Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013: Brazil

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Booth #2 on our trip around the World Showcase at Epcot Food & Wine fest 2013 is Brazil! The Brazil booth has one of the more limited menus of the festival with only two menu items and three beverages. But make no mistake – it is not to be missed.

Brazil Booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Brazil!

The star of this booth was definitely the Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado, and Cilantro. It’s one of those dishes that make you melt with happiness after the first bite. I would have been really happy to make a full meal of this dish. The beans were beautifully cooked, the avocado salsa was fresh, and that pork…oh, yeah.

Crispy Pork Belly Brazil Booth Epcot Food and Wine

You had me at Crispy Pork

The other dish on the menu at the Brazil booth is Seared Scallops with Ragout of Tomatoes, Peppers, and Hearts of Palm. I found the scallops to be slightly over cooked, and the hearts of palm were sort of bland. Overall it was a fine dish, but not all that memorable and nothing I would seek out.

 

Seared Scallops at Brazil Booth Epcot Food and Wine

Meh.

Beverage offerings at the Brazil booth are Xingu Black Beer from Kaiser Brewery, Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine, and a Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaca. I’m a big fan of caipirinhas, so I couldn’t pass it up.

Frozen Caipirinha Brazil booth Epcot Food and Wine

Not for the faint of heart.

 

It’s pretty much what you might expect. Frozen, slushy cachaca with lime and a little sugar. Not too sweet (which is great) and very refreshing. Also very strong. If you’re starting at Terra and making your way around World Showcase like I did, you may want to pace yourself and share this one with a friend. Or maybe not…

Did you try that crispy pork belly? What did you think? Next up, making our way from Brazil to Argentina.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013: Terra Booth

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Hi Friends!

I’ve finally compiled my photos from this year’s Epcot Food & Wine festival and am ready to share the good, the pretty good, and the not so good. Luckily there is more good than not to share.

We didn’t make it to every single booth this year, but managed to do some serious damage in our 1.5 days in the parks. There are a few things that I regretfully missed (man, I really wanted to go to the Singapore booth!), and a few things we skipped on purpose (Greece, I’m looking at you) but overall had a fantastic time and ate most of what we had hoped to try. (You can see my planning wish list here.)

So I figured the best way to tackle this recap would be to go booth by booth, starting with #1, the vegan Terra booth! Terra was new to Epcot Food & Wine in 2012, and I loved it so much I dreamed about it all year. It was a perfect place to start.

erra Booth at Epcot Food and Wine Fest

Vegan Goodness at Terra

First up, Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice featuring Gardein(tm) Chick’n Breast.

Trick'n Chick'n Curry

Curry goodness

We tend to like anything with the word “curry” and this is no exception. I enjoyed this more this year than last. So much depends on whether the “chick’n” is cooked properly. This one was not overcooked or dry – absolutely delicious, with a tomato-y flavorful curry sauce and very nice rice. Husband and kid really enjoyed it.

And of course, we had to have my favorite dish from last year’s Food & Wine fest, the Chili Colorado with House-made Chips & Cashew Cheese featuring Gardein(tm) Beefless Tips. Yes folks, this is vegan beef, and it is delicious.

Chili Colorado with House Made Chips & Cashew Cheese

Complex, warm spices, great texture, totally satisfying

Once again, this dish did not disappoint. the “beef” is soft and meaty, the onions and peppers are soft and homey, the sauce is somewhat sweet, savory, spicy…everything you would want it to be. The cashew cheese is a tiny bit grainy, but if you think of it as ground cashew sauce then that’s not bothersome. It ads a really nice creaminess to the dish. My 12 year old daughter kept asking to go back for seconds.

And finally, we tried the Chocolate Cake with Coconut Mousse and Passion Fruit Sauce.

Not my favorite - chocolatey, but also vegan-y.

Not my favorite – chocolatey, but also vegan-y.

This was not great. I suppose if you’re vegan and have a hard time finding good desserts, it would be OK. (Though you’re probably better off heading to BabyCakes anyway.) The chocolate part was very dense and sort of brownie-like. I didn’t hate it. And the passionfruit sauce had a nice tang. I really didn’t think the coconut mousse worked. It didn’t have a mousse texture – it was also quite dense, and far too oily. More like cooked-down full-fat coconut milk. My kid liked it, though.

Drinks available were a Napa Smith Organic IPA, a Chardonnay and Red Blend from The Vegan Vine, and Fresh Watermelon Juice. The juice looked really good, and I wish I’d ordered it. They were juicing the watermelon fresh at the stand.

