I recently visited the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk for dinner prior to catching the Blue Man Group show next door. It’d been a few years since I’d eaten there, and I know the menu had undergone some changes since. This was the perfect opportunity to see if the food was as good as I remembered.
Upon arrival, we were immediately seated towards the back of the main floor. The restaurant was packed and noisy, but that’s to be expected given it’s location at the theme park.
I opted to try the limited edition Guinness and Jameson Legendary Burger which featured a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Jameson Irish Whiskey bacon jam, a Guinness Stout cheese sauce, tomatoes and seasoned arugula. It came with a side of fries, with the option to add the Guinness cheese sauce and crumbled bacon on top. Yes, please!
I enjoyed the cheese sauce, which gave the burger a bit of an extra flavor note. The bacon jam I found a little too sweet, but then I’m not a huge fan of sweet and savory mixed together. If this burger were regularly on the menu, I would order it without the bacon jam next time. But that Guinness cheese sauce needs to stay on the menu in some format.
My guest had the Tupelo Chicken Tenders, a staple on the menu since I’ve been eating at Hard Rock Cafes, and she paired it with a side of fries and opted for the chili seasoning and a chipotle garlic ketchup sauce for dipping for an extra charge. The tenders were good and she liked the chili seasoning, but not the sauce, which she said had a funny taste. I tried it and it seemed as though the garlic was overpowering the chipotle taste.
A member of the management stopped to talk with us about the menu, including the new breakfast offerings, and recommended I try one of the new Pressed cocktails.
I chose the Black Magic Press, and it came in what looked like a modified coffee press. The drink features Casa Noble Crystal Tequila, fresh blackberries, lime juice, mint, and a margartia mix, and as presented, offers a bit of a show as you push the muddled berries and mint down with the press before pouring.
Our press served up almost six glasses over ice for the $14.99 price, making it a must try if you visit. There are other flavors, if a margarita-style drink isn’t your thing.
Overall, it was a good meal, and the Hard Rock Cafe still serves up my favorite burgers at CityWalk. Average cost per person (not including drinks) is $15-$20, which is reasonable, espcially for its theme park location. I’m definitely going to return, especially since there’s a burger on the current limited time World Burger Tour 2016 menu I want to try.
My tips for you if you’re dining here: sign up for the Rewards program, so you can earn points towards free food); the burgers are pretty hearty, so you can probably split one between two kids or light eaters; and if someone in the party is celebrating something like a birthday, be sure to mention it to your server. *wink*
Hard Rock Cafe Orlando is located at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk. Visit hardrock.com/cafes/orlando for a menu and more information.
Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Hard Rock for purposes of this review. As always, my opinion is my own and honest.
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