Paradise Garden Grill introduced a new BBQ-centric menu at Disney California Adventure for the summer, so we had to stop by and try some of the new dishes.
You can get a St. Louis-style grilled chicken, a North Carolina-style BBQ pulled pork sandwich, or a Kansas City-style BBQ spare ribs entrée. The family platter includes all three plus all the side dishes, so we went with that. The new Impossible BBQ Burger is not included in the platter.
Impossible BBQ Burger – $13.99
BBQ Seasoned Plant Based Patty, Vinegar Slaw, Crispy Onions and Jalapeños with Plant Based Pickles, Onions and Potato Salad
It’s a fairly standard burger with a touch of barbecue sauce, coleslaw, and fried jalapeños. The vegetable potato salad is fine, a bit banal, but not inedible.
There’s nothing wrong with the meal, and if you’re looking for a change from the regular Impossible Burgers at the park, this is a good choice.
Family Picnic Platter – $64.99
Grill half a chicken
Roast half chicken marinated in beer
It was a sweeter rub than expected but not uncomfortable. Coating it with BBQ seasoning doesn’t make it a delicious grilled chicken, however. Overall, all of these meats lacked the smoky richness that grilling brings. Since we have a restaurant that does nothing but grill, we expected a little more from it.
Grilled pulled pork
The pork itself is unremarkable, but paired with the vinegar-based barbecue sauce makes this one of the better entrees on the platter. This is also available as a sandwich if ordered separately and seems like it would be better on a sandwich with coleslaw and a fresh bun than on its own.
Pork Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce
The barbecue sauce is baked into the ribs while they’re done, making them gooey and sweet. It’s hearty, meaty ribs that satisfy but don’t amaze.
The clear favorite of all types of meat on the plate. Not quite smoky, but flavorful and tastes more like we’ve come to expect from barbecue. It was clearly grilled, and that helps add some crunch and texture to the sausage. It hides a subtle hint of spice that isn’t overpowering but is still there. We liked this meat best. It can be ordered as an insert for $6.99.
Poblano Mac & Cheese
Macaroni with homemade Gruyère, cheddar and mozzarella cheese sauce and poblano peppers
Chuck wagon beans
Baked beans with pork belly and ham shank
These are some of the most unique baked beans we’ve ever had. A combination of pinto beans, black beans and bean puree simmered together with spices makes for a unique dining experience. Not exactly what you would expect from a baked bean dish, but something all of its own. They are very enjoyable and their uniqueness takes it to the next level to make it a memorable dish. You can get this alone for $4.99 and we’d come back to that again.
with eggs and bacon
The bacon potato salad is an eye-catcher. It’s hearty and creamy and packed with bacon and hard-boiled eggs. This feels like a potato salad you’d eat at a hometown picnic rather than at a quick-serve window at a theme park. We thoroughly enjoyed this potato salad and wish it was appetizer sized. You can order it separately for $4.99.
Of all the sides on the family plate, this one was the weakest. It’s not unpleasant, but the other sites were uniquely good, while this one fails to shine. It’s okay, and it might be more appropriate on a pulled pork sandwich than as a side dish on its own.
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
Surprisingly good, especially for an amusement park. Cornbread is often far too dry and monotonous in taste, but this cornbread is moist and delicious, almost like a pie. The addition of jalapeños and a bit of cheese goes a long way in mixing things up and adding some variety, spice, and surprise to the old standby.
No-Bake Cheesecake with Glazed Cherries
This cheesecake is surprisingly light. It’s fluffy, almost like whipped cream on a graham cracker crust. The canned cherry sauce brings a touch of acidity that’s welcome but wouldn’t be lacking if left out.
Watch our full video review below.
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