Countdown to Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Australia, Brazil, and Canada

The time is upon us again, my friends! The Epcot Food and Wine Festival will begin in just a couple of weeks, and I’ve decided to share my excitement by counting down to the Festival with a look at the International Marketplace booths that will be located around the World Showcase Lagoon!

For those who haven’t had the chance to go to the Festival, one of my favorite parts are the dozens of International Marketplaces — little booths, or kiosks, set up that represent a specific country or region. Each booth offers a short menu of tasting plates and drinks from the country or region represented. These tasting items cost anywhere from $2-$7, so they’re a great way to enjoy the Festival without breaking the bank.

Today, I’m going to highlight the representative menus from Australia, Brazil, and Canada!

Grilled Lamb Chop, Red Wine Sauce, Murray River Sea Salt as served at Food and Wine Fest

Australia

This year, Australia is highlighting a couple of the same items as they did last year, but they’re also bringing in an interesting dessert! Here’s the full menu for Australia:

  • Seared Barramundi with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes,Arugula, and Lemon Oil
  • Grilled Lamb Chop with Roasted Potato Salad and Red Wine Reduction (photo below from Tables in Wonderland 2010 Food and Wine Festival Preview)
  • Lamington (sponge cake dipped in chocolate)
  • Rosemount Traminer Riesling
  • Marquis Philips, Shiraz
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet
  • Nugan Estate Riverina Chardonnay

I can highly recommend the Grilled Lamb Chop — it was one of my favorite festival items last year!

This year, the Australia booth will be located right between Morocco and Japan, right next to the Food and Wine Festival Merchandise tent.

Click here to see our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Australia Booth Page with Photos.

Pork Skewer with Farofa

Brazil

Brazil returned to the Festival in 2009 with an incredible menu, and they’re bringing most of it back this year! Here’s the full 2010 menu:

  • Grilled Pork Skewer with Farofa
  • Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime
  • Leblon Frozen Caipirinha

I wasn’t too impressed with the grilled pork skewer last year, but heard great things about the shrimp stew!

This year, the Brazil booth is located right at the entrance to the World Showcase Promenade as coming from Future World, directly across the lagoon from the American Adventure pavilion.

Click here to see our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Brazil Booth page with photos.

Polenta and Sausage Appetizer -- as served in the restaurant

Canada

Always a favorite booth among Food and Wine Festival guests, Canada offers some dedicated standards (cheddar cheese soup) as well as new favorites (sausage and corn polenta and nanaimo bars). Here’s the full 2010 menu:

  • Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • Maple-Glazed Salmon with Lentil Salad
  • Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta
  • Nanaimo Bar
  • Moosehead Beer
  • Vidal Icewine
  • Chateau De Charmes Riesling
  • St. David’s Bench Vineyard Merlot

I am eagerly awaiting a sample of the nanaimo bars! These decadent goodies aren’t very well known in the states, but they are truly outstanding (assuming they don’t give you a heart attack mid-bite!). The sausage and sweet corn polenta is an exciting prospect as well; it’s a dish I adore at Le Cellier, Epcot’s Canadian table-service restaurant.

Click here to see our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Canada Booth page with photos.

Stay tuned for more booth highlights as we continue to count down to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

To see the rest of the booths, including full menus and photos when available, check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival International Marketplace Booth Menus and Photos Guide. For more information on the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Index.

What booth are you most excited about visiting at this year’s Festival? Let us know in the comments section below!

Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Specialty Items

We headed back into Disney’s California Adventure to sample two of the Food & Wine Festival‘s signature items this year. Signature items are located at counter-service spots around the park, and the two we sampled were found in Taste Pilot’s Grill and Award Weiners.

These signature dishes are sized larger than the tapas that can be found at the “Taste of California” area in the Festival Center. They are served as standard counter-service meals, including a side dish — usually fries, chips, or apple slices. The cost for the larger items is reflective, sometimes topping out in the teens!

Mangia Meatballs
The Mangia Meatballs are a cross between an Italian Sausage and a meatball sub sandwich. The three meatballs on a cornmeal hoagie roll were accompanied by marinara, onions, and peppers, creating a slightly spicy dish.

While the meatballs tasted pre-packaged and had a mushier texture than I was anticipating, the marinara with onions and peppers was quite good. The whole thing was topped off with fresh mozzarella cheese — un-melted — which added positively to the taste. Overall, I wouldn’t get it as an entree if I had other choices, but it wasn’t the worst meatball sub I’ve ever had. I’d give it a 6 out of 10. This dish can be found at Award Weiners.

Mangia Meatballs at Award Weiners

Meatball Close Up

Pulled Pork Sandwich
The pork sandwich surprised us both. We were expecting dry, over-cooked meat with too little taste (so often the case with mass-produced pulled pork), but the sandwich was actually quite good. The serving of pulled pork was extremely generous, and the taste — with just the right amount of BBQ sauce [Read more…]

Dinner at ‘Ohana

Today, my friends, we’re headed to Disney World’s Polynesian Resort to visit one of my favorite places — and yours — ‘Ohana. Those of you versed in Lilo and Stitch, or those of you who have been lucky enough to visit the beautiful islands of Hawai’i, know that “‘Ohana” means “Family,” and at this restaurant, they drive the point home.

Food is served family style, everyone in the restaurant — including you — are “cousins,” and the Hawaiian entertainment is aimed at bringing everyone together to participate in common activities. It’s a restaurant like none other in the Disney realm, and its high points are what keeps ‘Ohana a tough reservation to get.

Atmosphere
You’re greeted at ‘Ohana by “cousins” at the podium who take your name, give you a buzzer, and send you out into the Polynesian Resort to explore. Trust me, this is one of those rare restaurants where you hope you have 15-20 minutes to wait until you’re seated — there’s so much to do! Here are my favorite diversions while waiting for my buzzer to go off at ‘Ohana:

  • Have a Drink: Grab yourself a giant wicker chair in the Tambu Lounge just past the ‘Ohana podium. Knowledgeable bartenders and friendly servers will cater to your whims as you relax and wait for your table. (One of my favorites is the Lapu Lapu…a drink served IN a pineapple!)
  • Lapu Lapu

  • Listen to the Islands: ‘Ohana often provides a very talented [Read more…]