I’ve had a lot of pleasant meals at Rose & Crown in the past. In fact, it’s one of my favorite Disney World restaurants. As a “local,” I’m always on the lookout for a bit of a bargain, even if those standards change once I set foot on Disney property. Rose & Crown has always had several lunch entrees in the $12-$15 range. With my 20% Tables in Wonderland discount, I can at least rationalize those prices as being lower than many quick service alternatives. And while dinner is usually a few more dollars, you have the added bonus of excellent, virtually stress-free viewing of IllumiNations from your table or the restaurant’s patio. When I received an email from one of my hundreds of thousands of adoring fans asking if I was interested in grabbing lunch, I thought Rose & Crown would be a nice choice. I was even more excited to try something new when I saw that the restaurant changed its menus on September 14th.
Disney has gotten a lot better (knock on wood) at updating restaurant menus recently. Check out http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/rose-and-crown-dining-room/ and look on the right side of the screen underneath the price structure to see the new menus. I was really excited to have high quality menu images!!!!!!
Rose & Crown is a “pub” and a “dining room,” meaning it has a restaurant and a bar area. We had reservations for 1:05pm. After checking in and getting the beeper thing at 1:08pm, we waited for more than 30 minutes to be seated. I’m only 75.4% as rude as usual when in the company of others, so I didn’t have my phone out the entire time counting down the minutes like I usually do. I think the beeper went off at around 1:41pm, but don’t quote me on that!
Rose & Crown is the quaint, stereotypical pub you might expect. Luckily, it’s not authentic enough to come with a cackle of beer guzzling hooligans. Well I should say, it’s not authentic enough to come with a cackle of beer guzzling hooligans that are actually from the United Kingdom. You’ll notice the low lighting, dark hardwood tables and chairs, ceiling detail, and what I assume are collectible plates of some kind. I admit I haven’t gotten into plate collecting yet, but the thought has crossed my mind. There is also a sizable patio section that wraps around the entire restaurant. If you’re interested in securing a reservation for IllumiNations, plan a meal time at 7:30pm or later. When you arrive, you can request a table on the patio (as everyone in the know does), but rest assured that there’s enough room outside for everyone eating inside the restaurant to head outside for the show. Your server and the entire restaurant staff is aware of the fact that most people with a nighttime reservation will be interested in IllumiNations and they pace the meal with that in mind.
Looking over the appetizer portion of the menu, I went with the Scotch Egg.
Now, there are two questions I get most often. The first is, “Where are the Magic Kingdom touring plans?” And the second is, “Josh, what does a $9 egg look like?” Now I’ve always had an answer for the first question, but had not been able to provide an image of the second. Now I can. Although this is, admittedly, an egg wrapped in sausage and deep fried, the $9/egg pricetag is tough to swallow. It was fine. I certainly wouldn’t order a second at that price point. A lot of people don’t like hard boiled eggs, but profess to love scotch eggs. The sausage factor does take away from the flavor of the egg, but it’s still an egg.
For entrees, I ordered the Corned Beef Sandwich and my dining companion ordered the Sunday Roast. I’ve had the Roast before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Corned Beef Sandwich is a new(ish?) entree as far I remember.
Here’s the sandwich with one slice of bread off to to the side to show what’s inside. Had the sandwich been the bread, spicy mustard, and corned beef like the menu indicates, then we would have probably been in business. However, there is something very bizarre going on with it. You can sort of see some sort of white glop peering out from underneath the slice of corned beef. This was some kind of mayonnaise-y concoction. The menu mentions cabbage, but I’m not sure what that had to do with it. Anyway, whatever that additional sauce is ruined the sandwich for me. Otherwise it was prepared well, with a nice hunk of cheese and a decent portion of corned beef. The bread was nicely buttered and toasted, which added that “crunch” you’re looking for in a hot sandwich like this. The “crisps” were mostly forgettable, but there were a ton of them, so there is something to say for quantity here.
This is the current iteration of the Sunday Roast, which has taken many forms over the years. At one time, it was a dinner only item. Presumably with the advent of the Disney Dining Plan, there is additional demand for more expensive items on the lunch menus. The beef seemed to be cooked well, but the meat was tough, chewy, and difficult to even cut – certainly not a high quality piece of meat. The shallot gravy wasn’t particularly complimentary either. On the plus side, the yorkshire pudding and roasted potatoes got a better review. Still, those are the accompaniments rather than the main course. The beef certainly could have used an upgrade in quality and cut. On the plus side, it is a huge portion. While it isn’t obvious, there’s actually a piece of beef even larger than the one you see on top underneath it. It was plenty of food for two.
Other than the ridiculous wait to start the meal, service was fine, if not a bit inattentive and slow. We were in the restaurant for about an hour and a half with only a single appetizer and the entrees. No dessert or coffee. While I’m never in much of a hurry, waits like that can be aggravating for those looking to get back out to explore the World Showcase or get over to Soarin’ to pick up another set of FASTPASSes. The best thing you can do is let your server know whether or not you’re looking for a quick meal or a more relaxing one. All in all, our lunch at Rose and Crown consumed over two hours of the day.
Overall, I was disappointed in the entire experience at Rose & Crown this time around. I’ve had a number of great meals there in recent and not so recent memory, so it was unfortunate that it didn’t live up to modest expectations.