Have you ever planned a vacation and made a mistake? Well, that’s exactly how I ended up at the Ballast Point restaurant in Downtown Disney.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad restaurant at all. It comes highly recommended. The issue was that I hadn’t planned on spending the whole day in Downtown Disney.
No, my original plan was to have a three-day trip to the Disneyland Resort. Visit Disneyland Park and California Adventure for the California Adventure Food and Wine Festival.
However, I’m still getting the hang of their reservation system. It turns out that booking reservations is a bit more challenging than I had expected. So my three-day park trip turned into a four-day trip to the resort. With A Downtown Disney Day right in the middle.
Location and Arrival
Ballast Point Brewing is about halfway through the Downtown Disney District. Situated across from the Black Tap. This prime location offers easy access to various Disney hotels such as The Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, or Pixar Pier Hotel.
Additionally, it’s just a short walk away from the tram drop-off spot or the front of the Esplanade. There are plenty of fantastic dining options in Downtown Disney. But as a proud San Diego native, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit this new location. Since Ballast Point represents my hometown.
Atmosphere and Environment at Ballast Point Disneyland
Upstairs, you will find the main dining area. We actually sat on the rooftop patio, which is always fun. Who doesn’t love a good rooftop patio?
The decor inside the restaurant was fabulous. They have an entire wall mounted with different beer taps. It’s both beautiful and functional. And now I need to try every single one of those beers.
They built the rooftop seating area in a craftsman style. It has a large wood beam canopy above the patio. We sat next to the rail so we could look out onto downtown Disney.
Menu Options at Ballast Point Disneyland
As usual, I had already checked out the menu before deciding on this location. My mission was to try all things plant-based at Disney Resorts. So I had to make sure there was a plant-based option available.
What I was not expecting, however, was the QR code menu on the table. QR code menus were everywhere after the lockdown. You just scan them with your phone to pull up the menu webpage.
What’s really unique about Ballast Point, though, is you can also order and pay your check when you’re ready to go. This is my ideal dining situation. I don’t want to interact with people regularly, but especially not when I’m stuffing my face. I don’t want a server asking me how the food is as I’m taking a bite.
So yes, it was a surprise, and it’s unique, but I absolutely loved it. We were off to a great start.
Garlic, Parm, and Parsley Fries
To start the meal, we had an appetizer to share: the garlic parm and parsley fries. They do not consist of plants, but they contain a lot of garlic. These fries were out of this world. They were thick-cut steak fries, similar to the ones you get from places like Jack in the Box. Not the thin matchstick fries from McDonald’s.
Not only were they hearty, but they were also battered and double-fried. I absolutely love battered fries because the additional crust gives them a satisfying crunch that you can’t find in regular fries.
Although there wasn’t any visible garlic on the fries, they definitely had a strong garlic flavor. I’m guessing they used some kind of oil or maybe the garlic was in the batter itself. Regardless, they were absolutely fabulous, and I devoured every single one of them.
Cauliflower Tacos with Jicama Fries
For my entree, I ordered the plant-based cauliflower tacos with jicama fries. As a cauliflower fan, this meal was a dream come true. The cauliflower is broken down into small, bite-sized pieces, which fit well in the taco. The pieces are battered, deep-fried, and coated in a sweet sauce, giving them an Asian-inspired flavor profile.
The tacos are topped with pickled slaw, adding a refreshing element to the dish. The tortillas were warm, flavorful, and soft, just like traditional flour tortillas.
I had never tried jicama before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, I approached it with an open mind and I’m happy to say that I’m now a fan. The jicama fries are tossed with Tajin, with a crispy texture.
Unfortunately, this dish was only available during the Food and Wine Festival and is no longer on the menu. But anything from Ballast point is going to be good.
High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea
Yeah, I can’t lie. Ballast Point Brewing has a huge selection of beers. But this is the reason we were here. Victory at Sea is hands down my all-time favorite beer from anywhere I have been.
When I lived in San Diego, there was a Ballast Point location just half a mile from my house. I would have Victory at Sea on a weekly basis. Since moving to Vegas and now Oahu, it’s impossible to find.
Victory at Sea is an extremely dark imperial porter with heavy notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. It is fantastic any time of year, but especially in the fall at this Ballast Point location.
This was a specialty barrel-aged Victory at Sea. It had spent seven months in a High West Bourbon Rye blend barrel. For me, this version was a little too woody and smokey.
If you like dark beer and dark liquor, you will absolutely love this one.
I love trying new things, especially when they involve watermelon. So I had to give Ballast Point’s Watermelon Dorado a try. This crisp and refreshing IPA is well-balanced and has a sweet flavor. Unlike a traditional IPA, it is not as hop-forward.
The watermelon taste really comes through strongly. It is the perfect beer for spring or summer barbecue. Or in our case, people-watching from the rooftop of downtown Disney.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation for Ballast Point Disneyland
Don’t walk, run to Ballast Point in Downtown Disney! From the laid-back atmosphere to the extremely efficient ordering process. With fabulous food, beautiful beers, and an all-around good time, you won’t regret a trip to Ballast Point.
At Downtown Disney, it’s a fancy restaurant and a relaxed place for a drink in the afternoon. If you have a day to explore Downtown Disney during your vacation, you should definitely make the most of it!