Mardi Gras 2020: Food Guide

It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort without food, and this year they’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the biggest party with new and returning Cajun-style cuisine.

From fan-favorite classics like Gumbo and Jambalaya to delectable new dishes inspired by carnivals worldwide – there are so many unique flavors to explore. 

Let’s take a look at the food and beverage options coming to this year’s Mardi Gras Celebration!

New Mardi Gras Dishes at Universal Studios Florida and Universal CityWalk

From February 1 through April 2, guests can enjoy new menu items at The French Quarter Courtyard at Universal Studios Florida and several locations in Universal CityWalk, including Voodoo Doughnut, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen and more.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida French Quarter Courtyard Trumpet
  • NEW Carnival Around The Universe Tasting Tent: This all-new tasting tent in the French Quarter Courtyard will feature dishes inspired by carnivals worldwide with new menu items debuting bi-weekly throughout the event, including a variety of plant-based options:
    • Week 1 and 2 (Feb. 1 – Feb. 15) will feature cuisine from Trinidad & Tobago:
      • Grilled Pineapple Trini Chow: Topped with kimchi seasoning and micro cilantro (Plant-based)
      • Pholourie: Fried spicy split pea dough with turmeric, curry powder and a tamarind chutney (Plant-based)
      • Chickpea Double: Chickpeas served on a spicy bara flatbread with micro cilantro and mango chutney (Plant-based)
    • Week 3 and 4 (Feb. 16 – Feb. 29) will take guests back to where the Bayou Bash first began and explore Louisiana Creole cuisine even further:
      • Softshell Crab Slider: Crispy softshell crab topped with organic vegetable slaw and served on a soft brioche roll with bayou aioli
      • Cauliflower Dirty Rice: Riced cauliflower with Gardein crumbles, Black-eyed peas and Cajun spices (Plant-based)
      • Pecan Street: A specialty cocktail with pecan vodka, caramel and apple cider
Mardi Gras Food Guide 2020
Grilled Pineapple Trini Chow
  • Week 5 and 6 (March 1 – March 14) will celebrate Brazilian Carnival with delicious treats:
      • Pão de Quiejo: Traditional warm cheese bread with a guava dipping sauce
      • Sugared Sweet Plantains: Covered in cinnamon and sugar and served with banana poppy seed dipping sauce (Plant-based)
      • The Girl from Ipanema: A specialty cocktail featuring gin, lime, orgeat syrup, coconut water and pineapple simple syrup
    • Week 7 and 8 (March 15 – April 2) will place you in the heart of Germany:
      • Sauerbraten: Slow braised beef, buttered Spaetzle, and pickled red cabbage topped with a savory red wine sauce
      • Grilled Bratwurst: Served on a potato pancake with whole grain mustard and sour cream and chives
      • And a warm pretzel!
Universal Orlando Resort Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras 2020 Food Guide
  • NEW ‘Float Floats’ at Schwab’s Pharmacy: Inspired by the all-new Mardi Gras parade float theme, Treasures of the Deep, Schwab’s Pharmacy will serve over-the-top ice cream floats to celebrate Florida’s biggest party, including:
    • Mardi Gras Float: Pineapple and lime soft serve with grape soda, blueberry Boba and a waffle cone flag
    • Shipwreck Float: Pineapple and chocolate soft serve with pineapple soda, cotton candy, and a waffle cone flag
    • Sunken City of Atlantis Float: Vanilla soft serve with wild berry soda, mango Boba and a gummy shark
  • New Specialty Cocktails and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Also inspired by this year’s Mardi Gras theme, are new specialty cocktails served in exclusive souvenir cups including High Seas Twister with rum, blood orange liqueur, and watermelon juice, and the Bourbon Street Punch with bourbon, orgeat, coconut puree, and orange juice to name a few. Plus, also new to this year’s event, are recommended food and drink pairings which can be found on the tasting tent menu boards. For the little jesters in the family, there are a variety of non-alcoholic beverages including the all-new coconut water that is served out of an actual coconut, which is available at The Carnival Around the Universe Tasting Tent during the first two weeks, and the fan-favorite Bayou Bog Water.
Universal Orlando Resort Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras 2020 Food Guide
  • New Orleans Flair at Universal CityWalk: New Mardi Gras themed food items will debut at Universal CityWalk at several locations, including Voodoo Doughnut, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen and more:
    • For the doughnut lovers out there – head over to Voodoo Doughnut and pick up a yeast doughnut filled with cinnamon sugar Bavarian cream and topped with vanilla glaze and sprinkles inspired by the iconic Mardi Gras colors
    • Ever wanted to drink an iconic Mardi Gras king cake? The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen will be serving up The French Quarter artisan milkshake that includes king cake, cream cheese crema and pastry cream topped with king cake and a beignet
    • Seasonal cocktails throughout Universal CityWalk, including The Jester found at the food and beverage carts, Voodoo Doctor at Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom and Masquerade Martini at The Cowfish
    • Additional Mardi Gras inspired menu items can be found at venues across Universal CityWalk

