If you are one of the countless numbers of people who have joined the craft beer craze, you have to give the Big River Grille & Brewing Works a try. Located smack dab in the middle of the action at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort, this restaurant is a convenient dining spot right on the BoardWalk. My sister and I checked it out on our most recent trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, and we were glad we did. We had arrived into Orlando late and did not have an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) that night. We wandered down the BoardWalk and were thrilled to find that unlike the competing ESPN Club restaurant nearby, The Big River Grille could seat us immediately.
DIStracted Tip: According to Disney, Advanced Dining Reservations are not accepted at the Big River Grille & Brewing Works. However, their website features a link to Open Table where reservations seem to be available.
When you enter the space, to the right is a bar area with huge windows where diners can check out the on-site brewing equipment; to the left is a dining room filled with tables and booths. However, the best seats are not inside at all, but rather on the patio out front with million dollar waterfront views and the best people-watching spot around. Because it was crowded and we were starving, we took the only table available, in the bar area inside the restaurant. This is definitely the least desirable real estate here, but we were willing to battle the noise to get our hands on some craft beer to celebrate our arrival.
DIStracted Tip: If you have some time to kill, request (and be willing to wait for) a table outside. If you time it right, you may even catch a glimpse of the Illuminations fireworks from Epcot Theme Park.
The menu at the Big River Grille & Brewing Works is pretty comprehensive. They are open for lunch and dinner and the menu remains the same for both meals. Appetizers like Beef or Chicken Nachos and salads are popular, as is their Beer Cheese Soup. Main courses run the gamut with hearty fare such as Shrimp and Scallop Pasta, to Meatloaf and Ribs. The list of sandwiches is pretty vast too with Honey Dijon Chicken, Turkey and Swiss, Blackened Mahi Mahi and of course, burgers. We both ordered The Big Brew Cheeseburger, which was cooked perfectly and came with pretty basic potato chips. They do offer a children’s menu as well.
Big River Grille & Brewing Works offers several beers brewed in-house. Unfortunately during our visit they were out of some beers (as well as a few menu items), so we settled on Rocket Red Ale, a rich, malty beer that we both enjoyed. A full bar was available as well, with many specialty cocktails to enjoy. We were pretty wiped out from our travel, so we skipped the beer sampler, featuring a small taste of all five beers they brew. While this meal was pretty basic, we thought it was a perfect option for a casual dinner on the BoardWalk.
DIStracted Tip: Big River Grille & Brewing Works is open Sunday-Thursday from 11AM-11PM, and Friday and Saturdays from 11AM-midnight. The Disney Dining Plan is accepted here and will count as 1 Table Service entitlement per meal.
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