We continue on from Shi Wasu in Japan.
The American Holiday Table returns to the far right side of the United States Pavilion.
The Slow-roasted Turkey and Pecan Tart return from last year with the Hand-carved Smoked Ham replacing last year’s Seared Pork Tenderloin and with the addition of the Green and White Sugar Cookie. Each of the beers return from last year, while AMERICAN HERITAGE® takes over for Nestle on the Hot Cocoa Front.
Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cranberry Sauce – $5.50
This hits all of the high points of the traditional Thanksgiving meal and everything tastes wholesome and comforting. The cranberry has a nice tang to it and the turkey is juicy and flavorful. The pillow-y
dressing stuffing does a nice job of soaking up all of the flavors, in addition to adding some onion and spices to the mix. The green beans were an improvement over the past couple of years, prepared to a nice al dente and slathered in butter and pepper.
I would say that I was disappointed by the amount of cranberry sauce that we were served this year. Above is last year’s dish. That may be a luck/personal preference thing, though.
Hand-carved Smoked Ham with Green Beans and Sweet Potato Casserole – $6
My apologies on the photography front as while the American Holiday Kitchen is smack dab in the middle of the World Showcase, it was also the last booth we visited that day and I was not in the mood to get any more artsy than absolutely necessary. Since it’s smoked, the ham is a little more grey than I’m used to seeing on the Thanksgiving/Christmas table personally, but the meat is salty, tender, and flavorful underneath the light gravy. I’m not ordinarily a sweet-potato-guy, but the Casserole here was sweet and complex with nutmeg and cinnamon and topped with several deliciously crunchy, candied pecans. There are a couple of more Green Beans in there for good measure. Overall, this is another smart comfort-food favorite if you’re in the market for such things. There are “more interesting” items you could order, but it’s hard to look past how well the Ham and Turkey dishes are executed.
Chocolate Pecan Tart with Whipped Cream and Whisky-Caramel Sauce – $4.50
The tart is flavorful with a distinct nutty quality backed up with a crispy crust and topped with a decadent caramel sauce and a fluffy flurry of canned whipped cream. It’s relatively large as well, making it a great value.
Holiday Beer Flight – $9.50 with Orange Blossom Brewing Cranberry Kringle Pilsner, Shipyard Eggnog White Porter, and JDub’s Season’s Greetings Peppermint Milk Stout.
This flight actually brings some interesting flavors for once, which isn’t something that we often see from Epcot Festivals. The Shipyard Eggnog is a really creamy beer with a murky, milky mouthfeel. It’s not at all to my tastes, but in a 4-ounce sample cup, you don’t have a lot to lose. The Cranberry Pilsner is the most drinkable of the bunch with a bit of a fruity, sour flavor up front and a clean finish. The JDub’s Peppermint Stout has a robust coffee flavor backed up by a hint of peppermint, but has a really thin mouthfeel that may or may not be to your liking. Overall, this is one of the more obscure beer flights that Epcot has offered in a while and anyone interested in beer should give it a whirl. I didn’t love everything, but it’s nice to see something other than Sam Adams Winter Lager on the menu. Recommended.
Overall, all three food items are safe bets executed well. The Festival of the Holidays isn’t necessarily focused on the culinary side of things like Food/Wine/Flower/Garden/Arts, which makes these comforting, accessible types of dishes all the more welcome. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.