Who would have thought I would have stumbled onto the famous Los Angeles Farmer’s Market all the way in Orlando, Florida? Or at least a rough facsimile. The Sunset Ranch Market at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a flashback to the days when Farmer’s Market didn’t have a multi-million dollar outdoor shopping mall and movie theater attached to it but was a simple place serving local food from local vendors. The food here at Sunset Ranch Market reflects the sophistication of today’s modern menu while still harkening back to those simpler times.
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Specialty: Quick, simple, tasty fast food meals
Cost: Very reasonable (generally under $10 per entree)
Craig’s Favorite: BBQ Pork Slaw Dog at Fairfax Fare
The Sunset Ranch Market is actually a series of small food stands located around a central eating area. Most of the stands are named after locations in Los Angeles. Fairfax Fare is one of my favorites specializing in BBQ yummyness. Chicken, ribs, and pork sandwich are all on the menu along with some gourmet dogs like a chili dog, mac-n-cheese dog, and my personal choice – the BBQ pork and slaw dog. Hollywood Scoops (obvious Los Angeles reference) serves what you’d expect – ice cream treats. But more than cups and cones, this place serves up a delicious apple crisp a la mode and a brownie sundae along with the classic hot fudge sundae. Rosie’s All-American Cafe handles burgers including the 1/3rd pound fresh Angus onion straw cheddar cheese burger and chicken nuggets while Catalina Eddie’s does pizza, salad, and a hot deli sandwich (although with a big picture of a fish I kind of expected fish and chips). Anaheim Produce features the fresh fruit you’d find at California fruit stands and Toluca Legs Turkey Company (a play on Toluca Lake) offers not only the jumbo turkey leg you’d expect but a pork shank as well (with potato salad)!
This was a great place to go for a quick meal. While it does get crowded, there was ample seating and the food was served fast and fresh. Personally I went for the Fairfax Fare slaw dog with chips and a Stormtrooper mug of lemonade (it WAS Star Wars Weekends). It was better than I thought it would be and I was really in the mood for a good dog. Having a slaw dog if you’ve never had one is a Southern treat and combines the crunchy texture of the slaw with its sweetness combined with the powerful savory flavor of the dog. The BBQ pork was just and added bonus. I finished the meal with the apple crisp from Hollywood Scoops and I was pretty skeptical about it, but it was definitely worthwhile! The apples were soft but firm enough, the ice cream was of good creamy quality, and the crumble which is the highlight of any crisp was sweet and tasty. All-in-all quite delicious.
Places like Sunset Ranch Market are great for a family of picky eaters or if you just like variety. Everyone can get something they want without splitting up the group. When you’re in the mood for good quick food, stop by the Ranch and enjoy a spell in the shade. You’ll be glad you did.