When: February 7, 2016, 3:15 PM
Don Tomas is a quick-service restaurant at Paradise Pier in California Adventure. It’s on the eastern part of the Pier, near King Triton’s Carousel and the Midway Mania gift shop.
Don Tomas keeps their menu simple. Three items, and three items only: a chimichanga, corn on the cob, and … turkey legs.
A turkey leg, if you’re not familiar, is a Disneyland staple that makes people go gaga. The dish’s name is not a metaphor: it’s literally the leg of a turkey, cooked, wrapped in paper, and handed to you through the window. You then waltz around the park with this gigantic stick of meat in your hand, gnawing chunks off it like some kind of caveman on vacation. (As Paul quipped: “I hope you yelled ‘America!’ after you bit into it.”)
Ever since we started this blog, I’ve been getting questions from friends and acquaintances about whether we would “do the turkey leg.”
The answer is yes. (I mean, we’re trying everything, right?)
Don Tomas does good queue management. We had a handful of folks in front of us, and the line moved quickly. I paid the ten bucks and emerged, blinking, in the afternoon sunlight, with a gigantic amount of meat in my left hand.
Let’s be clear: this is a huge portion. Absurd. They call it the “jumbo” turkey leg, and they’re really not kidding: there’s no way this is a one-person proposition. You could easily satisfy two people, and probably could split this four ways without issue.
Assuming you can get over the bluntness of the dish and its presentation (vegetarians beware), this is pretty good stuff. It’s smoked, and tastes like country ham. The flavor is excellent. The outside skin is crispy; the inner meat is juicy. I was pleased to see that it’s not too juicy – we didn’t need to scramble for a ton of extra napkins, if you know what I mean. It’s not oily or greasy.
While I do recommend this (assuming you love meat, don’t mind salt, and are accompanied by a little league team to help you eat it), I must say: it’s too much of a good thing. The dish feels endless: every bite reveals more meat underneath. Getting to “done” is a project.
So. Buy one. Get a fork. Split it with all the people you love. But don’t expect to finish.