Downtown Disney's Raglan Road
Raglan Road in Downtown Disney had been on my "to-do" list for quite some time. Who can resist pub food? Rose and Crown is one of my favorite restaurants in Epcot, so I was anxious to give the Irish pub a chance.
Raglan Road is located in Downtown Disney and was "created under the direction of Kevin Dundon, one of Ireland's celebrity chefs." The food is intended to be classic Irish pub fare with a modern twist. While that may sound like marketing speak, it's actually a pretty accurate description.
One of the first things you will notice on visiting Raglan Road is the decor. Much like the food, "Irish with a modern twist" is a fitting description. Everything is very "hip," but some nice authentic touches have been added. The most noteworthy of these touches are the two bars, which have been imported from Ireland. One presumes this was not a cheap endeavor.
In addition to the food, the pub also boasts Irish entertainment. The music was very entertaining and while it was loud enough to make conversation difficult, it wasn't uncomfortably loud. We were seated right in the front and had excellent views of both the musicians and the Irish dancer, one of the signature features of the restaurant.
Since we wanted to try so many things on the menu it was convenient that they offered an appetizer sampler that included ribs, grilled chicken as well as a "forest" of battered scallops and sausages. The grilled chicken was largely forgettable. I'm not a scallop expert, so I was pretty ambivalent about them, although they were quite juicy (which may or may not be good when it comes to scallops. I wouldn't know, but I found it pleasant.)
The sausages on the other hand were quite tasty, and the mustard for dipping them in was a great accompaniment. The highlight of the appetizers however was the ribs. They had an good taste and were quite a bit meatier than they appeared.
For my entree I had the Shepherd's pie, which was quite enjoyable. The sauce for the meat was quite strong which was both a blessing and a curse. While I enjoyed it immensely at the start of the meal, as I got further into the dish it became overpowering. Still I would rate it highly, although quite a departure from any shepherd's pie I've had before.
My dining partner tried the bangers and mash and was equally impressed. Once again it wasn't a traditional presentation, but she found the accompanying gravy very enjoyable. The taste was rich and savory and the potatoes were an excellent contrast in taste and texture.
Dessert was a possibly the strongest course. "Ger's Bread and Butter Pudding" seems to be the star dessert here. I have a general rule that when dessert comes with little cups of sauce to pour over it, it's a very good sign. My rule held true here. In fact my biggest complaint was that there wasn't more butterscotch and vanilla sauce to pour over the bread pudding. I didn't enjoy it as much as 'Ohana's bread pudding, but it was still quite good.
Even better was an apple tart, which I unfortunately don't think is always available. It had a strong oatmeal texture, which I always enjoy, and a very tart fruit taste. Once again my biggest complaint was a lack of topping. I wished we had more ice cream. The dessert is delicious however, and if it happens to be a special when you're there be sure to snap it up.
"Enjoyable" was the perfect word to describe my experience. I enjoyed the music, the dancing and the food. I didn't have anything that was so wonderful I had to go back the next night, but everything was very good and I left satisfied. Raglan Road is particularly convenient because it's open late, which we've found to be very handy when we arrive in the evening but would still like to get some grub. If you're craving some good food and a good time, Raglan Road is a great option.