*The DIS publishes reviews of meals that we pay for. We only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts. We receive no outside compensation for our dining experiences so that we may give our honest opinions about price and value.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy breakfast overlooking the Rivers of America while you take in the peaceful splendor of the Mark Twain Riverboat serenely moving by as you leisurely start your day at Disneyland. Doesn’t that sound peaceful? I sure thought so! Tyler and I decided to try out the new breakfast menu over at River Belle Terrace to see how it stacks up compared to the other breakfast options available at the park.
This iconic Disneyland establishment has been through some major changes in the past couple years, becoming a full table service restaurant and introducing a new breakfast menu. Just walking up to this grand Southern-style building will leave you in awe with lean columns soaring high, a crisp white facade, and wide open terrace.
The interior is what I would imagine a vintage garden room would look like in a mansion down south — simple white chairs and tables accented with a little color by the cushions and cloth napkins. Elegant white chandeliers adorned with pink roses, pastel ceiling molding, and floral wallpaper are just the start of what makes this interior so classic. The redesigned booths add a more spacious vibe, which was much needed. The stained glass window adds to the charm, along with the wide open widows surrounding the main room which add an inviting atmosphere.
The terrace has picturesque views of Frontierland, Adventureland, and New Orleans Square. Fringed umbrellas are all over the patio to help guests stay out of the sun and enjoy their meal. I love sitting out on the terrace listening to the hustle and bustle of guests walking by, watching the Sailing Ship Columbia and Mark Twain sail by, and watching people on the canoe paddle by as I gorge myself.
A Southern-inspired menu ranging from $9 to an astonishing $21 is a comfort foodie’s dream come true! The Monkey Bread served in a skillet became a popular choice, so we knew we had to get it. The only dilemma we had was the allergy menu. Going into this breakfast, I already had a bad feeling that I wasn’t going to have a lot of options. When we sat down, I was shocked that there wasn’t a single item on the menu that was gluten friendly. Thanks to our server, who let me know that they did have one option: gluten-free pancakes.
First up, the Monkey Bread. “Warm and Buttery Sweet Bread” mixed with cinnamon, maple syrup, and candied pecans served over pecan butter in a skillet topped with a butter cream. It really is a must-try dish. You can either share it or have it for yourself, but either way you are going to love this. On your first bite it will feel like a big warm hug of happiness for your taste buds.
Tyler wasn’t sure what he wanted to order for his entrée until he saw the Short Rib Skillet listed at the top. He knew then and there that was what he was going to have. Slow-cooked short rib served with a bed of O’Brien-style potatoes (with peppers and onions), thick Texas toast, and topped with sunny side-up eggs. This dish will have you full and ready and to start the day. The short rib was tender and smokey paired with the perfectly seasoned potatoes. The eggs were prepared to perfection with a runny yolk that oozed and covered all the potatoes on the bottom. Because the eggs are cooked sunny side-up, the egg whites were not completely set and still clear, which Tyler wasn’t a big fan of and now knows for next time, where he will ask them to cook it over easy so the whites are fully cooked. The dish, as a whole, was outstanding and the seasoning was impeccable. The only criticism he had was, for $19, this should have had more meat than loading the whole skillet with potatoes.
The gluten-friendly pancakes were served with bacon, seasonal berries, whipped butter, and maple syrup. When looking at the plate the pancakes were cooked golden brown and the fruit looked fresh and had a vibrant color. Unfortunately, these were the worst pancakes I have ever had on Disney property. The pancake was flat and had no lift, bland, and had a texture of congealed cooked oatmeal that was left out all day. This was by far the most disappointing dish for breakfast. The fruit was sweet and delicious and the bacon was the normal Disney paper bacon, cooked where there was a little crunch to it. I am sure the normal pancakes are delicious and are worth the price, but regrettably, this dish was not worth $15.
The service was outstanding and the timing for the food delivery was superb. Our server was vigilant and came to make sure our coffee and water cups were filled. Hands down, the coffee at River Belle Terrace has been the best coffee I have found in Disneyland. Sorry, Starbucks isn’t included since they are not owned by Disney. Rich, smooth, and dark were the notes to best describe this coffee! At other locations, the coffee I have found has been weak and bitter. You can’t beat the riverfront views while enjoying breakfast either. Surprising enough the restaurant was quiet and had very few tables filled. These prices are a little high for the amount of food you get, but again, we were in a theme park. Tyler enjoyed both of his dishes and can’t wait to try more menu items down the road.