Food & Wine – Quick Bites #3

January 2, 2010

Now that we’ve had plenty of time to digest, lets continue our trek around the World Showcase Food & Wine kiosks…

Having left off at Cork, Ireland, next up is is Gay Pariee…


A perennial favorite (on not, depending on how you feel about eating slimy terrestrial invertebrates) is the Escargot (snails to those of you that may not know…). These are served with the usual garlicky butter inside three small hollow brioche buns. Tasty, tasty, tasty… the nuggets of snail meat have a bit of tooth to them, but are tender enough – and the sauce is gorgeous.

Escargot

If you can get a reticent diner past the idea of “snail” and get them to try it, they will love it… Kim Possible was willing to try them after not being too enthused as to the idea, and wound up begging for more…

And as I’m sure you know, the snails you eat are commercially raised & completely cleaned – nothing slimy about them…

The other savory item this year in Paris (replacing a quiche) was Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes. When I was first handed the item I wasn’t quite sure they had given me the right thing… what looked like a small, pale inverted pot pie was on the plate – no short ribs (nor meat of any sort) in sight.

Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes

When I cut into it I found the shredded meat was encased in a potato shell – the meat was tender and flavorful – another winner of a dish…

Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes

There was also a dessert of Chocolate Milk Creme Brulee (didn’t try it) and a specialty cocktail: Parisien Cosmo Slush (tried it…). The latter was a frozen concoction that was good, but to my taste not as good as either of the regularly served frozen drink items in France (the Grey Goose and the Grand Marnier slushies). The drink must have been popular, as they have been serving it since the festival at the permanent drink booth in France.

Next around the way is the Brewer’s Collection.

Primarily a booth to purvey several types of beers (a reasonable selection, but none really unusual…), but there were two food items: a Warm Pretzel Bread Stick with Cheese Dip and a Landjaeger sausage. The bread was actually quite good but the cheese dip was nondescript (not bad, but nothing special). The sausage was dense and had a fairly strong flavor – I enjoyed it, but I could see how many people though might not be crazy for it… neither was terribly expensive ($2.50 and $2.75 respectively), but I think if they combined them into one plate, it would be a much nicer item… all in all, nothing here you had to go out of your way for (unless one of the beers was a particular favorite).

Landjaeger Sausage and Bread Stick with Cheese Dip

Now onto Morocco…


Disappointingly, there was not a lot of variety here. The two savory items were both pita pockets, one with Beef and the other Falafel (fried balls made from chickpeas). Both were actually pretty good, with the beef being slightly favored over the falafel in my tasting party. What would have been nice would have been either a third, different item (perhaps a vegetarian choice), or to combine these two in smaller portions on one plate and add a second savory choice.

Pita Pockets

The sweet item here was (big surprise..) Baklava… flaky phyllo pastry, nuts, honey, blah, blah, blah… nothing unusual – you can get this inside the Tangerine Cafe 365 days a year if you want…

Now a short trip to Asia… next near the water is Tokyo, Japan – sushi is the order of the day here… the usual “safe” sushi, a California Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll for those slightly more adventurous, grilled Sukiyaki Beef Roll, and for me, one of my favorite (and most frequently eaten) dishes of the festival, Tuna Sensation.


The California Roll was typical of what you’d find most anywhere – surinami (“fake” crabmeat), cucumber, etc wrapped in rice & nori (dried seaweed) – this is the item you always choose to initiate the novice into sushi (we’ll go into this more in depth at a later date, but sushi means “with rice”, not “raw fish”) – it was fine for what it was… and yes, Mistress Sandra berated me for damning my palate to eat a lowly California Roll, but I reminded her I was resolved to try all the savory items for the elucidation of both of my readers.. yes it was all in the name of “research”…

California Roll (with Tuna Sensation and Kirin along for the ride)

Likewise, the Tuna Roll was nothing exceptional, but fine for what it was… the Beef Roll is actually an item I like quite a bit – a rice roll filled with flavored beef, sliced and then grilled slightly crispy on the outside. Another very “safe” sushi choice, but also very tasty… I do believe you can usually order this at the Teppan Edo restaurant in Japan…

Spicy Tuna Roll

Sukiyaki Beef Roll

Last, and certainly not least, is the Tuna Sensation… technically not sushi, since there is no rice, and I suppose it’s also not really sashami… but what it was was simply delicious… cubes of raw tuna and ripe avocado in a ginger flavored soy dressing… yum, yumm, yummm… on one of the (several) times I forced myself to sample this dish, I was accompanied by my friends the World’s Least Magical Castmember Ever and Miss Bonnie… I gave a taste to the latter dining companion, who loved it – I waited a few moments before I told her that she had (apparently for the first time) eaten raw fish… she reacted with the appropriately “ohh.. ickkky” face… but she did admit she still liked it and thanked me for making her try it… now wait until I get her to try uni… 😉

Tuna Sensation

Tuna Sensation

And of course, there was also saki and Kirin draft, so what really was not to like about Japan? (okay, I guess I have to admit I still haven’t developed a taste for saki, but that a whole ‘nother post…)

Time for another break… we have quite a way to go now – all the way from Asia to the Bayou…

Coming next...

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