Make Walt Disney’s Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

Today we take a trip down memory lane, looking at the life of Walt Disney. This weekend I was able to visit Walt’s beautiful storybook mansion in the Hollywood Hills and also visit his favorite restaurant, The Tam O’Shanter. Of course, I have a recipe to share with you inspired by my amazing weekend… Walt’s favorite dish from The Tam, a Mister MacTavish Burger! Here’s a little history on Walt, then we’ll get to the recipe!

Walt Disney’s Storybook Mansion

In 1932, Walt and Lilian Disney built their dream mansion in hopes of expanding their family in the hills of Los Feliz, not far from their former home further down the hill from Lyric Avenue. The private residence occasionally hosts tours so Disney fans can see inside and learn the incredible history of the place. I was so honored to visit Walt’s Storybook Mansion this weekend and hear all of the incredible stories that took place in this beautiful estate.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant
The tour was led by none other than Dusty Sage from MiceChat!

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

The exterior has such a fairy tale feeling with ivy covered brick walls and turrets.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

Upon entering the house you will see a beautiful iron staircase which follows the curve of the tower leading to a magnificent hand painted ceiling.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

In every square foot of the house, you remember Walt.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

The backyard offers stunning views of downtown Los Angeles. But what I love most about the backyard isn’t the view, or the sprawling lawn, or even the inviting pool — it’s the Snow White Cottage that Walt had built for his daughters, Diane and Sharon. , for Christmas while they were living in the house .

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant
The current pool was built after the Disneys sold the house and the property was subdivided, but the original pool still exists a little further down the hill, now on a neighbor’s property.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

The mansion is filled with painted stained glass and lots of charming storybook details.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant
Charming details throughout at Walt’s Storybook Mansion

Walt really loved this particular area of ​​LA, which is why he built his homes and his Hyperion studio just down the street, along with a few production outbuildings just around the corner. However, Walt forgot one important thing when building Hyperion Studio: there was no housekeeping for his staff to eat. Instead, he adopted a nearby Scottish themed restaurant called The Tam O’Shanter which essentially became an extension of his office. He would do a lot of business at table 31 next to a cozy fireplace which is marked by a poster and a tag on the table that mentions it was Walt Disney’s favorite place.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

When ‘The Tam’ was built by owner Lawry in 1922, the builder was told to throw away all the levels and plumb lines and just watch! What was created was a very charming wood and mortar building that may have inspired the look of Snow White’s cabin, the Disney girls’ playhouse, and the studio’s production outbuildings.

My parents grew up in Burbank just a few blocks from what is now Burbank Studio and my first trip to The Tam was after my first piano recital at the age of 8 in 1973. fancy restaurant!

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

It’s still a meaningful place to me today: I even celebrated my 55th birthday there with my family and sat in Walt’s room (there were too many of us for Walt’s table) but then I I was able to slip into the stand and take pictures!

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite RestaurantDisney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

For more information on visiting the Walt Disney Storybook Mansion on your own, follow their Facebook page and register for the Disney Mansion Events Email.

Mister Mactavish Rarebit Burger Recipe

At least 3 times a week, Walt ate lunch at “The Tam” and often ordered the same thing. He was not a fan of fancy steaks and had a very simple palate. His “to-go” meal was the Mister MacTavish Rarebit Burger, which was a regular menu item from 1922 through the Seventies. Unfortunately, it is no longer on the menu today. However, I was able to find the original MacTavish Burger recipe. The original was served on plain white bread and the rarebit (a type of cheese sauce) was lightly spiced with added bacon. This recipe is like time travel, in the best possible way.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

Mr MacTavish Rarebit Burger

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of beer
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 slices of crispy bacon
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 8 slices of white bread, toasted, or slices of ciabatta bread, toasted

Instructions:

As a bonus, I’ve included a recipe for the Tam O’Shanter for Scotch Rarebit which can be used as a spread on toast or as a dip for vegetables.

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant
Yorkshire Pudding (which is not a pudding at all but rather a type of popover bread) and Scottish Rarebit (which is a spicy cheese sauce) from The Tam O’Shanter

Tam O’Shanter Scotch Rarebit
Makes 5 1/2 cups

  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 liter milk, boiled
  • 1/2 pound plus 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of beer

Instructions

  • Bring the oil to a boil. Add flour and dry mustard. Cook 3 minutes.
  • Add milk, cheese, salt, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and cayenne pepper. Bake until the cheese melts.
  • Stir the cornstarch into the beer and add to the hot mixture.
  • Return cheese mixture to heat and bring to a boil. Add food coloring, if desired. Remove from heat and strain.

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Let’s listen

Have you visited any of the historic sites in Los Feliz de Walt? A fan of Tam O’Shanter? Ready to prepare the Mister MacTavish Burger at home? Let me know in the comments below.

And if you’d like to be added to The Walt Disney Storybook Mansion event listings, be sure to add your email address below:

Disney Dish: Prepare Walt Disney's Favorite Burger From His Favorite Restaurant

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Herman C. Harkins