Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival kicked off earlier this week and will last through early November. The annual festival gives guests a chance to try dishes and beverages from different booths around World Showcase. Some of the food offered is switched out every year for new options but there are many favorites that are carried over year-after-year. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to attend Food & Win this year but have been each of the last two years. This post will detail a few of my favorite dishes that we tried that have also carried over to this year.
As you will see, my taste buds favor savory over sweet. Food & Wine has some of both but I have mainly only tried savory options. This is probably a whole post in its own right, but I do have some issues with the festival and that is mainly why we don’t have much information about it. Namely, doing an extensive amount of research costs an absurd amount for this festival. While I’d love to sample something from every booth, it’s cost prohibitive. For now, we’ll settle for a few of our favorite snacks but if you want more information or tips on the event then let me know in the comments and I’ll add a more detailed post. On to the food!
Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce (Canada)
This is one of the more expensive Food & Wine items but it is absolutely delicious. The Filet Mignon is tender and flavorful but the Truffle-Butter Sauce mixed with mushrooms is what really knocks this out of the park. As with most of the food offered, this isn’t a full steak or anything but it is a filling snack that let’s you try a little bit of a Le Cellier classic without having to spend the money to eat in that restaurant. If you are on the dining plan, this does count as a snack credit (most of the food items at the festival do) and is an excellent use of it. This is a popular item so it is typically hot and fresh but the second time I tried it the meat was a little rubbery. Still good though.
Beijing Roasted Duck Bao Bun with Hoisin Sauce (China)
Figuring out if this item is right for you comes down to simply if you like duck or not. Since it’s on my list, I obviously do like it. I do think this portion size was too small but liked all of the components of this dish that helped augment the mild, but tender and juicy, duck. The Bao Bun acts as the bread of the sandwich with the crisps giving texture and the sauce adding a nice sweetness. While I wasn’t blown away, this is a solid option.
Piggy Wings: Roasted Pork Wings with Korean BBQ Sauce and Sesame Seeds (Flavors from Fire)
This was a favorite of mine last year and I’m glad to see that they are back. The pork wings are tender and juicy. With pork, I worry about the wings being a too fatty but that wasn’t the case. I loved the Korean BBQ Sauce on them, it wasn’t spicy but was sweet and flavorful. I don’t care about the sesame seeds, they added a little texture but not much, but they didn’t detract from the dish.
Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour DOLE® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise (Hawai’i)
This slider wasn’t as good as the wings above, but it makes the list thanks to the delicious Pineapple Chutney on the sandwich. It was sweet with a little bit of heat behind it and made the slider far more interesting. The other ingredients were average, the pork was too fatty for my liking and there was too much mayonnaise, but the Pineapple Chutney elevated this dish.
New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled Roll (Hops & Barley)
Another favorite, this Lobster Roll was fresh and full of flavor. The portion size here was more than I expected and they didn’t hold back on the lobster. I think Lobster Rolls can be too heavy-handed on mayonnaise but this one struck a great balance with the lobster playing the primary role and the mayonnaise adding some flavor. The roll tasted good albeit a little bit soggy. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a snack that isn’t too hot but savory.
Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney (New Zealand)
This dish from the New Zealand booth has me on the fence. The Lamb Meatball and the bread surrounding it was perfect and what ultimately lands it on this list. The meatball was juicy and had better flavor than your typical meatball. Having the bread surrounding it is a little strange but I liked the addition. The Spicy Tomato Chutney wasn’t for me though. Admittedly, tomatoes aren’t my favorite thing (a food I have no feelings about) but the chutney overpowered the meatball here. I didn’t think the spice added to the dish and was pretty minimal. With that said, if you like meatballs or lamb then this is worth getting.
Spanish-style Paella with Chorizo and Roasted Chicken (Spain)
I cheated a little bit here as the Spain Booth had a Seafood Paella so I haven’t actually tried this version. With that said, the seafood version did have Chorizo in it and that really helped elevate the dish. This was in my top-3 snacks I tried last year and I would definitely get it again. The paella was very flavorful, not overly salty but with a great seasoning. I’d be very curious about the Roasted Chicken as I think it might have gone better in this dish than the seafood did last year (even though I love seafood). A savory dish that is different from much of the finger food offered throughout the festival.
Those are my seven favorite returning dishes to Food & Wine Festival. If you have any thoughts or questions on the festival please let us know below in the comments. If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney please subscribe to the blog via email or WordPress and like our social media pages. You can find all of those things on the right side of this page. Thank you very much for reading, we appreciate it!