Downtown Disney Drinking in Depth – Sangria Bar, Margarita Stand, Cap’n Jack’s(?), Rainforest Cafe, Dinner at Fulton’s, Dinner at Raglan Road, Dinner at Flying Fish Cafe

We’ll continue forward from the last part, which also includes links to all the previous places we’ve visited.

Archival footage of the Pollo Campero building.  As we learned in this post, Fresh-A-Peel is now “Bodie’s All American.”  I’m guessing they opted to leave “Gut Bomb” off the end of the name.

Anyway, along with Pollo, Bodie’s, and BabyCakes, you’ll find a bar offering alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.  Assuming the weather is decent, there’s an additional bar area operating outside on the side facing T-Rex.

They have draft Bud Light/Stella along with some bottled beers.  I’ll spare you more beer “reviews,” but the Quilmes, Medalla, and Famosa are all pretty sub par American Adjunct Lagers.

The Red and Watermelon Sangrias were in a pitcher on ice under the counter.  They were quite good – not too sweet and you can see the watermelon chunks inside the cup.  The portion seemed reasonable for the eight-or-so dollars they cost compared to what was served elsewhere.

Particularly in the summer, this would be an easy, refreshing way to cool down.  I’ve never seen a line of more than a couple people.  Nothing earth shattering, but it was a nice change of pace from the sweet mixed drinks and glasses of wine.

This is known as “Cap’n Jack’s Margarita Bar” and it’s located outside the restaurant in the Marketplace section.  Compared to how close the other establishments were, this seemed like a hike from the Campero building!

Along with Laffer’s Cantina across from Paradiso 37, you can expect to get some of the strongest drinks at Downtown Disney here.  They’re prepared by seemingly competent bartenders while you wait.  Outside of the frozen concoctions, we’re not talking about any premade nonsense.

On the left is the Patron Anejo Margarita ($12.50) with very little sour mix, if you’re looking to gauge pour quality.

On the right is the Habanero Margarita, which was quite good, if not particularly spicy.  Habanero Lime is a Monin brand mixer.  Sara intermittently forgets that she doesn’t like tequila.  If I remember correctly, I downed most of both drinks.  Hit the Margarita Bar if you’re looking for a reliably strong cocktail.  There’s seating that overlooks the water and in the evenings, there should be a guitar player or other entertainment.

More bad archival footage, this time of Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant.  Speaking of reliable, Cap’n Jack’s is reliably the worst restaurant on property.  I think if you were going to take a poll of “worst meals” or “Disney restaurants that we would never go back to,” Cap’n Jack’s here and Nine Dragons over at Epcot would be the most popular choices.  If you’ve had a good experience here, I would certainly like to hear about it!

So this was the most bizarre interaction with a cast member that I’ve ever had.  I mentioned the restaurant is awful, but it seemingly doesn’t matter as the wait to get a table was quoted at 90 minutes.  I was originally planning to order something since terrible food is tres bloggable, but with the long wait, we inquired as to whether we could sit in the bar.  The hostess went to check and lo and behind, there were two spots.  So we were walked back and sat down.  Sara left to use the ladies’ room and I sat there perusing the menu, planning to order the Crab Cakes to split.  Then the bartender on the right (named Tom, go figure) gets in my face saying that we needed a ticket to sit there and “I just wanted you to know that by sitting there means that you’re going to eat your dinner here.”  I realize this doesn’t sound that weird, but the whole exchange was pretty strange as this guy with a creepy smile is leaning over in my face.  Of course, there is no minimum order at a Disney restaurant.  I had no intention of giving this guy any money, so we ended up walking out of the place.  Sara was not exactly as excited to try Disney’s worst restaurant as I was in the first place.  We ended up spending $138.10 at Fulton’s later in the evening.

The drink menu is also on the sad side.  Canyon Road Merlot is a $6 bottle of wine.

At least the menu has added a few items that get closer to being “seafood.”

We went next door to Rainforest Cafe, where no ticket was necessary and the bartender seemed perfectly content to serve up two $12 cocktails.

This is another of the Landry’s Restaurants.  They also operate T-Rex and Yak & Yeti on property along with McCormick & Schmick’s, Claim Jumper, and Morton’s nationwide.  If you’re planning to eat here, you may want to invest in a Landry’s Select Club card.  Joining is a one time fee of $25, but you get a $25 credit on your card immediately as well as another $25 credit during your birthday month.  And if you don’t end up using it at Disney World, they have a ton of other restaurants.

