One secret about Floridians–they love brunch. I mean they really, really love brunch. The number of restaurants around who are only open through lunchtime is astounding. When it comes to dining at Walt Disney World, when a restaurant has a really good brunch option, it’s hard to keep it a secret. Many years back, my family would go to Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. After it closed down for renovations and reopened as the Ale & Compass, it took us a while to get there. This may be one of the hidden secrets for breakfast dining value at Walt Disney World.
Although you can order entrees a la carte at a very reasonable price, I was eager to try the breakfast buffet. First things first–the breakfast buffet would be a tough sell by itself. It’s quite a bit smaller in selection than the old one at Captain’s Grille. Still, there’s some nice options available including pastries, Parker House rolls and jams antipasto, cheeses, smoked trout dip, smoked salmon, and fresh fruit.
But what I really liked is that for $23 you get the breakfast buffet, and your choice of entree, and a non-alcoholic drink (coffee, tea, juice). And for you tea drinkers out there, they use the higher-end gold-labeled Twinings teas. For my husband and I, we got one sweet entree and one savory entree.
The sweet entree I chose was the Dark Chocolate Waffles with dried cherry compote, espresso-mascarpone cream, chocolate shavings, and choice of bacon or sausage. This is actually one of the cheaper entrees, but how can you resist chocolate waffles?
The waffles were crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and weren’t overly sweet. Hidden under the mounds of mascarpone topping was a thin layer of delightfully tart cherry compote. Basically this was eating Black Forest Cake for breakfast–I’d gladly get this again, and again, and again.
At the server’s recommendation, my husband went with the breakfast flatbread with sunny-side egg, applewood-smoked bacon, ham, provolone, and arugula.
This was an extremely hearty breakfast–the flatbread crust is simply delicious. (Part of me wishes I had asked if I could buy a few plain flatbread crusts to go!) The toppings are well balanced, but the one caution I will give is that the ham is large chunks of salty “country ham”. If you’re not a fan of very salty ham, it may be a bit much for you. For me, this dish would have been too rich, but my husband ate a good amount of it.
What’s really neat about Ale & Compass is that you get the best of both worlds–a really solid entree, but you don’t have to wait after you get seated to eat. The food on the buffet itself was fresh and well prepared. This is a great option if you’ve got a dining party where some people are light eaters (and could then just get an entree) and more robust eaters (who could get their money’s worth from the $23 price).
Overall, the meal was delicious, service was incredible, and the meal felt like a good value for our Sunday brunch. We certainly will be back–and judging by the conversations we heard around us, we aren’t the only locals who have found this spot.
Have you eaten at Ale & Compass? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.