There’s 81 different food items at this year’s EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, and more food booths will be opening in October. That’s a lot to sample, but we’re trying it all!
Here’s a quick rundown of the booths that are open from Mexico through America. (Note: Kenya, India, Spain, and Alps will open at a later time.)
- Chilaquiles con Chorizo (crispy corn tortillas tossed in salsa verde and Monterey Jack cheese topped with Crema Mexicana, queso cotija, pickled onions, and ground chorizo), $7.00
- Taco de Ribeye (shaved ribeye steak, red onions, and poblano peppers on a corn tortilla with ranchera salsa, cotija cheese, and chives), $7.00
- Capirotada de Chocolate (Abuelita chocolate bread pudding served with a chocolate crème anglaise), $5.50
Our review: If you love chilaquiles and chorizo, you’ll love the first dish — it is especially good since it is served with salsa verde, plus the portion size is good as well. The ribeye tacos, on the other hand, tasted good, but it’s one taco and the portion size is really small. Bread pudding can be a polarizing thing, because the texture can sometimes be off-putting, but the Capirotada de Chocolate was surprisingly good. It’s a big piece, and of course covering it in chocolate doesn’t hurt either!
- Pan-fried Chicken Dumplings with House-made Sweet and Spicy Sauce, $5.00
- ZiRan Beef Bao Bun (grilled beef with cumin), $7.25
- Crispy-fried Pepper Shrimp with Spicy Sichuan Noodles, $7.50
Our review: Overall, this booth was a disappointment. The dumplings are delicious and the sauce is wonderful, but $5 for two dumplings just isn’t a good value. For the bao bun, the bao was wonderfully fluffy, but the meat tasted like taco meat. It was good, but not something that would be a repeat dish. For the pepper shrimp, Disney has really had a rough time lately with shrimp. This dish sounded good, but you only get two shrimp and the ones we had were overcooked and rubbery. The spicy noodles were okay, but just okay. It’s a dish to pass on, especially for the price.
- Schinkennudeln: Pasta Gratin with Ham, Onions, and Cheese, $4.50
- Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll, $5.75
- Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce, $4.25
Our review: Germany is like a comfy sweater — it may not be flashy and fancy, but it gets the job done and makes you feel good. The Schinkennudeln is basically mac and cheese with ham and onions. It’s good comfort food and a good serving for a reasonable price. The bratwurst on a pretzel roll isn’t anything spectacular, but it is a sausage on a pretzel roll. What’s not to love? The apple strudel has been a favorite for many years. You get a good-sized piece and there’s plenty of apples. That vanilla sauce, though — simply delicious.
- Mezzelune Croccanti: Crispy Half-moon Breaded Mozzarella-filled Ravioli with Pomodoro Sauce, $12.00
- Ravioli: Grilled Chicken Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce, Romano Cheese, and Prezzemolo, $13.00
- Bomboloni: Cream-filled Italian Doughnut with Raspberry Sauce and Powdered Sugar, $11.00
Our review: Oh, Italy. Why do you hate us so? Every year we think things will be different, and every year disappointment ensues. The good news is that the taste isn’t horrible compared to some dishes we’ve had in the past, but those prices — ouch! The Mezzelune Croccanti are a lot like the fried ravioli served at Olive Garden. For some, that might be a plus, and they did taste good, but the price may make it better to just stick with Olive Garden. The Ravioli are fine, not great but not horrible, but for the price you would think you could have enough sauce for all of them. The Bomboloni donuts taste fine, but they’re small and you only get three. In general, the food at the Italy booth tastes good, but the value just isn’t there.
The Rotunda Bistro
- Chilled Smoked Shrimp Salad, $6.25
- Wild Mushroom and Truffle Tart with Gruyère and Crème Fraîche, $5.00
- Chilled Crab and Avocado Parfait with Caviar, $6.50
Our review: The Rotunda Bistro was really a mixed bag. for the chilled smoked shrimp salad, it really depends how eager you are for something with a smoke flavor. It’s an okay dish, but if you’re not feeling the desire for smoked seafood, it’s a pass. One thing to note about the Rotunda Bistro is that all dishes are served cold, probably because it is inside a pavilion. For two of the items, this isn’t a problem. For the Wild Mushroom and Truffle Tart, it was good and had a lovely flavor, but would have been better if it was warm. Finally, the chilled crab and avocado parfait is a wonderful option for summertime vibes. It tastes very fresh, and putting caviar on top makes it extra fancy, right?
Read part 1 of the series here, and stay tuned for part 3. In the meantime, what looks good to you from these booths?