This past weekend, I finally had some time in my schedule to allow for a relaxing visit to the new Brown Derby Lounge at Hollywood Studios. The weather was perfect for the outdoor dining; it was one of those days that you long for in Florida after a hot, humid summer!
We were joined by one of our friends who ordered the Martini Flight of the Stars. From left to right, the martini flights are as follows: Honey Darling – Bombay Sapphire Gin and Dry Vermouth; Shelby Mayer – Grey Goose and Dry Vermouth; Dorma Nesmond – Ketel One Citroen Vodka, Pomegranate Liqueur and Cranberry Juice.
Matt loves Manhattans, so he ordered the Jack Diamond – Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth and Bitters. He said it was to his liking.
Since everyone else was having a cocktails, I couldn’t just order a beer. I ordered the Citizens Take Flight margaritas.
The Bucky Greenhorn was a “standard” margarita. It was a bit strong, but not overly so.
The Melvin Macheezmo had a strong mango flavor to it, but it was refreshing. The flight-sized glass was good for me (and the margarita flight glasses are decent sized), as I’m not sure I would have wanted a full-sized one.
The Ready Freddy Fiddlesticks was my favorite of the three. If I wanted a flavored margarita and not standard lime, I would order this one.
Matt and our friend each ordered a plate of the Duck Confit Tacos. The tacos are served with Sweet Onion and Orange Conserve, Taleggio Cheeee and Leek Rings.
These were a definite hit with both of the guys. I thought they were quite good and also fairly rich. I loved the leek rings on top, which I would find were the “Crispy Onions” that would top my Chorizo Slider.
I had to order the Derby Sliders after hearing the chorizo was fantastic. The slider on the left is Wagyu Beef with Cognac-Mustard Aioli, Smoked Gouda Cheese, Bacon and Avocado. On the right is the House-made Chorizo with Chipotle Mayo, Manchego Cheese, Pickles, and Crispy Onions.
The size of each slider is pretty large, making the entire plate easily a meal. The wagyu was cooked to medium rare and was well seasoned. All of the elements worked well together and didn’t compete with one another. This was probably one of the best burgers I’ve had on property.
The chorizo was even better than I had hoped. The grind is incredibly fine, and the patty is so tender that it didn’t want to keep its shape, allowing bits of the meat to fall from the bun onto the plate. The crunch of the pickles and onions added some texture to what would otherwise be a relatively soft slider, and the vinegar helped balance the spice and salt from the chorizo.
The light, crispy mini-chips were perfect for scooping up rogue pieces of chorizo.
Some people have noted that service is slow at the lounge. We certainly felt that as well, but we anticipated it and planned to spend some time there. It took at least 5 minutes to be acknowledged, and once we were, we were immediately asked if we were ready to order. We didn’t have a menu on our table, so we requested menus to look at. The three of us were given one to share. Fortunately, I knew what I was going to order for food, but this made it tricky to decide on drinks. I was able to snag an extra one from another table to make it a bit easier for us.
Here’s a look at the lounge menu and the regular menu, which is also served at the lounge. I will also note that three people at a high top each ordering a drink and a dish (even the smaller tapas style offerings) was a bit of a tight squeeze, so plan accordingly if you have 3 or 4 in your group! Also, there was a near constant line for the “to-go” bar near the entry gate (adjacent to Starring Rolls). At first, we thought it was guests waiting for tables at the lounge, but then realized there were empty tables, so we made our way past the line for the seating area.
Overall, our experience was an enjoyable one at The Brown Derby Lounge. I’m sure Matt and I will find ourselves there to relax with a drink while waiting for our Fastpass time to arrive. If you decide to visit on your next trip to the park, plan accordingly and budget your time as they work to streamline their process and become used to the new addition. Enjoy the moment and relax; you’re on vacation, after all!
If you’ve been to the Brown Derby Lounge, let us know what you enjoyed! Do you think you’ll visit on your next trip?