Wordless Wednesday – “G” is for Ginga Kogen Beer


On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I was able to introduce my friend Tamara to one of my favorite spots in Epcot – the cute little sake bar in the back of Mitsukoshi in the Japan pavilion. Now, Tamara had been to Mitsukoshi several times before, but had never been able to venture any further than the Pokemon area in the front of the store.

This time, we started at the back (which is the correct way to peruse Mitsukoshi, if you ask me). I had my favorite vintage sake (which you can see here). But this time they were offering something new – Ginga Kogen beer. Frankly, the bottle was so beautiful we had to try it. Plus, it’s a wheat beer, and both Tamara and I are big fans. For $10 a bottle, it had better be damned good.

Ginga Kogen Beer description

Ginga Kogen Beer

Ginga Kogen bottles

Ginga Kogen bottles

Ginga Kogen served

Ginga Kogen is served

Seriously, the beer is as beautiful as the bottle! It was refreshing and crisp, with a light lemony-banana-clove flavor. Not quite as floral as a German hefeweizen, with more citrus notes. If I find this again, I’ll definitely order it.



Have you tried the Ginga Kogen? What did you think?

And thanks to Debs at Focused on the Magic for hosting today’s blog hop!

Focused on the Magic Wordless Wednesday

Rose & Crown Pub, EPCOT – A split decision


Arguably one of the most charming, wonderful places to relax in all of Walt Disney World is the United Kingdom pavilion in EPCOT. The Tudor facades, gardens, tea shop, and regular appearances of Mary Poppins and Alice make it a place to linger long. Add to that an authentic-feeling drinking establishment with water views and good beer, and you may never want to leave.

Rose & Crown Pub, UK Pavilion EPCOT

Rose & Crown Pub, UK Pavilion EPCOT

The pub at the Rose & Crown is dark and cozy, with outstanding British beers on tap. On any given day you’ll be sure to hear British accents ordering pints, and on occasion the entire pub will break into a jolly sing-a-long of “Hey Jude.” It’s a fantastic place to be, warranting 4 Mice. (4 Mice = I’d be here every day if it were in my neighborhood.) And as a close friend reminded me today, it’s the last stop for many on their “drinking around the World” tour, so can be a bit rowdy. On his last trip (with his pre-teen and teenage sons) he came across a couple of inebriated young ladies getting amorous at the bar. World Showcase became instantly more educational, but not in the way he intended. You’ve been warned.

Black and Tan at Rose & Crown Pub

Black and Tan

The restaurant is similarly atmospheric, usually a little less crowded, and definitely more kid-friendly. Here’s a quick peek at the dining room. (Look, there is malt vinegar already on the tables – you don’t even have to ask!)

Rose & Crown Dining Room

Rose & Crown Dining Room

So how’s the food? It’s pretty good. Not great, but it goes down well with a pint. That is, it’s mostly heavy, greasy, and salty. (In a good way.) One of my favorite items on the menu is the Scotch egg, which I may have mentioned once or twice on this blog. There are very few foods that go better with beer than a Scotch egg, and this is a fine example.

Scotch Eggs, Rose & Crown Pub UK Pavilion EPCOT

Scotch Eggs

A couple of other stick-to-your-ribs options are the bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. I’m not a fan of shepherd’s pie, but Mr. MouseChow enjoyed it. My bangers and mash were yummy. (Yes, I had sausage as an appetizer and main. It’s called vacation.)

Shepherd's Pie, Rose & Crown, UK EPCOT

Shepherd’s Pie

Bangers and Mash, Rose & Crown, UK EPCOT

Bangers and Mash

And what meal in a pub would be complete without fish and chips? Sadly, these are only mediocre. The cod is fine, and the batter usually crunchy and redolent of beer. (Usually – but not always.) The chips are perfectly good, just not great.

Fish and Chips, Rose & Crown, UK Pavilion EPCOT

Fish and Chips

I’ve heard that there is a sticky toffee pudding for dessert that’s yummy, but haven’t had the chance to try it. If you have, let me know what you thought in the comments!

So I would give the Rose & Crown dining room 3 Mice. Decent for food within a theme park. If you’re looking for good pub food, get yourself over to Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. It’s awesome.

Oh, and if you’re not into sitting inside on a beautiful day, and you just want a pint and some fish and chips, you can head to the window at the right of the pub.

