Dining Recon: ESPN Club

Good Friday, folks!  I’m going to go ahead and say it … the BoardWalk’s ESPN Club is one of the most underrated dining spots on Disney property!

Hey!  After two recent visits, we feel that it is, at least.  Oh, sure, it is the epitome of a sports bar … boasting your typical “game day” fare.

Having said that, ESPN’s menu is also filled with options you won’t necessarily find at your average everyday tailgate party!

Take a look at the menu, my friends.  Take a look at the food!  Delish!  Such as their Chilled Tuna Nicoise Salad.  I certainly enjoyed that.  Quite light and refreshing, actually!  Mrs. All in WDW loved it, as well.

Meanwhile, on a second visit, Mrs. All in WDW and I shared a plate of Wings as an appetizer.  We asked for Medium sauce on the side.  Quite crispy and tasty.

Then, we finished by splitting a “branded” Old World Bavarian Burger.  As burgers go, it was just so-so … kind of ordinary.  But, of course, we’re talking “bar food”!

Whether it’s to watch a game or grab a respite from the Florida heat and humidity, give “The Club” a try, my friends.  You might just find it becoming one of your family favorites!

OUR Favorite WDW Things That Are NOT Attractions!

On the latest episode of the WDW Main Street Podcast, Doug, Dennis, and John hung out at the pub to discuss their favorite things to do … that are not attractions.

WDW Main Street – Episode #365 – Our Favorite Things That Are NOT Attractions!

Hmm.  That got me to thinking.  What are our favorite things to do that are not attractions?  Mrs. All in WDW?  What do you think?

1  –  Disney Springs

Definitely Disney Springs.  At one point, Doug Davis asked us if we were going to visit anywhere else in WDW other than Disney Springs.

Why would we?  Actually, we do go to the parks plenty, of course, but Disney has done a great job re-imagining Downtown Disney.  Here are just a few of our favorite “attractions”:

  • Paddlefish
  • The Boathouse
  • Morimoto Asia
  • Splitsville
  • Wolfgang Puck Express – Marketplace
  • Starbucks – West Side

2  –  Crescent Lake

We love, love, love, Crescent Lake … especially the BoardWalk.  Let us describe the ways!

We love a morning walk from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the BoardWalk area.  In fact, Mrs. All in WDW really enjoys going over early in the morning for a cup of coffee and a walk.

We love lounging along Stormalong Bay.  Sometimes, we’ll buy a bottle of wine, grab a couple of outdoor chairs at the Yacht Club, and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Other times, we’ll pull up a stool at Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill.  A great pool view.  Friendly bartenders.  Refreshing drinks.  Yum!

Then, there are the restaurants and bars.  Great places like …

  • Belle Vue Lounge
  • ESPN Club
  • Cape May Cafe
  • Crew’s Cup Lounge
  • Captain’s Grille
  • Ale and Compass Lounge
  • Cabana Bar and Beach Club
  • Shula’s Steak House
  • Todd English’s bluezoo

3  –  Laguna Bar

In light of the massive refurbishment going on at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Mrs. All in WDW and I live in fear of Laguna’s demise.

We’ve made, what we hope to be, lifetime friends at that little lakeside bar, and it holds a very special place in our hearts.  If it survives, we’ll be overjoyed!

That’s the short list for us, folks.  How about you?  What are your favorite things that are NOT attractions?  Leave us some comments and let us know!

Back to Trattoria al Forno … One Last Time?

My friends.  I’m so depressed.  My poor Trattoria.  They went and made it a character breakfast.  How sad.

Actually, characters will make appearances at breakfast beginning this coming Sunday – April 2nd.  Until then, all is “well”.  After that?  Ooof.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure that there are many out there that are happy to have a place to meet Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapunzel, and Flynn Rider.

Me?  Not so much.  Here’s a quote … “I think that Mrs. All in WDW and I have found the absolute best breakfast on Disney property.”

Yeah.  That was me.  Why was I such a “fan”?  Well, the food, of course.  I loved their breakfasts!  And, it didn’t matter if it was a Frittata

… or Poached Eggs!

Either were phenomenal, to be truthful!  Fortunately, before Disney crushed my world with this misguided change, however, Mrs. All in WDW and I got the chance to visit one last time.

What did we have?  Hah!  We started with a Caprese Bloody Mary.

Delicious!  Of course, then, I had to choose a breakfast.  Hmm.  I wanted something different.  Frittata.  Poached eggs.  I know!  Breakfast Calzone!

Scrambled eggs, cured meat, and a blend of cheeses stuffed in an oven-baked dough and served with Sunday gravy.  Yum!

It surely was fantastic, but I have to admit … given a choice of the three aforementioned dishes, the Poached Eggs would be my choice.

Of course, that’s all moot now.  Oh, I have nothing against Ariel, Rapunzel, and crew.  I’m just not ‘up’ for a character-packed pair of eggs.

My friends, if you do decide to visit Trattoria al Forno, keep your eyes peeled.  Any of their breakfasts are good.

As for the characters?  Ugh.  Bring me another Bloody Mary please.

“Turf” & Turf at ESPN Club!

Happy Wednesday, folks!  How about some more Disney dining to start your day?  Yes?  OK!  Let’s go!

Have you ever stopped by the ESPN Club?  Safely tucked away at the edge of Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, it is the premier sports bar on WDW property.

Having said that, it’s also a great spot to stop and enjoy a cold beverage and a quick meal.  In fact, they even serve “Turf” & Turf!  Huh?  What?

Actually, Mrs. All in WDW and I stopped in a few weeks ago and decided upon an alternative version of ESPN’s Surf & Turf.

Usually served with a New York strip steak, seasonal shellfish, au gratin potatoes, and vegetables, we subbed in chicken for the ‘fish and doubled the veggies in place of ‘taters.

It was outstanding, folks!  The steak was well-prepared.  The chicken was perfect.  The veggies were outstanding!

Look … unless you’re in need of a place to watch your “big game” of interest or staying at the BoardWalk, you might not visit ESPN.

If you do, though, you’ll find that the staff is friendly and the food is good.  Is it “gourmet”?  Of course, not, but take it from us – you’ll enjoy your visit!

A Visit to Atlantic “Football” Hall on the BoardWalk? – presented by John Peters

Usually a “hoppin’ nightclub that plays the hottest songs from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and today, Atlantic Dance Hall on the BoardWalk has temporarily changed its “gig” a bit.

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How so?  Well, are your teams left?  Are they moving on in the NFL Playoffs?  If you’re at WDW and want to watch your game, you ordinarily don’t have too many options.

You can watch the game in your room, I guess.  Boring.

Your resort’s bar might have a small screen TV.  Can you even see the players, though?

The ESPN Club is a good choice, but it’s usually packed.

If you’re looking for another place to watch playoff games, try the Atlantic Dance Hall on the BoardWalk!

My wife and I just happened to walk by during this past weekend’s Packers-Giants match-up.  While it’s certainly no ESPN Club, they did offer a nice environment to watch a game.

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No food is available, however.  Just plenty of beer!

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Talking to a Cast Member, she said that they’ll be open on Saturday, January 14th and then again on Super Bowl Sunday!

Want to watch football on your vacation?  Try the Atlantic Dance Hall!  It’s an interesting, less crowded, option!

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