Epcot Odds & Ends

October 28, 2011

A few random things from the past couple of visits to Epcot – most Food & Wine Festival related of course…

Dedicated Readers know of my particular fondness for the train layout in the Germany pavilion in the World Showcase – I love how the residents of the tiny village celebrate the Epcot festivals as well, they even have their own Food & Wine Festival booths.

And this year they also have a Cranberry bog, just like the one at the festival!

The main street of the little burg even sports Food & Wine Festival banners…

Is something amiss here????

Miss Bonnie snapped this pic the first week of the festival – seems whoever was hanging the banners may have already been into the wine (or maybe the bier)? Since then the banner has been put into it’s proper orientation… I’m a little sad about that for some reason…

Of course the residents will need plenty of facilities during their festival, so they added an outhouse…

but it seems that someone has had a bit too much of the available beverages… I hope there are other places to go…

cause I don’t think this fellow is leaving anytime soon… maybe he was the one hanging the banner…

At the Cheese kiosk Disney is experimenting with a touch screen ordering system…

It worked perfectly well during our one trial, so don’t be surprised if you see more of these next year.

In the UK, we found some cute items for sale…

magnets, mugs and coasters that take two real British street signs and put them together to make something fun… and mostly food related!

And yes there is Bond…. James Bond….

While in the UK one day I caught part of a set by the band “British Revolution”… many have bemoaned the loss of the former “house band” of the UK pavilion, the “British Invasion” which was primarily a Beatles tribute band (and in recent years they had added other 60’s/70’s Brit bands to their sets), but I really enjoyed what I saw of the British Revolution – well performed songs from the Clash, the Police as well as the Beatles set my toe a tapping…

While on the subject of shopping, we found this somewhat bizarre Mickey Bar tee-shirt in MouseGears:

We took part (well, sort of) in a couple of food & beverage demos at the Festival Center.

Miss Bonnie had wanted to attend one of the culinary demonstrations by Jamie Deen (one of Paula’s boys), but they had sold out quickly… but we sat outside and observed the engaging Mr. Deen.

While there was very little actual cooking during the “demo”, Jamie told many stories and had the audience in the palm of his hands with his down-home personality and wit. Prior to this I’d never been really impressed with the Deen offspring, but I came away really liking this guy. Before the event he spent quite a bit of time walking through the audience and engaging with the attendees and taking pictures. He seemed very genuine and really happy to be there.

We also attended (and actually sat in the audience this time) an Italian Wine seminar by Batasiolo winery.

We sampled the wines, one of which (the Moscato D’Asti dessert wine) we both really liked – so much so that afterwards we bought a couple of bottles to take with us.

Our host was Ricardo March, and he was quite personable and entertaining… and I think Miss Bonnie would have been quite happy to listen to his accent all day…

we spoke with him after the demo and he was quite generous with his time and gladly answered our questions about some of the wines.

While on the subject of alcohol, let’s pay a visit to that favorite locale, La Cava del Tequila…

Despite lines far out the door (there is even a queue line now for the bar!) for take-away drinks, we were able to procure a table inside for a while (and we were soon joined by ten or so new-found friends, but that’s a whole ‘nother story…). We sampled the fairly new Queso dip (not bad) and some beverages…

As you can see from the sign, they are offering deals to their Twitter followers… so if you do the Twitter, be sure to follow cavadeltequila.

Construction continues in Japan on the soon-to-come Katsura Gardens

some of the walkways behind the walls have been removed and horticulture teams are at work redoing the landscaping of the area.

The recently opened Kabuki Cafe has started serving pre-packaged sushi over the past several weeks. Offerings have been changing periodically and here is what was for sale this past weekend:

I was intrigued by the Salmon Volcano Roll, so I gave it a try.

Salmon Volcano Roll

The texture of the salmon was a bit odd – it seems like it was actually some sort of salmon salad, but I really even couldn’t tell for sure… the “Volcano” sauce wasn’t very spicy (which should be why it’s called Volcano…).

