There are two things we all do before a big trip to Disney: pack a survival kit for an all-day park hang and plan out the first food stop. For John Stamos, that means stuffing a bag with hair products and diapers (ICYMI: Uncle Jesse is a new dad!), and scheduling his umpteenth trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for The Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad.
His obsession with the salad is one that runs deep—like, can’t-leave-the-park-without-ordering-it deep. “Last time I was there, they gave me the famous recipe,” Stamos explains. “I made it at home, but it didn’t hold a candle to the real deal and the atmosphere in the Brown Derby.”
MUST-VISIT: THE HOLLYWOOD BROWN DERBY
Like the original Brown Derby, Disney’s riff on the restaurant welcomes you into the Golden Age of Hollywood with dark, moody wood paneling and celebrity caricatures dotting the walls. When you eventually make it there, you’ll order the Cobb Salad, of course, but don’t sleep on the Grapefruit Cake. It’s another restaurant special that also hails from the original Brown Derby.
The original Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, CA, was a movie star magnet too, and it’s where Stamos got his first taste of the Cobb Salad, which was invented by the OG restaurant’s owner: “When I was 18 years old and on General Hospital, the executive producer Gloria Monty took me to the Brown Derby in Hollywood. It was an actual giant brown derby! She took me there to try to convince me not to leave General Hospital.” Spoiler alert: Stamos still left the show—but he took his love of the salad with him.
These days, to get a taste, you’ll have to head to Disney’s replica of the original restaurant, which closed in the ’80s. “Whenever I come in, they conveniently open the guest book to my signature, [where I’m] professing my love for the Cobb,” Stamos explains. “Last time I was there, so was the great Neil Patrick Harris. We kept them busy switching back and forth from my signature to his!”
To tide you over until you can make it there, we scored the recipe for the salad so you can make it at home, too. It's a hearty dish that'll power you through a day at the park—or a Disney movie marathon. Plus, it’s the next best thing to actually breaking bread with one of your favorite celebrities, don’t you think?
Catch Stamos on Disney+ in his new series Big Shot.
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