Mardi Gras season at Universal Orlando continues to let the good times roll. Unlike seasonal food festivals at other area theme park resorts, Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras offerings spread into the table service restaurants in CityWalk and the on-site hotels. For example, Hard Rock Cafe in CityWalk sells a “Gator Burger” for this year’s Mardi Gras season.
The HRC Gator Burger costs $19.99. The menu description reads, “A six ounce Gator Patty made with fresh jalapeno, cheddar and jack cheese, breaded with seasoned flour, deep fried, and topped with tartar sauce. Served with fries.” At the risk of spoiling this review, this burger made a recent “Top Three Things” article.
If you desire this Mardi Gras item, you may need to ask for it by name since it still needs to be listed on the official menu. I had to ask for it and ordered it without a problem on the second day of Mardi Gras. The wait for this item took longer than expected at 27 minutes. However, I sat at the bar as a lonely food blogger. I suspect your wait will not be as long.
The most significant negative of this burger involves a common issue at Hard Rock Café and many other places that serve burgers. The bun used could not support the contents of the burger. These themed table service places create excellent burger patties and fantastic toppings to match, but the bun often fails to hold up. This leads to a higher-than-normal mess factor.
Still, this burger made a “Top Three Things” list. This gator patty resembled a crab cake in appearance. The overall flavor of this gator patty brought a unique flavor that held up nicely as a burger. The simple breading of the gator meat provides enough support to hold it together. Though the tartar sauce portion on this looks excessive, it matches the gator patty very well. Also, the portion size of the patty exceeded the size of many standard table-service burger patties.
The other components of this burger served as supporting actors and actresses in this play. The cheese and jalapenos added some flavor but did not overwhelm the burger. The lettuce and tomato added the needed texture to go with the soft gator burger patty.
Though some guests will need help with texture issues with this burger, the flavors work nicely. Sure, the idea of a crab cake-like patty on a bun may be averse to some people. Yet, this non-traditional concept makes a lovely seasonal option with solid flavor.
Hard Rock Café offers Universal Orlando annual pass discounts, AAA, and military discounts to help with your budget. As always, eat like you mean it!
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