Hollywood Brown Derby located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as of 12/2019) – This menu covers the top 8 common allergens (gluten/wheat, milk/dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish). Check with the restaurant for modifications and/or other special dietary needs.
*This dining experience took place in November 2015.
The Hollywood Brown Derby, located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, recalls the glamour and glitz of old Hollywood. Set to resemble the original Hollywood Brown Derby, you’d swear that Humphrey Bogart or Judy Garland might stroll into the restaurant at any moment. With swanky decor, this signature dining location is the perfect spot for dinner or a late lunch in Hollywood Studios.
On this particular occasion, I had dinner with a friend who was on vacation at Disney World. We both enjoy the Brown Derby, but it had been a very long time since I’d eaten at there. I was looking forward to getting their famous cobb salad (which is easily made gluten free and dairy free without the cheese) and to see what other options were available.
Upon arrival, I was given an allergy friendly menu to look over and was told I could speak with a chef if I had any additional questions. Immediately, I noticed that the cobb salad wasn’t listed as a gluten free or dairy free option. I did, however, notice they had crab cakes listed as both gluten and dairy free on the menu. After speaking with the server, I was told that they can make the salad safe, which made me very happy. So, we ended up ordering both the crab cakes and the salad as appetizers.
The crab cakes were quite delicious, and I was thrilled to see these as an option on the menu. Though pricey, I was glad I got to try them – though I probably wouldn’t order again due to the price. The sweet chili sauce on the plate were a perfect accompaniment to the crab cakes. So good!
Of course, the classic cobb salad is always outstanding here. It’s hands down my favorite dish at the Brown Derby. You can order an appetizer size or the full entree size which is a nice option. I often get the cobb salad and some GNI rolls for a more affordable meal at the Brown Derby. This may very well be my most favorite salad on Disney property!
For my entree, I ordered the Pan-seared Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Apricots, Baby Spinach, Chanterelles, Yukon Gold and Purple Potato Hash and served Cranberry Gastrique. This is marked gluten free on the menu but can be made dairy free, as well. I really enjoyed this dish, though I thought the pork was a bit too undercooked for my liking. If you do not like any pink in your pork, order it well done and not medium. The hash was probably my favorite part of this dish, along with the tangy cranberry gastrique. I’m not sure I’d order it again but was glad I tried it.
For dessert, I was given raspberry sorbet. I have to admit, the presentation of this was not very nice, given how nicely plated the rest of the meal was. It felt like a bit of an afterthought. It wasn’t anything special, just plain ‘ole sorbet.
Overall, I really enjoyed the meal at the Hollywood Brown Derby. The crab cakes and cobb salad were the highlights of the meal, and I would gladly order both of them again. You can read Gluten Free in Orlando’s review of the Brown Derby on her blog too for a gluten free only review.
Have you been to the Hollywood Brown Derby? What did you order there?
*This dining experience took place in May 2013.
|View from our booth…such a glamorous location!|
Lights! Camera! Action! Welcome back to the glamorous Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant. This has become a recent favorite of mine, and I was happy to head back here again for their famous cobb salad. It was a perfect meal for a hot summer day.
On this particular occasion, I brought my mom and stepdad with me as they had never been before. They also wanted to check out the cobb salad. Once seated, we waited for quite a long time (the longest I’ve ever waited in this location) for a server, let alone a chef. It was reasonably busy in there, but I’d been during busier times, so I was surprised at the lack of service. The server finally came over and said that he was waiting for the chef to come which is why he didn’t come over. Not perhaps the best thing to do, considering it was hot and we sure could have used a beverage, but no matter. At least the chef came out promptly after that and we were in business! Since I knew what I wanted, there wasn’t much discussion about the menu. I ordered the cobb salad with no blue cheese. The chef also asked me if I wanted to have the GNI brand rolls with olive oil. Since they know how to properly heat them at this location, I was happy to get them.
|Back of the menu|
While we waited for our drinks and rolls, we enjoyed looking around at the various caricatures. My mom was trying to find Lucille Ball (one of her favs), but we couldn’t find her. It is really cool to see all of the unique decor and it really feels like you are sitting in an old Hollywood restaurant.
The chef was extra generous with the rolls that day, so I had a lot to eat. I’ve never turned down a carb! They are very good with the extra virgin olive oil and thankfully, they stay nice and warm.
|I can eat a lot of bread, but I couldn’t make it through 4 rolls!|
Up next were our salads. Yum!! As usual, this was excellent. As someone with Crohn’s disease, I often have to avoid or limit my amount of fresh fruits and veggies and salad especially. But, the great news is that because this is so finely chopped up, my stomach doesn’t freak out when I eat it. That is excellent for me because I often crave salads and this one is one of my hands down favorites of all time. I love the avocado and the turkey and I especially love the dressing (which is naturally GF/DF!).
|Delicious Cobb Salad|
In addition to the cobb salad, the Brown Derby can also make lots of other great dishes gluten free & dairy free. It’s a wonderful location for special diets. Overall, I can’t say enough great things about this restaurant. It continues to be one of my favs. I really adore the salad and it’s reasonably priced too ($15). In the future, I hope to come back and try out some of the other dishes and seeing what wonderful dishes the chefs can whip up! This is a great place for a special occasion too!
A solid 8 out of 10 for this visit!
*This dining experience took place in November 2012. This also includes a gluten/dairy/soy free review in addition to my regular GF/DF reviews.
