Saturday, August 23, 2014

Margaritaville - Universal CityWalk

Last night, my daughters and I headed down to Universal CityWalk to have dinner at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.  

Our Universal annual passes expired about a year and a half ago, so we haven't been to CityWalk in a while.   Now that I know that parking is free for Florida residents after 6:00, I see an occasional Friday night dinner at CityWalk in our future.    

I was looking forward to checking out Margaritaville's new gluten free menu, which you can view here.  

Margaritaville Orlando has such a fun vibe, with music videos playing on large screens around the restaurant, and we even experienced a volcano eruption with sound effects and flashing lights.  

Chef Rich came out to speak with me about the gluten free menu, which has a nice selection of gluten free appetizers, salads, entrees, burgers and sandwiches, and even a gluten free dessert.  

For an appetizer, we chose the Drunken Shrimp sauteed with tequila key lime butter, roasted garlic, onion and peppers, and served with gluten free bread.  Oh my goodness, this dish was amazing!  The Udi's bun, which was sliced and lightly toasted, was so good dipped in that heavenly tequila key lime butter.  

While we waited for our entrees, Joy, who was walking around on stilts, visited our table and made us a balloon flower.

Our first entree was the chimichurri flat iron steak, which was incredibly tender and flavorful, even before I added some chimichurri sauce.  The french fries, which are made in a dedicated fryer, were perfectly cooked and seasoned.  

We also ordered the grilled chicken breast, which is marinated and seasoned in a special blend of spices, topped with mango salsa, and served with island rice and fire-roasted corn.  My daughters really enjoyed the chicken, which was as tender as the steak.  There was definitely no shortage of flavors on this plate, but all the different elements complimented each other perfectly.  

For dessert, we couldn't pass up the gluten free brownie sundae with heath crusted vanilla bean ice cream, macadamia nuts, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  First off, it was huge, and the three of us sharing it couldn't even finish it.  The brownie was slightly warm, fudgy, and delicious.  We like lots of ice cream and whipped cream with our chocolate desserts, which this dish had, and I loved the addition of macadamia nuts, which I haven't eaten in years.  

Overall, I was really impressed with the new gluten free menu at Margaritaville.  I am sure we will be back soon, because we plan to get Universal annual passes for Christmas, and I need to get a fix of Drunken Shrimp again in the near future.

Gluten free dishes recommended to me by my blog readers include the Volcano Nachos, Drunken Shrimp, New York Strip Steak, Cheeseburger in Paradise, the Brownie Sundae, and the margaritas.  Chef Rich spoke to me about gluten free margaritas, and told me they also have Angry Orchard Hard Cider.

I was invited to dine at Margaritaville tonight to check out their new gluten free menu.  Our meals were provided to us, compliments of Margaritaville, but the opinions in this review are entirely my own.

You can read more about Margaritaville Orlando, and view their gluten free menu on their website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Margaritaville?


  1. On the gluten free menu it lists a panko breaded fish they use gluten free panko?

    1. Alicia - I just saw that online. I am not sure what they are using, because I have not been there in a while and I don't remember that being on the menu. You could call the restaurant and ask.

    2. I just opened the GF menu from my first link to it in this post, and that menu says the fish in the sandwich is blackened or grilled