Review: New Menu Items (and Lots of Fresh Cocktails!) Debut at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Time for St. Patrick’s Mighty Festival

Raglan Road Irish Pub at Downtown Disney continues to be one of my favorite spots to gather with friends.

Although the major overhaul of the Downtown Disney / Disney Springs area makes getting here more difficult, I think it’s worth the time and effort to make it happen.

You’ll find Raglan Road right in the front of what was formerly known as Pleasure Island, but what is slowly morphing into The Landing at Disney Springs. Indeed, so much work has taken place in this area (finally!) that you’ll hardly recognize it if you haven’t been there for a while. Let’s take a quick look at the immediate area, and also have a little look around the Pub before we settle in for the food talk.

Atmosphere

So…how long’s it been since you visited Raglan Road? Because the landscape around the Pub has definitely changed a bit. At least, for the time being. If you’re accustomed to approaching Raglan Road from the (previously) adjacent parking lot, you might be a little disoriented.

Raglan Road -- Outside, with Construction Walls

Raglan Road — Outside, with Construction Walls

We actually parked in the completed West Side Parking Building, and the exit brings you out in front of Planet Hollywood. From there, it’s just a short walk, past some of the new Disney Springs shops, to reach Raglan Road.

Don’t let all of those construction walls put you off. Once you’re inside, it’s exactly the same, and you’ll start to feel that sense of the familiar as you step into the foyer.

Entrance Foyer

Entrance Foyer

The gift shop is located to the right. You’ll find a good assortment of Raglan Road merch, but there are also some interesting items that would make awesome gifts.

Gift Shop

Gift Shop

You can choose between two bars. And be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to look around — the bars and other trim in the pub were actually salvaged from pubs, churches, and other spots in Ireland. That sense of nostalgia and antique? Totally authentic.

One of the Two Bars

One of the Two Bars

Raglan Road is pretty large, boasting three separate dining rooms, plus a snug and a few inviting corners. For a more extensive tour, check out our most recent lunch review.

Recently, I had the chance to sample some of the new menu items that Raglan Road has introduced just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Eats

The staff of Raglan Road were excited to share some delicious new dishes with us. To showcase them, we enjoyed a sampling of several new items at a recent luncheon.

Dinner Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Dinner Menu — Click to Enlarge

Raglan Road fans will be relieved to see that a lot of their favorites, like Dalkey Duo and Nom Nom Wings, made the cut.

Menu -- Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Appetizers — Click to Enlarge

Likewise, there are a couple of new Entree options that we’ll look at, but all of the signature items remain.

Menu -- Entrees -- Click to Enlarge

The New Dinner Menu — Entrees — Click to Enlarge

Menu -- Salads and Sides -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Salads and Sides — Click to Enlarge

While what you see here may not be plated in exactly the same way it was for us when you order it, you’ll get the idea from the pictures of the fives courses we enjoyed.

We also have several drinks to show you. Don’t worry; what you’re about to see was a team effort, and not my own personal parade of drinks. ;-) To keep things straight, I’ll share the cocktails as they were served — paired with each course.

We began our meal with an aperitif, an Irish Honey Cup. The refreshing drink combined Bushmills Irish Honey, Pimms, Fresh Lemon Sour, and Sprite for a little sparkle. The drink was garnished with Cucumber and Fresh Lemon.

Irish Honey Cup

Irish Honey Cup

We began with Harry’s Beef Carpaccio, a combination of Seared Beef Tenderloin with a side of Greens and Tomato, simply dressed with Creamy Anchovy Vinaigrette. The dish is garnished with freshly shaved Parmesan

Harry's Beef Carpaccio

Harry’s Beef Carpaccio

…and an Anchovy Filet. I confess, this wasn’t my favorite part. But others seemed to enjoy it. And it was certainly a showstopper!

Anchovy Garnish on the Carpaccio

Anchovy Garnish on the Carpaccio

Our next course would be an [Read more…]

News! And Review: Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC (BabyCakes!) Opens in Disney Springs

Just last week we showed you the signs outside the new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in Downtown Disney…

Erin McKenna's NYC Bakery sign

Erin McKenna’s NYC Bakery sign

And NOW we are happy to report that as of yesterday, it’s open for business!

First things first: Why all the excitement over this bakery? Well, aside from being the latest addition on the scene as Downtown Disney transitions to Disney Springs, it’s also the new home to BabyCakes NYC gluten-free and vegan baked goods in Disney World!

