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 [Read more…]

Review: MUST-EAT New Dishes at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

It’s finally here! We are reporting to you LIVE from the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

We’ve been busy for the last couple of days gathering information and pricing for you for every one of the Marketplace Booths at this year’s festival.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

We’ve also had the pleasure of Eating and Drinking Our Way Around the World! For pictures of every dish at this year’s festival, be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth Page. Click through the links to see all of the pictures of your favorite dishes, plus plenty of new items to try!

It’s shaping up to be one of the most delicious Epcot Food and Wine Festivals ever! But after a day of tasting (and tasting, and tasting), we’ve definitely come up with some favorites. Let’s take a look at our top dishes from around the World Showcase this year…

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

As soon as you get anywhere near the Farm Fresh booth, you can smell it. Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and Pickled Jalapeño – a strong, smokey smell of bacon laced with the sweet-spicy onions and jalapeños.

We’ve been hearing about this fun take on “breakfast for dinner” for a while now, but we were blown away by the execution of it. The dish has everything — super flavorful Bacon, Potatoes cooked perfectly (soft and fluffy in the middle and crispy on the edges), and velvety Hollandaise that stands in for the Egg in the dish, not to mention the sweet corn and spicy peppers.

Bacon Hash

Bacon Hash

Just so you know, I have to eat so much during the festival that I never fully finish any of the dishes. This one? This one I finished completely and wished it made sense for me to order MORE!

If you only try one dish this year, I think this should be the one.

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing at Hops & Barley

We hadn’t been wowed by the Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing when we’ve tried it at recent preview events. It was good and all, but nothing to write home about.

But the version of the dish that we tried today at the Hops & Barley Booth was a show-stopper. And no, I’m not even exaggerating a teeny bit.

The Cake itself is [Read more…]

Disney Recipe from the Vault: ‘Ohana’s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I have been known to post an ode or two to extinct Disney foods. And one of my most missed dishes are the Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes that used to be a fixture at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

These potatoes — in all of their creamy, cheesy goodness — are no longer served at ‘Ohana. In their place, you’ll find a perfectly, well…fine…bowl of Lo Mein, noodle-y tangle.

Fine. But they’re no cheesy potatoes.

So imagine how the skies opened and the heavens sang when I recently ran across this recipe for the potatoes that we all knew and loved!

RIP Scalloped Potatoes (photo courtesy Brett Young)

Now, I don’t see any shortening here, but everything else looks pretty fantastic. So I’m going out on a limb and am planning to give them a try.

You should, too.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

‘Ohana
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at White Water Snacks in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

We’re in Disneyland on this lovely Friday, and we’re heading to White Water Snacks for a quick tour and bite before venturing into the parks!

White Water Snacks

The counter-service and grab-and-go restaurant is located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and serves as a stop for a hearty, hot breakfast on the run.

But with lots of grab and go options, you’ll find all kinds of choices to fuel up for a fun day. Let’s head in for a look around.

Atmosphere

Enter White Water from the California sunshine, off of the hotel’s courtyard. The entrance is right off of the pool area, so watch for drippy kids and wet floors! ;-)

Entrance

Entrance

A menu at the entrance gives you some general information about what’s available here, and the hours during which you can order different meals. Handy!

Menu Board -- Click to Enlarge

Menu Board — Click to Enlarge

Once inside, you see the same wood and stone touches that are a familiar part of the rest of this hotel. The feeling here is slightly more rustic than Storyteller’s Cafe, however. It’s more like a posh camping outpost than a restaurant in a swanky lodge.

Seating White Water Snacks

Seating and Rustic Atmosphere

There is seating available both inside and outside. Both options are basic, but comfortable for a quick meal.

Seating and Atmosphere

More Seating

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

Be sure to keep an eye out for the famous Disneyland cats! Fun little furballs roam Disneyland’s grounds freely, and they often stop by Whitewater as it’s one of five official Disneyland feeding stations for the kitties (others can be found at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland and Taste Pilot’s Grill at DCA).

One of the famous Disneyland Cats

Back inside, you start to get a feel for your options, which range from hot, prepared entrees, to grab and go selections.

During our morning visit, we spied a small variety of [Read more…]

Review: Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

It’s been a while since I’ve slept in a camper, cabin, or tent, but that doesn’t stop me from loving Trail’s End Restaurant!

