Sweet news out of Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant!
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We were thrilled late last year to bring you the news that they would begin serving Sunday brunch after the new year. After all, we here at Disney Food Blog have enjoyed both lunch and dinner at the authentic Irish pub immensely.
Later in the week, we will be bringing you more exciting news from Raglan Road about another fun meal option for Sunday dinner. But today, we’re excited to bring you the first look at all the delicious dishes we sampled at a recent media event celebrating the launch of The Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch.
The atmosphere here is lots of fun. The pub really is an “Irish” Pub: some of the features were actually built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando for assembly.
The hostess stand is directly before you as you enter, and to the left, you’ll spy the pub patio, a great place to people watch during the mild Florida winter — or anytime of the year.
You’ll want to check out the gift shop as well during your visit. Here you’ll find a wonderful stock of Raglan Road merchandise, but you’ll also find items that celebrate Ireland.
I keep promising myself that I’ll buy some of the beautiful sterling silver jewelry one of these days!
There’s a reason that Raglan Road appears to be so authentic — it is. The bars and much of the interior woodwork came from churches and pubs in Ireland. The beautiful bars are more than 100 years old!
The small platform in the center of the room becomes a stage for traditional Irish dancing seven evenings a week. The dancers will also be performing during Sunday Brunch — more about that in just a bit.
As you enter the main dining room at the center of the restaurant, you also glimpse soaring ceilings that are crowned by a stained-glass cupola. The small stage on the back wall plays host to musicians and dancers each evening.
The combination of hardwood floors and high ceilings can make for a noisy venue, especially during times of live music and dancing. But it adds to the feeling of authenticity. You expect an Irish pub to be a little rowdy, don’t you?
Beyond the main dining area, you’ll find a couple of other cozy rooms. Request a table in one of these areas if you prefer conversation over entertainment. You’ll still be able to hear the music, but it won’t be quite as loud.
Beyond the other bar is this comfortable room, where I’ve had the pleasure of dining a time or two. And one of these days, I will finally get to sit at the table with the wing chairs!
Snug alcoves like this one create an intimate setting, even for a larger party.
And now, a bit about the entertainment.
Raglan Road prides itself on nightly music and dancing, but with the introduction of the Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch, they’ll be extending the traditional Irish entertainment to Sunday afternoons as well.
While brunch will be served 11 am to 4 pm, guests will also enjoy live music and dancing from noon to 4 pm.
Raglan Road wanted to bring the lively pub atmosphere to this weekend tradition. ” ‘Let’s get the party started’ isn’t an Irish phrase, but it aptly describes the spirit of a true Irish brunch or family Sunday lunch back home,” says manager Lorraine Gorham, who hails from County Mayo in west Ireland. “And that’s what The Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch is all about.”
After some toe-tapping entertainment and good conversation with my table mates, I was hungry and excited to sample some of the new menu items. Let’s dig in!
The brunch menu offers the best of both worlds. While you can order from the new offerings, guests who prefer lunch or dinner will find that their favorites from those menus are available as well.
Raglan Road’s signature complementary bread service soon arrived. Fresh Brown Soda Bread, chewy with the addition of oatmeal, soaks up the incredible Guinness Glaze and Olive Oil Combo.
The glaze is a reduction of Guinness and sugar, and is a favorite for many guests.
We began our meal with a few new Signature Cocktails that have been created just for the new brunch experience. We each ordered something different, so I’m happy to share photos of all three with you!
The Elderflower Cocktail was light and refreshing, the perfect beginning to a leisurely meal. I don’t think that anyone noted flavors other than sparkling wine, but the pansy and strawberry garnish added to the beautiful presentation. And I did detect a slight blush of color.
A table mate ordered a Mimosa, and stated that they certainly hadn’t skimped on the sparkling wine!
I enjoyed an Irish Red Eye, Raglan Road’s take on the traditional Bloody Mary. Featuring Absolut Pepper, Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, and a float of Guinness, this was a cut above your average savory cocktail, and was absolutely delicious!
You probably won’t be surprised to find that none of us ordered Oatmeal or the yoghurt Parfait. They sound lovely and are beautiful in these photos, but I think we were all after a more indulgent experience this first time out.
