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.
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!
Spicy veggie goodness
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.
Super tender and garlicky
Ooooh, that lamb chop.
Loved those potato chip crunchies
This year they’ll have a frozen Caipirinha with LeBlon Cachaça. Sign me up!
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.
I’ll eat anything in a truffle butter sauce
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!
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!
The new park icon?
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.
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!
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!
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!
These pierogi may look good, but they’re like little gluey rocks. Don’t bother.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!