BACKSTORY (July 24, 1966—Present): Café Orléans was called Creole Café until 1972 and started out as a counter-service restaurant. They served speciality sandwiches, fritters, phosphates, and ice cream delights. New Orleans Square was the last opening event Walt Disney attended at Disneyland. The original espresso machine can still be seen in a cubby hole inside. It was converted into a table-service restaurant in 2006.
From the Disneyland website:
Celebrate the spirit of Mardi Gras every day of the year at Café Orleans. On a charming shady corner in New Orleans Square, this table-service restaurant serves Creole-inspired cuisine. The authentic food and atmosphere just might make you think you've taken a trip to the French Quarter.
Café Orleans serves delicious food with a distinctive New Orleans flair for lunch and dinner. Menu items range from "Crescent City" salmon salad and gumbo to crepes and the restaurant's famous Monte Cristo sandwiches. Special menu items for the kids include Mickey's cheesy macaroni. The signature Mickey-shaped beignets are great for dessert or an afternoon snack.
Monte Cristo Sandwich
The specialty of the house is, without a doubt, the Monte Cristo sandwich. Adapted from the French classic sandwich, croque-monsieur, the Monte Cristo sandwich appeared in California restaurants in the 1950s. Featured at Disneyland Park eateries since 1966, it has since become a coffee shop standard nationwide.
When you meander down the narrow streets of New Orleans Square, you are transported into a genteel world of fragrant flowers and leisurely afternoons. Sit down and relax in the gracious dining room or on the shady patio as you watch the boats on Rivers of America glide by.
Close to two of the most popular attractions in Disneyland Park, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, it's also a great place to dine before Fanstasmic! during the summer.