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Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood Brown Derby

This is a light, slightly tart dessert.  Perfect for hot summer days or for the person who doesn’t care for overly sweet desserts. 

 If you don’t make it to The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, check Starring Rolls next door, you can get it “to go” there (most days).  If you’re not at Disney, you can make it yourself.

Hollywood Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 eggs (seperated)
  • 3 tbsp grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt into mixing bowl.  Make a well in center of dry ingredients.  add water, oil, egg yolks, grapefruit juice & lemon rind.  Beat until smooth.  Beat egg whites & cream of tartar in seperate bowl until whites are stiff but not dry.  Gradually pour egg yolk mixture over whites, folding gently with a rubber spatula until just blended.  Do not stir the mixture.  Pour into an ungreased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes ur until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Invert pan on cake rack until cool.  Run spatula around edge of cake and carefully remove from pan.  With serrated knife, carefully cut cake in half horizontally. 

Grapefuit Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2- six ounce pkgs of cream cheese
  • 2 tsps lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6-8 drups yellow food coloring
  • 1- 1pound can of grapefruit sections (well drained)

Let cream cheese soften at room temperature.  Beat cheese until fluffy.  Add lemon juice & rind.  Gradually blend in sugar.  Beat until well blended.  Add food coloring.  Crush several grapefruit sections to measure 2 tsps.  Blend into frosting.  Spread frosting on bottom half of cake.  Top with several grapefruit sections.  cover with 2nd layer of cake.  Frost top & sides.  Garnish with remaining grapefruit sections.

We arrived at the Studios almost ready to eat again.  Our favorite restaurant at Disney is the Hollywood Brown Derby.  We have had great meals with excellent service every time we’ve been there and tonight was no exception. 

The kids got to the restaurant 1st and checked us in for dinner.  We were seated a few minutes later.  Then for some unknown (at least to me) reason, we were asked to move to a different table.  It was very odd, but we were very happy with our new booth.  Tonights dinner is our “anniversary dinner” so we ordered the Fairytale champagne to celebrate and then ordered our appetizers.   Jon & I ordered the Cobb salad for our appetizer and Megan ordered the chicken corn chowder to start.  Jason didn’t want anything.   While we were waiting on our appetizers, our server came out with a camera and asked to take our picture.  Our server asked how long we had been married and Jon answered “18 to life”; smart aleck….  

For our entrees, I got my usual; the Salmon with marscapone polenta, gorgonzola and balsamic glaze with an olive tapenade.   I love this and have ordered it more times than I can count.  It’s usually cooked pretty “well” so I ordered it to be cooked “more rare”, Jon spoke over me and said “make it rare”.  I wish he hadn’t because it was a little too rare, but still very good.  The polenta was still the best part of this dish! Delicious!  Jon & Megan both got the Ahi Tuna and it was very good (I would have tried some, but there wasn’t any left).  Megan really liked the wasabi sauce that came with it.  No one is as predictable as Jason at the Brown Derby, he ordered the kids hot dog meal.  In the past he always said it was the best hot dog on property, this year it lost out to Casey’s.  It might have held on to 1st place, but they served it on a whole wheat bun. YUCK !  White wheat would have been a good choice if you had to try to make a hot dog “healthy”, but a whole wheat bun for a hot dog?  What’s the point?! 

Time for my favorite part of any meal; dessert!  Jason’s predictability continued with the Hidden Treasures dessert on the kids menu.  Not that I can say much because the rest of us ordered our usuals.  Meg & Jon both got the famed Grapefruit Cake and I got the flourless chocolate cake.  Having had this many times before, I knew the minute it was placed in front of me that they had changed it.  It used to be served with a Port sauce, now it’s a red wine sauce; similar but not the same.  There used to be creme fraiche and lots of berries; now it’s served with a carmel ice cream and a couple of berries.   Admittedly I am a person that does not accept change readily, and while this was  still a good dessert it’s not as good as it used to be.   While we were eating, our server brought out 2 glasses of champagne (on the house!) and a Hollywood Brown Derby menu with our picture and “love story” printed inside!  It was very cool souvenir!