Add-on New Orleans Inspired Experiences at Mardi Gras

As part of the family-friendly version of the renowned Big Easy bash, guests can also purchase festive Mardi Gras add-on experiences for guests craving more.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras 2020 Tasting Lanyard
  • Due to popular demand, The Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard will return, allowing guests to sample multiple dishes and beverages for one price throughout the event. Whether guests are looking to enjoy all of this year’s food and beverage items, or sample just a few of the bold new additions, there are a variety of Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard options to choose from starting at $30 plus tax. Among these options is an exclusive Passholder Tasting Lanyard, which includes 15 sample dishes for $60 plus tax.
Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras 2020 The Bayou Boil
  • On select nights, The Bayou Boil – An Exclusive Mardi Gras Experience, will allow guests to enjoy a Louisiana-style boil featuring crawfish, shrimp, potatoes and corn-on-the-cob, as well as an exclusive viewing area for the Mardi Gras parade with king cake, beignets, sparkling wine and assorted non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets for adults are $59.99 plus tax, and tickets for children (ages 3-9) are $39.99 plus tax. Separate theme park admission is required.
Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras 2020 Beignets
Universal Orlando Resort
  • For guests with a sweet tooth, the Mardi Gras Feast & Floats Dessert Party is available on select nights from March 9 through April 2, giving them the best view of the Mardi Gras parade while enjoying specialty desserts, savory bites, hot chocolate, assorted non-alcoholic beverages, and sparkling wine and cider. But the party doesn’t stop there – guests will also have an exclusive viewing area for Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration. Tickets for adults are $49.99 plus tax, and tickets for children (ages 3-9) are $29.99 plus tax. Separate theme park admission is required.

Returning Cajun Cuisine Favorites

Fans of the traditional and authentic New Orleans cuisine – don’t fret! Your favorite classic Cajun dishes will return to The French Quarter Courtyard at Universal Studios Florida including jambalaya, shrimp gumbo, crab etouffee, gator bites, a variety of po’boys, Cajun twisted tators, king cake, beignets and more.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Jambalaya

All of the excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida or with a Seasonal or Annual Pass (blackout dates apply). And, right now Florida residents can experience this year’s Mardi Gras celebration and the spring season by saving up to $65 on multi-day tickets.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras 2020 Parade
Universal Orlando Resort

Mardi Gras Savings for Florida Residents

Florida Residents can also save up to $75 on Seasonal and Annual Passes. Becoming a Passholder means an entire year to enjoy some of the world’s most exciting and immersive theme park experiences, including incredible events, the upcoming live-action stunt show debuting in spring 2020, The Bourne Stuntacular, as well as Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, Revenge of the Mummy, the newest epic addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – and more.

These offers are available for purchase today through April 2. To take advantage of these offers, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Confisco Grille Announces New Menu

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu

Universal’s Islands of Adventure has some of my favorite theme park food in all of Orlando, and now the Confisco Grille, located at the far end of the Port of Entry, has announced that they have a new menu with dishes inspired by global flavors.

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu
Universal Orlando Resort

The park has a new Executive Chef, Jason Glus, and he and his team have created the new menu by re-visiting the story behind the venue.

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu
Universal Orlando Resort

The Discover Universal Blog shared a closer look at how Chef Gus developed the menu for the Confisco Grille.

This hidden gem has been hiding out in plain sight since Islands of Adventure opened in 1999. This restaurant has served as a resting spot for all explorers coming through Port of Entry. Their worldwide travels have served as the main inspiration for the menu.

“The story behind Confisco connects to Port of Entry, which is exciting because it gives us a mixture of global cuisines to work with,” says Chef Glus. “There’s Asian influence, Turkish, Mediterranean, Greek, Russian, Polish and more.”

It’s no cakewalk to bring these dishes to life. It takes time for the team to research and bring the concepts to life.

“It took us months of researching all these different flavors and spices,” Chef Glus explains. “Even looking back to the 17th and 18th centuries and seeing how dishes were cooked then — in wood ovens and cazuela pots, which we use to cook here in the restaurant.”

Enough talking about these new dishes…let’s take a look at four of the new dishes!

