Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great St. Paddy’s Day!
I thought it was only right that we head to Raglan Road for St. Patrick’s Day (weekend). We first dined at Raglan Road a few years ago. It was recommended by our then travel agent who helped us book our first Christmas vacation. We ate there for New Year’s Eve. At 8pm they celebrated the new year in Ireland, which is ahead by 4 hours. It was a very cool experience and I totally recommend it for anyone looking to celebrate outside the parks.
We decided to return to Raglan Road for the first time in six years. We had stopped by for a drink a few times over the years, but hadn’t eaten there since our first Christmas trip. Raglan Road always receives positive reviews. We ate at its Quick Service location, Cookes of Dublin, in 2014 and decided to go with Raglan Road in 2015 (technically 2016.) We booked it as the last dinner for our trip, as we normally avoid the parks on New Year’s Day.
We arrived after weaving through a very crowded Disney Springs. Word of advice – avoid Disney Springs during the weekend. It’s become “the go-to spot” for locals, making it very crowded and difficult to navigate. Our table was ready, but as the hostess escorted us to our seats, we discovered that it was a hightop with stools. Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal, but with my mom’s leg bothering her, we requested another table. The hostess seemed a little annoyed, but grinned and bore it as she waited for a booth to open up.
Being at Raglan Road and celebrating the new year, it’s hard to not enjoy a dark beer. I was originally planning on going with a Guinness, but the beer flight caught my eye. I believe the flight was only $10 or $11, compared to the Guinness pint at $8. The flight was a solid value and the samples were much larger than expected (around 6 oz. pours.)
The waiter also brought over some bread and a Guinness dipping sauce. The bread was warm and incredibly soft. The dipping sauce was out of this world. It was a combination of salty, sweet and malty.
Time for the entrees. My mom went with the chowder, my sister ordered the steak, my dad went with the pie to try and I eventually settled on the Bagerz & Booz. My mom really liked the chowder and my sister raved about the steak. My dad wasn’t crazy about the pie. He’s a traditionalist when it comes to his food and I don’t think he cared for the contemporary plating. The taste was there, but I think he wanted more crust.
I was really intrigued by the Bangers & Booz dish. I’ve wanted to try Bangers and Mash for a while. I’m part English and my grandma is from England, so I’ve always had a taste for the food. I love the normal fish and chips and mushy peas, and go crazy over Yorkshire pudding. Last year I passed on the Bangers and Mash at Rose & Crown, so I decided to finally try it this year.
It’s a hearty dish. There’s a solid assortment of mild sausage that’s cooked perfectly. It has that crunchy casing and is full of flavor. It’s served with caramelized onions, root vegetables and topped with a rich Guinness-based beef stew. I loved the assortment of texture. The roasted root vegetables and sausages gave a little bit of a bite, which paired well with the soft buttery beef. The mashed potatoes added a nice base to the dish and mixed well with the sweet and savory gravy. I almost wish it was cooler outside, because this is truly a cold-weather, heat-your-insides type dish.
I immediately regret devouring the bread once the dessert menu came. I had one thing in mind: the Bread and Butter pudding. I can’t even remember what my family ordered, I was so locked into the highly touted dessert. The reviews are right – this thing is seriously good. It’s like the creamiest, sweetest and most decadent french toast you’ll ever eat (minus the cinnamon.) I liberally poured the caramel sauce over the cup of break pudding and **poof** it was gone. The bread soaked up all the sauce, further adding to the flavor. By itself, the bread pudding lives up to its name – it’s definitely buttery. The sauce adds a real sweetness that compliments its creaminess. The raisins added a nice texture and broke down the sweetness a bit. It easily fell into my top-3 desserts at Walt Disney World.
While we really enjoyed Raglan Road, I’m not sure it unseats Rose & Crown. The experience and entertainment is fun, but nothing beats sitting outside in EPCOT, especially during Illuminations.
I would totally recommend Raglan Road, though. It’s one of the more popular restaurants at Disney World and one of the more difficult reservations to get, especially with Disney Springs becoming more and more popular. Save it for the middle of the week to avoid the weekend crowds and make it a priority (behind the obvious restaurants like V&A, Be Our Guest, etc.)