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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bubba Gump (Anaheim)

Now that residency applications are finally over, I can finally get back to blogging! Here’s to blog about our food adventures in California in the summer…yes…the summer. :( I thought I’d start with my favourite meal of the trip… BUBBA GUMP!

Forrest Gump is one our favorite movies of all time! Rich and I have watched it countless times. Ever since Rich saw a Bubba Gump restaurant in Hawaii a few years ago, I’ve been bugging him to bring me to one. Bubba Gump is a chain of Forrest Gump movie-theme restaurants that have popped up all over the world. Due to “unfortunate” circumstances, I wasn’t able to try it in Hong Kong or San Francisco. :(

On our second day at Disneyland, we decided to venture out for lunch instead of eating the expensive theme-park food. I was pleasantly surprised when TomTom brought up Bubba Gump as a nearby option. Rich finally gave in and off we went!
_MG_2530 Right outside the restaurant was a display of the famous bench where Forrest told his story, along with his running shoes and briefcase. There was even a souvenir shop full of Forrest Gump-related merchandise.

When we walked into the restaurant, we were greeted with Forrest Gump memorabilia everywhere. The most prominent was the big red signs that said “Stop Forrest Stop”. Do you remember who said that line and when? :)
_MG_2533 _MG_2536
_MG_2531 The signs were also present on each table, just above the salt and pepper shakers. The waiter explained that when we wanted service, we should flip the sign to the blue side “Run Forrest Run; and when we don’t need any service, we should flip the sign to the red side “Stop Forrest Run”. I thought it was super cute and a good use of a famous line of the movie.

Chained to each table was a table tennis racket that also serves as the drinks menu. Aside from the usual soda and beer, they also have a selection of specialty drinks like the sparkled lemonade and secret mango sparkler.
There was also a big metal tub that was presumably for shrimp shells and plenty of ketchup.
When I saw the word jambalya on the menu, I just couldn’t resist!  The menu listed it as “Blackened Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille Sausage, sautéed with Bell Pepper, Onions, and Rice in Bubba’s own Spicy Sauce, topped with Tomatoes and Green Onions”. The shrimp in the dish was quite fresh and plump. Rich didn’t like it too much since he complained that the rice was too mushy… but he’s a fried rice type of guy. I did find that the dish was overtly spicy – so much so that it overpowered the rest of the flavours. I like spicy food, but this one didn’t do any favours for the chicken and shrimp.
_MG_2574 _MG_2576
Rich went for the Shrimper’s Heaven, which was advertised by the menu as “voted #1 guest favorite”! This was a combination of hand breaded coconut shrimp, chilly shrimp, fried shrimp, and Japanese style tempura shrimp with fries. It was served with three sauces: tangy Asian (kinda like a soy sauce-based tempura sauce), Cajun marmalade and zesty cocktail. I don’t think we had any “fried shrimp” as there were only shrimp served in three cooking methods. The star of this dish was definitely the coconut shrimp – probably the only one that was good. I like the crispy batter on the outside. It went really well with the Cajun marmalade. The chilled shrimp were okay – but I was disappointed to see the shrimp not deveined. I like cocktail sauce, so I overlooked this oversight. However, the so-called tempura shrimp were terrible! The tempura batter was mushy and it tasted over-fried. Though I have to admit, we do have some really good tempura prawns in Vancouver that may cloud my judgement a bit. Anyhow, I guess I really shouldn’t order anything “Asian” outside Asia and Vancouver. _MG_2577
_MG_2581 All in all, the experience was pleasant. Our server was super attentive. The food wasn’t that great (but it was better than what they serve in Disneyland :P). I liked how the “newspaper” serving paper reported stories related to Forrest Gump.

The Yummies:
  • Excellent attention to detail – very good decor
  • Attentive servers who refilled our waters frequently and stopped whenever we had the run forrest run sign up :)
The Yuckies:
  • Mediocre food at best
  • More of a touristy trap than actual good food place (to be expected though)

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