Review: Islands of the Caribbean 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Islands of the Caribbean Marketplace Epcot Food Wine Festival 2016

Islands of the Caribbean returns on the walkway connecting Future World and World Showcase.

The three food items return, though the Jamaican Beef Patty is served with Mango Salsa this year and the Seared Grouper is no longer offered. Carib Lager replaces last year’s Presidente Pilsner and the Frozen Mojito no longer advertises Bacardi Rum.

Jamaican Beef Patty with Mango Salsa – $5

I apologize for one last nighttime phone picture.

Jamaican Beef Patty Epcot Islands Caribbean Food Wine Festival

Here’s last year’s version served without the side. I thought the fruity, tropical flavor of the mango salsa did a nice job of contrasting with the mildly spicy curry notes in the beef. The exterior has a nice chewy quality. I’m relatively sure that these are simlpy defrosted, but it’s not quite as obvious as with Poland’s old pierogi dishes. They’re far from the worst thing offered at the Festival, but I don’t find anything compelling about picking these up.

Taste: 5/10

Value: 5/10

Mojo Pork with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Pickled Red Onions – $4.50

Mojo Pork Epcot

I’m not sure the Mojo Pork does enough to differentiate itself from other options and those in the mood for pig are probably better served with the far-more-popular Kalua Pork Slider at nearby Hawaii or heading over to Flavors From Fire. This is more food for the money, but the flavors are a lot blander with just a hint of cilantro in the rice and little spice to the beans. The red onions were just about it and that’s probably not the dominant flavor most people are going to want to taste in their pork dish. It’s a safe skip, but pretty hefty overall, making it a somewhat reasonable value.

Taste: 3/10

Value: 4/10

Quesito: Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce – $3.75

There are purportedly only three ingredients in the Quesito:

  • 1 sheet (9-10 inch square) puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 8 teaspoons sugar, divided

And that’s what you get. The exterior does have a nice flaky texture and the cream cheese inside is sweetened up enough by the sugar, but this one is going to be a one-note offering for most people.

The guava sauce did add a fruity component that helped elevate the flavor profile, but I’m not sure most people are going to be raving about it. Like the Mojo Pork, the portion is decent for the money, which might mean you want to share this among a couple of people just to try it.

Taste: 4/10

Value: 4/10

Carib Lager – $4

Store Price: 14 cents/ounce

Festival Price: 67 cents/ounce

Value: Poor

The Budweiser of Trinidad has a sweet malty character and a light body with average carbonation. It’s far from “good,” but it’s certainly refreshing in the afternoon heat. It’s not worth seeking out, but Carib is a little rarer than some other beers that we’ve seen served at these sorts of Marketplaces during the last couple of years.

Caribbean White Sangria – $5

Watered down Beso del Sol Sangria from a three-liter box is re-purposed yet again. You’re paying an absurd price.

Frozen Mojito – $10

That’s this year’s cocktail sitting behind this year’s Quesito.

Frozen Mojito Epcot Food Wine Festival Epcot 2016

This was last year’s, which tasted incredibly artificial, but had a nice frozen slushy consistency. What we were served in 2k17 was in no way frozen, but at least didn’t taste strongly of artificial mint. There was virtually no alcohol flavor to speak of and instead the concoction tasted mostly of mint syrup. It might be slightly better frozen, but I wouldn’t go in expecting it to pack a punch and the fun glasses of yesteryear weren’t being served. Not recommended.

Overall, I think Islands of the Caribbean is a pretty easy skip, but nothing on the food menu is outlandishly priced and there are covered tables with fans blowing nearby, which makes for a more comfortable experience than being out in the sun around China.

Comments

  1. Whoever says

    As someone who had been researching Disney to plan for a potential first time visit I’m honestly stunned by the abundance of alcohol available at this event and in the parks in general. Our culture is obsessed…

  2. RebeccaMcK says

    Thanks for finishing the food booth reviews, Josh. I head out there in under 2 weeks and have completed my notes. I actually want to get those Jamaican beef patty cakes (I read your review from last year when the current one wasn’t up yet). Might get the sangria too, just because I LOVE white sangria (can’t stand red). Booze-wise I’m a lightweight and only plan to try a handful of things, but food will use up all my D gift cards, lol. My offer still stands (to whomever could come and join me) for the HEA dessert party on October 7th (the cheaper of the two parties with courtyard HEA viewing). My ticket is prepaid, can’t pay for anyone else – but if any other solo trippers or bloggers want to check out the desserts feel free to come talk Disney and get me away from my phone game and eBook.

  3. Laura says

    Caribe beers are cheaper than bottled water in port stops like St Kitts. Usually you can get them for $1 or $2 each. I’m amused by the introduction of this “exotic” beer.

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