Minion Cafe and all of Minion Land except for Villain-Con Minion Blast are now in a soft opening period. Minion Cafe will be the highlight for many people visiting the new area in Universal Studios Florida. The menu boasts nearly 20 new items to the park all inspired by the Minions. We will be back soon for an official review, but for the first day, I decided to just select a couple of options. The restaurant was slammed at its 10:30 am opening time and it was the first time the staff was serving park guests, so it isn’t fair to judge the restaurant this early.
The menu is made up of Despica-Bowls, Handhelds, Desserts, and lots more. I struggled with choosing the perfect items to try. The Despica-Bowls all sounded delicious, but I knew other people from our team would want the Crispy Cauliflower and the Noodle Bowl so I stayed away from those. I almost was tempted by the Salmon. For the handhelds, the Roast Beef Sandwich was a little too similar to an item served in Islands of Adventure during the holidays so I skipped it. That helped me make my final decisions.
Uncle Dru’s Belly Fillin’ Pork Sandwich – $14.99
This sandwich includes slow-roasted porchetta, chimichurri sauce, mustard aioli, apple butter, bacon jam, arugula, Hawaiian pretzel bun, and green banana chips. Unfortunately, this was not my cup of tea. On paper, it should’ve been a home run between the pork, mustard, apple butter, and bacon jam. The sandwich was obnoxiously sweet and completely unbalanced. If the mustard aioli seemed to be completely missing and the pork just didn’t have enough seasoning to overpower the sweetness. The pretzel bun was fresh and the perfect vessel, but it didn’t come together. The green banana chips were fine, but you could also upgrade to the Minion tots for $1.
Mr. Gru’s PB & Jelly – $8.99
This kid’s menu item is pressed peanut butter & Gru’s jelly with Minion tots and a mini banana. I wanted to try the Minion tots and a side is $5.49 so I opted for a kid’s meal to try more items. The jelly was strawberry and the presentation of the sandwich was cute with the little Minion pressed perfectly. The balance of peanut butter and jelly was spot on and the pressed bread had a crispiness to it.
The Minion tots weren’t my cup of tea. I was hoping for tater tots, but these are basically deep-fried mashed potatoes. The texture and salted exterior work, but I don’t care for the mushy insides.
The mini banana is perplexing. I bit into the banana and it was both sour and bitter immediately and made my mouth go dry. I haven’t tasted a fruit so disgusting in my life and didn’t know what was happening with it. Surely a piece of fruit on a kid’s menu item couldn’t be that horrendous? Upon more research, I think they might be serving Manzano bananas instead of baby bananas. Baby bananas are a sweeter version of typical bananas. Manzano bananas look exactly like baby bananas, but they are meant to be served overripe. Once the exterior is black they have an apple banana taste. The flavor profile when unripe apparently is similar to crab apples, bitterness, and will dry your mouth out. I’m not sure if there was a mistake in some of the bananas served, but if these are what will normally be there then they need to make sure they are perfect before serving.
Minion Swiss Roll – $7.99
This dessert is vanilla cake with a pineapple cardamom whipped ganache, passion fruit “banana” with a chocolate shell. The description was confusing versus what was served. The swiss roll is yellow with a Minion face – completely adorable. It does have notes of vanilla and banana, but it was very light and subtle to the point that there might not have been any banana even in there and the yellow tricked my brain. The banana served alongside was a white chocolate shell and was bursting with tropical flavors with the creamy ganache inside. It would work as a small treat on its own and pairs well with the cake.
The Antidote – $6.99
This drink is described as oodles of banana flavor with Minion-colored topping and graham cracker crumbles! Tastes like a banana cream pie! When I read that description, I assumed it was a milkshake-style drink. It’s not. It’s soda. Banana-flavored soda with whipped cream and it did taste like banana cream pie when mixed all together. I could see myself getting it again now that I know it’s soda, but I was caught off guard when it arrived and didn’t meet my expectations. The cup it’s served in is cute and you can take it home.
Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with my first experience here. I thought the PB & Jelly and Minion Swiss Roll were hits, but the sandwich and Minion tots were big misses. I am still torn on The Antidote and apparently, the other specialty drink was tastier. The food didn’t take too long to arrive, but the more you ordered the longer it was taking. I felt like the kitchen and staff had complete control over the food, but the quality of the menu might not be there.
Outside of the food, the restaurant is themed so well. The three different rooms include the kitchen, breakroom, and dining room. Each room is unique and filled with details. You could walk around the restaurant for an hour taking it all in and still miss out on pieces. My favorite was abstract art which was subtly explained below with a diagram about how it was created. The foosball table made of Minions and Gru was awesome and the vending machine is full of easter eggs.
Villain-Con Minion Blast will be joining Minion Cafe and the rest of Minion Land later this summer!