If you were to ask me, “Josh, what does the Crescent Lake area need more than anything?” “Sandwiches” would probably not be near the top of my list. Yet here we are.
The Market is located just off of the lobby on the opposite side of Captain’s Grille, Crew’s Cup, and Yachtsman Steakhouse.
If you’re entering from the front entrance, you’ll take an immediate right. From the back entrance behind me, you’ll walk towards the front desk and then take a left.
Apparently, the globe is out for refurbishment – it’s been a couple of months.
At least the flowers are pretty. If Disney used fakes, I think the room rates would go down by at least half. Just this arrangement would cost several hundred dollars from a florist.
The Market takes up the space formerly occupied by Fittings and Fairings, some of the merchandise of which has been relocated to a corner of the lobby.
A new store is expected to open next month.
Back to The Market, which seems to principally be a grab-and-go location, though a menu of hot sandwiches and coffee is available.
Here’s that menu in stunning quality.
Inside the cooler:
A lot of this stuff actually looks pretty good, including items like the Shrimp Cocktail and Tomato Basil Hummus Cup, in addition to an impressive array of salad dressings. The snack credit situation is a little uneven as items like the $5.79 Curry Chicken Salad Cup are snack credits while items like the $5.79 Tuna Salad Cup are evidently not. The location has been open for more than three weeks, so the inconsistency isn’t first week jitters.
Is Halo Top good? A pint is 240 calories versus 1000+ in the Haagen-Dazs.
The lineup of packaged goods is equally impressive.
Pricing on a lot of the items is surprisingly un-terrible. These “Epic Bites – Salmon Bites with Maple and Dill” sound kind of gross, but they’re around $6.50 in stores and $6.99 here at The Market. You almost can’t afford not to pick up a 2.5 oz. bag.
If sweets are more your thing, The Market offers several options in classy, minimalist packaging. Those are Lemon Blueberry Macarons on the lower left.
Some more interesting snacks with an emphasis on being allergy-friendly.
Swiss Granola – a good source of protein.
Falafel Chips – a good source of fiber.
Fruit – money that could be put towards hamburgers.
A good source of potassium.
Lovely Candy Co. – A good source of chew.
Snickers. This is still America.
As is typical of resort stores, the wine selection is pretty decent at prices that aren’t a whole lot more than your local Total Wine, though some of these bottles are 375ml.
But the Conundrum Red runs $23 at the store, so $27 here is more than reasonable. The Martin Ray is $25 at Total Wine, so $29 here seems more than reasonable. On the other hand, the Kung Fu Girl is $13 at the store or $19 here at The Market. So the more you spend, the more you “save.” On the other hand, beer pricing remains atrocious. A single can of Blue Moon runs $9, which is more than a 6-pack would cost at the store.
Fresh pastries and other items are available.
I’ve heard particularly good things about the brownie bites on the bottom in the middle there.
Sticky Buns and the Spinach & Feta Pastry.
Toasters and microwaves are available for guest use.
As with a number of recent quick service refurbishments, Coke Freestyle machines are present.
Theming might be a little questionable here. Property-wide, Disney is transitioning to a lot more of a “clean” look. A lot of the whimsy has been removed during recent resort room refurbishments and that seems to be creeping into public spaces as well. The changes to Sassagoula Floatworks over at French Quarter come to mind as a prime example. I’m not sure you could come up with a more anemic aesthetic if you tried. Functional, yes, but without a single Disney touch as far as I can tell. This could just as easily be a failing coffee shop anywhere in the U.S.
Power and USB outlets are provided underneath the bench seating just in case inspiration strikes and you’re able to add a quick scene to that screenplay.
The convention center expansion at the Beach/Yacht Clubs is expected to add 28,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, including a 16,000 square-foot ballroom. It seems like The Market at Ale & Compass was devised with convention guests in mind with the emphasis on the “Disney-upscale” grab-and-go items.
I ordered the $8.49 “Ham & Cheddar Sandwich – Ham and Cheddar Cheese served on a Pretzel Roll.”
The small sandwich sits kind of sad in the middle of the plate.
It looked like the sandwich was pulled out of the refrigerator intact and simply reheated, which gave the pretzel bread an uneven amount of done-ness. It was appropriately soft and chewy in the middle, but the edges were all kinds of hard, crunchy, and overcooked. Without any sauce or spread to speak of, there wasn’t much flavor outside of the straightforward saltiness of the ham and cheese. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but it would be below average for the airport, if that offers any insight into the overall portion/quality.
The $8.49 “Spicy Italian Panini – Capicola, Mortadella, Ham, Provolone, and Giardinere [sic, probably] served on a Baguette” was a significant improvement.
This pressed sandwich had the perfect bread-to-stuff ratio. It’s packed with meat and cheese with a thin, crispy layer of bread to hold everything together. The giardiniera added a bit of a spicy quality that contrasted nicely with the meats and cheese. It was easily the best item we tried. Very satisfying.
But if you’re flexible in where you grab your sandwich in the Crescent Lake area, it’s hard to recommend The Market over BoardWalk Bakery, where you could pick up this “Roast Beef and Salami Sandwich with Provolone, Sweet Pickled Peppers, and Herb Mayonnaise on House-made Ciabatta” along with a side for $12. The outdoor seating overlooking the water is incredibly pleasant so long as it isn’t raining or terribly hot. In other words, expect a fresh review in October.
The packaged dessert options looked très presh, so I grabbed this Lemon Cheesecake.
To give you an idea about sizing, that is not a mutant blackberry. And at $4.59, I was expecting the cheesecake to have a really deep, rich flavor. But it didn’t – just a sort of semi-sweet, bland cream cheese flavor with a touch of lemon. The texture was also more crumbly than anything. Would not recommend.
The Carrot Zucchini Bites were like little muffins with eight in the bag for the $4.99 price. There’s much more of the carrot going on here than the zucchini, with some of the spice you’d expect from a carrot cake, but without the sugary sweetness. They had a fresh quality to them, but at more than 50 cents per 2-bite “bite,” they’re a pretty easy skip. But if you’ve got a snack credit to burn, they would be enjoyable alongside an afternoon cup of coffee.
Speaking of which:
The Toasted Marshmallow Latte sounds similar to the Mission to S’mores drink available at the Magic Kingdom Joffrey’s.
Nothing says “buy my kitchenware” like the dark.
With modest goals in mind, The Market at Ale & Compass seems to achieve what it sets out to accomplish. Certainly, convention guests will find convenience in the ability to pop in and grab a sandwich or a snack in just a couple of minutes, with some upscale touches that they’re probably used to seeing at other events. Since the Yacht Club did not previously offer a quick service option in-house, resort guests should appreciate the ability to head down to the lobby level and pick something up without having to head outside to the Beach Club Marketplace, Hurricane Hanna’s, or all the way over to the BoardWalk Bakery. Hot breakfast items may be particularly welcome.
And given the space constraints, this may be as much as Disney could do, though you’d think if they could find 30,000 square feet to add on to the convention space, that a quick service the size and scope of Captain Cook’s might be possible. But more options is always better and The Market should offer a quick, no-nonsense experience in a relaxed setting. Is it worth seeking out? Perhaps not, unless you have some snack credits to burn. There are some tasty treats you could pack away for the return flight/drive home.
Personally, you’ll find me at Yachtsman with a couple of those A5 Wagyus. I’m a growing boy.
The Yacht Club bag was particularly cute.
We may have already seen this stuff.
We’ll visit Beach Club briefly to check out trivia next.