Sláinte, DFB foodies!!
We’ve had some really good pub food in our day, especially in the pubs that are British or Irish. And, we’re about to give you the song and dance about the AMAZING night we had partying it up over in an Irish pub in Disney Springs!
Lemme give ya the run-down on what a “hooley” is. In the Irish culture, a hooley is an evening of music, dance, food, and drinks (so basically one big partaaayy). Over at Raglan Road, The Great Irish Hooley fit its name perfectly as the entire night was filled with great meals, music, and lots of fun!
As we entered, we took a little peek at what was coming to The Rollicking Raglan Brunch! In the past when we’ve attended Raglan Road’s brunch, we loved the atmosphere and breakfast options (we had some of the best eggs benedict EVER).
Served during Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of this Labor Day weekend, musicians, Irish dancers, and others will be performing as part of the event.
We also had a little look-see into what performers would be at The Great Irish Hooley throughout its run from August 30th to September 2nd.
We spotted folk musicians, like Willow Wood…
… Harpists and violinists for Hightime and Tradgad…
… And even Atlantic Bridge, whose members are from both Ireland AND Scotland!
We even spotted the Raglan Road Irish Dancers, who tell the story of Ireland’s rich culture through music and dance!
Although we were definitely excited about the performers…
(We’re looking at you, Maca!!)
… We highly anticipated trying the night’s food and drink offerings when we were given a The Great Irish Hooley menu.
We might add that it had that wonderful, freshly printed warmth and smell, which was the absolute cherry on top.
Like all great evenings, we started ours out with a drink (obviously)! The orange and pale yellow Samhain Sangria was made with Jameson Black Barrel, Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, seltzer, apple cider, home-made cinnamon syrup, apples, oranges, and fresh cranberries.
Say goodbye to Pumpkin Spice Lattes (we still love you, PSL), and hello to the Samhain Sangria! The sweet and spicy drink seriously tasted like fall in a glass!
While there were plenty of cinnamon and apple notes, the mix of oranges, cranberries, and Sauvignon Blanc each had a distinct flavor with every sip. You guys, it even smelled good — like one of your favorite fall candles.
At first when we ordered the Blackberry Golden Ale, we received the wrong beer (whoops). But, it was quickly corrected to the Crooked Can festival exclusive, made with blackberries, citrus and floral hops, and wheat and honey malt.
The sweet, yet slightly tangy flavors of the ale were hoppy, but all very smooth with a delicious aftertaste. Even thought drink was an ale, we couldn’t help but feel like it had more of an IPA finish!
And, now onto the eats!! We began with the Shepherd’s to die for Pie, packed with braised and pulled beef and lamb, root vegetables, red wine jus, and Irish peat smoked mashed potatoes, whose top was beautifully crispy. Although the meat and red wine jus were flavorful in this slightly reimagined version of Shepherd’s Pie, it had very little spice and too much salt. (Yeah, it wasn’t our favorite of the evening.)
Like the rebels we are, we hurried along into the Let there be no Rush Pork to take a bite of the braised pork, pickled mustard seeds, red wine jus, creamed sage cabbage, and caramelized apple purée.
Although the apple purée on the bottom of the dish added a nice creamy touch to the braised pork, the pickled mustard seeds on top really didn’t do much for us.
However, the root vegetables were SO GOOD and the pork fell apart as we cut into it. (Amazing!!) The only thing that we would change would be a bit more smokiness from the potato to balance out the other flavors.
You can’t have a hooley without some fish! Instead, Foleys Finest Trout was paired with sea greens, zucchini ribbons, cherry tomatoes, parmesan and dill gnocchi, and crisp caper dressing.
While we loved the texture of the trout and vegetables, there wasn’t a whole lot of flavor to go around. The capers and dill gnocchi gave a little bit of zang, but that was about it. We think we might just stick to the regular ole’ Fish and Chips. (;
Want some classic pub food? Then, you’ve come to the right spot! A good beef sandwich and burger can make your day, and Raglan Road did not disappoint. The Worth the Wait Beef Sandwich came with braised beef, sautéed mushrooms, garlic aioli, crispy onions, and smoked cheddar cheese on a ciabatta bun.
If you think a beef sandwich can’t blow other menu items out of the water, think again!! The sandwich was super smoky, but the garlic aioli added a slightly sweet kick to each bite. And, even though the mushrooms and onions were great, the cheese was hands down the best part. Strong and sharp, just like we like our cheddar!
After the masterpiece that was the Worth the Wait Beef Sandwich, our tastebuds were doing a little dance just looking at the OMG Burger. Stacked high with prime burger, Irish bacon, Jameson Irish whiskey BBQ sauce, Dubliner Irish cheddar, and crispy potato straws, the OMG Burger became the fan-favorite of the night.
The crazy juicy and flavorful burger had people asking for seconds of this (and the Worth the Wait Beef Sandwich too)! The crispy potato straws gave an extra crunch, while the sauce while the BBQ sauce added a sweet and smoky taste. Seriously, the sauce was so good that we could have smothered our OMG Burger in it.
This excellent meal was ended on a sweet note at The Great Irish Hooley. We first tried Your Ration of Passion, which was a passion fruit Eton Mess complete with fresh mango, crisp lemon meringue, candied mint, and dried coconut shards.
Each distinct fruity flavor stood out in this dessert, but combined well with the others. The lemon meringue was our fave, though!! The coconut shards on top were every coconut lover’s dream. We wanted some with every single bite. BUT, if you don’t like the texture of coconut shards, you may want to just scoop them off (and give them to us pls).
Our favorite dessert of The Great Irish Hooley was the Rocky Road to Dublin (just look at that beauty). The smoked almond brownie squares are topped with chocolate ice cream, toffee crunch, and marshmallow.
The smoked almonds in the brownie give a salty and sweet mix to the dessert, complementing all that incredible chocolate. The toffee had a great chewy and crunchy texture with a buttery flavor (we could have taken a whole bar of this home). We especially loved the addition of raspberry sauce, which happens to be one of the best things to pair with chocolate in our humble opinion.
After a fantastic night of live music, dance, drinks, dinner, and dessert, The Great Irish Hooley had us wanting to come back for seconds this Labor Day weekend!
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Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by Disney World to attend their media preview of Raglan Road’s Great Irish Hooley. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ
Have you gone to The Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road yet? Let us know in the comments below!