Review: The Berry Basket 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchen

The Berry Basket is the first Outdoor Kitchen that you’ll run into if you start your stroll through World Showcase on the Mexico side. Two more Kitchens are just a hop, skip, and a jump away and then China isn’t too far after.

The Kitchen is “brand new” though we have seen the Field Greens moniker before.

$7.25 Lamb Chop

Served with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique.

This is Flower and Garden’s first foray into lamb if memory serves. And I don’t think it’s a great one. The lamb is incredibly chewy, tough, and difficult to cut or bite off the bone and even with the addition of the vinegar-forward gastrique, dry. We liked the quinoa underneath quite a bit though and it tasted great with the fruity flavors complementing the earthiness of the grain. Overall, it’s an attractive dish with some redeeming qualities and one of the more expensive items available for a snack credit, but I don’t think the quality of the lamb will prove to be consistent. Cross your fingers.

Taste: 5/10

Value: 4/10

$4.75 Field Greens

Served with Fresh Strawberries, Blue Cheese, Strawberry Vinaigrette, and Spiced Pecans.

This impressed in virtually every way from the salad’s vibrant colors to the complex flavors to the portion size. It’s packed with stuff. The sweetness of the strawberries contrasted really nicely with the acidity of the vinaigrette and sharp creaminess of the cheese, which was enhanced further by the crunch of the nuts, which provided a sweet, spicy, earthy flavor. The abundant greens couldn’t have been fresher. Very impressive.

Compare that to this…which was served as “Field Greens” last year…and you might have a better idea about why I’m so much more positive about this year. That’s about the saddest thing I’ve ever seen and you’re talking to someone that logs onto this website most days.

Taste: 9/10

Value: 9/10

$4.25 Warm Wild Berry Buckle

Served with Pepperberry Sorbet. This was another highlight, though you better hurry on the sorbet, which melts quickly on top of the warm pie underneath the hot Florida sun. The tender cake underneath is soft and buttery smooth and the berries on top are fresh and flavorful. The cold temperature of the sorbet contrasts really nicely with the pepperberries, which are sweet at the beginning of each bite before giving way to a lingering peppery aftertaste. At least if it weren’t for the sweet berries and crunchy topping. I loved it.

Taste: 10/10

Value: 8/10

$4.25 Founders Raubeaus

Apparently after having a beer literally fly away on the previous day, we were too concerned about our Pure Raspberry Ale to set it down for a picture. You can see that someone is already on Julep duty. This one is dark pink and smells like raspberry jam with a taste that follows the nose. The flavor evens out the sweet and tart flavors pretty well and almost tastes like a raspberry soda with a distinct juiciness in the mouthfeel. It’s not my thing, but it’s fun to try as a 6-ounce draft at the Festival and is far less tart than Italy’s offering a couple of years ago. The Blueberry Moscato is crisp with the sweet, somewhat tart flavor of blueberries present from start to finish.

$8.75 Twinings Green Tea Berry Mint Julep

Or without the pour of Jim Beam bourbon for $4.25. This was another above average frozen cocktail that was incredibly refreshing with a really nice natural mint flavor backed up by the fruitiness of the berries. The addition of a plump berry and piece of mint was a nice touch and there was a nice pour of bourbon underneath. It’s one of the rare cocktails that I would happily return to and one of the best cocktail values at the Festival.

While I’m not sure the lamb chop will prove to be a winner time and time again, the rest of the menu is among the best at the Festival. Good stuff here.

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