We continue on from Refreshment Port.
Canada returns in the same spot in front of its namesake Pavilion. On the promenade, it’s the booth that you’ll pass after Australia on the left and Refreshment Port on the right.
Both popular food items return this year, each 50 cents more expensive than last year. I wonder if we should start taking bets on when Canada will actually offer a new food item. A similar Merlot from the same winery returns from last year alongside a new beer from the same brewery. This is the second year in a row that an Ice Wine hasn’t been featured, perhaps because the portions were simply so small for the money given the high bottle price and the sheer sweet viscosity of it all that complaints piled up. I’d certainly like to see it return, perhaps with an asterisk that it’s probably not what you’re expecting and you may have to put the ounce on layaway.
Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup served with a Pretzel Roll – $5.75
This is a satisfying, rich, creamy, decadent, delicious cheese soup served with a soft, chewy pretzel roll that is best dipped. This is one of the most popular, highest-rated items at the Festival every year. Order one per person and forget that they’re 5+ dollars each.
“Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce – $8.75
Quality on this typically varies as no two pieces of beef are exactly the same, but I think Disney has improved quality control quite a bit in the last couple of years. Or at least the six steaks that we’ve purchased over the last three years have all been lean, tender, and cooked to a perfect medium. The sauce remains rich and creamy with a real earthy component from the truffle and grilled mushrooms that adorn the top of each piece. Presentation has also improved with the sauce neatly ladled over the meat along with the herb topper. It’s very “Feast” from the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. At $8+, it remains an expensive proposition, but it’s “only” about $2 more than other beef items for a much higher quality piece of meat.
Collective Arts Audio/Visual Lager – $5 for six ounces or $9 for twelve
If the website ever disappears and a Daft-Punk-esque replacement band shows up around the same time, you can be pretty sure that I’m the attractive member of the helmeted duo. Years ago, Disney brought on Collective Arts, a small brewery out of Hamilton, Ontario. Since, we’ve seen at least a half dozen different varieties, including this year’s Audio/Visual Lager, which doesn’t play “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” or “Tron 2” as far as I could tell, despite some promise in the naming. This was a rare miss for me with more carbonation and one of the lightest mouthfeels I’ve experienced from a lager. There’s a little bit of flower and honey in there, but it’s a lot more subtle than The Grid. You might give it a whirl as it’s not the most common beer around, and the flavor profile certainly won’t get in the way of anything else you’re eating, but this is the most forgettable draft we’ve seen here since the Moosehead days.
Château Des Charmes Cabernet-Merlot – $7
Three years ago, Canada served the winery’s Equuleus Red Blend, which was a fantastic bottle of full-bodied, ripe, and luscious red wine with black currant and dark cherry notes followed by a lingering finish of cedar, vanilla, and chocolate. Their Merlot blend is not that, tasting either musty or rustic depending on your mood. A big part of the problem may be how Disney handles the wine. This one would benefit from some air, which is not something you’re going to get as the bottles sit out in the heat. I might recommend trying it for around $4, but it’s $3 overpriced, even for the Festival.
Canada is always popular with two of the more accessible food items. The drinks are on the forgettable side this year, but not everything can be “the best you’ve ever had.”