We’re starting our day in Disney World’s Yacht Club at Ale & Compass Restaurant!
Ale & Compass Restaurant
Ale & Compass Restaurant opened just last November, replacing the long-standing Captain’s Grille as the casual Table Service location for the Yacht Club. (The other Table Service option here — Yachtsman Steakhouse — is a Signature restaurant.)
We’ve already visited for lunch and dinner, but I was particularly curious about breakfast, since this meal in particular had — in my opinion — more to live up to. I (and many others) always thought Captain’s Grille was a hidden gem in regards to breakfast. It offered both a buffet option along with some unique (and even memorable) a la carte items such as Dark Chocolate Waffles and the Lobster Omelet.
While many were ready for a change from Captain’s Grille lunch and dinner options, it left some rather big breakfast shoes to fill.
So, we’re here bright and early to how breakfast at Ale & Compass Restaurant fares.
We took a full tour of Ale & Compass Restaurant not very long ago when it was newly open, and you can see it all here.
But a quick look around shows the same simplistic decor with slate blues and grays providing much of the color palette.
The breakfast scene is much like lunch, of course, in that the light pouring in from the nearby windows surrounding the Yacht Club’s walkways plays up the minimalistic scene, with the perimeter tables offering a brighter atmosphere.
(Lighting — both natural and artificial — is greatly reduced in the evenings, giving Ale & Compass more of an intimate vibe.)
The still-new look is much in keeping with the more refined (and less whimsically themed) atmosphere of the Yacht Club overall, presumably to cater more towards the business guests that often stay at this Resort, which also functions as a Convention Center.
You’ll notice more subtle nods to the Convention guests, too, like the charging stations found below the booths.
But let’s see what you might be eating for breakfast, no matter whether your visit is for business or pleasure.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: the beloved Captain’s Grille breakfast buffet is no longer. I know. Super sad, right? It was awesome — really delicious — and now it’s gone. I asked our server and she said I wasn’t the first to lament the loss of such a nicely presented buffet.
But anyway, the Breakfast menu — like lunch and dinner — is supposed to reflect New England-inspired comfort food (granted, options for the chefs to express that are probably a bit more limited for the morning meal).
As with breakfast anywhere at Disney World, you’ll always spot some staple variations of eggs and bacon (the American Breakfast), omelets, and the like. For several dishes here, though, sides are an extra charge instead of included with the entree.
More unique to the Ale & Compass breakfast menu are items such as the Blueberry Bacon Pancakes, Eggs Benedict with smoked pork loin, and an Open-faced Skirt Steak Sandwich. And where Ale & Compass continues to do a god job is providing more thoughtful items for vegetarian and vegan guests, as with the Breakfast Protein Bowl with a Tofu option, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and vegan sausage, all served with a Chocolate-Avocado Toast.
Morning Cocktails are offered along with Juice and Smoothies and warm beverages.
Care for a spot of tea? Here’s a look at some of the Twinings selections.
As with lunch and dinner, flatbreads (also called Hearth Oven Pies, since that’s where they’re fired up) play a part on the breakfast menu. The Breakfast Flatbread is topped with ham, house-made bacon, provolone cheese, arugula, and typically a sunny-side egg which I asked to be scrambled, as you see in the picture. (For some flatbread topped sunny-side, check out the Caramelized Leek and Chorizo Pie we tried for lunch.)
This was DELICIOUS. The amount of meat (especially that house-made bacon) was substantial, and the flatbread itself was a nice golden-brown, just thick enough to withstand the hearty toppings. These savory flatbreads are certainly sizable (typically cut into about 9 mini-slices), so they’re an option for sharing if you’d also like to try one of the sweeter breakfast options.
Among those is the Salted Caramel-Apple French Toast. This one does come with your choice of side: sausage, bacon, or fresh fruit.
As the name implies, the french toast comes stuffed with lots of diced apple and drizzled with salted caramel. The bit of buttery crumble is a nice touch, too. The flavors here work really well together, but, as you can guess, it is SUPER sweet. So…yeah…totally dessert for breakfast on this one!
Overall, it’s a fun and flavorful way to start the day (it would be especially festive in the fall), but be ready for the sugar crash!
Finally, the Ham and Cheese Omelet (which you can choose to be made with just egg whites, if you prefer), is served with a small side of fresh fruit. Apparently there is arugula for dayzzz at Ale & Compass 😉 , because there’s plenty of that on the top, too.
It’s hearty and flavorful, and I appreciated the plentiful amount of cheese (naturally!). But there isn’t anything memorable about it, and made me long for the seriously awesome Lobster Omelet from the Captain’s Grille days (which would have also been entirely in keeping with the whole “New England-inspired” idea for the new menu, but I digress).
And that leads in nicely to my final thoughts…
Nosh or Not?
You’ll want to pay a visit to Ale & Compass for Breakfast if:
- You’d like a more peaceful start to your day as opposed to tackling the pre-park lines at the Resort’s Counter Service, The Market at Ale & Compass.
- You are a guest at the Yacht Club for a convention, and would like to plug in a bit while you eat to prep for the day.
- You’re in the market for vegan fare for breakfast.
You might want to pass on Ale & Compass for Breakfast if:
- You prefer your vacation days to start with a memory-in-the-making in terms of cuisine or experience.
- You’re ready to high-tail it from Yacht Club in the morning to the nearest park — Epcot! — so you’d rather grab Quick Service in your Resort (or in Epcot itself — at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion, perhaps? Yep — it’s open for breakfast!).
I don’t want to give the wrong impression that I think the Ale & Compass Restaurant was a bad move for the Yacht Club. I actually think quite the opposite when I consider lunch and dinner here. It’s only that in light of the breakfast that used to be served here when it was Captain’s Grille, the current options at Ale & Compass — for breakfast — are somewhat ho-hum.
Maybe it’s not fair to compare, because breakfast here is fine and gets the job done. But it’s only that — just fine. It certainly serves the purpose for providing a sit down meal for guests and convention attendees at the Resort. But if you’re looking for a more “Disney Best Day Ever” memorable way to start your Disney day in terms of both atmosphere and menu, I’d recommend that you choose elsewhere.
If you’d like to find out which Resorts rank among our favorites in regards to food, you can check out our DFB YouTube Video!
What are your thoughts on breakfast at Ale & Compass Restaurant? Please let us know with a comment!