We continue from New Zealand.
Refreshment Port is located on the right side of World Showcase as you walk towards the Canada Pavilion or on the left side after you pass through our neighbors to the north. During the Food and Wine Festival, the Australia Marketplace situates itself across the way.
Ordinarily, this is where you’d find the delicious Croissant Doughnuts, but those have been moved to Taste Track across from Test Track during the Festival.
During the rest of the year, Refreshment Port has become a bit of a “Poutine” Headquarters, offering a variety of french fry options topped with things that may or may not be safe to ingest, in addition to a version of the Cheddar Cheese Soup that’s served at Le Cellier. During this year’s Festival, Refreshment Port adds the Beef Brisket and Sweet Potato “Poutines” and offers the Dole Whip with and without Bacardi Coconut Rum.
Above is a list of the drink choices available during the Festival. The Sam Adams Boston Lager is a recent addition and Bud Light takes over for Miller Lite. We’ll take a look at that Stow Away Mary while we’re here as well.
Beef Brisket Poutine: French Fries with Beef Brisket, Beer Cheese Sauce and Poutine Gravy topped with Crispy Onions – $8.69
This sort of “feels” like the antithesis of what the Food and Wine Festival is all about, which may or may not be a bad thing. I don’t think the immense size of the portion is evident from the picture, but this is a large cardboard boat absolutely stuffed full of fries and then topped with what must be a combination of 8+ ounces of Beer Cheese Sauce, Poutine Gravy, and Beef Brisket and then sprinkled with Crispy Onions for good measure. After covering this and similar Epcot events in full each of the last seven years, trying well over 500 different items in the process, I have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the various Festival offerings. But if you’ve never been to the Food and Wine Festival before, I feel like you’re probably handed your first couple of items and inevitably wonder when they’re going to give you the other half. Well, here it is.
This is ballpark…or perhaps amusement park…food at its finest. The fries are served piping hot and extra crispy with plenty of creamy beer cheese sauce to cover the extra large pile of potatoes. The Beef Brisket is more of a quantity-over-quality situation with at least six ounces of juicy meat sandwiched in between the fries and sauce. The Crispy Onions mostly get lost in the mix, but you’ll enjoy a little bit of an astringent punch from time to time.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend these if you’re looking to snack around the Festival unless you have 18-25 people in your group. This is an overwhelming portion for one person and should keep two people stuffed for several hours. But the “Poutine” is disgustingly good and incredibly addictive.
It’s also at least 20 times more food than the Le Cellier Filet Mignon for about the same money.
Here’s a free idea for next year, Disney: The Gourmet Poutine Flight.
Taste: If you want to hate yourself, it’s a 9/10
You’re not going to find this many calories for this little money at any of the other Marketplaces, I can guarantee you that.
Sweet Potato Poutine: Sweet Potato Fries with Caramel Sauce, Mini Marshmallows and Pecans $6.49
This is another huge portion, this time with perfectly-crispy Sweet Potato Fries topped with a really light Caramel Sauce and a small handful of Mini Marshmallows and Pecan pieces. It’s a little bit of a sugar on sugar on sugar situation with nothing to really cut or contrast with the sweetness. I wonder if a drizzle of chocolate would have worked a little better than the caramel or to really make things interesting, go a little spicy with some chili powder. As it stands, these are a huge snack that’s best shared among four or more people, both because you’re going to be weighed down for a while otherwise and because the overall flavor profile is a little one-note. But if they sound good, I think you’ll be impressed. Unlike the Beef Brisket Poutine, they’re also a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan, making these one of the better values.
I’m still not sure how to rate these because they’re unlike any other Festival item. You’d receive six fries artfully presented from one of the regular Marketplaces with freshly shaved candied pecans, frilly house-made marshmallows, and the promise of some froufrou salted caramel sauce that actually turns out to be Hershey’s Caramel Syrup. I’m certainly not the only person that remembers when the Poland Marketplace “literally” served Mrs. T’s Pierogies for years and still had the gall to put a made up recipe for them in their cookbook.
Stowaway Mary – $13.25
Classic Bloody Mary with Absolut Vodka garnished with Pimento-stuffed Olives, Cherry Tomato, Celery, Jumbo Shrimp, and Smokehouse Jerky
While this is not a Festival-exclusive item, it’s as good of a time as any to discuss it.
You might remember the original Stowaway Mary, which was served with celery, two large chicken nuggets, two cheese-stuffed olives, and a tomato for $12. I’ll admit that this was a bit of a guilty pleasure for Erin and me. For whatever reason, Refreshment Port seems to do Disney chicken nuggets better than anywhere else on property.
The current version is perhaps closer to a “traditional” offering with the two large, crispy chicken nuggets replaced by a single shrimp and a long stick of spicy beef jerky, in addition to the olives that are now stuffed with a little piece of pimento in each. The Bloody Mary itself is largely the same, perhaps more watered down than I remember, but the change-out of the chicken nuggets, which actually paired pretty nicely with the spiciness of the cocktail, is a loss in my opinion. I laughed at the thought of the Chicken Nugget Cocktail myself, but there was something so goofy about it that it worked.
Anyway, this is one of the only quick service spots on property to grab a Bloody Mary and this is how it’s currently served. The drink itself is a little spicy without much flavor at all from the Absolut Vodka given the amount of ice and mix involved. The tomato juice and water from the ice also tend to separate a little bit, which can get kind of gross. If they’re really not going to serve this sort of thing with a straw, then it’s going to be kind of hard to drink too without eating all of the stuff first. I’m not sure that it’s a compelling buy at $13.25, but it’s here.
Overall, I’d only stop for a “Poutine” if you’re looking to fill up on ballpark fries and toppings. That may be exactly what you’re looking for after a long day of little samples and tiny drinks. And it’s okay.
Australia is up next with the review located here.