After attending the star-studded and decidedly flashy opening of Morimoto Asia in beautiful downtown Disney Springs, I decided to pop in to Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, just across the way, which opened with much less fanfare than MA.
Maybe that’s because the Disney folks want you to believe the Hangar Bar has been there a long time. Sixty years, to be precise. That’s what it says on the coasters, anyway: Est.d 1955 (how’d I miss this before?). Must have been after Lindsey retired as a pilot for hire, a favorite of Indiana Jones, who hired him to plane him to adventure and to add comic relief when Jones encountered Jock’s pet snake. As we all know, Disney can’t open a restaurant or bar just to have a restaurant or bar; it has to have some sort of story attached. (Even the licensed Morimoto Asia is supposed to be housed in a former bottling plant; more on that another time.)
Let me just say that as a place to drink, Hangar Bar is way cool. It is, ironically, not large enough to be an actual hangar, and I like that about it. (Turning the World Showplace event space at Epcot into a Hangar Bar with a couple of 747s in it would be pretty neat, too.) It looks like the people who did the decor — let’s call them set designers — had a blast loading the place up with artifacts, posters, maps and gewgaws. The lighting and sound both add to the moodiness. Seriously, this is one beautifully curated venue.
I wish the food had been given as much attention.
Admittedly, I sampled only one item during my first visit, but it was so heinous that I do not relish returning anytime soon, at least not for food.
The short menu of bar bites has all sorts of Indiana Jones references: Rolling Boulder Sliders, Snack of Ra, Dr. Elsa’s She-deviled Eggs, and “Squid! Why’d It Have To Be Squid?” There’s also something with the unfortunate name Lao Che’s Revenge. I think we can all agree that it’s a bad idea for menu to have an item called Revenge, Montezuma’s or otherwise.
I selected the Tanis Tacos to nibble. Tanis was the ancient city buried by a sandstorm that was thought to hold the object of pursuit in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Tanis Tacos, which did not appear in the film, have falafel fillings with shredded lettuce and chopped cucumbers and tomatoes. The falafel was molded into little logs that resemble…oh, just look at the photo and you tell me what they resemble. And dry? Maybe they were themed after the sandstorm. I took only a bite of one of the tacos and that was enough.
Perhaps its telling that my server, the bartender (who gave me a name different from the one on his cast member badge — Scooter, if I remember correctly) didn’t ask how the tacos were or question why I didn’t eat them. I think maybe Scooter knew without asking. And at about $3.16 per taco, I felt like my wallet had been raided. But then, maybe I just chose poorly.
I would gladly meet you here for a drink — there’s also a balcony overlooking the lagoon, but why leave the excellent ambience inside? — but let’s eat somewhere else.
Morimoto Asia? you ask. I’ll have my review soon.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is at Disney Springs, between Paradiso 37 and Boathouse. It is open for lunch and dinner daily, but so are better places to eat. Reservations are not accepted.