REVIEW: We Ate EVERYTHING on the Menu at the New Minion Café in Universal Studios Florida

Katie Francis

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REVIEW: We Ate EVERYTHING on the Menu at the New Minion Café in Universal Studios Florida

Minion Café soft opened today, as Minion Land slowly takes over Production Central at Universal Studios Florida.

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Minion Café replaces the former Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Café. Other closures to accommodate Minion Land include Shrek 4-D, and the Shrek & Donkey meet and greet. The latter was temporarily moved to Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone until that land closed permanently as well.

Minion Café

Exterior

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Minion Café is located at the end of Illumination Avenue, across the street from New York’s Battery Park and nearby Transformers: The Ride 3-D.

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There’s an exit to the right of the main entrance.

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To the right of the entrance doors is a photo op featuring an unfortunate Minion. It seems whoever was painting the exterior painted right over him. Guests can pose as if they’re holding the paint roller.

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Covered patio seating is available to the left of the main entrance. There is also some uncovered outdoor seating which you can see in the upper left of the photo.

Interior

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There are three dining rooms inside. Guests enter into the Kitchen, where the Minions are hard at work. This room was formerly the queue and buffeteria lines of the Monsters’ Cafe.

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Guests can also dine in the Breakroom, which features safety posters, Minions’ lockers, and more.

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It also has a functional Minion foosball table.

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The third area is the Dining Room, decorated with art handmade by the Minions.

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See all the details of the interior decor in our full tour of Minion Café.

Minion Café Menu

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Watch our full video review below and keep scrolling for photos and details.

Despica-Bowls

Kevin’s Chopa Chopa Salad – $15.99

purple cabbage and arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, edamame, crispy pork belly, pulled rotisserie chicken, green plantain chips, and a mustard ale vinaigrette

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Kevin’s Chopa Chopa Salad is a great lighter option on the menu. The mustard ale vinaigrette was very tasty but might not be liked by everyone. Fortunately, you can substitute Italian or ranch dressing if you’d like. The cubes of crispy pork belly are a tasty topping for the salad, as well as several other items as you’ll see below. In addition to the nice variety of vegetables, there are chunks of fresh rotisserie chicken hidden under the arugula, which is a fantastic upgrade from the often-overcooked “grilled” chicken found on many theme park salads. Along with a couple green plantain chips which we loved, this is a great option for those wanting something a bit more healthy. The portion size is quite large, so not only is this is a filling entrée but it’s also a good value.

El Macho’s Salsa y Salsa Ropa Vieja – $17.99

braised beef with tomato cucumber salad, cilantro rice, salsa roja, and El Macho tostones

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We appreciate the effort to theme the tostones, although the embossed “M” reminds us of Charlie Brown’s shirt. Unfortunately the tostones looked better than they tasted. The plentiful portion of beef in this entree was well cooked and very flavorful, with the salsa roja adding a bit of a kick. The tomato cucumber salad was refreshing and cool, while the cilantro rice was flavorful enough that if you don’t like cilantro, you probably won’t like it. While this was one of the more expensive entrees, the copious amount of beef gave it commensurate value.

Carl’s Crispy Cauliflower – $15.99

crispy cauliflower florets with sweet & spicy chili sauce, coconut blue rice, Thai cucumbers, and edamame

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A great plant-based option, Carl’s Crispy Cauliflower was, as its name implies, nicely crispy, with no hint of oiliness or sogginess. The dipping sauce is exactly what you’d expect for a sweet chili sauce, and nicely complemented the cauliflower. The coconut rice lacked any sort of flavor, though, but the edamame and cucumbers were a cool and flavorful accompaniment. Although we liked this, we would have expected a larger portion size of cauliflower for the price.

Lucy’s Top Secret Salmon – $19.99

wood-grilled Atlantic salmon, coconut blue rice, Thai cucumbers, edamame, lipstick taser sauce

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Although there was no wood-grilled flavor, Lucy’s Top Secret Salmon was well cooked and not dry at all. The same rice, cucumbers, and edamame from the cauliflower above also appears in the salmon dish. While there was a bit of glaze on the salmon, the dish included a pipette full of “lipstick taser sauce,” better known as the same sweet chili sauce from the cauliflower entrée. If there’s one thing those Minion chefs know how to do, it’s repurpose the same ingredients in multiple dishes. Overall we gave this a thumbs up, with the only complaint other than the flavorless rice is that the portion size of the salmon was a bit small for a twenty dollar entree.

