Last Saturday I joined a small group of media invited out to the Wonders of Life Pavilion Lounge for a small sampling of select 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Bits and Sips. You can see the entire list of festival booths and menu items here: 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World – Complete Listing of Marketplace Booth Menu Items
The above photo was the welcome drink. Caposaldo Sweet Sparkling Peach Moscato ($4.25) Intermissions Cafe in the Wonders of Life Pavilion. I’m not normally one for anything sweet or sparkling but the carbonation was very mild and this offering wasn’t too sweet at all. It was very refreshing and paired nicely with the eggs they had set out for brunch.
My favorite dish that afternoon was this. Nueske’s Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and Pickled Jalapeño ($4.00) Farm Fresh Booth. I had sampled this the previous day on my own out on the World Showcase Promenade for opening day and oh my was I blown away. The bacon has a deep smokey flavor that really defines this dish. This is a must try and in my top five for the entire festival.
The real shocker for me was that I really enjoyed the CraB’less CraB Cake with Pepper Slaw and Cajun Remoulade ($4.25) Terra Marketplace. The texture of this vegan crab cake was “spot on”! It literally tasted exactly like a crab cake. I think it was the remoulade sauce that really sent this one over the edge. I will be back to purchase and enjoy another one of these soon.
Tzatziki Martini featuring Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur ($7.75) Greece Booth. I wanted so much to like this cocktail. I really did. I am a big fan of martinis and also a huge fan of Greek food. I did not like this drink at all. Nothing about it was appealing to me. The bits of dill floating in it. The yoghurt liqueur…nope. Not a fan. If you like savory cocktails give this one a go. They apparently aren’t my thing.
Slow-braised Beef with Puerto Rican-grown Rice ($4.50) Puerto Rico Booth. This dish was tasty, although the beef was a little more well done than I would have liked it. I have seen this dish served out on the promenade and the portion size is hearty. A good bang for your buck.
Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon ($4.50) Scotland Booth. Delicious! A perfectly cooked scallop on a bed of creamed spinach topped with crisp bits of bacon. What’s not to love?
Paperboy Red ($3.50) Terra Booth. This red blended wine is unique in the fact that it is offered in a corrugated cardboard bottle with a plastic bladder. Responsible and tasty. The white was a Chardonnay that was divine and I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of the bottle. Not sure which booth this wine is being offered at.
Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream ($3.50) Belgium Booth. One of my favorite things has returned again this year. This is a great value and absolutely delicious. The waffle was soft and fresh and the berries are cooked down into a luscious sauce. This paired well with the red wine.
Dessert Trio: Passion Fruit Coconut Creamsicle, Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Roll, and Chocolate Espresso Opera Cake ($4.00) Desserts and Champagne Booth. My favorite of these three was the cheesecake roll, another surprise for me since I don’t care for cheesecake. I think the fact that it was half sponge cake and half cheesecake was what made it so spectacular. The creamsicle had and overpowering taste of passion fruit. And the opera cake was rich and decadent.
We topped off our experience with a concert in the American Gardens Theatre where we rocked out to some country tunes from Jo Dee Messina. You can see a listing of the entire Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series here: 2014 Epcot Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule Dates and Times
The 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase runs September 19th – November 10th, 2014. I hope to see you out noshing your way around the promenade! For more photos of the dishes being offered at the festival follow me over on Instagram where I am posting live as I eat and drink my way around World Showcase.
Special thanks goes out to the Disney PR Team for inviting me to this complementary preview. I was not compensated nor required to write this post and all opinions are my own.