Review: STK Orlando Happy Hour at Disney Springs

We return to Disney Springs to visit STK for their weekday happy hour offerings.

My original review is among my favorites that have appeared on this website and includes a long introduction into everything that STK “offers,” in addition to a review of 25 items from the menu.

The restaurant has made a ton of changes since opening. They no longer offer weekday lunch, for example, but do have a weekend brunch. Above was my $18 Crispy Mahi Mahi Sandwich that was really incredible when it was offered.

The upstairs space was pleasant when we were literally the only guests in the entire restaurant.

And the outdoor balcony space is pleasant given cooler weather.

This is the original dinner menu:

Unlike ThE BoatHOUse, there were no less expensive options. You’d have to spend at least $28 on an entree.

Pricing has come down dramatically since then:

I really doubt One Group Hospitality, the company that operates the STK franchise, thought they would have to add a Fried Chicken Sandwich to their menu when they opened here in May of last year. But their stock is also currently trading at an all-time low, so I think they’re trying to take what they can get.

Pricing has also come down on many of the remaining items, including their “Lil BRG’s,” which debuted at $20, but can now be picked up for $18. It’s not a huge decrease, of course, but it’s indicative of just how much competition has ramped up at the Springs, where a number of the original tenants are already closing up shop.

And a lot of places have added happy hours, along with other promotions, in an effort to drum up business during less popular times.

Joffrey’s, of all places, offers 20% off beverages daily from 4pm to 7pm.

You can very easily grab one of these for the road and enjoy a refreshing Frozen Chai with a little bit of an extra kick while walking around the Springs. Sometimes people are surprised by the fact that you can carry your beverage of choice with you from store to store.

They’re one of my favorite things.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar actually expanded its happy hour offerings to include Monday through Thursday nights from 9pm to 11pm. That’s in addition to the 3pm to 6:30pm happy hour that includes Friday.

I review that entire menu in this post. You want the Shrimp Marrakesh and during happy hour, well drinks are $6, which isn’t bad at all. Of course, they’re going to be $4 at STK…

Morimoto Asia also offers happy hour on Mondays through Thursdays from 3pm to 5:30pm and again after 10pm.

You will not believe how good the Menchi Katsu Sliders taste.

I’ll review Morimoto in a separate update.

Of course, Raglan Road’s outdoor bar offers the same happy hour that’s been available for years.

The Bailey’s Shake is unbelievably good. So refreshing. So addictive.

And House of Blues offers their longstanding happy hour every day, which is nice for those visiting on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hopefully we’ll see Polite Pig, Homecomin’, and other restaurants add similar discounts in the coming months.

Now that we have an idea about what else is available, we can better consider STK, where the happy hour is available on weekdays from 4pm to 6pm.

STK’s happy hour is surprisingly competitive with dirt cheap beer, well drinks, and wine, in addition to about a half dozen discounted small plates.

Round one…They are not serving champagne for $6 of course – this is a serviceable sparkling wine.

Wine pricing from their regular menu is ordinarily insane – I’m not sure you’ll see a glass of Veuve for more than $26 much of anywhere, though looking at the menu for the Michelin-rated Momofuku in New York, it is indeed $27 a glass. But paying $4 for some of these beers is a great deal. We tried the Free Dive and Night Swim, both from Coppertail Brewing out of Tampa, and they’re very good local options. Also for $4, the well whiskey was Jack Daniels, so I picked up a couple of those for far less than I’d pay for just one drink just about anywhere else on property. And it was decently strong too.

It’s worth noting that STK’s happy hour is resigned to just the bar area on the lower level, where you’ll find about six high-top tables and the bar with just about eight seats. The Toms and I lucked into a table on September 4th at 5:15pm, but there were times when there wasn’t any availability. So you may want to plan on arriving right at 4pm.

We started with a half dozen of the Chef’s Select Oysters for $9 – the regular price is $18, which is pretty standard. They’re served chilled on an attractive bed of ice with lemon, cocktail sauce, and mignonette sauce made with minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar. I’m far from an oyster aficionado, but these seemed on point as far as I could tell – large and meaty with an opaque quality and a little bit of brine. I would expect that the restaurant is losing money on these, making them a good value.

First up is the $6 “Lil BRG with Fries – Wagyu Beef, Special Sauce, Sesame Seed Bun.” These are really good – the meat is incredibly tender and the creamy sauce has a nice zesty flavor, in addition to the melted gouda cheese and thick slice of tomato. I think it’s the best item on the happy hour menu.

The menu advertises “hand cut fries” served with the sandwiches, but I don’t think that translates to high quality as these were obviously frozen and reheated with very little flavor. For six bucks alongside the slider, they’re not a bad accompaniment, but this is the sort of thing that you would serve if you “literally” didn’t care what people thought of your operation.

Next up is the $6 “Spicy Shrimp Slider – Crispy Shrimp, Chili Remoulade, Slider Roll.” French fries don’t grace the plate with this one, but you do receive a hearty portion of the crispy shrimp alongside the creamy, spicy pepper sauce, a little bit of lettuce, and a fresh buttered roll.

You can otherwise pick up a similar dish as a full size appetizer for $18, but the slider was a fun few bites, and for $6, a perfectly reasonable value.

The $6 “Cherry Tomato & Watermelon Skewers with Honey-Lime Dressing” were probably the first miss. Two little pieces of watermelon and a couple bites of tomato for six bucks at least doesn’t “feel” compelling. But everything was fresh and the dressing had a sweet citrus tang to it. It tasted good, but I think you’d be better off putting the money towards a full-size salad or something else on the menu.

