Finally…

September 22, 2014

fishyrocketboy:

Let’s take one more look at five years ago when the blog began… this time it’s our first real visit to La Cava!

Originally posted on Eating (and Drinking) around the World:

After several weeks of being teased by the new tequila bar in Epcot (see The Tease – Part One and The Tease – Part Two) it was finally time to consummate my budding relationship with La Cava del Tequila…

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The Friday after the second tease, I again made my way back to the World Showcase – it had been another less than wonderful week at the Real Job, so this was going to be (I hoped) an especially sweet end to the week.

Instead of my standard right turn, I planned to cheat on my usual dear Stella, and made a left towards my current agave desires… I heard my name called and a dear couple of friends came into view – I made small talk for a bit, but it was obvious I was distracted – I was on a mission… I bade them goodbye and continued on……

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The Tease – Part Two

September 11, 2014

fishyrocketboy:

Again looking back five years from today… more La Cava…

Originally posted on Eating (and Drinking) around the World:

Or should that be Part Dos???

I’m fortunate to live close enough to the World that I can go for a day trip – or even an afternoon trip if I so desire – I can leave my house (or work) and usually be inside a park in under an hour and a half.

I have been known to go over for a Friday afternoon, especially if I’ve had a less than wonderful week at the Real Job (I’m done there at about 11 AM on Fridays) and need a little de-stressor. My routine is to go to Epcot, head up to World Showcase, and take a right… just a few yards along you come to the Promenade Refreshments stand which, joy of joys, has Stella on draft! I start my “lunch” with one of those lovely libations, wander a bit, maybe do a Kim Possible Adventure or two (the…

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The Tease – Part One

September 9, 2014

fishyrocketboy:

Let’s go back five years from today and see our first post about LaCava del Tequila…

Originally posted on Eating (and Drinking) around the World:

For the past couple of years there have been rumors of a Tequila Bar opening in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot. It seemed a logical move (adding more alcohol is always a logical move in my mind), and was usually thought to be just around the corner…

And I’ll add now – if you don’t know already – I’m quite fond of the margaritas (and the tequila contained therein)… now back to our narrative…

Finally a few months back it seemed like it was finally happening – one of the shops on the periphery of the pavilion closed and the construction walls went up…

Several weeks ago I was there with Kim Possible and saw the walls for myself – I knew it was finally happening – I had to hug & kiss the wall, knowing what was to come behind them… ahhh… the anticipation…

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Part Two of the Tease…

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Welcome!

2013 Food & Wine Festival display at Epcot main entrance

With the 2014 version of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival just around the corner, I thought we’d take a quick “compare and contrast” of last year’s food items to what’s being offered this year…

New Zealand Booth at the 2013 Festival

New Zealand Booth at the 2013 Festival

To many, if not most, festival-goers the food booths around World Showcase are the main draw. And each year everyone wants to see what’s new to try (and what favorites from the prior year have disappeared), so let’s look at some numbers…

A new item in 2013, the Potato & Leek Waffle with Braised Beef will return this year

A new item in 2013, the Potato & Leek Waffle with Braised Beef will return this year…

I took a look at the items offered in 2013 at the kiosks and the list of what we’ll see in 2014….

but the Youki Tofu, also new in 2013, won't be making a comeback this year (and probably not too many people will be upset...)

but the Youki Tofu, also new in 2013, won’t be making a comeback this year (and probably not too many people will be upset…)

and crunched the numbers…

The Luscious Lamb in the the Australia booth first featured a crunchy potato topping in 2012, and it was the same in 2013 and will be this year as well... no arguments from me...

The Luscious Lamb in the Australia booth first featured a crunchy potato topping in 2012, and it was the same in 2013 and will be this year as well… no arguments from me…

okay, there wasn’t much crunching involved, and I didn’t really double-check the numbers, and I was sampling a new Margarita of the Month while I was doing it…

Hope you didn't like the Scallop with Peppers, Tomatoes and Hearts of Palm that was served in the Brazil booth last year... it's been nixed this go-round...

Hope you didn’t like the Scallop with Peppers, Tomatoes and Hearts of Palm that was served in the Brazil booth last year… it’s been nixed this go-round…

so do hold me to any hard statistical analysis or expect 100% accuracy…

The Cheese Koisk is a no-show this year, but there will be a all-new Cheese Plate at Hops & Barley...

