2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Botanas Botanico

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Last night I posted pics of all the menus for the kiosks appearing at the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this year. I hope this helps with your planning. But now, we get into the good stuff – the FOOD! We’ll be posting reviews of all the kiosks for you, but I know everyone is probably really interested in the newest addition, Botanas Botanico. (And what’s with the Russian font for the name!?)

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Naturally, I tried all the food items for you. Yes, even something sweet! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Vegetarian options are designated on menus by the green block with a “V,” and in the “Garden Passport” (the booklet checklist you can have stamped), gluten-free options are noted. At Botanas Botanico, gluten-free options include the Seafood Ceviche, the Cachapa con Queso, and the White Corn Arepa. Of course, those with allergies or sensitivities will want to speak with a Cast Member and be wary of cross-contamination. They work in some tight quarters!

2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Menu Prices Botanas Botanico

First up, we have the Seafood Ceviche ($5.25). The dish features Shrimp, Scallops, and Grouper along with Mango and Avocado.

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My portion was definitely heavy on the mango (which I didn’t mind), with only a couple of pieces of avocado, making this dish lean toward the sweet side.

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Regarding the seafood, I had two nice size pieces of shrimp that retained a nice snap, and two sizable pieces of the grouper, which weren’t what I would consider “fishy.” I didn’t have any scallop in my serving, which was a bit of a bummer. For the $5.25 price tag, I thought this was worth the price. In fact, of the three savory dishes, it’s the one I would order again.

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Next we have the Cachapa con Queso ($3.25), a Venezuelan Sweet Yellow Corn Pancake. As the description states, the corn is indeed sweet.

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The thick cake is topped with a Mozzarella-like cheese, and mine had congealed a bit by the time my order was up.

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While the exterior has a fair amount of browning to it, the interior remains soft, similar to an undercooked pancake. While I thought the dish was fine, I wasn’t crazy about it and wouldn’t go back for it. If you like the flavor of fresh, sweet corn on the cob, you may enjoy this one more and I. Matt had marked this dish as a possibility to try, but I think he’d agree with my thoughts on it.

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The White Corn Arepa with Braised Beef and Chayote Slaw ($4.25) fared mcuh better in my book. The corn for the Arepa doesn’t have the same sweetness as the Cachapa, and the Braised Beef has a really nice flavor.

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Add in the fresh crunch from the Chayote Slaw, and the dish was nicely balanced.

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My only “complaint” was that I would have liked some more beef tucked inside. I think if Matt’s going to try one of the dishes at the kiosk, this is the one he should order.

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Yes, I ordered something sweet! The Coconut Tres Leches ($3.75) definitely caught my eye (coconut!), and it has been YEARS since I’ve had anything designated as Tres Leches (remember when Pollo Campero was a thing at Downtown Disney?).

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I thought the portion size was decent for the price, and the soft, sponge-like cake retained a lot of moisture from milk in which its soaked without becoming soggy. The icing is a light whipped cream that’s topped with toasted, shredded coconut. I didn’t find the cake overly sweet, and I’d even go back for this one.

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The La Tizana ($2.75 for non-alcoholic, $9.75 with rum) was described as “a Venezuelan-influenced fruit punch made with orange juice, lime juice, banana puree, grenadine and garnished with a tropical fruit medley of diced pineapple, mango, strawberries and oranges,” and for an additional $7, a splash of RHUM Orange Liqueur can be added. The juice has a bit of viscosity to it, and was pretty good on it’s own. I mostly had mango in my added fruit, with two strawberry bits and a bit of orange.

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If you’re interested in trying the La Tizana, skip the rum and save the money. I accidentally got a bit more rum than should have been added as the CM had an issue pouring. Honestly, it still didn’t add much to the drink flavor-wise.

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Overall, I thought Botanas Botanico was a good addition offering some solid dishes. Those who enjoy seafood will want to give the Ceviche a try. Those who prefer land will enjoy the White Corn Arepa. I can’t say vegetarians will like the Cachapa, but as I mentioned, if you really like sweet corn, you very well might. Of course, those who go for sweets will likely enjoy the Tres Leches. I know Matt’s interested in trying the Polar Beer, so we might be picking up one of the dishes again – likely the Arepa – since we’ll be in line anyway.

Have you tried any of the items from Botanas Botanico? What did you think?

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7 responses to “2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Botanas Botanico

  1. Mmmm, thank you for reviewing this one first! I’ve been so curious about these dishes! I’m glad to hear the ceviche was a good size. The only other pictures of it seemed to be really small and not justifying the price, so I’m glad to hear it was worth it!

    The arepa looks delicious! Were you able to tell if the green specks in the slaw were cilantro? One person in my group this year is allergic, so we might have to order this one without the slaw.

  2. Hopefully you can gauge by the size of the shrimp the size of the Ceviche. It’s not huge, but usually seafood items run a bit pricier at the Festivals (especially when scallop is involved). There was cilantro in the Ceviche as well as the Slaw, but in the case of any food allergy, be sure to check with the CMs before ordering. There may have been cilantro in the marinade/sauce for the braised beef in the Arepa.

  3. Good point! Thank you for thinking of that being a possibility. It’s the first time I’ve had someone attending with us who has a food allergy, so this is a new experience! I do want to make sure we don’t give her anything that could end up making her sick, so I will be sure to chat with the staff before we order or share anything. Thanks for the help! Can’t wait to see your other reviews! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. We had the ceviche today & liked it. The husband & I aren’t big fans of cilantro, but I have to admit it worked in this dish. I also thought the size / price was reasonable for what we got considering this was from a festival kiosk.

  5. Cilantro is a polarizing ingredient, but I felt it wasn’t overbearing in the ceviche. And considering the Festival atmosphere, I agree with you on the size/price.

  6. The ceviche is the one thing I was most interested in at this booth, so glad to hear it was a hit! Though I will say that the cake looks pretty delicious too!

  7. The cake piece was quite large, but it wasn’t heavy feeling after eating it, thanks to the topping being light like whipped cream.