The Sauerkraut Pierogi replaces last year’s Zapiekajsagsadhgai (sp) and the wine is new.
This year’s $5.25 Kielbasa and potato pierogi with caramelized onions and sour cream.
I saw the size of the pierogi and laughed, thinking that Mrs. T’s must have come out with mini pierogi and lo and behold, here they are. The presentation is considerably better than past years with a heaping scoop of onions and two nicely grilled slices of kielbasa, in addition to between two and four bites of pierogi. I’ve never considered these to be much of a value, particularly for their freezer quality, but they remain popular. The sausage is nicely spiced and the pierogi have an approachable quality. I’d recommend it for four bucks, but $5.25 is rough.
The $5.25 Sauerkraut pierog (interestingly, pierogi is the plural of pierog) with pork goulash comes with one large pierog(i) (Mrs T’s doesn’t make a sauerkraut mini) bathed in a thick, hearty goulash with several large bites of tender stewed pork. While traditional, the sauerkraut filling was new to me and the flavor complemented the subtly spicy goulash well. It’s still pierogi from a freezer, but this dish has some cool things going on, elevating its value.
Okocim’s O.K. Beer might have the most honest label of all time. Of all time. This 5.6% Euro Pale Lager is “literally” okay with a clear, crisp flavor with very little aftertaste, making it perfect for afternoon drinking here during the Florida fall. There is virtually no hoppy bitterness or sweetness to speak of.
Store price: 14 cents/ounce.
Festival price: 58 cents/ounce.
It’s not a personal favorite, but it is an easy drinking beer and I’ve never seen it on draft anywhere else.
Can’t help on the pronunciation of the Donausonne Blaufränkisch Hungarian Wine.
Store price: 39 cents/ounce.
Festival price: $1.08/ounce.
Low on alcohol content and high in price compared to $10 for a bottle at the store, Donausonne is the brand and Blaufränkisch is the grape variety, popular with Eastern European countries where it’s predominantly grown. It has a fruity, jammy quality to it and is sweeter than most of the wines we’ve sampled thus far. It’s definitely different and you may want to pick a cup up because of that, even if the monetary value is poor.
The $8.75 Frozen Szarlotka (Apple Pie) featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka was my favorite frozen drink last year. I liked it so much I picked up a bottle of Zubrowka at the store (about $25 for 750ml) and it mixes great with apple juice all year around. The Szarlotka tastes much like an apple pie with a pleasant texture and a subtle kick from the alcohol. Very good.
Germany and the Brewer’s Collection return in between Germany and the Refreshment Cool Post/China, this year with Singapore across the way instead of CHEESE, much to the disappointment of Lisa and women around the world.
The Schinkennudeln is 25 cents more expensive. The Berliner replaces the usual Apple Strudel and a couple of the wines are new, in addition to the riesling flight.
The $3.50 Schinkennudeln — Pasta gratin with ham and cheese is one of the most accessible items at the Festival, potentially perfect for kids (and dads) that have turned their noses up at the thought of peirogi goulash. It’s a nice portion for the money, though it is now available all year at Sommerfest. Hearty and cheesy. Very good.
This year’s $5 Roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll features what should be familiar flavors for anyone that’s ever enjoyed a brat. The pretzel roll is amusingly short considering the long, thin sausage, but the rolls are fresh and it’s a decent portion for the money. There are certainly more interesting items abound, but this is a tried and true Festival dish.
The $3.25 Berliner — Yeast doughnut filled with apricot jam is a departure from the usual cake/strudel that the Marketplace has served for the last few years. This was served a bit chilled, which seemed odd for a donut, which are typically served at least at room temperature. At least on the first day, there was very little apricot filling to speak of and it was otherwise a lot of dough chewing. You’re probably better off hitting the Krispy Kreme at home, but if for some reason you’re looking for a donut, it’s here.
