Review of Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant

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As a veteran visitor of Walt Disney World, I definitely have family-favorite, time-tested dining locations that we visit during every trip. To keep things interesting, however, I usually incorporate one or two new experiences into every trip. During our recent visit in June, one of our first-time dining experiences was at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.

I will first say that I am not Irish, I am Italian roast J so I had to take our server at her word about the genuineness and authentic Irish everything at this restaurant. She said the entire place was built in Ireland and transplanted into Downtown Disney. She further told me that all the furnishings are from Ireland; all the entertainment, including the musicians and dancers, are from Ireland (and they were all first-rate). I do believe her, though, and I enjoyed this experience so much.

The restaurant is large with dark wood panels displaying interesting carvings. There is a huge carved bar in the center area with the main dining area beyond. There is a stage for the band with a wooden dance floor all the way forward. There is also another small dance floor up closer to the center of the room. Off toward the right side is another bar with some bistro-type raised tables. That was our spot!

It was an extremely hot day and we had ridden the bikes we had rented at Saratoga Springs over to Downtown Disney. So, from the moment we stepped inside all we wanted was a cold beer and to sit down for a few minutes before doing anything else. Our server arrived quickly and we ordered two Bud Lights. Then, surprisingly, the next thing she asked was if either of us have any food allergies. I thought that was a very good start. I told her of the items I cannot eat and she assured me that she would make sure I didn’t order anything that was contrary to what I can tolerate.

Soon, she brought our beers to the table with some bread and Guinness sauce. The bread was chewy and really good. It was gone in a flash.

Looking at the menu, we thought of trying a variety of things as each dish sounded really tasty. Alas, though, we went for our favorite – Fish & Chips. Where we live, there is not a place to be found that has great fish and chips and so we always have that entrée while at Disney (usually at the Rose and Crown in Epcot).

While we enjoyed our beers, our server told us that the band was taking requests and I should request something. It was my birthday and I told her that I loved the song from P.S. I Love You entitled, “The Galway Girl .”  I also told her that there was no way I was going up there to request it, so she happily skipped off to request The Galway Girl to be played “in honor of Brenda’s birthday” and the band did a fantastic job with the song. In fact, The West Coast Trio was uber talented and performed many beautiful and fun songs while we were there.

Within a very short period of time our Fish & Chips arrived. There were two good size pieces of fish and more than enough fries to go with it. Beer-battered, flaky fish fried perfectly and with a good, crispy crunch (by the way, there is also a gluten-free option). I drizzled malt vinegar over it and ketchup which, in my mind, is the only good southern way to eat it. It was very good! We devoured every last bite of dinner, ordered another round of beer and enjoyed the river-dance type of entertainment. Raglan Road did not audition local people to dance here, these dancers are authentically-Irish and very, very talented. I was impressed!

dancers1

After we finished dinner, our server told me that she would be honored to provide me with the dessert of my choosing as a birthday gift. She provided me with the dessert menu and recommended 3: her favorite, the Strawberry and Apple Crumble (fresh strawberry and apple crumble with vanilla ice cream and fresh cream); her second favorite, Fluffy Lemon Clouds (intense lemon curd tart topped with fluffy meringue) ; and the most popular dessert, Ger’s Bread & Butter Pudding (Like no other pudding you have ever tried. Believe us – and that is printed right on the menu). My hubby and I mulled it over, for about 1 second, and chose the Bread & Butter Pudding.

A little while later, she brought out the beautiful bread pudding. It is served in a deep bowl, sitting atop a long, rectangular platter with 2 sauces: Sauce Anglaise and Caramel Sauce. She said some people use a knife to make a well in the middle of the pudding and pour the sauces in. Others choose to pour out the entire bread pudding on the platter and pour the sauces on top. I opted for the latter option (as you can see).

bread and butter pudding4

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The Bread and Butter Pudding is such a rich dessert, laden with raisins soaked in Irish mist, and the perfect texture. It was like eating a dream!  I brought it home with me; and when I say that I don’t mean that I took it back to my resort, put it into the fridge for 3 days and then brought it onto the plane with me and home to Texas. I mean I.BROUGHT.IT.HOME. Ever since I have been back I have fallen more and more in love with that dessert. I cannot imagine not having it next time we visit in December. I simply must! And anyone who follows my page knows that this is really strange because ‘Ohana Bread Pudding with Bananas Foster Sauce has been my all-time (and very well-known) favorite for years!

I would highly recommend Raglan Road to all guests of Walt Disney World. It has a great reputation of being very family-friendly and I have heard that kids love it! We were on an adult-only trip this time and we loved it as well. The food, the atmosphere and the entertainment are top-notch. We visited for lunch but I bet it is great fun at night. I will find out in a few months. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars .  This is a new favorite and we will undoubtedly make it one of our traditions for years to come.

 

F.A.S.T. Review

Food: Every dish we had from the bread to the dessert was delicious. It was well-prepared with good-sized portions and served while hot. There are many other menu items to try and I would bet they are all just as delicious.

Atmosphere: This place is Ireland transplanted into the center of Florida. The dark woods, traditional Irish décor, happy-go-lucky, pub atmosphere  — and all this combined with great music and beautiful dancing – everything says Irish. It is a gem on the west side of Downtown Disney.

Service: Our server was so friendly, caring, considerate and attentive. I wish there were more servers who made you feel like you were one of their family sitting around the dinner table in their home. The service was excellent.

Tips: Have the Bread and Butter Pudding but be prepared …you might just get hooked, like me!

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