I’d say pass on this one…

Now let’s look at some items from the Food & Wine Festival kiosks…

When we attended the Sneak Preview dinner during the summer, one of the items we sampled was the Pork Slider from the Hawaii booth – it was fine, but we were less than impressed, finding it overall a bit too sweet… I gave it another go at the festival to see if it was any more to my liking…

Chef Scott from Le Cordon Bleu prepares and hands over the Pork Slider

Kalua Pork Slider - opened up for inspection

I actually liked it better on this day than I had prior – the pineapple wasn’t overpowering the pork as it had before – this simply could be due to the amount of the Pineapple Chutney used, so your mileage may vary. In any case, this is worth trying.

I felt compelled to try something from China, even though I’m normally underwhelmed with the offerings there. I gave the new Xinjiang Barbecue Chicken Stick a try and was pleasantly surprised…

Xinjiang Barbecue Chicken Stick

very tender and juicy solid chicken meat glazed with a tasty sauce – I’d have this again… Miss Bonnie also tried it and concurred…

Now please remember that “Barbecue” really refers to a style of cooking, and not just something that is slathered in a sweet tomato-based sauce, as many Americans consider it to be… ’cause this ain’t that…

As Miss Bonnie hadn’t tried it yet, we made our way to the Singapore booth…

Beef Rendang and Shrimp Cake with Singapore Noodles, and a Tiger Beer to wash it down

I had been raving about the Shrimp Cake, so she was eager to try it. She ordered that and I gave the braised Beef Rendang a try.

Bonnie was crazy about the shrimp (as she should have been) – I had eaten the beef dish last year, and wasn’t overwhelmed by it, but this year they seem to have upped the flavor (and heat!) and I really enjoyed it – the spicy coconut flavored meat really needs the side of rice to temper it out. Many may find this dish too spicy, but I really enjoyed it this year.

As usual, Argentina is a winner…

Well known for their beef, don’t expect to find much in the way of veggies at this booth… the smells of the beef actually being cooked in the booth will draw you in…

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree

The grilled beef has been a favorite since it was introduced, and this year’s version is the same… tender beef topped with a Chimichurri Sauce (parsley, garlic and other goodies in olive oil) sitting upon a mash of Boniato (a white sweet potato). We overheard one guest proclaim “I wish all mashed potatoes tasted like this!” – you’ll get no argument from me…

Another perennial favorite is the Beef Empanada…

Beef Empanada

nicely seasoned ground meat inside a flaky pastry… an easy to eat package of meaty goodness.

Let’s wind up this time with a visit to New Zealand where Lamb and Scallops are on the menu.

Slider buns are slathered with a tomato chutney and topped with a ground lamp patty.

The Lamb Slider is another popular item from year-to-year at the festival. I think it’s good, but nothing I really crave… maybe it’s that whole overdone “slider” thing I have a beef with (or in this case a “lamb” thing with I guess…)

A spicy curry-flavored puree is topped with a nicly grilled sea scallop and garnished with a crunchy salad of apples and radishes.

We had tried the Seared Sea Scallop with Kumara-Red Curry Puree and Apple Radish Salad during the sit-down portion of the Sneak Preview dinner and had quite liked it, especially the puree, and the version at the kiosk was still quite good (even though we didn’t get the cool presentation we had at the Preview Dinner…).

Seared Sea Scallop with Kumara-Red Curry Puree and Apple Radish Salad along with the Lamb Slider with Tomato Chutney

So there you have it, some odds & ends from Epcot – hope you enjoyed our ramblings…

Now back to the kitchen, and Epcot too… Food & Wine is still going on…

6 Responses to “Epcot Odds & Ends”

  1. Estelle Says:

    Oh! Thanks so much for sharing these shots! So excited to be in WDW in less than 2 weeks to enjoy it all, and most of all, do a little shopping. There seems to be a lot of fun new merchandise to scout out!

    Like


  2. [...] (and Drinking) Around the World takes us on a fun tour of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Cinderella's Carriage at Dallas Arboretum Pumpkin [...]

    Like

  3. sambycat Says:

    you do know that if you take pictures of those little dolls in german tiny train land, they come alive at night and haunt you to get their souls back, right?

    sweet dreams!

    Like


  4. [...] (and Drinking) Around the World gives us a tour of random foodie “odds and ends” around Epcot. Check out the adorable Mickey Ice Cream bar shirt to the left, courtesy of Andy [...]

    Like

  5. Rene Says:

    I’m looking for the Mouse ears tee. What website can I find it at?

    Like


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