I don't expect to be back in Universal's good graces with this review of the Leaky Cauldron, the dining venue in Diagon Alley, which I finally got around to visiting recently. Most of the food is embarrassingly inadequate, and what they charge for it borders on gouging.
Worst of the lot is the mini pies, which is a sampler of the cottage pie and fisherman's pie, which are both available separately. As samplers, the pies are served in small aluminum plates with crusted liners and mashed potatoes on top. The fisherman's pie had a bit of flavor if not much in the way of anything a fisherman might catch. The cottage pie was largely flavorless....
|Address||1000 Universal Studios Plaza|
It certainly looks like an authentic British pub, albeit one that is about five times the average size. The British fare is fine -- shepherd's pie had some nontraditional cheese on top, but otherwise pretty good. Guests can tap their own beers from a wall of select brews using a prepaid card that meters the flow. (Gimmick)...
|Address||9101 International Drive|
Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room
If most people choose to eat at Restaurant Marrakesh for the belly dancers, most people who choose to have dinner here do so because of the great view of Illuminations. Tip from the Disney folks: If you want to view Illuminations from here, "take a seat on the popular patio before sunset." Before sunset -- the show is at 9 p.m. That's a lot of pints to pound down while you're waiting. And what will you eat? Bangers and mash? Fish and chips? Sorry, I can't recommend the food here. And I've always been disappointed with the staff. I love my visits to England -- the real one, across the Atlantic -- and the people there are always wonderful. But the cast members at this pub are usually surly. (And why not -- they've got people camping out on their patio tables for four hours waiting for the fireworks to begin.)...
|Address||Britsh Isles Pavilion|
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t include a restaurant like this in a guidebook on dining because it isn’t a full-service restaurant. But 2010 is the summer of Harry Potter in Central Florida, and this is the only eatery inside the Wizarding World of… This is basically a fast-serve restaurant: queue up, then order your food at one counter, shuffle off to wait for it at another; a staff member will assign you to a table. The fish and chips are very good; the shepherd’s pie not so much. As with most other venues inside the new theme park, the details of the dining room are exquisite. By the way, if you’re just looking to have a taste of butterbeer, don’t stand in line at the wagon outside. Instead, go into the Hog’s Head pub where your wait will be shorter....
|Address||Islands of Adventure|