We continue from Australia.
Refreshment Port is located on the right side of World Showcase as you walk towards the Canada Pavilion or on the left side after you pass through our neighbors to the north. During the Food and Wine Festival, the Australia Marketplace situates itself across the way.
Refreshment Port has become a bit of a poutine headquarters, offering a new take for each Festival. For Food and Wine 2k19, we see the Duck Confit added alongside the returning Beef Brisket. We also have a Barbecue take on the classic Bloody Mary. Note that unlike most Festival dishes, neither of the Festival Poutines are a snack credit on the Dining Plan. The Traditional Poutine does quality, though.
Beef Brisket Poutine: French Fries with Beef Brisket, Beer Cheese Sauce, and Poutine Gravy topped with Crispy Onions – $8.99
This sort of “feels” like the antithesis of what the Food and Wine Festival is all about, which may or may not be a bad thing. I don’t think the immense size of the portion is evident from the picture, but this is a large cardboard boat absolutely stuffed full of fries and then topped with what must be a combination of 8+ ounces of Beer Cheese Sauce, Poutine Gravy, and Beef Brisket with a sprinkle of Crispy Onions for good measure. After covering this and similar Epcot events in full each of the last nine years, trying well over 500 different items in the process, I have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the various Festival offerings. But if you’ve never been to the Food and Wine Festival before, I feel like you’re probably handed your first couple of items and inevitably wonder when they’re going to give you the other half. Well, here it is.
This is ballpark food at its finest. The fries are served piping hot and extra crispy with plenty of creamy beer cheese sauce to cover the extra large pile of potatoes. The Beef Brisket is more of a quantity-over-quality situation with at least six ounces of juicy meat sandwiched in between the fries and sauce. The Crispy Onions mostly get lost in the mix, but you’ll enjoy a little bit of an astringent punch from time to time.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend these if you’re looking to snack around the Festival unless you have 18-25 people in your group. This is an overwhelming portion for one person and should keep two people stuffed for several hours. But the “Poutine” is disgustingly good and incredibly addictive. You’re not going to find this many calories for this little money at any of the other Marketplaces, I can guarantee you that.
Taste: If you want to hate yourself, it’s a 9/10
Duck Confit Poutine with Fig Demi Sauce and Brie Cheese Fondue – $8.49
If you’re looking for something a little fancier, but you still only eat french fries, then we’ve got the Duck Confit Poutine this year. The fries do an admirable job of remaining fresh and crispy underneath a considerable amount of hot, creamy, melty Brie Cheese Fondue. Any nuance from the Duck Confit is probably defeated by the amount of cheesiness going on, but the strong, salty flavor shows through with plenty of it available in each bite. I didn’t detect much of anything from the Fig Demi Sauce, but perhaps it adds a little sugar to help cut a bit of the richness of the Duck and Brie. Overall, this is another very filling dish that doesn’t really fit into everything else going on at the Festival. If you’re looking for some food to soak up some alcohol or find that you’ve already spent $500 and are still hungry, then you might seek these out. There’s no guilt when you’re on vacation at Disney World.
Barbecue Bloody Mary – $16
With Smoked Garlic Sausage and House-made Pickle Skewer served with a Mustard and Barbecue Rub Rim
The drink itself is a little spicy, without much flavor at all from the Absolut Vodka, given the amount of ice and mix involved. The tomato juice and water from the ice also tend to separate a little bit, which can water things down. Give it a stir from time to time with that long piece of celery.
On the positive side, the Mustard and Barbecue Rub Rim works really well here, adding more tang and spice to each sip. The other accompaniments are a little disappointing. The Smoked Garlic Sausage enjoys a nice snap and a satisfying bite, but the Cucumber is standard issue and the inclusion of a small green olive doesn’t help justify the high price. Ordinarily, the Stowaway Mary that’s usually served here is $13.25, or almost $3 less, and is served with a giant shrimp and the same olive. This doesn’t seem like it does anything to demand the premium price and it’s even a couple dollars more than the Aulania Sunrise from Hawaii, which comes in a souvenir cup.
Overall, I’d consider a stop for a “Poutine” if you’re looking to fill up on ballpark fries and toppings, with the Duck Confit version elevating things a bit. That may be exactly what you’re looking for after a long day of little samples and tiny drinks.