The $6 “BBQ Rib Fingers with Balsamic BBQ Sauce.” These were just fine – there wasn’t a tremendous amount of meat sticking to the bones, but the sauce was unique and flavorful with a real tang from the balsamic backed up with some garlic, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire.

Morimoto charges $14 for three similarly sized ribs and STK’s appetizer-size portion of their ribs is $17. $6 is a semi-reasonable value for what we received, then.

A lousy picture of the $6 “BLT Bruschetta with oven dried tomatoes, bacon marmalade, arugula.” I really liked these too – there’s a ton going on with a sweet and salty overall flavor. Receiving three for $6 seems relatively reasonable.

And finally, the $6 “Crispy Chicken Bites with Sriracha Honey.” I’m less enthusiastic about these, though it may just be because they weren’t served very fresh. The breading lacked crunch and they had that texture like they were sitting underneath a warmer for a while. The sauce also seemed bland. But you get about ten small pieces for the money, which isn’t a terrible value proposition.

Happy hour occurs early enough in the evening that there is no DJ or loud pulsating music going on. It’s also located in a relatively nondescript bar at the front of the restaurant, so the lecherous vibe of the dining room doesn’t permeate over. At least so long as I’m not sitting next to you. The downside is that with only enough space for about 25 people, that there may not be a spot to sit if you arrive much after 4pm.

Otherwise, I left mostly impressed with STK’s happy hour – four dollars for good bottled beer and cocktails is a fantastic value on- or off-property. And while we didn’t love every food item that we were served, there’s definitely some value in the sliders and a couple of the other bites are worth trying. You could order three beers/cocktails and one of each slider for $30. That’s a nice snack and a good way to spend an hour enjoying some air-conditioning at Disney Springs.

Later in the day, cocktails are $15 a pop, and you don’t have to risk ordering a “one night stand” out loud if you go during happy hour.

As a reminder, here’s the current menu. I’ve been to STK a couple more times since it opened. The last time, we were sandwiched in between grandparents taking their adult son out to dinner on one side and eight 20-somethings that looked like they were ready to drop $26 on four ounces of Veuve and go wild. Amusingly, the family had sent their steaks back three times before we were seated and had two managers sitting with them and another running interference with the server and the kitchen. On their fourth try, the steaks were cooked appropriately, but the table had no silverware by this point and one of the managers had to get up and try to find some.

The $15 “Shaved Brussels Sprouts – Apples, Cranberries, Sweet Grass Dairy Gouda, Marcona Almonds.” This is a huge pile of stuff. And for $15, it probably should be. Everything was incredibly fresh with a lot of interesting flavors and textures going on. Add chicken, steak, or shrimp and you’d easily have a filling, relatively light meal.

The complimentary Monkey Bread served here is very good served alongside an herb-forward blue cheese butter. Puffy and dough-y, it’s a little sweet with a fun pull-apart quality. I’m not 100% sure if they would bring you a hunk during happy hour, but I would think they would if you request it.

ST(EA)K is still theoretically a steak restaurant first and foremost, though the number of cuts it offers has been reduced from the original ten to what is now just six.

No more Skirt Steak, Sirloin, or Loin Strip, among others. Above is the Sirloin.

Prices don’t include sides, which are hilariously small when purchased a la carte. That is a regular-size spoon sitting in what STK deems to be ten-dollars-worth of mashed potatoes.

Another terrible picture here with the $46 10-ounce Filet topped with the $15 “King Crab Oscar,” making this a $61 steak.

I was impressed by the quality and execution. The steak was incredibly tender, seasoned nicely, and topped with a decadent buttery hollandaise sauce and quite a bit of lump crab meat. It’s expensive, no doubt, but Disney charges $45-$70+ for similar quality beef, so we’re not really out of line here. Going with the Oscar topping is smart, particularly if you’re looking to gain some weight.

Here we have the 10-ounce Filet topped with Truffle Butter. An $8 upcharge seems high, but the truffle does add a subtle earthiness to the meat that helps bring out some of its bolder flavors. Very good again.

Drinking at STK is an expensive proposition and the regular drink menu isn’t particularly inspired.

And my $15 “Green Intensity – Absolut Elyx, Fresh Lime, Jalapeno, and Basil” was so thick and syrupy that it was virtually undrinkable.

But STK’s happy hour provides a lot of value for those looking to enjoy a couple of simple cocktails, beers, or wines, and perhaps a couple bites to eat. Drink prices are shockingly low. And the bar atmosphere is perfectly pleasant before 7pm. I wasn’t ready to crown STK’s happy hour as the best deal at Disney Springs and one of the best property-wide, but I think that’s where we’re at. Consider arriving closer to 4pm for a better selection of seats.

Dinner in the dining room is probably not what most families with kids are looking for, but couples may enjoy the more-adult vibe. It does get louder and louder as the evening progresses. But if a little bit of the Miami lifestyle is what you’re looking for without having to leave the comfy confines of Disney Springs, then STK is it. I may have to explore the quality of those less expensive sandwiches if I can ever convince anyone to go with me again.

Comments

  1. Kylie says

    I was there in July during happy hour. They brought the bread without us asking, even though the only food we ordered was a side of the truffle fries. I guess they wanted something to soak up the healthy amount of booze we ordered in a relatively short timespan…

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