Bowser's Fireball Challenge

REVIEW: Bowser’s Fireball Challenge at Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood

Shannen Ace

While most of the dishes on the Toadstool Cafe menu are inspired by the heroes of Super Nintendo World, there is also a meal named after the land’s villain — Bowser’s Fireball Challenge. We decided we were up for the challenge and tried the meatball and mushroom meal during our most recent visit to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Bowser’s Fireball Challenge – $24.99

1 lb. meatball topped with mozzarella cheese served with mushroom marinara sauce, Bowser puff pastry, parsley, and hot sauce on the side

A reporter's hand holding a gray plate containing Bowser's Fireball Challenge

Bowser’s Fireball Challenge might have you breathing fireballs yourself. This dish is hot! When you order it, the Team Member will also warn you that this meal is spicy. That’s the challenge — to handle the heat! The meatball is already spicy, but you can make the heat more intense by adding some of the sauce served on the side.

A close-up of the Bowser shaped puff pastry

A small plastic Bowser flag is stuck in the meatball and the pastry puff served on the side looks exactly like Bowser’s face. All the dishes at Toadstool Cafe are themed wonderfully, and this Bowser puff is on another level. The details are great.

A close-up of the Bowser's Fireball Challenge meatball with mozzarella cheese on top

The meatball is massive. It’s a one-pound meatball, but it’s more like a giant meatloaf, topped with mozzarella cheese and served on a bed of mushroom marinara. The portion is huge and could even be shared.

A close-up of the meatball cut open with lots of red pepper flakes inside

Let’s-a dig in! We cut into the meatball and found it to be packed full of red pepper flakes. And when we say it’s full of pepper flakes, we mean it. We started to joke maybe the chef just tossed the whole bottle of pepper flakes into the meatball by mistake. The heat isn’t pain-inducing, but your sinuses will feel it. Our eyes watered a bit! If you’re the type that dumps an entire packet of pepper flakes onto your slice of pizza, you will be in love with this dish.

The meatball is cooked perfectly throughout. It’s juicy, delicious, and full of flavor. It doesn’t even need the sauces. The mushroom marinara is lost behind the spice of the meatball, but there’s also another sauce served on the side.

Hot sauce in a small cup on the side

Part of the challenge is to be able to add more heat to your meatball. The sauce on the side is basically Frank’s Red Hot, which isn’t too spicy. Honestly, we wish the sauce had been something different or even a little hotter. The meatball is perfect on its own and the sauce almost ruins it. It’s a fun idea, but this meatball is so much better without the hot sauce.

A reporter's hand showing the pastry interior

If your mouth is on fire, take a bite of the Bowser puff. This is a fantastic way to cool things down. The buttery, flaky croissant-like texture of this pastry can’t be beat. We wish there had been two, it was that good! We would order this again anytime.

Rank out of 7: 7

A reporter's hand holding the gray colored plate with curved edges and a giant black Bowser face in the center

Guests can purchase this meal with a souvenir bowl for an additional $10. The souvenir bowl will come clean and unused in a box. You won’t need to take the dirty dish with you! The mushroom soup bowl and plateware set are also available for purchase. These plates are not available in the gift shops and are only available for purchase inside Toadstool Cafe, so make sure you order them while you’re there.

Watch our original Toadstool Cafe review below and read our reviews of Super Mushroom Soup, Tomato Soup, and Chef Toad Short Rib Special. Guests can also now enjoy some Nintendo-inspired snacks at Power-Up Cafe. Stay tuned for that review!

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