Spyglass Grill is a poolside counter service restaurant at Caribbean Beach Resort, which is presently one of Walt Disney World’s largest hotel construction projects.
Through at least Late 2018, it’s the only permanent dining option open for business at Caribbean Beach Resort. In this review, we’ll cover breakfast and lunch/dinner at Caribbean Beach, with photos and thoughts from our meals.
November 2018 Update: Photos & Thoughts: Re-Imagined Caribbean Beach ResortNow that the Old Port Royale project is finished, Spyglass Grill is not quite as “essential” as it was before; as you can read in our post, it’s now one of three excellent dining options at the new-look resort!
It’s rare for us to review a restaurant at a quiet pool. It’s even more rare for us to review such a dining option with a menu that quite clearly has an expiration date. We’re also not particularly keen on the Trinidad section of Caribbean Beach, which is home to the Pirate Rooms, which we didn’t exactly give a glowing review during our stay there. Yet, here we are with Spyglass Grill.
As one of Walt Disney World’s most popular Moderate Resorts, many readers have taken a keen interest in Caribbean Beach’s construction project, in particular how it has impacted food and pools at the resort. Yes, Spyglass Grill is “just” a quiet pool restaurant. It’s also doing heavy lifting at Caribbean Beach Resort because other restaurants are closed, and it has an incredibly robust menu. The good news? Spyglass Grill absolutely delivers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
During our recent trip to catch up on construction progress, we timed our visit to Caribbean Beach so that we’d have the opportunity to stop by Spyglass Grill for both breakfast and lunch. Since this new quick service restaurant adjacent to the quiet pool in Trinidad South opened a few months ago, it has been generally well-received in the limited reactions we’ve read. So, we figured we should give it a try.
Plus, with so much construction occurring around Caribbean Beach, I figured I’d have plenty of time to walk around and burn off calories between meals while getting photos for our next construction update.
Above is a look at the current menus as of our meals.
First, breakfast. We opted for the Breakfast Yuca Hash and Cream Cheese Guava-stuffed French Toast; we were really hungry and also wanted to try the Pineapple-Banana Pancakes, but since we knew we’d be returning for lunch shortly, we limited our order to only two items.
First up, the Breakfast Yuca Hash. This consists of “Roasted Yuca with Chorizo Redeye Gravy, Sunny-Side Up topped with Pico de Gallo, Cotjia Cheese, Cilantro and a Lime.”
This was phenomenal, and is my idea of a balanced breakfast. Hearty, rich, and filling, but refreshing and not too heavy. I would say this was the best counter service breakfast I’ve had at Walt Disney World, and it was for a couple of minutes…
The Cream Cheese Guava-stuffed French Toast was even better. This consists of “House-made Thick-sliced Brioche French Toast stuffed with Guava Cream Cheese and topped with fresh Strawberry Guava and Cream Cheese Sauces.”
This was like the perfect marriage of breakfast and dessert. The hearty French Toast was filling, while the filling inside kept things moist and delicious. I was concerned that it’d be a bit too syrupy, but the flavor was well-rounded, tasting both naturally fruity and sweet. Being the healthy eater, Sarah was less enthusiastic about this than me, but I loved it. Better than Tonga Toast–no joke.
The lunch dinner menu is even more ambitious, with a number of options we wanted to try. These included the Chorizo Burger, Cuban Sandwich, Caribbean Taco Trio, Chopped Jerk Chicken Salad, and variety of Crispy Yuca Bowls. There are also five different vegetarian options. Suffice to say (again), this is not your normal quiet pool bar!
Sarah had most of the Yuca Bowl for breakfast and wasn’t too hungry after that, so she ordered the Vegan Black Bean Caribbean Tacos with fruit.
These were exactly what you’d expect. Fine, but not exactly inventive or flavorful. The pickled slaw and Pico de Gallo did make this mildly interesting, but you’re still not going to want to go out of your way to order these tacos unless you’re vegan.
On the other hand, I had spent the previous 90 minutes walking all around Caribbean Beach and Riviera Resort in 90-degree weather and 10,000% humidity for tomorrow’s construction update, so I was ready for another big meal.
I ordered the Chorizo Burger, consisting of “Grilled 6 oz Chorizo Burger topped with Crispy Pork, Provolone Cheese, a Pink Sauce and Crisp Potato Straws nested on Iceburg Lettuce and Tomato in a Brioche Bun served with Plantain and Yuca Chips.”
I was a bit apprehensive about the price, but the quality here is far superior to normal counter service beef patties. Don’t be scared away by the Chorizo, as this burger is not spicy. It has a bit of a distinct punch to it, which can be attributed both to the meat and the sauce. The crisp potato straws provide some nice texture to this incredibly juicy meat, and ultimately, this scores very high marks. The Chorizo Burger rivals the best counter service burgers at Walt Disney World, and that includes the highly-regarded D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs.
We also had the Passion Fruit Tres Leches. (“Yellow Cake flavored in Sweetened Condensed, Whole and Coconut Milks blended with Bacardi Rum and a generous layer of Passion Fruit filling topped with Meringue and a Chocolate Mickey Coin.”)
This dessert is also highly recommended. The passion fruit provides a sweetness to the cake that balances well with the rum flavor for something that is not too tart, bitter, or sweet. A pretty ambitious dessert for a pool restaurant, but that could be said about almost everything here.
Once the Centertown project is completed, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the ambitious menus at Spyglass Grill scaled back. (The same thing happened at Wilderness Lodge last year once Roaring Fork’s refurbishment was completed.) As such, if you’re reading this after around February 2019, you might want to double-check the official menus on DisneyWorld.com.
It’s also entirely possible this is intended to be the permanent menu (at least to the extent that any menu at Walt Disney World is ‘permanent’). Caribbean Beach is a huge, sprawling resort, and having a second option for breakfasts that doesn’t require a long hike to Centertown is appealing. As it’s clear the intent is to elevate the slate of amenities at Caribbean Beach Resort, perhaps more quality dining options is one such way to make that happen.
For now, our meal here reaffirms our past suggestion that the best area of Caribbean Beach Resort to request during construction is Trinidad. If you’re going to stay at Caribbean Beach between now and when the Centertown project finishes, being close to Spyglass Grill will give you access to the best food currently available at Caribbean Beach.
Our meal here also makes me much more eager to do future construction updates at Caribbean Beach. While I never saw anything particularly appetizing at the food trucks or the tent that I wanted to try, there are still several items at Spyglass Grill that I want to order. The challenge will be trying new items instead of revisiting favorites from these meals.
Ultimately, Spyglass Grill is a really big deal for guests staying at Caribbean Beach Resort in the near future. Saying that it’s going to be a game-changer for some travelers is not hyperbole. With the best counter service breakfast at Walt Disney World, the type of guest who does breakfast at their hotel and doesn’t return from the parks until nighttime (and thus won’t miss the daytime amenities or “feel” the construction as much), Caribbean Beach is suddenly more attractive. This one restaurant does not change the visual blight of construction (which is actually worse than last time we were at CBR) or the lack of Centertown amenities, which will unquestionably matter to a lot of guests. What Spyglass Grill does is significantly elevate the food quality at Caribbean Beach Resort during the construction, and that is an important first step for a lot of potential guests.
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Have you dined at Spyglass Grill? What did you try? If you haven’t dined here, does anything on the menu look appealing to you? Thoughts on how (or if) this changes your opinion of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort during construction? Have you stayed here since the work began? How did it affect your stay? Planning on staying at Caribbean Beach anytime soon, or will you wait until work is done? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!