No trip into The Park is complete without some good eats. While many people might see food as merely a necessity, for us it's a part of our trips that we truly enjoy. One of the wonderful aspects of the Resort is that the culinary options at your disposable run the gamut from smaller fare such as hamburgers and fries all the way up to fine gourmet dishes and drinks. Being two guys roaming The Park, we're usually middle of the road; nothing too fancy (being on a budget) but nothing quite as small as a fruit bowl from the stands surrounding The Park, either.
One such place we've been dying to try for a while now is located in the Hollywood Backlot inside of Disney California Adventure called Award Wieners.
Set up to look much like a walk-up diner from the 50s, customers line up at the ordering window to make their choice for whichever of the five "Award Wieners" they have a their disposal (pictured below).
Which wiener you choose is completely up to you. But don't think it so easy! Customers have a choice not only in their toppings with classics such as chili, the various cheeses, sauces and sauteed onions, but they also have their choice of the type of meat included in their buns, ranging from your standard (premium) hot dogs to classic hot links, Mild Italian sausage and Grilled Portobello.
In addition to your selected wiener, each meal comes with either your choice of sliced apples (if you're at least pretending to eat healthy) or kettle-cooked Potato Chips.
Ah, but there's more! In addition to the five Award Wieners already presented, the restaurant now includes an option for Hand-Dipped Corn Dogs (comparable to what are sold on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park), which also include your choice of either sliced apples or Potato Chips.
Should you have little ones with you who might not be able, or are unwilling, to put down one of the big dogs Award Wieners also offers a Kid's-sized Turkey Dog with sliced apples (no choice here although we're sure you could upgrade if you asked) and choice of milk, juice, or water.
Finally, what hot dog would be complete without a drink? Options include sodas (as always in either regular, large, or JUMBO sizes in a souvenir sipper), milk or juice, and coffee and tea. Or, if you're so inclined, beer (Hefeweizen) can also be purchased at Award Wieners, relegated to two alcoholic beverages per customer.
However, food is not necessarily king. We're not run and gunners, or in this case, run and eaters. We enjoy being able to kick back in a fairly relaxed atmosphere, take our time eating, and maybe do a little people watching (and head-shaking) while we're at it. We have to say, we really enjoy the seating area that Award Wieners has set up. It's nestled right in between the restaurant and Muppet*Vision 3D and as can be seen, it's really quite cozy in there. We've never seen it full and there's plenty of natural shading around; no worrying about umbrellas blowing around, or being caught in a sun spot. It's pretty much just what we look for. In addition, the dining area is littered with plenty of posters, props and other assorted goodies so there's always something to look at should there ever be a lull in the conversation. It's a great spot to park it even if you're not eating here.
We know you're all just dying to find out what we had on our visit, though, so without further ado:
|Mark chose Award Wiener #1 - The Chili Cheese...|
"When trying to decide which of the five Award Wieners I wanted to eat, it ultimately came down to just one; The Chili Cheese Dog. With it's juicy premium hot dog and insane chili sauce, this was one I was sure to enjoy. From the first bite to the last the combination dog and chili had me begging for a drink from my large Coke. The dog would have been delicious all by itself, no doubt, but the chili and cheese made it a power punch trio that left me asking for more. The old adage that the addition of chili and cheese to anything just makes it that much better was especially true in this case.
Sadly all meals come to an end, but if you're lucky (and smart) enough to have saved some of your baked chips from the meal, you can use those to clean up whatever chili might have fallen back into the tray. Double meal time!"
|...while Chad chose the #2 - The Barbecue Hot Link|
"For me, I grew up in the south, and the messier the better. I wouldn't have minded having a knife and fork to eat this bad boy, but ultimately decided that utensils were for sissies and I'd best be just digging in. It probably goes without saying that there was a lot of finger-licking involved.
It was an absolutely brilliant dog. Whereas a lot of places serve their hot dogs grilled to the point of being charcoal my Italian Sausage seemed just perfect, and the Mild gave it just a little bit of kick without overpowering everything else that the bun was wrapped around. The barbecue sauce itself was just spicy enough to knock out a bit of the sweet (so it didn't seem like it was dipped in syrup), and the sauteed onions were pretty darn tasty as well; I had a hard time stopping myself from pulling them off and popping them like candy. When I did manage to get all the different elements into my mouth at the same time, it was well worth the effort. Do the words "pretty darn tasty" mean anything to you?
The chips were just what chips are, an add-on. I would have preferred something else like fries (in fact, next time I might just order the apples) but it really didn't make a huge amount of difference. If nothing else, it gave me just a bit of crunch to go along with everything else.
And after walking around a few hours before we ate, the Coke was the most wonderful thing I've ever had in my mouth."
We should probably go on record as saying that we're by no means saying this is the be-all, end-all restaurant of The Park and you'd be a fool not to eat here. But we are saying that if you're hungry, and you want a restaurant to eat at with a friendly and playful atmosphere, and you're in the mood for some pork product slapped between a bun with some flava added, then Award Wieners might be just the place for you. The prices are comparable to just about anything else in The Park, the food is cooked just the right way, and it does taste good and is plenty flavorful.
We were very happy with our visit, and on your next time out, we encourage you to give it a try and let us know what you think!