Backlot Express Review: How Do The New Menu Items Stack Up?

    We recently visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios to check out the new menu items at Backlot Express.

    If you’ve never been, Backlot Express is basically one of the last remaining vestiges of the Hollywood Studios of old. Themed as a prop warehouse, Backlot Express is wholly a quick-service restaurant but tucked away in a corner of Hollywood Studios that has largely been untouched for years. Backlot Express is situated between the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours. Here’s a quick look around the space before we jump into our Backlot Express review of the new menu items.

    Backlot Express Theming

    Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork Burger – $14.29

    1/3 Angus Beef Burger topped with Slow-smoked Pulled Pork, American Cheese, Coleslaw, Crispy Onions, and House-made Sweet-and-Tangy Barbecue Sauce served with choice of Side

    A shockingly unphotogenic presentation here will ultimately lead to a positive review of a burger that has a hilariously bad addition of American cheese. Let’s start with a photo that we can stomach.

    All is well so far. However, once we opened the burger to take a look at the pulled pork and other accompaniments. It’s this view that reveals cheese that isn’t necessarily cold but is seemingly impervious to heat. The burger would do well to spend a little more time under a heat lamp, or perhaps a blowtorch to get this cheese to melt, but let’s not get distracted. The pulled pork was nice and soft and the crispy onions played a worthy adversary, texture-wise.

    The burger appears to be terribly dry, and while we would’ve definitely liked to have at least seen evidence of the “house-made sweet-and-tangy barbecue sauce”, there was enough in the pulled pork to make up for the fact that it wasn’t applied as a drizzle. There is a healthy amount of coleslaw under the burger, which soaked the bottom of the bun and balanced the dish. Fries are fries.

    Overall, we enjoyed the burger, but it’s probably not worth going out of your way for. That said, if you find yourself at Backlot Express, it’s worth the $2 upcharge over a bacon cheeseburger.

    Teriyaki Chicken Bowl – $12.99

    Seasoned Jasmine Rice, Teriyaki Chicken, Yuzu-pickled Edamame, Carrots, Cucumber, and Onions drizzled with House-made Lemon-Tahini-Chipotle Vinaigrette and Sesame Seeds

    While the burger might not be worth going out of your way for, we think the Teriyaki Chicken Bowl might be. For those looking for a plant-based offering, this comes in a Teriyaki Tofu Bowl variant for the same price.

    The check was wonderful and only enhanced by a traditional teriyaki glaze. While we only took photos of the bowl as presented, it was quickly all mixed together after initial, un-mixed bites of everything.

    On the other side of the chicken, you’ll find your veggies and a wonderful House-made Lemon-Tahini-Chipotle Vinaigrette. Everything is fresh here and the edamame provides a nice, firm snap texture to the bowl. The jasmine rice was wonderful – that is, clumpy and sticky in the best way, everything you’d hope for in a dish like this.

    This was a fresh, delicious bowl that we can certainly recommend.

    Southwest Salad (with Chicken) – $11.29

    Romaine mixed with Roasted Corn Relish and Diced Tomatoes topped with Pickled Red Onion, Cheese, and topped with Grilled Chicken Breast served with House-made Jalapeño-Lime Ranch Dressing

    Finally, we have the Southwest Salad with Chicken. There is a version without chicken that will only run you $9.99, if you please.

    Just like the chicken bowl above, the chicken was grilled nicely, but this dish might not have as positive of a review, in total. We found that the House-made Jalapeño-Lime Ranch Dressing was lacking in punch, and ended up being pretty much just a ranch dressing. From there, the rest of the salad was perhaps just a step above “pedestrian”. The romaine reminded us of a pre-packaged offering from Publix. While there is no doubt that you will get some good bites out of the salad, they were too far apart for us to really enjoy this offering.

    Skipping the salad, we enjoyed the burger and really enjoyed the chicken bowl. We ate outside in the covered, open-air area and enjoyed lunch as the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular played nearby. It’s maybe a niche moment in the theme parks, but it was enjoyable. The food was good and the atmosphere kept pace. Unlike other restaurants in the park that either feel too formal or rushed, the outdoor seating at Backlot Express can be a wonderful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the park.

    Taking a closer look at the menu offerings, it’s hard to say that Backlot Express hasn’t been improved by these new offerings when the competition was a basic burger or 4-piece chicken strips. We’d still rather stop in a Docking Bay 7, but Backlot Express is now worth a serious consideration on your next visit.

    In a press release detailing the new items, Disney also said that the Cuban Sandwich was new but we can’t imagine that it has changed that much since it debuted in 2019. Here’s our review from when it was new.

    REVIEW: New Menu Items at Backlot Express (Cuban Sandwich, Chicken and Biscuits, and Desserts)
    New menu items have debuted at Backlot Express. From a Cuban Sandwich to Chicken and Biscuits, and brownies to key lime verrine, we eat it all!

    As always, keep checking back with us here at as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!


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