Hawaii, one of the most popular Marketplaces year in and year out, is also the first that you’ll run into as you walk towards Canada.
Both popular food items return though we lose the Pipeline Porter Beer and the Pineapple Wine is from a different winery than last year.
Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise – $4.25
Hawaii’s Kalua Pork Slider, served on a buttery Hawaiian roll, is probably the Festival’s best selling item item. The pork is tender and flavorful with the mildly spicy mayonnaise helping to cut some of the natural sweetness from the pineapple. Virtually everybody loves this thing, though it’s getting expensive at a cost north of $4.
Spicy Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Nori Rice – $4.75
I actually need to update this picture as the Tuna here is paired with the single lotus root chip rather than a bite of rice underneath. Either way, you’ll receive three small squares of fresh, flavorful poke (pronounced poe-kay) on top of a couple of bites of refreshing chilled seaweed topped with toasted sesame seeds. High grade tuna isn’t cheap, but this still “feels” a dollar overpriced. But it’s a nice, light dish that should help set you up for a pleasant walk around World Showcase. I’d recommend it a lot higher with two more bites of tuna.
Kona Brewing Company, Big Wave Golden Ale – $3.75
Store price: 13 cents/ounce.
Festival price: 63 cents/ounce.
Value: Below average.
Kona’s year-round blonde ale is the Big Wave, which doesn’t have a lot of flavor, which potentially makes it easy-drinking here in the Floridian fall. It’s better than the Kirin/Kronenbourg/Casa nonsense that’s upcoming, which potentially makes it a smart purchase. My money is still at Canada Cart or Scotland though.
Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine – $6
This picture is from last year’s Flower and Garden Festival when the same sparkling wine was offered. Despite what is probably a low ABV, the wine is very alcohol forward with a sort of artificial sweetness continuing through each sip. It’s difficult to recommend at this price point though the bottle price is $30.
Mai Tai featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum – $8.50
I have never had much luck with Hawaii’s cocktail, which is typically a sugary mess with the possibility that somebody poured a splash of rum into the vat at some point during the Festival. The Citrus Thistle in Scotland is a lot more nuanced with Hendrick’s Gin.