10/7/14 Update: Menu updated.
Location: Fairfax Fare is part of the broader Sunset Ranch Market on Sunset Boulevard. You’ll see it on the left after passing Anaheim Produce and before arriving at Hollywood Scoops or the Tower of Terror.
Food Type: Barbecue, Hot Dogs, Salads, Turkey Legs (when Toluca Legs is closed).
Dining Plan: One quick service credit and some items count as snack credits.
When Toluca Turkey Legs is closed, Fairfax Fare offers Turkey Legs.
Unique Items: The Fairfax Salad and Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog with Truffle Oil are both unique.
- It’s almost always open until Park close. Many Studios quick services close earlier in the evening.
- There’s usually plenty of outdoor seating.
- The Chicken and Sparerib Combo is a lot of bang for your quick service credit and the Fairfax Salad is better than most vegetarian options.
- Lines are usually short, though they can be long in the evening after most quick services close.
- The Hot Dogs aren’t particularly high quality and the Spareribs are generally fatty. Hot Dogs only come with bagged chips.
- No indoor seating.
Value: Below average to average. The Chicken and Rib items are on the expensive side and don’t necessarily up the quality level. The Hot Dogs are generic and lack distinct flavor.
Reputation: Average. Fairfax Fare doesn’t have much of a following.
Chicken and Sparerib Combo:
The Chicken and Spareribs don’t get as much press here as a similar plate over at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. If you’re on the Dining Plan, this is a meal you may want to seek out as it’s the most expensive quick service entree you’ll find and it’s available all day, unlike Cosmic Ray’s which rolls out its combo only after 4pm. Add the Cake and Fountain Beverage and you’re looking at a meal that exceeds $20. That said, I’ve found the chicken portion to be small and the ribs to be fatty. For a similar amount of money, you could dine at 50′s Prime Time Cafe or Sci-Fi. I’d order it again on the Dining Plan, but not necessarily out of pocket.
Speaking of Cosmic Ray’s, this is the Barbecued Pork Sandwich purchase there. Pricing, portion size, and quality would be the same here. The Barbecued Pork is reminiscent of Jack Daniels’ brand that you can purchase in grocery stores. I don’t find them to be a compelling value, but they are available.
Macaroni & Cheese Hot Dog with Truffle Oil:
I’m not sure where the truffle oil comes into play. My understanding of it is that most truffle oils are made with artificial ingredients anyway. The truffle oil certainly didn’t make a discernible difference in the overall flavor as far as I could tell. Otherwise, it’s about what you would expect. It’s your basic Disney hot dog topped with macaroni & cheese from the kids’ menu along with a sprinkle of bacon bits. It certainly wasn’t bad. My biggest complaint with Disney quick service is that the food is very rarely hot. This hot dog wasn’t any different. Granted, I fiddle around with my camera for a moment before digging in, but it doesn’t take me any longer to do that than it would take an average parent to get their child seated and taken care of. The macaroni and cheese basically gives the same flavor as the hot cheese sauce at Casey’s Corner. The dogs here also come on different buns than Casey’s Corner, Cosmic Ray’s, etc. Overall, this isn’t a compelling value. It’s a relatively small portion and there isn’t a whole lot to it.
Chopped Romaine, Chili, Tomato, Roasted Corn, Sweet Peppers, Monterey Jack, and Corn Tortillas served with a Jalapeno Ranch Dressing.
This was another worthy salad. The Jalapeno Ranch Dressing reminded me a lot of Litehouse Salsa Ranch, which is one of my favorites!!!!!!!!!! The salad was prepared to order, which is always nice. A lot of the Disney salads served at the larger quick services are prepared in advance, though it’s rare that they’re made more than an hour before they’re served. My only complaint would be that there isn’t a ton of sustenance involved. While the tortilla strips are in abundance, there isn’t a ton of protein involved. I would have liked it to include some chicken or something or at least include the option. There isn’t a whole lot to the chili. Based on taste, this is one of the best Disney quick service salads I’ve had and it would pair nicely shared with one of the barbecued items available. It would be filling for someone with a smaller appetite, but it isn’t going to keep people with larger appetites full for very long.
Power Pack Lunch (Note exact items can change):
This is the Power Pack, which is served in this cute container with a handle on the top. Anyone can purchase a kids meal at any of the quick service locations. After all, when’s the last time you saw an eight year old buying something by themselves? I get a funny look every once in a while (probably because they assume no woman would actually have a child with me), but they can’t question you. Physically can’t.
And spreading out.
It’s hard to say whether or not this is a good value. You get a pretty good size cookie, string cheese, package of Goldfish, package of baby carrots, a Danimals yogurt, and Mickey Milk for $5.49. It’s actually a pretty decent amount of food for the price and probably around 600 calories combined. It seems like this would be a good choice if it’s meal time and your child proclaims they’re “not hungry,” even though we both know they’ll be “starving” in an hour. They could eat a couple of the cold items now and you could pack the Goldfish, cookie, and possibly the string cheese or carrots for later.
Fairfax Fare shares seating with the other Sunset Ranch Market quick service locations. All seating is outdoors on benches. Umbrellas and awnings help keep the sun out, but it doesn’t do much to decrease the temperature. There is really no air-conditioned seating nearby. You would have to march over to ABC Commissary, which is a good five-plus minutes away.
The Sunset Ranch Market condiment bars aren’t particularly exciting. You’ve got your run-of-the-mill options and nothing more. Mustard, ketchup, mayo, barbecue sauce, and relish come in packets and ranch is the only salad dressing offered.