Summer Bites menu gives Universal Orlando guests a taste of the Caribbean

Beef Empanadas, Universal Summer Bites menu, photo by Cristine Struble
Beef Empanadas, Universal Summer Bites menu, photo by Cristine Struble /

While the Mardi Gras Carnaval of Flavors might be a memory, the Summer Bites menu at Universal Orlando has everyone enjoying those tropical flavors. Although the new Costa Rican inspired dishes might be tempting people in the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure, these special limited time offerings in Universal Studios have many people going back for seconds.

Recently, Universal Orlando and its chefs have been offering new and innovative limited time menus throughout Universal Studios. Since the seasonal offerings have been a huge hit, the summer time is the perfect opportunity to bring some flavors of the Caribbean to help everyone cool off on those hot Florida days.

Located around Universal Studios, the various kiosks feature both food and beverages. Borrowing from some favorite offerings during the Mardi Gras event, these dishes are a great value in addition to offering something different than a simple burger or slice of pizza.

While the Summer Bites menu is diverse, a few food choices stood out as must tries. For example, the beef empanadas are a hearty bite. The dough has the right texture to contrast the well-seasoned beef. Although you will want to eat these empanadas by picking them up, a fork is necessarily for the side salad.

Served with seasoned cucumbers and tomatoes, the side salad offers a bright, sweet bite to contrast the hearty empanadas. If you choose to eat the dish with a fork, combining the two items makes for a tasty bite.

Other menu highlights include the always tasty arepas, Cuban sandwich and Coxinha. These items were featured during the Mardi Gras event earlier this year.

In addition, one food truck offers a selection of grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese. If you want a taste of nostalgia, get a classic grilled cheese with tomato soup. Even on a hot day, that combination satisfies.

The biggest bite on the Summer Bites menu is the Tripleta. Before ordering this sandwich, it is best to be really hungry. From the combination of meats to the fries on top, it is one of the biggest sandwiches around. For the adults, an iced cold beer is a great pairing choice.

Speaking of beverages, the beer selection on the Summer Bites menu includes the Dogfish Head Seaquench Ale Session Sour. This sour ale has a briny quality that brings a taste of the seaside. Although this beer is often best enjoyed with a seafood dish, the sour, salty notes can be quite refreshing on a hot day.

The other specialty beverages include a mangonada and various agua frescas. If you have never had a mangonada, the flavor is delightful on a hot Florida afternoon. The slight heat from the Tajin offers a cooling effect. Plus, the touch of tamarind is that little flavor that rounds out all the sweetness.

With any of the specialty beverages, be cautious of those liquor floaters. Remember to hydrate or that 2-to-1 ratio of water to alcoholic beverages. No one wants a day of fun cut short.

The Summer Bites menu is available now at Universal Orlando. It is featured inside Universal Studios. Menu prices and opening hours vary.

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What is your favorite Universal Orlando food? Do you always have the same food or do you try a new bite every visit?