The Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure Park is in the Pacific Wharf area. Disney lists it as featuring “American, Californian Cuisine” and as “Quick Service”, meaning, in this case, you order your food at a counter and take your tray of food out to the table area. The café’s average meals are listed as “$” ($14.99 and under per adult).
All of the dining area tables are outdoors, but one of the nicest features of this eatery is that there are a few tables alongside the “Dock” of “Paradise Bay”. If you are able to get a table there, you sit next to the railing overlooking a nice “bay” that has various ducks and gulls swimming and begging for a hand-out. You also have a great scenic view of a good portion of the park and it’s a nice place to kick back and people watch. There aren’t many tables along the “dock”, but grab one if you can.
My wife and I have eaten lunch here about five times now (they have a small breakfast menu as well) and we have always ordered either turkey or roast beef sandwiches ($8.99). They have always been very good – the rolls, meat and fixings are always nice and fresh, and we have always enjoyed them and not been disappointed in the least.
However, on our last visit, while my wife opted for the turkey sandwich, I decided to try a “bowl” of soup. It had been a bit chilly and a nice bowl of clam chowder sounded good. However, since the Pacific Wharf Café features San Francisco’s Boudin Bakery goods (there’s a bakery connected to the café that you can take a tour of), as the Disney website states it, “all of our soups and salads are served in that beloved Boudin bread bowl, made from a sourdough recipe that’s been a close-guarded family secret since 1849.” In other words, the soup is served in a nice round-loaf of sourdough bread that has had a circular chunk cut out of the center and the soup is ladled into the hollow with the piece of bread that was removed served on the side. It’s a serving idea that has been popular for a while.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this idea and this IS NOT a negative review in the least, just an observation. I know that most people really like the novelty of having their soup or salad served this way. However, personally, I am a much bigger fan of clam chowder than I am of bread. While the clam chowder was delicious and was New England style and nice and thick the way I like it, nearly perfect (plenty of clams an NO corn [yuk! Why do some people put corn in clam chowder?]), it was a rather small serving in my opinion. As good as the soup was I could have eaten a lot more. So I had to satisfy my hunger with the bread. Not that there was anything wrong with the bread at all. It was a very fresh loaf of delicious, soft sourdough. The crust wasn’t too hard and the bread didn’t have that overpowering “tangy” taste that some sourdoughs have. Great bread! But, again, I like soup and have never been a big bread eater. I suppose the way you could eye-ball measure the amount of soup in the “bowl” would be to look at the size of the piece of bread that is removed and figure that about ½ to ⅔ of the volume of the excised bread is how much soup you will get. So now I know.
So the two big questions: Would we eat there again and would I recommend it? Yes to both! The sandwiches are delicious and satisfying, the sourdough bread is great and if you can get a table next to the “dock” and “bay” the atmosphere is terrific. This is actually one of our favorite and most consistently good places to eat.
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