I wish that the hot dog still had a white bun and the chocolate cake went back to the old recipe, but all in all this was still an excellent meal and service was top notch.  We will be back!

Stuffed after that meal, we weren’t ready to ride anything too exciting……We tried to catch the next showing of the Little Mermaid but missed out by 4 people.  Instead of waiting for the next show, we headed down to Toy Story Midway Mania.  The standby line had an 80 minute wait, good thing we had grabbed fast passes this morning!  In no time at all, we were riding and playing.  This ride is hilarious!  You sit in the car wearing 3D glasses and it takes you from game to game.  These are virtual games, you aim your spring action virtual shooter & it shoots different things at each game (throws pies, arrows to pop balloons, etc).  Then in a whirly twirly crazy carnival ride way it moves you to the next game.   I did better than the last time I played, but still lost to Jon (although my score blew away the kids!).  This is a fun ride! 

We wandered the Streets of New York and San Fransisco;  and then to save time and hit the attractions that everyone wanted, we split up.  Jon & Megan went to see Muppet Vision 3-D while Jason & I went on Star Tours.  Wait times for both were practically nothing and we met back up in no time.  Feeling the effects of a long day, we slowly wandered over to Little Mermaid and then called it a night. It was around 11pm, and we’d had a full day.  As we walked out of the park there was a Friendship waiting to take us back to the Beach Club Villas.

Hollywood Brown Derby

Sunday 11/30

This is probably our favorite restaurant and has become a 1st night tradition for us.

We had a 7pm Advanced Dining Reservation at Hollywood Brown Derby.   After riding a few rides & avoiding as many raindrops as possible we made our way to Hollywood Brown Derby, starving & anticipating a wonderful meal. We were not disappointed!

We started with cocktails: DH ordered the Manhattan (just seems like the kind of drink you should have here)

I couldn’t decide what I wanted.  Our server Laura suggested the Pumpkin martini but I wasn’t real sure about that (especially before dinner) I asked how the Candy Cane martini was and she said “awful!” She said that while it sounded like a good idea, in reality it looks and tastes like Pepto Bismol. 

I decided to go with her other suggestion of the Hollywood.
It took awhile for my drink to come. Laura informed us that they had a new bartender that night and he was still getting used to things.  She admitted that my drink was the 3rd attempt and she still wasn’t sure it was quite right. It tasted fine to me, but I was pretty sure it had a lot more Chambord in it than it was supposed to.   I don’t remember what else was in it, but it was Yummy!
We started with the Cobb Salad. This is why DH loves  Hollywood Brown Derby.

What can I say other than I’m glad the kids don’t like it.  It was wonderful as always.

The rolls were warm, crusty on the outside & soft on the inside. Delicious  Butter is served as a slab on a plate. DS “embellished” his:

DH & I both had the Grilled Atlantic Salmon on soft mascarpone polenta with gorgonzola, balsamic glaze and Sicillan olive tapenade.  I’ve had this several times now and it’s always incredible.   The salmon is good enough that they can cook/serve it medium rare or even rare.   The marscapone polenta is creamy goodness with bits of gorgonzola to add a little bite to it. The olive tapenade is good, but I prefer black olives to green. For those that like green olives, you’d probably think the tapenade was to die for.

DD had the Roasted Sterling Silver Pork Rib Chop with mustard spaetzle, white cheddar, rainbow chard, vinegar onions and pan juices. She fell in love with the pork at Hollywood Brown Derby last December. It’s been a little different each time since, but she’s loved every last bite of it. The pork was melt in your mouth, cut it with a butter knife tender. She probably wouldn’t eat most of the sides on their own, but said they worked really well together. 

DS had his usual, what he calls “the best hotdog on property”

It’s an all beef hot dog, served with chips. Laura told DS he could have french fries instead, even recommending them because the chips are a “healthy” chip. He gladly took her recommendation. 

We were pretty full, but couldn’t miss out on dessert. DH & DD ordered the famous Grapefruit cake, I changed things up and tried the Pumpkin cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle. DS had the Hidden Treasure from the kids menu.

They love this, light and fluffy with a bit of tartness from the grapefruit.