Yorkshire County Fish Shop, UK Pavilion EPCOT

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

The view is fantastic. (Especially if you can get it for Illuminations.)

Seating for Yorkshire Fish Shop

Seating for Yorkshire Fish Shop

Wordless Wednesday – EPCOT Food and Wine Fest


Last night, we announced the first ever MouseChow.com EPCOT Food and Wine Festival package! I’m incredibly excited to be able to bring this to my MouseChow readers, friends, and Disney Food Lovers everywhere, so I had to include it in the Wordless Wednesday blog hop hosted by Deb at focusedonthemagic.com.

Make sure you read all about our super-fun package, packed full of awesome stuff you can’t find anywhere else. But in the meantime, here’s a very large beer from the Biergarten in the German Pavilion at EPCOT.

Beer from Biergarten in German Pavilion Epcot

Very Large Beer from German Pavilion, EPCOT

…because the name may be Food and Wine, but we know it’s oh so much more.
Focused on the Magic Wordless Wednesday
Have you been to the Food and Wine festival? Did you have a good time? Want to go back? Send me an email and I’ll send you a quote! dawn@mousechow.com.

And share your experiences below! Happy hopping…

Raglan Road at Downtown Disney Orlando – 4 Mice


This week I had the great fortune to visit Orlando for the Florida Educational Technology Conference for my day job. And what does that mean? A free trip to Florida and the chance to eat at Disney! I didn’t have time to visit the parks, but was able to convince a couple of my compatriots to join me for dinner at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney. I promised my friends “a fun Irish pub with great food,” so the convincing part was pretty easy.

I’ve been here several times since RR opened in 2005, and have never had a meal that I would even categorize as “average.” The food is consistently excellent, the atmosphere is hopping (literally – there was an Irish step dancer performing near our table outdoors) the bars are 130 years old and from Ireland. And the house band plays 6 nights a week.

Yes, you can get fish and chips and a Guinness. But let’s be clear – the menu goes way beyond the traditional, without losing sight of its roots.

Behold, the Smokie City:

Smokie City, Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

Smokie City, Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

Do most Disney restaurants offer an appetizer of smoked haddock, potatoes, cheese, and tomato? No? They should! In fact, every restaurant should immediately put this on the menu. I wanted to take a bath in it. My friends don’t eat pork, and were concerned because it tasted like it contained bacon. Yet, there is no bacon, just smoky haddock deliciousness. I was concerned that it would be too cheesy, but it was more like a rich chowder. Just excellent.

Except that the chowder, “It’s not bleedin’ Chowder!” looked nothing like that. It looked like this:

It's Not Bleedin' Chowdah, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

It’s Not Bleedin’ Chowdah, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

The non-chowder was declared excellent by my Irish friend from New England. I didn’t taste it, but just look at those chunks of fish, shrimp, and mussels!

My other friend ordered the Chieftain Chicken, which for a simple chicken breast looked pretty darned good. She really liked it. Sorry for the dark shot – we were sitting on the patio in order to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather, and photography got pretty challenging the later it got.

Chieftain Chicken, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

Chieftain Chicken, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

As I have no qualms about eating pork, beef, or any other unhealthy meat, I ordered the Beefy Murray, mostly because the name made me laugh. It was a rich, peppery steak pie, hidden inside a Yorkshire pudding puff, with apple chutney on the side. Mmmmm…

Beefy Murray, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

Beefy Murray, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

We washed this beautiful meal down with beer from Raglan Road’s outstanding selection. In addition to the traditional Irish brews you’d expect, they have a great variety of local and craft beer, including Abita Andygator. They also have a very nice list of Irish and Scotch whiskeys, and whiskey flights! If I hadn’t drunk the whole 8% Andygator and had to drive back to my hotel I would have tried one of the flights. Next time, that High Falutin’ Flight is on my must-try list.

And I couldn’t let the chance for bread pudding pass us by, so here it is, vanilla and bourbon sauce and all. The key is to bypass the top and dig your spoon down to the soft, custard-y center.

Ger's Bread and Butter Pudding, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding, Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

Friends, great food, beer, and a warm night in January sitting outside. I can’t think of anything better. Raglan Road is definitely 4 Mice on the MouseChow rating scale. I truly wish it were closer to home.


Raglan Road patio, Downtown Disney

Raglan Road patio, Downtown Disney

Have you been to Raglan Road? What did you eat? How was it? Let me know in the comments!