Greece situates itself on the walk towards Mexico in between Islands of the Caribbean and Thailand for this year’s Festival.
The menu is virtually identical to last year, at least so far as the names of the individual items are concerned. If you look a little closer, you’ll notice that the Taste of Greece is much different with Chicken Souvlaki replacing the Grape Leaves and Lamb Sausage arriving in place of last year’s Grilled Octopus.
- Loaded Greek “Nachos”: Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles, and Vegan Tzatziki – $4.75
- Taste of Greece: Chicken Souvlaki, Feta Cheese Dip with Warm Pita and Lamb Sausage with a Dill Tomato Ragu – $8
- Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie – $4.50
- Bougatsa – Warm Phyllo Dough Strudel with Sweet Vanilla Custard, Lemon Honey Syrup, and Cinnamon — $4
- Wine Flight – $6.50
Loaded Greek “Nachos”: Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles, and Vegan Tzatziki – $4.75
The Vegan Nachos debuted three years ago and the website has picked up each Festival’s version with 2018’s pictured above.
Vegans and most vegetarians will want to look no further – this is a compelling dish with a good number of crusty pita chips underneath a pile of stuff – there’s gobs of olives, red onions, and tomatoes with a generous portion of the Meatless Sausage Crumbles, Vegan Cheese, and Vegan Tzatziki.
But the current iteration still pales in comparison to the original offering, in my opinion, where the colors and flavors were far more vibrant. It may have something to do with the sponsorship pushing a particular brand or perhaps the Vegan Tzatziki doesn’t add the tang of the original sauce. I only say this because I thought the original version was a compelling dish that everyone would enjoy. The current version is still a must-buy for the vegans among us, but I can’t help feeling like it would taste a lot better with spicy sausage in place of the crumbles and a tangy cheese in place of the plant-based version. The portion is good for the money either way and it’s very shareable.
For most of us:
Taste of Greece: Chicken Souvlaki, Feta Cheese Dip with Warm Pita and Lamb Sausage with a Dill Tomato Ragu – $8
Above is 2017’s “Taste of Greece,” which differs considerably from this year’s offering. At the end of the review last year, I said:
If it sounds good, get it this year, because I doubt it will be back.
And I’m going to take credit for telling the future once again, even if a dish with the same name appears on this year’s menu.
Here’s what you’ll see this year.
First of all, this seems like a pretty meager amount of food for eight bucks.
I like the Feta Cheese Dip with Warm Pita more this year than last, when it was chunky and orange and goopy and kind of gross. The whipped texture is still not my thing, personally, but the tangy quality of the cheese was appreciated and the pita underneath was fresh and chewy. Still, pita and cheese dip can’t be astronomically expensive. Putting three of these on the platter would elevate the perceived value tremendously, probably at a cost of 25 cents to Disney. The Lamb Sausage with Dill Tomato Ragu was fine, but New Zealand serves about five times as much of it in a delicious bread bowl for less money. It’s one or two bites. I liked the Chicken Souvlaki too, but the meat is dry and pounded incredibly thin, making for just two or three bites as well. For a snack credit on the Dining Plan, you might feel like you’re getting some value given the high price point, but there’s no way that this is worth it for those paying cash. Give me twice as much food and we can talk.
Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie – $4.50
This is advertised as a “Greek Spinach Pie” this year, probably for those that have never visited the Costco freezer aisle during the holidays. You’ll likely see boxes of spanikopita, along with all of the other delicious frozen hors d’oeuvres that you can pick up and stick in the oven before that New Year’s Eve party that I never seem to get invited to attend. Fortunately, unlike the Pot Stickers in China and Cheese Bread in Brazil, Greece’s Spanakopita(s) have never “felt” like they were picked up from said Costco and instead arrive with rich, fresh flavors. The thin, flaky, buttery crust gives way to several layers of spinach, feta, and spices. The overall package is lighter than you might expect. I like these a lot, but they aren’t a tremendous amount of food for the money.
Bougatsa – Warm Phyllo Dough Strudel with Sweet Vanilla Custard, Lemon Honey Syrup, and Cinnamon — $4
We really enjoyed this dessert and it offers a far greater depth of flavor than the Quesito at the Islands of the Caribbean Marketplace next door.
The exterior is light and crispy with a luscious custard interior that’s sweetened up with a natural honey flavor and a lot of cinnamon. Really good and a large portion for the money.
Wine Flight – $6.50
With Domaine Skouras Moscofilero, Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko, and Argyros Atlantis Red Blend
We’re going to see more wine flights offered at the Festival than ever before, which presents a fun way to try a lot of different wines, typically for less money than a single pour.
The white wine on the left is the moscofilero, arriving with a nice floral aroma and fruity taste. Sigalas is perhaps Greece’s best white wine producer and their assyrtiko, seen in the middle of the flight, showcases the unique flavors of the region better than most. It’s very acidic up front, but give it a chance to move across the palate with warmer fruit flavors opening up throughout the sip. This isn’t the best atmosphere to enjoy this style, but it’s a very good wine. Perhaps the volcanic soil composition of the vineyards used during production of the Atlantis Red Blend is what gives it its subtle peppery spiciness after the fruit-forward start. And perhaps not. It’s a nice red wine and a nice overall flight that contains three selections that you’re probably not going to see on a lot of restaurant menus. Recommended.
Overall, there are some bright spots at Greece. The only item that I’d shy away from in its current state is the Taste of Greece, which isn’t providing eight dollars worth of value. Certainly vegans want to key in on the Nachos and the rest of us might also consider the Spanikopita. The dessert is a great value at $4 and it’s worth adding the wine flight if you’re into that sort of thing.
Thailand is up next, with the review here.