It’s been a couple of years since we visited Epcot for the food
& wine festival. The only reason was Covid. But we’ve been vaccinated over and over again, and we’ve likely already had it and were asymptomatic, so we decided to get back out there and stuff ourselves with super expensive, not all that epic, little plates of food.
You pay $25 to park now. And you have to pay for your tickets and make a reservation for whatever park(s) you want to visit on whichever day ahead of time. So we did that. For some reason, I thought the reservation meant that the park wouldn’t be too crowded. And you know, it probably wasn’t as crowded as it could have been.
We went to the Magic Kingdom once and the crowd was so thick we couldn’t handle it. We spent about an hour and half squeezing ourselves through the throng toward the exit and left.
Anyway, so the object is to go around the World Showcase and stand in lines to get samples of food that you have to pay for. I didn’t take any other pictures really. For one thing, the park isn’t as picturesque these days. The entrance area is under construction. And I was just uninspired while walking around the country area.
Here’s what we got:
Grilled sweet & spicy bush berry shrimp with pineapple, pepper, onion, and snap peas.
So, I don’t know what bush berry shrimp is, but it was delicious. Hubs didn’t like it. The snap peas had that frozen taste. By that I mean they tasted like the beans that I’ve gotten in a bag at Publix in the freezer section. That doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t fresh. It just means I wasn’t all that into the taste. I like my beans with the bejeezus boiled out of them and greasy with bacon fat.
Anyway, this was one of the best things we ate.
Appleseed Orchard, as you may have guessed, is not a country. It used to be that all the booths represented countries, but not anymore. They’ve got booths for all sorts of stuff now: Coastal Eats, Flavors From Fire, The Fry Basket, Mac & Eats, The Noodle Exchange, The Swanky Saucy Swine, etc.
Anyway, the best dessert we had was at Appleseed Orchard–the apple crumble tart. It was like apple pie, but not too sweet. I’d eat that again!
Black beans with crispy pork belly, Brazil nut pesto and rice and Brazilian cheese bread.
The black beans were fabulous! The second best thing we ate. I’d say it was the first best thing, but you really have to take the dish as a whole, and this dish had a chunk of tough pork belly on it. I chewed and chewed for five minutes. And it was bland, too. So, no thanks.
The cheese bread was rubbery and bland. Like…why? Why would I want to eat that? It was like eating a boiled rubber ball. As I was trying just one more bite in hopes that I’d missed something with the first, my thought was, “I’m just putting calories in my body without the pleasure you expect from cheese and bread.”
I usually get the escargot at the France booth, but I decided to do something different this year. Live and learn. I chose the “warm beignet filled with a 3-cheese blend.” It was warm. I’ll say that. There was so much cheese in and on it that I seriously doubt that any French person would eat it. This was American cheese bread. Except that it was, once again, bland. It’s as if the people in charge of the French booth tried to give Americans the ooey-gooey cheese bread they must want, but with some kind of mild French cheeses instead of good cheese. No thank you. I stood in that long and winding line to get mushy, tasteless (and a tad tough) bread. I’m scarred.
Greece will make it all better. Am I right? No. No, I’m not. For one thing, there was no baklava this year. Granted, the baklava might have been at a different booth last time, but there wasn’t any to be had anywhere.
So I got spanakopita. I’ve had it before and was looking forward to it. The dough was excellent. Flaky and delicious. But there was very little spinach and it tasted mostly like cheese. Bland cheese. Are you seeing the pattern here? Ah well. I’ve decided that, in addition to making myself an ooey gooey fabulous grilled cheese sandwich this week, I’m going to make my own spanakopita and stuff it with spinach! Take that Greece booth.
Hops & Barley
Chesapeake crab slider with tangy coleslaw and Cajun remoulade and carrot cake.
There was a ton of crab on the slider and it was tasty. The remoulade was lovely. Probably the third best thing we ate. We brought the carrot cake home with us. It was really good. It was more like a muffin this year and the icing was more of a glaze. And neither the cake nor the icing were super sweet like you often get with carrot cake. Overall, it was very good.
It’s always too hot to have the fisherman’s seafood pie at the Ireland booth. I may have had it the first year, but now we just get the warm chocolate pudding cake with Irish cream liqueur custard.
This year…I don’t know…maybe I’ve just fallen out of love with it. It was warm. And mushy, with some nubby-ness to it. But not as chocolatey as it looks. The custard was lovely though. Another thing I’m determined to make soon is a flourless chocolate cake. And maybe I’ll give this Irish cream liqueur custard a go.
Tostada de barbacoa: BBQ beef on a fried corn tortilla with chipotle black beans, pineapple, pickled onions and Queso fresco, and chives.
The tostada was flaky and tasty, the meat was tender, but bland. The bbq sauce was hot, but not much else. It was…okay.
Paella with rice, chorizo, and shrimp.
Okay, so I guess I don’t like chorizo, which is the sausage stuff. It had a weird taste to it. The shrimp was good and the rice and peas were okay. I don’t think this was real paella. In fact, I’m sure of it.
Brew-Wing at the Odyssey
This was our last dish of the day and I was so looking forward to it. Brussels sprouts. I was promised “Crispy Brussels sprouts,” actually.
The catch was the buffalo sauce. Hubs said he didn’t like buffalo sauce. I was unfamiliar with it. I’m familiar with it now. It was disgusting. It rendered those fabulous Brussels sprout inedible. And not very crispy. I was so disappointed! And gaggy. I’m shivering just thinking about it.
We skipped a bunch of booths; we just can’t eat that much. And this year, we didn’t go on any rides. It was hot and crowded, and the food was just not that great. All in all, a rather disappointing trip to Epcot.
A $5 bottle of Diet Coke and we were out of there.
So, am I just an old lady now? Is that why everything tasted bland? Or is the Covid?! Nothing else tastes bland, just all the cheese and some of the meat at Epcot. I’m going to say it’s not my taste buds, but it could be that I’m just not that into the Epcot thing anymore.
Does Sea World still do a food & whine, er, wine festival?