Disney Recipe: Smokie City from Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant PLUS New Signature Dinner Announcement!

Time to dig into another delicious dish at Raglan Road!

The authentic Irish pub, located at Downtown Disney in Orlando, is one of our favorite spots for its warm atmosphere and fantastic live entertainment. But the food is incredible too. Fans obviously agree that it’s the total package — the pub was awarded Best Restaurant honors by Orlando Magazine earlier this year.

And Chef Kevin Dundon has knocked it out of the park on this one. (Well, he does that quite often, but that’s beside the point.) I first had Smokie City — a chunky, hot, cheesy dip that features potatoes and the rich flavors of smoked fish — at the recent Signature Dinner that I attended at Raglan Road. Chef Kevin was on hand to present each course, and while they were all first rate, this one was my favorite. I loved it so much that I made it for a recent family dinner!

Smoked Haddock Potato Tomatoes and Vintage Dubliner Cheddar Bake  -- Up Close

Smoked Haddock, Potato, Tomatoes, and Vintage Dubliner Cheddar Bake — Up Close

And after you read about it, I think you’re going to want to make it, too. So here’s the recipe!

Smokie City

Smoked Haddock, Potato, Tomato, and Vintage Dubliner Cheddar Bake
Serves 4

If you can’t find smoked haddock, go for an all-natural, firm smoked fish such as cod or coley. I also used Irish cheddar cheese.

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Biergarten in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

A visit to Walt Disney World includes dining at some unique restaurants! In Epcot’s Germany pavilion, the Biergarten is more than a place to eat; it’s also an entertaining venue! Welcome back guest author Rebecca Dolan with a fun review.

Everyone has a restaurant or two that, for them, make a trip to Disney World complete. For me, that’s Biergarten.

This all-you-can-eat smorgasbord in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion is one of the few restaurants I insist on visiting nearly every time I’m in Orlando. Like Rose and Crown, Biergarten was one of those places my mom made me eat as a kid and I hated it. But, now it’s one of the few places where I truly relish getting my meat and potatoes on. And, if you’re a meat and carbs kind of a guy/gal, then this is definitely the place for you!

The back of the Germany Pavilion.


The Biergarten can be found at the back of the Germany Pavilion, under the big bell. The hostess stand is located outside, under the stone arch to the left.

They’re a bit particular about how things are run here, and you won’t be allowed inside the restaurant until your name is called and your party is complete.

Once you’re party is called, you’ll be shown in through these doors.

Walking inside is actually like being transported back outside, as the cavernous restaurant is designed to look like an Oktoberfest celebration being held in a town square.

A semicircle of Bavarian-style buildings, draped with flags of various German locales, arches around a central stage, while a full moon oversees the action.

Inside the courtyard.

At least once during your seating, the stage will come alive with the sounds of a lederhosen-clad band that plays everything from alpine horns to polka.

The band takes the stage. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Playing the alpine horns.

More cowbell!

It’s important to note that the party atmosphere comes complete with [Read more…]

Guest Review: Dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot

Guest Author Katie Roth returns this week with a review of La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Go ahead and grab a margarita!

La Hacienda de San Angel is special to both my husband and I for sentimental reasons, because this was one of the first restaurants we dined in for our honeymoon. While I wasn’t too impressed with this restaurant during that reservation, I was willing to give it another shot.

The views out of the windows are breathtaking, and if nothing else, I could get a great margarita.

Orange Mango Fire Margarita at Epcot's La Hacienda de San Angel


La Hacienda is located directly across from the temple pyramid that is the focal point of the Mexican pavilion. The entryway can be somewhat hard to miss, especially if you are in the throngs of a major crowd with strollers!

Just look for the sign in the picture below. There is a hostess stand underneath the sign where check-in is required to gain access to the restaurant.

The check-in podium is underneath this sign!

