Review: Lunch (and new menu items!) at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

With so many new spots to check out at Disney Springs, I was anxious to get back to a few of our longstanding favorites.

So on a recent visit to Walt Disney World, I took the opportunity to meet friends at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.

Atmosphere

If you’re familiar with the former Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island, then you know that Raglan Road used to front the Pleasure Island District, right next to the expansive parking lots.

Well, with the redesign of the entire area and the birth of Disney Springs, Raglan Road seems to have moved! Actually, it’s in exactly the same place…it’s just that Disney Springs has bubbled up right out front of the spot. :-)

New Disney Springs Map

New Disney Springs Map — Key

New Disney Springs Map

New Disney Springs Map — Raglan Road is #36

So to get your bearings, you need to think of what’s around the restaurant now. You’ll find it across the bridge from Sprinkles. And of course, Morimoto Asia is right next door.

Cupcakes with a View

Bridge from Disney Springs Town Center to Raglan Road

Patio Seating

View of Raglan Road from Sprinkles’ Patio

While the outside orientation feels a little different, we aren’t complaining! Raglan Road was built from repurposed materials, shipped from pubs and churches in Ireland. As such, it’s always felt a little more antique than its surroundings.

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

Raglan Road — Outside Front View

But now, it fits right in with the circa 1900s feel of this new, old little town. And you’ll still find Cooke’s of Dublin, Raglan Road’s Counter Service location, off to the side of the restaurant. There are also two different bars that occupy space in the restaurant as well as the Hole in the Wall outdoor bar.

Cooke's of Dublin

Cooke’s of Dublin

If you haven’t had a chance to explore inside Raglan Road, be sure to have a look around the next time you visit; there is so much to see here.

As you enter, you’re greeted by staff at the small entrance podium. Through a door to the left is outdoor bar seating.

Entrance Foyer

Entrance Foyer

To the right, you’ll find the Raglan Road gift shop, where you can purchase a wide range of memorabilia. This is a great spot to find that Guinness pint glass or t-shirt that you’ve been looking for.

Gift Shop

Gift Shop

The pub itself is roughly divided into three rooms, but you’ll find all kinds of cozy corners — and even a traditional “snug” or two — for lots of variety.

The Main Dining Room has soaring ceilings, crowned with a cupola trimmed in stained glass. During the day, the skylights allow for plenty of natural light to filter in. The high ceilings also lend themselves well to the performances that take place here. You’ll find live music and traditional Irish dancing daily.

Dancing Podium and Stage

Dancing Podium and Stage

The octagonally-shaped room is flanked by not one, but two bars! Suffice it to say that you won’t go thirsty at Raglan. Not a chance. :-)

One of the Two Bars Inside

One of the Two Bars Inside

Beyond the Main Dining Room, the Music Room offers comfortable seating, and guests here still have a view of the entertainment in the Main Dining Room.

Music Room Seating

Music Room Seating

Perhaps the quietest area to sit is the Raglan Room. Lower ceilings and a narrow entrance mean that you’ll have an easier time hearing conversations — something that can be a bit challenging in other parts of the restaurant when the live music is happening.

Raglan Road Seating

Raglan Room Seating

For more details and photos of the beautiful pub, be sure to check out previous Raglan Road reviews, like this one.

Eats

We happened to be dining during the afternoon hours. As such, we had access to both the Lunch and Dinner Menus. It’s the best of both worlds!

Lunch -- Click to Enlarge

Lunch Menu — Click to Enlarge

Dinner Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Dinner Menu — Click to Enlarge

While we love the incredible free-of-charge entertainment that Raglan offers in the evenings, lunchtime has its charms, too. For beginners, you can normally find a table during the day without an advance dining reservation. But also, because dancing and live music take place in the evenings, lunchtime is a nice time to have a quieter meal. (Weekends are the exception, when you’ll find live entertainment during the The Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch hours of 10:00AM to 3:00PM.)

