When spending the day at Disneyland, you will be on your feet constantly, covering more miles in the Happiest Place on Earth than you thought was possible in a single day. For us, we hopped back and forth between California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park. Seeing we only had one day to ride these rides before heading back to the East Coast, we ate lunch while we walked and consumed protein bars that we had packed for snacks. We aimed to maximize our time while in the park, which meant that by dinnertime, we had failed to sit down and eat all day long.
After wandering around the park all day, we had seen most of the restaurants Disneyland had to offer inside the park and decided we wanted something that was more conducive of sitting down, relaxing and enjoying good food. Right at the entrance of Disneyland is Downtown Disney where there are rows and rows of shops and restaurants, so we knew where we were heading to eat. After walking around, we settled upon Tortilla Jo’s.
There were half a dozen people milling around the entrance to the restaurant, so we knew that there was going to be a wait, but the smell of fresh tortilla chips made it so enticing. The hostess told us it would be a 15-minute wait, yet after a quick run to the bathroom, we were already being seated.
While walking to our table, we passed numerous other tables that had a large bowls of chunky guacamole. Immediately upon sitting down, prior to even ordering beverages, we placed our order for that incredible looking homemade guacamole and followed that up with some drinks. In what seemed like only seconds, our waitress returned with water, chips, salsa and guacamole. The guacamole was served in a fake volcano stone bowl but was still quite tasty. The main shortcoming was that the guacamole could use some additional lime juice and salt, but this did not hold us back from devouring the appetizer.
When delivering our cocktails, the waitress noticed that our basket of chips contained a majority of broken chips and, without a request from us, quickly replaced the basket with large, fresh chips. As we all rested our feet, enjoyed our drinks and recapped the day, we had some tableside entertainment from a balloon man. Several employees walked around making impressive balloon hats and animals for the children in the restaurant.
After approximately 15 minutes, our food was delivered to us. Like your standard Mexican restaurant, the portions were enormous. Two of us ordered the vegetable fajitas while the third ordered a combination platter. The fajitas were delivered while still sizzling piled high with broccoli, peppers and onions. On the side were numerous corn tortillas (you had the choice of corn or flour tortillas), black beans, rice and a supply of lettuce, tomato, guacamole and sour cream.
The vegetables were perfectly cooked, with a light amount of oil and a mild charred flavor. After filling up on all the chips and guacamole, I was barely able to eat a third of my massive pile of food. If I could have, I would have eaten more. Aside from the vegetables, the black beans were the standout on my plate. These were vegetarian black beans and they were perfectly seasoned. The rice was a cilantro green rice, which like the guacamole, was under salted.
Both of us were pleased with our vegetable fajitas and had enough to take home for another one or two meals. My husband, who ordered the chicken enchilada and soft beef taco combination platter, made an impressive dent in all his food. The combination platter was also served with the rice and beans. After taking a bite of both the enchilada and taco, I would state that the enchilada was the standout on his plate. Both tasted traditional as your standard Americanized Mexican cuisine.
Disneyland may be one of the most expensive places in the entire United States and we were aware that our check might cost more than a ticket into the park itself. With three meals and three cocktails, our bill was surprisingly reasonable. Unlike so many other restaurants in Downtown Disney, all three entrees were normally priced and without the Disney-caused inflation.
If I am ever back in Disneyland, without a doubt, I will dine at Tortilla Jo’s. This restaurant offered attentive and friendly service with appetizing food all at reasonable prices. Tortilla Jo’s definitely had us leaving Disneyland believing it is the Happiest Place on Earth.