The Wonder of Crescent Lake!

If you couldn’t tell by my posts over the last few days, Crescent Lake is our favorite area of Walt Disney World.  Whether it be in Disney’s resorts or at the Swan and Dolphin, we always feel like we’re “home”.

I could list the plethora of restaurants, attractions, sights, and sounds that keeping drawing us back, but how can anyone argue with its beauty?  Just click on the picture below, my friends, to see a really short video of Crescent Lake in action!

Cruise on, Friendships!

Take Some Time to Dine with Hanna!

Oh, yes, we have been to Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill many times before.  Why do we keep going back, you ask?  It’s a great place, of course!

To be more specific, however, the staff is friendly and fantastic.  The food is always delicious!  In fact, it was the first place that Mrs. All in WDW and I visited on our recent stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.

Nestled on the edge of the resort’s 3-acre water wonderland – Stormalong Bay – I’d be remiss if I didn’t open with one of this vacation’s great “finds”.  If you’re a fan of IPA’s, folks, this local brew is a stand-out.  I highly recommend!

Aside from the beer, however, we dined on some of Hanna’s best.  I hope you’re hungry.  These morsels are bound to make your mouth water.  Take a look …

Served on a on a pretzel roll with smoked cheddar and whole-grain mustard, the bar’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich is Mrs. All in WDW’s favorite.  It is shown here without cheese and with apple slaw.  The mustard is on the side.

For me, I chose a new item (since our last visit, at least).  I ordered the Shipwreck Angus Bacon Cheeseburger.  Hey!  How can you turn down a burger that comes well-stocked with bacon, cheddar, and shrimp?!

Also presented with apple slaw, it is made of ground short-rib and brisket.  Draped in a cajun remoulade sauce and topped with a skewer of fried shrimp, it was outstanding!

Of course, if our choices don’t entice you, this bar and grill does offer a pretty full menu.  Think Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwich, Seafood Roll, Buffalo Sauce Chicken Wrap and much more!  Nonetheless, we highly recommend you give Hanna a visit.  It’s well worth it!

Hurricane Hanna’s … Again?! Hey! When It’s Good, It’s Good!

If you’ve learned anything about Mrs. All in WDW and I over the last (almost) six years, when we find something (or somewhere) we like, we tend to visit time and time again.

Don’t believe me?  Type Laguna Bar in the search box at the top of the page.  At one point, I was even the “Mayor” of Laguna Bar on FourSquare.  My name is still all over their FourSquare page!

Anyway, for us, Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill fits into Laguna’s “mold”.  We love the place so much, we visit often.  Why?  Easy.  Friendly bartenders, great food, and a beautiful view!

Nestled safely between the boardwalk and beach of Crescent Lake and the Beach & Yacht Club Resorts’ Stormalong Bay, Hanna is a fantastic spot to sit back and relax.

And, I did mention the food, didn’t I?  Delicious!  Let’s take a look …

A different recipe than in day’s past, Hurricane’s Seared Tuna is, now, served with an Asian slaw and a citrus soy glaze.  Mrs. All in WDW and I shared it as a refreshing starter.  Very satisfying.

Another option is their House-Made Popcorn Shrimp.  With a trio of dipping sauces, the presentation is quite unique and, although they look a bit on the crispy side, the shrimp tasted great!

If you’re going to nibble on apps, you have to toss in some of Hanna’s House Chips.  Crispy, and like everything else, very shareable.  Hey!  They serve a pretty generous portion for a mere $3!

Finally, all of those appetizers – spread out over several hours, I must add – led us to split a Grilled Chicken Sandwich.  Served on a pretzel roll with smoked cheddar and spicy mustard, we loved it!

Having said all of that, although the food is great, it isn’t the cuisine that keeps bringing us back to Hurricane Hanna’s.  My friends, it is the people (the staff) and the setting (Crescent Lake).

One of WDW’s best outdoor bars, we can’t recommend Hanna highly enough.  The bartenders keep it fun.  You can’t possibly get enough of the views.  Two thumbs up from both of us, folks.  Visit sometime soon!

Dining Recon: Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill!

Howdy, folks!  How’s it goin’?  The topic of Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill came up during a recent episode of the WDW Main Street Podcast.  I believe it happened during my last appearance …

Episode 467 – It’s Food & Wine 2018!

Yes, we were chatting about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  Lots of great cuisine being offered this year, but one of the items – Hops and Barley’s New England Lobster Roll is a particularly beloved fan favorite.

Problem is … at $8 per serving, a lot of critics (myself included) have tapped this dish as nowhere near worth the price.  Oh, it is tasty, don’t get me wrong.  It’s also typically quite small.  Take a look …

2016’s “loaded?” Lobster Roll

In comparison, there are much better values to be found on WDW property.  For example, take a trip over to the Magic Kingdom.  Many fans rave about Columbia Harbour House’s Lobster Roll.

Myself?  Well, I prefer … you guessed it … the recipe served up by Hurricane Hanna’s.  Delivered on Parker House Bread with Citrus Mayonnaise and accompanied by French Fries or Apple Slaw, their Seafood Roll is a feast!

If you take a close look, it is presented as three attached rolls.  Three!  Plus, loaded with lobster, scallops, and more than half-a-dozen shrimp, it is utterly delicious!  Wow!

Do you want to know the best part?  $11.79!  What?!  Think about it this way … Hops & Barley’s version is all lobster.  However, even if it was loaded with this much seafood, wouldn’t it have to cost two to three times Hanna’s price?

For my money, folks, I’d pass on Food & Wine (never thought I’d say that!) and walk over to Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club.  Visit Hanna.  Pull up a stool at the bar, chat with their friendly bartenders, and grab a seafood feast!  You won’t be sorry that you did!

A Tale of Two Short Ribs … A Before and After Story!

OK.  I’ll admit it.  To call this a “before and after” episode is a bit misleading.  After all, the Yacht Club’s Ale & Compass Restaurant has only been open for six months or so.  To date, they’ve only served one version of short ribs.

No.  Those of you who know me will clearly understand where this piece is coming from … I had an obsession with the Captain’s Grille’s Cabernet-braised Short Rib with Creamy [Sweet Corn] Risotto.  Look at it!

Simply phenomenally delicious, my friends, for years, this was my absolute favorite meal on Disney property!  Of course, as the Compass replaced the Captain, so, also, did a new short rib replace my beloved, “hall-of-fame” caliber cabernet-braised delight.

What does the Ale & Compass have to offer, then?  Well, on our most-recent trip to “The World”, Mrs. All in WDW and I met some dear friends there for dinner.  Wanting to give Ale’s offering a chance, I ordered their Smoked Short Ribs.

Served with a Roasted Vegetable Mash and Barbecue Demi, I have to admit that they were good.  Were they cabernet-caliber?  No.  The Captain’s recipe was an A+.  This version was, at best, a B.

Having said that, the ribs were fork tender.  They tasted quite good.  Where the dish lost me, however, was with the “side”.  Laced with roasted Brussels sprouts within, the vegetable mash was acceptable but paled in comparison to the Captain’s luxurious risotto.

What’s my conclusion, you ask?  I said it a few weeks ago, I was very disappointed when Disney decided to close Captain’s Grille.  But, even I have to admit that WDW notched a ‘home run’ with the Ale & Compass refurbishment.

When it comes to their food, if you’re a fan of short ribs, I’d recommend you give Ale’s dish a try.  For myself, it had a tough act to follow.  In the days of the Captain, I would order nothing but the short rib.  At Ale, I’ll give some of their many other menu items a try.