Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Japan and Hops & Barley Booths

It’s time to head back to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival for some more booth reviews!

Today, we visit two very different stops on our 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival mission to eat our way around the World: Japan and Hops & Barley!

Be sure to check out full coverage of each booth on our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages! Click on any booth or country name for detailed information, menus, photos, and prices.


The very popular Japan Booth almost always has a line — and with good reason: every year, this fan favorite offers terrific sushi options!

Japan Booth

2012 Japan Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

This year’s menu has several new items to sample. Anything featuring tuna is always a hit, and I predict that the Spicy Hand Roll with Tuna and Salmon this year will continue that tradition.

Spicy Hand Roll (Tuna & Salmon with Chili Pepper, Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil Topped with Kazan Volcano Sauce)

For folks who like the idea of sushi, but not so much the idea of raw fish, there’s a brand new roll featuring chicken: Crispy Chicken Breast with Sushi Rice and Spicy Mayonnaise. The chicken is cooked in a tempura fashion, and I’ll admit that mine was more soggy/seaweed-y than crispy.

Karaage Hand Roll (Crispy Chicken Breast with Sushi Rice and Spicy Mayonnaise)

Of course, there must be a California Roll for sushi purists! (Well, American sushi purists, anyway.) And this one is usually a hot seller (it’s one of the only items that’s back from previous years at the festival).

California Roll (Avocado, Cucumber, Crab, Mayonnaise, Smelt Roe Rolled in Sushi Rice and Seaweed)

But for me, the real winner of the Japan Booth this year is the brand new Sukiyaki Beef Pan! I was really impressed with the flavor here. So much so that it made my list of Top New Epcot Food and Wine Festival Items!

Sukiyaki Beef Pan from Japan

This should be on your list of “must tries” in 2012 for sure!

You can see more pictures, the full menu, and prices on ourJapan Booth Page!

Hops & Barley

Linda Bean’s bounty of lobster, first introduced to Festival guests in 2011, is back this year! Bean, granddaughter to late Maine retailer L.L. Bean, promotes using wild and sustainably-caught Maine lobster meat, and is passionate about the industry in her home state.

In the Hops & Barley Booth, which also offers a wonderful selection of Samuel Adams beer, you find fantastic Maine seafood dishes that won’t break the bank.

2012 Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

To begin, there’s a new addition this year — Linda Bean’s® Maine Home Style Clam Chowder. this traditional chowder is thick with vegetables offering a nice balanced flavor.

Linda Bean’s® Maine Home Style Clam Chowder

And you can’t come all this way without sampling Linda Bean’s® Perfect Maine Lobster Roll®.

Linda Bean’s® Perfect Maine Lobster Roll®

Bean’s company, Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster, also offers the convenient Lobster Claw Cuddlers®. These are Maine lobster claws, pre-cracked for easy eating (though I still had a hard time figuring out how to get into it)!

Linda Bean’s® Lobster Claw Cuddler® Chilled with Herb Mayonnaise

You can see more pictures, the full menu, and prices on our Hops & Barley Booth Page!

What are your favorite dishes at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival so far? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

And don’t forget to check out more food pictures on our Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth pages!

Also, if you’re headed to the Festival, be sure to get your copy of our DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book for a full schedule of events, touring strategies, tips and tricks, and a full section on the World Showcase booths this year! Use code COUNTDOWN for a discount at check-out!


  1. Nikki says

    The Hops & barley booth with the Lobster Roll was a fabulous surprise last year! I’m super excited to see it back again! Wohooooo!!!

  2. says

    I wish I would have had more time so I could have tried that lobster roll! It looks so good.. and the sushi too. AJ, you are making me hungry for seafood tonight! Think I’ll have to go get some sushi from my local supermarket (Wegmans!).

  3. says

    Nikki — Yay! So glad you enjoyed!

    Joshua — I do believe there’s a little bit of herb mayo on it.

    Marci — Ha ha! Go for it!

  4. Galloping Gourmand says

    We New Enganders take our lobster seriously, so you should know this: Linda Bean is a subsidiary of L.L. Bean and you an get their lobster claws at Wal*mart. Although I haven’t seen it in a store I know they sell their chowder frozen and by mail. That’s a downright sin. I hope I’m wrong and they are preparing it on premiss.

    Right now L.L. Bean’s “Linda Bean” restaurant branch doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. They have locations on two wharfs, in an airport, a food truck, one of their stores, and one other town. Strangely, they have also opened in Del Rey. L.L. Bean is somewhat popular in Florida.

    I know this blog is generally a positive place, and I also know I’m going to try the chowder when I’m there because… well… after this mini screed I need to give it a fair chance. But like I said, we take our lobster seriously.

  5. Gorjus says

    Also a New Englander. I found the lobster claw to have the same amount of meat as the lobster roll for almost a dollar less. So you are paying extra for the bread. Go with the claw. The lobster was overdone, but to be fair, that is often the case with food and wine. They are less than ideal conditions. Your food photos from the “cast preview” look almost nothing like the food I got even a day later. In regards to the chowder, this is going to seem like a strange observation, but part of the joy of chowder is the sauce. The one I got at the festival had too many potatoes and I couldn’t taste the sauce. Also, all the potatoes were not cooked, which leads me to believe it is frozen. Ironically, I adapted my “killer” clam chowder recipe from one I received from the very first food and wine fest ever. I’ve been to them all. I adapted the recipe little by little to get it perfect. Though it is hard to complain that Disney gave you too much food and not enough fluff; in terms of the chowder, that would be my issue. I may try it again and ask them to just scoop out the sauce.

  6. Galloping Gourmand says

    Ok, said I’d give it a fair shake and come back with my opinion of the chowder. I just had it about 6 hours ago. Overall, my impression was that this’ll a cheap soup that lacks substance. I didn’t get a single clam in my cup. There was a small amount of potatoes and vegetables, and it was very watery. A good New Eangland chowder should be creamy. This is clearly a frozen product, because them little cream was not well blended and the potatoes were too uniform in their cut and cooked enough to be edible but not enough to be soft.

    If you have it, I hope you get a clam on yours. It’s not representative of New England.

  7. Jean says

    I am also a New Englander and I was at Disney World last week. I had the lobster roll and it had no taste what so ever. My best friend had the chowder and it was not very good either. There was no clams in the chowder and there was maybe four pieces of lobster on the roll.

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