The Cheese Koisk is a no-show this year, but there will be an all new Cheese Plate at Hops & Barley…

I looked strictly at the food booths around World Showcase (not the Festival Center, Coffee Carts, etc.) and what I counted was: items that stayed exactly the same; items that will be 100% new (which should roughly equal the number of items that disappeared from last year); and items that are basically the same, but have had changes made to the sauce, side, etc. (admittedly there were a few “judgement” calls here…).

Don't cry for Argentina... even though the kiosk will be gone, you can still get yourself an empanada at the new Patagonia booth

Don’t cry for Argentina… even though the kiosk will be gone, you can still get yourself an empanada at the new Patagonia booth

And what did I come up with?

There are 37 items that will be the same as last year, 4 that have had some change made to them and 32 totally new food offerings at the kiosks in 2014…

And I'm still a bit bitter about the "Shrimp on a Stick" being dropped from Singapore last year...

And I’m still a bit bitter about the “Shrimp on a Stick” being dropped from Singapore last year…

To me that’s a pretty good turnover – you have to have plenty of old favorites from year-to-year (think of the riot that would ensue if the Cheddar Cheese Soup went away in Canada, even though everyone seems to complain about the portion size each year…) and a certain amount of items that probably were liked well enough to keep on for at least another year… getting over 40% new items to try sounds like a pretty good mix to me (your thoughts?). And with 73 food items (even though 2 or 3 are simply a candy of some sort), there should be plenty of things to spend time in line for!

Not to mention the booze…

Block & Hans, which has been featuring craft beers year 'round, will be serving wines during the Food & Wine Festival

Block & Hans, which opened during the 2013 festival, and has been featuring craft beers year ’round, will be serving wines during the 2014 Food & Wine Festival

And speaking of the booze, no, I didn’t try to count all the changes there as it started getting into a lot more judgement calls (some booths had basically the same wine varietals being offered, but from different producers… it started to give me a headache… I’m expecting a big enough headache as it is from trying all the drinks!), but overall there does look to be lots of new adult beverages to try.

Don't spill!

Don’t spill!

And yes, there are plenty of flights (multiple beer combos of course, as well as tequila and Scotch) to be found this year, and there does look to be a few more mixed drinks than in the past (can you say Tzatziki Martini in Greece?).

If you want to peruse the booth menus for this year, you can see them over at the Disney Food Blog.

The new things I’m especially intrigued by include the Duck in China (as well as the Coppola wines there), the Bacon Hash at Farm Fresh, the Fish with Coconut Lime Sauce in Brazil and pretty much everything in Puerto Rico!

Hope we'll see you there!

Hope we’ll see you there!

Anything you’re particularly looking forward to trying? Put your Food & Wine Wish List in the comments!

As always, we’re back to the kitchen, and soon we’ll back at Epcot!

See you soon!

 

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share”!

 

 

Five Years…

September 7, 2014

No, I’m not referring to the opening song on my favorite album…

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but how long ago the first tentative post showed up on Eating (and Drinking) Around the World…

I had decided to stick my virtual toe into the water of the already overcrowded blogosphere, and on this day five years ago I announced it to the World, or at least the tiny numbers of people contained in the world who stumbled across it. And actually when I began I didn’t really think I’d still be at it five years later…

Certainly the blog has changed a bit over the years from my original idea, and will no doubt continue to do so, and you may even see it spin off into something (or somethings?) Completely Different… time (and my time) will tell…

I’ll admit I don’t have the largest number page views out there, but I do have some Dedicated Readers that have been with me from pretty much Day One… and I want to thank those people, and also the ones that just pop in from time to time, and even those that have just happened on a random post via a search engine or link… that even a relatively small number of people out there in the Real World read this humbles me, and as long as you do, I’ll do my best to keep going on…

Thanks also to those other bloggers, podcasters, etc. that have given your time, advice and encouragement to me (you know how you are), and as well to my friends and family who have done the same… of course it should go without saying (but I will anyway), thanks for all the love and encouragement (and blog material) from my dear wife, “Miss” Bonnie.

I’m going to repost a couple of the first “real” blog posts the next week or so (which not shockingly, are about LaCava del Tequila…) on their five-year anniversaries, I hope you’ll enjoy taking a (tequila-laced) trip down memory lane with me.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

 

A couple of weeks ago Bonnie & I made our way to the World for an abbreviated weekend to finally check out the Frozen festivities at the Studios. And of course, there were some eats (and drinks) along the way…

Sign

Must be fun! The sign says so…

You’ve likely seen all about the Summer Frozen Fun by now, so I won’t recount all the goings on…

The ladies love Kristoff!

