2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Belgium and Brazil

We are back with another look at some of the Marketplace Booths that will be featured at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

food and wine festival logo

Today, we are visiting two more of our favorite spots — one Old World, and one New!

Both the Belgium Booth and the Brazil Booth epitomize one of this year’s biggest themes. We can’t wait to Taste Our Way Around the World with lots of returning favorites, and some new flavors as well.

Let’s take a look at what these two Marketplaces will be offering guests in 2014, starting September 19th.

Belgium Marketplace Booth

The Belgium Marketplace Booth offers Food and Wine Festival guests the best of both worlds. We love the interesting food options here. But it’s also a primo stop on your Brews Around the World Tour as well!

Belgium Marketplace Booth

The Belgium Booth first debuted at the festival in 2010, and has become a mainstay since then. After all, who can resist indulging in a sweet or savory Belgian Waffle?

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Belgium Booth Menu

  • Potato and Leek Waffle with Beer-Braised Beef
  • Belgium Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream
  • Belgium Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Stella Artois Cidre
  • Chilled Coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Beer flight (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Stella Artois Cidre

There are many returning favorites here this year, but we’re happy to say that we see some fun additions as well.

The Potato and Leek Waffle was one of our Best of the Fest Favorites in 2013, so I’m thrilled that it’s returning! This year, the flavors are amped up a bit as the Beef topping the savory waffle is braised in Beer!

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

After such a hearty dish, we definitely recommend that you give one of the dessert waffles a try. You can’t go wrong with Belgian Waffle topped with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream.

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

But if you’d rather have a fruit topping, no worries. Try the Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream instead.

Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream

If you prefer a dessert that you can drink, you’ll be happy to know that the [Read more…]

Review: Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito and Empanadas at La Cantina in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Happy NATIONAL MOJITO DAY, EVERYONE!! OK, I’ll be honest. We’d PLANNED to share this post with you on the ACTUAL National Mojito Day, but a big news item came up and we had to bump it. So this is our STAND-IN National Mojito Day. I hope that works for you. :-D

Still, crazy how time flies, isn’t it? I remember last Mojito Day like it was yesterday! It feels like I was just putting up my Mojito Tree, baking mojito cookies and singing all my favorite mojito carols…

Oh, wait, was that just me?

Anyway, on this day as we gather with family and friends to celebrate Mojitos all around the world ;), we thought we’d show you a mojito in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion that has more than a bit of a twist… the Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito found at La Cantina de San Angel.

La Cantina Sign

La Cantina Sign

La Cantina Drink Menu

La Cantina Drink Menu

The drink serving is huge – it fills every inch of the glass and beyond, as you can see. (At $11.50, I should hope so.)  As a bonus, it’s also looks terrific!

Frozen Pomegranate Lime Mojito

Frozen Pomegranate Lime Mojito

A traditional Mojito is a mix of fresh mint, lime, club soda, sugar, and white rum on the rocks. The Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito has… well, it’s got lime :) . And pomegranate!

Tequila – as opposed to rum – is the featured liquor here, and I can’t say I picked up one hint of mint. What I did pick up on was a refreshing blast of cold, fruity sweetness nicely balanced by the tart lime.

Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito

Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito

For all my joking about Mojito Day traditions, I’m actually not a huge mojito fan myself, so this version is far more up my alley.

You know what goes well with a tart-and-sweet beverage like this? Something

[Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Italian Food and Beer Pairing Lunch at Via Napoli

We are less than one month from the start of the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and it will be here before you know it!

food and wine festival logo

Today, we are anticipating some of our favorite Special Events. While we love the Marketplace Booths and Low-Cost Demonstrations and Seminars, it’s fun to splurge once in a while on a few of the Special Events, culinary experiences that take place throughout the festival.

Much is made of wine — after all, this is a food and wine festival. But in recent years, Epcot has expanded its offerings to lovers of cocktails and beer as well.

The opportunity to try craft beers and brews from all around the globe is especially exciting. So let’s take a closer look today at one of the events that is especially geared toward beer lovers — The Italian Food and Beer Pairing Lunch.

Italian Food and Beer Pairing Lunch at Epcot’s Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

I attended this event during its inaugural year. While the food was delicious and the beer servings were generous, we were disappointed by the event format. It was basically a luncheon with none of the presentation or explanation that we’ve come to expect with these types of events.

We were anxious to try again though, and last year I was able to attend the event again.

Italian Beers and Bottles

Italian Beers and Bottles

We arrived at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria a little early for the event. That’s always a good idea so that you can scope out the venue — especially at a place that is still functioning as a regular restaurant while the event is going on. It’s not always easy to find the registration desk for the event versus the regular check-in line for the restaurant!