We arrived at the restaurant over 30 minutes before our reservation time just to check in, and to our wonderful surprise they seated us early! We were directed to the foyer/lobby area that contains beautiful blue lanterns. Another hostess in the foyer directed us to our seats.

Lobby area.

The restaurant atmosphere is relaxed with an afternoon siesta feeling and is elegant without being stuffy. The decorations are subtle – at least much less subtle than stereotypical Mexican restaurants – with patterned ceilings, clean walls, star lanterns dangling from the ceiling, and wrought-iron accents.

Booth and Artwork

While it’s not as scenic as a volcano or Mayan river with a Mariachi band playing in the background (San Angel Inn) – it did set a pleasant atmosphere for a meal.

Dining Room at La Hacienda.

The wall of windows overlooks the lagoon and the rest of World Showcase. If you’re able to get a window seat during IllumiNations, it is a great place to watch the show!

A wall of windows provides a great IllumiNations Fireworks view

When we arrived at 5:30 PM, there were hardly any other diners there; but by 6:00 PM the restaurant was packed. After our meal, my husband said “They don’t need a volcano here! The food is the main attraction!” Needless to say, our meal this time around was OUTSTANDING!


I’m not a margarita person (tequila – bad experiences – won’t go there), but I made a promise to myself to be adventurous on this trip, so I went with [Read more…]

Review: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion

Ready to meet some Disney princesses?!? We’re headed over to check out lunch at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot!

Akershus offers a terrific alternative to the extremely hard-to-get advance dining reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table. A mainstay of World Showcase’s Norway Pavilion, the grand restaurant offers old world Scandinavian charm and character dining encounters with a cast of Disney Princesses.

You still get to eat in a castle (albeit a much smaller one), and you still get to meet at least five Disney princesses. (Cinderella is usually included.) Plus, the price is going to be quite a bit lower than it is in Cinderella Castle. Time to take a closer look.


Located to the right as you make your way back through the Norway Pavilion, Akershus is is situated across from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, Norway’s charming counter service location.

Akershus Sign

The inside (once you GET inside…more on that later) offers a welcome respite from the bright, hot Florida sunshine. Immediately upon entering, you pick up on the medieval decor. Heavy, ornately carved wooden “thrones” can be found in the entryway.

Akershus is modeled after a medieval castle outside of Norway’s capital city, Oslo. The fortress was completed in the 14th century, and the interior features the same white walls as the Disney replica.


The whitewashed stone walls lend to the cheerful, cool feeling. The low windows look out on the pavilion and allow for lots of natural light to flood the pretty space.

First Dining Room and Seating

In the main dining room, you get a real sense of the [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Fish Fry

With Lent on the horizon — and with a few questions from readers recently about where to get a great fish fry in Disney World — I knew that now would be the perfect time to check out the best places to find that golden battered goodness at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let’s check out some of the best fried fish in Disney World

Best Disney World Restaurants for a Fish Fry

United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot

You can’t go wrong for fish and chips in the delicacy’s home pavilion in Epcot.

Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Whether you take a load off at the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room or grab some fried food to go from Yorkshire County Fish Shop, you’re in for a mild but authentic taste of one of England’s best exports.

While you’re there, enjoy a beer and a performance by The British Revolution or the Pub’s Hat Lady.

Cookes of Dublin and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

If you find yourself in need of a fish fix while you’re “Downtown,” head over to the Pleasure Island District for two authentic and delicious options. The One & One at Cookes of Dublin is one of our favorites on property.

Cooked to order and served piping hot, the fish is flaky and tender.

Fish and Chips from Cooke’s of Dublin

But if you have the time for a slower meal, you may want to consider the famous beer battered fish and chips on the lunch menu at Raglan Road Irish Pub right next door.

Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom

Here in Liberty Square, you can enjoy a counter service battered fish basket with broccoli, apples, or French fries at Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant. The proportion of breading to fish is perfect, and the fish isn’t too oily.