Pork Belly Banh-Mi Sandwich

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu
Universal Orlando Resort

Roasted pork belly, pickled carrots, daikon radish and cucumber topped with a chile aioli on a French baguette

Chilled Tuna Noodle Bowl

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu
Universal Orlando Resort

Sesame seared yellowfin tuna, soba noodles, green onion, avocado, edamame, cucumber and a wasabi-ponzu dressing

Grilled Lamb Meatballs

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu
Universal Orlando Resort

Grilled spiced lamb meatballs with tzatziki sauce, tomato-cucumber relish, feta cheese and mint chimichurri

Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu
Universal Orlando Resort

Philippine-inspired smoked pork ribs tossed in a sweet and sour sauce, served over goat cheese polenta and topped with toasted sesame seeds

Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Confisco Grille Menu
Universal Orlando Resort

But even the dishes that you’ve seen before have a new twist, Chef Glus explains. “The menu items we did keep, we changed up the presentation. If you’re going to elevate the food, you need to elevate the overall experience.”

I can’t wait to head over to Confisco Grille at Universal’s Islands of Adventure to check it out for myself!

The restaurant currently serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until park close, and you can find the menu online.

Reservations are recommended, and if you have any dietary needs you can contact the Universal Orlando Resort by calling (407) 224-FOOD (3663).

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Bigfire Restaurant Opening at Universal CityWalk

Universal Orlando CityWalk Bigfire Restaurant Announcement 2019

All-new restaurant to put modern twist on open-fire cooking, adding bold flavors to American classic dishes

ORLANDO, Fla. 

This summer, Universal Orlando Resort will debut its next original concept dining experience – Bigfire – an all-new, full-service restaurant that will bring a specially created menu and a highly-themed environment directly to guests at Universal CityWalk – and take open fire cooking to a whole new level.

Bigfire will feature unique theming designed to make guests feel as though they have stepped into a grand lakeside lodge, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of summers spent by the water.

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Rendering Universal Orlando Resort

The two-story venue will feature warm modern surroundings, from a cozy fireplace to cast iron and wood design elements mixed with nostalgic camp lanterns and oversized plaid blankets.

As guests step onto the outside patio, they will be greeted with twinkling lights, comfortable seating and lawn games for the entire family to enjoy. And guests will be able to enjoy one of the most popular fireside treats– s’mores – which they will be able to prepare themselves right at their table.

At the heart of the venue will be a custom wood fire grill that will allow guests to see their meal being prepared from anywhere in the restaurant. And for the first time at Universal Orlando, each dish will be expertly paired with the perfect type of wood to bring out the smoky goodness in each bite.

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast

From Cherrywood to Pecanwood and more, the pairings will add bold flavors to the American classic dishes and unique entrees, including a signature bison burger, coffee, chili and cocoa rubbed top sirloin, delectable freshwater trout, mouth-watering smoked salads and more.

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Bigfire Signature Bison Burger

Bigfire will be another example of what happens when the Universal Creative team that designs world-class theme park attractions partners with Universal’s award-winning culinary team to create incredible dining experiences for guests.

When it opens, Bigfire will become the next highly-themed, original concept restaurant at CityWalk, and join other popular experiences such as The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, VIVO Italian Kitchen and more.

The restaurant will be located between VIVO Italian Kitchen and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on the edge of the lagoon – offering incredible views of Universal CityWalk.  

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Big Fire Baked Alaska

For more information on Bigfire and other CityWalk restaurants, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.

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ICYMI: VooDoo Doughnut is coming to Universal CityWalk

VooDoo Doughnut Coming to Universal Orlando CityWalk

The Universal Orlando Resort announced that VooDoo Doughnut will arrive east of the Mississippi when they open at Universal CityWalk, Universal Orlando Resort’s entertainment and dining complex, this spring.

httpv://youtu.be/MJQKgfelRp8

VooDoo Doughnut was created by Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon in Portland, Oregon, in 2003. The pair had enjoyed experimenting with unique flavors to create eccentric pastries and they turned their passion into the phenomenon that is Voodoo Doughnut. As they say, the rest is history.

The Doughnut stop is loved for its sinfully delicious, delightfully weird lineup of fried creations. Their selection of doughnuts will feature signature originals and one-of-a-kind delectables such as the Dirt Doughnut, the Bacon Maple Bar, Grape Ape and, of course, Voodoo Doll doughnuts.

VooDoo Doughnut Universal Orlando CityWalk selection

The Universal CityWalk shop will feature the same eclectic pink theming and irreverent names that can be found in current Voodoo Doughnut locations, and will be located next to NBC Sports Grill & Brew, just steps away from the iconic Universal Globe and Universal Studios Florida entrance.

