Back in June, it was announced that there were some new items coming to the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. While some favorite dishes stayed, such as the Cobb Salad, Derby Sliders, and Cheese and Charcuterie Board, the three new items added were a Shrimp & Chorizo Bruschetta, Zellwood Corn Bisque, and Crispy Bites. There have been some minor tweaks done since it was announced as well as what’s on the official Disney website’s menu page, which I’ll get to shortly. I decided to opt for the Crispy Bites.
The Crispy Bites feature Parmesan-Goat Cheese Risotto Sticks with a Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard Aioli, Brie Cheese with Sweet Onion and Orange Jam, and Affiné Blue-Mushroom Arancini with Fig and Balsamic Dip. The portion features two each of the sticks and three pieces of the arancini.
I started with one of the Affiné Blue-Mushroom Arancini. I took my first bite without the Fig and Balsamic Dip, and immediately noticed the mushroom flavor, even against the blue cheese. It still ended up being balanced. I tried another bite with the paired dip and thought it was better off without.
The rice was nicely cooked and the bite was creamy. Texturally, this was overall well done, paired with a crisp, nicely seasoned crust. I will say, however, this is probably one of the most aggressive in terms of flavor of the three items.
The Fig and Balsamic Dip was okay on its own, and I think if it was thinned out would make a nice salad dressing. For me, there were just too many flavor profiles going on between it and the arancini.
The Brie Cheese is paired with a Sweet Onion and Orange Jam. I thought this pairing was the most successful of the three, and even had a few more bites with it. This is certainly not some generic chain restaurant cheese stick. The brie flavor stood out, and was nicely melted.
I could have sworn I took a picture of the interior of this as well as the Risotto Stick, but apparently I either didn’t, or somehow accidentally deleted it. Fortunately, I was able to grab some pictures since I brought half of the dish home. All the cheese settled to one end of the remaining cheese stick. Here’s the “before” reheating in the oven, where the breading snapped when removing from the box. Naturally, the cheese oozed when baked, resulting in a crispy, cheesy mess to eat with a fork.
The Sweet Onion and Orange Jam was also good on its own. It’s sweet. It’s citrusy.
The Parmesan-Goat Cheese Risotto Sticks are paired with a Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard Aioli. I thought these were okay, but were my least favorite of the three. While I enjoyed the goat cheese flavor, I felt these weren’t executed as well as the arancini. They didn’t have the same melt that I enjoyed with the arancini, and the rice was overcooked. The picture below was taken before reheating, and it wasn’t too far off from what it looked like fresh. Of course, this execution could have easily been a fluke.
Here’s where one of the aforementioned changes occurred. The Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard Aioli replaced the originally announce Peach-Habanero Chili Sauce, which I was really looking forward to when deciding where I wanted to grab a bite at Hollywood Studios. I think it would have been a much better pairing than the aioli, which just didn’t seem right.
And the menu:
The original Zellwood Corn Bisque served with a Corn and Lobster Fritter and Ancho Chili Oil has changed to Brentwood Corn Bisque, though the fritter and oil remain the same. The Cheese & Charcuterie Board’s description gets scaled back from our last visit, and is no longer designated as being “for two.” The Artisanal Cheeses and Mussels were removed to make way for the Shrimp and Chorizo Bruschetta.
Overall, I enjoyed the Crispy Bites and would definitely order it again. It’s a bit indulgent to treat it as a meal, hence why I brought half home. But hey, you’re at Disney so indulge away should you wish! I thought it was an interesting way to enjoy cheese without being a standard cheese plate (don’t get me wrong, I still love cheese plates). The items even reheated well, despite some of the sticks falling apart a bit when placed into a slightly-too-small box. It’s a nice addition to the menu.
Have you tried any of the new items on The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Menu? Do you think you’ll try the new items or an old favorite?