So what about you? Did you take a break from animal products and try the vegan offerings at the Terra booth? Anyone try that watermelon juice? Share in the comments! (And if you send me a pic of that juice I’ll post it here.)

(Late Breaking Watermelon Juice Update)

Thanks to our twitter friend Sarah @eatingwdw for providing a pic of the watermelon juice. She says it’s OK but could use some vodka. She’s also blogging about Epcot Food and Wine – check out her excellent blog!

watermelon juice Brazil booth Epcot Food and Wine

Refreshing and fresh-squeezed. I’d add tequila blanco and some salt.

Live Tweeting Escape From Tomorrow

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Hi friends,

Here’s the geekiest, silliest blog post I’ve ever written. I watched the new film Escape From Tomorrow tonight on demand, and decided to “live tweet” my thoughts during the flick. (Any time you want to chat with me live, you can find me on Twitter at @MouseChow. I’m almost always around.)

If you missed it, here’s the play by play. Feel free to follow along as you watch it for yourself. It’s not a great movie – don’t say I didn’t warn you. And yes, there are spoilers.

Here goes:

Opening montage – Big Thunder Mountain #EscapeFromTomorrow

Quick images of SSE interspersed with Big Thunder montage. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Uh oh – Haunted Mansion images in the open sequence – spooky. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Opening scene – our hero is staying at the Contemporary, overlooking Magic Kingdom. Obviously disturbed. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Sweet kids locked Daddy out on the balcony while Mom keeps sleeping. Good thing Dad has his cell phone. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Every guest at the Contemporary has SARS and is entering the monorail. Monorail Gray obviously. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Photopass of family with the castle – wonder if the photographer was an actor? #EscapeFromTomorrow

Family is going on Snow White’s Scary Adventure. I’m jealous. #EscapeFromTomorrow

OK seriously, Winnie the Poo is totally scary, even not in black and white. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Hubby’s trying to get some on Poo, and my husband is saying, “See, it’s not just me!” #EscapeFromTomorrow

Jim is freaking out on It’s a Small World. Uh oh. Familiar feeling. #EscapeFromTomorrow

I wonder how many people have actually freaked out on Small World for real? I bet Jim’s not alone. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Somehow Jim and his family went from Florida to California in the span of seconds. This IS a freaky movie. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Jim has very bad language in front of the child. No wonder he’s the Bad Seed. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Jim is mesmerized by the tween ‘ho’s at the Tomorrowland Speedway. This is unrealistic – kid thinks the cars are fast. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Yea! Tiki Birds! Nothing bad can happen here, right? Hey…that water spout is sort of suggestive. I never noticed. #EscapeFromTomorrow

No wonder he doesn’t dig his wife – she’s wearing multiple fanny packs. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Oh no! Jim is ditching his kid in Push the Garbage Can! #EscapeFromTomorrow

Dad “made” me go on Space Mountain. Yeah, right. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Little girl didn’t eat. I know why – they’re in Magic Kingdom. Girl has taste. #EscapeFromTomorrow

I’m really jealous of all of these people on the raft headed to Tom Sawyer Island. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Bringing back memories of chasing my 4-year-old through those caves. What a friggin’ nightmare. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Poor Sarah almost got run over by an EV! It’s just like @JKDisneyHip and @KJDisneyhip ‘s daughter all over again. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Does this nurse know something we don’t? That was some amazing acting. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Where did Jim get that tiny turkey leg? Definitely not at WDW. #EscapeFromTomorrow

This lady on the bench is creepy. Hypnotizing Jim with her bosom jewel. Ew. #EscapeFromTomorrow

OK – just turned way creepier. Find my hidden Mickey! #EscapeFromTomorrow

Somehow they took a Friendship boat from Epcot to the Contemporary. #EscapeFromTomorrow

I don’t recognize this pool – maybe one of the small pools at the Poly? Better not let the resort police catch you! #EscapeFromTomorrow

Jim’s wife is kind of a bitch. I’m pretty sure she’s got good reasons considering Jim’s wandering penis. #EscapeFromTomorrow

I really see nothing wrong with the wife’s demeanor. She’s pretty much me at Disney. 10 minutes, Jim! #EscapeFromTomorrow

OK, the balconies at the Contemporary do have a pretty awesome view. Probably greatly improved by several beers. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Wow, I’ve never thought SSE looked like a giant testicle. Man is disturbed. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Finally, Jim is acting normal. Getting drunk in Epcot and trying on the fez in Morocco. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Yea! Jim got a giant beer at Biergarten. Why don’ they have another family at their table? #EscapeFromTomorrow

