FriYay at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Resort Area
I recently had a chance to visit the Walt Disney World Resort on a kidless trip with my wife, Katy. Unlike our last visit sans-offspring which essentially was just a date night. This time we’d have two nights on property so we found plenty of relax at the pool and then found ourselves exploring the Boardwalk and the rest of the Epcot Resort area.
We stayed in the Disney Springs area at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista and comped our room out via Hilton Honors points which we expeditiously rack up by paying shitloads of money for daycare on our co-branded Amex Card (referral link). The rooms there are fine and it’s an extremely short walk to Disney Springs from the hotel, we’ll try and review the digs here at a later time, but I can say in a nutshell it’s solid and we’d stay there again. That’s enough digression, on to the Boardwalk. We hopped an Uber ride and got a driver who was uber clueless, but we eventually landed at our destination, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. A short stroll around the lobby to take in the sights and smells and it was time for lunch.
Food: Big River Grille & Brewing Works
I ordered the Blackened Creole Salmon ($23) and my wife ordered the Blackened Fish Tacos ($15). The Salmon had a nice kick to it and though it was slightly overdone, it maintained good flavor and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again if it weren’t for the tacos. The tacos were eight bucks less in price and gave a similar if not larger portion size. Both dishes were served with a side of Cilantro-Lime Rice which was a solid addition to the meal. The only extra you get with the salmon entree was the vegetable medley and it was buffett-grade so not worth the additional cost. Also, the tacos came with a Chipotle Crema sauce that while fiery, wasn’t overpowering, I put that shit on my Salmon to compensate for its dryness and it was delicious. Overall the meal was nice and we felt the value was good especially in terms of Disney prices. Lastly as the name of the place implies this is a working brewery. I couldn’t let my fellow brew fans down, so I had to try the on site offerings. I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with the brewmaster and talk hops with him which was awesome in and of itself because beer, but to be doing so at a Disney venue made my geek level skyrocket. I decided on their Hop Rotator IPA, which is the same recipe all the time except they swap out the hops on a rotation schedule as the name implies. I was pleased with the current selection which was Chinook hopped, it was crisp and had a good malt balance to round out the hops. I will definitely be back to try the Rotator to see what’s cooking in the future.
After our 90 minutes or so of eating and drinking we had just over an hour to kill before AbracadaBar opened at 4pm, which was our real motive for visiting the area. So we took a Boardwalk stroll, ventured over to the Yacht & Beach Club to admire the best pool on property that’s not at a waterpark, Stormalong Bay. Then walked over to the Swan and Dolphin hotels to admire the grounds and check out their table service menus which look highly promising for a future trip. We then grabbed a Friendship Boat back to the Boardwalk right in time for some cocktailage at AbracadaBar. Here’s some photo and video evidence of the aforementioned sightseeing.
Finally it was time for some legit cocktail hour. We waltzed in and bellied-up to the bar and got down to business. Our bartenders for the afternoon were Kyle and Skippy, who were both knowledgeable and more than capable of crafting our drinks. Kyle and I got to chatting about whiskey and he put me on to some concoctions off menu that were fantastic. On the menu itself there was a solid beer selection and plenty of wine to choose from so if the hard stuff isn’t your thing you’re covered. As is protocol for life, there’s and Absinthe based drink on the menu, Elixir, so the Mrs and I obviously ordered it, again delicious. We only had a couple of hours before our dinner reservation at Morimoto Asia so we definitely didn’t get a chance to smell all the flowers in the garden. We will damn sure be back again! If you stop by make sure you look for Kyle and Skippy and tell them we say hello.