Monday, November 10, 2014

Epcot's Food and Wine Festival: Tips and Favorites

I think October has become one of my new favorite times to visit Walt Disney World.  One of the reasons is, of course, the fabulous Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom.  The other reason can be found over at Epcot...


It's Epcot's wonderful Food & Wine Festival that runs every year in the fall!


The 2014 Food & Wine Festival just ended this weekend, and I thought we'd take a look back at some of the deliciousness...


Sampling the offerings is obviously half the fun, but just strolling around World Showcase during Food & Wine can be so exciting.  I wanted to stop and admire each different booth.


Ahhh...palm trees with the adorable, international F&W booths in the shade beneath - each one is unique and themed to its country.


I see hidden kangaroos at the Australia booth!  The architecture is so interesting too.

 

Food and Wine gets a little less restful when it's crowded - and it is very popular!  If at all possible, try to avoid the weekends - especially later in the day.  The way our trip plans worked out, we ended up at Epcot on a Saturday evening, and after about 6pm the lines were just insane.  Very hectic!


There are a number of cocktail tables out in World Showcase, but there's sadly not a whole lot of seating for eating.


We did find a charming seating area between Morocco and France near the Belgium booth...it had these cheerful banners strung above the tables and chairs.  Charming!


I wish they had had more sitting spots like that.  Expect to be doing a fair amount of walking and munching.  Some people even bring trays!



There is some special Food & Wine merchandise...that "Taste around the World" shirt was cute!  We saw lots of groups of guests wearing matching shirts that they had planned just for Food & Wine, many with slogans like "Look like a Beauty, Drink like a Beast" etc.  It was pretty funny!


Let's get to the food!  We'll start with my favorite booth - Ireland.  Look at that thatch!  Ireland deserves a whole pavilion.  Really.


Then maybe I could get this amazing chocolate lava cake - it's called Warm Chocolate Pudding on the menu - all year round.  I was a little nervous when I saw the chocolate ganache sauce had been replaced with a Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard...

 

...I'm not normally a fan of liquer, but I'm glad to say Kerrygold did not disappoint.  Creamy and complimented the chocolate perfectly.  SO. GOOD.


I had to. ;)


Next up we'll look at a savory something from Singapore (they've got an awesome roof too!).


I was excited to try the Seared Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and "Singa" Sauce...


Nom Nom Nom!  It was flavorful, fragrant, and a little spicy.  The fish was my favorite, but I loved the rice too - and there was plenty of sauce.


My brother tried the Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms from the Africa booth and let me steal a bite.  I've tried this dish before at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but this one was amazing!


Athos can never pass up a pot sticker - these were from the China booth.  They're very similar to the pot stickers available all year long at the Lotus Blossom Cafe.


The Belgium booth ended up being a family favorite...


A look at the menu...they've got waffles!


This is the Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef for $4.25.  Overall, I thought the prices were pretty good for what you got.


The waffle itself is actually made of potato and leek, like a potato pancake but then fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside like a waffle.  The beef on top was also quite nice.  Now I want to try making potato leek waffles at home!


Here's the Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream for $3.50.  I wouldn't really call the chocolate sauce a ganache - I think of ganache as thicker - but you could tell it was really good chocolate.  The waffle itself was lovely, although I do wish there'd been more whipped cream!

 

We sampled the Stella Artois Cidre ($3.50) with our waffles.  Generally I save my budget for the food over the drinks, but this was very nice.  I think it's a toss up between Belgium and Ireland for my favorite booth of all!


Be sure to share your Food & Wine favorites in the comments! :)

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