Category Archives: Food & Wine Festival

2014 Food & Wine: Germany

Germany doesn’t necessarily grab my attention year after year. The menu hasn’t really changed since 2012 (with the exception of prices), when the Schinkennudeln replaced the Goulash Soup served in 2011.


This year, however, the Apple Strudel has been ousted by a Berliner – a Yeast Donut filled with Apricot Jam.


Since it was a new item, I was game to give it a try, naturally, despite my general feeling towards sweets. Matt wasn’t with me, so I wasn’t able to get his opinion, either. The Berliner is fairly small and light, especially compared to the previous Apple Strudels served. It comes topped with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.


Continue reading


2014 Food & Wine: Morocco

Almost every year Morocco lures me into its kiosk, though I didn’t fall for it last year, as the food options weren’t anything I hadn’t tried before. Nor was I impressed when I did try them.


Having been burned by its lack of flavor over the past several years, I skipped the Kefta Pocket and moved on to the new Spicy Shrimp Roll. In the past, they’ve offered a Harissa Chicken Roll, which made the menu last year as well as back in 2011. It can also be found at Spice Road Table on its Tingis Sampler. It was nothing more than a chain restaurant’s Southwest Egg Roll, and I’m not the only person to have made such a comparison.


The Spicy Shrimp Roll’s only information listed on the menu board was that it comes with a Cilantro and Mint Sauce. The “sauce” was very heavy on the oil, and its flavor was almost more prominent than the cilantro and mint. Fortunately, the wrapper’s crisp exterior held up against the sauce and didn’t become soggy.


Continue reading

2014 Food & Wine: France

There was a bit of shock that swept through social media when France’s very popular Escargot Persillade en Brioche had been revamped into a Tartelette aux Escargot: an Escargot Tart with Garlic, Spinach, Bacon, and Parmesan. The former three tiny brioche that featured chopped escargot, garlic, and parsley had been drastically changed.


The Boeuf Bourguignon returned, and a Gratin de Crozets de Savoie – a Wheat Pasta Gratin with Mushrooms and Gruyere Cheese – has been added. The Creme Brulee au Chocolat au Lait, like the escargot, has been changed up – though not as drastically – and features a Caramel Fleur de sel flavor.


Our top focus on the first visit to the kiosk was the Tartelette aux Escargot. One of the things mentioned, and I believe this was on Twitter, was that the new Escargot dish features a lot of filler with the Spinach, Bacon and Parmesan.


Continue reading

2014 Food & Wine: Greece

Greece is always on my list of must-visits during the Food & Wine Festival. It’s also fairly vegetarian friendly for those who want more than just desserts. The Griddled Greek Cheese, Chicken Gyro, and Spanakopita remain from last year, but the Taste of Greece and the Dannon Oikos Blueberry Greek Non-Fat Yogurt Cup – which rang in at a whopping $4 – has been removed.


Replacing the Taste of Greece is a new Vegetarian Moussaka. While I haven’t ordered any of the food items yet, and the Vegetarian Moussaka is definfitely on my agenda, I had to stop by to try the Tzatziki Martini!


The Tzatziki Martini features Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yogurt Liqueur. I thought this was a very interesting combination, and considering I like tzaziki, looked forward to this being a delicious cocktail for me.

Continue reading

2014 Food & Wine: Africa

The menu for the Africa kiosk at this year’s Food & Wine Festival left vegetarians and carnivores alike upset with their removal of the Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket, a flavorful vegetarian option that wasn’t a dessert, cheese, or faux meat (vegetarian “food” options are limited to a small handful). Apart from being delicious, it was also a large portion for the price, making it a great Festival value.


Returning to the menu are the Beef Tenderloin Tips, which comes served  Berbere-style with Okra, Jalapenos, Tomato and Pap (a corn-based porridge). Replacing the Spinach and Paneer Pocket is the clearly-not-vegetarian South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms.


Despite losing the Pocket (why couldn’t they just add a third food option?), I was still interested in the South African Bobotie. My bobotie experience has been limited to the Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom, where it features beef. It can also be found on the menus at Boma and The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Flavorwise, I liked it, but the texture of the eggs was a bit spongy. I figured this was because of its preparation to be served on a buffet, and was hoping F&W’s would be different.


Fortunately, it was. Matt doesn’t like eggs, but he managed a bite or two of the Bobotie, aiming the fork towards the middle. There was plenty of turkey and aromatic spices to help make him forget there were eggs. This would make an excellent start to your day as it has a very brunch-like feel to it.


I was also impressed by the amount of turkey in the dish (though this was ordered on preview day, and that can always change throughout the festival). I thought there was a nice balance between egg and turkey, but there weren’t too many mushrooms in the dish.


We haven’t ordered the Beef Tenderloin Tips, but anticipate the dish will be as good as 2013’s, adding a little bit of heat to the menu.



For something new, I think the South African Bobotie is a solid dish and worth a look. I think the flavor profile is one of the more interesting ones of the festival, and if you’re a fan of the flavors served at the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants, you’ll probably want to give this a try. While I’m not sure it’s a “must revisit” for me, it’s still on the list of possibilities once I make my way through the plethora of other foods.

We’ll keep you posted on updated reviews from Africa 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?

2014 Food & Wine: Hops and Barley Market

Hops and Barley Market used to be a must-stop for us, as Matt was a big fan of the former Pumpkin Mousse that was replaced last year by Craisin Bread Pudding, and again this year by Fresh Baked Carrot Cake.


This year, the Lobster Roll, of which I was not a fan, has been replaced by Lobster Alfredo. With the Cheese kiosk gone, an Artisan Cheese Plate has made it to the menu, and the Florida Grass-Fed Beef Slider, a version which was once served at the repurposed Florida Local kiosk, has also joined the lineup.


Interested by the new lobster dish, I decided to give the Lobster Alfredo an honest try. I’m particular about lobster, so I was a bit apprehensive. When I posted a photo of the dish online, a reader noted that it looked dried out. Yes, the top of this dish was indeed toasted, but that was the only part of this dish that was dry.


Continue reading

2014 Food & Wine: Terra


While we tried out the Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese the year Terra was introduced, we skipped the food offerings in 2013, opting for the Watermelon Juice instead. Neither of us were fans in 2012 of the chili, and we weren’t willing to give it another chance. This year, Terra introduced a Blackened Chick’n Breast and CraB’less CraB Cake.


While I do occasionally eat faux meat (on purpose, even), it’s not a top pick for my diet. If I’m going to pass on meat, I’d prefer a flavorful vegetarian or vegan option, and I really hope that’s the direction Terra moves someday. But now, that’s not the case, and with new items on the menu, it was time I give the kiosk another try.

First up, we have the Blackened Chick’n Breast with Farro Wheat and Spicy Gumbo Sauce featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast. The gumbo sauce did have a little kick to it, and the farro was cooked well.


Continue reading