Culinary Quest: Disneyland’s new Jolly Holiday Bakery

| January 20, 2012

Disneyland has introduced a new restaurant and bakery - the Jolly Holiday Bakery. This is more of a reimagining of Blue Ribbon Bakery that had been located on Main Street for many many years. The bakery portion is still there at the new location. They offer a variety of sweets, treats, and espresso beverages, which I did not actually partake in because the focus of this Culinary Quest was the main entrees. Jolly Holiday Bakery’s menu has soups, salads, and sandwiches in addition to the usual bakery items.

The sandwiches and soups are made in batches and put out as needed. They are not made to order, as is the case in a restaurant like Tangaroa Terrace. Despite that, this is a huge improvement to the sandwiches that had been the exact same for the last fifteen years at the Blue Ribbon Bakery. In the past (before Disneyland started focusing on revamping their menus), one of my major complaints was the quality of the bread on burgers and sandwiches. I am happy to report the sandwiches at Jolly Holiday Bakery have soft, flavorful, and well textured rolls and bread.

The bakery cafe has five sandwiches to choose from. They have a Jolly Holiday Combo of a toasted cheese sandwich with tomato basil soup for $8.99, the Caprese (Tomato & Mozzarella) served on focaccia priced at $8.69, a turkey sandwich on ciabatta ($8.69), the Chicken Waldorf on Brioche ($8.99) and the Hot Angus Roast Beef with caramelized onions and white cheddar served on a toasted onion roll ($9.69). All except the Jolly Holiday Combo are served with homemade potato chips.

I liked all of the sandwiches except for the Oven-Roasted Turkey. That one is just a turkey sandwich, no big deal. It needed something special in my opinion. (How about some Craisins!?). The bread was dry, the turkey was average, and the mustard aioli was just honey mustard dressing. Despite that, my son liked it.

The Jolly Holiday Combo’s Toasted Cheese Sandwich had a great cheesy taste and texture on the inside. This is not just an American Grilled Cheese, but it is very difficult to serve a toasted cheese sandwich that is not immediately off the grill. That is what happens with this one. The crust and edges were hard even though they tasted good. If possible, I’d ask for some special request to make sure you get a fresh one. Then the sandwich would be great. The soup that comes with it is fine. I would order this combo again.

The vegetarian Caprese was well flavored with a basil vinaigrette and aromatic focaccia. As someone who doesn’t usually eat vegetarian offerings, I must say Disneyland’s new menus have made these items a possibility for myself.

The favorite was the Roast Beef. You can tell the beef was not processed, and it tasted as if it were sliced from Grandma’s Sunday roast. The caramelized onions, horseradish aioli, and white cheddar were all high quality, flavorful, and complementary of each other. This will be my go-to sandwich on this menu. The only concern, which is for all of the items, is that since they aren’t made to order, and seating is only outside, the food cools down very very quickly. The chips are great! Just remember they are house potato chips, so you may come across the occasional chewy one. I loved ‘em anyways. I just wish there were more.

For $7.19, there is a Ham & Cheese Quiche with a House Salad. The quiche and salad was good, not great. Even though $7.00 is not a lot considering you are at Disneyland, I don’t think it is enough food when compared to the other offerings.

The Jolly Holiday Salad seemed very familiar to me, as it had spiced pecans, feta, red and yellow tomatoes, and Craisins served with a Raspberry Vinagarette. I’m sure this is the same one you can get at other places. It tastes like you’d think and is priced at $7.49.

The Angus Roast Beef Salad at $8.99 has lettuce, red and yellow tomatoes and pickled onions, served with pre-packaged blue cheese dressing. This salad was pedestrian. There were not enough of the tomatoes and pickled onions to make it anything special. It was basically chunks of meat with lettuce. I would have liked to see them offer a house-made dressing. They already have the horseradish aioli that could be adapted. I would not order this again.

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The other salads and soups on the menu are the Grilled Vegetable & Whole Grain Salad ($7.99) which features seasonal vegetables, mixed greens, barley, sprouts and a basil vinaigrette. In addition to the tomato basil soup ($5.49), there is a Classic Chicken Noodle for the same price. The kid’s meals are priced at $5.99 and have a choice of Mac and Cheese or a Turkey Sandwich served with the usual sides and drinks.

I have been accused of loving everything on every new menu at Disneyland. While that may be true, it is because I had such low expectations of Disneyland counter service food before. I realize I have been grading on a curve. Well, now that Disneyland has raised their performance level, it is time to raise expectations. Granted, this is an improvement over the sandwiches that used to be served at the Blue Ribbon Bakery. However, I think there are some good items on the cafe menu, but now I expect more from their new menus. It was good, but it wasn’t their best. Of course, I will definitely be back because I love sandwiches in general. I will just make sure to be selective with my choices.



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Category: Dining, Disneyland

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