Where to Eat? Lunch at Disneyland's Harbour Galley

February 22, 2014, 12:49 PM · Thanks to a crash in lobster prices last year, lobster rolls have appeared on quick-service menus at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. But which park serves the best lobster roll? Last year, we tried the lobster roll at the Magic Kingdom's Columbia Harbour House. And this week, we put the lobster roll from Disneyland's Harbour Galley to the test.

Disneyland's Harbor Galley

We wrote that Disney World's lobster roll "impresses with its size -- a thick, split New England-style roll stuffed with aggressively dressed lobster meat. It's more than you can wrap your mouth around. I ended up using a fork to pick off some of the lobster from the top until I could handle the rest of the sandwich." But we noted that the lobster meat "practically swims in mayonnaise, though, with celery and lettuce added to the mix."

Disney World Lobster Roll

Still, at $9.99 served with chips, we considered Disney World's lobster roll a good deal.

Disneyland's lobster roll costs more — $13.99 — and comes on a traditional hot dog bun, rather than the large version of a New England-style bun found at the Magic Kingdom. Disney's dressed its west coast roll differently, too. There's no lettuce to be found, less celery and just enough mayonnaise to hold the lobster meat together.

Disneyland Lobster Roll

If Disney had stopped there, this roll might have been fine, or even superior to the Disney World version. After all, a lobster roll ought to showcase the sweet flavor of lobster and too many condiments just get in the way. My daughter goes to school in Wiscasset, Maine, and the best lobster roll I've ever had came from Red's Eats in that town.

Lobster Roll from Red's Eats in Maine

It's a pound and a half of buttered lobster atop a toasted roll. No dressing. And it cost $17.99 last summer (the price varies daily). It's not fair expecting any theme park outside New England to match that combination of lobster volume, freshness, and price, but ideally, a lobster roll ought at least to remind me fondly of one of these Maine beauties.

Alas. Disneyland's covered its lobster roll with an aggressive dusting of Old Bay seasoning. No, no, no, no; a thousand times, no.

Old Bay works on the shell of sturdier crab or shrimp meat, where your fingers can pick up the tangy spice as you crack or peel open the shellfish and eat it with your hands. But applied directly to the sweeter, more delicately flavored lobster, the salty Old Bay just dries the meat and makes the whole roll taste like a mouthful of sawdust. It left me longing for some of that extra mayo on the Disney World roll, just to add some needed moisture. Send this Old Bay back to its Maryland home. It doesn't belong on Maine lobster.

Disney's sprinkled the Old Bay all over the house-made chips that accompany the roll, too, and Disney should have left it at that. Old Bay on chips is one of God's gifts to seafood fans, imparting a crabby tang to each crunch. Earlier this week, Amanda Jenkins endorsed the house-made chips at the Walt Disney World Resort and these chips are keepers, too. I'd rather Disney had just kept the lobster roll and filled the plate with these chips, instead.

If you're looking for a nice lunch at the Galley, skip the lobster roll and order the Barbecue Chicken Baked Potato.

Barbecue Chicken Baked Potato

I added the potato on a whim as I ordered my lobster roll, figuring I'd take a picture of it, try a bite, then throw in a mention at the bottom of my review. Instead, I bailed on the lobster roll after a couple bites and turned my full attention to the potato.

A generous helping of tender barbecue chicken sits atop a split baked potato, with a cool scoop of creamy, crispy slaw atop that. Another drizzle of the barbecue sauce finishes the potato, which melts into a warm mash with the hot, saucy chicken above it, and garglshfshmuncgrbsmslh…

Sorry, I had to clean the drool from my keyboard there.

At just $6.39, the potato delivered far more than double the taste at less than half the price of the lobster roll. So, in the battle of Disney lobster rolls, the clear winner is — the baked potato.

Replies (6)

February 22, 2014 at 7:31 PM · Oh man, I read this article right after a family conference call discussing our restaurant options for our WDW vacation this fall.

I know exactly what I'm eating for lunch on Thursday at Disneyland. THAT BBQ Chicken Baked Potato!

February 23, 2014 at 7:50 PM · Ugh. So you just can't find a good lobster roll at either WDW or DLR, huh? That's disappointing.

My question though with the Harbour Galley version is whether you can request it sans seasoning, since it's dusted with it? That sounds like it's added after being put on the bun. Perhaps you can't change it after ordering, but now that we know, I wonder if it can be a request upon making your order.

I'd love to know because lobster is (can be / should be) delicious!

February 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM · I really like the potatoes at Harbor Galley and the setting is a nice quiet place to watch the traffic on the river, island, and between New Orleans Square and Critter Country. I haven't tried the lobster roll yet and generally I've given up on trying to find decent seafood in the parks at DLR so this is really no surprise.
February 24, 2014 at 4:51 PM · Good question about the seasoning. I'd definitely ask if I were to try the lobster roll again.
February 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM · Those aren't lobster rolls. They're lobster salad sandwiches.
February 28, 2014 at 12:24 AM · Had the BBQ Chicken Baked Potato today. Quite delicious. I'll ask for extra cole slaw next time.

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