The Star Wars franchise didn't provide Disney with a whole lotta guidance when it came to the food and beverages to serve in Disneyland's new Star Wars land. Sure, there's blue (and now green) milk and a cantina. And Disney checked those boxes. But people are going to want to eat as well as drink in this new section of the park, and that left Disney's culinary and creative teams with a dilemma.
How do you stay on theme with food that appears exotic and other-worldly without serving meals that appear inaccessible or unappetizing the majority of Disneyland guests? This is a fan base that found roast beef and turkey too much to bear in the last strongly themed, IP-driven land that Disney built here. (RIP to the first two menus at Flo's V8 Diner in Cars Land. Welcome our new cheeseburger overlords.) When Disney last celebrated Star Wars, with its Season of the Force in Tomorrowland, it punted by slapping Star Wars names on a few burgers. But to its credit, Disney is trying something more ambitious with its menus in Galaxy's Edge.
Did it work? Before we get to the culinary analysis, let's start with an overview of the land's offerings from Disneyland Executive Chef John State.
I said in the video that I was Team Blue Milk, and I want to explain that, since colored milk is Star Wars' most famous food & beverage item. Disney's team has turned to a plant-based mix of rice and coconut milks to create these drinks, which are served in a semi-frozen consistency at the land's Milk Stand. But the Blue Milk and Green Milk ($7.99 a glass) each have different flavors.
One Disney official described the taste inspiration for Blue Milk being the leftover milk in your bowl after a morning gorging on cartoons and breakfast cereal. But for the Green Milk, Disney opted for a different flavor profile, described as "floral" or "tropical."
The Blue Milk description is spot-on. This is what my Boo-Berry cereal swam in before I went outside to pretend blowing up the Death Star in the late 1970s. Yes, it's sweet, but no so that it fails to refresh. It's not something I could ever imagine keeping in my refrigerator, but it hits the mark as a theme park treat.
The Green Milk? Oh, hell no.
I suspect that this is another "cilantro/soap" issue. You know how some people (myself included) think that cilantro tastes like soap (likely due a gene variation)? I wonder if the same type of thing is in play here, because one whiff of the Green Milk sent my mind thinking of moldy green shag carpeting, rather than anything floral or tropical. One sip and I noped out of the rest of the glass. But others couldn't comprehend my revulsion, making me think that we have another flavor receptor issue here.
Whatever the reason, I am on Team Blue Milk now, and I ain't changing.
Beyond that, though, I really don't have anything to say about the drinks. I tried a few samples of concoctions at Oga's Cantina during the press event last night, and found them all reminding me of the stuff I made up as a kid when pouring "suicides" on a self-serve soda fountain. (Hey, we had to get creative before the invention of Coke Freestyle machines.) Pretty much all I drink anymore is water and tea, so my taste buds just don't respond favorably to much of anything else. With Disney only allowing one media rep per publication, I couldn't bring in my beverage expert (plus, she has finals this week), but I hope to have a report from her when we visit the land next month.
As for the food, though, my runaway favorite was the Braised Shaak Roast ($18.99), featuring beef pot roast with cavatelli pasta, kale, and mushrooms, from Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo (on the menu at dinner only). The tender beef was heaven on a fork, with rich flavor and a luscious mouth feel. (Did they sous vide this?) The supporting cast did its job, providing enough variety in flavor and texture to allow the beef to shine. This is a winner of a meal that I would order anywhere, whether inside a park or not.
Other items that I would recommend include the Blue Milk, Smoked Kaadu Ribs ($16.99), with blueberry corn muffin and cabbage slaw, as well as the Oi-oi Puff ($6.49) dessert, both of which John mentioned in our video. And that Ronto Wrap ($12.99 in full size) from Ronto Roasters that I tried was pretty darned tasty, too.
I was not a fan of the popcorn, mostly because I am not a fan of popcorn, period. But the Outpost Mix from Kat Saka's Kettle ($6.49) did have a nice little spicy kick at the end there, so I suspect that popcorn fans will enjoy this treat.
Ultimately, we will see how long all this stuff lasts. The Disney folks I spoke with all but conceded that they developed the story of Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo to accommodate food shipments from throughout the galaxy, opening the door for theme park fans' beloved burgers and chicken strips to one day crowd out the good stuff in here, too. Sign me up to blockade the docking bay doors if it comes to that. Keep your burgers on Earth. On Batuu, I want my shaak and ronto.Tweet
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