We continue from Cuisine Classique.
Refreshment Outpost situates itself in between the Germany and China Pavilions. It’s not your typical Festival booth, but we’ve seen a number of unique offerings served here exclusively during the various seasonal events.
In addition to adding the Popcorn Pairing Flight and several unique draft beers, we also see a new Plant-based Bratwurst. The Paintbrush Churros also move over here from whatever they were calling the Taste Track kiosk last year.
Plant-based Bratwurst with Spicy Turmeric Aïoli, Coffee Barbecue Jackfruit, and Slaw – $9.50
As you may be able to gather from all of these reviews, we order one of everything at each and every Epcot Festival. This gives me an opportunity to taste some things that I probably wouldn’t otherwise try. A lot of the time, the dishes that sound the most out there are actually among the best, because whoever managed to get the item on the menu had to convince enough of the people in charge that it belongs based on how good it tastes. First up is probably one of those items, as I’m not sure how many of us have enjoyed “Spicy Turmeric Aioli” and “Coffee Barbecue Jackfruit” on a “Plant-based Bratwurst” this calendar year.
Everything works really nicely together. The bun is fresh and fluffy and does an admirable job of holding everything together. The golden Turmeric Aioli is bright and fragrant with a little bit of garlic showing past a very mild cayenne-pepper-like spice. I’m not a big jackfruit person myself – the texture usually comes off as slimy – but it works well here with the slaw, adding a little bit of chew and a smoky flavor to the bratwurst, which was surprisingly pork-like in its seasoning and mouthfeel. Vegetarians will want to seek this out, and anyone looking for one of the biggest bangs for their snack credit buck should also consider this, as it’s basically an entree portion for a single snack credit. Out of pocket, it’s a good value considering the large portion size, but be aware that one of these will likely fill you up. Anyone who enjoys spicy, smoky sausages should give this a go. It might surprise you.
Paintbrush Churros: Cinnamon-Sugar Churros Dipped in Colorful White Chocolate – $6.50
This consists of four sections of churro, each dipped into a different color of white chocolate.
The effect is kind of fun, and for about the same amount of money as your standard Churro with the Chocolate Sauce Dip, you come away with a more photogenic dish. With only about a third of each cinnamon-sugar-rolled piece of fried dough covered in chocolate, the majority of the snack remains about the same as any other Disney World Churro. On the plus side, the Churros are typically fresher here than at the various stands. There are certainly a lot more unique desserts available, but you may want to take advantage of trying something more familiar.
Popcorn Pairing Flight – $11
With Barrel of Monks Brewery Endless Enigma Golden Pale Ale, Collective Arts Brewing Life in the Clouds Hazy IPA, M.I.A. Beer Company Malt Bach Brown Ale
For $1.50 more than your standard beer flight, which consists of three 4-ounce pours, you’ll also come away with three small samples of popcorn. All of the beers are semi-local, which makes this a nice opportunity to try three brews that you won’t find much farther away than Orlando.
The Barrel of Monks Brewery Endless Enigma Golden Pale Ale is a dry-hopped Belgian Pale Ale that brings the usual herb-y, grassy hop flavor of your typical IPA without the typical bitterness. It’s one of the better beers available at the Festival, and a good choice in the 12-ounce size for $9.75. It pairs with the Bacon Barbecue Popcorn, which is either too old or kept out too long to retain much of a crisp. After you toss a kernel in your mouth, each of the popcorn varieties basically just melt away into the powdery seasoning in which they’re tossed.
This is the second year in a row that we’ve seen a Collective Arts Brewing beer out of Ontario, Canada. The Life in the Clouds Hazy IPA is in the classic New England style with a lot of citrus and melon up front, with a pine-y, bitter aftertaste. It’s also very good. It pairs with “Jalapeno Ranch Popcorn,” which tastes like ranch powder sprinkled on top of old popcorn.
The M.I.A. Beer Company Malt Bach Brown Ale, as the name implies, is incredibly malty with a lot of caramel and a light, nutty aftertaste. Usually, these beers are a little too sugary for me, but I liked this one.
It’s apparently paired with Buffalo Blue Cheese Popcorn, which tastes like artificial buffalo seasoning powder sprinkled on top of old popcorn.
You could certainly opt for the Popcorn Pairing Flight, but this is a rare opportunity to order a full 12-ounce draft of the Festival beers. All of the other individual beer pours come in at six ounces. You may have better luck on the freshness of the popcorn. But you probably won’t.
Overall, I’d consider splitting the Plant-based Sausage and grabbing whichever beer sounds tastiest.