Raglan Road Dancers ©Raglan Road Pub

Raglan Road Dancers ©Raglan Road Pub

It’s true that we have some serious favorites at Raglan Road. But even though the pub does offer a core menu of classics, fans should also note that Master Chef Kevin Dundon also likes to introduce new dishes as well. In fact, in the last year, Chef Dundon has included several menu items that utilize locally sourced ingredients. It’s a notion that’s central to Chef Dundon’s food philosophy — and it’s exciting to see that translated to Raglan Road as well.

Strawberry season was in full force for my visit, so it seemed a good time to try a refreshing cocktail — the Strawberry Fields Mimosa, which combines Ciroc Vodka, Aperol, Lemon Juice & Housemade Strawberry Puree topped off with Prosecco. This is a light cocktail that’s perfect for starting things off just about any time of day.

Strawberry Mimosa

Strawberry Mimosa

Along with our cocktails, we thought some Appetizers would be a good idea. I hadn’t tried the Smokie City, but it came highly recommended. The baked dip is served with Toasted Baguette Slices, and consists of Baked Smoked Haddock, Dubliner Cheddar Cheese, Diced Potatoes, and Cherry Tomatoes.

The strong Dubliner gives the lighter flavors of the other ingredients an extra kick (I LOVE me some Dubliner, and actually have some in my fridge right now). This is a guest favorite at Raglan, and is well worth a try.

Smokie City

Smokie City

I also couldn’t resist Raglan’s take on the Scotch Egg. You probably won’t be surprised to find out that the pub classic has been rechristened An Irish Egg here, however.

An Irish Egg

An Irish Egg

Guinness and Onion Sausage encase a perfectly Soft Boiled Egg. Pickled Cabbage and Saffron Aioli complete the plate. The sausage here is extraordinary! I’ve had my share of Scotch Eggs, and this is probably my favorite that I’ve tasted due entirely to the flavors in this sausage.

An Irish Egg -- Up Close

An Irish Egg — Up Close

Did I mention that the egg is perfect? Here’s an inside shot, in case you had any doubts. :-)

An Irish Egg -- Cross Section

An Irish Egg — Cross Section

The Kids’ Menu isn’t something we’ve explored a whole lot previously. But thanks to my small fry along for the ride this time, we finally had our chance.

We tried the Gold’n Chicken first. The housemade Chicken Goujons — the fancy name for Chicken Fingers — came with an ample side of Raglan’s thick-cut Chips. However, for this particularly picky eater, we chose to substitute Raglan’s skinny chips instead.

The kiddo loved the chicken and fries, but the adults agreed that we would happily take an adult version of this kid classic any time. The skinny chips here are heaven. Usually they come with a dusting of parmesan and garlic when the grown-ups order them!

Gold'n Chicken

Gold’n Chicken

I thought the next dish was a great option for kids as well. Yummo Risotto is a kid-sized serving of Garden Pea Risotto, rendered even more creamy and flavorful by the addition of Pecorino and Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese. The dish is topped with a Grilled Chicken Breast Cutlet. (If this looks good to you, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a grown up-sized portion available as well.)

My kid loves rice, risotto, AND peas, so this worked out well for him. And, of course, the grownups all snuck a few tastes as well and we loved it! ;-) Look at all that cheesy goodness going on in that risotto!!!!

Yummo Risotto

Yummo Risotto

But there’s plenty more to explore!

From the lunch menu, one of my friends opted for the Steak Sanger. The Open-Faced Sandwich includes Grilled NY Strip and Basil Grilled Vegetables. It’s dressed with an Herb Aioli, and is offered with a side of Chips.

This was good, though not exactly what we expected. I guess I was thinking it was a sandwich — like with two pieces of bread. But this is very open-faced indeed!

Steak Sanger

Steak Sanger

But here comes our favorite choice of the day — the Pork by Pork. The dish offers Pork prepared two ways: Sage and Onion Stuffed Pork Loin, and Cider Braised Pork and Apple Fricassee. The whole thing is topped with a pork cracklin’ (which, incidentally, is the second time I was served cracklin’s at a Disney restaurant on this trip — maybe it’s a trend).

