The Saturday Six is a weekly look at the most interesting, most fun, and sometimes even the most outrageous things within the theme park world that we all love so much. Whether it’s the top six “secrets” of the Portofino Bay Hotel, the top six food options at Fast Food Blvd, or even the top six signature drinks, the Saturday Six will be your personal guide to experiencing the very best Orlando has to offer.
This week’s Saturday Six looks at six EXTREME EATS at Universal. Let’s face it, when you’re on vacation many of your eating “rules” go out the window. It’s time to stop counting calories and embrace the world of turkey legs, bakeries around every corner, and donuts the size of a human head. Guests will find many extreme food options at the Universal Orlando Resort, whether it’s in the theme parks, in CityWalk, or at the on-site Loews hotels. Today we’re going to look at the top six outrageous food items at Universal.
Straight from the pages of Dr. Seuss comes the Green Eggs and Hamwich. Available at the Green Eggs and Ham Café within Seuss Landing, this is one food that many guests feel looks better on paper than in their stomach. However, part of this may be the disconnect of actually seeing green eggs. Back in 2000, Heinz developed green colored ketchup (and later other colors including blue and purple) and found disastrous results in the long run. Why? Despite it being the exact same ketchup as the regular ol’ red ketchup we consume on a daily basis, the human mind wasn’t ready to accept a different color, causing us to think it tasted “different.” Kids loved it. Adults, used to red ketchup, stayed away in droves.
My recommendation is to get one Hamwich for the family to split, and let the kids chow down. It is a visually interesting food item that the younger set will love, especially when in the immersive environment of Seuss Landing. And even if you’re not a big fan of the “hamwich,” feel free to dig into the fries that come along with it (which you can always dip into red ketchup.)
#5 – Mega Funnel Cake Sundae at Artic Express (IOA)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: While Arctic Express has been replaced in IOA by Starbucks, the Mega Funnel Cake is still available at several locations including Croissant Moon Bakery and USF’s Kid Zone Pizza.) Now this is a snack that the whole family will enjoy on a hot day. Located at Artic Express (at the end of the Port of Entry as you turn towards Marvel Super Hero Island), this is a sundae which combines the dynamics of cold ice cream and a warm funnel cake. Trust me when I say this becomes a symphony in your mouth.
We start with a fresh made funnel cake covered with powdered sugar, then we put on some soft serve ice cream, next comes the whipped cream, followed by a liberal amount of strawberry sauce (or chocolate fudge), drizzled with chocolate, and then topped with a cherry. I’m not sure which part of this treat is my favorite. At first, as I described above, you can combine the hot and cold elements in one bite. But half way through eating the sundae all the components start to meld themselves into one state of food goodness. It’s like the T-1000 of desserts. I like to grab a plate and then walk straight over to the front of the lagoon to sit down and enjoy. A perfect view to eat this great snack, but don’t forget to grab extra napkins, it can get messy!
# 4 – The King Donut at Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace (Hard Rock Hotel)
The original monster sized donut, the King Donut at Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace (right next to The Kitchen restaurant on the ground floor of the Hard Rock Hotel) is the perfect way to start your day getting ready to tour the parks. Available in both glazed and chocolate frosted versions, the King Donut is equal parts pastry, sugar, and insanity. You think this is big? Imagine the cup of coffee you are going to need in order to dunk this in. “We’re gonna need a bigger
Many guests don’t realize that Emack & Bolio’s is one of the best places at the entire Universal Orlando Resort to get a quick service breakfast. Besides the King Donut (and regular size donuts), there’s all sorts of other pastries, bagels, cereals, fruits, and breakfast sandwiches. All that plus a Starbucks where you can get whatever Frappuccino or coffee that you want.
Let’s head back over to the Port of Entry at Islands of Adventure and check out a dessert of mythic proportions. Located at the Croissant Moon Bakery, the Cream Horn is a snack filled with so much sugar you may want to be tested for diabetes after you finish it, but it will be worth it. The pastry “horn” is simply incredible. Soft, flaky, and covered with sugar, each bite is better than the last. Meanwhile the inside of the horn is filled with cream and some type of pudding.
There is seating both within the Croissant Moon Bakery as well as tables outside. When I go to IOA I like to get a Cream Horn, a milk, and then sit outside to people watch for a while. With one Cream Horn being the equivalent of about a dozen shots of 5 Hour Energy, I’m soon raring to go on some thrill rides!
# 2– The Chocolate Allspark at The Supply Vault (Universal Studios Florida)
One of the newest additions to the Universal family of outrageous snacks, the chocolate Allspark has replaced the chocolate frog from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as my favorite chocolate option in the parks. A big thick chocolate cube that is completely covered in edible silver coloring, the Allspark is stunning to look at out of the box. The level of detail in the etchings on the silver is fantastic and fits right in with all the design work in the queue of Transformers: The Ride 3D. The chocolate itself is your standard milk chocolate and, because of its shape and thickness, is actually one of the harder snacks to finish in one sitting.
What I really like about this Allspark, and the chocolate frog for that matter, is that the snack is also a great souvenir to take home for friends or family that can’t make it down to the parks. The Allspark ties into Transformers continuity and is the perfect gift for anyone who likes the Transformers cartoon, toys, or movies and is definitely something they are going to remember for a long time. It’s a great conversation piece as well since you can go to any store and buy a ton of chocolate, but you can’t find anything like this.
# 1 – The Kitchen Sink Cake at the Kitchen Restaurant (Hard Rock Hotel)
Available at The Kitchen restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel, the Kitchen Sink is not really a piece of cake in as much as it is the eighth wonder of the modern world. A three pound slice of cake, the Kitchen Sink is comprised of seven layers that includes cheesecake, pecan pie, devil’s food cake, brownies, peanut butter crunch, vanilla chiffon cake, and chocolate chunk cookies. the entire slice of cake is that covered in chocolate butter cream frosting, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and heath bar crunch. Did we mention the vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries? This is one dessert that truly has it all.
The Kitchen Sink is also part of the Kitchen Sink Challenge. To complete this challenge, a guest must finish a Kitchen Burger, a side of french fries, a fried pickle, AND a slice of the Kitchen Sink in under 30 minutes. Sounds impossible? Oh nay nay, in fact a guest recently completed the challenge in under 24 minutes!
This is a slice of cake that is worth going out of your way to experience on your next vacation as it can be considered an “E-Ticket” food. You do not have to be staying at the Hard Rock Hotel to eat at The Kitchen. In fact you can valet park at the hotel and get a ticket in which the restaurant will validate. If you are at the Universal parks, the Hard Rock Hotel is a short walk or a (free) water taxi away.
So there you have it. The top six outrageous food items at Universal. I’d like to send a big thank you to Adam Roth for his help in this column and now that we’ve whetted your appetite, why not look at Six More Outrageous Foods at Universal…
See you next weekend for the latest edition of the Saturday Six (and don’t forget to check out this past week’s debut of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch!)