Just because Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby is one of the expensive restaurants in Walt Disney World, it should not deter you from going there before or after a runDisney event. We found its most famous meal is a great affordable way to enjoy the restaurant and atmosphere for healthy food and carbs. It is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park. Make a reservation for an affordable lunch, to ensure quick seating. The restaurant is decorated with caricatures of famous people of the early years of the 1900’s. The waiter and staff, dressed in tuxedos are friendly and polite. They seated us immediately, treating us like royalty, even though we were dressed in shorts and t-shirts.
If we had been using your money, we would have started with an appetizer like the – Crispy Phyllo Napoleon of Bleu Affine with wild mushroom duxelles, grilled portobello, golden chanterelles, with a fig reduction for $11.00. We may have followed the appetizer with a delicious, spit-roasted, American Bison over wilted locally grown winter greens, tossed in an herb-shallot vinaigrette, with roasted fingerling potatoes and a cocoa espresso barbecue sauce for $38.00. But we did not see you, so we ordered the original Cobb Salad while sitting in the Disney replica of the original Brown Derby Restaurant. The Cobb Salad is a $15.00 entree, which is large enough for two to split. There were three of us, so we ordered two salads to split.
After we ordered, the waiter brought us a complimentary basket of bread. Classic water rolls with salted butter. The waiter cradled it like a baby, something warm, precious and fragile. It was swaddled, warm and toasty, the golden buns peeking from under the covers. We smothered the buns in butter. We sat eating free bread, being served by one of the finest waiters anywhere, waiting for our salad. We gorged on this wonderful bread. When the bread basket was empty, I began to cry, so they brought another. When the baskets began to pile up, I started hiding them under the table.
I was quite content with the free hot buttery bread. Then they brought the Cobb Salads. The story we heard is that the Cobb Salad came about in the 1930s at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, where it became a signature dish. It is named for the restaurant’s owner, Robert Howard Cobb. The legend is that Cobb had not eaten and it was near midnight. He had unexpected company, so he mixed together leftovers he found in the kitchen, along with some bacon, and tossed it with dressing.
The Cobb Salad is made with lettuce, tomato, turkey, bacon, avocado, egg, chives and crumbled bleu cheese, then served with the Hollywood Brown Derby’s Old Fashioned French Dressing. The ingredients were finely chopped and then tossed together at our table. The taste was incredible. The salad was a low calorie option for Disney World, but it would be hard to estimate the calories that have been consumed from the hot bread and butter. The Cobb Salad is highly recommended.
A second Brown Derby Restaurant opened on Valentine’s Day in 1929 at North Vine Street in Hollywood. This was the location that played the greater part in Hollywood history. Due to its proximity to movie studios, it became the place to do deals and be seen by Hollywood stars. Clark Gable is said to have proposed to Carole Lombard there. Rival gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper are recorded as regular patrons.
In “Hollywood at Last”, one of the first of the Hollywood episodes of I Love Lucy, Lucy (Lucille Ball), Ethel (Vivian Vance), and Fred (William Frawley) have lunch at the Brown Derby. During the episode, the trio dines in a booth with Eve Arden on one side and William Holden (who orders a Cobb Salad) on the other. This leads to the famous disaster scene in which Lucy inadvertently causes a waiter to hit Holden in the face with a pie.
Hopefully, you will soon visit Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant and get to enjoy the Famous Cobb Salad with the equally awaited free bread.