Pork by Pork

Pork by Pork

The dual dishes are served over creamy Mashed Potatoes and are topped with Warm Applesauce.

Pork by Pork

Pork by Pork — Up Close

The Sage and Onion Stuffing is the same that you’ll find in the Hog in the Box entree on the Cooke’s of Dublin menu.

And overall, this dish was ah-mazing. We were told that it had originally been a seasonal menu item, but that it was so well-loved by guests that it was staying on the menu longer-term. I’m so glad, as the flavors and textures here are perfect. We couldn’t stop eating it! This is comfort food at its best.

Pork by Pork -- Cross Section

Pork by Pork — Cross Section

Another friend went for the savory Our Pie to Try, which is served with a fresh Side Salad. The filling of the pie changes regularly, so it’s always fun to find out what the special is.

Our Pie to Try -- Quail

Our Pie to Try — Pheasant

This time out, the filling was Pheasant and Potato. We were told that during the week, guests will usually find beef or chicken filling the pie. But on weekends, when Raglan sees more traffic from locals, then switch it up to something  a little more unique.

Our Pie to Try -- Quail -- Inside

Our Pie to Try — Pheasant — Inside

This was good, but I’m not sure pheasant is my thing! I would definitely choose the Pork by Pork over this any day!

While our meals were certainly satisfying, there was no way we were passing up dessert. And while we planned to try a few new things, we couldn’t resist starting with a Raglan Road classic — Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding.

Ger's Bread and Butter Pudding

Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding

The pudding is served overflowing a large coffee cup, and comes with two different sauces — Creme Anglaise and Butterscotch.

Ger's Bread and Butter Pudding -- Pouring the Sauce

Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding — Pouring the Sauce

This is an excellent bread pudding. But I’ve had it several times over the years, and always felt that it was…missing a little something. Well, on this visit I figured it out.

In the past, I’d opened up the bread pudding and poured the sauce inside…all tidy-like. This time, I just dumped everything in those little buckets all over the bread pudding so that it soaked the whole dish. And THAT was the ticket. USE ALL YOUR SAUCES FROM THE BEGINNING. Don’t worry about the mess. That’s how you get the best texture and flavor out of this one. (That’s a PSA for the other super-tidy people out there like me.)

What might even be the better choice is to ask for a second plate, dump the bread pudding out on the plate, and pour the sauces over the whole thing — making sure you get every inch covered. Oh, and then ask for some ice cream to put on top. I’m totally doing it that way next time.

(Think I’m a little crazy about trying to maximize my food enjoyment? I agree. But that’s why you love me.)

Ger's Bread and Butter Pudding -- Sauced

Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding — Sauced

Finally, it was time to try a new entry to the lineup — Granny Dundon’s famous steamed Orange Pudding. The traditional pudding is a moist Cake with a rich Caramelized Orange Sauce that’s steamed right along with the cake. If you are a fan of Sticky Toffee Pudding — or any British, Scottish, or Irish Pudding — and you favor Orange, you’re going to love this one. We sure did. In fact, even though it has a lighter texture and flavor, it was one of our favorites of the day! Another one that we couldn’t stop sneaking tastes of.

Granny Dundon's Famous Steamed Orange Pudding

Granny Dundon’s Famous Steamed Orange Pudding

We also were intrigued by the Uisce Berry.

Uisce Berry

Uisce Berry

Whiskey-Poached (Uisce beatha is the Irish Gaelic term for whiskey) Sweet Life Farms Strawberries take center stage here. They’re paired with an Irish Oat and Firewater Bar. The cake is garnished with a Mead Emulsion and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Uisce Berry -- Up Close

Uisce Berry — Up Close

This one…well, it didn’t hit the mark as well as the other desserts for us. The Irish Oat Bar had the harder texture of a non-fat protein bar. I would have LOVED if this was more like a soft British flapjack (basically oats, sugar, and lots and lots of butter), since flapjacks are one of my favorite foods on the planet. But as it stood, this one did not impress in flavor or texture. I’d recommend the Bread Pudding or Orange Pudding over this one.

