Disney Springs has officially staked its claim, Downtown Disney is no more. Now that most of the changes are complete, many guests have expressed excitement and satisfaction with the slow, but dramatic evolution. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is one of the latest establishments that can be credited with ushering in the new Disney Springs experience.
I visited on opening day and enjoyed settling in and getting the feel for this adventurous, themed bar. During that same visit my friends and I were able to enjoy every single food item on the menu. However, given that it was the first day, I didn’t think it fair to finalize my thoughts without returning for a second visit.
After trying a few standouts again and sipping a few more drinks, it’s time to bring you a full review of all the food items and as many of the drinks as our livers could handle.
You can check out the full menu here.
The food is up first…
Good Dates (Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates Served with Marcona Almonds and Pickled Vegetables. $8.99) – These were surprisingly pleasing. Admittedly you do need to be a fan of, or at least enjoy, goat cheese as it is a very prevalent feature of this dish. The dates are succulent and sweet. The combination of the dates and the goat cheese make for a rich pairing, and the Marcona almonds add an earthiness. Marcona almonds are a little heartier and have a buttery flavor compared to traditional almonds. I didn’t think the pickled vegetables added much, though perhaps they do help cut the richness.
Rolling Boulder Sliders (Three Spicy Meatball Sliders served with Yogurt Sauce. $9.99) – Sliders are one of my favorite bar foods. You get a little protein, you get a little bun for some carb action, they fit in one hand, great for sharing, all in all a good bar food pick. Perhaps it was because it was the first night, but our serving of the sliders left me a little disappointed. The brioche bun though toasty and warm, was dry. Perhaps the ground meat mix is more on the lean side, which is nice, though very flavorful and spicy, is a bit dry. I would suggest asking for some extra yogurt sauce on the side to use in case your sliders also come out a little dry.
Snack of Ra (African Salads and Dips with Injera and Naan Crisps. $11.99) – Fans of the beloved bread service at Sanaa (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) will probably find themselves drawn to this option. This is a fantastic sharing dish that’s not too heavy. The price seems a little hefty, but portion size comes pretty close to making up for it.
Air Pirate’s Pretzels (Pretzels with House-Made Mustard and Beer-Cheese Fondue $8.99) – These pretzels are ace! The presentation is fun and usually the servers make it a fun delivery as well. Rather than traditionally shaped, these pretzels are circular like a bagel. Salt does not overpower here, as can be the case with many pretzel offerings at a pub or restaurant. The sesame and caraway seeds add a little earthiness and complexity to an otherwise simple, popular bar snack.
Tani’s Tacos (Filled with Falafel, Shredded Lettuce, and Cucumber Tomato Salad $9.49) – Personally I mark this in the “pass” category. I’m usually ok with falafel but never had it in taco form and now I see why I’ve not seen this concept elsewhere. Of all the taco filling options in the world why’d it have to be falafel? I found the entire taco to be dry and a little bland. The cucumber, tomato salad was a bit refreshing but not enough to save this dish.
Dr. Elsa’s She-Deviled Eggs (Beet Juice-Brined Eggs stuffed with Lumb Crab. $7.99) – This retro pub favorite is making a comeback all over the country. As a Southern girl I’ve had a fair amount of experience with deviled eggs, though never brined in beet juice (a way back pub tradition). The succulent lump crab meat stands out, however I wanted a bit more kick and tang. Some paprika would help, of course this might be the Southern in me showing.
Brody’s Brats (Grilled Bratwurst served with Mustard and Pickled Cabbage. $8.49) – I don’t think the brats have gotten enough love so far. My next Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar mission is to chill with a German Mechanic (a beer “shandy” with Paulaner Hefe-Weizen and Simply Lemonade) and an order of Brody’s Brats. The downfall of this plate is it is visually unappealing and difficult to share. However, I love that they are served without the bun (low carbs – yay!) and at their relatively low price point they are a good value.
Lao Che’s Revenge (Spicy Asian Sticky Wings $12.99) – WOW! So much flavor!!! If you like Asian-inspired flavors, and getting messy, then you’re gonna love these. They are served based on weight, an average serving is 8-9 wings. Personally, if I’m gonna get messy and eat like a caveman I’m gonna go for regular buffalo wings, but I can certainly see the appeal of these flavorful wings – with a kick!
Squid! Why’d it Have To Be Squid? (Fried Calamari Flatbread with Harissa Spread $14.99) – Why did one of the best things on the menu have to get the worst name? Why would you take the famous Indiana Jones line “snakes! Why’d it have to be snakes?” and change it to squid? Ok, rant over. If you enjoy calamari then get this flatbread! If your first reaction to calamari is like that of Sallah, “oh very dangerous, you go first!” then perhaps this is not the item for you. I do wish the calamari was done more traditional fritto (lightly battered) style, however, the harissa spread (made with roasted red pepper and chilli paste) adds a nice Mediterranean flavor.
Now let’s cover the drinks!
I have been able to enjoy about half of the beverages available, so far. I have to say, I am very impressed with the variety. There are so many options, with a fair amount of traditional cocktails as well as a good amount of tropical libations. The beer and wine selection is also satisfactory. Overall, very pleased with the options.
The Bitter Barkeep (Barsol Quebranta Pisco, Simple Syrup, and Fresh Lime Juice $10.25) – When I saw that Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar would be the first Walt Disney World lounge to serve a traditional pisco sour I nearly felt like Indiana Jones did when he first set eyes on the golden idol.
Americans have rediscovered classic cocktails from eras gone by and that has led to a curiosity about traditional cocktails from around the world. In much of South America, you will find pisco sours served not only in bars and restaurants but many small cafes as well. Jock’s version is pretty traditional and well executed. As the name suggests, you’re in for a mouthful of sour and bitter, but the frothy egg whites and a nice contrast. This little beauty is topped with a dash of bitters.
