Al Roker walked the orange carpet for the opening, introducing the first of his signature dishes at the cafe, Al's Avocado Toast. I wasn't there for the premiere event but since I was at Universal today (for reasons that I will reveal later), I stopped in to try the new restaurant for the first time.
Living in the Los Angeles area, where avocado toast has been around long enough to make the jump from staple to cliche, I opted instead for a two-course lunch of The Bulls & The Bears sandwich ($13.99) and a Raspberry Chocolate Bombe ($4.49).
The Bulls & The Bears is, as Universal describes it, "smokey beef brisket, cheddar cheese, arugula, pickled red onion, horseradish cream, [served on a] warm crusty baguette." All the fat has rendered from the brisket, leaving it almost crispy in spots... but I love that. The cheddar restored a bit of richness, while the horseradish cream complemented the beef while never overpowering it. Just a delicious sandwich... and far tastier than typical theme park fare.
Two bites convinced me to ignore the accompanying potato salad, which tastes of bland potatoes bathed in watered-down mayonnaise. Skipping those carbs allowed me enough stomach room to polish off the sandwich's tasty baguette, however, so the potato salad did not languish in vain.
On to dessert! With so many sweets crowding the display cabinets, I went with my go-to strategy — ask the person behind the counter for a recommendation. She did not hesitate in suggesting the Raspberry Chocolate Bombe, a raspberry mousse enveloped in thin chocolate sponge and draped in chocolate mirror glaze.
Chocolate and raspberry win over my taste buds every time, especially when they are not compromised by other flavors. This dessert was well worth the recommendation, so allow me to add mine.
The Today Cafe serves breakfast and lunch daily, with beer and wine available. You place your order at the counter and collect your drinks and sweets, while sandwiches will be delivered to your table. For some great deals on Universal Orlando vacations, including a "three days free" ticket offer, please visit our Universal Orlando tickets page.Tweet