DD had this last year, so I had to try it this time. OMG this was good!!! The pumpkin seed brittle was incredible (and was covered in chocolate on the back of it  ) The cheesecake was just pumpkin, cinamonny nutmeg creamy goodness.

DS’s Hidden Treasures: Vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbles and gummy snakes with a Tollhouse cookie

We had coffee with dessert and DH decided it was time for me to try Port, so we shared a glass of the Fereira 10 year Port. It was good, very sweet but very strong. I’m glad we shared it because I’m not sure I could have drank the whole glass by myself.

Using our Disney Dining Experience/Tables in Wonderland discount dinner (including tax & 18% gratuity) came to $176.12. Since Laura was so good (I love a server that will tell you the truth) we did bump the tip up a little.

a family pic from our dinner at HBD


Wow, it’s Wednesday allready.  Halfway point of the trip.  Today is our big food day.   After reading a wonderful food review from MickeyNicki on the disboards, we are trying Boma breakfast this morning and then our favorite Brown Derby for dinner tonight.

Since we’re not morning people, we have a 10:45am Advanced Dining Reservation at Boma.  We are going to drive over to make it easy.  My truck (Ford Expedition) acts a little strange when DH starts it, but then seems fine. With DVC member card/Disney Dining Experience card we get free valet parking and were walking into Animal Kingdom Lodge and seated at Boma in no time flat.  DS11 loves  breakfast buffets (so do I )  DD14 is not a breakfast person, does not like most breakfast foods even, but when she read & saw the pics on MickeyNicki’s review she wanted to try Boma.  Wow, this is an amazing breakfast!   DD was all set between the Corned Beef on the carving station and all the wonderful muffins.  The carved meats, mini omelets, muffins, fruits, and the OMG incredible sticky buns won us all over. Then we tried the jungle juice, YUM!  Great coffee, yummy juice, and all that food.  We all could’ve rolled out of there.  We love dinner at Boma and now breakfast is a must do as well! 

We walk outside and and wait for the valet to pull my truck around.  We wait…..and wait some more……I see a management type person run down with what looks like a charger, and we continue to wait. Someone finally asks if we’ve been helped, and we say yes, they were supposed to be pulling a blue expedition up.  The girl has no idea and asks the other valet and he says something about it not starting and they’re trying to jump it now.  Manager comes back and then DH goes down to the valet lot with him.  They get it started and pull up for us.  Our only guess is that the kids left stuff on in the back (I’ve got outlets that DD uses for her laptop and DS uses for his playstation).  All seems fine now, so back to Saratoga Springs Resort we go for a relaxing afternoon.

We spend the afternoon at the Grandstand pool with a couple of those fabulous Mai Tai’s and our books.  It was hot & sunny, perfect pool weather!

After showering and changing, we head to the Studio’s for dinner at the Brown Derby.  This is our 3rd trip in a row eating here, it has become our favorite restaurant.  We got to the Studios and went to check times on Tower of Terror  and Rockin Rollercoaster. Got Fast Passes and then wandered around watching the Streetmosphere.  I love walking and watching at the Studio’s, the atmoshpere is great.

