Disney World wasn’t our only destination on my recent vacation. We also visited Universal Studios and stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel for one night. I got to experience both Islands of Adventures and Universal Studios theme park. Each of which is their own park, with distinct rides, restaurants and quick service food options. If you’ve been following along lately then you know how much I trust Disney World restaurants with their safe handling of gluten free eating. But Universal is a different story.
I go to Disney World annually but I don’t always go to Universal when I’m in Orlando – maybe just once every five to seven years. And it is almost always a day trip while we stay at a hotel in Disney World. So this trip was a bit different for me. Since I’m clearly no expert, I did a ton of research on where I could safely eat on Universal property. To say that mixed reviews about eating gluten free safely at Universal were rampant would be an understatement. I was a bit nervous going into this trip but the one place that always popped up as a safe, tasty option was Mythos at Island of Adventure. Well, here is my review of Mythos.
I very much enjoyed Mythos. The food was on par with some of the better Disney World restaurants I ate at. The atmosphere was incredible too even if I didn’t really understand it or knew how it fit into that section of the park. But back to food – we ordered an appetizer and a main entrée like we usually do.
For appetizer we ordered the Mezze Platter which was a tasting of house made hummus, babaganoush, marinated fennel and kalamata olives. Instead of serving it with regular pita chips /gluten filled bread they took a tasty gluten free roll, cut it up and folded it in a way that made it very convenient for dipping. This tasted and worked great! I was very happy with this dish and how they took extra care to make a normal gluten free roll work with the dish. Well done Mythos. I also got the tomato soup for myself which was excellent.
For Entrée, I got something I typically can’t have at any other restaurant which was Pad Thai. This dish was based with rice noodles over mixed vegetables, chicken and shrimp all tossed in a sweet and sour peanut sauce. This was incredible. The portion was huge and the taste was just what I wanted. If anyone is dining at Mythos in a future vacation, try and remember that Up Yours Gluten recommended this dish. You’ll thank me later.
The service was really good here but it wasn’t better then Disney. The reason is simply their training, or lack thereof in comparison to Disney World restaurants. I know I know – I don’t compare any other restaurants that I review to Disney World so why am I comparing a Universal Studios restaurant? Reason is because Universal and Disney compete and if you are traveling to Orlando, Florida then chances are you will be visiting both places. So a comparison in this instance is more then fair in my point of view.
But back to the service rating. The manager came out and spoke with me and was incredibly knowledgeable and kind as was our waitress. The manager went over the menu with me and explained to me their kitchen procedures and cross contamination possibilities which I appreciated. They brought my order out separately to avoid cross contamination and everything was great. The only thing I wish I could do, like in Disney, was talk to the chef. This way I would know the chef understood my needs and would take care of it personally. If Universal wants to compete with Disney, then this is something they should start doing.
Mythos, Mythos, Mythos (I’m holding my hand to my face and shaking my head – figuratively). The menu options are fantastic. They really are and that is why this rating made it above 7. But they lie. There are items on that menu that are labeled GF but aren’t entirely. Take for example the Mythos Burger with french fries. It is labeled GF on the menu but they use a shared fryer so there is cross contamination. There was also a few items that come with other dishes that aren’t disclosed on the menu (one example was my Pad Thai which typically has fried onions on it). Even though my dish was labeled GF, this little undisclosed add on would make it not gluten free. I do not understand why restaurants do this with their menu. If an item in their kitchen ENTERS the kitchen as gluten free – that does not mean that it will EXIT the kitchen as gluten free. Many restaurants mark up their menu based on what their suppliers say but do not take into consideration how cooking the item will change it. Mythos unfortunately is an example of that kind of restaurant.
Another possibility is that they could just mark everything with a GF which can be altered to be gluten free. But if they don’t disclose every item then how do we know what needs to be altered? How would we know what to expect? Either way you look at it, we are still left with the same problem. With that said, make sure you communicate with your server and ask for a manager at Mythos. This will ensure you are taken care of safely because the service here is exceptional. That makes or breaks most restaurants and is a big reason why the score for Mythos will remain high overall.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I had zero issues with Mythos. But make sure you read my service and menu ratings to make sure you have the same outcome.
This is a great restaurant with great food options and great service. The theme and atmosphere is incredible and overall this is a place that I will definitely recommend to others. But I recommend this place only if there is an understanding that you will have to communicate with both your server and manager to ensure your vacation stays safely gluten free. As long as that occurs then you will very much enjoy this unique spot at Islands of Adventure.