Lunch at Fairfax Fare

Fairfax Fare, located near the Tower of Terror on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, is a restaurant I often pass by in search of table service for lunch or dinner during my visits to the park. They are also one of the very limited options for a quick service breakfast in the park, and possibly serve the only one that’s not pastry-based. I’ve visited for breakfast while in the park solo and also once with Matt, and both meals were provided the fuel needed.

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The lunch/dinner menu hasn’t changed much over the past several years. The Gourmet Hot Dogs that were tested back in 2011 made the official menu. We’ve tried the Macaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil Hot Dog (ew), which is still on the menu, as well as the Burrito Hot Dog (meh), which has since been nixed. The Turkey Leg has been removed (Toluca Legs may have reopened for the holiday season), and the Fairfax Salad has changed since summer.

The Fairfax Salad, which, since at least 2011, has featured Chopped Romaine, Chili, Tomato, Roasted Corn, Sweet Peppers, Monterey Jack, and Corn Tortillas topped with a Jalapeno Ranch Dressing. Now, the salad is a Barbecue Pulled Pork Wedge Salad with Bacon, Roasted Corn Tomato Salsa, Crispy Tortilla Strips, and Cheddar served with the Jalapeno Ranch Dressing. While I’d never had the previous incarnation for comparison, I thought I’d give the new version a try.

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The chopped Romaine has been replaced with two large quarters of iceberg lettuce. Nestled underneath the generous portion of pulled pork is the Roasted Corn Tomato Salsa and Bacon. Tortilla Strips surround the salad, and the dressing is hidden underneath as well. The salad is topped with a sprinkle of Cheddar.

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As you can see, there’s a lot going on with this salad, and it’s not the most appetizing to look at. The pork was what I would call “Disney Standard.” It was just like what you’d find at, say, Pecos Bill’s in the Magic Kingdom. It’s tender, not very fatty, and well sauced. Most of the bacon had fallen off to the side of the dish, but as I worked my way through the salad, it became mixed in and I’d get a bite here and there with its smokiness.

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The Roasted Corn Tomato Salsa added some nice sweetness to an otherwise rich salad, and the Tortilla Strips remained crispy even down to the last few bites. I was pleased by the heat of the Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, as it did provide a small amount of lip burn.

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Overall, I liked this salad, and I went in afraid that I wouldn’t. I think my only complaint is using the “wedge” format for the lettuce, at least in this serving vessel. It was a bit difficult to cut with the knife, as there is only so much flat base in contact with the table. Otherwise, it’s about what one can expect from quick service; it’s fine for an inexpensive, quick lunch, and was very filling for the price. Yes, if I can get into table service for lunch or dinner, I’m going to opt for that, but I’m glad I’ve found something a bit different that I’d order again from quick service in the Studios.

Have you tried the Fairfax Salad in either of its renditions? Do you prefer a different menu item from Fairfax Fare?

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