Reggie’s Revenge (Florida Cane “Orlando Orange” Vodka, Midori Melon Liqueur, White Cranberry Juice, and Fresh Lime Juice $10.25) – When the menu was first released I got very excited about this one because of the vodka. I am an Orlando Native so anytime local beer or spirits make it to the big leagues of being served at Walt Disney World, I get excited.
This is one of the specialty drinks that traditionally comes in a souvenir mug (that is whenever they make the long, treacherous journey and are actually available). It also comes with a specialty swizzle stick (LOVE this touch). This seems to be one of the more popular drinks, however, be forewarned it is premixed. This does not necessary make it poor tasting or weak, but some folks would prefer a freshly mixed cocktail. Overall the flavor is sweet, then tart, much like some candies such as Spree (hat tip to Brandon Glover). Personally, I am in no hurry to order this again.
Fountain of Youth (St. Augustine Florida Cane Vodka, Bols Blue Curacao, White Cranberry Juice, and Sweet-and-Sour $10.25) – Here again is a cocktail that makes my Florida Native heart happy. Served in a margarita glass, I instantly felt relaxed, and perhaps more youthful sipping on this bright blue drink. The white cranberry juice allows the dazzling blue color to shine through, but coupled with the sweet and sour mix, ends up making the drink on the sweeter side. Perhaps asking the bartender to add some club soda will help.
Bedtime Story (Absolut Mandrin Vodka, Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur, Hibiscus Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Ice Tea. $11.00). It sounds enchanting doesn’t it? Its appearance is even more so. Sipping on this ruby beauty warranted quite a few inquiries thanks to the garnish of a sugared date in the shape of a blossoming flower. The taste was quite refreshing, slightly reminiscent of a hurricane, but not as heavy.
Shorty’s Singapore Sling (Plymouth Gin, Heering Cherry Liqueur, Benedictine, Cointreau, Fresh Lime Juice, Pineapple Juice,and Grenadine. $10.25) – I had high hopes for this one and it did not disappoint! If you want a cocktail that packs a sneaky punch, here’s your drink! This is the first time I’ve seen Disney offer a Singapore Sling other than during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. It is notorious for being a smooth, fruity drink that is surprisingly potent. Jock Lindsey’s version is no exception!
German Mechanic (Bavarian Radler aka “Shandy” with Paulaner Hefe-Weizen and Simply Lemonade $8.75) Beer fans rejoice! Having Paulaner Hefeweizen on tap is a definite treat. Add a splash of lemonade and you’re in for some real refreshment!
The Scottish Professor (Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, Hendrick’s Gin, Pear Nectar, Simple Syrup, and Fresh Lemon Juice $10.25) – Admittedly I was only able to sample a small sip, but this is on my must-try list. I like Scotch Whisky, I like Hendrick’s Gin, and I like pear nectar. The small sip I did have impressed me. This classy cocktail is a little on the strong side, but well balanced and pretty smooth.
Cool-Headed Monkey (Starr African Rum, Van Der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, Fresh Lime Juice, Watermelon, and Pineapple Juice $10.25) – Here we have another souvenir mug drink. As expected this drink is very much on the sweet side. If you want that tropical drink in hand, chillin’ on vacation feeling then this might just do the trick.
Aviator’s Scotch Flight (3/4 oz Pour of 12 Yr The Macallan, 12 Yr Highland Park, 12 Yr Bowmore $14.25) – This is what classier folks call a horizontal tasting. Recently Americans have been making a return to favoring liquors like Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch. I am beginning to dabble and dip my toe into this realm. The Aviator’s Flight is a fun way for Scotch explorers of any level to enjoy three distinctive flavors and varieties of Scotch all aged for the same period of time.
Hail Marty (Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey Bottled in Bond Served with an Ice Sphere $21.00) – As I mentioned, I am starting to learn about Bourbon, Whiskey, and Scotch, I really have a lot to learn. I just know that I enjoy the different nuances, some are smokey, some have bite, and others are as smooth as silk.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering why one drink, without any other ingredients, would be the most expensive drink on the menu. Short answer: single barrel and bottled in bond. Single barrel refers to aging in one barrel and not combining the contents with any other barrel, including when it is bottled. Each bottle is usually labeled with the barrel number of its origin. Bottled in bond, in short, is a strict bottling method established in the late 1800’s. Among a few other qualifications, the spirit must be aged for four years and must be made from grain harvested in one season.
If you appreciate Bourbon then yes, it is worth it. The amber color is gorgeous. There is a nice sweetness at first sip yet it does not linger too long. A few spicy notes seep in on the back end. For a special occassion I would definitely splurge on this again, sit back, and take in the sunset while seated on the back porch or on Reggie.
Finally, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar offers four non-alcoholic beverages. These are not only perfect for kids, but for anyone who wants a special drink without indulging in alcohol. I’ve tried two: the Poisonless Dart (Soda Water with Mint, Simple Syrup, and Fresh Lime Juice $4.79) and Teddy’s Tea (Green Tea with Mint and Tangerine $3.79). Of the two I enjoy Teddy’s Tea a little more. The Poisonless Dart is essentially a mojito without the rum whereas Teddy’s Tea is a refreshingly unique flavor combination.
Overall, I am very impressed with the food and drinks at the Hangar Bar. The variety allows for multiple visits without any threat of boredom as well as offering many guests with varying tastes to find something for them. I highly recommend an adventure to this new venue that is helping Disney Springs to solidify its new place in Walt Disney World’s arsenal.