Lunch at Brown Derby

We recently found ourselves at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with an appetite – we didn’t want “counter service” and we didn’t want large meals – solution… sharing appetizers from the Hollywood Brown Derby 🙂

We arrived around 2:00 without ADRs, and we seated immediately. It was cool & comfortable, not overly noisy either. Nora started with a beer from Unibroue, la fin du monde (bottled only, not on tap – tees pistoles was also available) and nick had a Kirin Ichiban (which he soon returned, the keg was “off” – replaced it with a Yeungling). Nora enjoyed hers throughout our “sampling.”

Our server was Ron and unfortunately, he was a bit slow with service. Took longer then seemed necessary to get our beverages, and our bread & butter took half-an-hour (food came out 3 minutes after that = bad show Brown Derby).

We ordered four of the six appetizers on the current menu (Nora’s quick descriptions: mushroom napoleon, shrimp & grits, crab springroll, and cake & brie).


Feuilles de Brick Napoleon of Blue Affine - with wild mushroom duxelle, griled portobello, golden chanterelles, and a fig reduction

Nick detected an herb whose flavor he didn’t like, it put him off the napolean. Nora just didn’t find anything interesting or outstanding about it. On the other hand, the small bit of blue cheese accompanying the napolean was excellent (a bit strong & salty – yum).


Andouille-crusted Prawn - over a black diamond cheddar grits wilted greens and ancho oil

Note… this is shrimp (singular) and grits. Nora thought that the flavors were good, a bit salty even for the salt maniac, the breading on the shrimp was crispy and flavorful, the cheese grits and garlic slivers were well liked, and the small bits of sauteed sausage were tasty. Nick didn’t like the breading on the shrimp, again some unidentifiable herb; he did like the flavors of the greens, sausage, and garlic combined.


Blue Lump Crab Spring Rolls - snow crab claw and a Asian slaw with spicy miso aioli

We both thought that the springroll itself was bland, although the filling was light (as it should be, however the crab was undetectable). Also, Nora thought that it was oily. There was a dingle king crab claw – Nora thought it wasn’t overcooked but it was over-salted. The slaw’s they accompanied the springroll was the only standout. It was light and crunchy, we’d eat this again (note: no green peppers in the slaw).


Brie, Midnight Moon and Prosciutto Cake with Tete de Moine Petals, and an olive-roasted vegetable salad

The standout of  this appetizer was the “cake” – nora even requested a copy of the recipe from the chef. Nora describes the cake as “cheesy” with hints of roasted onions; the crumb is more like anadama bread or cake than what you usually get with bread. By the way: the flavors explode with a swallow of beer. Nick’s description of this appetizer is more detailed: the black olives are reminiscent of the olives on the vegetarian platter at Tangierine Cafe in Morrocco; the green olives are nothing special (we didn’t eat all of these); the bread is slightly savory, don’t love it, but there’s something appealing about it that makes me way to take another bite.

All-in-all, we enjoyed our “lunch” of beer and appetizers. While none of these dishes made us say “wow, I want to eat that again!” … each of them had a particularly good component. We hope that the chefs at Walt Disney World continue to improve and refine the food choices.

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