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Photos: We Tried The Food And Butterbeer At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
We Muggles were delighted to accept an invitation to a tasting at The Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head pub within Universal Studios Hollywood's not-quiet-yet-open Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And yes, we did have a Butterbeer.
While The Wizard World of Harry Potter does not officially open at Universal Studios Hollywood until April 7, the food at The Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head pub has been fully developed. We were invited to come taste Hogsmeade's finest offerings, with the caveat that we shouldn't spoil the surprise by shooting any photos of the attraction outside of the tavern. However, after wandering around the rain-soaked park last night, we're happy to report that the attraction looks spectacular. But, onto the food.
The Three Broomsticks will please Potter fans, as it looks very much as depicted in the movie, with antlers are hung from the walls. There's the idea that there might be an upstairs, however, a sign warns you not to proceed unless you're a guest at the Inn. The Inn doesn't actually exist, but it's still a rather large space, with room for 442 guests.
We began our visit with a Butterbeer, which was handed to us by a friendly elf. You might be surprised to know that the Butterbeer, however, is non-alcoholic. It comes in three varieties: hot, cold and frozen. The Butterbeer is extremely sweet, like a thick butterscotch cream soda, so you might want to share. We preferred the frozen to the cold. You can also request a sweet and bubbly pumpkin soda. When you get a bottle of water, it comes as Gillywater, of course.
Despite the lack of intoxicating substances in the Butterbeer, Hog's Head is actually a bar, where those wizards 21 and up can get a brew in a branded mug or a signature cocktail. Don't be surprised when the boar's head, hung behind the bar, roars.
For beer, they have a few Muggle pours, but also three signature beers: The Hog's Head Scottish Ale, the Dragon's Scale Pale Ale, and the Wizard's Brew Stout. (These are actually from Florida Brewing Co., but shhhh.) The stout is the best of the three. You can also get a signature cocktail, like the Applejack, which is a shot of whiskey dropped into apple cider. That was also a pretty sugary concoction.
Food-wise, expect a lot of U.K. staples: fish and chips, bangers and mash, an English ale and cheese soup with soda bread.
While theme parks are generally sought out for attractions and not so much the culinary offerings, I have to say that the food—by way of Chef Eric Kopelow—at The Three Broomsticks is a level above other food we've tried at theme parks, including Krusty Burgers and fried chicken sandwiches found over at Universal's Springfield.
The fish and chips were meaty with a house-made tartar sauce, and the sliced prime rib—called the Beef Sunday Roast—was tender. Vegetarians can order a platter of veggies that includes seared asparagus, mashed potatoes, minted green peas, sautéed cabbage, caramelized onion and a roasted tomato.
We'd also suggest not forgetting about the soup. The English ale and cheese soup is thick and delicious, while the potato leek option is a great lighter option if you plan on riding roller coaters later.
The desserts, much like the drinks, are very sweet and probably best when shared. The most popular offering is the intensely butterscotch and very sweet Butterbeer potted cream, though my favorite item was the sticky toffee pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. LAist photographer Annie Lesser preferred the chocolate trifle, which consisted of fresh berries in a chocolate cream, topped with a layer of chocolate.
While we didn't sample any of the breakfast offerings, they do serve the most important meal of the day, too.
When it comes to money, expect most entrees to be $15 and under, sides $6 and under, and desserts between $4-8. A frozen Butterbeer will set you back $6. If you feeling like splurging, the prime rib comes in at $21, or you can get a Great Feast of spare ribs, chicken, potatoes, corn and salad that will feed four for $54.