Review: The Painter’s Palate Odyssey Food Studio 2018 Epcot Festival of the Arts

The Painter’s Palate Food Studio is located inside the Odyssey building which doubles as the Festival Showplace for this year’s Festival of the Arts.

The Trio of Doughnuts returns with different fillings, while we lose the lackluster Margherita Flatbread and gain a new Trio of Hors d’Oeuvres. The Popcorn Pairing Flight is also new.

Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts –  $9.50 – Whipped Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese with Fresh Herbs, Chicken Salad with Shaved Fennel and Fresh Herbs, and Spicy Tuna with Wasabi and Seaweed Salad

“Fillings” might not be accurate since no attempt is made to slice the doughnuts and fill them with what we’ll have to refer to as toppings.

Here’s last year’s entry where it’s clear that we received more food considering the gap between this year’s doughnuts, in addition to the lack of sea salt, poppy seeds, or everything bagel seasoning.

This is all of two or three small bites with your standard herb-heavy Boursin topped with some sort of greenery that isn’t going to have much effect on the flavor profile. I’d grab two or three of these over the course of a meal if they were on a buffet line, but we’re pretty far away from a gourmet, carefully constructed bite that costs the equivalent of $3.17.

The chicken salad is incredibly salty and the dark yellow color might be a little off-putting, but the croissant base is again a pleasant crispy pillow for the whole concoction. Still seems like a stretch for $3.17.

The tuna has a nice spice to it, but there’s an awful lot of flavors and textures going on in an extremely small package.

Overall, this is a good use of a snack credit given the $9.50 price and it’s a nice variety of flavors to try, but I’d probably share it evenly among two people. It’s not going to stretch much further than that and I think one person would be underwhelmed for the money.

Taste: 4/10

Value: 4/10

Gallery Bites: A Trio of Hors d’Oeuvres – $7.00 – Chilled Shrimp with Cucumber Cream Cheese on a Crostini, Traditional Deviled Egg with Candied Bacon, Crispy Truffled Risotto Ball with Stone-ground Mustard

This doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, but it’s three solid options. The Crostini in particular impressed with two decent-size shrimp on top of a flavorful, cool cream cheese and a pleasantly crispy cracker. The Deviled Egg “felt” like it had been sitting out too long – the egg was slimy and the bacon wilted inside of the mustard-heavy filling. The Risotto Ball held up well with a crispy exterior and the ooey-gooey inside was appropriately cheese.

Overall, I feel like both of these trios get away from the fresh, vibrant flavors that we see at most other Food Studios. The Gallery Bites taste good but aren’t far off from what you could make relatively easily at home. The Doughnuts would be an average buffet line item at something like 1900 Park Fare.

Taste: 5/10

Value: 5/10

Pop’t Art: Abstract Designed Sugar Cookie with Strawberry Filling – $4.25

Very abstract…very abstract…with an incredibly sugary sugar cookie underneath incredibly sugary icing underneath more incredibly sugary icing. It’s okay to break off and share among a few people, but you might feel a little jittery if you eat the whole thing yourself.

Taste: 4/10

Value: 4/10

White Chocolate Figment Puzzle on an Artist Palette – $6.50

This is a fun little activity as you have an opportunity to “paint” the chocolate with a variety of colored icings, sprinkles, and blue unbranded chocolate candies (Mars where u at?). On flavor, desserts available elsewhere should taste better.

Nailed it.

Taste: 3/10

Value: 4/10

Pomegranate Mule featuring the Ginger People Ginger Beer and Van Gogh Vodka – $9.50

This cocktail is made with:

  • 1.25 ounces vodka
  • 2.25 ounces ginger beer
  • 2.25 ounces pomegranate juice
  • .25 ounce lime juice

It has a nice winter-y vibe and at least “feels” larger than some of the thimbles Disney serves during Food/Wine/Flower/Garden. The sourness of the pomegranate does a nice job of tempering the sweet flavor of the ginger beer, which is an ingredient that I think dominates most drinks where it’s used a little too much. Surprisingly good.

Popcorn Pairing Flight – $11

We weren’t 100% sure what to expect from the Popcorn Pairing Flight.

It turned out to be three small bowls of the same popcorn flavors that you can pick up from the cart in Future World West placed into the tops of the cups where we’d probably all wish more beer was located instead.

I think you’re losing a solid ounce of beer in each cup, dropping the total amount to around nine ounces across the three cups. Worse, the popcorn was either popped sometime in the distant past or left out in the open for too long, resulting in really soft, disappointing pieces.

We first ran into the Scrimshaw Pilsner over at BaseLine Tap House, which I review at great length here. According to that post, “This German Pilsner is light and crisp with just a little lemon, biscuit, and grass to keep things interesting with a notably dry, clean finish. Very easy drinking again with more flavor than the Golden Road.” I’ll stick to it.

The M.I.A. Brewing Company Jazz IPA is less bitter than a lot of beers of this style, which many should appreciate. It’s worth trying. Finally, the Central 28 Beer Company Miss Mary Brown Oatmeal Brown Ale has a nice malty presence with pleasant, mildly sweet caramel and toffee flavors showing through at the conclusion of the sip. Another option worth trying.

Overall, the trios don’t seem to follow the vibe of the rest of the Festival, which may be part of why they’re hidden away inside. At nearly ten dollars, the doughnuts aren’t a lot of food and none of what turn out to be toppings impress. The finger food trio is the sort of thing that I’d expect to see at Hollywood & Vine. Pretty forgettable overall, even if they taste fine in the moment. The Pomegranate Mule and beer are good, but this is the one spot where I’d probably recommend forgoing the Flight and ordering separate 6-ounce, $4.25 servings of whatever sounds good.

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