In this Part, we’ll catch up on some items that were skipped previously due to it being early in the Festival. We’ll move on to the next set of booths in Part 6. If you have pictures and reviews you’d like to share, please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s extremely helpful as I don’t have Disney Food Blog endurance and usually just order a couple items for a meal whenever I’m visiting.
Back to the Caribbean.
That’s quite a bit of food for $3.50. Fran was nice enough to send in a picture of this year’s iteration. The Ropa Vieja has a lot of “stuff” in it and is going to be spicy, but it’s quite tasty and a seemingly authentic dish that’s returning from last year. Probably not a good choice for “picky eaters,” but the rice looks more interesting than last year’s white and would soak up the juice from the meat nicely. Lesly says, “Very Good. The meat was very tender but the flavor wasn’t as rich as I expected. A light hearted meaty snack option.”
This is the Bacardi Frozen Dragon Berry Colada, which is served in these smallish cups. They’re not particularly boozy, but they are certainly cold and refreshing. And there’s probably some rum in there – the purpose of the flavored rums is to cover up some of the alcohol taste in the first place. The Berry Colada is much sweeter than Cherry Limeade.
And the Bacardi Torched Cherry Frozen Cherry Limeade. Rolls right off the tongue. This one is sourer at first, but you’ll be tasting mostly sugar by the end of the drink. Expect a tarter experience, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is the souvenir cup, which includes a nod to Epcot’s 30th anniversary on October 1st. Alcohol-wise, I don’t think these are a great value, but they’re sweet, frozen, and tasty.
Continuing to Argentina.
Ashly sent in a picture of this year’s Empanada, which looks similar to last year’s. The exterior is nice and crispy and the inside is a spicy mixture of beef and spices. I enjoyed it, but it’s on the small side portion wise. Presentation also leaves a bit to be desired if you want to go New York Times. I would have liked a dollop of sour cream.
Along with the Lamb Chop in Australia, I was sent a bunch of Beef Skewer pictures, as this is one of the most popular items.
Unfortunately, I found mine to be dry and overcooked and it’s a pretty sad looking piece of shriveled up meat in my opinion.
The potatoes and chimichurri sauce are good though!
Fran’s version looks juicier. These Food and Wine booths can be very hit or miss depending on who’s in charge.
Onward to Australia.
Fran sent in another nice shot – this time of the lamb. The potato chips are an interesting addition.
Steve says, “I’m no food critic, but I found it really fatty, even for lamb. Still tasty though and the chips add a neat texture.”
And one more from Terri. She says, “I thought it was very tasty. Cooked just right-not too rare (we had a really rare one last year). I didn’t notice any mint taste from the mint pesto which personally was a good thing as I’m not a huge fan of mint with lamb. The potato crunchies were basically potato chips. Nothing special but they did absorb the grease from the lamb making them pretty tasty. There was a lot of cheese (goat?) on top of the chop as well which I enjoyed but my daughter, 13, that was too much (so I ate hers as well). My daughter basically spent a few minutes sucking all the lamb goodness off the bone. We both declared it “finger licking good” and if we have enough snack credits we will most likely have it again.”
In my experience, the lamb has been on the fatty side, as lamb tends to be. But it’s an accessible item that should be finger licking good, so to speak.
The Lamington Cake is served in a cute little container this year. This is a yellow sponge cake that’s drizzled with chocolate and topped with coconut. If you like coconut, you’ll likely love this. Obviously coconut is one of the more polarizing foods so if you don’t like it, you’ll probably want to stay clear. It’s very good though.
The Shrimp Taco is similar to last year’s, with about 30 different flavors going on. It’s still a tasty, albeit small, item, but I think this year’s beef iteration is more cohesive. The Shrimp Taco is certainly worth trying if you’ve got a snack credit lying around and it’s better than anything at La Cantina.
I enjoyed this year’s Taco de Filete quite a bit. It only has the one sauce and the fresh slice of lime is going to liven things up as well.
Portion size is also seemingly small for the price, but it’s more food than it looks. So much so that you can expect it to be pretty messy. This is one of my favorite new items this year.
The Lime Strawberry Margarita on the Rocks as presented by Ashly. She says, “Yawn! Seriously, I LOVE a good margarita but this was so weak and sickly sweet. Never again!” Sounds about right. Head in to La Cava for better choices.
I keep hoping Ikea will pick up sponsorship on Scandinavia and send Disney a box of 1,000 pieces of plastic to assemble into a booth.
Of all the Food & Wine Festival items, the Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries probably photograph the worst. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an appetizing picture of them. That said, they are very good and Fran did an admirable job of getting as close as possible to making them look appetizing. These should appeal to most people, despite the poor aesthetics.
China has one of the more revamped menus this year.
The Chicken Satay with Spiced Peanut Sauce and Pickled Vegetables. The chicken itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but it’s incredibly moist and virtually falls off the stick.
The peanut sauce adds flavor and I thought it was a nice size for the price compared to other items I’ve tried. It wasn’t outstanding, but it’s a pretty safe dish to try if you’re not looking for something a little more “out there.”
I enjoyed the Mongolian Beef in a Steam Bun more. The creamy sauce tempers the spice a little but, but you’re still going to taste the flavor from the stir-fried beef. I liked whatever those crunchy things are and it was a nice portion size for the price. The bun is characteristically soft and held up pretty well to the weight of the meat and the sauce. Recommended.
