Patagonia returns on the Canada side in between The Almond Orchard and Hawaii. Islands of the Caribbean is down the path to the left while Australia and New Zealand are behind me.
The menu item descriptions are the exact same as last year, though the Verlasso Salmon moved to Active Eats this year.
Beef Empanada – $5
This is one of the most straightforward items available at the Festival with the flaky crust holding the ground beef adequately spiced with the onions and peppers that make it mildly spicy.
The website has long maintained that a dollop of sour cream or some sort of sauce would liven up the flavor profile. It only took five years to get you that pretzel bread with the cheese soup in Canada so maybe next year is our year. Overall, this is a safe, consistent bet, but my eyes are on something a little more interesting.
Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée – $5.75
Another venerable favorite, it’s hard to go wrong with grilled beef, chimichurri, and copious amounts of garlic and butter. This year, the beef is cooked to a nice medium, thinly sliced, and skewered as opposed to the overcooked hunk that had been served the last several years. This makes for tenderer, more flavorful beef, but it’s a little less fun to pull a slice off than it was to tear a bite off the skewer. The boniato, which is a variety of not-so-sweet sweet potato, does a terrific job of soaking up everything that falls off the beef. I think it’s a good value this year.
Verum Pinot Noir – $6 and Bodega Noemía A Lisa Malbec – $6
I haven’t had an opportunity to try either of these red wines, which is mistake since the price is up $1.50 or 33% over last year. With a $20-$22 bottle price, both should prove to taste just fine alongside either item, but we’re far from “good value” territory here.