I could do without the blacktop though in June, it really holds the heat in.  We made our way back to Brown Derby and checked in.  A lot of people seemed to be trying to walk in, but they were all being turned away.  We were seated within minutes, taken to what we were told was the “Chefs Table”.  It’s the big table in front of the bar, overlooking the rest of the restaurant. I don’t know if it really is a special table or not, but we felt special.  Our server was fantastic (I feel bad, I didn’t write down his name) he was very helpful with suggestions, refills, etc. He always seemed to be there if we needed anything, but not overbearing/hovering. We (DH & I) started with cocktails and shared the Cobb salad. Yum!  The menu had changed slightly from our last 2 visits.  The filet has been replaced with a NY Strip (our server said that it’s excellent and they were having difficulty getting the filet), the grouper was gone (loved that) and the pork had a different name and slightly different description. DD fell in love  with the Roasted Hatfield Pork Rib Chop in December, she swears it’s the best thing she ever put in her mouth.  So she was a little worried about the changes and also asked about switching the sides, but our server told her that the new one is fantastic and to try the sides that come with it.  He promised that if she didn’t like them, he would get her replacements.  Since she’s trying to “grow” and become a foodie, she agreed to try the new pork dish with the sides. Our server told DH to try the Ahi Tuna, since he’s had several of the other items on the menu previously and I had the Salmon with the marscapone polenta with gorgonzola and balsamic glaze & olive tapenade. DS11 ordered his favorite, the hotdog on the kids menu.  He told our waiter that they have the best hot dogs on property.  Our waiter told DS he would tell the Chef that.  Dinner came out and as always was fantastic! I can only assume that DD’s pork was good, because it was gone before I could even get a taste.  She even liked the sides. DH was glad that he got the Ahi Tuna, and it didn’t take long to clear his plate .  The salmon was perfectly cooked and that polenta is wonderful!  The only thing left on my plate was the Sicilian olive tapenade, which is too salty for me.  DH laughed at me, because I didn’t like it last time either.  I prefer black olives, the green ones just aren’t my thing.  Then there’s DS, who ate his entire hot dog and asked our server if he had told the Chef what he said.  A few minutes later, the Chef comes out to introduce himself to us and said that he was very glad to hear that DS loves the hot dogs so much.  Here we are having a 4/5 star dinner and my son is complimenting the Chef on the Ballparks!!!!   We finished dinner with coffee (good coffee, not Disney coffee) and dessert. DH & DD had their grapefruit cake, DS had the creme brulee and the chocolate lover that I am, had the flourless chocolate cake. Another fantastic meal at Brown Derby.


After dinner we walked down to check out TSM. The wait was 120 minutes  I don’t think so! We went and walked around the backlot and Streets of America and finally found:

The Singin in the Rain umbrella!

DD impersonating Mary Tyler Moore on the Streets of America

DS impersonating Darth Vader

The skies started to look a little scary, so we figured it would be a good time to go to Muppet Vision. If you normally go straight in and hurry to get into the next show, don’t. There is sooooo much to look at in this attraction. We’ve seen this sign many times:

We took our time and this is what we found

The show was funny as always and when we came out the sky had cleared. We rode Star Tours real quick and then we went back up to see if there were Fast Passes for EMH at Toy Story Midway Mania. Nope and the wait was 100 minutes. We were starting to walk away when DS saw the single rider line.  We waited about 20 minutes (much better than 100) and had a great time.  I thought it was a lot of fun but DH said he would have been disappointed if he’d waited 2 hours for it.  After that we went and saw Indy and then went to Great Movie Ride.  I wasn’t feeling real well at this point, full tummy and the heat had me feeling a little green.   DD was worn out as well, and she doesn’t like the thrill rides and wanted to leave.  I really didn’t want to miss Rockin Rollercoaster and since we had the Fast Passe I figured I was either going to feel alot better or alot worse.  DD waited while the rest of us rode.  That was the best I had felt in hours!  I thought about trying Tower of Terror, but figured I’d be pushing my luck. Maybe next time,  The “boys” stayed and used their Fast Passes for Tower of Terror and DD & I caught a bus back to SSR.

It was a good night. Got a little frustrating at times with lines and with our dear children who don’t mind waiting for the things they like but want to leave as soon as they get what they want.  If you saw a family having words about kids being selfish on Sunset Blvd, it wasn’t us.

Tomorrow DH & I have a golf date and then we’ll have dinner with the Princesses.

The Trip Begins

Allright, it’s Friday Dec 14th and the plan is to hit the road after DH gets home from work and hopefully get to the Jacksonville area for the night. It was an uneventful drive, just sat back and listened to our Dis Unplugged podcasts that we had been saving up. Made it to J’ville, stopped for the night and got back on the road around 9am Saturday.

10:30am and we’re here!!!! Drop our luggage with bell services and go to check in. Our room isn’t ready yet, so we head over to Epcot International Gateway to get our Annual Passes and then we start wandering around the world.   We played around a bit, got Test Track  Fast Passes, and then got our first meal on the DDP (Disney Dining Plan)  Counter Service at Electric Umbrealla.   I have to say I was really surprised, the food was really good and there was a lot of it! DH & DS (who was really hungry) got the Dbl Cheeseburger Combo, Coke & cookies, I got the chicken sandwich combo, coke & cookies, DD got the chicken strip combo, coke & cookies. Since there were 2 cookies in each package and we were pretty full, we each had a cookie and saved the rest for later. We went on Ellen’s Energy Adventure (45 minutes to rest, love that!) then Test Track. The excitement energy is wearing off and the travel is catching up with everyone so it’s time to head back to the Boardwalk Villas and see if our room is ready.

