The Three Broomsticks – A Restaurant Review
For those who don’t remember the acclaimed movie, “My Dinner with Andre,” the drama centered on the dialog between two restaurant guests. I have to say my meal with Harry was quite the opposite. Harry wore an invisibility cloak and stayed under the cone of silence. I felt his magical presence but our conversation lacked a certain spark. Some might have thought I ate alone. But remember, my dinner with Harry… Potter took place in The Three Broomsticks Restaurant at Hogsmeade, the snow-capped Victorian village within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The place is the sensational new draw at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.
When I entered the tavern, I found a short waiting line. I ordered roast chicken and ribs and the special house brew- Hogs Head beer. Other menu choices highlight English fare, such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie or Cornish pastries. My quick survey revealed numerous orders of fish and chips coming out of the kitchen, but no shepherd’s pie.
Kid’s meals conjure typical entrees like macaroni and cheese or chicken fingers, but add healthy snacks such as grapes and applesauce. Desserts cast their spell from chocolate trifle to apple pie or strawberry and peanut butter ice cream.
Orders arrive on trays which unfortunately do not fly, so must be carried to the dining area. A friendly costumed employee meets and escorts muggles to an empty table. This service proves extremely helpful during busy hours.
The ingredients, quality of preparation, presentation and taste were far better than anticipated. My chicken was juicy and moist, not over or under-cooked; the ribs perfectly simmered and grilled and accompanied by buttery roasted potatoes and fresh corn on the cob. The corn husks had been turned back but were still intact giving an attractive look to the plate. The beer packed the punch of a Sam Adams, which I like, so pleased my palate.
My total bill came to a reasonable $19.99 for the food and drink. Three Broomsticks posts a family size savings option, the “Great Feast Platter,” which feeds at least four adults.
The ambiance of Old World decor is constructed from weathered wooden beams and exposed rafters that soar to a high pitched ceiling. Wooden walkways and a spiral staircase seem to levitate overhead. Large stone fireplaces and wall mounted antlers give the impression of a hunt club. Overall the tavern feels hundreds of years old and fits the Potter books.
Hog’s Head pub sits to the side of the restaurant with an additional entrance from the main thoroughfare. Don’t worry if you look over the bar and notice a large stuffed boar’s head periodically snarl. The surprise is part of the fun. Patrons can try the non-alcoholic Butterbeer– a frozen drink I quaffed to cool down from the overwhelming heat. Tasted like a cream soda, sweet from caramel or butterscotch, with a frothy head like Guinness. I didn’t try pumpkin juice, another drink concoction drawn from J.K. Rowling’s famous books.
The spell of Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head Pub retain the touch of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Muggles may not find their dining experience supernatural, but the chefs are working their best to prestidigitate thousands of meal per day.
This post joins other food blogs at WanderFood Wednesday.