We finally got to celebrate my (Abbie) birthday at Disney World a couple weeks ago! Everyone else in our family has had their turn wearing the birthday button and getting the special cake and ice cream at dinner. It was finally my turn! Now all I had to do was pick the location of my birthday dinner, a gigantic task for someone who loves Disney as much as I do.
My first choice was ‘Ohana, that place is amazing and we assure you it will be discussed in detail in a post to come in the very near future. However, anyone who has even attempted the ADRs for ‘Ohana knows just how difficult it can be to get in and since we were seeking a last minute reservation, we could not get a table. I went back and forth on several different places, finally deciding on Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room. Lee and I both have wanted to try it for some time and thought, why not? We could even sneak in a little appetizer from the Flower & Garden Festival before dinner.
The Rose and Crown Pub & Dining room is located in the World Showcase at Epcot Center in the United Kingdom. The dining room and Pub are actually separate from each other. The Pub is an upbeat, delightfully British locale that seems to be very popular with the Epcot crowd of all ages. The tables in the Pub are first come-first serve. There is often entertainment here as well, but be prepared as the pub can be noisy after 4PM.
The dining room is also quite popular and an advanced reservation is highly recommended. It has a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful views of the World Showcase Lagoon. The restaurant and pub are separated enough that your dining room experience will seem like a thousand miles away from the fun and boisterous atmosphere of the pub. We were seated quickly and placed at a table close to the World Showcase Lagoon. It would have been a perfect place to watch Illuminations; however it was impossible to get a reservation after 6:30pm.
Although the Rose and Crown’s house specialty is Fish & Chips, we were really looking forward to trying the Cottage Pie, but we were disappointed when our waiter, Nate, informed us that the menu had recently changed and it was no longer offered at dinner. It seems the chef wants guests to have two different experiences between lunch and dinner so some of the lunch items are not available at dinner. Naturally this caused us to revert to pure tourist mode and we proceeded to ask a million questions about British fare like, “What is Yorkshire Pudding?” and “tell us about Corn Beef and Cabbage.” Nate answered our questions with kindness and expertise. He gave his recommendations based on his favorite British comfort foods that he had grown up with. I (Lee), of course, stuck with my original request of Fish & Chips as well as trying something new, a Black & Tan (Part Bass Ale and part Guinness). Ethan and Abbie decided to share the Surf & Turf and Emalie ordered one of the Mickey Check meals off the children’s menu, Spaghetti & Meatballs.
The Fish and Chips are a very hearty portion and do not disappoint. There was one very large, battered, and fried Atlantic Cod served with fresh, hot French Fries. The fish was tender, flaky, and the flavor was amazing. It kept me coming back for bite after bite until, sadly, there were no more bites! Rose and Crown lives up to its reputation for “fantastic Fish and Chips” and immediately earned a spot on my must try list when visiting EPCOT.
If Fish & Chips is all you are seeking because you can’t or don’t want to take time out of your magical day to sit down for a meal, check out Yorkshire County Fish Shop. It is just a Quick Service meal with a walk-up window located just a few feet past the Pub. The only food item on the menu is a lunch size portion of the famous Fish & Chips. They also offer the wonderfully British Bass Ale, a perfect accompaniment to the quick meal. The quality at the QS stand is still excellent and you will not be disappointed.
Ethan & I (Abbie) decided on the Surf and Turf; upon delivery it smelled heavenly. It is a rather large grilled, New York Strip Steak served with Red Wine Au Jus. There was also a moderately sized filet of the famous fried fish with the freshly made Tartar Sauce. These entrées were served alongside mashed potatoes, fresh green beans (seasonal vegetables), and a portion of Yorkshire Pudding. Our NY Strip was cooked to perfection, we prefer steaks cooked medium, and was tastefully seasoned. Ethan did not enjoy the Red Wine Au Jus, however I thought it was delicious and a wonderful accompaniment to the Steak itself (I enjoyed the steak and mashed potatoes dipped together in the Red Wine au jus as well). The freshly fried fish did not disappoint either. The malt vinegar that was on the table dribbled over the fish and then dipped into the fresh Tartar Sauce was heavenly. I will be the first to admit I am harsh when it comes to tasting different fish dishes. I am known in my family for stating that many fish and seafood dishes I have tried are just “too fishy tasting for me.” This light and flaky, lightly breaded cod absolutely melted in your mouth.
I really think I could have ordered the Fish & Chips as well and been just as happy. The “seasonal vegetables” were fresh green beans; they were cooked well leaving a slight crunch to them and were also good dipped in the Red Wine Sauce. Last, but not least, we had a serving of Yorkshire Pudding on our plate. It was not at all like I had imagined. Nate explained to us that it was more like a roll or bread serving that most Americans do not even attempt to try, at least not at Rose & Crown. He informed us it was a British staple that he remembers having at almost all meals and was one of those comfort foods that he really enjoyed. So Ethan & I were excited to try it and made sure to inform him we love trying new foods and assured him we would not leave it sitting on our plate. (After doing a small amount of research I found that Yorkshire Pudding is an English dish made from a batter consisting of eggs, flour, and milk, generally served with roast meat and gravy).
We tried it; Ethan didn’t think too much of it and said it was kind of bland. I, agree, it was slightly bland, but bread and rolls really don’t have a lot of flavor either, so in the end it was just like having a serving of bread/carbs on your plate to go with your dish. We ate the whole thing so it must have been pretty decent…or I can just confirm my crazy addiction to carbs.
Emalie and Lucas shared a kid’s meal which they didn’t, as usual, finish. The selections on the kids menu left little to be desired, but they chose the Spaghetti and Meatballs “Mickey Check Meal.” The spaghetti was a very hefty portion, at least for my two little ones’ appetites, although it only had two, small meatballs on it and they would have really liked to have had several more of them. They said the meatballs and spaghetti were good; Ethan tried the spaghetti as well and said “tastes like spaghetti…” so I guess that meant it was fine. It also came with Fruit Salad, a mixture of strawberries, grapes, and pineapple. Emalie devoured the whole bowl so it must have been tasty as well.
Ethan informed the girls upon checking that we were celebrating a birthday but, sadly, no one said “Happy Birthday” and there was no special treat from our server. Overall, however, we enjoyed our meal and loved the location. The service was friendly and warm and we only waited about 10-15 minutes after checking in to be seated. We would like to go again at lunch time since the menu items are so different. Nate did inform us that many people were asking about the Cottage Pie and that they were in discussions of putting it back on the dinner menu. So hopefully it will make its comeback soon!
We are anxious to hear about others’ experiences at Rose & Crown and welcome feedback for us and our other readers!
Until Next Time, Lee & Abbie
Lee & Abbie are originally from Greenwood, Indiana but are now located in sunny, warm, Tampa, Florida where they were relocated with Lee’s job last summer. They have three junior Mousejunkies: Ethan (13), Emalie (7), and Lucas (4) who love all things Disney as well. Abbie has always been a Disney Fanatic however Lee didn’t catch the bug until he and Abbie took their first family trip in 2011. They both thoroughly enjoy every aspect of Disney and all the magic it has to offer, especially the food. Lee has become more of a food critic since being married to Abbie who loves to cook and try new foods. Now they spend much of their free time finding new things around the Happiest Place on Earth to try and see.