While Refreshment Outpost is open all year, it adds a couple of Festival-exclusive offerings:
The menu is inside the wood cabinet because it’s classy. The Githeri moves over here from what was the Africa booth in previous years. It’s expected to reopen as “Kenya” on October 1st. The Allspice Hard Cider is new.
Spicy Githeri with White Beans, Pigeon Peas, Ben’s Original Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley, and Kachumbari Slaw – $4.75
White Beans and Corn are the backbone of what may best be described as a curry stew ladled on top of rice. Ours was surprisingly spicy – easily the spiciest dish at the Festival. Any vegetarian who enjoys such things will want to add this to their short list – it’s flavorful, packed with protein, and texturally-interesting with the astringent Kachumbari Slaw adding a crunchy component. For most, the flavor profile may be a little bit out there with a lot of curry, paprika, and white pepper dominating the palate. Anyone looking for something a little different should give it a try, though it wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of people who try it officially don’t like it. The dish is still executed well and it’s a nice accompaniment to the Beef, which will be available from October 1st at nearby Kenya.
3 Daughters Brewing Allspice Hard Cider
Sometimes I wonder if Walt Disney only visited Florida between October and May and just assumed that the crushing heat and blistering humidity of the latter were as bad as any place on earth could possibly be. Enter Florida in July, August, and September with omnipresent lightning, RealFeel highs that typically hit 115 degrees in the shade, and wild storms that only appear when no forecaster expects them – or approximately 2.5 of the months that Food and Wine covers. I wonder if whoever comes up with some of these dishes is only considering late October on, as the flavor profile here – straight apple cider with heavy cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and you guessed it…allspice screams cooler fall temperatures that won’t really materialize until the last couple weeks of the Festival. The good news is that it’s not too sweet, as ciders often are, which may make it refreshing for guests with that predilection. But you really have to like nutmeg on the beach in July to rock it during most of the Festival, and I don’t think most people are packing their swimming onesies full of Allspice on their way to the coast. It does certainly help offset the heat from the main dish served here, which is probably the point. Consider it if you’re after some spice and skip it if the sugar apple bombs are more your thing.
Refreshment Outpost is a nice accompaniment to what will be Kenya come October 1st. Because it’s off most people’s radars, lines are typically short, and they also serve ice water, so it’s a good opportunity to rehydrate without feeling like you’re waiting a long time or bugging someone working the register.
India is up next.