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.

Are We Starting Off Monday with a Spicy Watermelon Margarita?!

Oh, of course not, folks.  Well, not literally, at least!  Maybe just in spirit, eh?  Or, is that … in spirits?

Anyway, not to be overdone by Evan Chaisson’s romp through the Animal Kingdom’s Nomad Lounge, I’d like to present a refreshment that we experienced – a Spicy Watermelon Margarita!

Wait a minute.  Who am I kidding?  Our one little incredibly sweet, tart, yet habanero- spicy, beverage won’t hold a candle to Evan’s epic collection of cocktails.  Check it out at …

Beverage Recon: Nomad Lounge in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Then, if that’s not enough, please check out Evan “live” and on the air as he dropped by the WDW Main Street Pub to give Doug and John an action-packed trip report!  Find that at …

Episode 409 – Evan’s Trip Report!

Having said all of that, before I get to the watermelon, I have one small piece of business to conclude.  What is that?  Well, I asked you to choose All in WDW’s Holiday Dessert, remember?

It was, oh so, close!  I was rooting for the Warm Caramel-Stuffed Salted Pretzel, I have to admit.  But, in the end, you “bought” us Epcot’s Warm Apple Fritter with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Warm Caramel Sauce!

Now, back to the “fruit” in question … watermelon!  Where can this delight be found?  In Disney’s Yacht Club!  My friends, stop in and visit the crew at … The Crew’s Cup!

Within, you’ll find a very friendly staff, warm and welcoming decor, great food, and tasty drinks!  Enjoy!

Dining Recon: The Market at Ale & Compass! [Tons of Food Pics!]

Breakfast, my friends!  It is time for breakfast!  Actually, speaking of “time”, once upon a time, finding a decent breakfast at Disney’s Yacht Club could present a bit of challenge.

Quite simply, it meant grabbing a snack-like “grab ‘n go” at the Ale & Compass Lounge, snagging a Table Service ADR at Captain’s Grille or, even, hiking all of the way over to Beach Club Marketplace at, well, Disney’s Beach Club Resort!

Well, those days are over, now, folks!  First, let me spill this … come mid-October (if you believe the two Cast Members that I asked), the Captain will retire in favor of the Yacht Club’s Ale & Compass Restaurant.  Stay tuned for its official opening!

In the meantime, you have to check out their new Quick Service – conveniently called The Market at Ale & Compass!  For instance, take a quick look at the layout and decor …

The side entrance takes you directly into Ale’s small seating area.

The main entrance takes you into what’s left of what used to be the Yacht Club’s gift shop.

The Quick Service, itself, is directly to the left of the main entrance.

The market offers “tons” of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, snacks, beverages, and ice creams!

Pre-made hot sandwiches are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Check out the menus and breakfast display “models” …

Gourmet Oatmeal.

Veggie Egg Wrap.

Turkey, Egg, and Cheese.

Chicken Panini.

Italian Panini.

Ham & Cheese on a Pretzel Roll.

Vegetable Panini.

Anyway, what did I eat?  I sampled Ale’s Ham and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich.  Sadly, although its egg and ham tasted fine, I found the pretzel roll to be a big disappointment.

The hot sandwiches can be found in Ale’s Hot Display Case.  Notice the plates underneath?  Grab one.

The top was rock hard as if it were old and stale.  The bottom was soggy … likely from the grease put forth by the ham during the cooking process.

Folks, I don’t want to discourage you from stopping by this great new spot.  Frankly, one poorly prepared sandwich does not make or break a restaurant.

My advice?  Try a panini for lunch or dinner.  Alternatively, grab one of their cold sandwiches or salads.  No matter which way you go – a meal or simply a snack – dining at Disney’s Yacht Club has just taken a huge upgrade!  Great job, Disney.  Way to go!

Fittings & Fairings Under Major Refurb!

Fittings & Fairings Clothes & Notions – the gift shop in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – is undergoing a major refurbishment, folks!

For those who are familiar with the shop, only the back half of the store (as you enter from the lobby’s direction) is open.

As we wait for Fittings to “return” in its full glory, check out the photos below!

Click on the picture to expand and see details!

Note the seating in the picture above!  For Guests, one of the things that Yacht Club has lacked is a satisfactory Quick Service location.  Could there be a decent option coming soon?

I don’t know about you, my friends, but Mrs. All in WDW and I can’t wait to see the completion of this transformation!

Who Loves Lobster Rolls?! Who Loves Crew’s Cup Lounge?!

Good Saturday, my friends!  Welcome back to All in WDW!  I know.  Where have I been all week?  Busy, busy, busy.  Sometimes “real” life just plain consumes your days!

Now, I know, by now, you’ve seen my picture of Food & Wine 16’s New England Lobster Roll.  No?  Well, here it is again …

2016's "loaded" Lobster Roll

A relatively small “bite”, like I have in the past, I found it to be “Just OK”.  How can I not love a lobster roll, you ask?

Hey, I’ve many-times claimed, in print and over the “pod-waves”, that I don’t like my lobster served ice cold!  Give me a freshly-cooked, and hot, lobster and some drawn butter.  Then, I’m happy.

In spite of all that, though, I keep sampling different “roll” recipes across Disney property.  It is lobster, after all!

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So, enter the Yacht Club’s Crew’s Cup Lounge!  They serve, you guessed it, a New England-style Lobster Roll!

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How was it, you ask?  Well, sadly, the pictures make it look a bit bigger than it really was.  I will give the crew, this, though … it was a lot of lobster!  Worth $19.00?  Hmmm.

Served chilled (of course) on a butter-toasted (hot dog-sized) roll with your choice of vegetable orzo salad or chips, I found it to be – don’t hate me – “Just OK”.

We’ve been to Crew’s Cup Lounge many times over the years, my friends.  It’s one of our most-favorite spots.  Truthfully, regardless of the verdict, I’m very glad I tried their lobster.

When it comes to our next visit, however, I’m going to stick with the Cup’s $14 Shaved Beef Sandwich.  Very delicious!  If you want to see a picture of it, click back to this post!

See ya’ real soon, folks!