by Ray Keating
March 16, 2022
What to do on St. Patrick’s Day? Well, how about a delicious Irish meal and watching The Quiet Man on the big screen?
As it turns out, that’s exactly what I did this past Sunday, March 13, at Disney Springs.
The first stop was at Raglan Road Irish Restaurant and Pub, which also happens to be in the midst of the “Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival,” featuring Irish bands and dancers. Check out Beth Keating’s write up and video for DisneyBizJournal on the festival right here.
As for the food and drink, DisneyBizJournal served up a review before, but this time around we had some dishes for the first time.
As for a St. Pat’s Day drink, the Raglan Irish Stout was smooth and creamy. It would have been easy to let my Irish heritage (and younger days) take over, enjoying a few of these stouts, telling tales and arguing about inane topics. But it was just one delicious Raglan Irish Stout this time.
As always, Raglan’s unique Irish soda bread, accompanied by a sweet Guinness reduction dipping sauce, and the Kiss Before Shrimp appetizer, with its garlic, chile and lemon butter sauce, impressed. This was the first time I tried the Pull the Boxty appetizer. The potato cake was crispy on the outside, had a hint of sweetness, and combined nicely with the pulled ham hock.
One of our diners had the huge, crispy and sizeable Fish & Chips, and as we’ve noted before, it’s some of the best fish and chips we’ve had.
The Bangin’ Bangers & Mighty Mash was my choice, and it in no way disappointed. The hearty portion of pork sausage was pleasantly seasoned and done to perfection, with smooth mashed potatoes and a sweet onion gravy.
The third diner went with the waiter's recommendation, and opted for the braised beef, a 12-hour slow-braised beef shortribs in a reduced red wine jus. The ribs were incredibly tender, some of the best we've had on Disney property, and were served perched on colcannon mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of diced roasted veggies on the side. The roasted veggies weren't spectacular, but the mashed potatoes, again, were creamy and flavorful.
Dessert? For the second time doing a Raglan Road review, there was no room left. Obviously, another visit is required in order to just sample the desserts. I take this responsibility seriously, and it will be done.
In lieu of Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding, for example, Raglan Road was left behind in order to stroll over to AMC Disney Springs 24 theater to catch The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Barry Fitzgerald, and directed by John Ford.
I hadn’t seen this film in many years, and its uniqueness is striking. Most of us are used to the great Westerns that Wayne and Ford created together. But this movie is part love letter to Ireland and part romantic comedy, with a touch of darkness to Wayne’s retired boxer character, Sean Thornton. There is Irish wit; Wayne doing some very different acting than in his Westerns; a Catholic priest and Protestant pastor getting along famously; plenty of drinking and singing; and Maureen O’Hara stealing so many scenes as the fiery Mary Kate Danaher. The Quiet Man is a movie of another era, released in 1952, about an even earlier time in Ireland (the 1920s), and well worth seeing. Indeed, if you’re a movie fan, you not only need to see this movie because it has become a classic Irish-American film, but also because John Ford won a best director Oscar for this movie, while he never earned one for any of his Westerns.
So, there you have my recommendations for a near-perfect St. Patrick’s Day. As we reported previously, on St. Patrick’s Day only (March 17th), Raglan Road will have a $20 cover charge, and will be first-come, first-served for visitors. And as for The Quiet Man, there will be two screenings on the 17th – one at 1:00 PM and the other at 7:00 PM – at the AMC theater in Disney Springs. Grab your tickets in advance, and enjoy!
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?
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