Review: Cookes of Dublin in Downtown Disney

Located in Downtown Disney beside Raglan Road and Hole in the Wall Bar you’ll find the unassuming, but awesome!!!, Cooke’s of Dublin.

Styled as a traditional fish and chips shop, the menu is a veritable treasure trove of goodies. And we’re not just talking bacon, cheese, fried stuff, and candy bars…we’re talking the epitome of bacon, cheese, fried stuff, and candy bars!!

(OK, I’m selling them seriously short, they ALSO have great salads and grilled wraps, so be sure to read on and give them their due even if you’re NOT a lover of cheese, bacon, fried stuff, and candy bars.)

Atmosphere

The decor of Cookes, both inside and out, is vintage and traditional. Except for the steamy Florida humidity, you really might think you’d stumbled into Dublin.

Cookes of Dublin Mirror Sign

Inside, this is a tiny, skinny little shop with very minimal seating (that’s code for “go to Cookes at an off time so that you get a seat).

The indoor seating consists of a few highboy tables and some mixed booth and chair seating. There are a few tables outside as well. The reason for this is pretty simple: Cookes considers itself a “take away” establishment. They don’t really expect you to hang around. ;-)

Seating

And if you want to know more about what Cookes is thinking, they make it plain with this philosophy hung on the wall. You know right up front that there might be a bit of a wait, but that it will most likely be worth it.

Philosophy

The ordering area is pretty typical of a take away spot. But I kind of love the [Read more…]

Fun Find: Goofy’s Candy Company Periodic Table of Elements

I’m sure it will come as a surprise to exactly no one that I pay a visit to Goofy’s Candy Company during every Walt Disney World vacation.

In addition to the candy, and the cupcakes, and the fudge, and the create-your-own-snacks, one of my favorite parts about this shop is the wall decor, specifically the Jelly Belly portrait of Goofy and the Disney Periodic Table of Elements.

Goofy's Sign

I’ll tackle the bean art in a future post, but today I’m going to share with you the wonders of the Goofy’s Periodic Table, which is located in the store just below the candy making observation window.

In case the learnings from your 10th grade chemistry class have gone on a vacation of their own (mine are off enjoying the beach with the Latin verb conjugation I once knew), I’ll refresh your memory about [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 17, 2012

Um…what an AWESOME WEEK!

Cars Land and Buena Vista Street became a reality in Disney California Adventure over in Disneyland Resort, Heather — our intrepid columnist and resident Awesome Spice — risked life and limb to get hundreds of photos and try dozens of menu items for some rad reviews (and there are more to come, my darlings; SO many more to come!), I got the chance to interview Chef Marianne Hunnel about the big doin’s happening at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival (more on that tomorrow!), and…my big brother got married!!

I should totally buy a lottery ticket…

While I’m off doing that, why don’t you read up on the latest:

Disney Food News

Disney foodiness this week…!

We’ve got more food news (including Father’s Day dining at Orlando’s Downtown Disney and the D23 Sip & Scream Event…plus LOTS more) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Dad’s Day Sale on the Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining

In honor of great dads (including my very own “AJ’s Dad,” who’s friggin’ awesome), we’re finally having a sale on our 2012 edition of the Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book. (I know — it’s been forever, right? Sorry about that.)

This week only, use code “DAD” to get 20% off this 300-page, fully portable e-Book. (FYI — It looks smokin’ on your iPad!)

SO, snap up the book and DON’T MISS ANYTHING for your next Disney World trip! Especially not the sweet money-saving tips!

On to the Round-Up

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World visits the new Sundowner Celebration at the Animal Kingdom.

Main Street Gazette noshes on the Chilled Summer Roll at the Animal Kingdom.

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups stops by the pool bars at the Grand Floridian resort.

A Wedding Cake Blog shares an awesome Star Wars inspired Groom’s Cake!

AllEars.Net spots a “hidden Mickey” at Epcot’s Teppan Edo!

Disney by Mark dines at Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada pavilion.

Running at Disney visits the new Tutto Gusto wine bar in Epcot!

Disneyland had an awesome feature of the Head Chef over at Jolly Holiday Bakery in Disneyland a while back! I’ll be reviewing a couple of items here in the next week or two!

Guest Review: Fulton’s Crab House

Today, we’re welcoming Orlando native Matt Shealy with a guest review of Fulton’s Crab House in Downtown Disney. Matt shares a rave review of the seafood as well as the memorable ambiance of dining at Fulton’s at sunset.

My childhood memories of Disney include images of loveable characters like Mickey, Minnie and Pluto as well as care free roaming of the park’s lush grounds. Those memories were still vivid after an over ten year hiatus. Now that I am a proud father of a two year old girl, I made the 30 minute trek south of Orlando to that magical place called Disney. Other memories of Disney include long lines and Florida’s summer heat, so we headed to the park bright and early.

After a long day of rides and good times, it was time to grab some good food and relax. My wife and I are huge fans of seafood. After asking some of the cast members we settled on Fulton’s Crab House.

On our walk to Fulton's Crab House

Atmosphere

We arrived at Downtown Disney at dusk on a warm breezy Central Florida evening. As we strolled towards the larger than life riverboat style restaurant, the [Read more…]

Spotted: Adventurers Hut in Downtown Disney

Recently, I walked by a kiosk in Pleasure Island. The Adventurers Hut sits right next to what used to be a popular Downtown Disney nightlife spot (that many of us knew well).