Not a newly reviewd item, but a much better picture of South Korea’s $3.25 Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw from this year’s Festival. This is one I highly recommended and it actually looks appetizing now. Monica adds, “Favorite dish out of them all. The pork was seasoned well and was served hot. The coleslaw was a nice temperature and crunch contrast to the meat.” There’s a lot going on, so grab a napkin.
The Jinro Chamisul Soju Fruit Slushy ($7.50 from South Korea). This one wasn’t well liked if I recall correctly. I think the South Korean wines are a little out there for most Americans (or Canadians as the case may be). It may be a little risky, but it should be cold and refreshing. I had a sip and didn’t find it to be off-putting, but it’s no Grey Goose Slush.
South Africa’s up next.
For this year’s Filet of Beef, Diana says, “Cut it with a fork tender, and perfectly cooked.” The beef here can be hit or miss depending on who’s on the grill.
And another accompanied by the Fairview Pinotage (classy), sent in by Monica. She says, “The filet was cooked well and the Braai sauce was really good. I was disappointed in the smashed sweet potatoes. They had an odd taste to them that I couldn’t identify. I actually make my own version of smashed sweet potatoes, so I know I like them usually. I have had the Pinotage during a wine tasting I did at Jiko a few months ago, so I already knew I liked it. It went well with the filet.” That is a nice wine with the filet.
The Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket is certainly long… Diana provided the picture and she says, “The spinach paneer from S.A. is also very nice. Quite large, and spicy. Perfect for sharing.” I may end up trying one.
The 22 ounce Berliner Kindl Dark, which is the only beer from the Brewmaster’s Collection that wasn’t previously reviewed. I expected this one to taste a lot more like toffee, coffee, and caramel than it did. It seems to be getting the thumbs up from Tim regardless. This is another beer that you’re probably not going to find outside of Germany. It was more watery than I was expecting, but that isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. As far as dark beers are concerned, this didn’t taste like one. You should enjoy it as a 6oz sample in a flight, but I’m not sure I’d get a 12oz or 22oz without trying it first. It isn’t a great example of a dark beer.
Germany also had quite the facelift with new wines and two new food items.
This year’s sausage is similar to last year’s in that it comes with a healthy side of spicy mustard and an all-too-small pretzel roll, but last year’s Neurnburger Sausage is replaced with a bratwurst that resembles more of a breakfast sausage. It’s still good and a nice portion for the money, but I’m not sure it’s an upgrade over last year.
At Cheese, we have a shot of this year’s Artisan Cheese Collection.
This looks to be another nice selection if you’re looking for cheese. I’m familiar with the Beecher’s, which is a personal favorite.
On to Poland, where we’ll add new pictures of both food items.
This year’s kielbasa and pierogi should look familiar. At the five dollar price point, this isn’t one I recommend on quality or size, with just about five bites of food.
The Zapiekanki, which has been surprisingly well liked by those who have ordered it. Darcie liked it so much she bought a second. Monica agreed, saying, “This one sounds weird, but it was amazing. The house made ketchup really wasn’t like ketchup at all. I think they would have attracted more people by calling it a spicy tomato glaze.” I had a bite and didn’t care for the texture, but I’m not a big mushroom guy. If you like mushrooms, you’ll probably love this. The helping of cheese is generous and the “ketchup” adds a little bit of spice. It’s a nice portion for the price and I think you’ll like it if the description sounds good. Definitely ooey and gooey.
Italy’s up next.
The Salsiccia e “Papecelli” Napoletani or Sweet Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions on Ciabatta Bread as presented by Fran. Expect the sausage to be sweet and spicy at the same time with a crisp wrapper. The bread is fresh and should be a nice sponge for any excess juice from the sausage and vegetables. I’m not crazy about eating the vegetables on their own, but there’s some green peppers and onions underneath. I’d personally stick with the German Sausage, but this is another meaty choice.
Let me just sat that I approve of the garbage can positioning in this shot Monica sent in of this year’s cannoli. She says, “I keep wanting to like cannolis, but I keep reaffirming that I don’t really like them. This particular one seemed like there was too much chocolate and not enough filling. Which says a lot coming from a chocoholic.”
This year’s Lobster Claw Cuddler ($6.50). There may or may not be a disappointing amount of meat inside, that is still difficult to get at even with the cut at the base of the claw. Lobster is on the expensive side, so this isn’t necessarily “crazy expensive,” but it is a thawed and cooked version of Linda Bean’s frozen offering.
Florida Orange Grove Hurricane Class 5 Florida White Sangria ($3.25), which Ashley describes as, “OMG good! And I’m glad I bought a bottle at the Festival Center since I have been unable to find it locally. Very smooth and not too sweet.” It is indeed available at the Festival Center for $15.95/bottle, which is about four dollars less than you’d pay directly from the winery’s website. They also sell 187ml Capri-Sun-like packages that are chilled for $6.95. They’ll hand them right to you after purchase, so you can theoretically guzzle it outside at your convenience if you so choose. I tried a 187ml carton of the Key Limen ($2.75 to try at the booth) and found it to be a bit tart for a 10% “wine.” It’s worth trying, but you may want to stick with the sangria unless you love the tartness of limes.
Belgium and France up next.