Disney World’s Raglan Road Pub offers guests a wealth of Irish charm and classic dishes with a contemporary twist. I know that sounds like a pamphlet, but it’s pretty much whatcha get! You’ll find this spot in Downtown Disney, right next to Cooke’s of Dublin, so you’ll be surrounded by Little Ireland as soon as you get there.
Raglan Road is rarely quiet in the evenings. You’ll want to come here when you’re ready to have a bit of fun, indulge in some delicious food, and enjoy the raucous goings-on around you. That’s not to say you’ll feel as though you’ve wandered into a frat party; even though Raglan Road is on Pleasure Island, the feeling here is of a decidedly more upscale, slightly tipsy cocktail party vs. the final night of Rush Week.
Upon entering the restaurant, the massive expanse of polished wood will surely be the main draw for your eye. Although this place is easily the size of four or five pubs back in Ireland, the decor remains similar — wood paneling, flooring, bars, tables, and booths; brass fixtures; old world feel. What’s different here is the soaring ceiling and cupola, edged by beautiful stained glass panes that make you feel like you’re sitting inside a sunset when you visit at dusk.
The pride and joy of the pub are the imported Irish bars. Nope, it’s not just the alcohol that’s imported here — it’s the bars themselves. Hacked off and shipped straight from Ireland, these:
They flank the main dining area, so no matter what edge you’re standing on you’re not far from a pint. They’re so important that they’ve even named the chairs after VIPs. This one’s named after Master Chef (and Disney Food Blog Interviewee) Kevin Dundon.
On your way out (or while you’re waiting for your table) be sure to stop into the gift shop, where you can purchase a number of Raglan Road themed items, along with Master Chef Kevin Dundon’s cookbook and condiment line.
To add to the atmosphere, take the time to read your menu thoroughly. You’ll find plenty of tongue-in-cheek adds like the Raglan Road FAQ, which offers tidbits of info like, “No, we don’t serve half-pints. It’s grounds for imprisonment back home in Ireland.”
And “How to Speak Dublinese.” Be sure to ask your server the whereabouts of the Jacks. Anything could happen.
Of course, don’t forget to read the Raglan Road Story…
…and by now you must be really hungry!
I couldn’t wait to head back to Raglan Road. I’d eaten there once a few years ago, but not since the inception of the food blog, so it was an exciting opportunity to look at the restaurant in an entirely new light!
We were seated relatively quickly, even though the restaurant was crowded. Before we were called, however, we had the chance to indulge a bit at the bar. For me: One for the Road — a mix of Ciroc Vodka, Midori, Orange and Pineapple juice. For my husband — a pint of Newcastle.
Once seated (at a table instead of my preferred booth, but alas…), we decided quickly on a couple of appetizers and two Irish classics done Dundon style.
Our first appetizer was this:
An incredible array of appetizers on a sampler tray big enough to feed a family of four! The best part of the presentation was the forest of scallops and battered sausages — so much fun! We fought over the ribs (delicious) and sausages (who doesn’t like battered sausages?). The scallops and grilled chicken (the healthiest options, of course) were lesser loved by us, but the platter is still worth ordering! Next time, I might pitch the scallops and get more sausage!
And because I can’t pass up a corn chowder, which just so happened to be the soup of the day…
For entrees, I chose the Bangers and Mash (how else was I going to do the Battle of the Bangers?), and my husband chose the Keen Eye for the Shepherds Pie, with prime beef and lamb under mashed potatoes.
The Bangers and Mash (actually called “Traditional Guinness and Onion Banger”) were delicious — a Guinness-based beef and onion stew served as the gravy in this re-imagined pork sausage dish. The serving was hearty and the taste was savory and delicious. The stew gave a homemade edge to the whole thing — as though it was something you’d sit down to after coming in from a walk on a winter day on the Irish cliffs…somewhere… . Though I’d probably have to choose Rose & Crown’s Bangers and Mash over this one, it’s definitely a different — and delicious — approach to a standard dish.
The shepherds pie had a contemporary twist — molded instead of standard pie-form. The meats were tender, but not mushy, and were complimented well by the potatoes. While this isn’t what many would consider a “traditional” presentation, we thought it was a fun way to showcase an age-old dish in a new an interesting way.
But dessert is why you go to Raglan Road, my friends. Dessert is why you go. We couldn’t pass up the (famous) Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding, which is served with a caramel/butterscotch type of sauce and a cream sauce…amazing.
And as good as that was, the star of the evening was the Fresh Apple and Strawberry Tart with berry compote and vanilla ice cream. This may or may not be on the menu when you go, but if it is, grab it. Get two. The oatmeal-y, buttery, sugary tart reminds me of the “flapjacks” I loved so much in the UK. Covered with the tart berry compote and the sweet vanilla ice cream — this thing has it ALL.
While Raglan Road is well known as an authentic Irish hot-spot, few folks who haven’t been there are aware that they also provide some incredible authentic entertainment. Irish dancing a highlight, performed every hour or so on a tiny stage in the middle of the restaurant.
There are also some fantastic Irish musicians who showcase their own music and Irish favorites most nights. We were seated right next to the stage and it DID get loud, so if you’d like to have the opportunity for plenty of conversation, request a seat away from the stage area.
For information on discounts, atmosphere, famous dishes, links to full menus, and Disney Food Blog posts about Raglan Road, see our Raglan Road Info Page.
What’s been your experience with the food and atmosphere at Raglan Road? Let us know in the comments below!