The ESPN Club is located at Disney World's Boardwalk Resort along with many other restaurants and shops.
The walkway of the Boardwalk is home to 5 hotels and is a beautiful walk around Disney grounds.
On this particular day we commented several times at how green everything was as we'd just had some rains the days before and the sky was so blue with bright white clouds that it was ever so picturesque.
There is a very large green space at the Boardwalk Resort. I often see children playing a game of flying discs or people laying in the grass reading.
The Boardwalk also has a back entrance to EPCOT as well that comes out between the UK and France exhibits. And is located where the new gondola station will be. I didn't take a photo of that area as it's under construction at the moment and was hard to get a picture of the entrance.
The ESPN club is just like it sounds, a place to eat good food, watch a game or two and enjoy yourself. It's child and spouse friendly.
To get to the ESPN club from the Boardwalk Resort you go down these stairs to the right of the Boardwalk Resort lobby.
Every day you will be able to see some sporting event on the at least 28 tv screens I counted in the dining room. I didn't count the ones in the bar area as it's a separate room.
As you walk in the door there use to be an ESPN gift shop. That closed about 3 years ago and was replaced with the bar. The bar seats 22 people and has 25 tables.
There is a lot of memorabilia in the bar.
The dining room seats 260 persons and I counted 44 tables. Every table has a view of several tv screens.
The largest TV screen is in the middle of the room where every table has a view.
This was our third visit to this restaurant, we were there in January of 2013, January of 2015 and yesterday. From our past visits I remember the food being normal burgers, hot dogs, nachos and such. But this time the food was much more upscale than I remember from the past. Today our server was Dain and he did a fabulous job.
Normally when we dine out we share several items, so that we can try many things. Disney is perfectly okay with sharing food items. Sometimes they will even split the meal to two plates before bringing it out. So if you want to try a restaurant but think it's too pricey or you don't want a ton of leftovers to deal with while on vacation figure out something to share. So today we are reviewing the following...
We started with the Warm Soft Pretzels & Dips. They were not just warm but piping hot. And were served with three dipping sauces. Siracha-Beer Cheese, Green Chile Nacho Cheese and IPA Mustard. My favorite was the Green Chile Nacho Cheese. The Mustard had more of the flavor of Asian Mustard to me with that hot kick that it has. I didn't particularly taste Siracha in the first cheese.
The order consisted of three Pretzel baguettes that were bigger than our bread plate.
Next up was one of the Burgers, the Crunch Burger. As you can see it's branded with the ESPN logo on the bun and held together with a baseball on a long pick. It's served with french fries but we were offered other sides if we didn't want fries. This burger has Pork belly (What is Pork Belly? Think of it like a thick cut bacon that hasn't been smoked), coleslaw, crispy potatoes, lettuce, tomato, Pepper Jack cheese and Jalapeño mayonnaise on a Buttered bun. It's a whopping 3" tall. This burger was cooked perfectly medium as we asked for and had great flavors. The french fries were hot, and crispy on the outside while fluffy on the inside. Perfect, just the way I like them.
Our dessert today was the Boston Trifle. It's a layered dessert with vanilla bean custard, chocolate midnight cake, roasted almonds and hot fudge sauce. This was divine. It was served in a Pilsner glass and was just the right size to split after our meal. The nuts were in the bottom of the glass then a layer of custard, a layer of chocolate cake with hot fudge sauce and another layer of custard with hot fudge sauce and whipped cream. If you love chocolate this one is a must buy.
After our lunch we decided to walk it off by finishing the loop around the Boardwalk. The loop is a .8 mile walkway that goes from the Boardwalk Resort to the Beach Club Resort, to the Yacht Club Resort and then past the Swan and Dolphin Resorts and back to the Boardwalk Resort. You can rent surrey bikes and ride around this loop if you want a bit of fun with the family. We couldn't help but comment on the perfect day for photos so here's a few of them.
This is a pavilion that overlooks the lake. Often times we will pass by here to see a wedding in progress.
The boats run from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT on this lake and waterway stopping at all of the resorts along the way.
There's a bridge that goes over the waterway and I couldn't help taking this photo as it's the first time I've had the chance when there was no one on the bridge. The sky was just magnificent this day.
We walked past the Beach Club Resort, this is a Disney Vacation Club Resort.
It's connected to the Yacht Club Resort.
These two resorts share a pool area that has a big water slide that is built into a ship.
The pool has an actual sand bottom and lazy river.
Next around the loop is the Swan and Dolphin Resorts.
Most people don't know but there is a walkway from the Swan and Dolphin side of the Boardwalk to Hollywood Studios. You can walk down the waterway to get to the park.
On our way back around to the Boardwalk Resort, if you need to use up some of your dining plan snack credits you can pop in to the Screen Door store.
There you will find the most amazing case of sweets.
There's also a Wyland gallery of fine art. Worth the walk through to see all of the amazing pieces.
Through a little tunnel just to the left of the Wyland Gallery you will find the awesome Boardwalk pool and the Leaping Horse Libations bar. The slide on this pool is designed like an old wooden roller coaster.
In the lobby of the Boardwalk as well as many other resorts and locations around Disney you will find these new(ish) Portable Charger stations. You purchase one and can exchange it all over the parks at any of the other little stations. Exchanges are free. So you can keep your cell phone working through the whole trip.
Here's my little tip for the day. While we do eat out a great deal. I also do a lot of cooking and if you've ever talked to anyone that's been privy to my cooking they'll let you know that I'm pretty good. So I'll from time to time also share some recipes and cooking tips.
Today's tip is that when you are making burgers. The key is to make the patty the correct size for the bun. My trick is that I keep a stack of these little disposable paper plates on hand. They are about 6-1/2" across.
When I'm ready to make burgers I portion out 4 or 6 ounces of ground beef. I spread the ground beef into the bottom of these little plates and pat them flat. Then when I'm ready to cook them I turn the edge of the plate down and flip it right into the frying pan. This way when they shrink up they shrink to the perfect size of the hamburger bun and cook evenly. They might appear thin at first but as they cook they will fatten up.
You can make great burgers at home. The key is to not overthink them. A good 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef, salt and pepper. Nothing else on the patty. Then use your toppings to add more flavor to the meat. If you aren't getting enough meat flavor for your taste try using two patties of meat. Not one bigger one. As this gives you more of the char bark from cooking the meat which is where the flavor is.
I only located one recipe from the Disney Cookbooks for this restaurant
Page 33 - Boo-Yah Chilie
Tables in Wonderland can be used here.
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