WDW Weekend Eats: the More Flower & Garden Eats Edition
April 28, 2013
Well Dear Dedicated Readers, it’s that time again: time for a look back at a recent weekend of eats around the World (and a bit away from the World as well this time). Miss Bonnie and I, accompanied much of the time by Mama Ginny and Papa Harry, made our second trip to try the booth items we hadn’t hit our first go-round at this year’s Flower & Garden Festival (you can see our first visit in the post “Flower & Garden… and Food & Wine“), as well as some dining away from Epcot… so let’s dig in, shall we?
I was able to make it to property that Friday a bit before Miss Bonnie, so I went over to Animal Kingdom for a while to check out the new construction going on there (see “WDW Odds & Ends: More Construction Wall Fun!” for the results of that research). Needing a bit of something on my (seemingly-ever-expanding) belly to get me to dinner-time, I bypassed some more healthy options (yes, I did consider the Asian Noodle Salad at the veggie-only kiosk on the path between Asia and Africa)…
but something drew me to Flame Tree Barbeque (one of the better quick-service eateries on property in my humble opinion), but even there, I was able to keep it to a vegetarian afternoon snack…
of Fried Onion Rings and a Safari Amber draft beer… got to be a healthy start to the weekend, right???
I took a seat in the lower dining area, which has a great view of Expedition Everest, and leisurely downed the quite good rings. As one guest passed by my table he commented that “I want to hang out with this guy, onion rings and beer, he’s got it all figured out!”.
Now sans a grumbling tummy, I returned to our resort and after Miss Bonnie arrived we made our way to Epcot and met up with Mama Ginny and Papa Harry.
We headed over to Mexico in the World Showcase and started our trek for the evening with another of the delicious margaritas there.
Someone may have had something to eat there… but I was paying to much attention to my drink to notice…
Bonnie stopped in Italy to try the veggie lasagna…
it was pretty good, but nothing spectacular…
We next picked up some items from the Japan Flower & Garden booth to dine on while we sat in the American Garden Theater for one of the evenings concerts.
We watched a very entertaining and hit-filled (even if Bonnie didn’t recognize most of the songs…) set by Flo & Eddie of the Turtles. Before the show began we ate our Japanese vittles as we waited for the band to take the stage.
The Chirashi Hanazuchi is like a “scattered sushi” and in addition to the cooked seafood (yes kids, sushi doesn’t mean “raw fish”, it means “with rice”…) there was edamame and bits of cooked egg/omelet – the pair of spicy sauces set off the sweeter taste of the shrimp and fake crab and each bite was just a bit different – we loved this and it’s for sure on our “have-again-next-trip” list!
We also had the Frushi which is perhaps the most fun item of the festival – fresh fruit wrapped up in seasoned rice and presented like a traditional sushi roll. Accented by sweet whipped cream and a berry sauce, this was an unusual and surprising item, and a great way to get some young finicky eaters to maybe try some fresh fruit (or even an adult that may be reluctant to consume the “F” word)… on both of our visits I overheard many guests talking about this item – I think this will wind up being one of the big hits here!
From there we wound our way around to France and the L’Orangerie booth to sample the version of Ratatouille there. Served on a pastry crust, this was essentially a Ratatouille pizza, and was rich with veggie-goodness… it got me thinking about making something similar myself soon…
Bonnie and I had been coveting the tomato dish being served at The Cottage in the UK since our first visit (and for some reason we never got around to trying it that time)…
so we made sure to try it this time around.
Perhaps we were expecting too much from this, but it left us both a bit underwhelmed… the tomatoes weren’t bad, but also weren’t great, and considering the tomato flavor itself is critical to a dish like this, well… and the mozzarella I thought had a bit of an odd, tougher-than-I-expected texture – I was expecting a more creamy, fresh texture from the cheese, but it turned out a bit more firm and rubbery… this was a great idea to go along with the “garden” theme, but I felt the execution was a bit lacking.
So after that, we headed for one final stop to wind up our evening, and to a place we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed: La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico pavilion.
We ordered drinks all around, and I had the tequila shot selection to start… then I needed a bit of heat to round out the day and ordered a Jalapeno Margarita… “extra hot please”… so what I got was…
a Jalapeno Margarita turned up to 11 with the addition of a fresh habanero! A great lip-numbing, tonsil-tingling end to a great day of eating & drinking around the World! And we were just starting the weekend…
Saturday AM Miss Bonnie and I made our way over to the east coast to do a recon mission… we’ll save the purpose of that trip for another time, but we did find a great place to have lunch in Cocoa Beach!
We had stopped into the DIS Welcome Center near Port Canaveral to pick their brains about a cruise later in the year and as we were leaving we asked about a good place for lunch – Rob and Walter both chimed out “Simply Delicious”.
We’d heard our friends at the DIS Unplugged talk about the Simply Delicious Bakery in Cocoa Beach, so the choice was easy…
This breakfast and lunch place is in a uniquely decorated old house, with tables crammed everywhere and odd nicknacks all over the place.
