Farm Fresh is one of the new kiosks for the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, although the building is a familiar one. You may recognize it as Florida Local from the 2012 and 2013 F&Ws, or as Florida Fresh from Flower & Garden in 2013 and 2014. The new menu, however, is one that both Matt and I were very excited to try.
The main attraction to us for Farm Fresh were the food items that were being served: Nueske’s Pepper Bacon Hash and the Griddled “Yard Bird.” Both were of interested to us for their own reasons. We really enjoy Neuske’s bacon when we spot it on menus around property (especially on top of the grits at The Wave), and while the “Yard Bird” is still simply chicken, the Habanero sauce definitely caught my attention. And neither of them photograph particularly well. 😉
First up, we have Nueske’s Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise, and Pickled Jalapeno. This dish is essentially finely diced, rendered-until-mostly-crisp, smoky bacon. It’s tossed with a few cubes of potatoes and kernel of corn. It’s then topped with Hollandaise and garnished with pickled jalapenos.
It’s not much to look at, but if you like bacon, you might want to keep this one on your list. At $4, I thought the amount of good-quality bacon was plentiful, and there wasn’t much in terms of filler, potatoes included. I’m not sure how the Hollandaise is made, but be warned: it comes out of pump, much like cheese sauce at Casey’s Corner and the like at Magic Kingdom. We could also do with a bit less of the sauce, but it wasn’t overbearing or off-putting. Matt and I will very likely revisit this later in the festival, not just because we really enjoyed it, but we also want to see how the bacon-to-filler ratio changes.
As many of you know from the blog, and might even agree, chicken isn’t something I go for when I’m out. In fact, it was the Braised Greens and House-made Habanero Sauce that got me excited for the Griddled “Yard Bird.” And this is another item that I’m interested to see in terms of portion over time, as this huge piece of chicken is only $4.50.
Again, it’s another dish that’s not winning any beauty pageants, but look past that and give this one a taste. Do you like wings? This was very similar. The skin on the chicken was very crispy, with any fat nicely rendered out. The chicken was very tender as well. Add some of that House-made Habanero Sauce, and I would happily enjoy this while watching a game. The sauce had both flavor and a lightly moderate (to me) heat, and when I order this again, I’ll ask for a bit more and to have it drizzled right on top of the chicken. The Braised Greens were cooked perfectly, retaining a bit of snap and having a nice salt level.
Both of these dishes were standouts of all the dishes we sampled on preview day, and we still have a lot to go! The flavors were developed and balanced, and that’s saying something for new dishes, which can often go through some growing pains. I am bummed that neither of these recipes are in the new cookbook this year, although replicating these at home should be relatively simple. As much as I love new items coming to the festival, I really wouldn’t mind seeing these again next year. Until then, I’ll just have to make the most of them over the next couple months!
We had returned to Farm Fresh later in the Festival as Matt wanted to order the Neuske’s Pepper Bacon Hash again. Our portion on our return visit varied quite a bit from our aforementioned dish. The portion size itself was about half of what we had received prior, and there was far less bacon and Hollandaise and more potatoes. The flavor was still delicious, but we were a bit bummed by the lack of the star ingredient. Still, it remains as one of our top dishes from the Festival.
We’ll keep you posted on updated reviews from Florida Fresh as the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues. What have you tried from the kiosk, and what did you think? What are you looking forward to trying?