Epcot Food and Wine Festival Pictures and Review: Farm Fresh and Hops & Barley Marketplace Booths

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is well underway, and we’re hearing from lots of you that you’re really enjoying this year’s offerings!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Today, we’re taking a closer look at those little outposts of deliciousness, the Marketplace Booths found throughout World Showcase. Up to this point, we’ve focused on international flair, but this time out, let’s visit two uniquely American spots — Farm Fresh and Hops & Barley.

These two spots include some of our most beloved festival offerings this year.

(Get the bacon hash. Get. It.)

The Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth

The Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth is sort of something old and something new at the same time. The marketplace actually debuted as Florida Local in 2012.

2014 Farm Fresh marketplace booth

Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth

This year, Festival chefs wanted to expand the scope of the food served here. Rather than source ingredients from Florida only, they looked to showcase regional flavors. But the emphasis is still farm-to-market-fresh.

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu

You get the sense that they’re taking a back-to-basics approach. Dishes are homespun, but are executed with attention to detail and bold flavors.

For example — the Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash. This thing is just off the charts. I seriously ate it in, like, 30 seconds while I stood there like an idiot taking up space. It includes Nueske’s Bacon, plus lots of fresh ingredients like Sweet Corn, Potatoes, and Pickled Jalapeños. But the best part? The Hash is topped with creamy Hollandaise. Shazam.

Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with sweet corn, potatoes, hollandaise and pickled jalapeño

Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and Pickled Jalapeño

The Griddled “Yard Bird” is another fun dish. It’s pretty straightforward, actually. Chicken Thighs are seasoned and then pressed on a griddle to render the skin crispy. Served with a side of Braised Greens and House-Made Habanero Sauce, it’s pretty much just  fancy version of what I eat pretty much every night for dinner when I’m at home — grilled chicken with hot sauce. ;-D

 Griddled "Yard Bird" with Braised Greens and House-Made Habanero Sauce

Griddled “Yard Bird” with Braised Greens and House-Made Habanero Sauce

So while this wasn’t as flavorful as I wanted it to be, it’s still a good-enough dish. (Though it pales in comparison to that hash.)

To wash down the bold flavors, you have a ton of drink offerings. We’ve tried the Key Limen Key Lime Wine. It’s a fun flavor profile if you’re looking for something uniquely Sunshine State. You can also enjoy a hand full of well-known wine offerings, like Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling, or St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel.

But the really interesting option here is the Beer Flight. Four, four-ounce pours of locally brewed beers make this a fun choice for guests who are looking to try something new. Sample I-4 IPA, Ba Ba Black Lager, Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale and Florida Cracker White Ale. We enjoyed them all. :-)

Farm Fresh Beer Flight

Farm Fresh Beer Flight

I guarantee you I’ll be visiting Farm Fresh again before the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is in the books!

The Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth

You’ll find more American-inspired flavors at the Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth. The double-sized booth is located near the America Pavilion.

Hops & Barley Booth

Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth

Hops & Barley has been around for a while now, having debuted in 2005. The booth began life as sort of an homage to craft beer and flavors of New England. But these days, there’s more of an upscale, classic American vibe, with a nod to food and beverage pairings.

And it’s a big menu! With four dishes to sample plus lots of beverages, you could make a couple trips or even a meal out of a stop here.

2014 Hops and Barley Menu

2014 Hops and Barley Marketplace Menu

Begin your visit to Hops & Barley with an Artisan Cheese Plate. With the “Cheese” Booth missing from this year’s Festival, the cheese plate was moved over here.

From left to right, this year’s selection includes Purple Haze Chèvre, Cabot Cloth-Wrapped Cheddar, and Caveman Blue Cheese. The flavors and textures offer nice contrast, and we love the classic accompaniments of Crostini, Craisins, and Marcona Almonds. (Though, sadly, I do miss the honey that’s been served at past festivals.) All of the cheeses were delicious, but we especially loved the Cabot Cloth-Wrapped Cheddar with its sweet, nutty flavor profile.

Artisan cheese plate

Artisan Cheese Plate

We also continue to see a Lobster selection here, which has been a hallmark of the Hops & Barley Booth throughout the years. In 2014, Baked Lobster Alfredo debuts.

