07 April 2010

Pub Grub

Pub Grub
Tony Caggiano

On every trip I make to Walt Disney World, I do my best to try something new, especially when it comes to food. I enjoy the journey and exploration of new culinary experiences almost as much as I enjoy the attractions themselves. And while there is a certain excitement attached to each new restaurant and menu sampling, there is also a side of me which craves nothing more than what I know and love, that something tried and true which I look forward to returning for trip after trip, time and time again.

One such comfort zone for me is Epcot’s Rose and Crown Dining Room. Located in the United Kingdom pavilion of World Showcase, the Rose and Crown has been around as long as Epcot itself. I remember coming here for dinner as a boy, a tradition that has continued nearly every year since. In fact, it is a rare trip that does not find us dining here at some point.On this particular trip we had made an ADR for lunch on the day of our arrival. A quick flight and smooth sailing through the Magical Express lines brought us to the door of the pub slightly ahead of schedule and we were seated in no time. During these meals, I find a certain satisfaction in knowing that just a few hours ago I was back home, in this case in the snow, and that now I am I sitting pretty with my vacation laid out before me… but I digress.

The menu at Rose and Crown is a mixture of tradition British fare, nothing terrible exotic, but more or less good old comfort food. Menu selections include, but are not limited to, the delicious English-style Rose and Crown Meat and Cheese selection, an incredible Shepard’s Pie, which I have enjoyed on far more than one occasion, and their number one crowd pleaser, Harry Ramsden’s Fish and Chips.

This day, my wife Charlene and I were in agreement on all of our selections, which is a rare thing indeed. For an appetizer we chose the Scotch Eggs, which are hard boiled eggs, coated in a very tasty sausage mixture and then fried. They are served with a Frisee, green bean salad and toasts. The key to this delicious appetizer, at least in my opinion, lies in the Mustard Sauce that accompanies the dish. The creamy hard cooked eggs covered in the slightly spicy sausage come together with well-balanced flavors. The mustard sauce, with just a hint of sinus clearing spice, brings it all together perfectly.

For our entrée, my wife and I were once again on the same page, so to speak, and we both ordered the Bangers and Mash. The dish consists of traditional English sausages, served with braised Napa cabbage and bacon, along with mashed potatoes and shallot gravy. While the bangers are technically the star of this dish, I think the cabbage and bacon stole the show. The tender, yet slightly firm, preparation combined with the salty smoke of the bacon made for a side which I could eat as the entrée itself. This delectable and rich plate was just what the doctor ordered on a cooler than average day at Epcot.

While I suppose I am letting some of you down when I tell you that we did not have dessert this day, as we were just about full from the two courses topped with the obligatory pint of Guinness, Charlene thought it best to stop early so as to not leave ourselves sluggish with a day of park going ahead of us. I myself felt it was best to leave just a bit of room for later, as you never know what will tickle your palate’s fancy as you wander World Showcase on day one of your holiday, as they say across the pond.

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