If memory serves, this is a Panama Punch.  And if memory continues to serve, it was just fine.  Another of the fruity mixed drinks.  When I was not an experienced drinker, I mixed what will hopefully be the worst drink of all time – warm Coca Cola Classic and Monarch 151 Proof Rum.  YUCK!

If I had to guess, this is the Pink Parrot Lemonade.  Also cold, sweet, fruity and not particularly boozy.  Rainforest Cafe is quite a bit less horrific than T-Rex, though I’m not sure why you’d necessarily wish to dine here without children.  Obvi [sic], the main pull here is the environment, though portions are large and the menu is diverse.  Since Rainforest Cafes are strewn around the United States and there are only two T-Rex restaurants in the world, you may want to look toward T-Rex.  Food, service, portions, etc. would be pretty similar between the two restaurants since they’re operated by the same company.

Of course, they also have themed napkins!  Try to find the stash so you can steal a bunch and stick them in the kids’ lunches throughout the year to remind them of that special meal!

Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex don’t accept Tables in Wonderland and you’ll want to check the bill on the 10% Annual Pass discount (which doesn’t include alcohol we learned).  Over at T-Rex, I gave the server the Annual Pass, but he ended up only taking 10% off my entree and the 99 cent Kids Meals.

As promised, we’re back to Fulton’s for dinner.  Here’s an example of what the menu looks like for dinner.  Normally I take a picture every three steps, but this tends to annoy anyone I’m with.  And if there’s anything worse than an Inappropriate Sara, it’s an Unhappy Sara.

This was taken at the end of the night, so this dining room had cleared out.

You might describe the setting as more refined than Rainforest Cafe.  We were seated at one of these tables.

If you’re wondering why we’re here, it’s because Sara wanted bread.  If there’s anything I’ve learned about females over my 27 years, it’s that if a woman tells you that she wants bread, you get her bread.  Sara described it as “bomb.”

Prior to the bread, our chatty Cathy server brought out a “gift from the chef.”  I’m assuming he told us what it was in between all of the other stories.  It looks like crackers and a crab dip.  I enjoyed it more than Sara did.  It was certainly a nicer way to begin the meal than Cap’n Jack’s lecture on what we’d be required to order.

I probably should have ordered something more interesting (the Lobster Bisque and Clam Chowder are amazing here), but went with this boring and entirely unbloggable $15 Shrimp Cocktail.  The shrimp were nice and large and served ice cold, but it isn’t anything you couldn’t put together yourself.

*Crying* This is a bit of a goodbye to Inappropriate Sara as she is headed back to Virginia to look after her mother who fell and broke both of her wrists.  This is the $31 “One Pound and a quarter, steamed Alaska Snow Crab.”  It looks to be a pretty serious crab and got two thumbs up from Sara.

The Narragansett, Rhode Island Lobster – One pound and a quarter lobster, shrimp, scallop, spinach and mushroom stuffing, toasted breadcrumbs, which ran just north of $50.  It’s a ton of food as you’ve got the full lobster and then inside is even more stuff in a rich sauce.  This would have been amazing if it the center was hot, but it was almost ice cold.  I considered sending it back, but then I’d just be eating by myself after Sara finished or her food would be cold by the time a new lobster appeared.  And knowing Fulton’s reputation, which is generally high quality seafood prepared poorly, the next one would have been just as likely to come out the same.  The lobster was very good though with a ton of meat.

More Sauvignon Blanc, of course.  Overall, Fulton’s was good, despite a mediocre $50+ Lobster.  It felt like a pretty classy meal, unlike most Disney restaurants.  We were seated at a table in the picture above the bread, so it wasn’t your typical cafeteria-like seating where they cram as many tables as possible right next to each other (looking at you, Be Our Guest).  It’s more of an intimate experience when you can’t hear chatter coming from seven different directions.  Our server would not stop talking, whether it was to us or the couple sitting behind us.  I’d certainly go back to Fulton’s before most other Disney restaurants if I was looking to spend that much money.  Lunch is a lot less expensive if you can get over there in the afternoon.

Feels crowded.

