Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.
We open at EPCOT in Walt Disney World.
This restaurant is located above another French restaurant, Chefs de France and pays tribute to Paul Bocuse, quite possibly the world’s first celebrity chef. Bocuse gets that recognition because he was the first chef to put his name on his own restaurant.
Monsieur Paul offers authentic French cuisine.
Let’s go inside.
The lobby leads to…
Disney calls the main interior color “cranberry.”
Here’s a menu posted online…
How about we see the Rouget Atlantique en écailles de pommes de terre, fenouil, sauce romarin- Red snapper in potato “scales”, braised fennel, rosemary sauce.
A perfect presentation.
Monsieur Paul is one of Disney’s “signature” restaurant, clearly elegant and expensive.
Oh there are more places in Disney World to get simpler fare…
But Disney for decades now has significantly expanded their dining options in a response to overwhelming demands by theme park visitors who tired of the same old same old.
The current cosmopolitan variety wasn’t always the case.
Check out this old menu from the Red Wagon Inn located in Disneyland.
Steak, ham, turkey, pork chops, spaghetti.
The trend carried over to much of Disney World in Florida with a few, but only a few exceptions.
The Top of the World restaurant on top of the Contemporary Resort the way it looked a long, long time ago.
Pretty tame compared to the restaurant there now, The California Grill.
Here’s another great example. The Hollywood Derby inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios then…
Disney parks and hotels have come a long way, and I love the myriad of dining choices.
However the explosion of adventurous options has led a California newspaper reporter to delve into whether it’s too much.
Can food be as much of an attraction at a theme park as roller coasters, flume rides and musical shows?
The often-long lines for Dole Whips and Butterbeers suggest that food can draw crowds just like a park’s rides and shows. But not everyone wants something fancy or unique when visiting the parks. For many theme parks fans, food is nothing more than fuel to get through the day, and they want to see familiar and comforting options on the menu.
That difference of opinion is driving a conflict that simmers among theme park fans. How ambitious should theme parks be with their food and beverage menus?
Prompting the debate is a menu recently announced for “Woody’s Lunch Box” quick-service restaurant opening in June at Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
It’s all quite a bit fancier than the peanut butter or bologna sandwiches I had in my lunch box as a kid.
Which some fans suspect might be a problem. After the announcement, fans posted on Twitter and Facebook their fears that other Disney visitors would complain about the menu, forcing Disney to abandon it in favor of the mundane burgers and chicken strips served at so many other theme park eateries.
To me that makes absolutely no sense. If folks are that fearful then they should be going to social media and praising the Disney empire rather than worrying all over their keyboards.
Let’s be real. The “ambitious” food agenda at Disney has long been out of the genie’s lamp. There is no turning back.
And if someone can’t tolerate a S’mores-inspired French toast sandwich or Monte Cristo, there’s an abundance of more typical theme park food waiting just a short walk away.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES