Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mac and cheese pizza?

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta is a quick-service restaurant in Disney's California Adventure (DCA). I decided to eat here for the first time at the beginning of this month because they were bringing back a Limited Time Magic food offering. Macaroni and Cheese Pizza! I know it sounds a little weird, but I heard good things about it the first time, so I thought I would give it a try. 
When you walk in to Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, there are 3 sections: pasta, flatbread pizza, and salad. You grab a tray, head to a section, and pick up the food items you want. At the pizza station, this is the flatbread pizza menu that you can always find. They sometimes have a seasonal menu item.
I spotted this sign of the seasonal menu item and picked up the pizza. The mac and cheese pizza was first put on the menu for the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter 24-hour event that was held at the beginning of summer. (That was fun event. There were so many unique experiences for just that one day. And, yes, I was there for 24 hours.) I didn't get this pizza at the event because there was so much going on and so many other special menu items I had to try (for example, Plaza Inn Fried Chicken and Mickey Waffles). So, when they brought it back for the week of National Cheese Pizza day, I made sure to go get it.
The mac and cheese pizza is as delicious as the sign makes it sound. I loved the crispiness of the flatbread, the bacon, and all the cheese. The mac and cheese was a lot like having extra cheese on top of a cheese pizza with bacon. It was great. And to think that I ever doubted it.
I also enjoyed the seating area in front of the restaurant. It's a large area with lots of tables and seats. This picture was just one small part of it. It was very relaxing and peaceful. I liked the lights in the trees and taking in all of the sights and sounds around me. The castmembers were keeping it very clean, as always. As I went to throw out my garbage, one castmemeber took my tray and wished me a goodnight. Great service! Now, I'm just hoping that the macaroni and cheese pizza will make its way back on the menu sometime soon.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Boysen Apple Freeze at Disneyland

The weather is finally starting to cool off a bit, but I recently went to Disneyland while it was 100+ degrees out. It can feel even hotter sometimes because of the hot pavement and all the walking you might be doing.
I decided that I needed a cold drink to help make it a little more tolerable to walk around. I remembered a drink called Boysen Apple Freeze that is fairly new at Disneyland. It can only be found at Maurice's Treats in Fantasy Faire of Fantasy Land next to the castle. 
Maurice's Treats is a little snack stand that serves strawberry, chocolate, and cheddar garlic pastry twists along with the Boysen Apple Freeze drink or bottled water. The Boysen Apple Freeze can be purchased in a souvenir cup for $9.99. (I didn't get a picture of them, but the Disney Parks Blog has a good picture.)
Since I already have the princess cup, I opted for the disposable cup for $4.69. The Boysen Apple Freeze is frozen apple juice with wild berry and topped with passion fruit foam. This drink is really good and probably my favorite drink in the parks (so far). It was really refreshing on such a hot day too. Another park guest saw me with it just after taking this picture. She asked me what it was and where I got it from. I pointed her to the stand which was maybe 10 feet away. She had her husband buy a couple for them and their two little princesses to share. They all loved it too. She told me she was so glad that she ran into me. I'm happy to share these hidden gems.
It's definitely worth checking out this unique treat while exploring Fantasy Faire.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Napoleon's Macarons at the Americana at Brand

Recently, I spent some time at one of my favorite shopping centers: The Americana at Brand in Glendale, CA. It is a modern outdoor mall that was built with references to American architecture from a couple centuries ago. It's just a beautiful place to shop, eat, or just hangout. I did a little bit of it all on this visit. I'll share with you my first time having Napoleon's Macarons.
Napoleon's Macarons has their own kiosk inside the Americana. 
For those of you who may not know what it is, a macaron is a French cookie sandwich. The actual cookies are meringues with different flavors. They are filled with different flavors of buttercream, ganache, or jam. Napoleon's displays all of their 15 varieties in the front window. I think I've only had a couple of macarons before from another bakery. So, I was looking forward to trying some different kinds. 
A couple of the flavors that caught my eye were salted caramel and raspberry. They change some flavors with the seasons and holidays. 
I decided to splurge on a dozen. Since I am a member of the Americana's loyalty rewards program, they have a special offer for Napoleon's. During the month of your birthday, you can receive 3 free macarons and 25% off of a dozen. I couldn't pass up that deal. The macarons cost $1.70 each. A dozen was about $20 (~$15 with my discount). 
The flavors I got were intense chocolate, salted caramel, pistachio, pistachio with raspberry, strawberry, raspberry, hazelnut, and vanilla creme brulee. (I think I might have missed one, but I can't remember what it was. Ooops!) I love how pretty, colorful, and delicious they look in the box.
These macarons were all light, flavorful, and yummy. My favorites were (in this order) salted caramel, vanilla creme brulee, and intense chocolate. The vanilla creme brulee surprised me in the fact that you could taste the caramelized sugar inside of the cookie. It was almost like having the real dessert sandwiched between cookies. 
I know I will be indulging in these tasty treats again in the future. They will be hard to resist when walking by at the Americana.

