50. Lunch At Big Thunder Ranch At Disneyland

Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Purchasing a Disneyland Annual Passport was like investing in a small car, but we did it. The goal this year: Hit every ride. Unofficially, it's to also chow at every outlet. And despite summers and some seasonal employment via the Disneyland College Program (it exists!) a long, long time ago, there are still a few regions of the Magic Kingdom I have yet to conquer. One of them was Big Thunder Ranch.


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Not to be confused with the recently renovated ride attraction or THE RANCH off Ball Road, this is the dead zone between Fantasyland and Frontierland. Somewhere in between is a spot where you can pet (and later feast on) farm animals. The only food I used to remember in that 'hood was the shack sponsored by McD's serving fries and Cokes.

Now, while it doesn't advertise as being All-You-Can-Eat, it essentially is. Servers bring food and drink out to shaded picnic tables in family-style fashion. This ain't KCBS competitive level grub, but it's darn tasty for the cost ($24 at lunch, including beverages; half the cost for kids) and quantity you can consume. Barbecue chicken and porky ribs are thoroughly cooked and seasoned. The slaw reminds me of Wood Ranch BBQ, sans peanuts. Corn bread 'n beans do the job, but sneak your preferred hot sauce if you want heat. Drop in at dinner, and the extra cost rewards you with sausages and corn. Dessert options are extra. However, a bonus is that you can pre-order cakes to be served there– perfect for the birthday we attended. With entertainment for the tots and a little country twang for big kids, you can seriously kill a couple of hours sitting, eating, relaxing . . . and did we say sitting?

Psssst: To dine at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, you can learn more about reservations at this link and book up to 60 days in advance. And yes, they take Annual Passholder discounts.

The List:

51. Pescado A Lo Macho at Muelle Peruvian Cantina
52. Cemita de Milanesa at La Cemita Poblana
53. Meatballs and Polenta at 320 Main
54. Shellfish (Ốc) at Hien Vuong Da Kao
55. Basic Bol at Boldo Bol
56. Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill
57. 10-Item Plate at Thuan Kieu Noodle & Grill
58. Leche Frita at Cafe Sevilla
59. Happy Hour Sushi at Ginzaya
60. Red Beans and Rice at Disneyland's French Market
61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero
62. Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich at Little Sparrow
63. Breakfast Taco at Sapphire Laguna
64. Husky Burger at Husky Boy Burgers
65. Love Bagel from Koffee Klatch
66. Kouign Amann From The Crema Cafe & Bakery
67. Chili Lime Popcorn From Green Tomato Grill
68. PB & J At Hopscotch
69. Takuwan Sushi from AnQi by Crustacean
70. Ube Ensaymadas from The Ensaymada Project
71. Pork Bánh Mì at the OC Poultry and Rotisserie Market
72. Tacos Gobernador from Mariscos Los Corales
73. Dutch Baby at the Original Pancake House
74. Doughnuts from Sidecar
75. Lengua Tacos at La Chonita
76. Oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Orange Homegrown Farmers Market
77. Lemon Miso Crab Melt at Umami Burger in Laguna Beach
78. Pani Puri from Adya
79. The Pocket at the Pocket Burger
80. Gyro Sandwich from Paul's Place
81. Slice of Heaven at Pie-Not
82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo
83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery
84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle
85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café
86. Smoked Trout at Provenance
87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant
88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro
89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong
90. Poke at Costco Tustin II
91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos
92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House
93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas
94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe
95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's
97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch
98. Any Special Dinner by Old Vine Cafe's Mark McDonald
99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels
100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar

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