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna is the founder of BabyCakes NYC. Almost one year ago, the BabyCakes location in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace closed (along with Pollo Campero and Bodie’s All-American) to accommodate construction in the area. The new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC fills the void felt by many guests on restricted diets, either due to allergies, digestive intolerances or lifestyle choice when BabyCakes closed, so we’re here to offer it a hearty “Welcome Back!”

Atmosphere

Now, I just mentioned the Marketplace, so let’s not go too much further before we discuss the location of Erin McKenna’s. It finds its home in what is now called The Landing (formerly part of the Pleasure Island area). Depending on your most recent visit to Downtown Disney, things may look a LOT different! You’ll find Erin McKenna’s tucked right in among some brand new retails shops including Sanuk, Sound Lion, and Chapel Hats, facing what will be The Boathouse restaurant.

Erin Mckenna's NYC Bakery at The Landing

Erin Mckenna’s NYC Bakery at The Landing

Seeing this area with its exposed brick and aesthetically pleasing outdoor strolling area, you really do start to get a feel for how much [Read more…]

Celebrate National Margarita Day Tomorrow, Walt Disney World Style!

We are happy to start a little early celebrating National Margarita Day tomorrow, February 22! Now, this is a holiday I can get behind!!!

If you’ve been here for any amount of time at all, then you know I lurve a good Margarita. (If you’re new here at DFB — welcome…and FYI, I love margaritas!) And some of my very favorites can be found right at Walt Disney World.

Grab some limes and tequila and let’s take a look at our must-drink margs!

Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

The AguacateAvocado Margarita — from La Cava del Tequila has been one of my very favorites from the first time I sampled it!

It’s a wonderful, made-to-order concoction that blends Avocado, Lime Juice, White Tequila, and Melon Liqueur for a flavor that’s like no other!

Avocado Margarita

Avocado Margarita

My favorite thing about this drink is the perfect balance of the creamy consistency with a sweet flavor — not to mention the tequila :-). A little Agave Nectar and the liqueur balance the flavors nicely.

And thanks to an awesome reader, you and I can even make this one at home today with this recipe, and celebrate this holiday in style!

Blood Orange Margarita at Flying Fish Cafe

Blood Orange is one of my favorite flavors. After all, with the complex, less sweet, almost bitter taste it imparts, it’s a little more interesting than plain old orange…orange.

And it’s especially delicious when paired with other flavors in a margarita. We’ve enjoyed versions of this festive cocktail at San Angel Inn Ristorante, but my favorite one can be found at Flying Fish Cafe.

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

If you’re anything like me, if you order this, it’ll be gone pretty quickly! SO good!

Italian Margarita at Via Napoli

One thing that you can count on at Disney when it comes to food and drink is a fun, fusion approach to some of your favorites. Case in point: the Italian Margarita in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion!

I first discovered this delicious drink at Via Napoli, the Italy Pavilion’s fantastic spot for pizza.

Italian Margarita

Italian Margarita

But it’s proven to be so popular, it’s also been available at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in recent years! And fortunately, you can still order it at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Italian Margarita at the Food and Wine Festival's Italy Booth!

Italian Margarita at the Food and Wine Festival’s Italy Booth!

Flavored with a smooth combination of [Read more…]

News! Erin McKenna’s Bakery Signage Up in Downtown Disney (BabyCakes is Back!)

Okay, BabyCakes fans… this one’s for you!

With the ongoing construction at Downtown Disney (as it continues in its transition to become Disney Springs), there’s a lot of anticipation about the new dining spots on the way: from The Boathouse and Morimoto Asia to STK Orlando. If you’ve been following the Downtown Disney/Disney Springs food news, you may recall in November when we mentioned the possible return of BabyCakes NYC to Downtown Disney in the revitalized form of Erin McKenna’s Bakery Valentine.

We’re happy to bring you official signs of its return… with the SIGNS now hanging outside what will be the bakery!

And, according to Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC’s Facebook page, it will open this Sunday at 1PM! (Thanks to reader Heather for the heads up!)

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery Storefront — Word is Out That the Bakery Will Open This Sunday!

Erin McKenna's Bakery sign

Erin McKenna’s Bakery sign

Erin McKenna is the founder of BabyCakesNYC, known for its great selection of gluten-free, vegan treats including cupcakes and donuts in a wide variety of flavors.

Babycakes Sweets and Treats

Babycakes Sweets and Treats

Fans of BabyCakes will certainly remember [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: The Best Spots for Coffee and Tea in Walt Disney World

Just a couple of years back, if you wanted to get a decent cup of coffee or tea somewhere inside the Big Purple Gates, you were out of luck.

dfb2015_guide_3d

With Nescafe on standby in most spots, the coffee outlook was dismal. And while Twinings teabags are available all over the place, there still wasn’t anything special about them.

