EPCOT’s International Food and Wine 2018 Reviews (Trip 4)

Trip 4 – October 13

Chris’s sister Rachel and their friends requested to do a Disney weekend trip to Food and Wine and we had to say yes. No need to convince me because any excuse to go to Disney is a good excuse, ammirite? I was so excited to finally share a trip around the world with friends and spend time enjoying each others company.
There were a lot of “firsts” this trip for some of us; from first-time rides to first-time around the world for Food and Wine. My favorite first was that some of them haven’t been on the new Test Track, in-fact enjoy this amazing ride photo.

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Overall it was a much needed vacation-ish weekend filled with great friends, good foods, and “free-flowing” wine. We’ve got some reviews for the things we tried down below. We also got a guest review and an bonus review from the La Cava del Tequila Lounge found in the Mexico pavilion; neither of those are in the pricing of the Quick Statistics since either Chris and I didn’t pay for it nor is it apart of Food and Wine festival.

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Quick Statistics
We spent a total of $48.75
Food: $30.75
Drinks: $18.00
Food Items: 6
Drink Items: 3
Avg $5.13 Per Food Item, or $2.57 per person
Avg $6.00 Per Drink Item

The Cheese Studio

IMG-7090Braised Beef “Stroganoff” with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom, and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce
$5.25
Chris: 6.5/10
Stacy: 6/10
We really wanted to try most of the items that we marked as a suggestion or highly recommended. This was one of those items and honestly it fell a little short for both of us. The braised beef was delicious, there was plenty of it too, it was very tender and the seasoning was flavorful. I was NOT a fan of the tiny egg noodles, honestly they were kinda gross and did not remind me of stroganoff at all. Additionally, I was confused why this dish was in the Cheese Studio booth since there seemed to be no cheese aspect of it. Upon writing this review apparently it was with a “fine herbs cheese sauce” and we did not taste that. The beef was cooked in a well seasoned sauce that did not resemble any cheese texture or flavor. We also agreed that we wished this dish was paired with the side dish that came with the Beer-braised Beef of the Belgium booth, but more of that below.

IMG-7093Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch
$4.50 / NEW / Vegetarian
Chris & Stacy: 10/10
Hmm… Can I have MORE of this? Honestly this was our favorite thing we’ve had at the festival that day and honestly probably of the whole festival. This was amazingly delicious and I almost got another one while we were there (but I restrained myself). It reminded me of  the cheesecake from Flower and Garden festival (which was also my favorite). But the flavors of this Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake were spot on. You could easily taste the bourbon cream and the pecan crunch gave it that perfect extra texture. Dreaming of it as I’m writing this review.

The Wine & Dine Studio

IMG-7094Seared Scallops with Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts, and Wild Mushrooms
$6.00
Chris & Stacy: 9.5/10
I mentioned back on first trip to food and wine that we had the Seared Scallops from Coastal Eats and we later walked by this booth and thought it would be better. We were right. Skip Coastal Eats and head straight to The Wine & Dine Studio booth for these Seared Scallops.
They were cooked perfectly and we thought the pairing was very nice. At first we couldn’t figure out what the white was, it tasted very much like a light mashed potato puree but later found out it was celery root. Mildly surprised because I hate celery and celery root flavored things; mostly for the texture but this was so smooth and you could really taste the truffle in it. Paired with the wild mushrooms it gave it the best compliment to the scallops. We had a hard time trying to figure out what the huge black vegetable looking object was on the plate. We tasted it a few times, it tasted great, but we wouldn’t figure out what it was. Chris thought it was a truffle but there is no way Disney would put a truffle of that size on a plate. When we were discussing these reviews among each other, and overlooking the menu, I was shocked to find out that there was supposed to be brussels sprouts in this dish. Our conclusion is that either we did not get any brussels sprouts or the huge black vegetable looking thing was the brussels sprout. Not sure but it was still great and we highly recommend.

New Zealand

IMG-7095Steamed Green Lip Mussels with Garlic Butter and Toasted Breadcrumbs
$4.50
Chris & Stacy: 7/10
I recalled I have has both of these items from previous Food and Wine festivals as soon as I picked up the dish. There were actually 4 mussels that came in this dish and it’s not a bad dish for the price. But it was a little dry and honestly not filling at all. If you want to splurge for something that flavorful and nothing too special then this is the dish.

IMG-7097Frozen Wine Cocktail featuring Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
$7.00
Chris: 6/10
Stacy: 7/10
And again when I saw what this looked like I recalled that I have had it before. But for the price this is one of the lower priced frozen drinks found at the festival and the Cast Member was kind enough to fill it a little over the top since it was melting on me and I couldn’t get a descent photo. It falls flat on flavor but is a refreshing wine for a hot day.

