I just want to start this off by saying that writing this post while 4 days away from the end of Whole30 is SHEER TORTURE!!! I want to eat all the food that is making an appearance in this post.
Not to mention my kids ate some fresh cheese pizza from Sam’s Club for lunch while I watched and salivated.
Mkay, enough of my woes. Even though I took a step back from doing any real day to day “planning” for our Universal trip, I am a meticulous list maker. With that being said, I wrote down every dime we spent from the time we left our house in Texas until we returned 10 days later. Before arriving at the resort we stopped and bought some snacks and sandwich fixings to help cut back on food costs. Even though we brought plenty to eat, trying new foods in a new place is our favorite pastime. Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. (Clearly I’ve been playing too much HQ)
I’m going to list everything we ate in order of favorite to least favorite. Let it be known that the food at the bottom of the list does not necessarily mean that it was bad. We just ate some really darn good food!
1. Cowfish at City Walk
Oh my word the food here. They covered both ends of the spectrum fantastically, hence the name. The kids meals came out in these precious bento boxes with a “sushi” themed rice krispy treat and a Swedish fish on top! I do not have one picture of Parker without food in his mouth and when we left he said “I wish every cheeseburger tasted that good.” Me too, bud. Me too.
2. Macarons from Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at City Walk
I was introduced to Macarons by Sissy. Aka, Kristianna. The boys and I went and visited her one April in Dallas. She could not believe I’d never had a macaron with as many places as I’ve lived. She took me to none other than Joy Macarons. I used to consider myself a strictly cupcake kind of girl until that moment. Now that you’ve had some backstory on my Macaron introduction, these from Toothsome were a bit pricier than I was used to and once I bit into that first one it was clear why. We got these our last night in Orlando and packed as soon as we got back to the room. Somehow they ended up in the boys’ wand bag and would not be rediscovered until after we got back to Texas. 😫😫😫 Distraught. That’s a good word to describe how I felt upon finding them.
3. Lombards inside Universal Studios
By day four we were craving some seafood and after reading tons of reviews, we knew this was the place to go. We had an hour wait but it was totally worth it! I’m that person that ranks where I like to go based off how good their ranch is and these guys got a 9 out of 10. The rest of their food was good too.
4. New Dutch Trading Co. at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
This cute, “grab and go” quick service restaurant was located right next to the lobby inside the hotel. Along with the fantastic coffee they serve, there’s a nice big section of sandwiches, hand scooped ice cream, pastries (you won’t regret getting the ham and cheese croissant), sweets, and even some everyday convenience items.
5. Three Broomsticks inside Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure
Kaleigh’s husband, HD, and us were the only ones who had never been to Universal before. On the drive there, we took a vote and the ONE place everyone voted to eat at first was The Three Broomsticks. Going in, we were planning to order the Family Platter Meal they offer but ended up getting separate things!! The boys got chicken strips and they were amazing. Think of your favorite gas station chicken, and it’s even better than that! I ordered the fish and chips while Colton ordered Shepherds Pie with a side salad. My husband has a serious sweet tooth so we also ordered the clotted cream which tasted really great but we couldn’t get over the texture. The rest of the table took care of it for us though!
6. Room Service Desserts at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
Key Lime Tart, Fresh Baked Warm Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk and Triple Chocolate Brownies. Do I have your attention yet? Good. All of their room service was reasonably priced while also being DELICIOUS!!! I’m going to take even more advantage of this NEXT time we go.
7. Shakes from Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at City Walk
Even though walking into Toothsome is like walking in to a real life steampunk version of the Willy Wonka Factory, this one actually was a bit of a letdown. All week we had seen people walking around with these towers of a milkshake and couldn’t wait to get one ourselves. The milkshakes come with a whole dessert(or peanut butter and jelly sandwich) sitting on top of them. Maybe I just feel bitter about the shakes because my first option was sold out and my second option had to be tweaked because they were out of half the ingredients. Nonetheless, the rest of the family really enjoyed theirs.
Butterbeer gets its own category because c’mon, butterbeer. My sister kept the boys one day so Colton and I could have a sort of “date” and we spent it tasting every kind of butterbeer option available within the parks. Below is how we ranked them at the end of the day.
We found out the hot version is only sold seasonally. That alone makes me want to go during that season because it is THAT good. I would drink a cup of coffee in the room each morning and then instantly find a butterbeer vendor when we’d get to the park so I could start my day off with this incredibly delicious concoction.
2. Fudge from Sugarplums Sweet Shop
Once we found out we could get butterbeer in fudge form, there was no way we weren’t going to try it.
Funny story about the regular, apparently you’re not supposed to stir it because then it turns bitter! This was the boys’ favorite way of drinking the iconic drink.
While this option was nice to drink during the hot afternoon, it was one of the least flavorful options in my opinion.
5. Ice Cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
If I could work there I would. The uniforms are to die for. The butterbeer ice cream, not so much. We were hoping for some hand scooped ice cream action but it ended up being vanilla based with a flavor swirl. I give it a 4 out of 10.
Some other fun things we got were Gilly water from a cart in Diagon Alley(this is inside Universal) and a MASSIVE donut from Lard Lad Donuts in Springfield(also inside Universal). I felt like a little kid getting to choose my elixir to mix with my gilly water and watch the colors turn!
I hope by sharing what we ate it will help y’all sift through all the options available when you go! Have you already been and have a favorite? Please share in the comment section below!