We’ll have to rewind all the way back to March 23rd for a meal at Raglan Road that I have neglected to tell you about.  It’s always good to have one in the tank, so to speak.  Raglan Road is often one of the busiest restaurants at Downtown Disney because of the evening entertainment and reputation that it’s a great place for food and drink.  On this particular evening, which is again avec the Milz family (whom you may remember from Mama Melrose and Akershus, among others), we “literally” waited an hour and fifteen minutes after our reservation time.  Apparently a large group had either rented out part of the restaurant or simply made reservations for a lot of people and they lingered longer than the restaurant was expecting.  So there were a lot of unhappy people waiting outside.  This is a bad picture of the Appetiser D’Lirrah – our Dalkey Duo, Scallop Forest, Heaven on Earth, and Drunk Chicken Skewers $27.  The full dinner menu is available here.  It also has the entertainment schedule.  All of the items here were quite good.  The problem with these samplers that I have (because I’m stupid) is that I can never figure out which sauce belongs with which items.  But there are worse problems to have.  Compared to how much food you get for an entree, the portion here didn’t seem amazing considering the hefty price tag.  I’d probably just order the $12 Dalkey Duo and the $15 Scallop Forest if given a do over.  The wings and ribs were nothing special in my opinion.

The $18 Sod the Stew – beef stew infused with a hint of Guinness.  Another reason Raglan is popular is the fact it’s not insanely expensive.  Remember our five shrimp, $15 appetizer from Fulton’s.  I enjoyed this quite a bit.  And it’s served in the cutest little cauldron!  There’s plenty of beef, carrots, and potatoes and it’s a decent portion for the price.  I’d recommend it highly – particularly around this price point.

The Raglan Risotto with Chicken $15 + $5 for the Chicken or Shrimp.  Peggy/Steve may have to interject again with how this was.  I think I remember it receiving very high marks.

Service was pretty bad.  It’s hard to make up for a 75 minute wait and the server seemed like she was just about to collapse from exhaustion.  Glasses were often empty and I’d rate friendliness a 2.4/10.  I don’t think that’s necessarily indicative of the restaurant – we just had bad luck.

Raglan Road is a lot of fun, especially if you have a view of the band and dancers.  Expect an expensive bar tab if you’re headed in that direction because beers run $6.75 and above.  A bottle of Rogue Dead Guy Ale, a personal favorite (though not as much as the American Amber!), runs $9/bottle.  The Terrapin Hopsecutioner ($7) is also very good.  They do have several good choices though.  Despite pretty lousy service and way too long of a wait to be seated, I’d still return to Raglan Road.  No questions asked.

As always, a special thanks to the Milz family for treating me to dinner.

I realize that with three nice dinner reviews, I may be bordering on punchable status.  Or more punchable than usual, if that’s possible.  Haters gonna hate!  We took a much grander look at Flying Fish back in June, so I won’t go through all of the background/restaurant pictures again.

The seasonal menu:




Not a cheese guy and really not interested in degusting anything.




Maple syrup seems to be in every bourbon drink these days.  Even Crown now has a Crown Royal Maple.

A Blood Orange Margarita – not quite as good as La Cava, but still perfectly decent.

George, who you may remember from Bay Lake Tower and Tutto Gusto, ordered Vodka in a Cup.

And of course, the ladies ordered wine.

You may remember Deb and Darcie as well.

Food:

Fresh Mozzarella di Bufala – $15 appetizer.  George enjoyed this one so much the first time that he ordered a second.  It certainly looks like a good value.

The Idaho Potato Red Snapper – $36.

The Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak – $43.

The Oak Grilled Maine Diver Scallops – $35.

Side of Asparagus – $9.  Pretty!

Everything seemed to get high marks.  George enjoyed his Potato Wrapped Red Snapper more than I did.  The steaks were well received by Lynda and Darcie.  I ate the rest of Darcie’s steak and can confirm that it’s still very good 😉  The last picture is the “Chef’s Thunder Entree “Surf and Surf”- Brioche, Horseradish, and Herb-crusted Day Boat Flounder and Laughing Bird Shrimp “Scampi” – Wilted Greens, and a Fricassee of Fall Vegetables with a Sea Urchin, Verjus, and Vermont Butter Emulsion – $36.  Oh Flying Fish, you had me at sea urchin!  As you’re probably aware, I don’t have a large food review vocabulary.  I thoroughly enjoyed both meals at Flying Fish and think it’s one of the most consistently great meal on property with excellent service and attention to detail in the kitchen.

