, has loaded New Orleans Square with restaurants - the Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans and even its members-only Club 33. Even the Harbor Galley (across from the Haunted Mansion) offers some nice entree salads now, emerging from its long hibernation as a McDonald's french fry stand.

With all these choice, it's sometimes easy to overlook the French Market, which is the first of the land's eateries closed on those rare days when Disneyland crowds are light. But the French Market offers hearty, balanced meals that will keep you well-filled for the rest of your day in the park.

The French Market is one of Disneyland's slide-tray cafeterias. Pick an entree and you'll be served, then pass by the desserts and drinks on your way to pay. My only complaint with the service is the wait you sometimes have to endure between getting your entree and paying, allowing your meal to cool. I'm thankful Disney serves its meals on real plates, which allows them to retain heat during the wait, but it'd be nice if Disney could find a way to minimize that cooling-off time.

I chose the jambalaya and my wife opted for the roast beef.

French Market Restaurant photo, from ThemeParkInsider.com
Seafood & Chicken Jambalaya at Disneyland's French Market: Chicken, shrimp and diced andouille sausage, with a cornbread and vegetables. ($13.49)

French Market Restaurant photo, from ThemeParkInsider.com
Roast Beef Royale: Roast beef in gravy, served over onion-laced mashed potatoes, with a cornbread and vegetables. ($13.49)

The julienned zucchini and peppers made a great complement to the roast beef, but I thought that serving sauteed carrots and jicama with the jambalaya was kinda weird. Jambalaya is, at its heart, a vegetable stew, so vegetables on the side of that struck me redundant.

Not that Disneyland's jambalaya was lacking for meat. If anything, there was too much of it. Even in New Orleans itself, I'ver never had a jambalaya that had this much more meat than rice. (Not that I'm complaining.)

This isn't foodie heaven - it's a quick-service cafeteria after all. Both entrees tasted like something that'd been dished up from a steam tray than meals individually assembled by a chef. Because that's what they were. But they were balanced meals, with tasty vegetables, that left us both satisfied and kept us from feeling hungry for the rest of the day.

Have you eaten at Disneyland's French Market? Share your impression in the comments, or cast your vote on our French Market Restaurant page.

Readers' Opinions

From Dominick D on October 5, 2011 at 10:47 AM
I know where not to eat on my 2012 trip to Disneyland XD. Also, theres a typo at the beggining: Laurie and had
From Wendy Purdy on October 5, 2011 at 11:20 AM
My husband and I shared the roast beef entree at French Market a couple of weeks ago, and I share your assessment. The real advantage of this restaurant is the large shaded seating area. It's a great place to hang out on a hot, crowded day in the park and listen to some jazz. Our girls like to dance and collect their Mardi Gras beads while their dad and I sit and relax for a half-hour or so.
From Will Chilcote on October 5, 2011 at 4:52 PM
I think we ate there or the coffee shop next to it. They have good mochas and other coffee drinks. Also, like the Beignets (the New Orleans doughnut like things).
From 65.47.250.230 on October 6, 2011 at 1:51 PM
It has been a while since we ate at the French Market, however we go to the Mint Julibe bar regularly for drinks and Beignets. The last time we got Beignets there was about a 1/4 pound of powered suger in the bag so I poured some out into a drink cup and was dipping a beignet after each bite to get the maximum amount of sugar. To say the least my husband had to deal with me on a sugar buzz for the next couple of hours. I rally liked their Po'Boy sandwiches which hasn't been on the menu when we've been there. We tend to go to the Plaza Inn and split a chicken dinner or go to DTD and visit the Jazz Kitchen Express.

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