At some point in December, Paul and I found ourselves wandering into a small quick-service establishment located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel-the GCH Craftsman Grill. It was a last-minute decision when we saw it on the Disneyland app and decided to check it out. There was a lot to love about this small dining location, and based on how empty it was, I feel like it might get overlooked. There are technically two sections. Outside, you will find the bar where you can get some food items and drinks, and inside, you will find the quick-service grill.
Despite being a quick-service location, there are still some things I can happily mention about the service. First, it was helpful that the cast member taking our order explained some of their feature dishes: a holiday-inspired hot dog of the month, bulgogi beef skewers, a chicken rice bowl, and corn dog nuggets. I also appreciated that there were examples of these dishes on display. While the specials looked tasty and unique, we opted for some of their regular fare. After ordering, we got to find a table, grab our drinks, and relax until another cast member brought freshly-made food to our table. I do want to note that unlike most quick-service places in Disneyland, GCH Craftsman Grill does not accept the DVC discount. This shouldn’t deter you from taking a break from the parks and strolling over to try it out.
We were overall very content with the food here. The flavors were fresh and unique, especially for a Disney quick-service. Here are the items we ordered and how we felt about them:
Garden Caesar Salad ($12): Paul and I found this salad from the grab-and-go section to share. It had a variety of romaine lettuce, shaved parmesan, with caesar dressing and croutons on the side. We felt that it was very fresh and an excellent lighter option. It did seem a bit overpriced for the size in comparison to the rest of our meal. You might be paying for the convenience of it. Regardless, it was good and tasted as if it couldn’t have been sitting for long.
Poke Bowl ($13): When you compare the price of the salad to the poke bowl, this meal was a great value. Even though I am not a huge fan of raw fish, I always try things Paul gets and enjoyed the flavors of this dish. With this, you were given a choice salmon, tuna, or tofu and the choice of rice, lettuce, or half each. Paul opted for tuna and half each but said if he ordered it again, he would go with all rice. The lettuce was just a standard iceberg and not as fresh as the salad. Still, the tuna, pickled vegetables, and avocado were very fresh, and the sriracha aioli gave it a small kick without being overpowering.
Homemade Chips ($4): Paul is a sucker for homemade chips. These weren’t the best we have had, but not overly priced at $4. Unlike the salad, they tasted as though they might have been sitting a little longer.
Forrest Mushroom Pizza ($25): To me, this pizza was the star of the show. For some reason, I was expecting an over-priced personal-sized pizza. I’m not sure why. Maybe because at Via Napoli in Epcot, a personal pizza cost the same, and we paid $12 here for a side salad. Instead, I got a large pizza that could potentially feed four people. What was unique about this pizza was that it had vegetarian sausage, caramelized onions, mozzarella, Grana Padano (an Italian cheese), provolone, and a mushroom spread. I was a little leery about a vegetarian sausage, but this was wonderful- all the sausage flavor and none of the grease. I loved this pizza. It came straight from the oven to our table hot and fresh. The onions were sweet, the crust was perfectly crispy and soft, and the flavors just went together well. I would completely walk out of my way to get this pizza again. It’s making me hungry just writing about it.
I loved the look and feel of this place. It was not overly themed, but fit in well with its rustic vibe. The dark woods and stonework were enough to tie it into the rest of the hotel. While the indoor seating area was small, there was also a large outdoor section with tables and couches. It was cold out so we opted to eat indoors. We were one of three groups dining there and had no issues finding a spot. In the warmer months, it would be fun to sit outside.
Overall, I would definitely go back to GCH Craftsman Grill. It offered a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the parks. There were unique food offerings as well as dishes for the picky eater. It seems like it may be overlooked by many, so I would urge you to give it a try next time you’re visiting Disneyland.
I’m interested to know your thoughts on the GCH Craftsman Grill. Tell us in the comments what you think of this DVC resort quick-service dining location.