The Best Thing I Ate All Week in Disney World Was At Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.

Brown Derby Lounge is a terrific place to dine if you’re looking for a little Hollywood Flair at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the best part is that there’s no ADR required!

That’s right! You can saunter up to Brown Derby Lounge on a whim and experience the understated elegance and tasty menu that so many have lauded in the Brown Derby Restaurant proper.

We’ve enjoyed our visits here, where Margarita and Martini Flights rule and you almost can’t go wrong with the menu of Brown Derby Restaurant-approved eats. And with outdoor seating on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s a great place for people watching!

During a recent visit to the World, I dropped in for a few plates of food — and left having eaten the best thing I ate in my entire visit! I love being surprised by awesome food — even more so when it’s served in such a great location!

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Bar

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Bar

Atmosphere

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is a relaxed, mostly outdoor location (seats are on the patio of the Brown Derby). In the past, they have offered indoor seating at times.

Outside, tables are close, but it’s a nice little getaway for a last-minute meal or drink.

Passersby

Passersby

Seating is at both standard height tables and tall bar tables.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

If they ARE offering inside seating on your visit, this is the gist.

Inside Patio Seating at Brown Derby Lounge

Inside Patio Seating at Brown Derby Lounge

But let’s get to the most important part of this!

Eats

The menu at the Brown Derby Lounge is packed with tasty beverages and app-sized bites, so it’s a fun place to try a few new-to-you things.

Brown Derby Lounge Menu

Brown Derby Lounge Menu

We love the flights here. It’s a delicious way to sample various drinky drinks! The margaritas are yum!

Margarita Flight

Margarita Flight

The eats here are listed as Small Bites, and they include The Famous Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad and the lauded Derby Original Grapefruit Cake (served as part of the Dessert Trio).

Brown Derby Lounge Eats

Brown Derby Lounge Eats

I opted for three dishes — one an old standby and two new additions.

Brown Derby Lounge Eats

Brown Derby Lounge Eats

First up, the old standby: Derby Sliders. This duo includes a beef and a duck option.

Derby Sliders

Derby Sliders

The Wagyu Beef slider is the better of the two — by far. It’s Wagyu Beef with Cognac-Mustard Aïoli, Smoked Gouda Cheese, Bacon, and Avocado. The beef is flavorful, and the toppings are balanced and high quality.

Wagyu Beef Slider

Wagyu Beef Slider

It’s a delicious burger, with that Smoked Gouda taking on a starring role.

Cross Section

Cross Section

The Duck Confit slider is okay. It’s topped with Taleggio Cheese, Chipotle-Vegetable Slaw, Sweet Onion-Orange Conserve, and crispy Leeks. Although the ingredients should be stellar, they’re just not that exciting to eat, unfortunately. There’s little spice or flavor from the Chipotle-Vegetable Slaw, and the whole thing is a little muddled.

Duck Confit Slider

Duck Confit Slider

Note that you can pay $3.00 extra to get two wagyu sliders instead of one beef and one duck. I’d recommend it.

Next up was Tamarind-Glazed Pork Belly. Any pork belly has instant appeal for me, and this one sounded great. At first glance, it had good color and some obvious moisture.

Tamarind-Glazed Pork Belly

Tamarind-Glazed Pork Belly

The accompaniment includes Chorizo, Plantain, Sweet Potato Hash, and Mango Pico De Gallo. I was really hoping this would wow me, but it was a little meh. It had great sweetness from the glaze, and that was compelling; but otherwise, it’s nothing special.

Pork Belly

Pork Belly

But the last item of the day? Guys. Seriously. Order three of these and call it a day: Andouille-Crusted Shrimp! Andouille. Crusted. Shrimp. Heaven.

Andouille-Crusted Shrimp

Andouille-Crusted Shrimp

I remember having this on the Brown Derby menu long ago — but then it was one jumbo shrimp. I love the three smaller shrimp here.

The spicy, flavor-packed shrimp are plated atop SUPER-flavorful Cotswold Cheddar Grits and are garnished with Micro Salad with Lime and Piment d’Espelette Oil. There’s also a dynamite slice of Andouille Sausage serving all kinds of looks and flavor.

Andouille-Crusted Shrimp

Andouille-Crusted Shrimp

Completely stunning in its taste and appearance. This is a must — a MUST! But you will not want to share, so just order as many as you need. ;) Yes, at $15 a plate it’s pricey. No doubt. But SO worth it IMO.

Nosh or Not?

Get glam at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge if:

  • You want to enjoy the Restaurant’s top-notch dining but couldn’t score an ADR.
  • You’re letting spontaneity guide your dining and need a walk-up option.
  • You love interesting dining in a not-so-in-your-face-Disney locale.
  • Your kid fell asleep in her stroller and you’re ready for a margarita.

Go somewhere else if:

  • You prefer a table service, dedicated indoor dining experience.
  • You want the full Brown Derby Experience in the Restaurant proper.
  • You just want to grab quick service and hit the Tower of Terror hard instead.

Overall

Can I have some more Andouille-Crusted Shrimp? Like, every day, all day? Please? The Brown Derby Lounge retains its appeal as a great place to drop in for a meal without an ADR, and with some outstanding food and drink options, we’ll be back! Basically tomorrow.

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Are you a fan of walk-up dining? Tell us about your favorite places to dine without an ADR in the World! 

Comments

  1. Danielle says

    This looks like heaven! I love grits and great shrimp! Do you know if the version on the main menu in the restaurant is bigger? I would hope so since the price is $11 more. But you never know. LOL This is definitely a small plate so probably not the most filling for lunch. I’m debating on the restaurant or just sticking to the casual side of the lounge. But the restaurant might be the way to go with larger plate options.

  2. Eric says

    Just out of curiosity, how long ago were these pictures take? I go to WDW several times a year & ALWAYS spend an afternoon or two at the Brown Derby Lounge, but I’ve never seen it in the arrangement pictured here — I was just there in late Jan./early Feb 2018, & just like I’m accustomed to seeing, there were a lot more tables set up, some right up against the railing, as well as 2-person tables where you show a kind of bar set up.

  3. DFB Sarah says

    Danielle, good question! We haven’t seen the entree portion from the restaurant proper, but one would hope it would be larger given the price difference. If not, then we’d get two orders in the Lounge. (Yup, AJ says it’s that good!)

  4. DFB Sarah says

    Eric, I’m sure they change up the seating from time to time. We were there last week to do this review. :)

  5. Rebecca Watson says

    We were just there in April and had lunch at the Brown Derby Lounge. Great spot for people watching. Good service and the food was delicious. I had the sliders and my husband had the Cobb salad. Would go there again.

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