Baked Lobster Alfredo

Baked Lobster Alfredo

The Pasta Dish features chunks of Lobster Meat in a Creamy Sauce under a crunchy crust of toasted Panko Breadcrumbs.

Baked Lobster Alfredo

Baked Lobster Alfredo

The Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider made its first appearance in 2013 as part of the Florida Fresh Booth’s menu. It found a new home this year at Hops & Barley with a new topping — Pimento Cheese. And it’s great!

We didn’t love the dish last year, since the leaner Grass Fed Beef tends to be a little on the dry side. But the creamy Pimento Cheese Topping is the perfect answer to this.

Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider with Pimento Cheese

Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider with Pimento Cheese

But you’re definitely going to wanna save room for dessert. Because the Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing is tops!

It sounds so simple, right? But this is some of the best Carrot Cake that I’ve had — and I love Carrot Cake.

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing

Served warm, the moist cake is full of fruit and spices. And the warm, poured Cream Cheese Icing makes it unbelievable. This cake is one of the surprise highlights of this year’s Festival.

(Be sure to ask for extra cream cheese icing!)

Cross section of carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing — Cross Section

But we can’t forget the beverages! To enjoy the most variety, it’s always fun to try a Beer Flight. The Hops & Barley flight includes Sam Adams Octoberfest, New Belgium Snapshot, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat, and Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy, which is Orange Shandy this time of year.

Beer flight (featuring 4 4-ounce servings)

Beer flight (featuring 4 4-ounce servings)

Wine drinkers can enjoy La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay or Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Wine in a 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Souvenir Wine Glass

Wine in a 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Souvenir Wine Glass

And we couldn’t resist opting for the plastic souvenir stemless wine glass!

Want More Details About the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

We are always working to bring you all of the latest and most important news and updates on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival right here, so stay tuned for details and check out all of the info below!

Be sure to join our Disney Food Blog Newsletter for the latest information and details. And keep an eye on our 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page for updates.

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Index

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu Index — and FOOD PHOTOS!
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events
2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Low-Cost/Free Seminars and Activities
2014 Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule and Dining Package Information
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Items
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page
2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Events
2014 Tower of Terror 10-miler Events
2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic: Menus, Booking Info available!

How to Book Epcot Food & Wine Festival Events

To book all special events and demonstrations, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) starting July 31 at 7AM ET. Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage Seminars, Mixology Seminars, and general admission for some special events will be bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents are eligible for a $2 discount (per person, per event) for beverage and mixology seminars and culinary demos taking place Mon-Thurs during the festival. Discounts are by phone at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com and the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for details.

News! The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available!

Start planning NOW for your trip with our expert advice, plus information on all of the Special Events, Low Cost Seminars and Demonstrations in a handy take-along format.

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!

Return to the Main 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page.

Tell us which of the dishes you look forward to trying at Farm Fresh and Hops & Barley by leaving a comment below!

Comments

  1. Pat says

    Just got back from two days of trying to do it all in under 48 hours and there were quite a few standouts and some duds. We found both offerings at the Farm Fresh stand loaded with salt. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad on Friday, but Saturday the yardbird especially was completely killed with salt. The bacon hash was good but was hoping for more of a bacon flavor. Was overpowered by some of the other flavors. The good news is on a breezy day I think you can smell the Farm Fresh booth from the other side of the park. Hops and Barley was a win. The alfredo was one of the better offerings as opposed to the claw we had years ago that tasted like a rubber band. The cheese plate was good and the carrot cake was absolutely spot on. Beer flight here was meh. Cherry Wheat and Octoberfest are decent beers and the shandy isn’t bad. Definitely better flights available, especially at Farm Fresh.

  2. Maureen says

    We are staying at WDW right now-and I LOVE that carrot cake so much!! I’ve had it twice-it is so, so good! The icing is incredible. I would love the recipe. My husband says the Baked Lobster Alfredo is his favorite thing at the festival-and we have hit every booth, and tried almost all the selections. Yes, we have spent the last week eating our way around Epcot :)

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