Otto’s Noodle Bowl – $17.99

slow roasted porchetta, udon noodles, tare egg, cilantro, roast corn, shrimp dumpling, tonkotsu broth

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This may be the most disgusting theme park food we’ve ever eaten. While it gets high marks for presentation, the only edible thing in the bowl was the corn. By far, the worst part of this dish was the shrimp dumpling. It’s hard to say what it tasted like, but it wasn’t shrimp, and it wasn’t good. Even if you think you could eat most of what’s in this entree, we’ll warn you to pass on the dumpling.

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The porchetta was somewhat edible, but the problem is that the broth is just plain bad, and it imparts an off flavor to the pork, noodles, and egg. The egg was well cooked, and probably would have tasted fine had it not soaked in the broth. If you want a noodle bowl, there’s a decent noodle restaurant just up the street; please don’t get this one. That shrimp dumpling is gonna give us PTSD for a while.

Chicken Stuart’s Szechuan Surprise – $15.49

Szechuan glazed rotisserie chicken, stir-fried vegetable lo mein

This dish could be a winner if the vegetable lo mein had some flavor. The glaze on the chicken was quite tasty, and the fact that you get a half chicken (leg, thigh, breast, and wing) makes this a great value for the price, but we were disappointed in the rather flavorless lo mein. Even a few shots of soy sauce would have made this better, but alas, there are no condiments to be found anywhere in the cafe. (You can get ketchup if you ask.)

Agnes’s Honeymoon Soup – $14.99

green tomato soup, crispy pork belly, tomato gummy bear, and basil oil served with a pimento cheddar grilled cheese sandwich

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This offering gets the top prize in the “dish we thought was going to be terrible but actually was pretty good” category. The pimento cheddar grilled cheese was an absolute favorite, with the waffled presentation a nice bonus on top of a great sandwich. If this sandwich was offered a la carte, it would be a great grab-and-go snack. But the reason we thought it was going to be bad was definitely the green tomato soup. Even those of us that dislike tomato soup thought this was pretty good. The gummy bears are just a gimmick, and the cubes of pork belly were a nice addition, but even without these, the soup had a fresh tomato flavor that was quite yummy. Don’t let the green color put you off.

Handhelds

Uncle Dru’s Belly Fillin’ Pork Sandwich – $14.99

slow roasted porchetta, chimichurri sauce, mustard aioli, apple butter, bacon jam, arugula, Hawaiian pretzel bun, green plantain chips

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This is probably the best dish on the menu; we loved the mélange of flavors in this sandwich. There’s so much going on, your mouth may not know how to react, but after several bites, we all agreed the multiple sauces and the Hawaiian pretzel bun come together with the porchetta to give a very unique sandwich that was a universal favorite. This was the same porchetta as in the noodle bowl (I told you the minions know how to reuse ingredients!) but it works much better in a sandwich than in that terrible bowl. It’s worth mentioning again just how good the green plantain chips are. Crispy and salty, these are not the sweet plantains but the savory ones, which pair well with this sandwich due to the sweet sauces therein. They are fresh, perfectly thin and not chewy, and have just the right amount of salt. Definitely a winner! You can substitute the Minion tots for the plantain chips for a small upcharge, but we’d urge you not to unless you really hate plantains (or really love fried mashed potatoes).

Steak & “Cheese Ray” Sandwich – $15.99

French onion dipped roast beef, caramelized onions, secret sauce, cheesy blast pimento cheese on a cheddar & onion roll

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We honestly expected better from this sandwich. In a town where Beefy King is just a short jog up I-4, this offering simply can’t compete. It’s fine, and a step up from Arby’s, but Uncle Dru’s Pork Sandwich is the clear winner in the Minion Café sandwich battle. We didn’t get any hint of onion flavor, either from the “dipping” in what we assume to be some sort of french onion broth, nor from the caramelized onions that were either completely missing or so miniscule we couldn’t see them. It was also difficult to tell the difference between the “secret sauce” and the “cheesy blast pimento cheese” – and I’m not sure which was in the pipette that accompanied the sandwich and was squirted on top of the bun tableside, which makes for a nice presentation but a sloppy mess for a “handheld” when you actually try to eat it.

