I’m back after a whirlwind visit to Disneyland this past weekend — and it was all to check out (and present at!!) the 2016 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival!
The Festival, which has been on hiatus since 2010, made a surprise comeback this Spring. And we are so thrilled! We gave you a first look a few days ago, and now we’re back to share more!
If you’ve attended the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, then you’ll have a sense of what the DCA Food and Wine Festival is all about. While all Special Events take place during the weekends only, the Marketplace Booths are open all week long!
Rather than having an international flair like Epcot, the Booths at the DCA Food and Wine Festival focus on the flavors of California with eight themed booths. It’s a big, diverse state, so there’s lots to celebrate!
Heather and I couldn’t resist the chance to dine around this weekend. Of course, we came away with a few favorites. Let’s check out our Best of the Fest for the 2016 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival!
Gold Rush Booth
Gold Rush won our pick for best booth overall! And how could it not with some of my favorite foods, like over the top Mac and Cheese and — BACON?! (And, yes, we’re pretty much including EVERY menu item at this booth in our “best of the fest,” so…there you go.)
First up, that mac and cheese I mentioned. This is not for the faint of heart. The Triple Cheese Mac with Smoked Chicken featuring Fontina, Cheddar and Gouda Cheeses has it all!
Looking for a high brow, different kinda snack? We loved the Artichoke Chips with Spicy Aioli.
But then, there’s this. I am a HUGE fan of sweet and salty combos. And when bacon is hitting the salt note, I am all in! So the Apple Bacon Whoopie Pie got high marks from all who enjoyed it.
LA Style Booth
Next, we hit the booth that celebrates all there is delicious about the City of Angels. At LA Style, we especially liked this fusion of Asian Flavors with Mexican concept in the Pork Belly Bao Taco with Pickled Vegetables.
But I couldn’t resist trying something sweet here, too. We gave high marks to another sweet-salty combo — the Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart, which is garnished with Almond Brittle and Sea Salt.
I’d love to give you a picture, but…um…after nearly 10 years of writing this blog…I ate it before I got the chance to take the picture. Sigh. Sorry about that.
¡Viva Fresca! Booth
features some wonderfully inventive flavors inspired by Latin Cuisine. Heads up to my friends who enjoy vegetarian fare — check out the Anaheim Chile and Roasted Cauliflower Burrito! But the Fried Shrimp Soft Taco with Pickled Red Onion-Jalapeño, Queso Fresco and Avocado-Lime Crème won this round for us. 🙂 The spiced breading on the shrimp was incredible!!!
The Farm Booth
Want to get a taste of the bounty produced by the California farming community? Then head to The Farm Booth! We found our favorite vegetarian offering here — Golden Thai Vegetable Curry. (Look closely; you’ll see the rich Curry Sauce beneath the Veggies and Jasmine Rice.) Check out the coconut flakes!
But you know that I cannot live by bread (or veggies) alone! So the Grilled Beef Tenderloin Slider, served with a healthy helping of Chimichurri Sauce, also ranked highly for me. The scent of the grilled beef was incredible!
By the Bay Booth
It’s not a Food and Wine Festival without some Cheddar Cheese Soup!
Well, clearly the DCA Food and Wine Festival crew agree. Because they’ve brought a West Coast version of this Disney Food and Wine Festival Classic to the party! The White Cheddar Ale and Bacon Soup may even win in a head to head battle. Because…BREAD BOWL. Adorably tiny Bread Bowl at that. Our only complaint? Needs more soupage.
If you’re looking for a filling option at the Festival, this should definitely be on your shortlist.
That wraps our picks for Best of the Fest dishes for the 2016 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. To see photos of all of this year’s dishes, head over to our main DCA F00d and Wine Festival Page!
We’ll be back with more coverage of some of the Festival’s Special Events. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, have you visited this year’s DCA Food and Wine Festival? What’s been your favorite Festival dish so far?