The good times are rolling again, at Universal Orlando. While this year’s celebration might be louder, wilder and spicier, those descriptors especially apply to the Universal Orlando Mardi Gras vegetarian dishes. After that first bite no one will be fighting mom when she says eat your vegetables.
Over the past several years, theme parks have made a conscious effort to increase the variety of vegetable forward, plant-based and vegan food offerings. Long gone are the few and far between options that seemed to lack flavor and texture. Now, many of the vegetable forward dishes have even the biggest carnivore skipping the meat in favor of more vegetables.
With the Universal Orlando Mardi Gras vegetarian dishes, the Universal culinary team appreciates that satisfying vegetable forward dishes are a blend of colors, flavors and textures. More importantly, these dishes do not rely on plant-based food options.
During a recent conversation with Universal’s Chef Jason Glus, he mentioned that the bounty of flavorful, colorful vegetables excites him and leads to numerous possibilities. For him, it was an opportunity to showcase how vegetables themselves can make creative dishes.
Looking at the vegetable forward dishes, they showcase the garden’s bounty. For example, the Vegetable Vindaloo uses romanesco cauliflower florets, which is not common in a theme park dish. The combination of the vibrant vegetables, the flavors of the hot and sour broth and the rice is a hearty dish. This concept is one that many home cooks should borrow.
With the Sweet Corn Johnny Cake, Universal shows the versatility of jackfruit. A staple in many of the Universal Orlando vegetarian forward dishes, the jackfruit flavors in this dish pop. Contrasted with the crema, it is completely satisfying in a small bite.
From the vegetarian samosas to the savory sopaipilla to even the papas bravas, there is no shortage of vegetable forward dishes. While the vegetables are the star, the condiments complement the flavors. Whether it is a green chutney or a pebre salsa, each offering is a well-balanced bite.
And, do not miss the Vegan Golden Chai Chocolate Blondie. Before anyone scoffs at a vegan dessert, one bite will definitely change their mind. In addition to having a sublime texture, the slight spice from the chai paired with the blond chocolate is a pairing that should be explored more often. Skip an order of beignets for this dessert.
The Universal Orlando Mardi Gras vegetarian dishes join other tasty offerings at various kiosks across Universal Studios. Prices for menu items vary and check with the theme park for operating hours.
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2022 runs now through April 24. The event, including nightly parades and concerts is included with theme park admission.