It’s about 3:45pm and we get our room #3093 almost at the end of the hall near the stairs. Everything looks great, the view is of the quiet pool & community hall. We get our luggage brought up and the DH & I tell the kids to relax, we’re going to get groceries. Ok, the kids don’t know, but back in late July/early Aug after making our ressies, I signed up for the Disboards DVC Tree Exchange. Because of scheduling changes with the trees, we had to go over to Disney’s Old Key West resort to pick up our Christmas tree. I called ahead and bell services was going to get the tree and have it ready for me. I get there, no tree.  Lavelle (OKW Bell Services) was fantastic, he looked & looked, then brought me & DH back into the storage room to look, then called the family on the tree that was in storage to see if they had gotten the wrong tree. In the end, we left with Lavelle promising to keep trying, but no tree.  On a whim, when we got back to Boardwalk Villas, I checked with Bell Services and there it was!!!  The previous family had it transferred over to BWV to make it easier for us, lol. Now all is right with the world and I get to surprise the kids with a Christmas tree and balcony lights for our stay.  We got the tree decorated, and hung the lights from the curtain rod so they could be plugged in while we were out of the room. If anyone saw the pink lights, that was us!

It’s time to head out for the meal we’ve been looking forward to for months: Hollywood Brown Derby. We have a 7:50pm ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation), and the park closes at 8pm.  The Friendships were out of synch & slow, but we made it. When we checked in, DD went to the desk and quietly asked if DS could get a phone call. This is something they do if you ask, and relates to the history of the restaurant, before the days of cell phones. We get seated almost immediately and hostess comes over to talk to DD. Normally they’ll seat you at a booth where the phone can be plugged in, but our table got assigned before the phone request went in, so DD is told they’ll do the best they can. We decided not to use the DDP with this meal because it is a 2TS  (Table Service credit) meal. We also have the Disney Dining Experience card and used that instead. We ordered the incredible Cobb Salad for 2. The kids didn’t bother with appetizers. The hostess came over to DS and told him that they had a “very important phone call” for him and would he please follow her to the phone. So off he went, looking a little tired and very confused!  Goofy was on the phone with him and asked him to meet later by the theater. The hostess then told DS that he must be very important, because she’s worked at Disney for a very long time and Goofy has never called her!!!  Now the salad came and disappeared pretty quickly.  Time to order dinner: DH & I both had the salmon, DD ordered the rotisserie chicken that she loves and DS ordered his hot dog off the kids menu. Here’s where DD starts to grow up, our waitress came back and apologized but they were out of the chicken. Now, DD has never been real adventurous but our waitress recommended the Roasted Hatfield Pork Rib Chop and said she would serve it with the sides that come with the chicken. DD agreed to try it and that was the best decision she’s made in a long time! I have never seen a pork chop like this, it was at least an 1 1/2 thick. She took the first bite and I swear it was one of those “priceless” commercials. I wish I had taken a picture! It was the most tender, delicious piece of meat, just like a fine filet. It melted on your tongue. DH & I each got a small bite, the rest she polished off like she had never eaten before. Oh Oh, she’s now developing a taste for fine food,  as if teenagers aren’t expensive enough?! Desserts were also fantastic, flourless chocolate torte for me, grapefruit cake for DH and pumpkin cheesecake for DD. DS had his favorite “Hidden Treasures”. What an amazing, outstanding meal. The food, the service, everything was excellent!   We left and took the walkway “home” to BWV. We were too full to be crowded onto the last boat of the night and needed to walk off dinner. There’s our room, I see the pink lights!

We had a great day. Tomorrow we’re off to Epcot, lunch at Le Cellier (another favorite) and then Dad & Jackie will be arriving in the afternoon. Time to sleep and get ready for a busy day.

Next up: Le Cellier and Dad’s arrival

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