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abigail

Universal Studios Florida, Any gluten-free Food There?

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hi there!

I,ve been in disney park and we had the best gluten-free experience asking food in their restaurants, this time we are thinking about going to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, FLORIDA,

had anybody had an experience there buing food? do you know if they offer gluten-free meals??

thx for your info!!

Abi

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Hi there!

I love Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure!! I go there all the time and have never had too big of a problem. Usually when I go I will fight to go to one of the sit down resturaunts because there are more options. I've never really asked about a gluten free menu, but from what I can recall the only time I have gotten sick was when I ate from one of the fast food counters. Between the boardwalk, universal, and islands of adventure there are a ton of food options. I would say that your best bet is to eat on the Boardwalk because most of the food in the parks is from a walk up counter or buffet type restuarant. There are a lot of restaurants on the boardwalk including:

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Jimmy Buffetts

Hard Rock Cafe

Emerils

NBA City

I have also eaten at Finnegans Bar and Grille in Universal and Mythos Restaurant in Islands of Adventure. Like I said I have no idea if they have gluten free menus, but there are definitly safe options that will make your trip more enjoyable. From my expierience, there is nothing as awesome as gluten free disney world, but as long as you stear away from the quick counters and buffets, there should be plenty to eat at the Universal parks too.

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I contacted Hard Rock Cafe in Universal and they pretty much told me not to eat there. They weren't even very friendly about it.

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Sorry I don't know how to do a link, but on June 20, I posted #317460 entitled "Great Experience at Margaritaville". Please look for this post for more details. We contacted Margaritaville in advance by e-mail and their head chef called me personally! We had a great meal there. NBA City was another place that responded to our e-mail and sent a chef to our table to help us out.

We ate at Hard Rock - they were knowledgeable but did not have many gluten-free choices. My son ended up just eating a steak and plain salad. Could not have anything fried due to CC (at least they were able to tell us that).

All of these restaurants are at City Walk - just outside the parks. For dinner, either go early or make a reservation to avoid a long wait.

Enjoy!

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I had just contacted Universal directly on this topic (as well as Disney) and received the following reply this past Saturday (July 28th):

Hi, in Universal Studios at Monsters caf

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I posted about Universal Orlando and Margartiaville earlier this year. I had a GREAT experience! I got the same email from Chef Bob, although they didn't have any gluten-free pasta at any place I went to. I had the roast chicken at Monsters (pretty good) but the best place we ate was Mytho's, they were so helpful and the food was sooooo good.

For Margartiaville, they absolutely positively went out of their way - including having gluten-free bread and cheesecake!! - for me. I probably would have ate there almost every meal if my family would have agreed to it.

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What is the email address or telephone number to contact? We are going at Christmas and are newly gluten-free..

Thanks for what you have already posted.

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We are going to Universal Christmas '08 so I had to make a few inquiries and the following are posts that I also put on the Disboards:

Just finished talking with the executive chef at the PBH, Herve--very nice. (PBH is Portofino Bay Hotel)

He would need about a 2 week heads up so as to make sure he has all of the ingredients. They even have gluten-free pancakes and muffin mixes for breakfast. Also has gluten-free bread. Also gluten-free pasta

If I want a pizza from Sal's just let Herve know my favorite gluten-free pizza dough and he will get it for me so that they would have it available

I saw on another forum a reply from Chef Bob about the offerings at the parks--when I get that info for myself--I will post it here.

From other postings on other forums: Margaritaville, Lombards, Finnegans, Mythos, and Confisco (sp?) really does a great gluten free meal.

AND

Thank you for contacting Universal Orlando

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We just came back from a really wonderful vacation in Orlando. We stayed at the Royal Pacific Hotel at Universal. We had great dining experiences....

Inside Universal Studios park, we at at Lombardi's. Chef Bryan was extremely knowledgeable about

the needs of both a glutenfree diet (my husband) and a vegetarian diet (me...but I don't eat any dairy).

He also took great care in explaining all the handling requirements to his kitchen staff and our

waiter. It was so good that we ate lunch there twice.

Inside Islands of Adventure, we at at Mythos...another really delicious meal.

At Citywalk (just outside the theme parks), we ate at Latin Quarter....more delicious meals.

Husband had fajitas and the restaurant gave him corn tortillas (instead of flour) and creme

brulee for dessert. They changed the oil and made him glutenfree chips also while we waited

for our meal. Their guacamole (made at your table by a chef) is the absolute best!

Inside the Royal Pacific's restaurant, husband had the Pacific Fruit platter. The wait staff was really wonderful and substituted banans (instead of the bread that normally comes with the meal). It was a beautiful plate with fresh pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

We also ate at the Chop Tchoup at the Royal Pacific...no problem getting a glutenfree meal.

The wait staff was great!

We also went to the Disney parks for a couple days. I would not recommend the San Angel Inn....