Closed Adventurers Hut

Perhaps the Adventurers Hut is supposed to remind us of the beloved and departed Adventurers Club (a moment of silence, please), but I’m not sure it’s helpful. ;-)

Trader Sam’s in Disneyland comes a little closer, but without the copius entertainment and multiple rooms. Will they bring a similar establishment back to Walt Disney World? Time will tell… .

Decor at Adventurers Hut

Although this kiosk is a [Read more…]

News! Raglan Road and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Announce Specialty Dinners

We’ve got news of two special dinners to share with you. Fun East and West coast meals! Let me know if you’re able to take advantage of these!

Raglan Road

Raglan Road has announced a Mid-Summer Night Feast on June 20, 2012, in Downtown Disney Orlando.

menu -- click for larger image

Midsummer Story -- click for larger image

First Course
Picnic Basket of Assorted Homemade Pates and Jams to feature: Ham Hock Terrines, Potted Prawns, Brandied Chicken Liver Pate, Tomato Bavaroie, Smoked Salmon Mousse and Vegetable Consomme

Second Course
Champagne Splashed Raspberry [Read more…]

Splitsville: Opening Fall 2012 in Walt Disney World

We’re looking forward to the Fall 2012 opening of Splitsville at Downtown Disney! With food and bowling, who could ask for anything more? ;-)

Splitsville Concept Art

This games-meets-food “lounge” will be a great family dining spot, I’m sure. We’ve got the menu from the Tampa location below, and — from the looks of it — the Orlando menu will be very similar (of course, it’s subject to change).

Splitsville Tampa Menu -- Click to see larger version

Come on — filet mignon at the bowling alley? 60-ounce alcoholic drinks? Awesome. I’m pretty excited to try those Firehouse Sliders and the Kool-Aid Bowl myself…

Since it’s not quite open yet, though, here are a few pics we snapped on a recent visit to the construction [Read more…]

News! Wolfgang Puck Cafe Dinner Menu Changes

Downtown Disney’s Wolfgang Puck Cafe has unveiled some changes to its dinner menu!

For example, everyone’s favorite (and classic Puck dish), the Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken has been taken off the menu! There are a few more favorites gone as well…

Let’s take a look at the eats that are no longer on the previous menu, then we’ll review what’s new!

Dinner Menu

No Longer On Menu

Starters
Artichoke and Five Cheese Dip

Artichoke and Five Cheese Dip

Entree Salad
Spinach Salad

Wolfgang’s Favorites (now known as Wolfgang’s Classics)
Macadamia Nut crusted breast of chicken

Macadamia Nut Crusted Breast of Chicken

In addition, the Catch of the Day is no longer an option here.

Pastas
Pennette Chicken Alfredo; Pennette Beef Bolognese; Spicy Tuscan Vegetable Pasta; Ricotta

[Read more…]

Review: Dulce de Leche Popsycake at Bongos Cuban Cafe

Sure, we had an amazing dinner during my recent (and very first! But not my last!) trip to Bongos Cuban Cafe recently.

But I’ve been keeping a bit of a secret from you from that evening!! What I haven’t told you yet? There’s deliciousness to be enjoyed at Bongos even in their gift shop!

Popsycakes!

We spied this display in the shop, right next to the cashier, and I was intrigued. They looked like they’d be pretty bad, overly-preserved Little Debbie knock-offs, but I knew we had to check them out for ya!

Popsycake Display

What is a popsycake, you ask? Well, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock like me (or your love is only for Mickey Bars and Disney cupcakes), you’ve heard of the cake pop craze.

Think of an enormous cake pop, but with a pretzel rod for a stick. Because really, if you can do away with the inedible parts of food wrapping, you SO should.

Popsycake Flavors

The popsycakes come in four different flavors, although I’m not certain the Vanilla Bean version was available the day we were there. But the dark chocolate one included [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Raglan Road Irish Pub

One of the most consistently delicious stops on the Walt Disney World trail, we recently had the pleasure of a lunch date with my parents at Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road.

Located right at the front of what is (kind of) Pleasure Island, the vibe from the Emerald Isle spills right onto the sidewalk and around the corner as you take in Raglan Road Pub and Restaurant, the adjacent Gift Shop, the Hole in the Wall watering hold, and Cookes of Dublin next door.

Even though we were there during Spring Break, we didn’t find early lunchtime to be too busy. We stopped in JUST before the restaurant switched to an updated menu, but luckily most of our choices can still be found amongst the new offerings.

Atmosphere

You want authentic atmosphere? You got it. Much of the decor here is authentically Irish, and the bars themselves were shipped directly from Ireland.

Raglan Road Sign and Front of Building

The entrance to the restaurant is central, while there is outdoor seating to the left and a nifty gift shop to the right. If Raglan Road does have one shortcoming it would be that there aren’t many places to sit while waiting for your table. Fortunately, that wasn’t an issue for us that day.

Entrance Foyer

The gift shop really is so cool! You feel like you’ve wandered right into a shop that was destined for Epcot’s World Showcase (had they ever built a separate Ireland Pavilion.)

Tons of Irish souvenirs and sauces from the restaurant are available here. This is also a nifty place to pick up some of Master Chef Kevin Dundon’s fantastic cookbooks, like Recipes that Work or Full On Irish, if you wanna recreate a little Raglan Road in your kitchen once you head home!

Gift Shop

What you see in the restaurant itself really is a little slice of Ireland in the Florida sunshine. You’re surrounded by rich, dark woods and brass fixtures. The tile floors below your feet add to the feeling of antiquity, and the soaring heights of the domed main dining room, complete with cupola, are crowned with [Read more…]