We tried everything on the menu at the Harry Potter-themed restaurant when it opened two years ago and welcome any excuse to go back and eat there again, so we were looking forward to seeing if the new dishes would live up to the high standard of the restaurant's well-established meals.
First up was The Sunday Roast Sandwich ($17.99), with warm, sliced roast beef on baguette with caramelized onions, English Cheddar, horseradish sauce, and garlic pickles, served with choice of potato wedges or salad.
It's basically the restaurant's Sunday Roast prime rib meal on bread, with a slice of cheese and some amazing onions to round out the flavors. It's a bit sloppy with the jus and onions dripping from the sandwich, which led me to wonder if anyone would post an embarrassing Instagram of me if I licked the plate underneath. But I realized that potatoes would have provided an excellent alternative recovery method, if I'd only been gluttonous enough to choose them instead of the salad. Oh well, this was delicious, and I couldn't imagine any other menu addition tasting better.
Until we tried the Cheese Toastie with Chicken ($15.99), a grilled English Cheddar sandwich with grilled chicken breast, bacon, mustard sauce, and sliced tomato, topped with a sunny side egg and served with choice of potato wedges or salad.
Go ahead and slice the sandwich to allow that yolk to run all over the bread and the chicken before you partake. (Yeah... egg and chicken. Don't think too hard about it. Just enjoy.) Bacon and eggs, with chicken and cheese... on toast? What an indulgence! This time, we learned and ordered the potatoes to sop up all the drippings from this yummy lunch. Okay, maybe that was better than the roast beef. Clearly, a new number one at the restaurant, right?
Finally, we ate the Ploughman's Lunch ($17.99), a charcuterie board with imported ham, salami, and country pate, served with a "variety of English cheeses" (we got a Stilton, a Cheddar, and a Derby), a Scotch egg (!), toasted bread, cranberry chutney, grain mustard, red grapes, a sliced Granny Smith apple, and a variety of pickles, including onions, mini gherkins, and olives.
Just. Kill. Me. Now. Because if I find a better theme park counter-service meal than this I'm gonna have to die and go to heaven. Like with the two sandwiches, this meal offers enough food for two people to share, though that would prompt one heckuva fight over who gets to eat the slice of country pate on the platter. Pate? In a theme park meal? While I understand how that might seem as sketchy as an afternoon in the Animation Academy, Universal nails everything on this plate. I would have wanted more, if I hadn't left so stuffed.
Now, while Universal gives, it also takes away. The Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew that we loved so much on previous trips to The Three Broomsticks is gone now, as are the soups and the turkey leg. You can find turkey legs pretty much anywhere in theme parks these days, and while the soups at the Three Broomsticks were good, they weren't unique. But we will miss that stew here on the west coast. (It remains available at the Leaky Cauldron in Orlando, last I checked.)
Yet the three new dishes at this restaurant are well worth the trade. I'm happy to see a theme park restaurant continue to excel with a well-themed menu, for the pull to backslide into mediocrity remains strong. On my most recent visit, as we looked at the display of menu items that The Three Broomsticks provides in the queue, I had to restrain myself from making a face at the family that complained, "what, no burgers?"
If you really want that, Krusty Burger remains around the corner. But not every restaurant need be the same. Thank goodness, then, that Universal's The Three Broomsticks continues to serve up its magic.Tweet
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