Thursday, June 23, 2011

laissez les bon temps rouler

Lately I've been going to Downtown Disney and skipping the park entirely! Maybe it's the summer crowds, maybe I'm trying to avoid my crankiness - but there's lots of fun to be had right outside the park!

Since my family also loves Disney it was an easy choice to have Sunday brunch at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. They have a take-out space at Downtown Disney for quick meals, and the sit down restaurant is right next door.

It's a beautiful two story space, with lots of themed out rooms and a huge interior courtyard. It makes you feel like you've stepped right into New Orleans.

They offer a Sunday brunch with live jazz inside and second terrace seating outside. It's actually lovely to sit and watch the Disney crowds filter in on a Sunday morning.

The food here is great, creole (one of our family faves), warm, comforting and full of soul. Adults can order things like Gumbo, Shrimp and Grits - I chose the Crab Cakes Egg Benedict. Good lord was that rich, and oh so delicious! Definitely a Sunday brunch treat. Meanwhile, the kids were treated to their very own buffet!

The boys couldn't be more excited. They love to choose their own food and when it's a breakfast buffet, I know I'll get my money's worth. (Adults can get the kids buffet also for a slightly higher fee.)

They had the standard: pancakes, eggs and bacon - but they also had lunch items such as cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and some of the best cajun fries you'll ever have.

The kicker? They offered on the spot COTTON CANDY. *I* was dying let alone the kids, but I restrained myself since it was for the little ones. (I didn't even tell him to use that cotton candy to block his face, my cousin said he's probably just used to taking pictures like that now, ha!) Topping off a breakfast with cotton candy is not the healthiest end of a meal, but remember you are at the Happiest Place on Earth...or just outside.

The brunch also offers up magicians to come by your table and these guys are good - you have to be to do close up slight of hand. The kids were in awe, or perhaps they were sugar stunned by all the cotton candy I let them have. Hm. Who's to say.

On the regular menu they had some great desserts but one stood out: beignets. You simply can't have a Nawlin's style meal without them. Perfectly fried, warm and COVERED in powdered sugar they are one of my favorite things. Luckily the take-out next door also offers them, in a bag for you to shake violently and dust the puffy dough all by yourself. Just...if you're wearing black be forewarned.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen is a lot of fun and has great Creole comfort food. It's a perfect stop before you enter the madness of the parks. And where else can the Baby have a cheeseburger in one hand...and cotton candy in the other. Yikes. Maybe we should go on an all veggie diet for a while...

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
1590 South Disneyland Drive
Downtown Disney
714-776-5200
www.rbjazzkitchen.com

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