It’s here! The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!
But first, while opening weekend was a whirlwind of activity, we made it a point to check out every Marketplace Booth and try it all! It’s always our goal to do this so that YOU know which dishes are not-to-be-missed and can plan accordingly.
2013 Best of the Fest Marketplace Booth Dishes
While this “Best of” list started out a lot longer than this, we wanted to give you a breakdown of the cream of the crop — our very favorite dishes so far from the 2013 Marketplace Booths. Some of these are returning from past years, and some are brand new! Let’s go with the Best of the Fest for 2013!
Belgium: Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef
Belgium features three different waffles in their lineup this year — one savory and two sweet. This Potato Leek Waffle comes with Braised Beef that reminds me of Sunday roasts.
The waffle is delicious by itself — but top it with the braised beef and MELTED BUTTER!!!! and it’s heavenly!
South Korea: Kimchi Dog
We’ve been raving about the South Korea Kimchi Dog since we first sampled it at the preview event for this year’s festival. The Spicy Hot Dog (which is specially made for Epcot just for the festival!) is topped with a fresh Kimchi Slaw and drizzled with a Spicy Mustard Sauce.
It has a bit of a kick, but it’s completely amazing! I’ll be getting seconds here for sure!
Japan: Teriyaki Chicken Hand Roll
Japan’s Teriyaki Chicken Hand Roll was a surprising favorite of ours as we made our rounds throughout World Showcase! All the flavors of sushi are there, with the Sticky Rice and Nori, but the protein is a nicely marinated portion of Chicken.
This is a great dish for picky kids or folks in your group that don’t love fish. They don’t have to miss a stop at the Japan booth!
Hops & Barley: Craisin® Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Anglaise
There are lots of sweets to enjoy around World Showcase, but one of our favorites is the new Craisin® Bread Pudding featured at Hops & Barley in the America Pavilion. It’s doused in a generous pour of Grand Marnier Anglaise. The Bread Pudding itself features the fantastic combo of Orange and Cranberry.
The glaze doesn’t skimp on the Grand Marnier, either.
Scotland: Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette
The Scottish partners who worked with Disney staff to create the menu for the Scotland Booth hit a homerun with this dish.
The rich Salmon and creamy Cauliflower Puree are going to be very popular with festival guests, I’m thinking! And I love that distinctive Malt Vinegar flavor.
The Outpost: The Brown Elephant featuring Amarula Cream Liqueur
We absolutely LOVED the Brown Elephant, a brand new cocktail that you’ll find at The Outpost! It may look like a coffee drink, but it’s actually a combination of creamy, sweet Amarula Cream Liqueur and Coca Cola!
Since Amarula is the wonderful stuff that gives Zebra Domes their deliciousness, we were looking forward to this a lot. But with the addition of the bubbles from the Coke, this tastes like the best Cream Soda, ever.
China: Strawberry Silky Spun Ice
With intriguing colors, interesting texture, and an exotic name, fans of finding something new and different will want to try the Silky Spun Ice from the China Booth. It’s available in three different flavors — Coconut, Strawberry, and Chocolate.
On this visit, we decided to try the Strawberry, and it was so good! But the texture is what really makes this. Here’s a TIP from the cast members at the booth: skip the spoon for this one and use a fork to make the most of the unique texture!
Cheese Booth: Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé with Fig Jam
Cheese, glorious cheese — I’m so glad for all of the interesting options that you’ll find at the festival this year. Another new addition is the Almond-Crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé with Fig Jam at the Cheese Booth.
While we weren’t sure what we’d find with this one, the flavors of Blue Cheese and Fig Jam are always a winner. As it turned out, the unexpected texture really grew on us! Weigh in and let us know if you’re happy with this savory soufflé replacing the much-loved Cheese Fondue from festivals past.
Canada: Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee, and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette
Since salmon moved over the the Scotland booth, we were anxious to try a new fish dish at Canada. The Seared Rainbow Trout is topped with Bacon, Frisee, and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette.