Ah the Hollywood Brown Derby. The name harkens back to the golden age of Hollywood when famous movie stars frequented the restaurant of the same name in California. I’ve long wanted to visit the Brown Derby, but never have mostly because I wasn’t always wowed by the menu options. I had heard great things about the Cobb Salad, but since it was an appetizer I didn’t think it would be worth the trip. Oh how wrong I was! I met up with a friend to celebrate their birthday. They love the Brown Derby and have been many times, so I was looking forward to the meal after hearing them rave about it.
|Menu at the Brown Derby|
The first thing I noticed when we arrived was that this restaurant feels more upscale–like California Grill or Jiko. I joked that I felt like I needed to be dressed up, but it was true! I did. Of course, everyone one else was in casual wear, so I didn’t feel out of place in jeans and a t-shirt. But, it would be really neat to go here with everyone dressed up to the nines. Tables in Wonderland could totally do an event like that!
|Wall of caricatures|
|Dining room in the Brown Derby|
After being seated, we were greeted by the chef who was very friendly and helpful. He was basically happy to help tweak any dish we might want. I was excited about that! For the appetizers he said he could Andouille-crusted prawn but without the grits. Which means he’d have to sub something out. The cobb salad is gluten, dairy, and soy free after removing the blue cheese. My friend who is soy free thought he’d have to do oil and vinegar on the side, but the dressing turned out to be OK for him. For entrees, he said the charred beef filet would be easy to modify (but I don’t eat beef) and he said the risotto didn’t have dairy in it (which I’ll be honest, I didn’t believe). The grouper was an easily modified option as was the pork chop. He said the salmon dish would be a nightmare to change (so I think that means no GF soy sauce on hand). Both myself and my dining guest decided to get the cobb salad since it comes as an entree choice. My friend also ordered a side of french fries (because they don’t use soybean oil in the fryers–they use canola oil there) and ketchup. The chef said he could make a more interesting dipping sauce if we wanted. He offered to make a truffle mayonnaise. I also asked about dessert options and he said he’d work with the bakery to create something. I said I wanted something chocolate. He first mentioned creme brulee but I had to remind him that it’s dairy (though he said the bakery could create some crazy allergy friendly things, I just wasn’t comfortable with that).
First up, we were brought some rolls with extra virgin olive oil. The rolls were the GNI brand rolls. I will say that they were really warm and soft, as opposed to the dry mess that I’ve had at a few locations. My guess is that it has to do with the way it’s heated (the ones at Liberty Tree Tavern were like sawdust and were the same rolls!). I will say they aren’t horrible this way, but not great either. I still prefer the Udis. I hope that in the future they are able to balance out the bread vendor changes. It feels like a guessing game at every restaurant I go to! 🙂
|GNI Brand Rolls|
Next up came our salads. Now as someone with Crohn’s Disease I have to be very careful with salad. It can really give me a doozy of a stomach-ache. Part of it is that my body has a hard time digesting crunchy veggies. However, I was really excited to see that the lettuce was chopped super fine and that their was an abundance of toppings that balanced out the lettuce. They put the dressing on the side for us and we mixed it in. The salad was amazing! I loved it as did my friend. We were both chowing down. I love the texture of the salad where everything is minced. The flavor was great and the dressing was excellent. This was a new fav for me. I will say too that I actually didn’t get much of a stomach-ache at all, which means it’s a good salad option for me on those rare occasions when I want a salad. Sooo good! The toppings were excellent too. I adored the avocado mash on it. Of course, I love all things avocado, but this was a great fit to the meal and nicer than just chopped avocado pieces.
|Entree Cobb Salad|
Next up came the french fries. I definitely got to sample them, even though it was not my order. OMG I loved the truffle mayonnaise!! So good. If you like truffle oil, you would like this. My friend isn’t a fan of the truffle oil, so they didn’t enjoy it (it has a very earthy taste to it). In fact, they didn’t finish all of the fries, so I got to really enjoy the truffle mayonnaise. Later after talking to the chef, it turned out that they made the mayonnaise from scratch. They keep Hellmann’s on hand which has soy in it. So, they made it soy free by making a batch themselves. That was a great touch and really lent to the velvety rich texture of the truffle mayo. It was also nice that they took an off the menu creation and really did a nice job to make it right.
|French fries and homemade truffle mayonnaise|
Next up came dessert. The chef said that the bakery put together a flour-less chocolate cake, strawberry/mango sorbet, and fresh berries with dark chocolate. They also included a gorgeous piece of chocolate tuile that was spray painted with hot pink edible paint. It was gorgeous! I really enjoyed this dessert. Again, they really took the time to make something a little different, rather than just dumping a piece of flour-less chocolate cake on a plate and charging me $9 for it (this particular dessert cost $9). I really appreciate it when restaurants make something a little different because so often we just get something pre-packaged or plain. It was also quite tasty. The flour-less cake was good, dense but delicious. I really enjoyed the flavors of the mixed sorbet. Yum! The raspberries with chocolate on it was a nice touch too (they really listened when I said I would like chocolate) and the chocolate tuile was divine! It looked almost too pretty to eat…almost!
|Flourless chocolate cake, strawberry/mango sorbet, fresh berries with chocolate and chocolate tuile|
Overall, I was really pleased with this meal. I enjoyed the ambiance at the Brown Derby–it was a gorgeous restaurant that really transported you back to Hollywood in the 1940’s. I waited for Lana Turner, Judy Garland, and Clark Gable to come through the doors! The food was excellent and the accommodation for food allergies was very good. I like it when chefs are willing to go above and beyond and make your experience exceptional. This was a good example of that. I would definitely head back again, especially for that cobb salad!
A solid 9 out of 10 for on my first trip. A definite must-do again.
|A view of the servers and the bar area|