September 29, 2015 marked a “new” beginning for the area formerly known as Downtown Disney! Disney Springs is now the official name and, in honor of those new beginnings, I thought that I would do a review of one of the quick service restaurants in Disney Springs.
Having opened in late January, 2014, The Smokehouse isn’t really a newcomer to the Disney Springs restaurant scene but it was new to us when we visited in June 2015. Located in Disney Springs West Side, The Smokehouse walk-up window is just outside the venue entrance of Crossroads at House of Blues and to the left of the House of Blues ticket booth.
The Smokehouse menu has quite a few entree selections including pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, brisket sandwiches, ribs, hot dogs, nachos and the always popular smoked turkey leg. Most of the entrees are served with a side of cole slaw but there are two other side items available: baked beans and potato chips. Domestic and imported beer, wine, water and fountain drinks are the beverages available.
DIStracted Tip: Alcoholic beverages are not included in the Disney Dining Plan and must be paid for out-of-pocket.
Because we were using the Disney Dining Plan, we were allowed to order an entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. When ordering the nachos, you have four choices: 1) Nachos with no meat; 2) Nachos with pulled smoked pork; 3) Nachos with pulled smoked brisket; or 4) Nachos with pulled smoked chicken. I chose to order Smokehouse Nachos with Pulled Smoked Chicken: Crispy Fried Tri-color Corn Tortilla Chips topped with House-made Cheese Sauce, Avocado Lime Crema, Pickled Jalapeños, Fresh-made Pico de Gallo and Cilantro with Pulled Smoked Chicken (description from the Walt Disney World Resort website).
My husband ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich: Slow Smoked Pulled Pork topped with Smoked Tomato BBQ Sauce on a Brioche Bun and served with House-made Coleslaw. (description from the Walt Disney World Resort website). He also ordered an additional side item, the baked beans. As I said earlier, the entrees come with only one side so we were prepared to pay for the baked beans; however, the cashier gave them to us at no additional charge. (This picture is slightly blurry but I chose to post it anyway so that you could get an idea of the portion sizes.) The pork already had sauce on the meat but they also provide a small cup with the meal.
While Guests have several entrees to choose from, the dessert options were limited to Sara Lee brownies, packaged cookies or packaged candies. This was not a big let-down for us but dessert connoisseurs might be a tad bit disappointed. We both went with the brownies which had been kept refrigerated and they were enough to satisfy our sweet tooth.
Seating & Surroundings
The seating for The Smokehouse is located outside of House of Blues and on the “Front Porch”. The expanded area has a stage for live local music held several times a week depending on the season and weather. As I wrote in my article, Crossroads at House of Blues-Funky and Fabulous at the same time!, the decor there is funky cool and it was carried over into this area in the way of art pieces, sculptures and the overall vibe.
Should you wish to have a specialty drink like the Swamp Water, there is an outdoor cocktail bar nearby. Swamp Water is made with vodka, Blue Curaçao and orange juice. In the evenings, servers will wait on you. We visited during the lunch hour and the bar was not open yet but the staff were busy preparing for their opening.
We are big fans of Crossroads at House of Blues and have eaten there many times. Our expectations of The Smokehouse were pretty high. The Smokehouse did not disappoint! The slow-cooked pork almost melted in your mouth because it was so tender and had a wonderful smokiness to it. The beans, while not super spicy, had just a wee bit of kick to them which we liked. As you can see from my pictures, the slaw was chopped fine and had just the right amount of dressing. My nachos were out of this world good! The chips were crisp. The chicken was tender. The cheese sauce and crema were fantastic! They were simply delicious!
We were so very glad that we tried this “new to us” restaurant in Disney Springs and we can’t wait to go back when we visit in Spring 2016. Have you eaten at The Smokehouse? Leave your thoughts and reviews in the comments section below!