Carthay Circle. Pickle Brine Meets BBQ Bitters.


So I’m new to Southern California.  I'm new to 80 degree days in November, to eight lanes of 80mph freeway traffic, to white sneakers and early morning spin class.  I'm new to plastic surgery coupons, and I'm new to brunch before noon.  And it's, well, different.  After living in New York City for six years, I had developed a certain way of doing things and a certain expectation of how things are done.  But as I have come to realize, life in SoCal is just not that way.  Perhaps I never made it to that magical seven year anniversary that makes one a true New Yorker, but I had adopted the culture through and through.  And it’s only more apparent now that I am 3000 miles away.  But in an attempt to fit in, to adopt the ways of my new found surroundings and to look on the so-called bright side, I have started my own personal list of redeeming qualities of Southern California. Number one on the list is the widespread availability of cilantro at Subway.  Yes, cilantro.  I actually had a different number one that I probably came up with during some late night drunken rant, but as such, it is lost in the deepest recesses of my mind.  So, cilantro.  It's delicious, and it's delicious on a Subway sandwich.  Number two is Disneyland.  Since moving to SoCal, I have been to Disneyland twice, and I can confirm that it is in fact the happiest place on earth*.  I don’t feel like I need to explain this one.  But I will say, it was only after experiencing a delicious pickle brine bloody mary at Carthay Circle that Disneyland became number 2 on my redeeming qualities list.

After being forced to experience the absolutely terrifying California Screamin’ ride (I’m more of a Mr. Toad kind of gal), I was in dire need of a nerve calming bloody mary.  Enter, Carthay Circle Lounge.  Set on Buena Vista Street, this welcomed adult escape transports you to Hollywood’s Golden Era.  Truthfully, it reminds me of a fancy hotel bar, one that I like and would absolutely visit, but nonetheless a hotel bar.  I quickly ordered my bloody mary, described on the menu as “Belvedere Bloody Mary Vodka, Bloody Mary Mix, Barbecue Bitters, and Dill Pickle Brine garnished with a locally grown Organic Dill Sprig and a dehydrated Horseradish-crusted Tomato Slice.”

It arrived, and it was beautiful.  Not the kind of thing I was expecting from Disneyland.  The dill sprig was fresh and fragrant.  The dehydrated tomato slice was unique and delicately laid upon the cocktail.  Each sip contained a strong pickle brine flavor and an underlying Memphis BBQ Bitters smokiness.  Salty with a moderate spice, the Finest Call bloody mary mix could still be detected, but the unique additions elevated this standard bar mix to something much more refined.  You can even find the recipe here.

As for the rest of my list, there aren’t any more redeeming qualities.  I suppose I should say, yet.  It’s a work in progress, and I shouldn’t be so cynical.  After all, I’ve had many delicious bloody marys here, and there are only more to come.  For its very fancy pickle brine laden bloody mary, Carthay Circle Lounge earns 4 Celery Stalks.

*By earth, I mean Southern California.

Carthay Circle Lounge Disney's California Adventure 1313 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, California 92802. [wpgmza id="28"]

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