River Belle Terrace: A Dining Reviewby Kath Davis, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 5/22/2008
The River Belle Terrace in Disneyland Park has recently reopened with an exciting new menu. We had seen the menu posted a month or so earlier (although the restaurant was closed at that time), and we had been waiting for an opportunity to sample it. We got our chance one lovely April evening.
The River Belle Terrace is a triangular restaurant at the intersection of Adventureland, Frontierland and New Orleans Square. It is one of the "1955 Originals," in place when the park opened, and is billed as casual dining. One entrance faces Tarzan's Treehouse, and the other is along the Rivers of America. The apex of the triangle points right at Pirates of the Caribbean. There is fairly limited seating inside, but lots of outdoor seating on the Frontierland side. Some of the outdoor tables have umbrellas.
We'd spent a wonderful day at the Anaheim parks, and had just enjoyed the "Remember... Dreams Come True" parade from a premium spot on Main Street. We'd planned to eat late at the River Belle (it stays open until 10:30 pm on Friday nights in the spring, but the hours do vary with the time of year). Our plan was to get an outdoor table, and linger over dinner long enough to watch the 10:30 showing of Fantasmic! from comfortable seats.
We did get one of the last tables (about 40 minutes before Fantasmic! would start), and my husband Randy went in to order. The new menu consists of Signature Sandwiches (prime rib, turkey, barbecued pork, or vegetarian) and salads (also with prime rib or turkey). A children's menu includes smaller versions of the prime rib or turkey sandwiches, as well as peanut butter and jelly. We both ordered the prime rib sandwich; it was a very hearty sandwich with plenty of meat, but could have used more flavorful bread. (I find that the bread at the resort is rarely up to the rest of the ingredients in a sandwich.) It was not clear from the menu outside that a side dish is included with your sandwich. Randy chose a pasta salad for me (since I was defending our table and two chairs from latecomers), and he had coleslaw. Naturally we sampled from each other. Both were quite tasty, and I thought the pasta salad with artichoke hearts was delicious. Other side choices include a bean salad and a fruit salad. Portions were generous, and I left some of my sandwich behind (but finished that great pasta salad!).
We shared dessert, a strawberry shortcake concoction made with light custard. There are other dessert choices, such as chocolate cake. The meal for the two of us was under $30, and even at the late hour, the food was fresh and the service prompt. There are two service lines (one starting at each entrance), but only one was open at 10:00 pm.
The seating area became quite crowded, as other people took advantage of unused chairs to view Fantasmic!. It was an excellent viewing spot for the show, and I would advise anyone who can wait that late for dinner to do the same. The umbrellas were closed for better viewing. The River Belle Terrace is also open for breakfast, offering "Mickey" pancakes, scrambled eggs, fruit, meats and pastries.
One area where Disneyland suffers a little in comparison to Walt Disney World (in our opinion) is dining. With the new menu at the River Belle Terrace, Disneyland comes just a bit closer to the dining opportunities in the Magic Kingdom. The food is tasty, hearty and offers some fairly healthy choices.
About the Author: Kath Davis is the executive director for a non-profit youth orchestra in southern California. Her husband Randy telecommutes all over America and Asia. He enjoys researching restaurants!
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