Good Things Come in Pink Boxes, and I cannot wait to give them a try! 2018 just got sweeter!

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A New Character Breakfast Is Coming To Universal Orlando

Starting January 13th, the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will host a new character breakfast in the outdoor Cayman Court covered pavilion where you can dine with friends from Despicable Me that include Gru, his daughters, and the Minions every Saturday with seatings at 9:00 am and 10:30 am.

Universal Orlando Despicable Me Character Breakfast Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
Universal Orlando

Some of the dishes you will find on the all-you-care-to-eat buffet that include a fruit, cereals, baked goods, scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes, country pork sausage, Applewood-smoked bacon, and Yukon Gold breakfast potatoes. Your choice of a regular coffee, decaffeinated coffee, a variety of juices, soft drinks, and organic and herbal teas is also included included with the price of the breakfast.

Also included with the Despicable Me Character Breakfast is one digital photo taken during the breakfast (via My Universal Photos™).

Despicable Me Character Breakfast tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance by calling (407) 503-DINE (3463) or online, and cost $34.99 plus tax and gratuity for adults (ages 10 and up) and $20.99 plus tax and gratuity for children (ages 3-9).

Here are few things to keep in mind before you book your Despicable Me Character Breakfast experience:

  • You’ll need to arrive 15 minutes prior to the reservation time.
  • Tickets are not refundable and not exchangeable.
  • Prices, dates, times, menu, and characters are subject to change without notice.
  • If you have special dietary needs, you will want to contact the Universal Orlando Resort to answer any questions you may have about the menu. They have a special  website that can help you find easy answers or contact information for further help.
  • To redeem your photo, the digital photo ticket must be exchanged for a My Universal Photos card at the Despicable Me Character Breakfast. Access to digital viewing is provided by Colorvision International, Inc. and is subject to additional terms and conditions. Data rates and other charges may apply. Please check with your carrier. Guest can visit myuniversalphotos.com to view and gain digital access to photo. Association of photos with My Universal Photos account is required. Additional restrictions may apply.

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Loews Royal Pacific April Jake’s Beer Dinner

Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando invites craft beer enthusiasts near and far to experience the next Jake’s Beer Dinner, featuring fresh island brews from Kona Brewing Company crafted on Hawaii’s Big Island on Friday, April 28, 2017 at 6:30pm.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando Jake's Beer Dinner Kona Brewing CompanyPut on your favorite Hawaiian-style shirt and come savor the adventure of Jake’s Beer Dinner at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Taking place only a handful of times each year, this popular event features a five-course dinner paired with specialty craft beer pairings from Kona Brewing Company, each expertly selected by the hotel’s award-winning chefs.

For guests 21 and up, Jake’s Beer Dinner takes place in the private Clipper Room located in Jake’s American Bar — the perfect place to meet for drinks, food and lively conversation.

Tickets to Jake’s Beer Dinner at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando on April 28th cost $55, and to purchase your tickets log onto JakesBeer.eventbrite.com.

Guests to the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando
(6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, Florida 32819) can enjoy complimentary self parking or $5 valet parking.

For more information, call 407-503-3200 or email royalpacificconcierge@loewshotels.com.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel 2017 Harbor Nights Dates

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando has announced 2017 dates for its popular food and wine event series, Harbor Nights: February 10, April 21, October 13, and Holiday Harbor Nights on November 24.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel 2017 Harbor Nights Dates

Harbor Nights takes place outdoors (weather permitting) under the twinkling lights of the hotel’s majestic and picturesque Harbor Piazza, one of Orlando’s most unique outdoor event spaces.

Guests can enjoy unlimited samples of more than a dozen select wines and sparkling wines, along with gourmet food and desserts expertly prepared by the hotel’s award-winning culinary team. The event also features live music and a balcony performance by Portofino’s opera singers.

“With every season of the year, the menu and spirit of the evening changes, so each Harbor Nights is a totally unique experience,” said Carmen Viscosi, director of food & beverage for Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. “We look forward to welcoming our guests and local friends to Harbor Nights again in 2017.”

Tickets are $50. Limited VIP tickets are $85 online only and include all the benefits of a regular Harbor Nights ticket, plus reserved seating in a special area with private wine station and passed hors d’oeuvres. All tickets include complimentary self-parking or discounted valet parking for $5. Please note this is an adults (21 and older) only event.

For more information and to purchase tickets for Harbor Nights on February 10, please visit loewshotels.tix.com.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram