Ready to get yer game on? We’re heading back to Splitsville Luxury Lanes in search of good eats and good times!
Splitsville Orlando just celebrated its first birthday this past December, so we were excited to experience it again now that it’s really settled in to Downtown Disney’s West Side.
Splitsville definitely changed the West Side landscape immediately upon its arrival, because this place is HUGE. Two floors with outdoor and indoor seating, five bars, a billiards area… oh, and the small matter of thirty bowling lanes!
You can tell you’re in a festive place even before setting foot inside Splitsville’s doors. Music is always playing in the outdoor seating area, and it’s often provided by live musicians.
The other hint as to what’s going on here is the colorful display of bowling balls.
Do I bowl? Not really. Do I totally want one of these? You bet!
Upon entering the building, you immediately hear music and the sound of pins being downed by bowling balls. Because there is a LOT to take in right away, these signs directing you where to go for dining and/or bowling are especially helpful.
We headed left to the Dining Check-in and mentioned our Advanced Dining Reservation. Yes, Splitsville does take ADRs, and it’s nice to have one on a weekend, especially. But — thanks to the enormous size — it can be a great place to try to score a walk-in! We were seated right away (even though we arrived about 15 minutes in advance of our ADR), but we couldn’t resist taking a look around.
Colorful lockers and rows of bowling shoes remind you that this isn’t only a restaurant, my friends. It’s the highest end bowling alley dive you’ve ever been to.
As your eyes take in all there is to see – including the enormous escalator joining the first and second floors, the entire vibe is almost over stimulating. The fun and casual attitude of the staff, however, helps you to relax right away and feel at home.
There are nods all over the place to the “golden age of bowling.”
But my favorites, of course, are the touches unique to the Downtown Disney location. While Splitsville feels like no other place on property, you never forget that you are in the “Vacation Kingdom.”
Now with all of these bowling pics, you might be wondering if you can visit this spot without paying to knock down a few pins.
Yep — if you want to come here simply to eat, not to bowl, that’s a-OK. Seating is plentiful, but spread out into several small dining areas. You’ll find striking (ha!) booths both upstairs and downstairs. These are next to the handmade sushi on-stage kitchen!
Bar seating is also available. Well, everywhere is kind of bar seating, since there are a zillion bars inside and out.
Notice the fun bowling pin decor on the support columns!
While you’re dining, you can keep an eye on the big display screens over the lanes and see how your fellow patrons are doing in their games!
Overall, the feel of the place is generally a fun, loud, energetic vibe. If you’re looking for a bit more peace with your lunch, head over when Splitsville first opens. Friday and Saturday nights are not your friends if you don’t want a party feel. ;-D
By the way, kids are always welcome here, upstairs and downstairs.
The thing that struck me right off the bat is that there really is something for everyone on this menu — from classic burgers and fries all the way to house-made, handmade sushi. The menu — like the restaurant — is massive.
Additionally, Splitsville has recently highlighted several items that are Gluten-Free. You can find them by looking for the little red “GF” circles all over the menu.
Our server arrived promptly to take our order, and provided us with plenty of information regarding the menu. It seems to me that the staff at Splitsville really helps to lend to that good-time vibe — casual and filled with good humor, with guests and with each other. He helped us steadily throughout our meal… which, as you’re about to see, was a big task!
Of all the fare at Splitsville, one of the most unique items (in regards to bowling alley cuisine, anyway), is the Sushi. Of the eleven choices, we went with “Beauty and the Beast.” (Yep, total sucker for the name.) Kani Kama Krab, avocado, and cream cheese are “topped with beautiful tuna (or) beastly eel.”
Now, I don’t claim to be a sushi connoisseur; however, I found this to be freshly made and well presented. Regarding “Beauty and the Beast” in particular, I think this is a great “starter sushi.”
