We continue from Japan.
Hops & Barley returns to the United States Pavilion on the far right side.
Every item returns this year.
New England Lobster Roll – $8.25
Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled Roll
While still on the small side of the spectrum, the Lobster Roll arrives with a couple bites of chunk lobster with no filler other than the addition of a squirt of buttery sauce on the fresh griddled roll. You might get a kick out of using a Disney Dining Plan snack credit on such an expensive item, but it’s not much of a value out of pocket unless you’ve never had lobster before and live somewhere that it’s largely unavailable. Wherever that might be.
New Brunswick Slider – $6
Slow-braised Beef Brisket “Pot Roast Style” with Horseradish Cream and Crispy Fried Onions on a Potato Roll with Pickled Vegetables on the side
When considering value, the incredibly small portion is difficult to look past. I’m not sure that you should be able to fit an entire slider on a small plastic fork.
Fortunately, the meat was tender and the horseradish carried a surprising amount of spice. The Crispy Onions are the right idea, but there’s not enough of them to make much of a difference, even given the shallow layer of beef. There are some brine-y, vinegary pickled vegetables on the side, but I doubt most people notice what ends up being something very close to giardiniera. Given the spice of the meat, the vegetables do act as a welcome accompaniment. Overall, this was tasty, but it needs to be bigger to be worth the money – this is $4 worth, if that.
Freshly Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing – $4.25
Looks can be a bit deceiving as I feel like this looks pretty basic on the plate, but underneath the sweet cream cheese frosting is a delicious, warm, familiar carrot cake base backed up with a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg. Usually I get mad whenever someone orders a returning item on the first day BECAUSE IT’S NOT BLOGGABLE, but this is one item I can get behind no matter what. With that said, it’s not the most unique item at the Festival and the portion size isn’t going to overwhelm anyone.
Beer Flight – $9.75
With North Coast Bewing Co. Blue Star Wheat, 3 Daughters Brewing A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale, and Heavy Seas AmeriCannon APA.
The “Blue Star Wheat” is a decent pale wheat ale with a floral, citrus nose and a flavor profile that follows, light and refreshing with just a little bit of hop spice.
The “A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale” is surprisingly good for 3 Daughters, balancing the bitter flavor of the coffee with the sweet flavor of the grains well. The coffee flavor was much more present than I was expecting for such a light beer. Personally, it’s not my thing, but it’s worth trying, particularly as part of the flight.
The AmeriCannon American Pale Ale is another solid selection that might be more bitter than you’re expecting given the style with citrus up front, bread-y malts in the middle, and a dry finish.
Anyone who enjoys beer should consider the flight.
Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay – $6
This is one of the three best white wines available at the Festival at one of the better price points given the $28/bottle store price. It’s a medium-bodied chardonnay with a tropical pineapple flavor up front with a peach and vanilla presence throughout the sip. Very good.
Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon – $5
The Broadside is another good entry. With the $17 bottle price, it’s an above average value with your typical flavor profile – dark cherry, blackberry, plum, and leather with a little bit of vanilla and oak through the sip.
This is a surprisingly good wine stop.
Overall, anyone with snack credits to spare is probably keying in on the Lobster Roll and I’d add a Carrot Cake for the road. The Slider shows promise, but the serving may be too small to justify the money. On the beverage front, the beer flight is interesting and the wines are among the best choices at the Festival. A solid outing.