I’m planning to spend a lot of time updating past content with the hope that the site redesign is successful.  And we’ll get out for some Christmas decorations.  There have been some questions regarding Test Track’s status.  The “soft open” on the 21st turned out to be extremely soft as it was only open to cast members.  There have apparently been technical problems and word is that a safety test is scheduled for today (Monday).  After that (hopefully) passes, the ride should become operational.  I’d look for public previews to begin around the end of the week, barring any additional snaggles.  I don’t think snaggles is a word.  Also, the walkway that connects Storybook Circus and Enchanted Forest should now be open as well, creating shorter walking times.  We’ll have visual confirmation shortly.

Comments

  1. Psac says

    I am fully convinced that the char grilled steak at Flying Fish is ironically the best steak on property. The only place I have not tried yet is Shula’s, but I would doubt that can compete.

  2. marshallj says

    It always puts a hop into my step when I click on this website and there is an update. Very nice. Would read again.

  3. Patty57 says

    Flying Fish is truly the one WDW restaurant where we are never disappointed. We had skipped it on a couple of trips to try some new places, but put it back on the “must do” list when we were there in June.

  4. shalom says

    That Storybook Circus-Enchanted Forest walkway info is handy dandy, since I kept thinking I needed to reconfigure my MK schedule based on the assumption it wouldn’t be open yet when we go. Procrastination paying off again. Thanks!

  5. Roxanne says

    Is it weird that I’m totally excited about the walkway being open? Kinda bummed about Fulton’s, we were gonna eat there next week, but don’t know if the extra trip to DTD is worth it!

  6. Bunny says

    Dang…can’t count the number of times we’ve walked right by Flying Fish and never gave it a second thought…DH isn’t into seafood, but he loves steak. We will have to try this on our next trip!

  7. Betty says

    Thanks for the Test Track update! As I drag myself to work this week, my parents are living it up at WDW. I’ll have to text them with the update.

  8. Anonymous says

    I am sorry to hear that Sara’s mom broke her wrist, I hope she is doing ok.
    That was a great and thorough post. If I had a bartender tell me what the one at cap’n jacks told you , I would have lost it. He sounds like a psycho creeper . Thanks for all your hard work.

  9. Pampered Mom says

    I’m drooling over that lobster. We have eaten at Raglan Road twice and enjoyed both meals. We had reservations and had to wait about 15 minutes both times. I have to remember to put Flying Fish on the list for next time. Best wishes to Sara’s mom for a speedy recovery.

  10. Ron says

    You did not really pay $35 for 4 scallops did you?
    And you called the wine markup high from a $6 bottle. Consider that those scallops would run you $12/lb in the grocery store.

  11. Dean says

    Fultons along with Cap n Jacks are 2 of the worst restaurants on property. Fultons is over priced and you get very little. I’m actually shocked you don’t know who does or doesn’t take tables or what exactly is included with the annual discount considering such a long posting about the restaurants as if you were an expert.

    Blogs like yours always amuse me as do people who write reviews online, as if their opinion of something is oh so great and wonderful that they just have to share it. I’m always particularly interested in people complaining that they had to wait. Yes, sometimes you have to wait, suck it up and deal with it. You are not the only people on the planet and you’ll just have to wait your turn. I’m always amused by people who write bad reviews, after reading through their other reviews I can see why they get bad treatment in most places just by their wording having worked in that industry for many years and oh so glad to be out of it.

  12. Liz says

    I got stuck eating at Cap’n Jack’s once thanks to some family members. I ordered the chicken alfredo, since nothing else interested me. It was edible, but not great. But, if you were stuck there like me, go for the safe choice. I think the parents had the clam bake (?), it was reddish and neither would eat it. I tried to get them to send it back but they wouldn’t. I don’t think it’s rude to complain about food you’re paying for but whatever. The only good thing was my little sister got a glowing ice cube in her drink, which she enjoyed playing with.

    And there was no line. If there was, I wouldn’t have waited with them. It’s not rude, just not worth the wait….AT ALL.

    I’m glad we didn’t go to Fultons because we almost did, but we decided it was too busy at the time.

    Now I want to try Flying Fish

  13. Meghan says

    Just throwing out my two cents…

    I’m from Narragansett Rhode Island, and while we do have lobster caught here, it’s not our biggest export, i HIGHLY doubt that’s where it came from. Also, I had an oyster po’boy at Fultons and got extremely ill. Don’t try that one on date night. (shudders)

    However, I love me some Raglan Road, real hard, went there 5 times over two trips. I recommend the chicken pot pie w/ mushrooms. Rocket pie perhaps? I digress.

    I love bad food reviews! Thanks for the entertainment.

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