I finally had a chance to try out the food recently at the Boathouse, the first major Disney Springs restaurant that opened in April. What took me so long? Well, I wasn’t looking forward to shelling out 21 bucks for fish tacos or 29 clams for for a lobster roll. Even a “classic burger” demands $18. So when I was invited to attend a wine luncheon hosted by Breakthru Beverage Group, I said yes.
And I was most anxious to try that Lobster Roll. A lobroll, of course, is a sandwich, a fairly simple one at that, with a lobster salad — steamed lobster meat chopped and tossed with mayonnaise and celery — on a toasted and buttered bun, most usually a mere hot dog bun but sometimes even just a piece of toasted white bread.
The kitchen, perhaps as a means of justifying the just-under-30-dollars price tag, turned the lobster roll here into an over-produced concoction that had to be eaten with knife and fork. The salad, which featured big, meaty chunks of deliciously sweet lobster, sat atop a mini loaf of a buttered roll. There was a slit in the top of the roll, but there was no way to elegantly cram the salad into it, and even if one could, decorum would prevent one from picking it up to shove into one’s mouth. Good lobster salad? Yes. Delicious buttered, toasted roll? You bet. Good lobster roll? No. And the fries that were served with it were just a tad too greasy.
The Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos were also quite large but much more manageable to eat. They featured hearty hunks of nicely grilled fish flavored with jerk seasonings with large slices of avocados in lightly griddled flour tortillas. A bit of cream sauce tinged with Serrano chilies decorated the tacos.
We also sampled the Yellowfin Tuna Poke, chopped sushi-grade fish served with avocado and mango, and a selection of fresh oysters on the half shell, both East Coast and West Coast, all delicious. I especially appreciated how nicely the oysters had been shucked so that the meat was fully separated from the shell.
The Boathouse is quite large and has multiple rooms, most with commanding views of the lagoon. It’s other attraction is a fleet of car boats — or Dream Boats, to use the preferred term — that can drive on land and launch into the water and keep going afloat. But they’re not Volkswagens.
The restaurant was developed by Schussler Creative (Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Cafe) and is operated by Gibsons Restaurant Group, known for Chicago’s Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse.
Boathouse is at Disney Springs. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-939-DINE.