Universal Orlando excites and frustrates their fans with replacing of old aspects of Universal Studios Florida. For example, the 10 years anniversary of the Jaws attraction being closed forever happened recently. Yes, this beloved attraction disappeared to make room for Diagon Alley. In a few days from time of writing, the Shrek 4D attraction will be closed forever.
When doing research about Universal Studios Florida, I continue to be surprised by facets being recreated. For example, Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe opened well after original park opening. In contrast, Finnegan’s Bar and Grill opened in 1990 with the park. This Irish themed bar and grill serves as one of the two full-service dining options in that park. The bar staff features many veterans team members. During special event, veteran guests fill this place. Also, this place serves as an excellent place to get alcoholic beverages. As you might expect, Finnegan’s serves a solid chicken sandwich and one of the better burgers in the parks.
If you are venturing around Universal Studios Florida enjoying the themed alcoholic beverage options, you eventually will need a snack. Finnegan’s offer many excellent appetizers to enjoy with your beverages. The Guinness Warm 3 Cheese Dip appetizer meets this need for food to go with your beverages.
The menu description for these reads “served with fresh baked soft pretzel, tangy mustard sauce.” This appetizer costs $9.95.
Personally, I have tried this appetizer twice. Both times were during lunch. The lunch factor works as an important detail. The pretzels were worthy of sit-down dining in terms of texture and quality.
My main complaint about them involves only getting two. As I very recently learned from the Main Street Magic podcast, you can purchase additional pretzels for $2 each. Depending on size of your group, this additional charge rates reasonable. Nevertheless, I think you should get three pretzels anyway for this price point.
The best or worst part of this appetizer lies with the dip. If you like beer cheese, then this dip should appeal to you. Yet, the menu description correctly reads tangy mustard sauce. The dip combines cheese, mustard, and Guinness beer. When I have been with friends sharing appetizers at Finnegan’s at lunch, this dip created a wonderful taste combination with the pretzels. This dip even shined with the complimentary soda bread then.
If you dislike the taste of that style beer, I suggest picking the onion webb appetizer instead. In addition, the other factor with this dip relates to when people order it. Though I lack enough data/guests reports to confirm this theory yet, I see far more negative guest reports about this appetizers and other menu items here in the evening hours. These negative reports increase on busy weekend nights.
When I asked Jeremy Stein of Main Street Magic Podcast to clarify a quote, he replied that we thought the dip tasted like stale beer. He also voiced concerns about it being way too thick. This perspective developed from a meal after 7pm on a busy holiday weekend.
So, should you order this?
Maybe? I confidently endorse getting it during lunch time especially if you enjoy beer style cheese. Yet, I regret not being able to endorse this appetizer during evening hours. Also, for clarification, I do not consume alcoholic beverages but found the two times I have tasted the pretzel with the dip to be worth it. As always, your mileage may vary.
Finnegan’s ranks as my second favorite full service (table service) restaurant within the theme park at Universal Orlando. For record, only four full-service places exist within the parks so maybe not a high endorsement. Also, please bear in mind that CityWalk offers some great value in terms of full-service dining right outside the theme parks. Finnegan’s provides great causal bar fun, but you might want to make a reservation for lunch if going in near future. Remember, 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.