I make no secret of the fact that I do not, in general, love the food at Hollywood Studios. For the most part the whole park seems to rely completely on counter-service, mass produced "theme park" food. This has been amplified by the recent additions and attention paid to the food in the other parks, making me wonder, "Who is in charge of the food at HS??" I am not sure if my prayers have been fully answered, but there has at least been progress! And the progress' name is Baseline Tap House.
First off, what is Baseline? Well Baseline is a counter-service (no surprise) "Tap House" located near the Muppet Show in the area of Hollywood Studios known as "Grand Avenue." The atmosphere of Baseline is geared towards an industrial meets modern pub in Los Angeles. Inside, the tap house is fairly small. The central focus being a long bar with the many craft beers on tap. There are a few spots to sit down at, but by far the most seating is outside on the patio. The patio is full of bar height tables and chairs beneath wide umbrellas. On a beautiful February day, this was a great option! But I must say that the overall lack of indoor seating at HS is just a pet peeve of mine...so this doesn't exactly thrill me. Overall, the ambiance is definitely one that is trendy and current without being overly "themed" like you might think of at Santuli Canteen or some of the other newer restaurants at Disney.
OK, so onto the real reason I go to Disney World at all...the FOOD! Overall the menu at Baseline is pretty straight forward. There are 3 food choices: Bavarian Pretzel, Cheese and Charcuterie Plate, and Spiced Almonds. That's it. And that is because there does not appear to be any real "kitchen" to Baseline. Instead, when you order at the bar, the bartender goes into the back and grabs a pre-made item. And in general thats ok with me if you know this ahead of time and are good with it. I went with the California Cheese and Charcuterie Plate. A good cheese plate is like heaven to me and there is no other casual dining in Hollywood Studios that offers this kind of "snack" that can moonlight as a light but filling meal.
The Board featured three cheeses, two meats, a few other accompaniments. The cheeses were blue cheese, a goat cheese dusted with pistachios and cranberries, and a lighter mild cheese similar to a cheddar. Of the entire board, the cheese were all very good and flavorful without being too overbearing or pungent. They walked a fine line of flavor that was much appreciated!
The meats on the board were a chorizo and a calabrese salami. Both were perfectly fine meats with no complaints, but neither really had that much of a standout flavor. They worked well with the mild cheddar like cheese as well as the stone ground mustard that was also served. The remaining parts of the board included cornichons, grapes, and toasted baguettes. I could have used one or two more baguettes or another cracker type base for the cheese, but I made it just fine.
While I certainly think the small plates of food offer a great snack as lunch option for Hollywood Studios, the biggest draw to Baseline will be their craft beer selections. The offer 9 Californian beers on tap as well as a a hard cider (see left). They also offer a Create Your Own Beer Flight of four beers which sounds like a no brainer! Since I was alone on this trip and didn't think a flight of beer the day before a race was a great idea, I went with the Ace Space Bloody Orange Hard Cider. It was deliciously smooth and fruity. I highly enjoyed it on a fairly warm February day.
Overall, I enjoyed Baseline Tap House. Its certainly not a must-do or one that I would recommend to anyone with kids as there were no truly kid-friendly options and the atmosphere was definitely more adult geared. But, the small plates look great and the beer selection was fantastic. This is a perfect snack or light lunch stop for adults. I can certainly see myself and the hubby eating here in the future!
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!