But in the last few years, Disney has really stepped up their game in both the java and cuppa departments!

Today, we’re sharing one of our favorite tips from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World DiningWhere to Find Good Coffee and Tea in Walt Disney World. Pick up yours today for $4 off using code 2015 right here!

Starbucks

By far, the biggest beverage news to hit Disney in the last few years has been its partnership with coffee giant Starbucks. Love them or hate them, you can’t dispute — they’re super popular.

Hollywood Studios Starbucks Trolley Car Cafe-21

The Most Recent Starbucks to Open at Disney — Trolley Car Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Seriously…there’s a reason for the queue ropes inside! Have you seen a Disney Starbucks on a busy morning? Madness!

The Line at a Disney Starbucks Can Get CRAZY Long

The Line at a Disney Starbucks Can Get CRAZY Long

The first two Starbucks to open in Walt Disney World replaced established eateries — Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom and Fountain View in Epcot. Now you can stroll right up to Cinderella Castle with your Vanilla Latte in hand, or enjoy your Frappuccino in the shade of Spaceship Earth.

Fountain View Starbucks in Epcot

Fountain View Starbucks in Epcot

Two additional stores are located in Downtown Disney — one walk-up window nestled between entrances to World of Disney, and a larger store in West Side, which boasts a Starbucks Reserve Counter.

Coffee on fire!

Enjoying a Cup of Coffee on the Patio of Starbucks West Side

Trolley Car Cafe, the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Starbucks outlet opened just a couple of weeks ago.

Trolley Car Cafe is now open!

Trolley Car Cafe is now open!

And later this year, the final Walt Disney World store will open in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Aren’t a fan of Starbucks? Joffrey’s is considered the “official” coffee of Disney World and still operates a number of kiosks throughout the Parks, where you can grab a cup of coffee or a selection of espresso drinks.

Great Spots for Tea

If you prefer tea to coffee, there are also some great spots for you to enjoy a cup. And we aren’t just talking about your grandmother’s cup of tea. :-)

One of my favorite spots for tea is the [Read more…]

Review: Cookes of Dublin at Disney World’s Downtown Disney

We’re stopping in for a quick, midday bite to eat at Cookes of Dublin!

You’ll find this little fish and chips shop at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, adjacent to Raglan Road Irish Pub. In fact, it’s part of that complex and shares a kitchen with the Pub.

Cookes has been a consistently reliable stop for a quick, hot meal every time we’ve visited. And we think they serve some of the best Fish and Chips around. But I simply can’t resist their Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip (and you shouldn’t, either).

But on a recent trip, we decided to branch out a bit and try a few other menu options! Let’s check out what we sampled this time out.

Atmosphere

You’ll find Cookes of Dublin around the corner from Raglan Road. If you’re coming from the Downtown Disney parking lots directly in front of Raglan Road, you’ll veer right, just past the gift shop and Hole in the Wall Bar.

Cookes of Dublin -- Outside

Cookes of Dublin — Outside

As you wait in the queue to order, be sure to take in Cookes Philosophy. This spot is more quick service than counter service; you can expect a bit of a wait while your food is cooked to order, but it won’t take long.

Philosophy

Philosophy

This is a really, really small space, but it’s not without charm. Trim on the floor and the counter are vintage-looking tile in classic Slytherin colors (probably coincidental), and there are plenty of brass accents as well.

Cookes Ordering Counter

Cookes Ordering Counter

Once you place your order, you can proceed to the right side of the ordering area, where you’ll pick up condiments and fill your drink cups.

Condiments

Condiments

You’ll find a full array of toppers for your meal, including some familiar favorites. After all, you can’t have [Read more…]

News! Cannonballs are Back at Earl of Sandwich WDW and Disneyland!

If you’ve been dreaming about Cannonballs — the edible ones, not the bombs or the splashy pool entrances — then you’re gonna LOVE what we have to tell you today!

Earl of Sandwich has just announced that the beloved Cannonballs — that’s their whimsical take on a meatball sub — is returning to the menu at participating locations!

And we’ve confirmed that both Downtown Disney Orlando AND Anaheim locations are participating! Woo!

But, even better — both folks that we talked to let us know that they’re returning permanently to the menu!!

Cannonballs are Back at Earl of Sandwich!

Cannonballs are Back at Earl of Sandwich!

Now, we know that these things are always changing with the tide of corporate whims and sales performance, so take that with a grain of salt. But if [Read more…]

News! Downtown Disney West Side Starbucks Now Offering Starbucks Evening Menu with Beer and Wine

Attention, Starbucks fans: now you never have to leave your favorite hangout! At least not if you’re visiting the Downtown Disney West Side location.