Off the Flames

Mel’s Meatball Mountain – $14.99

wood oven baked stuffed pizza with meatballs, basil, fresh mozzarella, and marinara

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This splatter platter gets second place in the “dish we thought was going to be terrible but actually was pretty good” category. It’s easy to get bad theme park Italian food anywhere in Orlando, so we didn’t have much hope when it came to this “stuffed pizza.” A cheesy, saucy mess that requires the actual metal silverware provided, this “Italian” dish was surprisingly well-liked by all of us. With an excellent flavorful sauce, meatballs both inside and outside, and a well-cooked crust, it’s a large portion and a great value. It may not be the best item on the menu, but it’s a good choice for those wanting to play it safe with their lunch. This plus the salad would make a good combination to share between two people.

Sides

  • Minion Tots – $5.49
  • Coconut Blue Rice – $2.99
  • Plantain Chips – $3.99
  • Mini Banana – $1.99

Mini Minions

Mini Boss’ Mega Melt – $8.99

pimento cheddar grilled cheese with Minion tots and a mini banana

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The fantastic pimento cheddar grilled cheese from Agnes’s dish above, with Minion tots and a miniature banana. These Minion “tots” aren’t actually tater tots at all, but instead are formed and fried mashed potatoes, similar to the “smile fries” at your local grocer. This was a turn-off for some of us who were looking forward to actual tater tots, but most of us thought they were actually rather good. The white crystals are salt, which they absolutely need, and we’ll warn you now that it’s best to eat these piping hot as they go downhill fast as they cool. A fun, eye-catching side dish for the kids (which can also be substituted for the banana chips on the adult sandwich entrees for a small upcharge), they are a welcome respite from the ubiquitous theme park french fries. And, no ketchup needed! (Although it is available upon request, we didn’t think it necessary.)

Mr. Gru’s PB & Jelly – $8.99

pressed peanut butter & Gru’s jelly with Minion tots and a mini banana

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We debated whether this was an actual Uncrustable or just a homemade version that was then put into a Minion-shaped press. Either way, it is a good option for kids who won’t eat anything else. It’s not the best value (in fact, it’s probably the worst value) on the kids’ menu, but the inventive presentation somewhat makes up for it). However, we’d recommend you tread carefully when trying the mini banana. Even those of us who are banana lovers deemed this one of the worst we’ve eaten. It was both sour and astringent, with very little banana flavor or sweetness. Maybe they’re just not in season, but these were inedible for adults, let alone kids.

Freedonia Festival of Mac & Cheese – $8.99

mini shells tossed in a creamy white cheddar cheese sauce with Minion tots and a mini banana

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This gets the award for the most disappointing kids’ meal. While the mac and cheese is a nice portion size, it was so bland that even the cheese lovers among us didn’t want a second bite. With similar cheesy pasta offerings on almost every kids’ menu in Orlando, steer your kids away from this if you can, as it’s one of the worst. Even the blue box stuff has more flavor.

Shrunken Moonballs With Flying Sauce – $8.99

mini meatballs in marinara over spaghetti with Minion tots and a mini banana

This may be the best value kids’ meal, as the plentiful meatballs plus the “tots” on the side provide a filling meal. The sauce here tasted different than the sauce on the meatball mountain, which may be a good thing for kids that just want it simple. Although the pasta was woefully undercooked, we’d venture to guess that most kids are accustomed to improperly cooked spaghetti in restaurant kids’ meals, so they’d probably eat it anyway if spaghetti and meatballs is one of their go-to choices.

Desserts

Fluffy Unicorn Cupcake – $5.99

confetti cupcake, vanilla & bubble gum icing, topped with a chocolate unicorn horn

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Literally a cake in a cup, this cute dessert has all the flavor we would expect. Creamy vanilla icing on top and bubble gum flavored icing on the bottom bookend the confetti cake in the middle. A white chocolate horn rounds out the presentation. Although the cake was a little dry, we chalked that up to the variability of the baking process. Overall we enjoyed this rather simple offering, although as you will see, there were several better choices.

