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Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival — First Food Reviews

I finally get to share some food pics and reviews from Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Center! I’ll be putting together blog posts specifically about merchandise and the Festival Center soon, but I always give the food pics priority, as you know ;-) Here’s how the Festival Food (beer and wine will be discussed separately) is set up, for those of you who might not have been here, yet:

The Festival Center: Here, you can find the “Taste of California” items — eight tapas-sized portions of food representing California, the Festival Center “Wine Seller,” other festival merchandise items, a Stella Artois-hosted “Star Lounge” and Belgian Brewers Collection, and one of the festival seminar locations.

Around Disney’s California Adventure: Throughout DCA, you can find six dining locations offering “festival-inspired” dishes, like “Mangia Meatballs” and Award Weiners!

Eats

Today, I headed to the Festival Center to nosh on several of the “Taste of California” Marketplace items as well as try out the brand-spanking new, still-in-testing-stages, 106-flavor, “PurePour” Coke Machine…which I’ll be telling you all about in the next week or so. Here’s the full list of food items available. These all cost between $3 and $5:

We started out with a selection of Artisinal Cheeses:

This included three extremely mild cheeses — the Cheddar had the most zing, but even this was bland compared to others I’ve tried. The Cheddar was also quite oily by the time we got it, which was not appetizing at all. We enjoyed the two softer cheeses (which we guessed were brie and gouda), but everything was served somewhat dried out. The baguette slices were stale, so we bypassed them after one bite. The raisins-on-the-vine were a very nice touch. This cheese plate was fine, but probably not worth the price.

Next, we sampled an Ahi Tuna Dish:

The fish itself was quite tasty in this dish. It was considerably well-cooked (as compared to how it looked in the publicity photo), and the accompanying slaw offered a good, crunchy companion texture. The wasabi aioli and fried wonton strips were good additions and really rounded-out the dish.

Then, it was on to the dish I was most excited about — the Beer-Cheese Soup in a Bread Bowl:

Um…a bread bowl?! That’s awesome! And I’m finding that the bread bowl is a staple here in Disneyland. Everything’s in a bread bowl. Gumbo. Chowder. Chili. If it’s liquid, they’ll put it in a bread bowl. So this item was a teeny-tiny bread bowl with a smidgen of delicious beer-y cheese-y soup in it. The taste was stronger than our favorite Moosehead version at Le Cellier in Disney World, and I’m not sure I could have eaten a BIG GIANT bread bowl full; but the taste I had left me wanting more.

Finally, we sampled the Ghirardelli Profiterole:

This item, I have to admit, was disappointing. I was hoping for a warm profiterole with a creamy, custard-y center. What we got was a cold, somewhat stale pastry with congealed goo inside. Yep — it tasted about as good as it sounds. Even the chocolate on top didn’t save this one. But, in defense of the profiterole, we were there pretty late in the evening, so perhaps the early morning profiteroles are fresher-tasting and have filling that hasn’t had time to turn all goopy. (My husband likened it to a pre-packaged Boston Creme Pie-type dessert.)

Interestingly, we were surprised by our findings on these items — we figured the soup would be great, but didn’t expect to like the Ahi. Alternately, we figured we’d really enjoy the cheese plate and profiterole, when both items ended up with a “meh” rating from us. Just goes to show — you’ve gotta try everything! You never know what’s going to take home the prize for you!

I’m headed back out to sample more goodies for the rest of the week! Stay tuned for more reporting from Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival!

You can see my first post from the Festival here: Welcome to Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival. To follow along with us and find out info and details about the events, check out our main California Food & Wine Festival page!

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5 Comments

  1. Gray says:

    AJ, I just wanted to say I’m really enjoying your updates from the Festival. I’m incredibly envious. The beer cheese soup in bread bowl looks awesome.

  2. AJ says:

    Thanks, Gray! I wish you were in Vegas right now — we could do a quick meet-up in the middle!

  3. Courtney says:

    I am so glad you are letting us know about this Festival. I was born and raised in Florida and have been spoiled by the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. I now live in SoCal but have never been to the DCA Food and Wine Festival because I’m worried that it will never live up to the level of Epcot’s! Thanks for your reviews!

  4. AJ says:

    Thanks courtney! Stay tuned for more! We’re headed out to the festival again this aft!

  5. Marne says:

    The little food bites at the Disneyland food and wine festival are really bad this year. That quesadilla tastes like cut grass smooshed between a dried out tortilla. And the prices are WAY too expensive for the miniscule portion sizes. I’ve been going to the DL Food and Wine Fest since it started years ago, and the food this year is the WORST I have ever seen!

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