If you enjoy sushi, but another member of your party is unsure if they’ll like it, this could be a great choice for an introduction. The avocado and cream cheese lend familiarity and yummy flavor, while the wraps add just enough “adventure” for the sushi experience. Plus the Disney-themed name doesn’t hurt!
Our other appetizer was the Filet Sliders. When we made our request, our server smiled and said, “You’re gonna like those.”
Oh. Yes. We. Did. The beef was so lean and tender that it was almost like slicing through butter, and the enormous onion rings added some great flavor as well as an element of fun.
The only thing I might change is the horseradish sauce. There was only a small dab on each slider bun. The flavor is so potent that it’s really all that’s required, but I would’ve preferred something all over more of the burger. Still, the beef was of such high quality that I would definitely get them again.
Are you ready for some “Amazing Pizza”?
Yep — Splitsville is very proud of their pizzas as well!
We went with the Firehouse. Essentially, it’s everything you love about Buffalo Chicken Wings…on a crust! Toppings are diced chicken tenders, mozzarella and bleu cheeses, and a drizzle of ranch dressing. And the sauce is, of course, spicy Buffalo sauce as opposed to tomato. And when they say “spicy,” they aren’t kidding!
The flavor on this is fantastic, and my husband and I were both wowed by the bubbly crust. We agreed, though, that we were ready to stop after one slice each, which is not our typical M.O. when it comes to pizza.
It was very well-executed, but might be better suited to sharing with a group because it’s so, so rich.
Rather than one of the more traditional entrees or burgers, we were intrigued by the Rice Bowls. There are four to choose from (Fiesta Chicken, Steak Fajita, Asian Shrimp, and Spicy Veggie), and it’s worth noting that each one gets that “GF” (gluten free) circle of approval.
We chose the Steak Fajita Rice Bowl. Right away I noticed that the color of this thing is gorgeous. While it’s indeed a “Rice Bowl,” there was no skimping on the toppings. You don’t even spy the rice until you dig in.
While the beef was certainly good and the seasoning was great (plenty of cilantro, to AJ’s disdain!), the standout for me was the peppers…which is something I never thought I’d say. But they were perfectly cooked – tender, but just crisp enough that they weren’t at all mushy. I was expecting a bigger portion for the price ($18), but that’s the only time I can say that of the whole meal.
We couldn’t resist trying one of the beverages on the menu, so we went with the house specialty: the 7/10 Dirty — vodka, olive juice, and bleu cheese-stuffed olives.
This was, as expected, very, very dry. What was unexpected was the way the flavor of the bleu cheese seeped into the rest of the drink.
I can’t say it was my favorite. Next time, I’m going straight for the Snickertini.
Room left for dessert? Of course! This is the DFB!
The list of options isn’t huge (four to choose from).
But there is something that IS huge… and that’s the GIANT CAKE. The Giant Cake is a slice of the chef’s featured “cake of the day,” and I was pumped to find out that for our visit, that meant Carrot Cake. Aw, yeah!
I tried to get a size perspective by placing the bottle of ketchup beside the slice, but I still don’t think this does a great job of showing you how large the slice really is. Just know this: it’s for sharing, that’s for sure! And I can totally vouch for the Carrot. It was moist and beautifully spiced… and of course, that much cake means that much more cream cheese frosting!! It’s a strike! (Sorry… had to!)
Splitsville — it’s good to know — is a Table Service option for guests on the Disney Dining Plan, and also accepts Tables in Wonderland (the discount excludes, however, bowling and merchandise).
From the variety on the menu to the quality of the food, Splitsville didn’t disappoint, course after course. “Bowling alley food” is typically an afterthought – just something to munch while enjoying a game or two. But here the food more than holds its own — so much so that you don’t feel remotely left out if you don’t bowl during your visit; it’s still a full experience.
Still, I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at a game again one of these days, and with the great grub available at Splitsville, this may be just the place to do it.
Have you visited Splitsville for eats or bowling? What did you think? Please let us know with a comment!