As I have mentioned in other articles, guests are asking for and expecting better vegetarian/vegan food options at theme parks. The Orlando area theme parks have responded to those requests in creating a wide variety of plant-based options.
Universal Orlando has created some excellent non-traditional plant-based menu items at their full-service dining locations. One example of this is the Beyond Burger Vegan Shepherd’s Pie at Finnegan’s Bar and Grille. This Irish themed restaurant is in the New York area of Universal Studios Florida theme park.
I have eaten the non-plant-based shepherd’s pie at Finnegan’s before. For record, I think I prefer the vegan version. Based on knowing that many guests are looking for better plant-based options, I ordered the vegan shepherd’s pie during a recent visit to Universal Orlando. I, of course, made sure they brought out the soda bread with apple butter. This is not my favorite bread on property, but it is nice touch with this restaurant.
The Beyond Burger Vegan Shepherd’s Pie costs $17.95. The menu description reads:
“Green peas, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms baked in casserole topped with vegan red bliss mashed potatoes.” This entrée like the ground beef-based version is served with root vegetables. Before talking about the pie, itself, the root vegetables were the worst part of this dish. Now, it could have been my day. In fairness, I have heard other 100% (I do not eat exclusively vegan) vegan diners claim the root vegetables were the best part.
For me, on this day, the shepherd’s pie was incredible. This is a well layered shepherd’s pie. If you select this dish, be careful of the first bite. The layers hold in the heat (most of the time) so you could be in for a burning surprise on first bite. This dish was filled with plant-based meat. I would guess it was 50% of the dish.
Apparently, I enjoy the Beyond style “meat” at least in this format. I have never been a big fan of eating that style burger. However, I enjoyed the excellent taste combinations. Some of my exclusive vegan friends do not enjoy the flavor of Beyond products so they would not rate this dish as highly as myself. The Beyond product and the flavoring given to it is the dominant force in this flavorful dish. I saw that as a good thing. If you are dining vegan, this dish should get strong consideration when you visit Universal Orlando.
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