How to Eat Healthy at Disneyland Resort (Part 2)

Here’s a new healthier snack sold in Downtown Disney.

Bite-size Beignets.JPG

Background: Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express specialize in Cajun-Creole cuisine. The “Kitchen” is a sit-down (“Table Service” in Disney lingo) restaurant that serves Lunch and Dinner everyday, and Brunch on Sunday (10 am to 3 pm). Click HERE to see their menu.

The building is a replica of traditional French Quarter architecture, and the Kitchen also features live music at Flambeaux's, a New Orleans-style jazz club. Seating options include outside (ground level and balcony, with a view of the Downtown Disney walkway), inside (both first and second floor), and semi-inside: in the open air courtyard on the ground floor. Heaters are available for outdoor and semi-outdoor seating.


Next door is the Jazz Kitchen Express, which provides a more limited menu of Cajun-Creole food items. Here is their MENU. Seating for the JKE is outside only. 

Both the Kitchen and Express sell an extremely delicious New Orleans signature snack: the beignet. The dictionary definition of beignet is “A square deep-fried pastry served hot and sprinkled with powdered sugar.”  Pronounced:  ben-yay.) If you’ve enjoyed a beignet (especially a warm beignet), you’ll know that this definition doesn’t accurately describe this yummy treat.  If you’ve never had one, you’ll be amazed.  At both the restaurant and the Express, the beignets are freshly made. Their warmth exponentially multiplies their deliciousness (probably not a word, but I’m sticking with it).

Bite-size Beignets.JPG

How is this healthy??? Now you know now that beignets are fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Frying? Sugar? Probably white flour? How can this be healthy, you ask?  Well, the part of Ralph Brennan’s Express  (only the Express) recently added a new item to only their menu: Bite-sized beignets. They've introduced automatic portion control! Each bite size beignet is equal to about 1/4 the size of a regular-size beignet.  Now when my friends buy and offer me beignets, I don’t have to feel deprived. One bite-sized beignet is not as far outside my idea of healthy eating as eating a regular size beignet.  If I eat one bite-sized beignet (BTW, I savor it in 3-4 bites), I’m usually satisfied without being overwhelmed by the sugar and fried features. Though it’s hard to stop at one, so maybe I’ll have two. If you're reading this post, I don’t need to tell you that “healthy” does not equal eating the whole bag of bite-sized beignets (an order is 12 per bag)! Eating the whole bag does cancel the healthiness of this portion controlled size.

As much as I want to believe that they're concerned about healthy eating habits, I assume Ralph’s makes these bite-size beignets to use the scraps after rolling out the dough from making standard-size beignets (see the photos above). Their good idea is a win for those of us who just want “a taste.” Now if I could just order of one or two minis….

Final note: Be careful while eating beignets (regular or bite-size) if you are wearing dark clothing. Ralph’s doesn’t stop at a “sprinkle” of powdered sugar on their beignets. They put about ¼ to ½ cup in each bag before putting the beignets in the bag. After you receive your bag, you shake the bag to distribute the powdered sugar onto the beignets, and only then do you reach in the bag and eat one. Inexperienced beignet eaters can usually be identified by the powdered sugar on their clothes (or even on their shoes).