On Thursday, November 2, 2017, my adult daughter and I were privileged to be part of a media dinner that was held at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs. I will admit that it is a restaurant that I’ve avoided in the past. We’re both vegetarian and my daughter is allergic to dairy, and looking over the menu I didn’t think that there was much that we would be able to eat. Was I ever wrong! The staff was more than accommodating, and they went out of their way to assure me that everything that we were served met our dietary needs. Paul Nolan, who is one of Raglan Road’s partners, told me that they’re working hard to make sure that there is plenty of food available to those with allergies or who follow special diets. He said that the gluten free fish and chips have been a huge hit, even for those who do not need to follow a gluten free diet.
If you’ve been to Raglan Road in the past and thought that it was too loud, you need to return. Acoustic panels have been added in the Grand Room. The panels are on the walls and pillars. There are also acoustic curtains. The results are pleasing to the ears. You can still enjoy the live music, but there is no vibration from it and you can hold a conversation without shouting.
The food at Raglan Road is as Irish as you can get in Central Florida. The appetizers that were served to the media group included battered cocktail sausages, battered scallops, and Guinness-glazed baby back ribs. At my table the sausages were the favorite. My daughter and I were served an appetizer of mushrooms on bread and the Cashel Castle salad (hers without the blue cheese). Both were delicious, and honestly I could make a meal out of the salad. It was that good. They brought tomato soup to the entire table, ours was vegan. It might have been the best tomato soup that I have ever had. It was full of fresh tomato flavor.
The entrees were a hit all around. The Shepherd’s Pie was a work of art, and I was told that it tasted as good as it looked. Another favorite in our party was the Lambo, a braised lamb shank served with mashed potatoes. I ordered The Big Q, which is a red quinoa and white bean burger. When they say “big” in the name they mean it, it was the heaviest vegetarian burger that I’ve ever had. It was delicious. The Parmesan fries were recommended for my side, and those were fantastic. They made a special vegan risotto for my daughter, and that was a definite winner. The regular risotto is made with chicken broth but this was made with vegetable broth instead. The dish included veggies and mushrooms, and it was cooked to perfection.
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We were then treated to a dessert sampler that included several different selections. It didn’t matter what they brought out, everyone wanted Ger’s Bread & Butter Pudding. Tim, our server, described it as “heaven”. He was right. It was served with two different sauces to pour on top. Since my daughter couldn’t eat that dish they brought her an apple dish that was vegan and gluten free. It was a delicious ending to her meal.
Being a pub, there was plenty on hand to drink. One hit at our table was Miriam’s Irish Coffee Stout. Another drink that was served was the Spiced Carmel Apple Martini. It consisted of apple brandy, Irish whiskey, butterscotch schnapps, Irish cider, apple, cinnamon, sugar, and caramel syrup. It’s a specialty drink for the fall season, and if you like sweet cocktails you will most likely enjoy this.
Food is only part of the equation at Raglan Road, the rest is the live Irish entertainment. It starts daily at 4:00pm. There is also live music on the patio. Most of the musicians and dancers are from Ireland, and they seem to love what they do. The main singer had a smile on his face the whole time that made it look like he was having the time of his life. At one point during the show some children were asked to join them on stage and they were taught a simple dance. One of my favorite moments of the evening was when the shy little girl at the table next to ours decided to do it. At first she was unsure on the stage, but she ended up having an incredible time. She was beaming as she returned to her parents.
Raglan Road recently celebrated its 12th anniversary at Disney Springs, and it is a popular spot for both tourists and locals. The food is delicious and filling, and the entertainment is a lot of fun. It stays open until 1:30am, the late night menu starts at 11:00pm. If you’re going to be in town for Thanksgiving or Christmas and are looking for a special meal, you might want to make a reservation for Raglan Road. The regular menu will be available both days, as will a turkey feast. There are also Black Friday deals at Shop for Ireland, which is Raglan Road’s store. If you’re looking for a fun activity for the whole family, pick up a copy of The Raglan Road Cookbook: Inside America’s Favorite Irish Pub and turn to page 239. There are several scavenger hunts that will give you a chance to get to know the restaurant better.
I would like to thank Walt Disney World, Jennie, Paul, John, and the staff at Raglan Road for an incredible evening. I also need to give a special shout out to Tim, our main server. He knows the menu inside and out, was willing to make suggestions, and was extremely friendly. He is a credit to the restaurant. If you have never been to Raglan Road, give it a try the next time you’re at Walt Disney World. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s time to go back.