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Belly Up to the (Meatball) Bar at Downtown Disney

Pam Brandon

by , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

Meatball Bar - Portobello at Downtown Disney
Burgers are out, meatballs are the hot new dining trend, and Portobello at Downtown Disney takes the idea a step further, pairing affordable meatball sliders with seven microbrews from Orlando Brewing – a satisfying summer combo.

Levy Restaurant Chefs Steven Richard (executive chef at Portobello) and Tony Mantuano (Portobello consulting chef) dreamed up the meatball-beer bar. “The meatballs are fun to eat,” Mantuano said. “And what’s better with a meatball than beer?”

Belly up and take your pick: beef and veal with parsley, spicy pork, chicken with sage or salmon with tarragon. Each is served on a soft mini roll and topped with tomato-basil sauce and freshly grated Parmesan. Affordable too: just $1.95 for a sizeable meatball slider (the salmon is $2.95). Our hands-down fave was the spicy pork. Least favorite was the salmon. Pair with locally brewed and organic beers including ales, European Pilz, Olde Pelican E.P.A. and Blackwater Porter, each $5.95.

The bar seats 30, with 10 more seats at adjacent cocktail tables. And you can order from the full menu at the bar (we love the eggplant fries for a decadent side). Portobello is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Comments

  • Are you able to order the meatballs from the dining room tables???

  • Pam — I have a couple of DFB readers wondering if you can make an ADR for the meatball/beer bar alone, or if it’s walk-up only. Should they just make an ADR for Portobello and say they’d like bar seating? Thanks!

  • I was at Disney World 2 weeks ago, and if I knew about this, I would of definitely visited Portobello to give the Beer and Meatball Bar a try. Great idea! Thank you for posting this on the Disney Parks Blog.

  • After seeing this delicious image I had to go out and try these meatballs. Should be noted that they do have a special running, 5 dollars gets you three meatball (mix match) with mini hoagie rolls. I tried all except the Salmon, I was actually informed not to try it by the bartender, I guess it really isn’t very popular. They were all very good, the beef and veal being my favorite, spicy pork a close second and chicken which was good but a little boring.

  • Man you know what goes good with a nice meatball? LIGHTS OF WONDER

  • LoW are still sitting in shrink wrap back stage at epcot.. have been since last year.. No change… in other words.. if anything is coming this year.. the LoW arches will not be part of it.

  • Love it! I like what I’m seeing as far as a new trend towards adding these types of mini Food & Wine-style kiosks (e.g. in front of Mexico, the crepe stand in Downtown Disney), and quick-service stands and bars around property. Bringing a wide variety of new flavors to locations both and out of the parks is a great idea, as I personally enjoy wandering and snacking on different, small items, as opposed to always sitting down for a large meal. Bravo! Keep ’em coming!

    Now… let’s talk more about that spicy pork meatball… :)

    Lou M
    WDWRadio

  • Love it! I like what I’m seeing as far as a new trend towards adding these types of mini Food & Wine-style kiosks (e.g. in front of Mexico, the crepe stand in Downtown Disney), and quick-service stands and bars around property. Bringing a wide variety of new flavors to locations both and out of the parks is a great idea, as I personally enjoy wandering and snacking on different, small items, as opposed to always sitting down for a large meal. Bravo! Keep ’em coming!

    Now… let’s talk more about that spicy pork meatball… :)

  • Yum. . .yes please!!!!

  • Sounds delicious. I can’t wait to try this. There are few things I love more than beer and meatballs. If they’re not already, they really should offer a Meatball + Beef Flight so you can try all four meatballs without having to drink four whole beers (micro- and craft-brews tend to pack a good deal more alcohol than a Bud Light).

    Plus, ordering each of the four meatballs and beers would put quite a dent your pocketbook — $32.60 + tax/tip — mostly from the beer. Reduce the beer portions to 1/2 or 1/3 each and you could hopefully get it down to the $20-$25 range. That’s a good deal that lets you sample all the pairs without getting too drunk… or poor.

  • Looks delicious!

    Is it true that the Lights of Winter are not coming back to EPCOT this year? They are not listed on the press release, and I think many visitors would be disappointed if, after last year, the lights hadn’t been updated to “non-obsolete” form and returned to EPCOT. Please reassure us!

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