Review: Vegan Irish Stew at Leaky Cauldron

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Vegan diners have waited a long time for the expansion of vegan dining options at Orlando area theme parks. Over the last five years or so, the vegan options have grown almost exponentially. Possibly the worst places for a vegan diner to visit were the Wizarding World dining options at Universal Orlando. Perhaps wizards have no need for vegan dining. Maybe, the meat in Wizarding World lacked perceived negative that lead people to dine exclusively vegan. As a Muggle, I lack this knowledge.

However, the vegan options at The Three Broomsticks and The Leaky Cauldron qualify as abysmal compared to the rest of menu. Yet, two new vegan menu items appeared on the menu at The Leaky Cauldron (That’s in London! —well, Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida theme park). One of these improved vegan menu items is the Irish Stew. The Irish Stew cost $16.49. The menu item contains vegan beef tip and potato stew. The stew comes served with crusty bread and a cucumber, radish and tomato side salad.

So how is this stew? Most importantly, this stew tastes better than any vegan option at Leaky Cauldron before the addition of this and the vegan shepherd’s pasty pie. The stew itself comes with solid presentation within a plastic iron skillet-looking container. That touch shows at least Universal Orlando is trying for vegans. The stew tastes and looks far creamier than you would expect for a standard vegan item. The stew’s broth portion functions as the catalyst to pull other flavors together.

(Photo Credit: Princess and the Bear)

Yes, the beef tips are vegan but not an overly heavy plant-based taste. For those who dislike the aftertaste of some vegan alternative meat products, this stew presents far less of that issue. The potatoes and carrots round out this stew with texture and actual vegetables in a vegan dish. Universal Orlando sometimes offers vegan items with very few tangible vegetables-looking at you—vegan meatball kebobs. I would add more pepper to this stew. Still, that might just be me.

The rest of this menu item provides balance but not much else. The bread provides a hearty starch to dip in the stew. Though been told by team members that the bread is vegan, many vegan diners doubt that. If you are concerned, the bread is nothing special. The salad comes with a vinaigrette style dressing. The flavor rates as average. Yet, a vegan salad dressing deserves praise for use at a theme park. Still, I would not define this as significant salad but we are talking side salad here after all at a quick service location. At least the salad has spinach also and is not just iceberg lettuce. I enjoy iceberg lettuce myself, but I get that a real salad needs more. However, most guests will get very little radish and cucumber with their salad. Salad is passable but a nice addition to the main star, the stew.

If you are looking for perfect “beef” taste cooked in a stew, then pass on this. However, with realistic standards, this dish exceeds expectations. Overall, a nice vegan menu item. I have concerns about eating stew at a Florida theme park with the hot sun baking guests during their day. Despite that, vegan should rejoice that at least now you can dine with the witches and wizards. As always, eat like you mean it!


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