Saturday, August 11, 2012

French Fry Diary 403: Cookes of Dublin 2012

This has just become tradition. Every time we come to Walt Disney World, we have to make the trek out to Downtown Disney to experience Cookes of Dublin, simply the best fries, or more accurately, chips, that I have ever had.

This trip however, I had been put on the spot. Previously on the trip, at a dinner at the Maya Grill, I was asked who has the best fries. I answered immediately Cookes of Dublin. When the bro-in-law found out this place was in town, we had to go, I guess to prove it. I had no problem with it, they are the best, and screw him, if he doesn't agree, after one of those doh-bars for dessert, he'll forget all about it.

Some background on Cookes of Dublin, as I don't think I've talked about that before. The original Cooke's of Dublin was actually in, duh, Dublin City, Ireland and founded by George Edward Cooke in 1934. The same traditional Irish cooking methods used then are the ones used today in the Walt Disney World, Downtown Disney location.

Like the last trip to Cookes, this was a family and friends excursion. We again met my friend Terry at what's left of Pleasure Island. We walked around a bit, finally regrouped our wandering party and went to a late lunch at Cookes.

I got my usual, the chicken and chips. The Bride got a fish sandwich that had chips on it. I have to confess that the chips were not so great this time, definitely not their best, nor my favorite as they have been every time I've been here in the past. The chips were only warm, and the problem is they are best hot. To reiterate if you've missed all the previous times I've reviewed Cookes of Dublin, the chips are thick cut fries, double fried and toss salted. Still, even just warm they beat the heck out of most fries out there. But on the bad side, I don't think my Anglophile brother-in-law was impressed. Shame.

On a side note, when I last wrote about Cookes of Dublin here, commenter JustinM, from the very cool Barbecue & Baseball blog, asked about what dipping sauces were available. When I asked I expected the usual, but the answer was a bit more exotic. Cookes has a curry dip, and an Irish vintage bacon and cheese dip. How 'bout that? The Dalkey mustard, a white spicy not-hot mustard, on the table also seemed quite popular. It was used on the fries, and Terry also had some on his battered sausages too. The doh-bar for dessert was perfection.

I would liked to have tried some of the other fried treats they have at Cookes of Dublin, like the skinny fries or the double dipped onion rings. But given the choice, and not knowing when the next time I'll get to WDW will be, I always go for the traditional Irish chips instead. I believe when next we come, we are going to try to get reservations for the big restaurant attached to Cookes of Dublin, Raglan Road and see how that is.

All in all this was a good time, a nice late lunch with family and friends. That's the part that counts - the company, not the food. Hopefully the food will match up next time.


Heironymous said...

There has been a rumor going on that both Cookes of Dublin and the Rose & Crown have statred to migrate toward using flash frozen, not fresh cut, potatoes to help save on food costs. U.S. food costs, in general, have been going up especially for fresh produce. The WDW restaurants serve a lot of food and to hold prices steady, this may expalin why you may not have had the quality as in previous visits.

The WDW message boards have speculated this in the past, but I have never bee able to confirm. But, I believe that fresh cut, blanched, double-fried potatoes hold their internal "heat" (temperature) better than the if they are of the frozen variety.

So I will officially let the conspiracy theories begin! :-)

Oh, and the Rose & Crown chips will always be better! :-p

Unknown said...

Dom, I believe this in fact may be the case, but again, like you, I can't prove it.

Frozen fries often do hold the heat better, as long as they are not freezer burned by the way. You got that right.

As far as the Rose & Crown goes, on my very first trip to WDW in 1993 The Bride and I had dinner there, and it was one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had (although the chips were very good). Yes, I know that they have completely revamped their menu since then, but I've yet to have a chance to sample it.

I have reviewed the counter service next to Rose & Crown however, and liked it:

Thanks as always for your comments, Dom!