Overall

Once more, Raglan Road brings its “A” Game. Seriously, despite my personally not liking that dessert, every other dish we tried was a winner. And I find that while some Disney restaurants are flailing — having difficulty maintaining consistently good food and service — Raglan just keeps getting better and better. That’s not very common when it comes to Disney World restaurants — believe me.

If you’re a longtime fan of the Pub, you’ll still find many of your favorites. But the team here isn’t afraid to branch out and try new things as well. After all, they aren’t looking to celebrate only where Irish food has come from; they’re routinely looking to share a glimpse into what’s happening there right now as well.

Even with all of the new kids on the block, I’ll continue to enjoy my visits to this spot when I’m after an authentic slice of pub experience. People ask me all the time which restaurants I recommend in Disney World, and I always have to stop and think about “what’s good right NOW,” since so many of them cycle in and out of favor with me. But I can always consistently recommend Raglan, no matter what. And that’s saying something.

What are you looking forward to trying the most during your next visit to Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with us!

Our thanks to Raglan Road for inviting us to dine. You can see the DFB disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. Kendra says

    We too are avid fans of Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding and make a point of ordering it on every single visit to RR, even when we know we are too full to eat it! On our very first visit to Raglan, we had a fantastic server who taught us “the secret to properly eating” the awesome dessert – using the soup spoon that always accompanies it, dig a well in the center, clear down to the bottom of the mug. Dump as much of the sauce(s) (we usually pour all of both sauces in!) and use the same spoon to then pull all of the bread pudding out of the mug onto the plate that accompanies it. Delicious! We also found that it travels extremely well and will get an order to go as it makes for an amazing breakfast the next morning! (Just hit it for 30 seconds or so in a microwave) Great review!

  2. DwarfPlanet says

    I was very disappointed the last time we visited. Serving staff didn’t seem to be up to the challenge that evening. My first visit I had the Bangers & Booz and this was really really good, I just love their stew. So on our last visit I ordered the Sod the Stew expecting to get a decent plate or bowl of stew to munch down on. What I got was to me barely a Cup of Stew and a huge bowl of green beans. Now you can see the menu here and no where on it for the stew does it say it comes with anything else. On top of that I personally despise green beans all in a bowl by their lonesome. My fault I didn’t ask for it to be substituted after it came out for I would have asked for some mash instead. But my wife went for the beans due to her salad she ordered was heavy on the dressing and in her words “not very good”. So if you are thinking of the stew ask first what is coming with it.

  3. Sarah says

    That bread pudding is the stuff dreams are made of. When we ordered it on our last trip, it came on a larger plate. Our waitress actually recommended just dumping the whole thing out onto the plate, and that worked well. The sauces definitely make it.

  4. Keith says

    Agreed…Raglan is always one of the best on property. And Kevin may be THE best chef in all of Disney World

  5. Erin says

    DROOL!!! I was able to visit Raglan again in April and it was EXCELLENT!! I really wanted my best friend to try it and he loved it too. Great server (he also worked at Skipper Canteen and you could totally tell…loved him) and even though we were in the side room which I hadn’t experienced before, the dancers came right in there and we got an up close and personal show which was awesome. The Irish Egg was SO good and I had the pie of the day which was chicken at the time…amazing. I was so full I couldn’t get the bread pudding even though I probably should’ve tried! I’ll have to try that pork dish next time, looks so so good. Thanks for the review!

  6. Mark says

    Great place for us locals. It’s Really nice now that all the construction walls are down.

  7. Casey says

    I guess I am in the minority . We went for dinner and the food was good, nothing to really rave about, the service was okay and it was extremely noisy making impossible to have a conversation. I doubt we would go back.

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