Husband's meal was ok...but not that good. My meal was horrible. Vegetarian menu....yeah....

it consisted of 1 salad or a combination plate (flour tortilla burrito with beans and vegetables -

the vegetables turned out to be some corn). I do not eat dairy so they substituted beans in the

cheese enchilada - no corn. The waitress also asked husband if he wanted the vegetarian menu

also. We did not have a good experience at all. Note that we had made reservations and filled

out the special forms for special dietary needs.

The SciFi Diner at Disney's Hollywood Park was good with the glutenfree meal. Husband had

the Reuben sandwich on glutenfree bread and really enjoyed it.

Husband was disappointed with the glutenfree cookies and brownies at Disney. They were not

very good and were very expensive. Whole Foods does sell really great glutenfree bakery

products in the refrigerator section and they are cheap in comparison.

All in all, we had a great time at the Universal Parks/Citywalk and Royal Pacific Hotel. Next

time we go to Orlando, I think we will just skip the Disney Parks.

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We just came back from a really wonderful vacation in Orlando. We stayed at the Royal Pacific Hotel at Universal. We had great dining experiences....

Inside Universal Studios park, we at at Lombardi's. Chef Bryan was extremely knowledgeable about

the needs of both a glutenfree diet (my husband) and a vegetarian diet (me...but I don't eat any dairy).

He also took great care in explaining all the handling requirements to his kitchen staff and our

waiter. It was so good that we ate lunch there twice.

Inside Islands of Adventure, we at at Mythos...another really delicious meal.

At Citywalk (just outside the theme parks), we ate at Latin Quarter....more delicious meals.

Husband had fajitas and the restaurant gave him corn tortillas (instead of flour) and creme

brulee for dessert. They changed the oil and made him glutenfree chips also while we waited

for our meal. Their guacamole (made at your table by a chef) is the absolute best!

Inside the Royal Pacific's restaurant, husband had the Pacific Fruit platter. The wait staff was really wonderful and substituted banans (instead of the bread that normally comes with the meal). It was a beautiful plate with fresh pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

We also ate at the Chop Tchoup at the Royal Pacific...no problem getting a glutenfree meal.

The wait staff was great!

We also went to the Disney parks for a couple days. I would not recommend the San Angel Inn....

Husband's meal was ok...but not that good. My meal was horrible. Vegetarian menu....yeah....

it consisted of 1 salad or a combination plate (flour tortilla burrito with beans and vegetables -

the vegetables turned out to be some corn). I do not eat dairy so they substituted beans in the

cheese enchilada - no corn. The waitress also asked husband if he wanted the vegetarian menu

also. We did not have a good experience at all. Note that we had made reservations and filled

out the special forms for special dietary needs.

The SciFi Diner at Disney's Hollywood Park was good with the glutenfree meal. Husband had

the Reuben sandwich on glutenfree bread and really enjoyed it.

Husband was disappointed with the glutenfree cookies and brownies at Disney. They were not

very good and were very expensive. Whole Foods does sell really great glutenfree bakery

products in the refrigerator section and they are cheap in comparison.

All in all, we had a great time at the Universal Parks/Citywalk and Royal Pacific Hotel. Next

time we go to Orlando, I think we will just skip the Disney Parks.

that's good to know--I was really worried about the Tchoup Chop (sp?) I can't wait.

Less than 4 weeks for our trip! Yippee!!

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I am just pasting what I typed on the disboards so I don't have to retype everything here. :rolleyes:

If you do club at any of the Loew's resorts, let them know in advance what exactly that you would like to see gluten-free. Even though I had talked with the chef, that isn't who I needed to discuss the club with. You need to specifically tell the concierge a few weeks in advance.

They have a set menu for the evening and cheese and wine was pretty much the extent of what we could eat. If we had got a hold of the right person to discuss this earlier, they could've gotten us something for evening club, too.

However, Carla, at the PBH was able to get us some gluten-free cookies and muffins for morning from Whole Foods and they were delicious.

Unfortunately, New Year's Eve, the cut up cheese in the little cups was glutened and mixing gluten with wine for me left me blitzed and knocked out in my room... Woke up at 11 and found my DS13 who had eaten the same thing sound asleep beside me...We ran to the parks in time to give my DH and DD15 big kisses at midnight!

Mythos was great with gluten free. The flourless cake was to die for. Yummy.

We ate twice at Margaritaville, the 1st chef who came to our table told us that his daughter needed to be gluten-free, too, so that made me very happy.

Lombardi's--not so good--the chef kept telling me that I was the expert (you all know that we need to be). And the seafood marinara with rice pasta was only so-so.Mahi-mahi was just okay. Unfortunately, something must've been cross contaminated because my son was glutened and immediately began the trips to the restroom and he spent all of New Year's Eve day sleeping. Then to club only to get glutened again. Basically he has spent the last 36 hours sleeping with fever.

Fruit stands? Ha--only saw a few with fruit--apples and oranges--the vendors said that's all they had that day...

