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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: Hungry Adventurers Find a Jungle Oasis

24 February 2013

In a dark and mysterious corner of Disneyland, dense jungles and forbidden temples entice explorers as they answer to the call of adventure! Among the jungle vegetation and beneath the cover of trees, a small smoking hut at the end of a row of colorful shops trap visitors with the wafting aroma of fire roasted meats. This is the Bengal Barbecue.

Bengal Barbecue

While named after the Bengal Tiger, an indigenous large cat species of the jungles of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, the Bengal Barbecue features fire grilled meat skewers and other snacks with a variety of flavors. The African, Indian, and Island flavors are reflective of the global jungle themes of Adventureland itself. Those seeking explosive flavors may go for the Banyan Beef Skewer with a hot and spicy sauce, while the less adventurous may choose the tamer Bengal Beef Skewer, with a sweet Zulu sauce from Africa.

Bengal Barbeque

The Bengal Barbecue was one of the most anticipated of the hundreds of Disneyland snack stands I was looking to try. While Walt Disney World pleases its carnivorous guests with a Turkey Leg cart round every bend, Disneyland serves a little more class in its protein snack options, serving a variety of meat skewers and other jungle themed snacks. I also noticed an Outback Vegetable Skewer was available for vegetarians, a nice consideration on Disney's part (perhaps WDW will get Tofurkey legs soon). I chose the Bengal Beef Skewer and the Chieftan Chicken Skewer, which had a sweet Polynesian sauce. Both were terrific, high quality snacks, using good cuts of meat and having just enough of that fire roasted barbecued flavor. The Zulu sauce on the Bengal Beef Skewer was a bit confusing as it was more savory than sweet; there was a hint of ginger which may have accounted for the sweet part of its name.

Bengal Barbecue
Bengal Barbecue

Bengal Barbecue Chieftan Chicken Skewer
Chieftan Chicken Skewer

Bengal Barbecue
Other snacks include the Mickey Pretzel, Tiger Tails breadsticks, and Jalapeno Cheese-filled Pretzel

The coolest (or rather hottest) part of the Bengal Barbecue is that a giant flaming grill nestled inside a giant tree trunk is visible for all to see, as your order is grilled fresh right in front of you. Also, there is a small scattering of tables right outside the small walk-up counter. On particularly busy days a sign directs guests to the nearby Aladdin's Oasis.

Bengal Barbecue

Aladdin's Oasis

An amazing tucked away corner of Disneyland, Aladdin's Oasis features plenty of seating, shaded from Arabian awnings and umbrellas. All the tables seem to be set to be in view of a stage like area with an awesome recreation of the Cave of Wonders to the left. Upon further research, I learned that this area started as the Tahitian Terrace, an extremely popular Polynesian themed dinner show (possibly the inspiration for WDW's Polynesian Resort), and in 1993 became Aladdin's Oasis dinner show. Aladdin's did not perform as well as hoped and became only a full service restaurant, then a story telling area, and now a meet and greet area occasionally opened up to accommodate seating of Bengal Barbecue diners.

Aladdin's Oasis

Aladdin's Oasis Cave of Wonders

The Bengal Barbecue was a great adventure of snacking in Disneyland, not only as one of many examples of the amazing food options at the resort, though also an insightful adventure of the ever changing Disneyland. I am a bit sad to learn that a once popular Disneyland dinner show had turned into a seating area for a snack stand across Adventureland. Though nonetheless, it is nice to know Disneyland efficiently makes use of seemingly forgotten areas, and one hopes it's a sign of more exciting things to come. The great thing about Disneyland is unlike WDW, more often than not, that's what usually happens.

Aladdin's Oasis

Make sure to sit down to Brunch next Sunday as we see how Disneyland transformed a somewhat 'wasted' space into a new and popular dining venue.


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