These princesses have better costumes than the real ones. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Grand Fiesta Tour! Nothing crazy better happen here. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Mary Blair makes Jim hallucinate. He shouldn’t have stayed at the Contemporary. #EscapeFromTomorrow

OK, wife now seeing freaky stuff. Must have had a bad margarita at @cavadeltequila #EscapeFromTomorrow

Just so you know, you might not want to use the hand dryers in the men’s bathroom near the Mexico pavilion. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Poor Jim. He found out he lost his job while at Disney. At least my company waited until the day I got back. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Disney seems to bring out the worst in this family. My husband says he’s never going back. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Hey, they’re leaving before Illuminations! #EscapeFromTomorrow

Yeah, Soarin’! Nothing creepy better happen on this ride. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Wait, I don’t remember that scene…#EscapeFromTomorrow

Is this the version of Soarin they play during Illuminations? I’ve never seen it. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Why is creepy Jim into this little 13 year old girl? SSE is imploding before letting him do something nasty with her. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Where’s Sarah? Did she go ride Livin’ With the Land? #EscapeFromTomorrow

Wow those CMs tazed Jim’s little spaceship earths. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Ooooh, is this the true inside of SSE? I always suspected that Siemen’s was doing something evil in that ball. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Does the scientist with the yellow tights and black go-go boots work in this lab? #EscapeFromTomorrow

This must be the “climax” of the movie. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Weirdly, I can smell Illuminations just watching it. #EscapeFromTomorrow

I don’t think I like this new Illuminations soundtrack. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Jim just took the friendship boats over to the Swan and Dolphin. This must be where the “Presidential Suite” was. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Sarah makes a very cute Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent is creepy. #EscapeFromTomorrow

I’m not surprised that this nasty lady was a former Sleeping Beauty. She has the teeth for it. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Back to the Contemporary. This day really was hellish. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Jim is sort of sweaty. Maybe the air conditioning doesn’t work at the Contemporary. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Those turkey legs are catching up with Jim. @GoTeamMegan , you’re right I should have stopped. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Elliot is a mama’s boy. Jim shouldn’t have made him ride Space Mountain. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Wow, that cat flu is nasty stuff. #EscapeFromTomorrow

These Disney CMs are serious about cleanup. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Dammit, I KNEW those pins were evil. #EscapeFromTomorrow

Rope dropping Epcot…this is the happiest movie ever! #EscapeFromTomorrow

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH The End. A dream is a wish your heart makes…  #EscapeFromTomorrow

@EscapeTomorrow So I was snarky through the film, but truly it was fun. Quite a feat, too. Thanks for a good time! #EscapeFromTomorrow

So that’s it! Hope you had fun following along.

Super brief review: In general, I think for a low-budget “horror” movie it was OK. No Blair Witch Project, but I have a soft spot for WDW which helps it a bit. The high point for me was probably the Gran Fiesta Tour scene. Low point – the nurse.

The comparisons to David Lynch are waaaay overpromising. If you really want a David Lynch movie, watch a David Lynch movie. In fact, I think I may need to rewatch Blue Velvet to see how it’s really done.

So what did you think?

Wordless Wednesday: September Calendar Pic

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A crisp September early evening in Epcot.

Spaceship Earth, Epcot

Labor Day weekend, dusk

Focused on the Magic

Things I’m looking forward to at Epcot Food & Wine 2013

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…That’s right, we’re approaching my favorite season at Walt Disney World, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival! For 2013 the festival runs from September 27 – November 11. And I’m incredibly excited, because I just booked my trip! Besides, it’s Wordless Wednesday blog hop time, and the theme is “M”. So my M is for Mmmmmm….

This will be my fourth trip to F&W and I’m starting to feel like I know my way around the festival (a little). There is so much to see and do (and eat and drink!) that it can be hard to truly take it all in the first time you visit. So planning for this visit I’m finding myself really looking forward to eating some past favorites, and getting excited to try some of the things I missed last time as well as the new additions.

So here are some of the things I’m really looking forward to, booth by booth. Not all of the booths mind you – I’m not really looking forward to all of them. Just most. For a full menu listing, check out the excellently curated list at the Disney Food Blog.

Africa:

There’s a Brown Elephant cocktail made with Amarula, milk, and Coke. YUM! I bet it pairs beautifully with the delicious Paneer and Spinach pocket that is returning this year. Loved that pocket!