While I’ve had trouble with this particular distinction at Via Napoli before (they usually have people check in for the Food and Wine events at the regular check-in desk), on this visit they had the registration desk separate.

Arriving for the Event

Arriving for the Event

That said, the sign was a little confusing. Apparently, it’s doing double-duty for both the Beer Pairings and the Wine Pairings. Our event included only beer; there isn’t a combo event, for those of you who are wondering. :-)

We were greeted by one of the managers, who showed us to the area where the event would take place.

Presenter Guy

Via Napoli’s Manager Greeted Guests

We found our tables set with all of the glassware that we’d need for four courses. There was also fresh Bread with Olive Oil for dipping to get us started. Note that seating seemed to be assigned at this event. I’ve found that to be the case at more and more food and wine events these days.

The Table is Set

The Table is Set

Individual menus made for handy references throughout the meal and great souvenirs after it was complete.

Place Setting

Place Setting

Before we got started, I had a few moments to acquaint myself with the other guests seated at my table (another good reason to arrive a bit early!). I also had a chance to look over the menu.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

It seems that the Italy Culinary team have gotten the memo; our event included [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Japan Food and Beverage Pairing

We are ramping up for another fantastic Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Today, we’re reviewing a fun Special Event from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

We are heading over to Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion for the Food and Beverage Pairing experience. The light meals feature beverages paired with tasting-sized portions of the restaurant’s cuisine.

I’ve enjoyed dinner at Tokyo Dining as well as lots of fun meals at Teppan Edo, so I was pretty sure I was in for a treat! While we’d done the Morocco food and beverage pairing event, we’d not yet experienced the Japan version. Here we go!

Atmosphere

When I arrived for the Food and Beverage Pairing, I checked in at the stand that serves both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining. The cool, sleek waiting area features simple, modern decor and comfortable low lighting.

Waiting Area Serves Both Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo

This area is also shared by the two restaurants.

Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo Waiting Area from Another Angle

Step into the Tokyo Dining seating area, and the same modern Japanese vibe is prevalent throughout. A sushi show kitchen takes up space along one wall.

Tokyo Dining Seating and Open Sushi Kitchen

The other side of the restaurant is dominated by [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Patagonia and Canada

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be here before you know it! If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for September 19 through November 10!

food and wine festival logo

And around here, we think that making plans for the festival is big fun! We don’t want to miss a thing, and we know you don’t want to, either.

There are endless numbers of Special Events and Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars. But our favorite draw continues to be the Marketplace Booths throughout World Showcase.

So today, we are kicking off our previews of this year’s Marketplace Booths with two that you’re sure to love — The new Patagonia Booth and a returning favorite, Canada.

Patagonia Marketplace Booth

The Patagonia Marketplace Booth, new for 2014, will combine the flavors of Chile and Argentina. While we are still awaiting our first pictures of what the new Patagonia Marketplace Booth will actually look like (soon!), we are excited to see some returning favorites from the 2013 Argentina Booth join some brand new dishes!

Fan Favorite Beef Empanadas Will Take Up Residence at the Patagonia Booth!

Fan Favorite Beef Empanadas Will Take Up Residence at the Patagonia Booth!

In addition to past favorites like the Beef Empanada, guests can enjoy wines selected from both Chile and Argentina.

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Patagonia Booth Menu

  • Beef Empanada
  • Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée (gluten free)
  • Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri (gluten free)
  • Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
  • Terrazas Reserva Malbec
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé

We’ve tasted the Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri. It’s sure to be a hit with guests this year!

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimichurri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimichurri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

And the Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée is always a crowd pleaser!

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée

Canada Marketplace Booth

The Canada Marketplace Booth is a mainstay of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Stop here for [Read more…]

The “DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival” Grand Launch and Discount!

We’re thrilled to announce the grand launch of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book! With over 220 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial! And just in time to make your plans — general public booking begins on July 31st!

2014 Food and Wine Guide 3D

In honor of our grand launch, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the new mini-guide for $3 off the regular price for a limited time — just use code MENUS at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book features all the info you need to know before you attend the Food and Wine Festival this year, from what’s NEW this year to touring strategies — and a new section with top tips on how to use MyMagic+ at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

And with the Epcot Food & Wine festival rapidly approaching, the time is now! Booking for festival events opens July 31st at 7AM ET, and our exclusive daily schedule of events is the most efficient way to plan your festival strategy. (Did you purchase a pre-order of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and not receive your book? Let us know at Support@DFBGuide.com!)

With a detailed schedule of seminars and events for every single day of the festival, it’s a quick, easy way to decide what activities and events you want to book! Don’t waste time flipping between web pages, PDFs, and websites — just find the date you need and we’ve got it all right there in front of you. Just like that!

Find Everything That’s Going On During Your Visit in our FULL Daily Schedule of Events!

