News! Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Merchandise

One of my BEST experiences at Disney — hands-down — was participating in the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend with my friend Todd P. a couple of years ago!

Wine and Disne Half Marathon Apparel

I bought a shirt to commemorate my accomplishment, and I still wear it all the time! :-D

Well, the half returns again this year — The Walt Disney World Resort will host this event November 8-9, 2013, as part of the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. And those running in the race can get their own swag to celebrate…

Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Merch

Whether you’re shopping for apparel, pins, home goods, or other souvenirs, many of the items will feature artwork designed by Paolo Gutierrez, a Disney Design Group artist. Paolo explains “…I purposely designed the logo to resemble a bottle label.”

I LOVE this “I Did It” T-shirt with a stylized course map! Make sure everyone knows what a big deal you are!!

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Course Shirt

Participants can choose from T-shirts, long-sleeved apparel, and a navy colored polo shirt. There will also be an assortment of women’s shirts, including a [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Sweet Sundays with Celebrity Chef Carla Hall

DFB reporter James Armstrong recently attended Sweet Sundays with celebrity chef Carla Hall (co-host of The Chew and Top Chef Alum) during the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Let’s check out his review!

The two hour event was divided up into two parts: the first hour consisted of the Sunday Brunch and the second was the celebrity chef demonstration. Upon arrival at 9:30am, we lined up for our table assignments. Doors opened promptly at 10am.

Table assignments

Each assigned table sat approximately six guests with seats on a first come first serve basis. The tables were set with pre-made yogurt parfaits and orange juice.

Once most of the guests had arrived, waiters began escorting each table to the buffet in an orderly “one table at a time” fashion.

Buffet overview

Buffet

Sweet Sundays Brunch

The brunch portion of the event started with some standard buffet items — croissants and strawberry cheese danish. They were good but there was nothing exceptional about them. The croissant was flaky and buttery.

Overview of buffet

There was also fresh raspberries and blueberries [provided by Driscoll’s one of the Festival sponsors]. They were very sweet and at the height of their ripeness.

Raspberries and blueberries

A favorite part of the buffet was the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Vegetarian Dishes at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Join us in welcoming guest author Rebecca Dolan! After sampling ALL of the vegetarian menu items at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, she’s sharing her review with us. Read on…

Vegetarian Food at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The offerings at this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival may err on the meaty (or fishy) side of things, but there are a number of nods to vegetarians around the World Showcase Lagoon. The veg options may not be terribly exciting, but there are enough to keep herbivorous appetites at bay. After sampling all of the items conveniently marked with a green “V” on the Food and Wine Festival menus, we’ve reviewed both the entrees and desserts below.

Savories

Africa: The spinach and cheese paneer pocket was one of my favorite vegetarian noshes. Since it’s fried, it can be a tad heavy, and perhaps not the best on a scorching Florida afternoon. The golden flaky pastry exterior yields to a filling that’s much like the saag paneer you’d find at an Indian restaurant.

Spinach and Cheese Paneer Pocket

Cheese: I personally did not care for the almond crusted blue cheese soufflé, as it was a bit soggy. But, blue cheese lovers might enjoy it as a unique vessel by which to enjoy its pungent bite, which is cut by a dollop of fig jam on top.

Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé

The cheese booth’s other offering was a trio of (what else?) cheeses: Flagship Reserve Cheddar, La Bonne Vie Triple Crème Brie and Wijngaard Goats Gouda. It’s a pretty standard cheese board and didn’t disappoint.

Cheese Trio

Greece: What would a Greek booth be without spanikopita, or cheese- and spinach-stuffed phyllo pockets? Though a tad on the greasy side, they were plump with filling. A bit like Africa’s spinach pockets, this version is slightly tangy thanks to the use of feta rather than mellow paneer.

Spanikopita

As advertised, the Taste of Greece is not vegetarian, due to the addition of [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: 2013 Belgium and Canada Booths

The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is still going strong at Walt Disney World! And today, we’re back with another delicious marketplace booth review.

This has been a terrific year at the festival for revisiting favorite dishes from the past while enjoying some really delicious new options. And two booths that demonstrate this beautifully are Belgium and Canada!

