*This gluten free and dairy free dining experience took place in February 2020. It includes information about fish/shellfish free, peanut free, cabbage free, hazelnut free, and chicken & turkey free option too.
Dinner at Regal Eagle Smokehouse
A salute to all foods, but mostly BBQ. That’s what we were looking forward to with the newly opened Regal Eagle Smokehouse in the America Adventure Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. Brandon and I had been both excited and a little worried to see what was in store for this quick service location that was once Liberty Inn. And, about a week after opening, we had a chance to check it out.
Both Brandon and I had minimally seen photos from blogs and other Disney outlets about what the newly refurbished quick service location (now rethemed to a Muppets BBQ restaurant) looked like.
Because Regal Eagle Smokehouse is located in the American Adventure Pavilion, it has a slightly colonial feel to it. The building’s exterior really hasn’t changed much. But, I do love the very regal sign featuring the one and only Sam Eagle himself.
The entrance has changed slightly, in that there is a to-go window for drinks and snacks next to the main entrance. Everything is decidedly patriotic with lots of flags and colonial inspired decor.
Because Regal Eagle Smokehouse is a BBQ themed restaurant, there’s a giant smoker near the entrance. I’ve heard mixed reports on whether this is actually functional or not. Based on our visit, I think Brandon and I both agreed that this is more of an ambiance smoker and not a real functioning meat smoker.
Inside the restaurant, there are subtle nods to the Muppets. You’ll see Sam Eagle in a variety of locations along with some Muppet themed signs and decor here and there. It’s definitely much more understated with Muppet theming than I expected.
Even thought the restaurant is no longer Liberty Inn, there are a lot of details that make me feel a little nostalgic for the older version of this quick service location. I do love all the little details and nostalgic nods.
As I mentioned, the Muppets are definitely present in the Regal Eagle Smokehouse but really subtly so. This just might be the most Muppety thing in the whole restaurant!
I do recommend if you’re dining at Regal Eagle to take a bit of time to look around. There’s a lot of great features and details in the restaurant’s retheming.
Of course, the main reason we went to Regal Eagle Smokehouse was the food! I had seen the allergy-friendly menu prior to visiting the restaurant, and I was super excited about all of the options.
In addition to the allergy-friendly menu, I do recommend speaking directly to a coordinator or manager to discuss options. We had a lot of questions on our first visit about dedicated fryers, cross-contamination, and dedicated toasters. The manager on duty was very helpful and gave us a lot of information.
A few details we learned at the time of our visit (and always subject to change) is that the location has a small dedicated toaster for allergy-friendly garlic toast. This is removed from the main kitchen area to avoid cross-contamination.
We also learned that the restaurant does not have a dedicated allergy-friendly fryer; however, the French fries are the only things fried in their fryer. That being said, the manager assured us she would fry a new batch and use fresh tongs and containers to get fries for us to avoid cross-contamination. So, be sure to ask a manager about this and use your own judgement when consuming fries. We actually watched the manager prepare all of our food and were glad to see how cautious she was at preparing things safely.
Another bit of information we learned was cross-contamination with smoked meats for those with specific meat allergies. Because Brandon is allergic to chicken, the manager recommended he get a burger instead as all of the meats are cooked in the same smoker. So, if you have any kind of meat allergy, you’ll want to consider the smoked meats.
As you can see, we ordered a bounty of BBQ! Everything you see on this platter is gluten free, and the only item that contains dairy is the cheeseburger that Brandon ordered. It was kind of amazing how gluten free & dairy free friendly the entire menu was.
Brandon’s entree was the gluten free cheeseburger on allergy-friendly garlic toast served with French fries. He said it was actually a pretty good burger but that this was mostly due to the allergy-friendly garlic toast. We both agreed that the garlic toast was beyond amazing. It’s made with Bloomfield Farm’s allergy-friendly bread, and topped with Earth Balance. It’s so good. Greasy, but totally worth it!
I wanted to try several things. First up, was the kids grilled chicken drumstick which came with fries and coleslaw. The coleslaw was not only gluten free & dairy free, but it was also vegan. At first I wasn’t a huge fan, but I have to admit the coleslaw actually grew on me throughout the meal. It was actually nice to add on top of the brisket sandwich I ordered.
Up next was the beef brisket sandwich served on allergy-friendly garlic toast served with fries and BBQ baked beans. We had so many fries, so Brandon definitely ate a lot of them while I tried out the other sides. The BBQ baked beans were my least favorite of all the items we ordered. I am not a huge fan of baked beans with a strong ketchup flavor, and the brisket in the beans was very fatty and unpleasant. Next time, I’d skip those.
The beef brisket sandwich, on the other hand, was outstanding. This was the hands down best thing I ordered at Regal Eagle Smokehouse, and I’d definitely get it again. The beef was slightly dry, but by adding coleslaw and BBQ sauce, it would be perfect. As an aside, all of the BBQ sauces at Regal Eagle Smokehouse are gluten free. You’ll want to check with a manager about the dairy free ingredients and to get safe versions from the kitchen to avoid cross-contamination.
If you’d like to see our full review and initial reactions to the restaurant, check out our vlog review!
Both Brandon and I are really looking forward to going back to Regal Eagle Smokehouse again when the Disney Parks & Resorts re-open. We both really enjoyed the food there, and we were both impressed by the amount of gluten free & dairy free options there. It’s a great addition to Epcot, especially for guests with special dietary needs!
Have you been to Regal Eagle Smokehouse? What did you enjoy when you dined there?