Earth Eats is one of three Marketplaces located in the courtyard outside Innoventions West. That’s it in green straight ahead with Active Eats on the left and then Coastal Eats down to the right out of frame.
The Marketplaces here are typically less crowded than their World Showcase counterparts and have plentiful high-top tables. The close proximity also makes it easier to grab items from multiple locations and then meet up at a single table in the middle of the area.
If the look of the Marketplace “feels” familiar, it’s because it was known as “The Chew Collective” last year and sported the exact same food offerings.
Luckily, Disney is not serving the undrinkable “Festival Wines” at any of the Marketplaces this year. Those are replaced by two of the best wines available, in addition to the Mead.
I’m not sure why they dropped “The Chew” branding here, considering we still see quotes from the hosts and the lifestyle show will be filmed at Epcot again this year, but here we are.
Despite the items returning, we still ordered one of each to see if anything had changed.
Last year, the items were served on what are probably more attractive, “sustainable” plates, rather than the cardboard trays we see this year.
Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce – $4.75
This looked quite a bit sadder than last year – the ravioli was much less firm and the sauce and cheese looked like they were slopped on haphazardly. There’s still very little zucchini present and I thought the sauce was much thinner with more sugar than I like from my pasta dishes.
Last year’s. On the plus side, we were served more food this year. It’s still better than the pasta options in Italy, but I wouldn’t purchase what we were served on day one again.
Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots, and Feta Cheese – $5.25
A Grilled Beef Skewer is perhaps not the most unique dish they could have come up with considering Argentina’s/Patagonia’s longstanding dish. But the beef was more sizable than last year, better seasoned, and cooked closer to a medium well than four hours too long, which is typical of the Festival’s beef-on-a-stick. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of cheese and fruit, which I thought was what made this dish stand out last year, but you do get a little of that underneath. It’s a very “safe” dish for the meat and potatoes crowd. Just pick the skewer up immediately before the apricot has a chance to contaminate it. There are a lot more interesting items all around, though. Those looking for the highest quality beef should hold out for Canada’s Filet.
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle – $3.50
We really liked this one and the vertical presentation allows for the layers to complement each other with the peanut butter offering its usual salty, roasted flavor with the white chocolate mousse sweetening things up and then the caramel adding extra sugar along with the crunch on top. It’s not a terribly large portion, but it tastes so good that I think it demands to be tried.
Kurt Russell’s Gogi Wines Chardonnay “Goldie” – $10
This is our second run in with this wine – last year it was served at the Wine & Dine Studio.
As pictured more elegantly here.
Store Price: $2.36/ounce.
Festival Price: $5/ounce.
Value: Above average.
Yes, that Kurt Russell brings us what are probably the two best wines at the Festival. The Goldie Chardonnay is surprisingly light given its complexity with pear, apple, and caramel notes. Fine wine drinking is probably more of an October or November occasion when you find yourself outdoors in Florida, but you won’t find a smoother, more flavorful white at any of the other Marketplaces.
Kurt Russell’s Gogi Wines Pinot Noir – $15
Store Price: $2.95/ounce.
Festival Price: $7.50/ounce.
When Kurt Russell released his first pinot noir back in 2008, only 24 cases were produced. Now, the winery’s output is well over 1,500 cases per year. $15 is a rough price point for the Festival atmosphere in my estimation. I don’t think most people are savoring their red wine in 90-degree heat. But this is the best red wine available at the Festival and you may be willing to pay the premium to experience that. This is otherwise a heavy pinot with an oaky character – a lot of fruit up front with lingering spice. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said it was much closer to a cabernet. Delicious, overall.
Redstone Meadery Black Raspberry Mead – $7
Store Price: 75 cents/ounce.
Festival Price: $1.75/ounce.
Value: Above average.
This is very much not what I was expecting. Served out of a tap, the flavor is basically artificial-tasting carbonated raspberry water sweetened up with honey – not unlike an alcoholic seltzer. It might be a good choice for those that don’t like beer or wine, but would still like to partake in something since there aren’t any cocktails available at the three Marketplaces that make up this area.
Overall, I was a little less impressed by the ravioli and beef, though the dessert is still quite good. The wines are the best available, but that comes with a premium that you may or may not want to pay. The chardonnay may be more attractive at $10. The mead is surprisingly refreshing and not terribly priced given the larger portion.