Let’s take a closer look at what each offers guests in 2013, and talk a little about our favorite dishes!

Belgium

Belgium celebrates its fourth year as part of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

In the past few years, the savory offering has been mussels prepared in a variety of ways. (I’m still waiting for them to catch the vision of those amazing frites that Belgium is known for!)

Belgium Booth

This year, the booth departs radically from mussels, and instead has decided to offer a full menu of another Belgian staple: Waffles!

2013 Belgium Menu

This probably makes sense, since the sweet waffle that’s been a staple here has always been popular. But it does make things a bit homogenous over here. Regardless, I was excited to try the savory waffle that was added to the lineup.

The Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef was so impressive (primarily because they douse it with melted butter) when we tasted it that we immediately named it one of our Best of the Fest dishes for 2013.

A fresh waffle — crispy on the outside, tender on the inside — is smothered with a thick, rich beef stew. The braised beef features chunks of beef and carrots in a flavorful sauce that soaks right into that tasty waffle. The whole thing was topped with that aforementioned melted butter. Amazing!

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

And what better way to top off a meal of waffle than with [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Parisian Breakfast at Les Chefs de France

It’s time to head back to one of my most favorite spots in all of Epcot’s World Showcase — Les Chefs de France!

Even though I’m happy to dine at this bistro anytime of the year, today we’re bringing you a review of a brand new special event from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — the Parisian Breakfast.

When this new event was announced for this year’s festival, I jumped at the chance to add it to my busy opening weekend schedule! It’s one of the lower-priced special events available, and I’m always looking for a value.

As a special bonus, the event took place before most of World Showcase was fully opened. I always love it when I can have any part of the park (mostly) all to myself. :-)

Atmosphere

The Parisian atmosphere of Les Chefs shines through at this new breakfast special event.

Seating and Setting the Table

After all, if  you look at the pic below, it even kind of feels like you’re in Paris, eh??

Beautiful Morning Sunlight

I was seated at a table looking out onto the World Showcase promenade. This event (along with most other special events at the festival these days) had assigned seating.

This is relatively new for festival events, so be prepared if you’re hoping to sit with a friend who booked separately from you!

Our Table with a View

Luckily, I got to sit with an awesome group of Disney food fans and we chatted the morning away! It was a great time!

Now, as beautiful as the morning surroundings are, I know you’re anxious to see [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Hawai’i and Ireland Booths

We’re back with another fun review from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

The festival has already been going strong for over a week, and we have lots of favorites to bring you — some returning, and some brand new!

I know you are just as excited to Eat AND Drink Your Way Around the World at the festival’s Marketplace Booths as we are here at Disney Food Blog!

Today, we’re heading to two of my favorite stops on the journey around World Showcase — Hawai’i and Ireland!

Hawai’i

Introduced only a couple of years ago, Hawai’i has quickly become a fan favorite with hearty dishes and fun drinks.

Hawaii Marketplace Booth

Fans of the Hawai’i booth are happy to see that two food favorites have returned in 2013! There are also some great beverage choices here.

Kona Brewing Company beers Big Wave Golden Ale and Pipeline Porter are returning. But last year’s Chardonnay is replaced by a Gewurztraminer in the wine category (YUM!). Cocktail lovers can enjoy a brand new vodka-based option!

2013 Hawaii Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

I was very excited to sample the Kālua Pork Slider once again! During a recent chat with Epcot chefs, I learned that the pulled pork used in this dish is slow-cooked on the premises. This is the real deal! (If you’d like to make it at home, check out this fun recipe.)

Kālua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise

Although the Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips isn’t my personal favorite, lots of guests think this is tops for fresh flavor — and it’s a great representation of an authentically Hawai’ian dish.

Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips

An exciting addition to this year’s booth line up is the [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Scotland and Brazil Booths

We are coming to you LIVE from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival this week!

It’s been a whirlwind of fabulous food and we have so much to tell you about! But today, we thought we’d bring you our very first Marketplace Booths of 2013.

Let’s take a closer look at two new booths — one brand new and one returning — Scotland and Brazil.