Greece

IMG-7074Loaded Greek “Nachos” – Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles, and Vegan Tzatziki
$4.75 / Vegetarian
Chris: 7.5/10
Stacy: 8/10
We wished we had a full size version of these, they were just so great! A good take on nachos but Greek style. Not a bad portion for the price. I’m a little surprised to learn this was a vegetarian dish because we were convinced we had lamb crumbles so that just shows how good it tasted.

IMG-7075Wine Flight featuring Domaine Skouras Moscofilero, Peloponnese, Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko, Santorini, and Argyros Atlantis Red Blend, Santorini
$6.00

  • Domaine Skouras Moscofilero, Peloponnese
    Chris & Stacy: 7.5
  • Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko, Santorini
    Chris: 5.5 Stacy: 6
  • Argyros Atlantis Red Blend, Santorini
    Chris: 5 Stacy: 7

Overall
Chris: 6/10
Stacy: 6.8/10
Honestly not much to say about this flight. I don’t think I have ever had Greek wine before but they all had similar tastes to what Chris and I have tasted with our Cooper’s Hawk Wine Membership tastings. We did enjoy some of them but honestly they were nothing special. The price was good, this was one of the cheaper wine flights you can get during the festival.

Belgium

IMG-7105Beer-braised Beef with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes
$5.25
Chris: 5/10
Stacy: 6/10
Well we’re going back to it. We really wish that we could have the smoked Gouda mashed potatoes with the beef from the above referrenced Braised Beef “Stroganoff”. This beer was honestly gross, which was SUCH a let down. It wasn’t tender at all, it was two huge blocks of beef that have been cooking for a while it felt like. It was flavorless and we were so disappointed. But the mashed potatoes… oh man these mashed potatoes. Let’s just say we’re going to figure out how we can make our own smoked Gouda mashed potatoes at home because that part was heavenly. Safe to say we probably will not be coming back to try this again.

IMG-7106St. Bernardus Abt 12
$5.00
Chris: 8.5/10
Stacy: 8/10
I gotta say St. Bernardus is one of my favorite beer companies. When Chris and I first started dating and I took him to Yardhouse for the first time I ordered all my favorite beers (don’t worry its like 2) and St. Bernardus was one of them. I quickly turned his eyes towards my favorite company and we’ve tried a few of their beers. I personally haven’t had this one, neither has Chris, and we loved it. It has a little of a stout flavor mixed with coffee in it. In fact I had to look up the notes they say as in this:

The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is the pride of our stable, the nec plus ultra of our brewery. Abbey ale brewed in the classic ’Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. Dark with a full, ivory-colored head. It has a fruity aroma, full of complex flavours and excels because of its long bittersweet finish with a hoppy bite. Worldwide seen as one of the best beers in the world. It’s a very balanced beer, with a full-bodied taste and a perfect equilibrium between malty, bitter, and sweet. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren. – St. Bernardus Apt 12 from Rate Beer.com

Overall this was a great beer and it is apart of the flight that they offer at the Belgium booth.

Overall Statistics
We spent a total of $229.45
Food: $134.12
Drinks: $95.33
Food Items: 24
Drink Items: 14
Avg $5.58 Per Food Item, or $2.80 per person
Avg $6.81 Per Drink Item

Bonus Reviews!

I’ve been trying to go to La Cava del Tequila for many years now. Yes, I just said years. For those who don’t know, La Cava del Tequila is a small bar located inside the Mexico pavilion. Honestly that line is always killer. Plus, I’ll admit, I’ve turned into the worst “APasshole” – I absolutely hate waiting in long lines and honestly I couldn’t imagine waiting in a long line for an expensive tequila drink mostly filled with ice. But that was negative-Nancy-Stacy speaking, and she’s gone now, and positive Stacy is here to tell you – IT’S WORTH THE WAIT. So we waited 50 minutes, almost missed our fastpasses for The Land (lol okay that maybe could have been missed) but I had such a great margarita that honestly I didn’t care at that point.

The bar itself is super cute once you get in. I didn’t know there is a full lounge area back, apparently it only allows for 30 people to be at a time. I’m going to assume that means with the staff so ideally there were only about 20 people who were able to hang around the lounge. But since we were getting to-go drinks we ended up waiting less than if we were to stay in the lounge area. This bar is known for their crazy salts on the margiraits. According to Disney Food Blog this is a new thing for the bar. I swear I turned to Chris with my big eyes and said I want to try the grasshopper or the ant salt drinks. So without further to do… here it is:

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The Wild One (Left)
Tequila, Ginger Liqueur, Passion Fruit and Mango Purée, fresh Lime Juice and Mango Foam served on the Rocks with Black Ant Salt
$14.00
Chris: 8.5/10
Stacy: 9/10

