When: August 17, 2015, 7:45 PM
Flo’s V8 Cafe is a counter-service restaurant located in Cars Land. It’s the primary restaurant in Cars Land; the other options are the Cozy Cone Motel (whose offerings will be covered in a future review), and Filmore’s Taste-In (which mostly sells to-go snacks, like chips, pickles, and fresh fruit).
As the flagship dining option in California Adventure’s flagship land, it’s easy to imagine Disney going with a cheap, off-the-shelf cheeseburger-n-fries joint, here – the crowds will certainly bring the business, so why not?
Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed, and Disney went with a quality offering. Consequently, Flo’s is great.
Now, let’s talk about the Turkey Dip.
First good sign: the plate is attractive. You’re served a turkey sandwich on a roll, a side of dipping sauce, pasta salad, and a pickle spear. Each item is arranged nicely, and laid out well. Excellent.
Second good sign: the pickle. I’m used to having my heart broken by the “side pickle” on most dishes … horrible, limp, soggy, neon-green flavorless abominations. Hence, I usually start with the pickle: if the pickle’s terrible, it’s a bad sign. In this case, Flo’s pickles are crisp, have a good snap, and plenty of flavor without being too briney. Fan-freaking-tastic.
On to the main: the sandwich. It’s great. The bread was soft, and the turkey portion was generous. (Actually, a little too generous: I had to excavate part of the sandwich just to fit the thing in my mouth.) The meat was cooked perfectly, and the sauce on the sandwich gave it a nice bit of bounce, without being overpowering.
The dipping sauce for the sandwich is less “au jus” in the sense of a French Dip sandwich, and more of a turkey gravy, like something you’d have at Thanksgiving. It’s warm (not hot), and provides an excellent flavor complement to the sandwich.
Finally: the pasta salad. Again, high marks all around: fresh cherry tomatoes, good-quality feta, nicely-cooked pasta and a light (not overwhelming) dressing.
In short: this is a good, good, good option for lunch or dinner if you’re in DCA.
One final note: when you’re at Flo’s, I strongly encourage you to eat outdoors. Flo’s has a handful of outside tables that face Radiator Springs Racers; grab one, especially at dusk, and soak in everything Imagineering can throw at you. Cars Land’s neon will kick in; happy guests will be cheering as they “race” one another in RCR’s finale, and you’ll hear a bunch of road-themed music (“Freeway of Love” by Aretha Franklin, “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts). It’s genuinely magical, and one of those things the Disney parks do better than anyone else in the business. Get out of the air conditioning (and avoid the main-drag outdoor seating) – the south edge of Flo’s is one of the nicest places in the parks.
UPDATE: As of May 2018, this dish is no longer available.