If you’re looking for your favorite booths, be sure to check out ALL the info and brand new photos on our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages.

Scotland

Following the success of the popular animated film Brave, it seemed like the right time for Scotland to debut as the Food and Wine Festival’s newest booth option.

Scotland Booth

We’ve been anxiously awaiting final word on what would be served to represent Scotland, and the final menu was met with mixed reviews from readers.

In the end, sponsors of the Scotland booth and Disney chose a menu that would represent some current trends in Scottish cooking and that would appeal to a broad audience.

2013 Scotland Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

Salmon is always a popular option with festival goers, and the Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette is proving to be a great addition to this year’s lineup! In fact, it made our Best of the Fest List!

Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette

Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties (Griddled Vegetable Cake with [Read more…]

Review: “Best of the Fest” at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Booths!

It’s here! The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!

We’ve been super busy over the last couple of days, taking in low-cost demonstrations and special events. I can’t wait to share all of it with you (FYI: Parisian Breakfast = AWESOME!)!

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.

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

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.

Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce

It has a bit of a kick, but it’s [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Preview: France and Greece

Just a couple more weeks, and we’ll all be checking out long-awaited 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

While we look forward to trying some brand new experiences, like the Scotland Booth, there are plenty of returning fan favorites as well. Two of my favorite booths over the past couple of years have been the France and Greece Marketplace Booths.

Boasting delicious bites and long lines, these are spots that you should try and hit early in the day before the crowds swell! Let’s check out what they’ll be offering in 2013…

France

The France Marketplace Booth is one of the original marketplaces that debuted for the very first Food and Wine Festival eighteen years ago. I can’t imagine having this event without it!

2013 France Marketplace Booth Menu

What’s back this year? Staples like snails and creme brûlée, but also a past festival favorite. This booth offers, really, a full MEAL when you think about it! Appetizer, entree, dessert, drinks!

  • Escargots Persillade en Brioche (Garlic and Parsley Snails in Brioche)
  • Boeuf Bourguignon (Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes)
  • Crème Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait (Chocolate Milk Crème Brûlée topped with Caramelized Sugar)
  • Beer Kronenbourg Blanc
  • Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
  • Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
  • Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush (Vodka, Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice)

For the last two years, the France booth has offered Coq au Vin with Macaroni and Cheese, and there have been rave reviews (from me especially!).

This year, Boeuf Bourguignon created with Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet and served with Mashed Potatoes are back on the menu — a return from 2010. Thanks, as always, to Kelly Amey from Changing Latitudes for this pic!

Braised Short Ribs

The Escargots Persillade en Brioche have been a [Read more…]

Make Your Own DFB Food and Wine Festival Tray!

Many of you know that one of my personal tips when visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival as an uber-fan is to bring along a tray to carry your goodies!

Yep — that’s right: a TRAY! Juggling a credit/gift card, a drink, a plate of food or two, your receipt, PLUS any extras like a day pack, purse, wallet, kid, etc. can get really annoying as you travel from booth to booth at the World Showcase.

So for the past few years I’ve visited with a tray, which makes it easy to hold my drink(s), plate(s) of food, credit card and receipt, and any other random things while I’m searching out a good place to eat. (Remember, tables can be few and far between at the festival, so it may take some searching to find one unoccupied.)

Make Your Own Official DFB Food and Wine Festival Tray

I’ve had many readers request that I start selling DFB branded trays for this purpose so that they could not only have a tray for the festival, but also promote their DFB reader status (which we greatly appreciate!). So I thought I’d make it one step MORE economical, and introduce…the OFFICIAL DFB TRAY BUMPER STICKER!

This way, you can use any tray you currently have — or head out and get a nice cheap one to use that suits your purposes and fits in your backpack/daypack!

Just slap on a DFB sticker and everyone will know you’ve got an official DFB Food and Wine Festival Tray! Here are a few examples…

The Mickey Tray

This adorable Disney-themed tray is the perfect choice for your festival adventures!

The Cheap and Easy Tray

This plain cafeteria tray works PERFECTLY as [Read more…]