As always, we’ve made this guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with

[Read more…]

News! Discounts, Early Booking Dates, Eat to the Beat Dining Packages, and Sneak Peek at Menu Items From the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

DFB had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview yesterday evening at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, and I have more new information to share about the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Below, you’ll find:

As always, you can visit our Epcot Food and Wine Festival index page for ALL updates at any time.

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu Information

Be sure to check out our 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Page for updated menus, food photos, and more as the Festival gets closer!

OFFICIAL 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths:
The following booths have been confirmed as officially returning in 2014. We’ll have more to list for you — and full menus — this week!

Patagonia
Africa/South Africa
Brazil [Read more…]

New! “Frozen” Food Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Summer!

We have more Frozen food news for you out of Disney’s Hollywood Studios! (Frozen food! Get it? Ha!) Last week, we told you about the Frozen Summer Fun Package — complete with Dessert Party!

Frozen at DHS

Today, we’re back with our very first look at some of the Frozen-themed treats that you can find throughout the Park!

The Studios bunch continues to delight guests with all kinds of ways to celebrate the epic success of the Disney animated film Frozen this summer. Perfect, right? Who doesn’t love a cool breeze on a HOT Florida day?

And in addition to super cool ;-) attractions like ice skating, guests can also snack and drink their way through Arendelle!

Let’s start with a few refreshing drinks! The one that we’re most excited about is the “Let It Glow”! This non-alcoholic cocktail will be perfect for the whole family! A refreshing concoction of Pineapple Juice, Grenadine, and Ginger Ale — it comes with a fun souvenir Glow Cube. I can’t wait to try this one!

"Let It Glow" Non-Alcoholic Cocktail

“Let It Glow” Non-Alcoholic Cocktail

For grownups, there are two fruity options that come with an extra kick — the Summer Berry Margarita and the Blue Dream. While the Margarita features the fruits of summer, the Blue Dream is a magical mix of Citrus Vodka, Blue Curacao, Peach Schnapps, Sweet-and-Sour Mix, and Pineapple Juice. And since both of the adult beverages come with a Glow Cube as well, everybody’s happy!

Summer Berry Margarita and Blue Dream at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Summer Berry Margarita and Blue Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You’ll find all three daily from 4-10 p.m. at Animation Bar and Idol Bar.

But WAIT until you see the snacks!!! They clearly have my number with this one. Over at

[Read more…]

Review: La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion, Walt Disney World

I’m gonna be honest. On my last few trips to La Hacienda de San Angel, the cost just wasn’t worth the experience.

But on this visit, things were a bit different. Maybe it’s because I ordered the things I was confident in, or maybe it’s because I had a killer window table and view of IllumiNations. Or maybe it was just the margaritas. (But I’m pretty sure it was the soup. More to come on that.)

But no matter how it happened, this was a night to remember! An expensive night to remember, but a night to remember nonetheless.

Wanna hear about it??

Atmosphere

Start your adventure by heading into Epcot’s World Showcase and swing by the Mexico pavilion. Step up to the archway bearing this sign at the entrance, and you’ll have found the check-in podium. It’s hard to miss.

The check-in podium is underneath this sign!

La Hacienda Sign

Once inside, you’ll receive a pager and take a seat in the waiting area if there’s one available. We were dining on a steamy day and would have appreciated a larger place to hang out. Our table wasn’t quite ready when we arrived, but that was probably due to the fact that we asked for a spot by the window.

We weren’t in a hurry, however. So taking a load off was kind of nice. We’d made a 7:30 reservation with the hopes of seeing the 9:00 fireworks, so we knew we had some time to kill. And we were seated soon enough.

One thing that La Hacienda got right straight from the beginning is the ambiance. Simply put, this is a gorgeous restaurant.

Atmosphere

Inside the Restaurant

The soaring ceilings, heavy furniture, and warm-colored tile floors give a homey feeling to the spot, which totally makes sense. This is La Hacienda, after all. You’re dining in a residence-turned-restaurant. (For more of the backstory, you can see one of my earlier reviews.)

The whimsical hanging lights — both the punched metal star sconces and the paper lanterns — are just beautiful! As the light wanes, they become even more breathtaking, lighting the space with a candlelight-like glow.

One of the Main Dining Rooms at La Hacienda

Another View of the One of the Dining Rooms

Seating is a combination of booths and tables with chairs.

Seating

Seating

Booths line the center of the room, as you can see from an earlier pic. But some of my favorite booth seating is elevated and along the back wall. This is a cozy way to enjoy the view of World Showcase.

Booth and Artwork

Booth Seating

And speaking of the view…here it is! As I mentioned, we waiting for a little while to get this window-side table. And it was totally worth it. Check out our stellar [Read more…]