After two very filling days with the wife at the 2018 Epcot Internation Food & Wine Festival, I was flying solo on day 3. I had time in my work schedule to pop in for lunch, so that’s what I did!
I started my day at the Festival Center. And what better way to start the day than with a mimosa… and a frozen one at that!
This was somehow very sweet and refreshing at the same time. Unfortunately, I tasted no alcohol whatsoever. In fact, it tasted just like a non-alcoholic strawberry daquiri. Tasty, but could have used a bit more champagne!
Score: 7.5 out of 10
To mix things up, at my next stop I would be getting… another drink?
At least I got some food to go with it this time!
Mango Lassi w/ Sōmrus Indian Cream Liqueur
I’m not a big fan of Lassi, or really any yogurt based items. But I was intrigued by the Sōmrus liqueur, so I gave this a try. It wasn’t bad, but I could barely taste the liqueur. It tasted like a basic mango lassi. I wish they served the Sōmrus by itself.
Score: 7.0 out of 10
Oh yeah, I said I got food here too:
I’m a huge fan of “butter chicken”, including the version served at Sanaa. This is very similar to that. Unfortunately, my serving had very little chicken. I basically had a plate full of cucumber tomato salad with korma dressing and naan. Good flavors, needs more chicken!
Score: 7.0 out of 10 (would have been an 8 if it had more chicken)
Next up is one of my returning favorites.
As always, this is the best Macaroni and Cheese served on Disney property. My portion was almost completely devoid of ham, yet it was still very good. Rich, creamy, and it tastes like actual real cheese!
Score: 8.0 out of 10
Up next is Italy, perennially one of my least favorite booths.
The last few years, the only reason I would even consider stopping at the Italy booth would be to point and laugh… and maybe to get a “margarita”. Seriously, the food was always pretty bad, and seemed to be frozen dinner quality at best. But I heard good things about one of the dishes this year, so I paid them a visit… feel free to point and laugh!
Holy cow, this was really good! I’m glad I was sitting down when I ate it, or else I’d be writing this from a hospital bed where I would be suffering from a fractured skull… that Italian concrete is hard!
This was fried well, all of the components went together nicely, and it was a HUGE serving! It’s hard to tell from the picture, but I had ten decent sized shrimp lurking underneath those sweet potato fries. This is in contention for the best item of the festival, and would currently slot #2 on my overall list.
Score: 9.0 out of 10
Next up would be Hops & Barley.
I had heard terrible things about the Lobster Roll at this point, and I was not in the mood for anything sweet, so I just went with a slider this go-around.
New Brunswick Slider
I’m a big fan of brisket, so I was looking forward to this. Unfortunately, it did not live up to expectations. There wasn’t a whole lot of beef, and what was there was extremely dry. We’re talking borderline jerky dry. And despite what appears to be a healthy serving of fried onions and horseradish cream, it was pretty bland. One of the worst items of the festival thus far.
Score: 4.0 out of 10
Morocco would now have the responsibility of helping my palate recover.
I found the Hummus Fries extremely frustrating. Just changing how the dish was plated would have improved things considerably. I was served 3 hummus fries. One of them was crispy and delicious. The other two were soggy and kind of gross. The vegetables should really have been served on the side, rather than on top.
Score: 7.0 out of 10 (would have been higher if all 3 had been crispy)
At this point I was starting to get full. But there were two more returning favorites that I had yet to try this year, and I couldn’t let that go unaddressed even one more day!
Out of all the various waffle offerings at the Belgium booth over the years, I have always preferred the one served with berry compote. I like the combination of tartness and sweetness, which really complements the crispy on the outside fluffy on the inside waffle. However, I probably should have saved this for a cooler day, as the warm berries didn’t work nearly as well as they usually do, probably due to the 100° “RealFeel” temps. But I can’t blame that on the berries!
Score: 7.5 out of 10
Last, but certainly not least, I conquered Brazil.
Crispy Pork Belly
This is one of the dishes that varies wildly from visit to visit. Sometimes it’s a huge serving of tender, juicy pork. Other times, it’s a tiny serving of what is basically pork jerky. Today, it was somewhere in between. It was a medium-ish sized serving. The meat was dry, but the fat was tender. And the beans were… well, they were beans.
Score: 7.0 out of 10
And with my friends, I am stuffed! Only one item from today would make each of the Must Have and Must Not lists.
Fritto Misto – Italy
New Brunswick Slider – Hops & Barley
That does it for day 3 (for me) of the 2018 Epcot Food & Wine Festival! I will be returning in just a few days, with wife in tow!