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Sunday Brunch

Some Crazy Cones at Min & Bill's!

By Guest Writer Albert Gutierrez

1 September 2013

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner
Image taken from Reuben's first Min & Bill visit

Up until a few years ago, I never knew Min & Bill's existed. While the dockside diner has remained a Studios staple since the park's inception, food options within this park often felt limited to me. And frankly, they often were also none too memorable outside of some standout locations: Mama Melrose's for the food, Sci-Fi Dine-In for the atmosphere, 50's Prime Time for the company. Fortunately, when my family brought Reuben down for his college program, it allowed us to discover one of the best-kept secrets in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Now, no trip to that park is complete without stopping at Min & Bill's. Especially given the new addition to their menu!

Originally, I would only get the Chicken Caesar Sandwich, which essentially stuffed Caesar salad and grilled chicken pieces into a French baguette. I once bought the cool sandwich and made the 5-minute trek to Pizza Planet, where a cast member actually asked me what it was. Turns out even the park's own are sometimes unaware of such delectable treasures. Unfortunately, the Chicken Caesar Sandwich has left the menu - temporarily, I believe, as it's only a seasonal item - but has been replaced by something even better.

Cozy Cone

As regular Sunday Brunch readers know, Disney's California Adventure features wonderful eateries known as "Cozy Cones." Reuben had written about their offerings back in April, while making note that the bread cone delights were just starting to appear here in Walt Disney World. At the time, they could only be found at Downtown Disney. Fortunately, we can now add Min & Bill's Dockside Diner to that growing list of Bread Cone providers.

The concept of a bread cone in and of itself seems quite novel, though had been in use since the early 19th century (as evident from French cook books of the era), though would not gain popularity in the United States until the 1904 Saint Louis Exposition. As the classic story goes, an ice cream seller ran out of bowls, while his waffle seller still had plenty of waffle batter. The two collaborated, created the waffle cone, and the rest is legendary history. Either way, eating food within its own edible container still remains something rather exciting. Consider the bread cone a more polished version of the bread bowl.

Min and Bill's menu
My apologies for this rain-soaked menu, the sun shower decided to beat down extra fierce as we tried to take a picture.

Min & Bill's offers three different bread cones, all of which are currently exclusive to their location. While they have no actual "names" beyond their ingredients (seen above), I've decided to christen them with some fun titles. First up is the Pizza Cone, since the ingredients are often found in pizzas. Not exactly a thrilling title, though it was my favorite of the three. This contains sausage, marinara, and mozzarella; thus, it does exactly what it says on the tin (to use an old British phrase). Truthfully, you're better off having an authentic calzone from a local Italian pizza place. But when in Disney, your taste buds should be treated to some off-beat, if familiar, concoctions. And how often do you get to order this faux-calzone from a boat-that-isn't-a-boat anyway?

Pizza Cone

Though we didn't have time to order the other two, I did manage to sample bits of the Cajun Shrimp Salad, which for the sake of naming, we'll call the Louisiana Loaf. This one actually can be served chilled, as it uses cocktail shrimp rather than cooked shrimp. I actually asked the cast member if I could have a Pizza Cone with the Cajun sauce on top, just to experiment. She gave me a strange, but intrigued look. And it does help make the Pizza Cone taste better. The Cajun spices give the whole thing a bigger "kick" than the usual ingredients. She even added a couple of the cocktail shrimp free of charge.

Last, but not least, is the Chicken, Bacon, & Avocado Salad. Given the ingredients, and my own penchant for Earl of Sandwich, we'll call that one the Chipotle Cone. Earl of Sandwich literally has the same offering, but made with their superior artisan bread. I doubt I'll ever give this one a try beyond comparison purposes, especially as I'm not fond of avocado. But all three offerings help provide variety to Min & Bill's menu, and appeals to the various palettes and dietary needs of many guests. I definitely encourage more guests to check out Min & Bill's as an alternative to the usual quick-service locations. The selection is as wide a range as, say, Backlot Express, but is still certainly better than some of the fast-food meals you'll find at Sunset Ranch or the ABC Commissary.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

 

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