Patagonia actually switches sides for this year’s Festival and takes over Scotland’s old spot on the Canada side of World Showcase. Scotland is now located further up on the left closer to Ireland.
Despite the change in scenery, the Marketplace returns all three food items, though the wines are different.
Beef Empanada – $4.75
We tried this year’s version of the Beef Empanada, which is exactly like last year’s Beef Empanada and the Beef Empanada before that.
This is one of the most straightforward items available at the Festival with the flaky crust holding the ground beef adequately spiced with the onions and peppers that make it mildly spicy. The website has long maintained that a dollop of sour cream or some sort of sauce would liven up the flavor profile. It only took five years to get you that pretzel bread with the cheese soup in Canada so maybe next year is our year. Overall, this is a safe, consistent bet, but my eyes are on something a little more interesting.
Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée – $5.75
Another venerable favorite, it’s hard to go wrong with grilled beef, chimichurri, and copious amounts of garlic and butter. The beef itself is among the least tender served at the Festival, but if this was filet there wouldn’t be as much of a reason to douse it in so much of the good stuff. The boniato, which is a variety of not-so-sweet sweet potato, does a terrific job of soaking up everything that falls off the beef. Anyway, I was more pleased with the portion this time around and the beef wasn’t overcooked like it has been in the past. It’s not necessarily a “must buy,” but there’s a reason this is a returning favorite.
Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri – $5.50
This is a particularly bright, vibrant dish with a sizable piece of quality salmon laid on top of quinoa and then topped with a flavorful, creamy chimichurri that adds a nice fresh garlic and herb flavor. The quinoa underneath is mixed with some vegetables that perk up the flavor profile even more. Very good and another winner at this booth.
Verum Pinot Noir – $4.50 and Bodega Noemía A Lisa Malbec – $4.50
I haven’t had an opportunity to try either of these red wines, but both look to retail for $18-$22 making them reasonable values compared to the other selections at the Festival.