Secret menu items possess this strange appeal. We desire to know something other people do not know. Universal Orlando likes to play into this human tendency. They also periodically offer special perks for their annual passholders. Until May 26th, Universal Orlando granted some seasonal benefits to passholders. The one most appealing to me involves annual passholder exclusive “secret” menu items. These items do not appear on online menus. Guests will need to have a valid annual pass to purchase these items.
At Lombard’s Seafood Grill, located in Universal Studios Florida, the passholder exclusive menu item sounds like it should be at other another full-service dining option. Lombard’s presents an appetizer called Chinatown Fries. The menu description tells us to expect furikake seasoned crispy fries topped with sriracha garlic aioli and scallions. Furikake is a Japanese style spice usually made up of toasted sesame seeds, nori, salt, and sugar. This appetizer costs $12.
So, what do people think of this exclusive item?
Well, opinions vary greatly. However, none of the four sources I consulted thought these fries tasted bad. Only one of the four thought they were worth the money though. How many people will pay $12 for loaded fries at a seafood place? For full disclosure, I rank Lombard’s as weakest in terms of value for full-service dining inside the Universal Orlando theme parks. I have reviewed several items here with average results at best.
Having said that, the quality of these loaded fries makes a worthwhile appetizer. The portion size could be sharable. The fries taste reasonable. The topping provides flavor without being too outside the theme park dining bubble. If you are a passholder wanting something new to enjoy in the parks, this appetizer deserves consideration.
However, the quality and value fail to measure up for a $12 appetizer. I do not see a good value here. I applaud, as always, Universal chefs for their creativity. Since I know that this time of year provides a break in terms of big events at Universal Orlando, we should be glad to get anything new. Still, if choosing a new passholder exclusive option, I would go to Finnegan’s, Toothsome, or Vivo first. If desiring to try these exclusive menu items, then plan to visit by May 26th. Officially all exclusive secret menu items during this promotion will disappear then.
As always, eat like you mean it!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.