*This dining experience took place in June 2016.
Emeril’s Orlando located at City Walk at Universal Orlando is a table service location that offers a taste of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s take on classic New Orleans dishes. I recently had the opportunity to dine at Emeril’s Orlando during a work conference.
None of my friends had dined here gluten free, but Alexis from Alexis’s Gluten Free Adventures as been to Emeril’s Tchoup Chop at the Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando with mixed experiences. So, when I visited Emeril’s Orlando, I figured I would have some options but that it wouldn’t be as amazing as it is at Disney World.
After arriving, I did enjoy both a glass of red wine and a cocktail. I absolutely loved the New G&T which is a take on classic gin and tonics, one of my favorite drinks. Emeril’s Orlando uses a small batch gin and tonic water along with black currant and lime. It was so refreshing and a popular drink at our table, as nearly half of the table ended up ordering these.
Emeril’s Orlando does not have a gluten free menu, and I was walked through some options with our server, as a chef does not come out to the table. Sadly, many of the starters were not options for gluten free (let alone dairy free), and I opted to get a classic Caesar salad, since I’ve been reintroducing a bit of dairy back into my diet.
I wasn’t very impressed by this salad. It was rather plain and certainly nothing special.
For my entree, I asked if the BBQ Salmon was safe for me, and I was told they could make it gluten free by removing the crispy onions. I later learned that they also removed the BBQ sauce. Talk about a bummer.
The salmon itself was very spicy (as it had blackening seasoning on it). There wasn’t a lot of texture in the dish, as the andouille sausage and potatoes underneath were pretty mushy. If I had known I wouldn’t get the BBQ sauce, I probably would have ordered something else.
Sadly, most of the entrees contained a lot of sauces that contained gluten, so I was steered away from most dishes.
For dessert, there are two gluten free options – the Flourless chocolate cake and a fruit plate with sorbet (which is also dairy free). I ended up taking a bite of the flourless chocolate cake, which was very rich and decadent. It’s also very dairy heavy.
If I were going to order a flourless chocolate cake, I would get one from another restaurant rather than the version here, which seemed pretty basic in every way. It couldn’t compare to the amazing version I had at Fulton’s Crab House (soon to be reopened as the Paddlefish).
Overall, I wasn’t wowed by Emeril’s Orlando. It was just OK and definitely not something I’d paid out of my own pocket (I was hosted by a vendor at work). The prices didn’t justify the quality of food served.
As a celiac and gluten free diner, I’m surprised and disappointed that Emeril’s Orlando doesn’t have a gluten free menu given that two of Emeril’s daughters are gluten free (including one celiac) and huge GF advocates.
I don’t think I’ll be making a visit to Emeril’s Orlando or Tchoup Chop anytime soon again. I’m glad I got to try it, but it’s definitely not worth a repeat visit for me. I’d rather go to Antojito’s next door at Universal Orlando City Walk for some amazing Mexican food.
Have you been to Emeril’s Orlando? What did you think of the options?