Still, these are excellent, fresh options for anyone looking for a healthier menu item.
As we sipped our drinks, our meals began to arrive.
My friend seated across from me chose the Full Irish. The star of the brunch menu, it’s a traditional full Irish breakfast as the name implies — complete with sausage, fried eggs, black and white pudding, Irish bacon, roasted tomato, mushrooms, and “roasties,” or potatoes.
The black and white puddings were of particular interest to me. My new friend (who happened to hail from Scotland) explained a little about the dishes. For others who are somewhat unfamiliar with breakfast in the British Isles, here’s the rundown: the puddings are similar to sausages, comprised traditionally of pork, suet, and spices, along with oatmeal as a binder.
The black pudding receives its color from the addition of blood in the mix, while the white is — you guessed it — sans blood. Puddings like these are traditionally a good way for savvy house managers to stretch a bit of protein to feed a crowd.
She graciously offered me a taste of both, and I accepted. They were both incredibly delicious and full-flavored. The white pudding tasted of herbs, while the black was flavored with what I thought was allspice. Another table companion said that he tasted clove. Perhaps we were both right.
I would happily have had more of either!
She also offered me a taste of the Irish sausage, which I was glad to sample. I thought it would be interesting to compare it to the puddings.
Beside the puddings, I found it to be a little bland, although it had a nice kick of black pepper at the finish. We chalked it up to our expectation that it would be as salty as American sausage, and it wasn’t.
My plate came next. I chose the Eggs Benedict.
The presentation was fairly traditional with the exception of prosciutto in place of Canadian bacon. This was, hands down, the best eggs benedict that I had ever tasted.
This is where I confess: I’m not really a huge fan of hollandaise. It’s so rich that I usually find it to be too much of a good thing. But this was incredible. Lemony and velvety, I couldn’t get enough, and ended up dipping my potatoes into it as well!
And my poached eggs? Cooked perfectly!
I was tempted by these beautiful Pancakes Diaspora as well, although I ultimately went with the benedict.
Served with a berry compote, crème fraîche, and maple syrup, they sounded heavenly. But since the plate lacked a salty, savory component, I decided to save these for another day.
I’m definitely pressuring my husband to get them on our next visit, so I can steal a bite (or two. Or…)
Another friend ordered the Smoked Salmon Omelette and pronounced it delicious.
I came close to ordering this as well; I’ve enjoyed Raglan Road’s Salmon Swoon smoked salmon appetizer previously, and it is out-of-this-world.
My neighbor ordered Eggs En Cocotte. This entree surprised me a bit. From the menu description — “farm fresh eggs baked with spinach, mushrooms, and Dubliner cheddar cheese” (yum), I expected a gratin, all baked and melty.
But when the dish arrived, it was more like a casserole. She seemed to enjoy it very much, and the presentation in the handsome little Staub pot was lovely. (I am such a sucker for French cookware.)
As we savored our delicious food, we continued to enjoy the steady stream of musical and dance entertainment.
I was looking forward to experiencing the Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch ever since I first learned of it, and I was delighted with what I found. The pleasant service and lively entertainment only added to the incredible food, and made the meal an experience to savor. I found myself planning my next meal here before we were finished!
If you are looking for a leisurely brunch experience while at Walt Disney World, away from the rush of the parks, I enthusiastically recommend that you give Raglan Road a try. This charming spot will wheedle its way into your heart with warmth, beautiful surroundings, and the staff’s passion to bring a wee piece of Ireland to Central Florida.
Another juicy piece of news (and more food pics — including some yummy desserts!) was revealed during the brunch, so stay tuned to Disney Food Blog for more incredible updates about Raglan Road’s new offerings for 2013!
Is Raglan Road’s new Sunday Brunch on your list to try? Let us know what you’ll be ordering!
Brooke B. Fehr is a staffer and writer here at Disney Food Blog. With a strong culinary background, she was the perfect journalist to cover this yummy event!
Note, DFB received complimentary admission to this event from Raglan Road. Of course, we were not obligated to report on the event — or to give it a favorable review. We always strive to give you our honest opinions at Disney Food Blog! Read more about our disclosure policy here.