It’s time to talk about a restaurant that hasn’t yet been on Disney Food Blog! (GASP!!)
Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant
Time to try out lunch at a Cap’n Jack’s! I’ve been to this spot twice now, and even though it will likely disappear at some point in the next few years with the Downtown Disney / Disney Springs renovation, I still need to tell you about it so that you can run over and get in a meal before it’s too late!
Looking every inch the waterside Florida seafood restaurant, Cap’n Jack’s is located at Downtown Disney Marketplace and sits right atop a pier overlooking Village Lake. You’re so close to the water that you’ll feel like you’re floating!
Recently, I stopped into Cap’n Jack’s for lunch with a friend. My previous visit wasn’t great, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Will it be hit or miss? Time to find out!
If you have ever been to a waterside seafood restaurant in your favorite beach resort town, Cap’n Jack’s will at once seem a bit familiar. Housed next to the Downtown Disney Marina, it’s a classic seafood spot!
And that sense of history that you feel isn’t purely Disney magic. This restaurant has actually been around since 1975 when Buena Vista Shopping Center — now Downtown Disney Marketplace — originally opened. In Disney terms, that’s a seriously long time!
Within the restaurant, you’ll find fairly standard seating, low ceilings, and wooden floors. This feels like the family-owned seafood restaurant that you’ve been visiting for years.
One thing you typically won’t find at Cap’n Jack’s is a large crowd. That means you can usually find a table without a reservation or much of a wait. The bar is a comfy spot to relax for a bit while taking a break from the busy shopping scene at Downtown Disney.
And if you love a room with a view, you’ll enjoy the sweeping panoramas of the surrounding shops.
But don’t forget — you are in a Disney restaurant. Be sure to keep a weathered eye out for Hidden Mickeys!
After I scoped out the restaurant a bit it was time to dig in to lunch. Let’s check out the menus!
We started with a quick look at drinks. We were greeted with many of the choices that we see everywhere, courtesy of the standard Disney cocktail menu.
The Strawberry Margarita has apparently been an option here since Cap’n Jack’s beginnings.
You’ll find the same list of options on the beverage menu, in addition to a small offering of wines.
A couple of non-alcoholic special beverages top the regular menu, which also highlights available appetizers and entrees. The menu is small, but offers a good variety of seafood options. And don’t fear — there is a good selection of dishes featuring chicken, pasta, and beef, too, as well as a vegetarian option.
If you are dining with the Captain for lunch, there are also a few selections exclusively available for midday meals.
Nothing on the beverage menu grabbed our attention on this particular day, so we went straight for the food. My friend began her meal with a bowl of Clam Chowder. She was really pleased with the selection, saying that the soup was just the right creamy consistency without being too thick.
It had large pieces of tender clam meat, and the potatoes were cooked perfectly. This was definitely a win for her.
The day we visited, the Chef’s Recommendation, or daily fresh catch, was a Lobster Roll. Again, my friend was very pleased with the quality.
The lobster roll was surprisingly light but the perfect serving size. The roll itself was soft and grilled just a bit, and the chunks of lobster were sweet and lightly dressed — there really wasn’t a mayonnaise taste at all. It was all about the meat and a light dressing.
When it came to my turn, I chose Jack’s Clam Bake, served with a wedge of focaccia. Isn’t it just about the best presentation, ever? The “bucket” was sized for one person. I though it was great!
The dish is the restaurant’s rendition of a classic seafood boil, with steamed shellfish, chicken, sausage, corn, and potatoes, all served in a seasoned beer broth.
Here, you can really see the fresh parsley and the vibrant color of the just-right boiled corn.
While I contemplated how to go about eating the boil from the bucket, the cast member manning the bar — who also took the time to share all sorts of awesome Disney dining details with us since he’d been working in WDW for many years – took matters into his own hands! He presented the dish tableside for me!
This made for a fun touch and a much less messy meal!
The finished product made for a beautiful presentation! (Don’t worry; there’s plenty more seafood still in the bucket — I just wanted to give you an idea with the pic.)
And, even better, I loved the dish. The beer broth was super flavorful, and the spicy sausage added another awesome flavor “texture” to the mix! I would totally go for this meal again!!!
With our entrees deliciously behind us, it was time to take a look at the dessert menu.
I was glad that I had saved some room, because the Key Lime Pie was calling to me (as it always does)!
You know how much I love a good amount of pucker when it comes to key lime pie, but this was a little too sweet for my liking. The portion was also a little on the small side. But overall, it did provide a nice note of “something sweet” to end the meal, so it wasn’t a complete washout.
After hearing mixed reviews of Cap’n Jack’s for years, and after having a relatively bad experience my first time, I really didn’t know what to expect. However, I can tell you that our meal was awesome. My friend even remarked that it was one of the best lunches she had ever enjoyed at Disney — and she’s eaten quite a few meals there, let me tell ya!
With that, I would definitely recommend Cap’n Jack’s. It’s an especially good choice if you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing spot for lunch away from the noise and chaos of a park lunch. And because it’s rarely busy, this is also a great spot to have in mind should you find yourself with a big appetite and no Advanced Dining Reservation.
Have you dined at Cap’n Jack’s? What’s your favorite dish on the menu?