Disneyland’s Hungry Bear Restaurant just unveiled a new menu, and I was there to do a Culinary Quest about it. The new and improved menu includes some unique items, reimagined standbys, and new desserts. There has been a lot of excitement about this new menu, so, let’s see what all the excitement is about.
The unique items begin with a Fried Green Tomato Sandwich featuring cornmeal crusted fried green tomatoes combined with two slices of heirloom tomatoes, topped with havarti cheese, remoulade, and zesty slaw served on a multi-grain roll for $8.49.
Continuing with Disneyland’s new focus on fresh salads, the Hungry Bear now offers Big Al’s Chicken Salad featuring iceberg and romaine lettuce topped with smoked chicken, watermelon, candied pecans, dried cherries, pickled red onions, and a honey lime vinaigrette for $8.49.
The reimagined standbys include a Turkey and Provolone Sandwich ($8.19) on a multi-grain roll (this time with a basil mayonnaise) and a Crispy Chicken Sandwich ($8.69) with a honey-mustard sauce.
The burgers have changed as well. In addition to the Classic Cheeseburger for $9.49, they have a new Pioneer Chili Cheeseburger ($10.19) which features a 1/3 lb Angus burger with home-style chili, cheese, and a hand-battered onion ring.
All sandwiches and burgers come with a choice of three new sides – hand-battered onion rings, zesty slaw, or sweet potato fries. The menu only lists slaw or sweet potato fries as an option, but I assure you all three are available at no extra charge. Sweet potato fries and onion rings can be ordered separately as well.
Two brand new desserts have been introduced too. These are the Lemon “Bumblebee” Cupcake and Trixie’s Blueberry Pie, both for $4.99. The children’s menu features the usual Kid’s Power Pack, Hamburger, Chicken Nuggets, and Toddler Mac and Cheese.
Now that you’ve seen the pictures, what do I think? First, for the new stuff. The Fried Green Tomato sandwich had excellent flavor, great taste, and interesting textures. The only thing I wish was that there was more of it. The multi-grain roll is another big improvement on what used to be bad Disneyland sandwich rolls, but in this sandwich there was a little too much bread. However, I would order it again.
I don’t know what Big Al was thinking when he came up with this salad. In theory, it should be good. It has wonderful ingredients. I love each and everyone of them. Individually. But together these ingredients made for a too-sweet, strange-tasting salad. Some may love it, however my wife and I are not those people. As someone who has really enjoyed every new salad that Disneyland has introduced recently, I have to admit I am disappointed in this one. It is possible to be too creative with food sometimes.
I hate Disneyland burgers! Let me rephrase that. I hatED Disneyland burgers. I finally found a burger that I can’t wait to eat again, the Pioneer Chili Cheeseburger. Not being a big fan of wheat buns, I expected very little with this one, and I am eternally grateful I gave it a try. The chili on this burger was outstanding. It had actual chunks of beef instead of ground beef. I was able to see it from the splotches of chili that fell out of it as bites were consumed. I hope I can find that exact same chili in a bread bowl around the resort very soon. The burger was moist, had chili with a little kick, and was topped with cheese and an onion ring. Did I mention the onion rings? The onion rings were awesome. Yes, dude. I said awesome. They were large and hand-dipped. They tasted like the great ones from the Turf Club in Orlando. I
would will wait in line just for those onion rings. There has been much excitement over the introduction of sweet potato fries. They were fine for what they were, but people either love those things or hate those things. If you love em, you’ll love these. If you don’t, you’ll order onion rings instead.
The zesty slaw is definitely unique, fresh, and crunchy. It has a tangy flavor which I enjoyed separately and on the Fried Green Tomato sandwich.
Last but not least, dessert. The Lemon “Bumblebee” Cupcake consisted of lemon cake with a lemon curd filling topped with fluffy lemon chiffon frosting. Trixie’s Blueberry Pie is served warm with a flaky, sweet lattice crust. Often times at Disneyland, people line up for ice cream or visit a cart when they want a sweet treat. No longer will I be one of those people. I will head past Gibson Girl and the churro cart and make a beeline to the Hungry Bear Restaurant for one of these desserts instead. They are that good.
All in all, this is another Disneyland counter service restaurant that has changed its menu and changed my attitude towards counter service dining at the resort. When I first started my Culinary Quests, the state of counter service dining was below average in the parks. Sure, there were a few exceptions here and there, but overall it was nothing special. I have to say that is no longer the case. Improved or new menus have been introduced at Troubador Tavern, River Belle, Tommorowland Terrace, Village Haus, and now Hungry Bear. Disneyland counter service dining is much better than it was before. In fact, at these restaurants, it is good. I look forward to this continuing throughout the parks.