French fries--I didn't want to try it anywhere--the lines were always huge and I would ask the hostess and the manager and was told they also fried onion rings...we weren't willing to risk it.

At PBH, we had the most wonderful breakfasts. HUGE Pamela's pancakes, eggs, bacon and real maple syrup for only $10.50 We would eat later in the morning so we would only have to worry about one meal.

Trattoria at PBH had a fantastic NYE's spread that was almost entirely gluten-free. Delish for my husband, but I just sat there snapping pictures of myself because of the ealier gluten and wine thing

Mama Dellas had delicious salad and pasta. Keep in mind,order only one dish for every two people. Even as hungry as we were, we couldn't eat it all...huge meatballs and enough pasta to feed a small army. $20 for each meal. We had a coupon from orlandocoupons.com that made our bill only $30.

Pretty reasonable.

We never made it to Tchop Chop (Sp?) but they had sent us their menu and told me that they could pretty much make just about anything gluten-free, you just need to contact them in advance just to make sure that what you want from their menu could be made that way.

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Does anyone have any experience with the counter service eateries? We are going for spring break and the list that guest services sent me showed nothing that my 8 year old will eat. They did tell me that I would be able to bring food in for her such as PBJ, chips, cookies. But I don't know that she can live on that for 5 days.

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Does anyone have any experience with the counter service eateries? We are going for spring break and the list that guest services sent me showed nothing that my 8 year old will eat. They did tell me that I would be able to bring food in for her such as PBJ, chips, cookies. But I don't know that she can live on that for 5 days.

Just remembering that it was probably the calamari that he had at Lombardi's that 1st glutened my son. The chef was supposed to come back out to show me the spices, but he forgot and in our hunger so did we...stupid, stupid, stupid.

In answer to your question, we did better on the days where we had a huge, late breakfast. I thought their counter choices weren't safe enough. However, we were there during the Christmas break when the crowds were huge. We've been there at spring break (pre gluten) and the crowd levels are low so you have more time and less crowds to just get in line for some french fries.

There were a couple of days where we just had some chips and a drink until we got back to the Portofino or Citiwalk.

There is a Whole Foods about 5 minutes from Universal where you could load up on some gluten-free food. If you are staying onsite, ask for a fridge for medical purposes to store your food. There is not supposed to be a charge for medical reasons. It was just a little "college" type fridge, but did the trick for my DH's meds and gluten-free food.

I talked to a AAA agent a few weeks ago, and there is a internet site where you can order the food and have it delivered to your hotel. I'll look for it and if I can find it will post it.

AND by spring break time, Pizza Fusion should be open and it really does have great gluten-free pizza.

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Just found a receipt from Margaritaville which was our favorite gluten-free place.

A gluten-free fish sandwich was $10.25 and the huge Volcano Nacho was $10.75. It was big enough to feed 3 people. They even had gluten-free beer.

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Just remembering that it was probably the calamari that he had at Lombardi's that 1st glutened my son. The chef was supposed to come back out to show me the spices, but he forgot and in our hunger so did we...stupid, stupid, stupid.

In answer to your question, we did better on the days where we had a huge, late breakfast. I thought their counter choices weren't safe enough. However, we were there during the Christmas break when the crowds were huge. We've been there at spring break (pre gluten) and the crowd levels are low so you have more time and less crowds to just get in line for some french fries.

There were a couple of days where we just had some chips and a drink until we got back to the Portofino or Citiwalk.

There is a Whole Foods about 5 minutes from Universal where you could load up on some gluten-free food. If you are staying onsite, ask for a fridge for medical purposes to store your food. There is not supposed to be a charge for medical reasons. It was just a little "college" type fridge, but did the trick for my DH's meds and gluten-free food.

I talked to a AAA agent a few weeks ago, and there is a internet site where you can order the food and have it delivered to your hotel. I'll look for it and if I can find it will post it.

AND by spring break time, Pizza Fusion should be open and it really does have great gluten-free pizza.

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I know this is an old topic but it's worth bringing up again because people do travel to Universal and things change. Living in Orlando we have family passes to Universal and have eaten at the parks a couple times. Pastamore in the Citywalk part of Universal Studios has a small Gluten free menu with Gluten free pasta, however, it made my son sick. We tried a couple of the items that were suppose to be Gluten free inside the park and they also made my son sick. So there are issues with cc there. We learned the hard way, so now if we are going to go to Universal, we have a nice sized breakfast at home before hand then we pack my son a bag with real gluten free snacks in it, like fruit snacks, etc. After a day at the park, we leave Universal and find a place that has gluten free food we trust. (Like P.F. Chang) Another suggestion is get a hotel room with a kitchen in it like a Resident Inn etc.. and cook your own Gluten free food in the morning and at the end of the day so you know what you are eating is safe. Unless you want to trust the food at Universal. I just know we have not had a good experience with it.

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