Kim and I have been excited for City Works to open at Disney Springs since it was first announced. We knew City Works was going to have a lot of craft beer selections and would be the first of it’s kind out at Disney. Then, we were just excited to try new beers, but then we found out City Works is not only a craft beer bar, but it also has a good looking menu. Before we could get out to have dinner there, we ended up passing by on a Sunday just in time for lunch. We decided to try and get in for an impromptu escape.
As we walked up to see if there was any available seating, we were informed that it was brunch from 11-3pm on the weekend. This piqued our interest as we didn’t know City Works had brunch. After glancing at the Rock n Roll Brunch menu, we were sold. We were quickly taken inside to be seated. Although the restaurant was mostly full, there still was some seating around the large building. The restaurant hadn’t even been open a week, so we didn’t know what to expect. As we sat down, I noticed the loud music playing throughout the building, Rock N’ Roll Brunch was not only the theme of the menu but also the theme inside the building. Rock classics blasted from the restaurant’s speakers throughout our entire meal.
We were seated right by a portion of the giant beer menu on the wall. This was perfect as it gave me something interesting to glance over. Between the great selection of beers and the rock music, I couldn’t resist ordering from the vast draft menu. They have about 90 beers on tap, along with signature brunch cocktails and a full liquor bar. During brunch, they also have a Mimosa menu and the option to order by the bottle for $48. Beers come in two sizes with a 14oz costing about $9.50 and mixed drinks running about $14. We got the Skyway Double IPA from Green Bench, which is very hoppy with a little citrus and comes in at over 8% ABV. We shared it as it was a strong beer and only around 1:30pm. The beer came out quickly and was very cold, but I’m not a fan of the glass they use. Although the tulip is the appropriate glass for double IPAs and hoppy beers, it felt like less beer. It also gave me the impression I was drinking something other than beer. Perhaps, I’m used to the feeling of drinking regular hoppy IPAs from a pint glass. All in all, though, it is a good thing they at least know to use the appropriate glass type.
We had a lot of fun looking over the Rock N’ Roll themed menu. There is an avocado toast themed dish, The Clash Smash, that I was tempted to order just because it was named after The Clash. The brunch menu is relatively large, rather than just having two or three standards. There are fun versions of most of the modern brunch dishes that are out there here. Savory dishes are predominant, probably because of all the beer. Still, there are a few delicious sounding sweet dishes, such as Bailey’s cream cheese stuffed French toast. The brunch menu ranges from $15-$25 dollars a plate, but a single meal is more than enough for one person(take this into account if you plan to walk around Disney Springs afterward). Selections for the regular menu are also available during brunch but to a lesser extent. Nothing available on the regular menu stood out as much as the exciting brunch choices. We ended up choosing the “What’s the Story Morning Glory” breakfast tacos and massive “Mother’s Little Helper” ‘Hangover Bowl’. We sat back and enjoyed the music and beer while we waited for our food.
The food came out reasonably quickly, was hot, and definitely fresh. There were three smaller tacos and a bowl of amazing cheesy potatoes. The twist on the tacos is the maple sweetness that pairs with the savory bacon. The only problem is the shells are corn, and the maple sauce caused all the shells to break. The flavors worked well, but the shells did not. The cheesy potatoes, on the other hand, can be ordered as a standalone side dish and probably always should be no matter what the main dish. The “hangover bowl” is savory grits, significant sausage links, and strips of pork belly, with a fried egg on top. The grits were creamy and flavorful, the inside of the sausage was very tender, and the egg was cooked just right. The thick-cut pork belly didn’t stand out as much to me, though I’m not a big fan, to begin with. The meal was very filling, and definitely, more than two could eat, especially when you add in drinks. One dish and an added side would probably do the trick and leave no leftovers.
Between the food and drinks, though, the whole experience can be a little pricey. Watch out as there are no specials to go along with the special brunch menu. There is an option to get any of the beers or other drinks to-go, but we opted not to. We paid our tab and left to walk off the meal in Disney Springs, which is an excellent opportunity to have.
I only have a few negative comments about the whole experience despite the restaurant being days old. One of these is that there were understandably a lot of families and therefore children in the bar. Intoxicated adults, loud music, and children don’t mix. The building is also bustling and can be a little cramped; there is no room for rushing servers to dodge children who are up and out of their seats. There will likely always be kids in the bar, but that may not be exactly conducive to the bar atmosphere. Families and restaurant management will have to decide how to navigate this situation going forward.
Secondly, I feel that to complete the Rock n Roll Brunch atmosphere, it’d be smart to have music videos playing on some of the many TV’s in the restaurant. City Works is an upscale sports bar, but there weren’t any sports actually on at the time of the brunch, only muted talk shows. The music is loud, and it’d be somewhat distracting to anyone actually trying to watch a game in that situation anyway. I believe devoting some TV’s during brunch would add to the Rock N Roll motif and likely sell more drinks. This may be something else that could evolve in the future.
Overall though, the experience was great. We were seated quickly, the service was excellent, and the food and drinks were delicious. There is a small store inside the restaurant’s front doors, and there may even be growlers of beers to go here in the future. The Rock n Roll Brunch was a pleasant surprise, and the loud atmosphere may not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. I recommend City Works Rock n Roll Brunch to adults looking for something different and fun on a Sunday around lunchtime. Although you get rock music and alcoholic drinks, it will be a lot cleaner and safer than most other Brunch options. Along with that, though, comes a certain level of behavior expected from all patrons regardless of drunkenness. Head out with some friends for a delicious meal and a walk. I give brunch at City Works 4 out of 5 hoppy ales.