What was hard was deciding what to have – sandwiches on house-baked bread, soups, it all sounded so good… and they serve breakfast at lunch, so that even added to the dilemma…
we both independently chose fish sandwiches and sipped on tea as we waited for our lunch… they bring a tiny little pitcher of simple syrup to sweeten your tea if you don’t want any of the granular sweeteners (which happened to be on the table in a margarita glass!).
Bonnie had a blackened mahi sandwich, while I chose the Mahi Reuben – their take on a traditional Reuben sandwich with the fresh grilled fish standing in for corned beef.
Both sandwiches were fresh, large and well, simply delicious! My “side” Grecian Salad took up half of the not-so-small plate… portions here are not skimpy, and the prices are right, with most items running about $10 or less. Our young server was attentive and well, just darn sweet!
We also drooled over some of the breakfast dishes we saw coming out to other guests, and I briefly contemplated coming back the next day all the way from Disney just to eat there again!
If you’re in the area I’d say this is a don’t miss place – perfect for a pre or post-cruise bite. You can read a breakfast review on Foodies Tales (which also has a link to the DIS podcast review).
We made our way back to the World (as Miss Bonnie shed a little tear as we passed by the Disney cruise ship moored at the Port) and contemplated where we should sup that evening…
and as we’ve done on more than one occasion, we decided to head over to the Wilderness Lodge resort and have a table full of appetizers-for-dinner at the Territory Lounge.
We once again met up with Mama Ginny and Papa Harry and settled into some comfy chairs at a corner table in the lounge. We (shockingly!) ordered a round of adult beverages whilst we decided on the evenings edibles.
We made our choices and shared all around the table… the crispy potato chips came with three sauces, the truffle aioli being the best of the bunch.
We dunked the varied cubes of goodies into the tangy beer and cheddar fondue… the fresh apples and dried fruits going particularly well with the molten fromage.
We also had the flatbread topped with mushrooms, sauteed onions, blue cheese, figs and arugula. The meaty/fruity figs and the peppery arugula greens were a nice foil for the ‘shrooms and onions – an unusual combo that worked well.
At dessert time we were joined by a Famous-Disney-Food-Blogger and we got an order of the Drunkin Doughnuts (so apropos for our group!).
The cake-like circles and holes come in a paper bag with a cinnamon-sugar mixture – you shake it up and pour them out onto the plate…
and then best of all, you dunk them into the Drunkin part, a ramekin filled with a melange of melted butter, maple syrup and Grand Marnier… hell yes… what could be bad about that combo? Carbs, sugar and booze! That’s the way to end your night, and we called it one then…
Sunday was going to be a short day in the World before we headed out, but we did make our way to Epcot again for some lunch in World Showcase before wrapping up the weekend.
Miss Bonnie wanted to go for a Lamb Wrap at the Tangerine Cafe in Morocco, so I opted to start my feeding with an item from the Taste of Marrakesh kiosk. We had eaten there on our first visit, but got a bit distracted right after we ordered, so I wanted to give the lamb there another try.
And it was worth trying again – the lamb was full of earthy, herby flavor. The side of couscous seemed to be the same (good) version from the Cafe, and the mint tea was a nice change of pace.
While Bonnie was sated after her wrap, I still needed something to top off my tummy, so we headed towards Germany.
We stopped in the gift shop and came across a few new steins there, one with scenes from the Germany pavilion all around it…
and another with characters added to the scene…
with Goofy, Donald, and of course Mickey, showing off their Oompah skills.
Each stein comes with the ever-popular “Certificate of Authenticity” and a brief history of the stein in Germany.
Both of these steins were about $125 (or thereabouts to the best of my feeble recollection), and were hefty and seems to be of good quality if you were in the market for such an item. But if you wanted something with say, a bit more character, or at least one specific character, you could opt for the Grumpy stein…
but be prepared to drop an extra C note if you want this one!
We decided to save our money for food and made our way to Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market for one last bite of the weekend.
We’d tried the savory bread pudding and the potato pancakes here on our first go-round and had enjoyed them both (especially the bread pudding), so I was eager to see what a German meatloaf would be like.
The meatloaf itself was a lighter color than I expected, so I assume it was at least part pork (or maybe veal?). The meat(s) were obviously very finely ground and the texture was smooth and dense.
The meatloaf flavor was fairly mild, but the sweet mustard added nicely to it and the crunchy fried bits of shallot gave it some texture. The bread could have been a bit softer for my taste, but overall not a bad dish, if still it wound up being my least favorite from this location.
After that we sadly had to bid farewell to WDW for this trip – it was a fun weekend with some good food and drink, and even better friends!
So there you have it boys and girls, another weekend of eats from around the World – hope you enjoyed another gustatory tour!
As always, it’s back to the kitchen – see you again soon!