Thursday, July 4, 2024

Venue Review - Steakhouse 71 Lounge Bar

The Steakhouse 71 Lounge bar with the prep area full of glasess and bottles
Steakhouse 71 Lounge Bar

I don’t think Disney’s website is clear enough.

I don’t think a lot of food review sites are as transparent as a simple guy from the Midwest needs.

So let me spell it out!

STEAKHOUSE 71 LOUNGE IS FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE! I only screamed because I was trying to find out if there was a virtual waitlist, physical waitlist, or other system or code to get a seat at the bar or the nearby couches. It is walk up. You see a seat, you take a seat…it’s yours! Easy peasy my friends.

We had heard a lot about Steakhouse 71 and the Lounge with statements that it was the best burger at Walt Disney World. So after an enjoyable morning in the Magic Kingdom, we monorailed over to the Contemporary. Then we grabbed directions from the Disney Vacation Club desk to Steakhouse 71, I am convinced this cast member’s duty is solely to serve as my personal concierge at this resort hotel despite the fact I have no connection to DVC. We reached the lobby area, walked to the host stand, and were informed we could take any empty space behind the partition that blocked the stand from the lounge. We emerged on the other side expecting to find guests jostling for positions…what we found instead on this Sunday early afternoon was a lot of seating with us taking an entire end of the bar.

My delightful date selected a cocktail, the “French 71” which is a cocktail with cognac, prosecco, and pear nectar which was the real reason she grabbed it. And it fulfilled all her hopes. I did consider a cocktail myself, with the bourbon-based “Cocoa Boulevardier” or “Curious Cold Brew” catching my eyes. 

A pint of golden colored beer.
A Pint of Key West Sunset Ale

But I am here for the pints! There were only three beers on tap all of them in shades of yellow and gold. “Jai Alai” led the list as the one IPA. They also had the “3 Daughters St. Pete Beach Blond Ale” from Saint Petersburg of course, which I saw a non-adventurous drinker ordering. I selected the Florida Beer Company “Key West Sunset Ale”, a traditional Pale Ale. It’s a beer that tastes like beer with a light hop bite, at 16 IBUs. It is kind of like a light IPA as it does not hit too hard. I could likely drink a second at 5% ABV. It reminded me of when Pale Ales, especially Summit’s “Extra Pale Ale” or Surly’s “Xtra Pale Ale”, were beer staples for me. I also do like the fact that all three draft options are local Flordia beers, whereas the packaged options lean closer to macro brews.

A burger cut in half on a plate with a small portion of waffle fries.
The Stack Burger...Worth the Hype!

But wait, we were really here for the food. We grabbed a Loaded Macaroni and Cheese. This Mac has a nice bacon flavor to it, and I liked it more than Nomad Lounge’s Lobster Mac and Cheese. But my date disagreed on all points. We had discussed Lump Crab Cakes, but the bartender warned they were somewhat small. We also got the Stack Burger, which with its’ Lemon Aioli and Pork Belly is truly everything that was been promised. It truly is in contention for Walt Disney World’s best burgers.

Who Drinks Here? Anyone who wants a great burger should drink here. Everyone who needs a bite near the Magic Kingdom should look for an empty seat! If you like craft cocktails, you are likely to find something fun here. But if you are looking for the best beer bar at Walt Disney World, you likely need to find a different barstool.

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