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Officially dedicated on October 19, 1982, along with the rest of the United Kingdom Pavilion, the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room has been around as long as Epcot. It’s just one of those restaurants in Walt Disney World that is immensely popular. The outdoor seating areas are considered to be among the most coveted spots to be during IllumiNations. It has a very authentic British pub look and feel both inside and out, and with its position inside the UK Pavilion it is clearly designed to attract visitors.
I’ve managed to eat there at several times along the way as both a kid and an adult, and I’ve seen the food quality come and go over the years. In fact, my wife, Cheryl, and I had been avoiding it in recent years as not long after she first got sick we had a really bad dining experience there. As such it simply moved to the bottom of our “to do” list. Recently, our friend Kim, whose mom has dietary restrictions, suggested that we return as they had had a really great experience.
As a result, Cheryl and I had been looking for an opportunity to return, and just a few weeks ago we had that chance along with fellow TouringPlans.com staffers Henry, Scott, and Scarlett. In typical TouringPlans.com manner a reservation for two jumped to 4 to 7 and then finally to 10. After sitting in the pub area a bit we were finally seated in the dining room.
As is now the standard fashion for reservations indicating special needs diets at Disney World restaurants, our seating ticket – usually left on the table by the host or hostess – was stamped with “ALLERGIES” by the greeter. You can learn more about how to indicate this on your reservation from a blog post I wrote last year on Dining With Special Needs.
When the server takes the ticket, and they see the stamp, they immediately take the time to identify those with dietary restrictions – in this case, Cheryl. The server will often try to pinpoint the trigger items (dairy, peanuts, etc.) and bring them to the attention of the Chef who will then come out to talk with those who are restricted. In Chery’s case she eats vegan when not at home (she has dropped fish from her list) and gluten & dairy free always. They will then work together to create a meal that she can eat.
This time around one word caught my ear in their discussion: lentils – a personal favorite. And what she got was this very appealing creation. It was some tofu topped with potato slices, vegetables, and mushrooms sitting on a bed of cooked lentils. It’s a wonder a dish that looks this gorgeous isn’t a regular menu item. Cheryl wanted me to make sure that I mentioned how much she loved this dish as it was a real highlight for her. I had a few forks full of it myself and I can tell you that it tasted as good as it looks.
For my own dinner I had the Chicken and Sweet Potato Pillow. I hadn’t seen a picture of this dish in advance so what I pictured when ordering was much different than the way the dish actually is. The chicken itself wasn’t anything special – it is the same deboned chicken that is now prevalent at most WDW restaurants (there is a single bone left in the wing). It was baked, unassuming, and plain – saved by it’s crispy skin. However, it bears mentioning that Sweet Potato Pillows rock. Seriously, I said to the server that they should be serving them from a kiosk during Food & Wine. They should be a staple item, and I would have gotten a stack of them alone if I could.
Some others dishes that were ordered were: Filet of Beef (smothered in cheese), Guinness Stew (served in a bread bowl), Surf & Turf (grilled steak with fried fish), and Sheppard’s Pie. It seemed that everyone enjoyed their meals.
Also depicted are some of the desserts you can order: Fruit Trifle, Chocolate Scotch Cake, and the very popular Sticky Toffee Pudding (photos by HarshLight).
In addition to food, and a full service bar, the pub area also has entertainment in the form of the Hat Lady. Storyteller and singer with a cheerful disposition her piano playing and commentary will have you singing and laughing right along with her.
Cheryl and I had a great meal this time around, and we plan start going to Rose & Crown more in the future.
What about you? Have you been to the Rose & Crown? Do you like it? Dislike it? Only stop there for drinks? Would you try it again? Why? I could go for a Black & Tan right about now.