Food & Wine 2010: Some random thoughts…

October 18, 2010

Now that we’re about three weeks into the 2010 Epcot Food & Wine Festival, I figured it was about time to post a few random thoughts and musings on this year’s event… (You have figured out by now that this isn’t the place for your “up-to-date” latest soon-as-it-happens news, right? Hell, we stretched out our coverage of last year’s Food & Wine Festival for about 11 months…).

15 Beers for 15 Years… what a great concept!

The two new booths this year, South Korea and Belgium, both seem to be big hits.

Both food items in Korea, the Barbecue Short Ribs and Pork Lettuce Wrap are winners, the pork being especially tasty (and even better when you don’t pay for your first one – thanks Chef Jens!). Sadly missing is OB Beer…

Beware of the Soju – rocket fuel masquerading as a beverage – it just might cause one to proposition an ex-coworker in the middle of the afternoon… just a warning…

I’m surprised (and pleased) at the lines at South Korea – it seems to be a cuisine alien to most Americans, and I was afraid it might be shunned, but these “friendly” food options seem to be well received.

I’ve heard mixed reviews of the mussels in Belgium (I did enjoy them though), but the waffles have pretty much been universally praised…

 

Waffles!

 

and of course, they serve Stella… so things are pretty good in Belgium…

Some of the “extra” things are missing this year… no Sam Adams beer tasting/seminar, none of the demos that took place around the World Showcase, there are no Wine Walkabouts nor any of the featured states/areas (like New Orleans or Oklahoma) we’ve seen in recent years.

Weekend crowds have been overwhelming… I expected the first weekend to be pretty crowded, being the first weekend and with the race, but it seemed the second weekend was even more crowded – I chalked that up to the beautiful weather and a 3-day holiday weekend… well this past weekend was packed as well… locals (and semi-locals like myself) seem to be swarming the place on Saturday and Sunday adding to the already popular event. So if you’re coming down for a trip to Food & Wine, spend your weekends if at all possible at other parks, or if you must come on the weekend, hit the World Showcase right when it opens…

Certainly with the continued (and apparently increasing) popularity of the Festival big crowds are to be expected – and I’m sure Disney has to be pleased with the numbers of butts coming thru the turnstiles – of course you don’t want the lines to get so long that it starts to turn off guests…there certainly is space to fit in some more kiosks that could help to spread out the crowds some, and the re-introduction of some of the previously mentioned missing things could also help to thin things out…

I don’t know if it’s actually much different, but the Festival Center seems a bit more full & lively than in recent years, with plenty of merch to be had…

 

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

 

The new Marketplace Discovery Passport is a great idea – a small booklet that you can use to check-off items you’ve eaten/drank (and plan ahead with as well).

Each stop also has a distinctive “Stamp of Completion” to mark your attendance…

 

My favorite little burg along the Romantic Road is even having it’s own miniature version of the Food and Wine Festival with their own banners and kiosks…

and the shortest lines you’ve ever seen…

 

Looks like a couple of the pigs have gotten into the wine...

 

Perhaps the most surprisingly great food item this year is a simple homey/peasant item: Asopao de Pollo – the chicken soup with rice in Puerto Rico. The flavor is fantastically rich (and it’s also a really nice size portion) – don’t by-pass this thinking it’s just going to be “chicken soup”!

 

Asopao de Pollo

 

Other new and old favorites (of the items I’ve tasted so far): Fisherman’s Pie and Lava Cake in Ireland (two of the most popular items from last year still are drawing long lines), Chicken Chipotle Sausage in Canada (I know it might be heresy, but I think it’s even better than the cheese soup),

 

Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta

 

Lamb Chop in Australia (Lil Sis Lindsay must have downed an entire heard of poor little lambs herself in her trip down!), Shrimp Cake in Singapore, Bacardi Frozen Torched Cherry Colada in Puerto Rico (a thick, tasty, fruity, girly-drink – you knew I had to include at least one beverage in here, right?) and the Beef Tenderloin in South Africa (the sauce has a real nice kick this year).

 

Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Puree and Mango Barbecue Sauce

 

Vegetarian items (ovo-lacto that is) are now noted with a checkmark-style V at the counters…

I think the majority of such items here are actually desserts, but I believe we’re going to see the number of veggie (and even vegan) items offered around WDW property slowly but surely increase.

There’s plenty more to eat, drink and experience in the coming few weeks in Epcot… and we’ll (eventually!) share it all with you!

3 Responses to “Food & Wine 2010: Some random thoughts…”


  1. did you purchase the festival recipe book? I’d love to try the Asopao de Pollo but cannot make it to the festival this year.

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    • fishyrocketboy Says:

      Unfortunately the recipe is not in this years cookbook… I’m going to see if I can get the recipe, if not we’ll figure out a reasonable facsimile…

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  2. […] Food and Wine Festival the village even sported it’s own miniature food booths (take a look here to see […]

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