Minion Swiss Roll – $7.99

vanilla cake with pineapple cardamom whipped ganache, passion fruit “banana” with a chocolate shell

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The banana-themed, banana-colored, but somehow not banana-flavored dessert gave us pause. Surely there would be at least one dessert that was banana-flavored, if not one that contained actual real bananas. This, sadly, was not to be. The vanilla cake with pineapple ganache was tasty, but it had only a faint pineapple flavor and we didn’t get any hint of cardamom at all. However, the real star of the show (other than the cuteness factor) was the passionfruit “banana,” a yellow-colored white chocolate shell filled with an intensely tangy passionfruit filling that was somewhere between a mousse and a pudding. If you like passionfruit, you’ll love this part of the dessert. Some of us did not, however, and were happy to eat just the cake.

Bob’s Teddy Bear Chocolate Cream Puff – $6.99

filled with a chocolate whipped ganache

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It’s not really accurate to call this a cream puff, as the outer shell is not a pastry but more akin to a very soft, almost bread-like cookie. The face looks just weird enough that you don’t mind hacking it to pieces with a knife. Inside you’ll be treated to a creamy ganache, though we thought there could be a bit more stuffed in there. After all, it’s a stuffed bear! This will satisfy the chocolate lover in your party, but it’s not our favorite (not even our second favorite).

Otto’s Pet Rock – $8.99

peanut butter mousse, strawberry jelly, crushed peanuts, banana cake dipped in a chocolate shell

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This was the clear winner of the dessert showdown. An amazing presentation that looks just like a rock, albeit a rock with eyeballs, in a sprinkle of dirt. The peanut butter mousse was stellar, not too sweet to be overpowering, while the strawberry jelly was just the perfect complement (though the odd squareness of the strawberry filling made us suspect that this was just popped out of the little rectangular foil-sealed plastic pack of jam from the local diner). The crunch of the peanuts was a welcome addition if you happened to get one in your bite, but not really necessary to enjoy the dessert. Same with the banana cake; it wasn’t necessary for the flavor but maybe for the structure. By far, this is our favorite dessert, even if it’s a bit pricey at $8.99.

Specialty Beverages

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The Antidote – $5.99

Oodles of banana flavor with Minion-colored topping and graham cracker crumbles

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Basically banana-flavored soda with colored whipped cream and graham cracker crumbs, it’s advertised as tasting just like a banana cream pie, but that’s really a stretch due to the somewhat flavorless whipped topping (probably not actually whipped cream). If you like artificial banana flavor, you’ll love this.

PX-41 Punch – $5.99

Lemonade with bright flavors of strawberry and kiwi, with Evil Minion-colored topping and Blue Raspberry Pop Rocks

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Purple-colored, strawberry-kiwi-flavored lemonade is topped with the same flavorless whipped topping as above but colored purple this time. To our palate, this was the weaker of the two specialty beverages, but not by a lot. If you hate fake banana-flavored things, you’ll like this better than the Antidote.

Beverages

  • Coca-Cola Freestyle Refillable Mug – $17.99
  • H20+ Premium – $5.50
  • Perrier® – $5.50
  • Minute Maid Orange Juice – $3.29
  • Minute Maid Apple Juice – $3.29
  • Powerade Fruit Punch – $5.50
  • Powerade Mountain Berry Blast – $5.50
  • 2% Milk – $3.69
  • Chocolate Milk – $3.69
  • Single Serve Coca-Cola Freestyle® cup – $4.49

Beer & Wine

  • Modelo Especial 10.50
  • Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing – 9.50
  • High Noon Peach Hard Seltzer – $11.25
  • Spellbound Cabernet Sauvignon – $9.00
  • Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay – $9.00

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Author

  • Katie Francis

    Katie is a lover of all theme parks and an avid reader. Her favorite rides are Spaceship Earth and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. You can find her daydreaming of the Florida sun, and you can reach her at katie@wdwnt.com.