Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Disney Reviews: Restaurant Edition #15 - Hollywood Brown Derby

This is gonna be a weird one. You see, I'm not really a fan of the Brown Derby, but my Sister definitely is. It's always been a hit or miss place for me, sometimes the food has been good, sometimes not, sometimes the service has been good, sometimes not. My Sister (who is not usually the creature of habit that I am and likes to try new things) always gets pretty much the same thing...the cobb salad and she LOVES it. So I guess this will be another dedication to my Sister.

The Hollywood Brown Derby is located in Disney's Hollywood Studios and is modeled after the original Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant that was famous in old Hollywood.
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I always loved the topiaries outside though:

The inside is filled with caricatures of old and new Hollywood:
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and a guest book signed by stars:
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The caricatures continue inside to the seating area (which is incredibly noisy because it's so big and open):
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Hidden Mickey alert!
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LOVE these bowler hat lights (I don't know what my fascination with Disney lighting is):

Last year was a good year in both food and server (but that could have also been attributed to the four white sangrias I had to get through the experience...I always dread Brown Derby):
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crappy picture, but you can also get the cobb salad in appetizer form:
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Cobb salad as entree:
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And our server cutting it up for Am:
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That was a big bunch of pictures because there were four of us. I NEVER go to Brown Derby when I go solo, so I've got nothing from October of last year, but 2012's experience was the food was just OK (for me) and the service sucked (I swear the guy took his break in the middle of our meal).

Appetizers (and yes, I got the exact same one as 2013 and double yes, that is exactly one shrimp):
Am went with the cobb appetizer that year:


They are famous for their grapefruit cake...I've had it several times and am never impressed. It's edible, but it's not what you would think it is, it's dry and very bitter like they used too much rind or something and no amount of sweet icing can fix it, but 2012's was better than previous years:

In 2010, to keep from waiting FOREVER for a table so we chose to eat on the outside terrace (even though we had a reservation - and Disney reservations aren't your typical reservations, you're just guaranteed a table if you arrive within your window, there is no guarantee you will get seated in your window, so even if you get there on time, you still may have to wait upwards of an hour or so to be seated...it has happened to us). Eating outside in Florida heat is just plain stupid and I won't do that again. This might have been the worst year for service and food...I complained the entire meal which pissed Am off and it was just overall a crappy meal. Other than Am getting the cobb appetizers, we had no other appetizers or desserts this year and neither one of us could get out of there fast enough. Ironically, this is the area they turned into the outside bar area (that you don't need ressies for), so it's not there anymore.
Can you tell if she was upset with me or our slow-ass waitress? Probably a combination of both.

I did manage to find ways around going there for a few years after serious begging (Mama Melrose is a good argument for change since it's so good), but there are more years worth of pictures, again, some meals were good and some were bad. Overall, considering the past two years have been good, I'm not so hesitant to go there in the future (and I can guarantee, when I go with my sister, we WILL be going there), so I guess that's a good thing!

Oh, and it is a Signature restaurant, so it takes two dining credits (another mark against it in my book because it's not worth two credits), but the new outside bar, where you can get some of the inside menu items (including the cobb salad) without having to waste dining credits, might make it better. I probably wouldn't mind it so much if we could treat it like a counter service instead of a two credit (and expensive) dining experience.

Funny story though...one year Am and I weren't getting along too well on the afternoon of our Brown Derby ressie (I can't, for the life of me, remember why). While we were waiting, we decided to go to the bathroom (because a) women go to the bathroom in packs and b) I can't do anything by myself in Disney when I'm not by myself). Am had bought a Star Wars Darth Vader voice button (kind of like the Staples button, but you press it and Darth Vader's weeze comes out it...I have a Scar one that says "I'm surrounded by idiots" - it lives in my office at work and I hit it upon occasion when I'm being aggravated by idiots). So we're in the bathroom, both going about our "business", when all of a sudden, "whooo haaaa, whooo haaaa" fills the room! We both bust out laughing (as does the woman in the third stall) and whatever we were angry about was instantly forgotten. It's still a great memory and we sometimes randomly go "whooo haaaa, whooo haaaa" in public bathrooms (of course when no one else is around or else it would be weird!).


Mattysam said...

First dining ressie I made for my trip this year. Of course, you neglected to tell everyone that the last couple of times, we did this as part of the Fantasmic dinner package, so you didn't have to burn credits and I paid for the dinner package as a way of bribing you to eat there. See Keebles World followers...I'm not as evil and selfish as it may seem. I just want my damn Cobb salad. And if they serve it at the outdoor section now, you're free! Mama Melrose's it is. I like that too.

Linda said...

The restaurant is gorgeous.


curtis03 Lewis said...

Yeah dear, you are absolutely right that this brown derby restaurant is a good place for Hollywood venues and this beautiful place looks like old Hollywood restaurants. I will definitely visit there to get a chance to taste this famous cob salad.