Located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, the down-home spot is one of my favorites for many reasons — but delicious food and reasonable prices top the list.

While I love lunch and dinner at Trail’s End, I hadn’t visited for breakfast before, so I decided it was time to do just that on a recent trip.

Atmosphere

Getting to Trail’s End is half the adventure. It’s located waaaay at the back of the resort, in the area known as the Settlement.

Now, wait. To be fair, adventure is kind of a generous word. It’s actually kind of a pain to get here. Maybe that’s why I like it so much — it’s rarely too packed!

If you’re coming here via bus from a theme park, or via your own car, you’ll park way up at the front of Fort Wilderness and have to take some internal buses to get back to the Settlement. That’s why I prefer to get to Trail’s End and the other Fort Wilderness restaurants via boat from Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, or the Contemporary — much less intensive on the travel end, and more enjoyable as well.

On this morning we took the bus, so we had some sight-seeing to do on our way from the bus stop back to Trail’s End… .

Welcome to the Settlement!

It’s not uncommon to see horses at Fort Wilderness, where there are carriage and wagon rides available.

Ft. Wilderness Activities

Pioneer Hall shares space with our destination. I love this place! It looks like a giant log cabin. The surrounding by tall pines and live oaks dripping in Spanish moss really give it the feeling of a pioneer settlement.

Pioneer Hall

Pioneer Hall is home to several popular destinations at Fort Wilderness. You’ll find Mickey’s Backyard BBQ close by. But it’s also where you’ll head for an evening of down home fun at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue!

Pioneer Hall -- Up Close

Just past the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue venue, you’ll find our destination for the morning — Trail’s End table-service restaurant. This location shares [Read more…]

News and Review: Introducing ‘Host the Roast’ at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant (Plus New Desserts!)

We recently gave you all the details about Raglan Road’s brand new Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch.

And today, we’re back with more great news from our favorite Irish pub in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Raglan Road debuted their awesome new “Host the Roast!” feast on February 3rd, and it’s available every Sunday going forward.

Created to honor the custom of Sunday Irish lunch, “Host the Roast!” is a full traditional meal, centered around premium signature roasts. And this is an option that’s priced for groups of six, which means this should definitely be on your list for your next family reunion in Disney World. (Note that if you’re not interested in Hosting the Roast while you’re there, you can always stop into Raglan Road on Sunday to enjoy the Sunday Brunch!)

Master Chef Kevin Dundon

Are you intrigued? I was! Guests can choose from several roasts, but you need to book at least 48 hours in advance!:

The Roast Rib of Beef, Yorkshire pudding, horseradish cream and rosemary jus, Balsamic glazed carrots, Green beans, roasties and pomme au gratin plus family style dessert.   $55 per person

Beef Rib Roast -- Up Close

The Roast Pork loin, pork crackling, cider port jus, apple sauce & apple chutney, Balsamic glazed carrots, Green beans, roasties and pomme au gratin plus family style dessert.   $47 per person

The Roast Leg of New Zealand Lamb, stuffed with sage & onion, mint sauce and red wine jus, Balsamic glazed carrots, Green beans, roasties and pomme au gratin plus family style dessert.   $45 per person

The Roast lemon thyme Chicken, Bread sauce, red wine jus and a family style Chicken & Wild Mushroom Pie with Balsamic glazed carrots, Green beans, roasties and pomme au gratin plus family style dessert.   $35 per person

All roasts include a family-style dessert! Choices are:
Gran Marnier Fruit & Custard Trifle or Baked Strawberry & Apple Crumble (gluten free option available)

But enough talking — time to see some pics!

How to “Host The Roast!”

So here’s how it all works: you book your “roast” with Raglan Road (at least 48 hours in advance), then show up at the correct time on Sunday afternoon. And the fun begins!

The roast is carved table-side (very fun), so the carving cart is wheeled out to the head of your table.

Carving Cart

Next, servers bring out an enormous cart laden with the roast and all the trimmings. At our gathering, we were fortunate to have two different roasts: the Beef Standing Rib Roast and the Bone-In Pork Roast.

Each roast is accompanied by many of the same items, but there are a few differences in side dishes and sauces (see the menu listing above for details). Horseradish Cream and Rosemary Jus perfectly accented the beef roast and its side dishes.

Beef Standing Rib Roast Host the Roast Platter

The Pork Roast comes with a [Read more…]