Next up on the Walt Disney World foodie tour is The Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. It is a reproduction of the famous eatery on the West Coast.
Our reservation had fortuitous timing because a sudden downpour and lightning storm hit, relentlessly drenching the area as we enjoyed the comfort of the restaurant and had lunch. We have two big reservations today so there was no breakfast and we’ll have at least 10 miles of walking. Still, this is the most food I’ve probably ever eaten in a single day, Thanksgiving included.
After The Brown Derby, we’ll spend the day in the Hollywood Studio theme park until tonight, when we have dinner reservations at a place in The Grand Floridian resort, followed by some shopping time in The Magic Kingdom since we were only there briefly yesterday evening. It’s definitely a lot but we’re up to it. We had originally planned on attending Fantasmic, the water show, but with the rain, we decided to forego the tickets for now. There should be many more opportunities in the future to see it (God willing) and it’s important to get everything else in the agenda. One would think a week here would be enough; hardly. There is just too much, and we aren’t even doing the big time commitments, like shows or golf.
Appetizers at The Brown Derby Restaurant
Entrees at The Brown Derby Restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
This is where it gets interesting. My duck main dish was terrible. But I’m not sure whether it was terrible in an absolute sense, or whether I’m suffering from the contrast principle bias. The last time I recall having duck was on May 15th, when Aaron, Jimmy, Diana, and I had dinner at the Harvest Moon Inn in Ringoes, New Jersey. That duck was one of the best conceived duck recipes, and best executed duck dishes, I had ever enjoyed. This duck paled in comparison to it. The meat on the left was chewy and flavorless, the meat on the right scorched to the point the duck was so sharp it almost cut my mouth. Then, the weird part: The sweet potato mash made my tongue go numb.
But one of the best waiters I’ve ever had – a guy named Darren – made the experience incredibly enjoyable and everyone else loved their food. So I’m thinking maybe the problem was not the restaurant but, instead, the dish. I would never order it again.
Surprise Birthday Chocolate Mouse at The Brown Derby
Dessert at The Brown Derby
After the surprise chocolate mousse, the official desserts we ordered off the menu were brought to the table.
Value for the Money and Review
My review for The Brown Derby is mixed. Lunch for the four of us came to around $290.00 (roughly $240 for the food plus a $50 or so tip). Had I enjoyed the duck main dish, I would have unquestionably come back. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. As I said before, our waiter, Darren, was great and the small things he did, such as the surprise birthday photo and extra dessert, were great. If my main dish had been the filet or something else, I would have probably enjoyed The Brown Derby a lot more than I did but I can’t get over the fact that the duck wasn’t just mediocre, it was terrible. But strip out the duck, and I loved it. You’ll have to draw your own conclusions on this one.