By Sarah Chapman
I have dined at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few times and fell in love with the legendary Cobb Salad, the grapefruit cake and the service. But sometimes you want a smaller meal, or you don’t have a reservation—that’s when the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is the perfect solution.
I’ve actually tried to eat there a couple of times but I arrived with bad timing and no tables were available. This time it was by luck that we happened to be arriving at Hollywood Studios right at lunch time (during our 4 Parks in 1 Day Adventure—read more about that later), and as we walked past the lounge we decided to give it a try. The entrance to the outside seating is toward Hollywood Boulevard near the bar they have set up for the lounge. We grabbed a high top table for 2 and looked forward to relaxing and people watching.
This is a great spot for just that with all of the people walking by on their way to and from attractions, and it is a nice location if you time it right to catch some of the shows that take place on the main stage in front of the Chinese Theater. We were there for parts of 2 of the Star Wars shows and while we didn’t have a perfect view we could enjoy some of it. And that wasn’t the only entertainment, we also had a streetmosphere character coming around to the tables in her 1940s Hollywood persona. Fun!
The food menu here is not extensive but it has some excellent choices of smaller plates/tapas style dishes that are perfect to share or for a lighter bite at lunch (especially when the Florida heat is high).
It is hard for me to resist a good cheese plate so our number one choice was the artisanal cheeses and charcuterie board for two. The selection varies by season, but everything on it was fantastic. The pairings were really well done and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was enough to fill me up for lunch. My son added the Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad to finish out his meal. The serving size was just right and he ate every last bit. There were several other options on the menu that would’ve been great as well, and with more people could’ve been shared around the table. Desserts are also available including the famous grapefruit cake, but we had to pass. One nice option is a sampler where you can choose 3 options to put together a custom trio of mini desserts.
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As a lounge the drink menu is fairly extensive with several specialty cocktails. The grapefruit cake martini is the perfect complement to the Brown Derby.
I would make plans to return to the Brown Derby Lounge—I’ve been dreaming about the cheese and charcuterie board since our visit. But, if you find yourself in Disney’s Hollywood Studios looking for a last minute bite to eat, this is a really nice option. A bit higher in price than the quick service options, but the selection and quality far exceeds them as well.
Have you give the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge a try? What was your favorite dish?