The ladies love Kristoff!

We did happen to catch the parade as it was exiting the park near Star Tours (which is not a bad place to try and see it from), it was cute and actually better than expected.

And speaking of better than expected, I must admit I really did enjoy the Frozen Sing-Along (although like pretty much all the males in the audience, I didn’t do too much singing-along…). There are a couple of fun hosts in addition to Anna and Elsa, and it’s a blast to just watch the kids (and some adults as well) in the crowd who all seemed to be really getting into it!

I didn’t think too much of the Trading Post area with the skating rink and snow play area, but Bonnie and Mama Ginny (who along with her other half Papa Harry had joined us for the day) really though it was done well.

Snax

Which shall we choose???

And of course there was lots of merch and Frozen-themed eats to be had…

Snax

All Olaf, all the time (okay, it’s almost all Olaf…)

In several places you could get a variety of baked goods and sweets. Many, if not most, were Olaf-centric, and while they were all pretty cute, they seemed quite pricey (not that I should be surprised…).

Snax

Do some look like he’s screaming in fear of being eaten?

The Olaf cake pop here for example would be about two bites-worth (at least for an average adult, who I assume is not the primary target) for $4.19, or about $2.10 per bite…

Below the Olaf pops you can also see some Snowballs… we’ll come back to those later…

Buffalo Nuggets

Buffalo Nuggets

For lunch we slid into the Backlot Express. New to the menu since we’d been there last (which had been a while) were Buffalo Chicken Nuggets, which Harry and I both ordered. They weren’t bad at all – Disney’s nuggets are usually pretty good – and the basic Buffalo sauce was actually a bit hotter than I had expected. You can get both Ranch and Blue Cheese dressing at the condiment area, so there were dipping options for the chicken, even though there wasn’t any celery or other cruchy-things served with the nuggets (fries come on the side, I guess you could have gotten a side of carrot sticks instead to take the place of the traditional celery, but just a few sticks of those thrown on the side would have been nice, and for nine bucks or thereabouts I’m sure it wouldn’t really kill their bottom line).

Bonnie and Virginia both went with the old standby Grilled Veggie Sandwich (which I think is consistently one of the better sandwich options available in several locations around property).

Compare and contrast...

Compare and contrast…

Virginia made the genius move to order the childs version and the sandwich came at about two-thirds the size of the full version (you may not be able to tell that from the pic about due to the perspective). There was a smaller side of fries (and even my spud-loving wife admitted that she didn’t need to eat the full adult side of fries and the smaller version would have filled her fried potato cravings) along with a cookie and small bottled water (or milk if you want). It was plenty of food and for $5.99 a really good deal. Likewise, if two people both want the same sandwich, the full version is plenty big enough to split if you’re not starving…

Later in the afternoon our friends left us to our own devices, and we took that time to head back to our resort and relax a bit and have a bite to eat before coming back to the Studios for the Frozen fireworks later that night.

Outside the resort (we were staying the night at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge) near the bus stop I noticed a small sign with a QR code on it…

Give it a try...

Give it a try…

when I scanned the code with my phone it immediately went to the info and online booking engine for the signature restaurant at the resort, Artist Point. This is a simple and great idea by Disney, and I’m assuming there are also in place at other resorts (anyone seen them?). I also assume that they only put these out when they know that the restaurants in the resort are not full and could use some seats filled…

Territory Lounge Menu

Territory Lounge Menu

In spite of the temptation of Artist Point, we had planned to have some eats at one of our favorite places on property, the Territory Lounge. This cozy and nicely-themed room is right next to Artist Point. With comfy seating, a nice atmosphere and good, casual service I’m always surprised that this place is rarely crowded. And with the food coming from the kitchen next door, it has some of the best “bar food” you’ll find anywhere in the World.

Beer

Ummm… Beer

And in addition to the food, it has a real decent selection of craft beers…

beer

More beer…

so much so that I had to try more than one…

Literally everything on the menu sounded good to us, and we debated starting with two items, but we decided to share the fondue to begin with and if we were still hungry after that we’d try something else.

fondue

Fondue and beverages

The melty cheese was even better than we expected and we happily dipped the variety of breads into the pot. A couple of types of apples were also good with the cheese, but the best were the (oh-too-few) figs! We finished it off (with Bonnie debating about licking the bowl) and sadly had no more room for anything else on this visit.