The $4.25 Riesling Flight was unexpected and it’s a fun way to try three different sweet white wines for not a lot of money. Recommended.
With seating in between it and Germany.
The Radeberger Pilsner, Schofferhofer Grapefruit, and Altenmunster Oktoberfest are available year around.
Purchasing a 20-ounce draft of any of those reduces the per-ounce cost by about 25%. Don’t get the Schofferhofer from the Bier kiosk inside the Pavilion as it will be a 12-ounce bottle instead of a 20-ounce draft.
I won’t bore you with a beer-by-beer rundown of the various BraufactuM beers, other than to say I recommend each as it’s unlikely you’ll ever see them anywhere else. Of the choices, the Colonia and Palor are the two most drinkable for the Coors Light crowd, making Flight #1 your best bet. Flight 2 is far more interesting, particularly the Roog, which is a 6.3% rauchbier. It has a strong, smoky aftertaste. Very good.
Remember that the regular Marketplace pours are 6-ounces and as part of the flight, each is 4-ounces. The per-ounce cost is about the same either way. Try to make some friends and you can put together a flight of 6-ounce beers and cry while reminiscing about the good old days (2013) when Disney would sell you a 22-ounce draft.
Singapore moves from closer-to-Norway to across-from-Germany.
The Mahi Mahi is 25 cents more expensive, but the menu is otherwise the same.
The Lemongrass chicken curry with coconut and jasmine rice for $3.75 was a pleasant surprise that reminded me a lot of a Thai green curry dish. It’s a larger portion than it looks in the picture and a good value for the money.
My $4.50 Seared mahi mahi with jasmine rice and “Singa” sauce was prepared perfectly, retaining moisture and the singa sauce was pleasantly sweet. The jasmine rice soaks up a bit of the flavor from the fish and sauce, but isn’t anything special on its own. We enjoyed it and it’s probably one of the healthier items available.
Store price: 13 cents/ounce.
Festival price: 54 cents/ounce.
This is another of the Budweiser of _________ beers, this time from Singapore. Your money buys you half of an 11.2 ounce bottle of standard American adjunct lager with mild sweet graininess dominating the palate. The Brewer’s Collection beer is a lot more interesting.
The Marqués de Caceres Satinela next to this year’s Singapore Sling.
Store price: 39 cents/ounce.
Festival price: 83 cents/ounce.
This white rioja is one of the least expensive wines at the Festival and one that is particularly fruity and light with just a touch of acidity. While not technically “good,” it’s inexpensive and satisfying.
The $8 Singapore Sling is perennially the strongest drink at the Festival. While it doesn’t “taste good,” it’s worth holding your nose and trying to suck down six ounces of pure alcohol. At least on the first day of the Festival, we were served a shockingly drinkable version almost completely devoid of gin. Unless things have changed, the website is forced to revoke its recommendation.
Refreshment Cool Post
The Cool Post is always there, but it serves a slightly different menu for the Festival.
Actually, I think the switch in yogurt flavors and the addition of the undrinkable Billy’s Chilies are the only changes.
A Billy’s review from the Flower and Garden Festival:
Be very careful with Billy’s Chilies from Twisted Pine in Boulder, Colorado. This 5% chili beer tastes like carbonated jalapeno water. This is the first beer I’ve thrown out in some number of years and they were going in the trash left and right as people unknowingly sipped their 6-ounce sample from the flight. You’ve been warned.
The $9.50 Mango Starr Smoothie with African Starr Rum is a gigantic waste of time, money, calories, and diabeetus.
It’s not a smoothie so much as your standard Disney frozen beverage with a generic, overly sweet orange flavor and virtually no alcohol. PASS.
This is not a picture of the Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Frozen Yogurt, but it’s almost a picture of the Dulce de Leche Frozen Yogurt. I managed to snag a bite right out of Tom Corless’ mouth and it is extremely rich. Consider ordering one to share.
Next is Africa, South Korea, and China.