El Diablo (Right)
Tequila Altos Reposado, muddled Jalapeños and Cucumbers with fresh Lime Juice and Agave Nectar served on the Rocks with Hibiscus Salt Rim
$15.00
Chris: 9/10
Stacy: 8/10

Overall they were both solid, strong, and large for the price. In The Wild One the margarita was sweeter and I found out that the Blank Ant Salt is a mixture of dried chiles, crushed black ants, salt and sugar. It gave it a very nice spicy kick to the drink. Chris LOVED El Diablo, it was totally what he loves in his margarita and that is for it to say it’ll be spicy and it delivering on the spice level. I tried it, I liked it, but it was too spicy for me. It had a great flavor but I do not think I could have drank a whole glass of that. Chris did mention he felt like that drink was fitting for him and only he could have finished it all without complaining and enjoying it. So if you want to challenge him to this, you let me know. Hehe. His rim was filled with sweet salt which I thought also paired well with the spicy drink.

Guest Review

Our friends Herin (@Herinwarner) and Stephanie (@reallysteph) had the opportunity to try the Loaded Mac and Cheese with Nueske’s Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, and Green Onions from Coastal Eats, see what they have to say about it below.

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Herin: I liked it, it had a lot of different flavors going on. I normally don’t like heat and the dish had the kind of heat that wasn’t spicy but more flavorful. It wasn’t like an annoying feeling of having your mouth burn off for example. I’d give it an 8.5/10.
Stephanie: I’d agree with Herin but I would give it an 8/10 because it is kinda spicy and I was shocked by the spice. I think it must have been the jalapeno in it. But I got a good portion of Mac for my money so that’s a win. It was a nice solid snack.
IMG-7121-Facetune-14-10-2018-00-03-12

Honestly thanks for following along with us. We have been enjoying doing these reviews together and enjoying good food. My favorite thing on our drives back is to discuss all the foods and drinks we tasted, rate them, and talk about how we can do it at home or how they were compared to other things. It really brings us closer together, and gets Chris to get his chef imagination going. After another trip he called me to say that Scallops were on sale and we had to buy it to try it out. They were amazing that day for dinner. We currently have one more trip planned and it sounds like the last one for Food and Wine this year. I’m running the 10K during Wine and Dine Half Marathonl weekend so we’re going to do our best to try the last few things on our suggestions list. We have decided to skip the following items so if they really are that amazing and we should rethink our decision please tell us!

The following items have been taken off our list: Beef Nigiri (Japan), Hummus Fries (Morocco), Moqueca (Brazil), Spanish-style Paella (Spain) and Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash (Hawai’i).

Check Out Our Other Trip Reviews Here:
Trip 1 – September 9
Trip 2 – September 14
Trip 3 – September 23
Trip 5 – November 4

Check Out Our Food and Wine Festival: What to Try and What to Avoid

Tell us what we should try in the comments section below!

To-Try/Recommendation List:

  • Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip (Next Eats: Coastal Eats)
  • Beef Nigiri (Japan)
  • Beer-braised Beef (Belgium)
  • Braised Beef “Stroganoff” (The Cheese Studio)
  • Chicken Dumplings (China)
  • Croissant aux Escargots (France)
  • Croissant Doughnut – any (Taste Track)
  • Frozen Mimosa (Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar)
  • Frozen Mojito (Islands of the Caribbean)
  • Frozen Wine Cocktail (New Zealand)
  • Hummus Fries (Morocco)
  • Jerk Spiced Chicken Lollipop (Islands of the Caribbean)
  • La Passion Martini Slush (France)
  • Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle (The Chocolate Studio)
  • Loaded Greek “Nachos” (Greece)
  • Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake (The Cheese Studio)
  • Moqueca (Brazil)
  • Red Wine Flight (The Festival Center Wine Shop)
  • Seared Scallops (The Wine & Dine Studio)
  • Smoked Corned Beef (Flavors From Fire)
  • Spanish-style Paella (Spain)
  • Spice-crusted Verlasso Salmon (Next Eats: Active Eats)
  • Steamed Green Lip Mussels (New Zealand)
  • Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash (Hawai’i)
  • Tropical Mimosa (Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar)
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Stacy is a natural born Disney lover. Since she was a little girl she would have the cassette tape of Beauty and the Beast on repeat during car rides singing every song, repeating every word. Now as a young adult Stacy is trying to figure out how to be a successful adult, post-graduation, and runs away to Walt Disney World on the weekends. Besides Disney, Stacy loves the simple pleasures of life like sunflowers, french fries, cuddles with her beloved pooch, time with her amazing boyfriend, and diving deep into a TV show series. Follow her adventures on her personal Instagram @StacyTally.

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