When: October 14, 2015, 12:25 PM
The Harbour Galley is a quick-service restaurant at the border of New Orleans Square and Critter Country. It’s located between the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain, and is easy to miss: it’s fairly low-profile, usually hidden behind Mansion merchandise carts, and often open limited hours. Harbor Galley offers a small selection of seafood-inspired dishes such as chowders, shrimp salad, and tuna salad sandwiches.
They also have a Lobster Roll.
The Harbour Galley Lobster Roll is part of the Disneyland Food Shortlist™ (e.g., Cove Bar Nachos, Blue Bayou Monte Cristo) that the “in the know” crowd regularly evangelize. In all my years of coming to Disneyland, I’d never tried it. So: today was the day.
First observation: this is the dish people were ordering. Every single person ahead of me bought one.
Second observation: the presentation is fine. The lobster mixture is served atop a large bun (think: luxe hot dog bun), with a side of housemade Cajun potato chips. It comes on a paper plate, which makes it feel vaguely like picnic food.
Third observation: logistics. Between the oversize bun and the hearty lobster mixture, fitting this thing in your mouth is nigh-impossible. Get a fork, for sure – you’ll want to pick off some of the larger chunks (or, at least, be able to pick up the chunks of goodness that fall off the roll as you wrestle with it).
Fourth observation: it’s delicious. Seriously. The lobster mixture is nigh-perfect: big chunks of meat, fresh veg (celery, red pepper, green onion), well-seasoned. It’s not too mayonnaise-y. It’s well-balanced and really, really flavorful.
The chips are fine. They’re nothing special. The Cajun seasoning is very light (you notice the seasoning far more after you’ve swallowed than you do when the chip is in your mouth); the chips are reasonably crisp; they have good texture; they’re not too salty. They’re a solid complement to the sandwich.
In short, this dish is an easy recommend.
One final word about the Harbour Galley: this corner of the park feels like a refuge. You’re only 20 feet off the main walkaway to Critter Country, but the noise level is noticeably lower. Seating is limited (just four small tables and one large one), which makes the space feel intimate. The Sailing Ship Columbia is docked next to the setting area, which adds a touch of character and detail. Taken together, the space becomes a leisurely place to enjoy a nice lunch, and recharge your batteries. Disneyland has a few of these special places; this feels like one of ’em.