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House (photo from Kelly Amey via the DFB Flickr Group) 

Citricos at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For a slightly more upscale take on the English classic, take a monorail ride to the Grand Floridian and pull up a chair at Citricos. There, you should order the melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried Florida black grouper, which gets [Read more…]

Guest Review: Aulani Eats and Off-Site Treats

in front of the Lava Shack

Join us in welcoming guest author Beth Osborn with a tour of Eats at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Oahu. We’ve also got some great tips about eating at non-Disney spots around the resort! Brace yourselves — there’s Dole Whip, Shave Ice, Plate Lunch, and more — ahead! Don’t forget to check out Aulani restaurant info and menus here.

Arriving to Aulani on October 15, my husband Kev and I selected familiar WDW items — refillable mugs! We purchased purple and blue refillable mugs, which have an Aulani design that matches the beige wallpaper in the halls of the hotel. Red and green options were also available.

Even though the mugs are more expensive at Aulani, we felt we got our money’s worth at $18.99 each over the week we were there.

‘Ama ‘Ama Restaurant at Aulani

We had dinner at Ama Ama — Kev’s salt crusted fish was like nothing we’d ever seen before, with a completely removable crust. He said it was very moist.

Salt Encrusted Fish from Ama Ama

I had the French Maui onion soup and a tomato and cheese salad (two appetizers instead of an entree). Both were excellent.

French Onion Soup and the Tomato Salad from Ama Ama

Makahiki Restaurant and Rip Swirl at Aulani

We had a character breakfast at Makahiki with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. I wasn’t as excited about the buffet as some at Disney World, but I did enjoy the [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: FISH!

Thanks to all who have contributed their photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Keep sending them along! This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week feature (drumroll please………) FISH! Yep, I grabbed some interesting, delicious, and…um…well, you’ll see…photos of fish to share on this week’s Food Pics of the Week!

Yummy fish and chips from Rose and Crown in Epcot! Photographer: Steph_In_MA

Rose and Crown Fish and Chips

The famous Flying Fish Cafe Potato-Wrapped Snapper! [Read more…]

Guest Review: Grand Floridian Cafe

Thanks to Heather Montgomery from Running With Sass for this great review of lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe in Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort!

The Grand Floridian Café is located on the bottom floor toward the back of the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. We arrived five minutes early for our 12:45 reservation and were immediately seated after being greeted by a friendly hostess. I was very happy to see we were being seated in the back along the windows looking out over the beautiful Grand Floridian gardens. Having just arrived in Disney World and checked into the Grand Floridian, we were very excited to have our first meal of the trip.

This café fits in so well with the Victorian era décor. It uses a lot of light colors and florals in its palette, and it also gives off a relaxed vibe for those wanting to escape the busyness of the parks for a little while.

Cafe Atmosphere

All of the tables had a cute little vase on them with a beautiful [Read more…]

Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival — First Food Reviews

I finally get to share some food pics and reviews from Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Center! I’ll be putting together blog posts specifically about merchandise and the Festival Center soon, but I always give the food pics priority, as you know ;-) Here’s how the Festival Food (beer and wine will be discussed separately) is set up, for those of you who might not have been here, yet:

The Festival Center: Here, you can find the “Taste of California” items — eight tapas-sized portions of food representing California, the Festival Center “Wine Seller,” other festival merchandise items, a Stella Artois-hosted “Star Lounge” and Belgian Brewers Collection, and one of the festival seminar locations.

Around Disney’s California Adventure: Throughout DCA, you can find six dining locations offering “festival-inspired” dishes, like “Mangia Meatballs” and Award Weiners!


Today, I headed to the Festival Center to nosh on several of the “Taste of California” Marketplace items as well as try out the brand-spanking new, still-in-testing-stages, 106-flavor, “PurePour” Coke Machine…which I’ll be telling you all about in the next week or so. Here’s the full list of food items available. These all cost between $3 and $5:

We started out with a selection of Artisinal Cheeses:

This included three extremely mild cheeses — the Cheddar had [Read more…]