I had a delicious lunch at Turf Club Bar and Grill at Saratoga Springs earlier this year. Matt was unable to join me on my visit, and it had been quite some time since he’d been there. We decided we’d go back for lunch to enjoy it together.
The lunch menu has changed since my experience, and a French Dip Sandwich that he was excited to try had been replaced by a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. I had just ordered and enjoyed a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at a non-Disney restaurant the day before, and didn’t want a repeat performance. Burgers weren’t standing out to Matt as he’d had one the day before as well, and he was really looking forward to that French Dip.
First, we’ll explore the area leading up to the restaurant. The entrance to the dining room (above) is near double doors which are at the top of a stairway leading up from the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course’s Pro Shop. To the right of that entrance is the walk-up bar at the back of the lounge area.
Here is the lounge area entering from the “main” entrance to the restaurant, located off of The Carriage House (check-in) and near the pool. In the picture below, you can see the double doors that lead outside to the pro shop. In between the two pillars is where the bar is housed.
Looking into the main dining room, tables are tucked off to the sides, providing a clear path for the wait staff to easily maneuver the space. The tables aren’t cramped, though two full tables of adults may become a bit tight for the server to squeeze between due to the diamond shaped arrangement.
Outdoor seating is spacious, and if the humidity isn’t too bad, it seems like a fantastic place to relax. I’ll have to revisit in the fall and take myself up on the offer!
Enough with the formalities and on to the food! Since the entrees weren’t standing out to us, we decided to order a few appetizers. We started with the Onion Rings and Dips ($6.49). When we received the dish, the dips were briefly mentioned to us before the waiter delivering them walked away.
The onion rings were crisp on the outside and the onions within were soft, translucent, and had just a touch of bite inside. As an onion straw fan that has become pretty far on her journey of appreciating thick onion rings, these are some that Disney does well.
Regarding the aforementioned sauces, one was whole grain mustard. Perhaps honey mustard? A bit of tartness like the Key Lime Mustard served at alongside the Conch Fritters at Olivia’s Cafe? Regardless, it was delicious, and much like the Key Lime Mustard, Matt liked this one as well.
The second sauce was a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. I believe it was a mayo. There was a hint of sweetness from the pepper and a very light roasted flavor, but a bit of bitterness as well. It was pleasant with the onion rings, but didn’t really stand out. It needed a little extra seasoning; not necessarily heat, but some perhaps a hit of garlic or onion.
The Buffalo Chicken Dip ($9.49) consists of Pulled Buffalo Chicken, Wing Sauce, Blue Cheese, and Celery served with Saratoga Chips. On a side note, I asked what the difference was between the Saratoga Chips served with this dish and the Turf Club Potato Chips, a side dish, was, and I was told, “Absolutely nothing.”
The chips didn’t taste fresh out of the fryer, but they had a bit of warmth and most of them were crisp. As with many house-made chips, there were a few that were a bit soft, but they were few and far between, and primarily were the smaller ones toward the bottom of the plate. Overall, they’re a good chip, and even though lightly salted, had a great flavor of their own.
The dip itself is topped with a layer of shredded celery. We kind of moved that out of the way to get to the filling.
The chicken was served in hearty pieces and was tender. There was a nice Buffalo Sauce heat to it, cooled by a very pungent blue cheese. While I like blue cheese, I personally didn’t feel this dish needed it, or at least as much. This item was more on Matt’s radar, and he enjoyed it. I did too, but I had my own appetizer I had my eye on to enjoy.
I ordered the Tomato Bisque ($5.49), topped with Herbed Goat Cheese. When it arrived, it only appeared topped with soft bread croutons and chives, but upon stirring, the goat cheese appeared.
The bisque was served piping hot, which was very pleasing to me. Upon stirring up the soup, the cheese made its appearance. It only added to the richness of the bisque. While it had slightly melted, adding to the richness of the soup, much of the cheese remained intact to add an extra textural element to soup and another layer of flavor. I would have liked the bread to have been toasted in some butter for some crunch, but the addition was still a good move.
Here are menu pics from our visit. Click for larger.
Specialty Cocktails (the non-alcoholic is the Tinker Bell and Friends or Buzz Lightyear Punch for kids and chocolate or vanilla milkshakes).
While we weren’t really feeling any of the entrees this time, I have tried the Classic Reuben Sandwich in the past and it was pretty good. And I highly recommend a bowl of their French Onion Soup:
While Saratoga Springs is a bit out of the way and tucked behind Downtown Disney, have you visited the resort? If you dined at the Turf Club, let us know how your experience was!