Storyteller’s Café is a table service restaurant in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort. Storyteller’s Café’s menu includes character breakfast, a lunch menu, and a buffet or menu for dinner. This review covers the lunch menu. Many of the dishes have an apparent California inspiration, and the hand-painted murals, each depicting classic California stories–from Mark Twain, Scott O’Dell, and others–make it even more apparent that the restaurant is a nod to the history of California. The restaurant also features lines from classic stories, and detailing that evokes memories of stories set in California. Although much of these details are generic, I immediately thought of a John Steinbeck story after wandering around the restaurant. Perhaps this is the intent, perhaps not.
As one who enjoys literature, I was enamored with the details around Storyteller’s Café. The murals, quotes, and detailing were very neat to examine, and beyond that, the color palette and design of the restaurant seemed very warm and inviting. While it’s a table service restaurant, it seemed more casual, and many of the menu prices reflected that.
Our meal started our with soft, warm bread, which was quite good. Either we really liked it or were really hungry, because soon after the first round appeared, another basket of bread showed up. Turned out we had already eaten all of the first one and the server had noticed!
The menu has a number of delicious-sounding items, so it can be difficult to determine what to get. Other members of our party, friends of ours who reside 10 minutes from Disneyland yet don’t hold Annual Passes!, ordered the Slow Roasted Turkey Clubhouse and Caesar Salad with Chicken. They were both impressed by these dishes, especially the Slow Roasted Turkey Clubhouse, which was quite large.
At first, what I was going to order was a tough decision. Several items looked good. However, as soon as I saw one sandwich was served on garlic bread, I knew that had to be my choice! That sandwich was the Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Garlic Bread, topped with carmalized onion and beefsteak tomato. It was excellent; moist with a variety of different flavors. My concern with grilled chicken is that it will be too dry. That was not the case here. Garlic bread is inherently buttery and not especially healthy, so I feel that the grilled chicken offset that nicely. Although, had it been fried chicken, I might now be raving that it was the perfect “guilty pleasure” sandwich. In any case, the sandwich was wonderful and not too healthy nor too unhealthy. It had the perfect balance. I have a soft spot for garlic bread, so this sandwich got some bonus points for that. The sandwich also included fries, which were good but nothing special. For only $14.99, it was a great meal!
Sarah ordered the Classic Cobb Salad. Since dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Cobb Salad has become her “thing.” She ordered it there. She ordered it here. She ordered it at The Wave (in Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort) in late December. None have been as good as the Brown Derby’s, but all have been pretty good. This was the “worst” of the three, but it’s all relative, since they’re probably three of the best salads I’ve ever tasted. They all definitely have me rethinking my, “it’s a waste of an appetizer or entree to order a salad at a restaurant” stance. I’d still rather order something else, but the Cobb Salad was definitely not a bad choice.
Overall, Storyteller’s Café in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort is a great place to grab a quick and inexpensive table service lunch. The food is good, the service is good, the theming is really cool, and the prices for most items aren’t too bad comparatively speaking. The restaurant was a little loud while we were there, which is unsurprising since it’s a popular restaurant among families staying at the Grand Californian. I wouldn’t mind heading back for breakfast sometime, but when we do that, we’ll definitely make reservations in advance. Whenever we’ve passed the restaurant during the morning hours, the wait has always been long. We wouldn’t consider this a “must do” restaurant at Disneyland Resort, but it’s a solid choice, and one worth trying if you are in the Grand Californian but don’t want to spend the money on Napa Rose.
Overall Score on the Disney Dining Brick-o-meter: 7.5/10