We continue on from Morocco.
Belgium returns to its home in between the Morocco and Brazil Marketplaces and Morocco and France Pavilions.
Each of the Waffles return to the menu along with the Leffe Blonde, Stella Artois Hard Cidre, and Chilled Coffee Featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. For me, the St. Bernardus beers are the most exciting addition to the Festival this year, though I understand if your choice is the mimosas at the Festival Center. Because who has had cheap prosecco mixed with orange juice before, right?
Beer-braised Beef served with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes – $5.25
Belgium switched out the waffle for the mashed potatoes in this dish two years ago and I initially had some mixed feelings. But I think the creamy, cheesy, salty potatoes do complement the stew a little better than the sweet waffle. On the other hand, the flavor profile is relatively straightforward now, which makes this an easier skip. But you might still elect to attach it to an order if you’re not in the mood for something sweet, but stopping to pick up a beer or the coffee. But now coming in over five dollars, there are only a couple bites of tough beef and a small dollop of potatoes. It’s mostly liquid.
Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream – $4
I really like these waffles, which are freshly pressed inside the booth and served seconds after, here sweetened up with quite a bit of whipped cream and the decadent warm chocolate ganache. It’s very sweet.
Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream – $4
If you’re after something that at least “feels” slightly healthier, you might go the fruity route with the berry compote and what is typically a smaller spoonful of the same whipped cream. I personally favor the chocolate, but at $4 each, you might as well pick up both.
Beer Flight – $9
With Leffe Blonde Belgian Pale Ale, St. Bernardus Witbier, and St. Bernardus Abt 12
Wow, I did not think Disney had St. Bernardus in them, but we have two world class beers featured in this flight along with a very good entry in the Leffe Blonde.
The St. Bernardus Witbier is a delicious beer with a heavy citrus nose backed up by wheat, coriander, and spice with a taste that follows. It’s surprisingly light on the palate, balancing fresh, crisp herbal hops with a mild fruity sweetness followed by a clean, slightly bitter finish. The ABV comes in at 5.5% and might be the best Belgian Witbier you can buy, though the Allagash White is also incredible.
At 10% ABV, The St. Bernardus Abt 12 Quad is easily the strongest beer served at the Festival with a sweet nose and a subtly complex flavor that moves from dark fruits, fig, and raisin through to a peppery caramel finish. Really incredible.
The Leffe Blonde is good too, lighter and more malty than the other Belgians with some banana, clove, and spice.
It’s worth trying as part of the Flight, which you might remember features 3 four-ounce pours versus the 6-ounce pours that you’ll receive if you purchase the beers individually. That means you’ll get 12 ounces of beer from the flight for $9 or you could get one 6-ounce pour of each St. Bernardus and come away with 12 ounces of beer for $9.25 that way. You can’t go wrong, but the Bernardus beers are easily the best values at the Festival. A single 12-ounce bottle of the Abt 12 will run you about $5 at the store. Most of the beers offered elsewhere are $2 a bottle at most.
Stella Artois Hard Cidre – $4.25
Cidre arrived stateside about seven years ago now to compete with the other macros launching lines under various names, including MillerCoors who owns Crispin/Redd’s Apple Ale and Boston Beer (Sam Adams) who launched Angry Orchard in 2011. Anyway, Cidre is clean, crisp, and a bit too sweet for me. This may be a nice opportunity to give it a whirl without committing to a 4-pack.
Chilled Coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur – $10
The Chilled Coffee is a little too chocolaty for me, perhaps due to some unadvertised chocolate syrup and the cup is not particularly large considering how easy it is to drink. The “Guinness Bailey’s Shake” coming up in Ireland is tastier, costs about the same, and comes with a souvenir cup you can take home. I’d probably hold out for that.
Overall, the food items offered are among the biggest crowd-pleasers at the Festival and the St. Bernardus beers are world class. Most people will want to make a stop here. Maybe two.
Brazil is up next with the review here.