While at the Americana, I also recommend doing a few other things. 
  1. Taking some time to enjoy the park and beautiful fountain that dances to music every hour on the hour
  2. Admiring the outdoor chandelier hung above the street
  3. Riding on the trolley (it only runs in the afternoons)

One last look before leaving from the parking structure. If you look in the background, you can see the lights of downtown LA. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mickey Beignets

While on a recent trip to Disneyland with my brother and a friend, we decided to walk over to New Orleans Square to get some Mickey-shaped beignets. Unless you know to look for them, they can be easily missed. You can purchase them at the restaurant Cafe Orleans or at the Mint Julep Bar. Cafe Orleans is a sit-down restaurant with views of the Rivers of America and New Orleans Square with popular menu items such as the Monte Cristo sandwich and pommes frites. When you order beignets here, they are served with a raspberry coulis and a vanilla bean creme anglaise.
On this occasion, we opted for the quick stop at the Mint Julep Bar before heading over to ride the Haunted Mansion. The Mint Julep Bar is tucked in a little corner behind the French Market restaurant near the New Orleans Square Train Station. The beignets come in a 3-pack for $3.99 or a 6-pack for $6.99. When you pick up your order at the window, you get your beignets and lots of powdered sugar in a paper bag. Make sure you grab some napkins.
Above is a picture inside the bag of the 6-pack that my brother and I shared. You'll want to evenly distribute the powdered sugar to cover each of the beignets. To do this, hold the bag folded closed at the top and shake. Be careful because some of the powdered sugar will make it's way out of the folds at the bottom of the bag. Then, you are ready to enjoy.
Here is a close up of a delicious, fluffy, pillowy beignet. If you have never had one, the closest comparison would be a warm doughnut covered in powdered sugar. In my opinion, it tastes a little more unique than a doughnut and this one is shaped like Mickey. What's not to like? I must warn you that you will get powdered sugar all over the place when you eat these. You will need the napkins to dust it off of you. It's a small price to pay for such a wonderful treat.
If you are heading the parks soon, they will be offering pumpkin beignets for the holiday season. I can't wait to try those. Look for this post coming up! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Soup and Salad in Pacific Wharf

During a recent trip to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (DCA), we made our way through Hollywood Land and A Bug's Land to the Pacific Wharf before going to Paradise Pier in DCA. We had to fuel up before riding Toy Story Midway Mania.

There are several quick-service restaurants in this area, but we decided on Pacific Wharf Cafe. It is one of my favorites.
I love the sourdough bread bowls.

Here is the Sonoma Chicken and Apple Salad that I ordered. It is served in a huge bread bowl made in  the Boudin bread factory in the same building. You can take a tour of the factory with free samples throughout the day. 
The bread bowl is filled with lettuce, Granny Smith apples, chicken salad, and topped with dried cranberries and chives. It is really tasty and filling. Not bad for $9.99. (Annual Passholders also receive a discount here.) I usually can only eat the salad and top of the bread bowl. I ask for a bag to take the bowl home to eat later. Don't forget the butter!
This is the Loaded Baked Potato Soup in a bread bowl that my friend had. I didn't try it, but when the weather gets colder, I'm definitely going to try this. It looks good.
After our meal, we were ready for the rest of our night.