Let me preface, I know damn near nothing about Harry Potter. Foodbeast's decision in sending me to a preview of Universal Studios Hollywood's new "Wizarding World Of Harry Potter" was a pure shit show.
Yes, I can recognize Harry Potter out of a lineup, and I know who Hermione is because anyone with two eyes can see that little girl grew up to be a stone cold fox (sorry, creepy, I know, sue me). Beyond that, I don't know what a Dumbledore is, and I'll admit I was probably unappreciative of how awesomely decorated the bathroom felt and the creepy voice in the stall that spoke to me while I took a piss.
But let's find out what they got cooking in this magical new Harry Potter land.
7:58pm -- Already late. The event started at 7pm. It ends at 9pm. Trust me, I'm not cool and casually late, I just suck at driving.
7:59pm -- Universal Studios closed a few hours ago, so we enter a back way into an empty park.
8:00pm -- Security guard hears we're here for a press event. He looks half Russian, half Mexican. Just painting a picture.
8:01pm -- He reminds me how late I am, and that they probably are gonna be all out of that "bomb-ass food" inside.
8:02pm -- Security guard attempts to radio someone inside The Wizarding World. He turns back to me and asks what news outlet I'm from. He knows where I'm from, but I oblige, "I'm from FOODBEAST"
8:03pm -- He doesn't know.
8:03pm -- I have to repeat "Foodbeast" a few times, security guard apparently hasn't heard of Foodbeast yet. He also doesn't fuck with Harry Potter or "any of that magic shit." I'm with you dawg.
8:09pm -- I lied, I pulled it up for him.
8:10pm -- I give some dabs to security and thank him for the hospitality, but our PR girl arrives at the side gate to escort us to Hogwarts. She reminds us that we're not allowed to take pictures of "The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter," and that once we're inside the "Three Broomsticks" dining tavern and "Hog's Head pub" I'll be able to take as many boner-inducing food porn pics as I would like.
8:11pm -- During the walk over I learn that the actual Wizarding World will open to the public on April 7, 2016. This immediately makes me feel like a baller, as we're getting a sizable two month early preview. I spot a big ass train car with smoke pillowing out of it, I assume it's from Harry Potter. But again, I could be wrong. Here are three broomsticks on a wall:
Tried it all. Fire Whisky, Wizard's Brew, Dragon's Scale, Hog's Head Brew, all created exclusively for the Wizarding World.
8:16pm -- Buzz is settling in. Feeling warm and fuzzy. I should go shoot pictures of some food.
8:17pm -- This place would be awesome high.
8:18pm -- I arrive at the food:
8:20pm -- As I'm about to get in to my close up photos, the homie Josh of Los Angeles Magazine shows up. He knows about Harry Potter, so I ask if he will host a Facebook Livestream video for me, because I know absolutely dick about Potter. He obliges because he's a scholar and a saint:
8:25pm: I take pictures of every dish they have available before digging in. If things look bright, dizzying, or improperly framed, I'm drunk:
Traditional (English?) Breakfast
Fresh scrambled eggs, sausage links, bacon, black pudding, baked beans, baked tomato, sautéed mushrooms and potatoes. I really wanted to try this, but this was just the display photo and they didn't have it available.
Eggy Bread (French Toast Thang)
Fresh baked baguette bread dipped in a cinnamon egg batter and lightly sautéed, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with bacon, strawberries and maple syrup.
Turkey Leg w/ roast potatoes and corn
Prime Rib Of Beef w/ veggies, roasted potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy
A Really Big Salad
English Ale and Cheese Soup
Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew (this was amazeballs)
Bangers And Mash!
Ground beef and vegetables crowned with a crust of mashed potatoes. Very much yum.