Fleur de Lys returns in front of the France Pavilion.
The Onion Tart and Macaron return while the Braised Chicken with Crawfish replaces last year’s Pulled Duck Confit. The Frozen Slush is also back while the Kir Pomegranate arrives in place of last year’s Kir Imperial and the C’est La Vie wine blend swaps with the merlot of yesteryear. The Kronenbourg is probably never going anywhere and last year’s Peach Ice Pop is now a sparkling wine.
$4.75 Tarte à l’Onion Alsacienne
The Alsatian Onion Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme and Rosemary on a Flaky Puff Pastry Crust is one of the better non-salad/non-dessert vegetarian options, which are admittedly in short supply. You might remember that I liked the Crabless Cake as well. They did a very nice job with the impossibly flaky, chewy crust giving way to an incredibly rich onion flavor enhanced further by an assortment of herbs. I would reiterate that this is extremely onion-y and that flavor is going to linger for a long time no matter what you do. I’ve made out with 7-10 girls since ordering this and every single one of them has accused me of working on an onion farm. That may have nothing to do with the tart though.
$5.75 Poulet aux Écrevisses, Riz Pilaf
Baked Chicken with Crawfish served with Rice Pilaf. Above is the picture that the France Pavilion was using to hype their new dish over the last few weeks. Note the whole crawdad in the back and the sizable chunks of mountain lobster mixed in with the lightly sauced chicken and rice.
But there is no whole crawfish to speak of and the couple of bites of freshwater crustacean and anemic chicken are overwhelmed by the dark brown sauce sauce underneath a couple of bites of straightforward rice pilaf. The sauce is just generically spicy and the chicken suffered from a soft, grainy texture. It wasn’t very good and there wasn’t much of it for nearly six bucks.
$4.75 Macaron Chocolat Framboise
Large Raspberry Macaron with Chocolate Fudge and Raspberry Jam.
“Large” is perhaps in the eyes or hands of the beholder, but these macarons at least “feel” a little larger than their brothers and sisters available at the Boulangerie year-round. This year, ours was fresh with a really nice chewy exterior and gooey, naturally flavored rich raspberry interior with a faint chocolate filling that lingers a bit after each bite. I’m not sure it’s unique enough to wait in a long line to purchase it and it’s probably a dollar overpriced, but it’s unlikely to disappoint on quality or flavor. Just keep in mind that France typically offers one of these every year and something very similar is always available at the bakery.
$9.95 La Vie en Rose
Frozen Slush: Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liquor, White and Red Cranberry Juice. It’s one of my favorite returning frozen cocktails and far more glamorous to carry around than one of the thimble-sized plastic cups in which the majority of the drinks are served. It’s not too sweet and the vodka flavor is present, but almost completely masked by the juices and liqueurs. And unlike most of the other drinks that Disney serves at their boths, it hasn’t gone up much in price over the past few years, making it a good value, relatively speaking.
$7.95 Kir Pomegranate
Sparkling Wine and Pama Pomegranate Liquor. This easy-drinking cocktail is at a minimum 100% alcohol, which is a step up from most drinks that are largely thawed fruit juice. The sparkling wine that they use isn’t fantastic, but the subtle, fruity flavors of the liqueur help mask that and provide for a pretty color. Similar drinks are always available in France, but you could do a lot worse if you’re stopping at the Kitchen for another item.
$7.50 Brut de Pêche
Natural Peach Sparkling Wine. This has a slightly sweet, slightly artificial peach flavor backed up by a crisp sparkling wine. The website has difficulty recommending a $7.50 glass when the bottle price is under $10, but again, you know exactly what you’re getting versus the mixed drinks with questionable alcohol content.
$5.00 C’est La Vie
This Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blend is relatively obscure, though the Internet would be happy to ship you a bottle for around $12. It’s less expensive than the sparkling options which may also make it more attractive. It’s incredibly easy to drink with the sauvignon blanc offering a crispness that the fuller-bodied chardonnay would otherwise lack. Not great again, but France’s options are typically more expensive for duller options.
$4.25 Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
I offer the same review of this French draft every year that it’s available, which has been the last several. It’s a decent witbier, crisp and light with citrus notes that are marred (in my opinion) by too much coriander.
Morocco is up next.