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney's West Side

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney’s West Side

Recently, the coffee giant announced that they’d be piloting a new Starbucks Evening menu in select locations throughout the U.S. These locations would offer beer and wine as well as food to go along with the adult beverage selections. So far, the menu has been rolled out in select stores in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Atlanta.

But today, we’re getting word that you can also enjoy the evening menu when you visit Walt Disney World, as the Starbucks located at Downtown Disney West Side has now joined the ranks.

Outdoor seating

A Glass of Wine By the Fire? Sounds Awesome!

Guests can enjoy wines by the glass or bottle, and beer and wine selections vary by location. In addition to the beverages, there are also tapas-style foods available. These include [Read more…]

News! STK Comes to Disney Springs and Animal Kingdom Starbucks Locale Suspected

We recently took a look back at some of the top Disney Food News Stories of 2014. And today, we’re happy to let you in on some of the new dining experiences you can expect in 2015. We figure there’s lots more to come, but this is certainly a good start!

STK Coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

First up: another new restaurant is coming to Disney Springs! STK by the The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc., will open in The Landing area of the new development, which replaces the closed entertainment district Pleasure Island.

STK is Coming to Disney Springs in 2015

STK is Coming to Disney Springs in 2015

STK will be a modern steakhouse, but will channel the atmosphere of a “sleek lounge”. Plans call for the restaurant to encompass approximately 14,000 square feet, two dining levels — and a DJ! This leaves us wondering — will STK make up for some of the night clubs we lost when Pleasure Island closed?

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs -- The Landing

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs — The Landing

The DJ and lounge aspect sounds pretty cool, but we’re also looking forward to checking out the planned rooftop dining — the only such area slated for Disney Springs at present.

Interestingly, STK is the first announcement of a chain restaurant that we’ve seen slated for Disney Springs. Other locations include New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and London.

Probable Starbucks Location in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We are also hearing lots of rumblings about where Starbucks may be located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when it opens later this year.

Starbucks logo

Starbucks logo

While it hasn’t been officially announced, it looks like [Read more…]

The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2014!

We are standing on the cusp of a brand New Year, and we can’t wait to see what 2015 holds in store for us — and Disney!

Top10DisneyFoodNewsStories

But we can’t wave goodbye to the old year without looking back on some of the biggest food news that happened throughout Disney Parks.

Most of this year’s big news happened at Walt Disney World, but we have a few memorable moments to share with you from Disneyland as well as other Disney Parks around the globe.

Today, we bring you a look back at 2014’s Biggest Disney Food News Stories! We have a LOT to cover — let’s get started!

First up, a little something I like to call…

The Beginning of Finally Doing Something with Pleasure Island

It’s the story we feel like we’ve been watching for years — what’s happening at Downtown Disney Orlando’s now defunct Pleasure Island??

Well, 2014 finally saw some solid progress, and the Disney Springs story seems to be coming to life.

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs

Lots of changes have made a trip to Downtown Disney a challenge in the last couple of years. But as the year draws to a close, the parking garages are open, and we are seeing some of the plans take shape!

2014 kicked off with a surprise restaurant opening of sorts — the House of Blues added a new counter service offering, The Smokehouse. We say surprise because we told you about the restaurant for the first time just days before the walls came down and the doors opened for business!

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse is strictly a walk-up window venue. But the covered outdoor seating is pleasant, and you can often take in live music as you enjoy barbecue favorites, like their Beef Brisket Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs, or Smoked Turkey Legs.

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw from The Smokehouse

But it wasn’t all good news for Downtown Disney this year. Guests at T-Rex Cafe last Spring were in for some decidedly unpleasant dinner excitement, as one of the restaurant’s humongous fish tanks sprang a leak during dinner service!

However, no one was injured and all of the fish were reportedly rescued. We’re glad that all turned out happily in the situation, but we’ll never look at those huge fish tanks quite the same way again!

Also in the Spring, we said hello to a spot that’s quickly become one of our most favorite spots to shop in all of Walt Disney World — the Marketplace Co-op!

Disney Centerpiece

Disney Centerpiece

We have found some totally awesome stuff in the store’s Disney Centerpiece Section, including dishes, glasses, and other tableware that celebrate all of our Disney cult favorites. Whether you’re a Dole Whip fan or love memorabilia celebrating Tomorrowland, chances are you’ll find something that you’ve just gotta have!

Orange Bird Section

Orange Bird Section

Starbucks also continued to [Read more…]