Epcot Food & Wine Festival

We ate our way around World Showcase at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This event runs from Sept. 28 – Nov. 12 so you have plenty of time to get there. You need a regular ticket to get into the theme park and then you buy the sample foods and drinks as you circle the lake and browse the marketplaces.

Food Festival2012 (800x600)

We turned left and hit the Terra stand first, sampling the Chicken Curry with Basmati Rice. While I like curry dishes, this one was a bit spicy. I wanted to try the Jerk Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney at the Caribbean booth, but the line was too long, so we moved on to Argentina. Here I had the Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree (tastes like mashed potatoes with pesto sauce). This item cost $5.00. I believe prices went up this year because I don’t remember many dishes costing that much before.

Chicken Curry (800x618)     Beef Skewer (800x556)

Caribbean (800x600)     Florida (800x600)

I might have liked the Shrimp on the Barbie or the Grilled Lamb Chop at Australia but saved them for another visit. One of our kids got the Shrimp Taco at Mexico and I had a taste. Good!

Shrimp Taco (800x544)

On to Scandinavia, another favorite. Their Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries is the best—even better than Ikea’s meatballs. This cost $3.50 each and was well worth the price. My husband had the Taste of Scandinavia for $4.00. This was a plate with cured salmon and herring and shrimp salad.

Swedish Meatballs (800x553)   Scandinavia (800x600)

China came next. I’ve had their Potstickers and Chicken Satay before so passed on it this time. Also walked past South Korea even though the Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp looked interesting. South Africa is another favorite with Filet of Beef and Smashed Sweet Potatoes. It’s one of the most tender cuts of beef around and done just right for $5.00.

Beef Filet (800x590)   South Africa (800x600)

We moved on past vendors with plates of cheeses, a Brewer’s Collection for beer drinkers, and skipped the Apple Strudel at Germany. One dish sounded really interesting at Poland—Toasted Mushrooms, Carmelized Onions and Cheese Bread—but I’ll have to save it for next time. We breezed past Italy to the American pavilion where I zeroed in on my favorite dessert, the Pumpkin Mousse at the “Hops and Barley” counter. For $1.50, this is a bargain. It comes in a mini-dessert cup like you get in some restaurants these days. It’s so good, I had to buy the Festival cookbook for the recipe ($16.95 plus tax).

Beer  (800x600)  Pumpkin Mousse (763x800)

I wanted to get the Coq au Vin with Mac and Cheese at the France pavilion because it was so good last year, but I was too full already. I passed up the whole other side of World Showcase, unable even to taste the Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon at Canada or the Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey or the Chocolate Lava Cake at Ireland. I did go for the Mai Tai at Hawaii for the hefty price of $7.50. Save your money on this one. While I tasted some rum, it was a pleasant fruit drink in a plastic cup.

France (800x600)    Funnel Cake (800x600)

Japan (800x600)   Japan Drummers (800x600)

Now I’ve made myself hungry again. I need to go back to try all things I missed on this trip. Next time, we’ll start from the opposite direction.

China (800x600)  Italy (800x600)

China Pavilion                                                  New Wine Cellar Lounge at Italy

Epcot Food & Wine

As per our annual family tradition, we attended the Epcot Food & Wine Festival last weekend. The weather was perfect, delightfully cool in the morning and warming into the 70’s in the afternoon. World Showcase opens at 11am so we arrived by lunchtime, turning left toward Mexico. For those of you not familiar with this event, each country has a little pavilion where they offer samples of food and drink for a fee.

Epcot5     Epcot6

Here are some photos from previous years. I didn’t bring a camera this time; too busy eating.

We passed on the entries at Chile, Brazil, and Puerto Rico but stopped at Argentina for the grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato puree ($4.75 per portion) and a glass of Kaiken cabernet ($5.50). Delicious. Next came Mexico. They have a whole new area across from the pyramid with a dine-in restaurant and counter service café with outdoor seating under cover. Our kids got the taco at their festival pavilion. We went past Poland, then came to China and just had to get their barbecue chicken stick. This was a generous portion and very tasty. We skipped South Korea, although the honey ginger tea sounded good.

At South Africa, the seared beef tenderloin with mango barbecue sauce and sweet potato puree is a good choice. I had to taste the shrimp cake with noodle salad at Singapore next ($3.50 each). Another tasty dish. Am I making your mouth water yet?

By now I was full, so I strode by Germany, Italy, the U.S., Japan, Australia and Morocco. I’d had some of these foods at previous forays anyway. Belgium was new and there was a long line. The baked Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream was to die for. Very luscious and reasonably priced at $2.75. The Godiva chocolate liqueur iced coffee was expensive at $7.25, but I had to try it. Lip-smacking good.

Too full to eat more, we passed by Spain, resisted the chocolate crème brulee at France and the warm chocolate lava cake at Ireland, even the maple glazed salmon at Canada. Would have loved to try the items at Greece or the lamb slider at New Zealand, but we’ll save those for next year. My stomach always gets satiated halfway around World Showcase.