A random trip to Hogwarts

What do you do after school ends?  Why go to another school, Hogwarts school that is.  The Wizarding World of Harry potter recently opened at Universal Studios Hollywood and me being the none Harry Potter fan, just had to go. Follow along if you dare.

I am going to be 100% honest with you, I have never read the books, never saw the movies in theaters, and definitely don’t know the difference between slytherin and Hufflepuff.  Yes, I have seen the movies and yes they are mildly entertaining.  But no I am not into dragons, so this was an outsider’s (Muggle) point of view.

IMG_4279

Even before I crossed the gates into Hogsmead I knew I was in a magical place.  I saw people of all ages dressed up in Hogwarts uniforms with wands at the ready in case any dementors decided to show up and ruin the fun.  Luckily none showed up, unless you consider crying babies dementors.

The first stop was in trying out the famous Butter Beer.  All I knew was that it had the word “beer” in the name so I was fair game, unfortunately there was no alcohol, but instead was loaded IMG_4249with sugar.  Being a hot day I decided to go with the frozen version.  It was definitely a sweet concoction that tasted like butterscotch topped with sweet cream on top.  I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the beverage, but I did, so much that I got a second mug of the stuff later on before I left.

There were two rides at the place, and I will be honest and say that the only one worth waiting in line for is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  It is a mix between live action and 3d imagery.  You ride through the Harry Potter world in a seat with your feet dangling.  It is pretty awesome, and you get to go throughout all of Hogwarts as well as partake in a game of Quidditch.  Overall a fun ride that I would go on again.  The Flight of the Hippogriff is a mild (very mild) roller coaster that I would have enjoyed if I was maybe 12, so as an adult it comes up very short.

IMG_4280

After a few beers at Moe’s Tavern in Springfield, I returned to Hogsmeade and made my way to the Three Broomsticks for a magical meal.  As you can see I ordered the Beef Sunday roast which was prime rib with potatoes and vegetables.  Surprisingly for a theme park the food was actually pretty decent, and you can also order butter beer, or actual beer to go alongside your meal.

IMG_4240

Overall, I would visit the Wizarding World of Harry potter again.  I have never been to the Florida location so I can’t compare the two, but to me it seems like the Hollywood version might be smaller than the Florida location based on the website’s info. In any case, if you are in Ca and don’t plan on flying to the swamps of Florida anytime soon, come to Hollywood and enjoy a butter beer or two!!    EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!!!

 

 

 

Shake Shack in California

I remember my first time trying Shake Shack, it was at the Upper West Side location on Columbus and West 77th street after a visit to the Museum of Natural History.  I had heard lots of chatter about the burger joint, and me being the lover of burgers (especially In-N-Out), I just had to stop by.  It was awesome, and every trip to the city required at least one stop at a Shake Shack for their signature Shack Burger and a pint of ShackMeister Ale brought to you by Brooklyn Brewery. Unfortunately there was no locations in So-Cal.

Just recently they FINALLY opened up their VERY first location in West Hollywood. I was anxious for the opportunity to enjoy a delicious Shack Burger and a pint of my favorite brewery’s beer!   Yesterday I finally was able to stop in and enjoy it!!!

As a native son of Southern California I am a diehard In-N-Out fan! Double Double, animal style and a Neapolitan shake please!!  I have a little secret. Shake Shack gives In-N-Out a run for their money.  Let me explain why.

IMG_4665

Burger: What you see above is their signature Shack burger.  If you look closely you’ll see that the meat patty isn’t perfectly circular, meaning it is hand formed.  It had just the right amount of pink inside, and not dry at all.  Juicy as a burger should be.  Lettuce and tomato was fresh.  The potato bun is amazing. It is soft, chewy and soaks up the juice of the patty perfectly.  After doing some research I learned that their buns are provided by Martins Famous Pastry Shoppe in Pennsylvania, which started around the 1950’s.

Fries: Crinkle cut, crispy, and super awesome.  I love these fries over any other hamburger joint.

Beer: Their House beer, called ShackMeister Ale is brewed by Brooklyn Brewery which also happens to be my favorite brewery.  I love their beer.

Although I haven’t tried their custard shakes, I have heard great things about them.

Conclusion: So which burger is better, In-N-Out or Shake Shack?  I am going to give them a tie, they both have their strengths, but Shake Shack serves beer!!  So that just might give them the edge.  Give them a try, I am sure you won’t be disappointed!!

Welcome to my world!

Cheers and welcome to my new blog!!   I am slightly all over the wall when it comes to my interest so if you like any of the following you are in the right place:

  • Tech
  • Movies/books
  • Finance
  • Travel
  • Self Improvement
  • The Good life
  • Photography
  • Product reviews
  • Food!

AND if you aren’t into any of those things then maybe you’ll become a convert after reading my blog a few times.   So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and join me on this most excellent adventure!!