Published November 12, 2012
Universal Orlando Resort may be known for their mega-motion picture attractions that give visitors a chance to “ride the movies,” but that’s not the only thing the Florida theme park is famous for.
At Universal, your dining experience is all part of the adventure too.
In a world created around classic movies and the entertainment industry, corporate executive Chef Steve Jayson has been in charge of developing all the menus for the restaurants and specialty events at Universal Florida for the last 24 years. Each restaurant was planned and produced to represent a special Universal Studios theme. From the amazing and lively settings to the continuously altered menu, Jayson and the creative minds behind Universal Studios made sure their guests are offered the very best of seasonal and current fare.
Jayson’s biggest legacy to date is undoubtedly the creation of Harry Potter’s famed Butterbeer.
“By far the most popular beverage is Butterbeer, which is only found at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it’s the one thing that I’ve created that has really come to the forefront,” Jayson told FoxNews.com.
In the Harry Potter books and films Butterbeer is described as a soda type of ale that all the wizards and witches gulp down at a pub in the magical town of Hogsmeade. Although the book hints that the frothy drink may contain alcohol--something that would lower ones inhibitions--Universal’s version is non-alcoholic. “Everyone has their own take on what it tastes like, it’s got this pleasant creamy flavor about it that just goes down really smooth,” Jayson described.
“After reading the books and seeing the movies, I just had to try Butterbeer," said park patron and Harry Potter fan Gina D'Andrea. "It was very rich, creamy, it almost tastes like caramel-flavored whipped cream.”
Since the delicious drink was created from pages in a book, Jayson and his creative team had to travel to Scotland to get the stamp of approval from J.K Rowling herself. “We kind of went in there with our fingers crossed, but when she tasted it she just really liked it and had this big smile on her face,” Jayson said.
While you might find mock Butterbeer recipes online, patrons will have to stop by the Universal Orlando’s Three Broomsticks restaurant or Hog’s Head, its adjacent tavern, to get a taste of the real and authentic Butterbeer ale.
Although Butterbeer tops the list of popular items to try, Three Broomsticks’ menu stays authentic to Harry Potter’s fictional world by offering British isle dishes like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and a ‘Great Feast Platter’ that comes with rotisserie smoked chicken, savory ribs, corn on the cob and roasted potatoes.
If there was one classic dish to recreate would you like it in a house, would you like it with a mouse, would you like it here or there?
If you’re cruising through Seuss Landing at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you can’t miss the giant green ham-shaped building that is the Green Eggs and Ham Café. The casual walk-up window eatery has been serving up Dr. Seuss’ famous Green Eggs and Ham dish since its grand opening in 1999. Made in a form of a sandwich, Jayson uses 100 percent natural ingredients, even boasting that the notorious green color in the eggs comes from fresh pureed herbs.
“I’ve eaten at the Green Eggs and Ham Café, and I have to say--forget the whimsy décor, the fact that they sell a green eggs and ham sandwich makes it that much better and thrilling for kids,” Francesca Borgognone, entertainment editor at The Daily Meal, told FoxNews.com.
And if you 'do not like green eggs and ham,’ the café also offers juicy cheeseburgers and hamburgers.
Taking you into the heart of Universal Studios’ famous horror films, the Monster Café dishes out all the family favorites while playing tribute to their classic monsters and villains.
Located at Orlando’s Production Central area, Monster Café houses creatures from the black lagoon, Dracula’s castle and the flying saucer. Instead of developing monster themed meals Jayson wanted to incorporate monster size portions. “You can only take food so far. We don‘t slop it with blood or eye balls, that takes away from the food. We wanted to make monster portions fit for a monster’s appetite,” Jayson told FoxNews.com.
Guests can chose from a monster meal of rotisserie chicken with generous helpings of creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables or a huge slice of their homemade pizzas baked in a beautiful wood burning stove.
One of Universal’s most renowned dinning destinations is their beloved Mythos Restaurant. Winning best theme park restaurant in the world by Theme Park Insider Magazine seven times, this magical restaurant is beautifully designed inside and out.
Designed to make guests feel like their dinning inside a mythical cave you’d find at the edge of the sea, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a more sophisticated meal.
With 40ft high ceilings, cascading waterfalls and stone carved statues diners can enjoy a delicious seasonal menu with dishes like cedar plank salmon, tempura sushi, boneless short ribs and Mythos Pad Thai.
“I’m very proud of this restaurant. It’s the flagship of Universal to me, when you walk in you have to take a step back and take it all in,” Chef Jayson explains. “It reminds me of where the Greek God’s would go to eat,” he added.