We made our way back to the Studios and after an eerie visit to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, we decided to stake out a spot for the fireworks. By now Bonnie wanted a bit of something sweet so she went to get into line at Sweet Spells to see if any of the sweet snacks met her approval (did I mention the word sweet yet?). While she did this I got into a not-overly-long-but-incredibly-slow-moving line at the outdoor bar by the Brown Derby to try out one of the Frozen-themed specialty cocktails. After what seemed like an eternity without the line making much progress, I actually bailed out deciding that an over-priced cocktail wasn’t in the cards for me that night (yes, Dear Dedicated Readers, I of all people, passed on a margarita…).

As I met back up with Bonnie I found that she had selected a Snowball: a white sugar-coated Rice Crispie treat. We made our way towards the front of the park to be able to make a quick getaway after the fireworks and plopped our rears down on the curb to enjoy our sweet snack before the evenings pyrotechnics.

Well… “enjoy” wasn’t exactly what we did with the not-so-snowy snowball…  The sugar coating surrounding the crispies was so thick and hard that Bonnie was afraid she’d break a tooth getting through it! I tested the strength of my bridge and forced my artificial incisors into the rigid crust finally making my way to the insides. The rice cereal inside was, like the outside, overly sweet as to be actually unpleasant… so I think this will be the last snowball we try… now to check my insulin levels…

Oh yeah, the fireworks were great! Not quite to the level of the ones we saw at last years villains event in the Studios, but well worth braving the crowds for!

Popcorn

New Mickey Halloween Popcorn Bucket

The following day we took a boat over to the Magic Kingdom to check out the newly added waffle fries options at the Golden Oak Outpost.

Like we’d noticed at the gift shop at Wilderness Lodge, the Halloween merchandise was in full push mode in the Kingdom despite it still being August on this visit. I’m not usually a big fan of paying extra for the souvenir popcorn containers, but we both agreed that the new Haunted Mansion inspired Mickey bucket was awfully cute…

Golden Oak Outpost

Golden Oak Outpost

We eventually made it to the Outpost in Frontierland. Situated across the walkway from Pecos Bills, this location has gone through a few permutations since the exit of the McDonald’s fries several years ago, and just recently a potato-heavy bill of fare had begun to be offered.

Outpost Menu

Outpost Menu

We tried the first two options on the menu: Brown Gravy and Cheese Waffle Fries and the BLT Waffle Fries.

Waffle Fries

Waffle Fries!

The Gravy and Cheese Fries are a take on the traditional Canadian treat of Poutine, while the BLT version is somewhat reminiscent of the once-popular Figaro Fries that were served at Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland.

The topped fries were not-quite-as-large-as-you’d-like for $5.99 each, but still after sharing the two servings we were sated for lunchtime. We really liked both versions (of the two I’d say I preferred the gravy option… when in doubt always choose gravy…) and are looking forward to coming back to try some of the other spudly items from the menu.

Well, that was it for our dining adventures during the abbreviated weekend at the World, hope you enjoyed coming along!

As always, we’re back to the kitchen, and soon we’ll be back to the World – I hear there is a little event coming up soon at Epcot…

See you soon!

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share”!

Margarita of the Month: August 2014 – Mango Margarita

Mangoes seem to be everywhere (and on sale) now (well, in FL at least…), so it seems a logical choice for mixing into a margarita this month…

Mango Margarita

Mango Margarita

 

Mango Margarita

2 ounces  Gold Tequila

1 ounce  Triple Sec

1 ounce  Freshly-Squeezed Lime Juice

1/2 cup  Diced Mango Flesh

Lime Wheel for garnish if desired

Salt for the glass

 

The components...

The components…

Rub the remnants of your squeezed lime around the rim of your glass and dip in salt to crust the rim and set aside.

Blend, blend, baby...

Blend, blend, baby…

Throw everything else into your blender and let it have at it until very smooth…

Pour it on!

Pour it on!

Add some ice cubes to your prepped glass and pour the fruity goodness over…

Mango Margarita

Mango Margarita

garnish as desired and drink up!

Alternately you can shake the blended drink in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain to serve it “neat”, or you can add some crushed ice to the blender for a frozen version…

This makes one nice-sized summery-mangoey-fruity-tasty drink (go ahead and double-up the recipe if you please!) – only hard thing is cutting up one of those dang mangoes!

Back to the bar, and the kitchen! See you soon!

 

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share”!

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