Greek Salad @ Paradise Garden Grill

Price: $8.99

When: July 30, 2015, 2:15 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Recommended

Paradise Garden Grill is a counter-service restaurant in Disney California Adventure. It’s located at the far end of Paradise Pier, just beyond Goofy’s Sky School. The restaurant serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes, such as skewers, gyros, and Greek salads.

I was having a hard time deciding between the Greek salad and the Beef Gyro Platter, so asked the cashier what she recommended. She strongly endorsed the Greek salad, but pointed out that it was vegetarian – it doesn’t come with any protein. However, the restaurant can add chicken to the salad for an extra $6.99.

Perfect. Sold.

When my meal arrived, “adding chicken” turned out to mean, “we will cook a standard chicken skewer and lay it on top of your otherwise standard Greek salad.” This was fine with me, but aesthetically it was a bit of a surprise.

The salad, however, was delicious.

Seriously: great salad. It’s fresh, has a ton of flavor, and plenty of yummy pieces of feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, and red onion. The salad dressing was light, and not overdone. The lettuce was crisp and had good texture (read: it doesn’t taste like it came out of a bag).

The chicken, for its part, was 180 degrees from the sad chicken-burger chicken I had at Smokejumpers. It was moist, marinated, flavorful, and pulled off the skewer easily. It wound up being an excellent complement to the salad.

Finally: you get pita bread. The bread was soft and fresh (I find pita will go stale at the drop of a hat), but it felt a bit like filler to me – as in, “hey, I just had a big salad and am still hungry … I better have some bread to fill up.” The bread’s not special, but it’s handy for mopping up the last few bits of veg, feta and dressing on the plate.

I would eat this salad again, anytime. It’s a quick, inexpensive (and healthy) option, and vastly superior to the Standard Theme Park Food™ that’s available everywhere else. As a bonus, the ambience at Paradise Garden Grill is wonderful: outdoor seating, gazebos, and live music – which means you can enjoy your meal in a delightful setting. I definitely recommend it.