EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival officially began July 15 with 81 different food items to enjoy and even more booths recently opened.
Of course, we’re on a mission to try them all, and our quest continues with park reporter Chrissy back at EPCOT sampling food from eight more booths.
- New England Lobster Tail with Lobster Bisque Sauce, $14.00
- Lobster Chowder with Bacon, Corn, Potatoes, and Oyster Crackers, $6.75
- Baked Lobster Dip with Old Bay Chips, $5.50
Our review: We didn’t enjoy the lobster at Hops & Barley, but the Lobster Tail here is good! It’s not as heavily sauced as the one on the menu, which was great. It’s simple and has a little wedge of lemon – perfect. The Lobster Chowder is a perfect creamy/sweet balance, but maybe wait until it isn’t 120 degrees outside to enjoy it. The Baked Lobster Dip was the hit. Yes, the lobster is overcooked, but that actually works in the dip. And the dip is tangy and full of lobster. It feels like a great value, too
Mac & Eats
- Traditional Macaroni and Cheese with Herbed Panko, $4.75
- Truffle Macaroni and Cheese with Herbed Panko, $5.75
- Cowboy Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Pork Belly, Brisket Burnt Ends, Pickled Peppers, and Onion Straws, $6.25
- Macaroni and Cheese with House-Made Plant-Based Italian Sausage and Peppers, $5.75
Our review: The Traditional Mac & Cheese is just good comfort food, and an outstanding option for kids and fussy eaters. The Truffle Mac & Cheese is leaps better than the less-desirable version from Fairfax Fare at Hollywood Studios. This was the smallest portion size we got served, but it was worth the price. Speaking of portion size, the Cowboy Mac & Cheese could feed several people. Tons of pork, noodles, and cheese, and the onion straws were a nice touch. This is easily enough for three people, especially if you plan to eat other things, too. But the stand-out item was the Plant-Based offering. Spicy sauce and plant-based sausage that you’d swear was pork was piled on an enormous pile of mac & cheese. Don’t sleep on this one!
- Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa, and Coriander Pesto Dips, $5.00
- Korma Chicken with Basmati Rice, Crispy Chickpeas, and Spiced Yogurt Sauce, $5.25
- Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas, and Ben’s Original Basmati Rice, $5.00
Our review: Who doesn’t love bread service? The pickled garlic is outrageously good, and the bread in general just makes a wonderful snack. If you like typical Indian flavors, you’ll enjoy the Korma Chicken, no question. It is the best of the two non-bread dishes. The Madras Red Curry was good, but just not the favorite. How wonderful is it that there’s two gluten-friendly dishes at this booth (the chicken and the curry)?
- Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato & Corn Mealie Pap and Kachumbari Slaw, $6.00
- Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-Scented Couscous – $6.75
Our review: This was one of the top 3 favorite booths of the entire festival! The Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin is a big value for the bold flavors and a huge portion. This is a beauitful plate of tender beef that we know we will get again. The Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp may be the best value of the whole festival. It’s perfectly grilled shrimp and tender couscous — more than enough to share and wonderful flavors.
- Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Alpine Ham, Baby Potatoes, Cornichons, and Baguette, $5.50
- Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Baby Potatoes, Cornichons, and Baguette, $4.50
- Blueberry and Almond Frangipane Tart with Crème Fraîche, $4.50
Our review: Raclette = Gobs of ooey, gooey cheese melting onto a plate. How can you say a bad word about this, whether you get it with the ham or without. The Blueberry and Almond Frangipane Tart fits into our thought that fruit shouldn’t be served warm. This dish is loved by a lot of people, but our reviewer wasn’t a fan. It’s beautiful and properly prepared, so if you like the idea of a warm fruit tart, you’ll want to give it a try.
- Charcuterie with a Selection of Imported Spanish Meats, Cheeses, and Olives with an Herb Vinaigrette, $6.50
- Spanish-Style Paella with Rice, Chorizo, and Shrimp, $5.50
- Seafood Salad with Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Mussels, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar, and Smoked Paprika, $6.25
Our review: Skip the Charcuterie. It’s really big bites of cheese and nothing special. There’s better dishes for your money. . . like the Paella. The Spanish-Style Paella is an excellent value. The chorizo wasn’t too spicy, and so this can be a more kid-friendly option. For the seafood salad, it was a tiny cup of “just okay”. We’d suggest skipping it.
- Fisherman’s Seafood Pie, $6.75
- Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard, $5.50
- Roasted Irish Sausage with Colcannon Potatoes and Onion Gravy, $4.25
Our review: Yes, the Fisherman’s Seafood Pie is a popular dish that keeps coming back, but this just feels like cafeteria food. It’s smelly and the texture was off. It’s a skip. The Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake is super rich and pretty, plus the price is good, but it just didn’t feel all that great of a value. Good for those who are craving the sweets, but not a stand-out dessert. The Roasted Irish Sausage itself was just fine, but the potatoes and gravy were simply stellar!
- Shimmering Strawberry Soft-Serve in a Waffle Cone, $5.25
- Banana Bread with Mixed Berry Compote, $4.50
Our review: Although this booth opened on day 1, they also quickly sold out of banana bread. It’s not a surprise, because the Banana Bread is the better offering at this booth. It’s good and flavorful, and the berry compote is a nice touch. The Strawberry Soft-Serve isn’t bad, but it’s strawberry soft serve. If you’re looking for ice cream, swing on over to France or Italy for their year-round offerings.
Do any of these foods interest you? Have you made up a wish list for an upcoming Food and Wine Festival trip? Let us know in the comments.