Spinach and Paneer Pocket at Africa booth

Spicy veggie goodness

Argentina:

Mmmm…Argentinian beef. The beef skewer with chimichurri was mighty delicious last year. It’s making a reappearance – and pairs perfectly with a nice Terrazas Reserva Malbec.

Beef with chimichurri at the Argentina booth

Super tender and garlicky

Australia:

Ooooh, that lamb chop.

Lamb chop from Australia booth

Loved those potato chip crunchies

Brazil:

This year they’ll have a frozen Caipirinha with LeBlon Cachaça. Sign me up!

Canada:

More beef? Yes, please! The “Le Cellier” Filet of Beef with mushrooms and truffle butter sauce is one of the few items we went back for seconds on.

Filet of Beef Canada Booth

I’ll eat anything in a truffle butter sauce

Cheese:

Last year I was pretty disappointed with the fondue at the Cheese stand, though the cheese plate was delish. This year they’re offering an almond crusted blue cheese soufflé with fig jam. Sounds like it could be tough to pull off, but I’m willing to try!

Craft Beers:

I love beer, and can get most of these down at my local shop. But I’ll probably try out the Fall Fest from the Abita Brewing Company. I’m really partial to Abita beers, and I haven’t had this one yet.

Desserts & Champagne:

Skip the desserts. (Trust me on this one.) But I’ll be glad to grab a glass of Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé. So civilized!

Giant champagne class at Epcot Food & Wine

The new park icon?

France:

Somehow last time we totally skipped the France booth. I think we were just too full by the time we made it back there. This time I’m determined to try both the escargots and the Boeuf Bourguignon.

Mexico:

I wish the wonderful taco with pork carnitas and chicharones that we had at the Flower & Garden festival this Spring were back, but alas, it’s not on the list. However there is a Taco de Ribeye with Salsa Chipotle that sounds yummy. But mostly I just want a mango-habanero margarita. Nice!

New Zealand:

Venison sausage with pickled mushrooms, baby arugula and black currant reduction might be the most unusual sounding dish in the whole festival. So of course I must eat that!

Poland:

Last year I once again made the mistake of ordering the pierogi. It’s truly awful. So this year, I’m going to try the zapiekanki which seems to be a cheese bread with toasted mushrooms and caramelized onion served with a house-made ketchup. I’ve heard good things, so it’s going on the list. They’ve also got a drink that sounds intriguing – Frozen Szarlotka. It’s supposed to taste like frozen apple pie. Sounds good to me!

Pierogi at Poland booth

These pierogi may look good, but they’re like little gluey rocks. Don’t bother.

Refreshment Port:

The Refreshment Port will have new offerings for the Food & Wine festival this year, many which feature Dole pineapple. I think I’ll skip the fried pineapple fritters, thanks. And some of you may recall how disappointed I was with the Dole Whip with rum at the Flower & Garden festival. But I’m assuming they’ve learned from their mistakes, so I’m looking forward to trying the new concoction – the Orange Dole Whip with Creme de Cacao. Sounds like it might be a little better conceived – hopefully the execution will be good.

Scotland:

New this year! I’m so intrigued by this entire menu, but especially the Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties. So glad to see another vegetarian option! The Scottish salmon sounds lovely too, as does the dessert – a banana/toffee tart. I’m surprised to find out that bananas are indigenous to Scotland… maybe I shouldn’t over think this one. There’s also a Glenfiddich Scotch flight and they’re serving one of my new favorite beers, Innis & Gunn Original. Thanks, Merida, for being popular enough to inspire both an Adventures by Disney tour and a new booth at F&W.

South Korea:

Kimchee dog with spicy mustard sauce. Sounds like the funkiest food on the planet and I must have one.

And saving the best for last, the one dish that I’ve craved all year and can’t wait to try again:

Terra:

Vegan Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese. No joke, this was my absolute favorite dish at last year’s festival and I can not WAIT to eat it again.

Vegan Chili Colorado from the Terra booth

Who would have thunk it? Vegan beef made fabulous

Whew – so that’s it. I’m only at the show for two days this year, so I have no idea how I’m going to possibly eat and drink all of this in two days. I’m working on talking my BFF and Food and Wine Partner in Crime into coming on the trip again. We’re going to need the extra mouth.

So what about you? Planning to visit Food & Wine this year? What do you look forward to? Are you shocked by some of my omissions? Leave me a comment!

Focused on the Magic