Winner, Winner, Don't Eat Dinner: The Worst Restaurant in the Anaheim Resort

Last November, we celebrated the closure of the Baker's Square restaurant in Garden Grove's International West district, the very worst example of a chain that struggles to achieve mediocrity. It was, in retrospect, pretty bad--limp produce, low-quality meat, and service that met every criterion for a tourist trap. We looked at five restaurants to which we could pass the crown for the Worst Restaurant in the Anaheim Resort.

The commentary was telling--of the seven comments that weren't me, three mentioned Captain Kidd's. Looking it up on Yelp revealed that at the time of publication, of the 56 reviews, 41 were one-star, 10 were two-star and 5 were three-star. If it's not the lowest-rated restaurant in Orange County, it's got to be in the bottom 10 percent. Clearly it was time to take one for the team and see whether the hype was true.

Captain Kidd's is located directly across the street from the pedestrian entrance to Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. Families who've stayed in one of the hotels on the strip exit the park and are immediately confronted with the sign, and more often than not a guy waving coupons to entice people in.

The first thing diners will notice is the paid parking; it shares its parking lot with the adjacent hotel, so diners have to take a ticket. The parking is not cheap--$12 for the first half hour, but you can spend two hours at Captain Kidd's with a validation from the front desk.

I ordered the buffet, as nearly all people do, and was asked if I wanted a beverage. There was a huge, colorful display of all the beverages available--soft drinks, beer, wine, and a special blue pirate drink. Conspicuously missing was the price--$2.89 for a glass of iced tea, as I found out, added to a bill of $8.99 for lunch plus tax and a "buffet tip".

The item on the left, next to the nacho cheese, is a bucket of refried beans.
I was led through a theoretically pirate-themed room and, upon arrival at the plastic booth my nearly $15 had rented for the duration of my stay, the server was quick to point out the tableside location of the ketchup, yellow French's mustard and off-brand hot sauce, presumably to head off the inevitable questions later and avoid having to stop at my table.

The buffet was at the front end of the restaurant, I assume to entice diners from outside on Harbor Blvd. to stop in. A cold salad bar was on the left, with only a few things actually resembling the makings of a salad (it seemed to be cold storage for things like ranch dressing and packets of butter); a mixed hot and cold bar with child-friendly options like woefully dried-out spaghetti, macaroni and cheese and penne with marinara next to ice cream toppings. Along the right was an extensive bar of hot foods.

Location Info

Captain Kidd's

1550 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

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