The Unvegan

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Yargh! at the Blue Bayou

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Gumbo with Dumbo.

If you’ve ever ridden the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, you may have noticed the restaurant next to the beginning of the ride, where diners ignore the people in pirate boats heading towards certain pirate doom. On my last trip to the happiest place on earth, I found myself not in one of those boats, but instead as one of those bystanders in the restaurant called Blue Bayou. In a land of ceaseless twilight, Blue Bayou can be found in the French District of Disneyland and serves up New Orleans-style food.

Although we had made reservations two months in advance, we realized we had to eat earlier in order to make it to World of Color. We only had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated, and then were brought into the world of Blue Bayou. Our waiter was friendly and told us the story of the southern mansion we were dining at, which was quite thrilling.

I was overdosing a bit on beef from having a steak the night before and a burger for lunch, so I skipped over the beefy items and set my eyes on the chicken. Their chicken was called Tesoro Island Chicken. It was cooked in pan au jus and came with Blue Bayou potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Despite my hatred for vegetables of any season, there were no other options on the menu to switch them out for, so when I ordered I made no move to change things up. On top of these, the chicken came with my choice of chicken gumbo or salad. I went for the gumbo, of course, and then waited for mah suthun meal tah be brought out tah me.

First came the gumbo, which tasted like the offspring of awesome and soup. I mean I guess you can call it soup, but it’s really much thicker than your average soup and packed with rice, chicken and good flavor.

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Back off, carrot, or I’ll sic a pirate upon ye.

Post-gumbo came my chicken, which looked just great. I was especially glad to see that my seasonal vegetable gamble had paid off and my plate was only tainted by three random vegetables that had no impact upon my real food. I cut into the chicken and found it to be juicy and great-tasting. It was surrounded in a light sauce that made everything it touched taste even better. The potatoes were sliced like au gratin and were creamy, but not really in a cheesy way, just in a “these potatoes are creamy” way. The only downside of the main course was that a couple times I bit into my chicken and met with an overwhelming amount of salt. And I love salt…like a lot…so if I think something is killing me with salt, you can believe it’s true. I’m not sure what happened to these random bites, but it didn’t ruin the overall pleasure of the meal.

After all, while the meal was pretty good, it can hardly compare to the atmosphere of the Blue Bayou. I mean where else in Southern California can you eat a southern meal at a southern mansion where it is always dusk and there are pirates raiding the Caribbean just down the river from you.