My friend, who is more of a fish fan than I, really enjoyed the dish! The combination of salty Bacon, slightly bitter Frisee, and the tangy Vinaigrette complemented the fish perfectly.
Canada: “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce
Introduced just last year, the “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce from Canada instantly became one of the most popular festival dishes of 2012.
This came as no surprise to me — it’s been my favorite meal at Disney for a while now, and so there’s no way I wasn’t having it during my tour Around the World! During my visit, they were heavy-handed with the Wild Mushrooms, which could make the dish even better if you’re a mushroom fan.
Greece: Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey
Even though this isn’t a new dish — it took the festival by storm two years ago and has been getting rave reviews ever since — I can’t resist having it at least once every year. The perfect salty-sweet-cheesy dish, it just can’t be topped!
Ireland: Kerrygold Cheese Selection
You know how much I love cheese! And this seems so simple, right? Cheese, Bread, Chutney.
But the Kerrygold Cheese Selection at the Ireland Booth has a couple of new offerings this year, the creamy Irish cheeses with just a little bit of tang are the perfect accompaniment to that Guinness you’re enjoying! I really couldn’t decide which one I enjoyed the most.
Brewer’s Collection and Craft Beers: Out of the Ordinary Beers
While beer isn’t so much my thing, I really love when I find something new in the world of brews that grabs my attention. One of the standouts for beer lovers at the Food and Wine Festival are the fun Beer Flights that allow you to try different things. (Check out the fun new cards you get to tell you exactly what you’re drinking! And see the “compass” in the center of the tray to tell you which one is which.)
Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is actually available at Sommerfest, Germany’s counter service spot. It’s a light, citrusy-sweet brew, and is seriously refreshing. It’s a great combo paired with the rich German food offerings.
Another standout for me among the beer flight options was the Leinenkugel’s® Orange Shandy. While it’s a seasonal offering (i.e. it could change), I really hope you get to try this one. With flavors of orange that don’t stray into sweetness, I loved it!
And best of all, you can order either of these beers along others to try in flights — or in larger sizes by themselves!
The following dishes may not have been our favorites, but they were right up there.
Refreshment Port: Orange Dole® Whip with Crème de Cacao White
Pineapple Dole® Whip made its Epcot debut at last year’s Flower and Garden Festival. (We can’t wait to see if it returns for the 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!) It proved to be so popular that we’re now welcoming Orange Dole® Whip to the Food and Wine Festival.
Topped with Crème de Cacao White and a Cherry Man® Natural Maraschino Cherry, this is a creamsicle for grownups. (You can also get it sans liqueur topping.)
Australia: Pavlova (Crispy Meringue Shell with Fresh Driscoll’s Berries and Vanilla Custard)
While I’m no fan of Pavlovas (and meringue in general…you know this), this version from Australia makes our honorable mention list.
Why the sudden change of heart? Because the Vanilla Custard is to DIE for. So I’ll happily carry it to my mouth on a cloud of sugar air!
Africa: Berbere Style Beef with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato, Okra, and Pap
The Berbere Style Beef with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato, Okra, is back after a hiatus from the Africa Booth.
The braised Beef is really tender, and the interesting Spices and addition of Jalapeños pack a punch! The creamy Pap served with the dish is just right for taming the heat.
So there you have it! The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is off to a fantastic start! We thoroughly enjoyed our trip Eating and Drinking Around the World. And judging from the crowds we’re seeing, you are, too!
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News! The DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available!
This 190+-page e-Book has everything you need to know — including full-color photos and expert tips — for making your visit to the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival the best Disney trip, yet! We’ve compiled all of our best advice so that you save money, save time, and have a blast.
Use code CHEFS at check-out for a $3 discount!
This list represents our favorites during our first trip around, but we know that you have your favorites, too!
And now it’s your turn. Tell us in comments: What are your favorite dishes so far during the Festival? Or what are you looking forward to trying the most?