Disney-MGM Studios, Lake Buena Vista, FL | Directions 3283028.559101 -81.469641
Neighborhoods: Pine Hills
This was the 1st time I have eaten at Disney's Brown Derby and from the looks of the place you'd expect great food and service. I felt they have become complacent, because the service here was awful!
Our reservation was for 4, 2 adults and 2 kids (9 & 10). We ordered filet mignon all around, and I have to say that it was fantastic!. So was the ambiance! Our server, however, an older mexican man, was nice when it came to taking our orders, but the food was served by someone else, and we never did see our server again. With kids, accidents happen, and when our grandson dropped his fork we need a replacement. I tried to get our server's attention a few times, but that didn't work out. I finally gave up and gave my grandson a fork from another table. It's not that he was busy, he wasn't. He never even came to refresh the kids drinks, or ask if I wanted another glass of wine. When it came time for taking our dessert order he was there in an instant, but by that time my wife was disgusted with him, so I simply asked for the check. I put my disney credit card down to pay, and my wife put a penny down on top (she had never ever done that before so I know she was disgusted), and she wrote a note to the server regarding his bad service. When you get an older experienced server, you can usually expect it to be spot on service. It just wasn't there. I don't blame the server alone, shame on disney for allowing this complacency!
The food is good, so I would return if I ever come to WDW again, but I will tell the lead person in management of this experience so disney can have the opportunity to correct it.
Hollywood and Vine Comes To Florida – Go back to those days of 1926 when the Brown Derby appeared on the corner of Hollywood and Vine and a generation of Californians fell in love with owner Bob Cobb’s Cobb salad.
In a real tribute to Tinsel Town, Disney has recreated the furnishings and décor of the original restaurant, complete with 1,500 celebrity caricatures covering the walls. Yet, you only have to stare around the room at the loud tourists to get back to the reality of the 21st century. The glamour of Hollywood isn’t here.
This place is expensive, both lunch and dinner, but it is the best food in the park. The Cobb Salad is authentic. So is the even better grapefruit cake (not authentic)..
The menu is a broad mix of meat and seafood dishes, very few good for a low calorie diet. I selected the pan-fried Black Grouper swimming in a sea of roasted asparagus, but I was certainly tempted with their Colorado rack of lamb. Pork tenderloins, Florida seafood, and chicken dishes. There are a few token vegetarian offerings. It may be the only place in WDW with spaghetti squash, one of my favorites.
Please don’t take small kids to this place. They will be bored out of their wits and wandering the maze of tiered levels is invited an accident.
The Brown Derby is a good dining experience. I only wish they added a few Clark Gable and Jean Harlow look-alikes to make the atmosphere more exciting.
Quality Depends on Who's Cooking that Day? – We patronized this restaurant back in 2004. That was our first experience w/ the Hollywood Brown Derby. The dinner was very delicious. However, we returned this year (2008) and ate lunch at this same restaurant. Ick! I ordered the bbq chicken and it was WORST than the one I make at home (I am not a very good cook). It was evident that whoever was cooking that day, just brushed some bottled bbq sauce (preprocessed?) and baked the chicken. I had to lick the sauce off the chicken (which was easy to do since the sauce just sat lamely on top of the meat) to get any flavor from this meal!! I would go so far as to say that this dish was comparable to the school lunches my students are served at school.
1930's Hollywood steak and celeb spot reincarnated Disney style – The Scene
The theme park's representation of various Hollywood landmarks extends to its kitchens, too. The mundane waiting area cries out for a bar, but the barrel-vaulted banquet hall impresses with dark wood accents and a large, sunken dining area. Leather booths and tables for two surround the room on a raised dais. Walls are covered with copies of the original Brown Derby's black and white line portraits of Golden Age stars, moguls and movers (Gable, Goldwyn, Parsons). Service is attentive and eager.
The Cobb Salad was the original restaurant's contribution to culinary innovation, and here the finely chopped romaine, egg, avocado, chives, Roquefort and bacon are arranged in a bowl in parallel rows before being tossed by a smiling waiter. Other dishes are slight twists on steakhouse standards-most notably the basic New York strip steak with mashed bonito-but still well suited to the no-nonsense 1930s concept. For dessert choose the rich cheesecake.
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