EPCOT’s International Food and Wine 2018 Reviews (Trip 5)

Trip 5 – November 4

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Well life has been crazy lately, and honestly that is a little of an understatement. This weekend was the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend, and I signed up to run a 10K. Life had other plans for me besides training for this race. How many miles have I ran in preparation for this race these last 30 days? ZERO. Yup. But, I did it!

I will say that it was harder than my other races, I was out of shape from not training and not eating right so I felt the horrible body exhaustion for at least 4 days after. And I made the mistake of walking longer than I probably should have. Since it was cold when I did walk my muscles got cold, so when I got the courage to run again everything felt like bricks moving in my body. So the take away from this is to TRAIN people. And to remind myself that I need to train for the next one. The next race is the 10K in February for Princess Weekend, followed by my first virtual Half Marathon followed by the Star Wars Half Marathon *internal scream*. And now I’m debating doing the Two Course challenge for next Wine and Dine Race Weekend. Also look at this amazing photo I got of the World Showcase as I entered the last leg of the race.

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But I digress to what you’re really here for – some food reviews! Since it’s the second to last weekend for Food and Wine, Chris and I were going to try to hit all the last things on our to-try list. I even did the math to find out how much we would have left to spend so we would be prepared. But life had something else in store for us. Chris recently (just the weekend before) found out he is diabetic. We’re still in the process of finding out some answers in that regard but we have had basic education regarding basic diabetic care. So this trip was going to be a little challenging since we’re still in the process of finding out how his body deals with glucose and carbohydrates, and the inclin that he needs. Obviously this would be challenging because after some research Food and Wine does not have detailed nutritional information.

In fact I was interested to find the following from MyFitnessPal:

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup (Epcot Food and Wine Festival)
Serving Size: 1/6 of total made, Calories: 458.4, Fat: 33.4g, Carbs: 19.6g, Protein: 18.8g
Maple Glazed Salmon With Arugula and Roasted Corn (Epcot Food and Wine Festival)
Serving Size: 1/2 prepared dish, Calories: 886, Fat: 44.6g, Carbs: 69.6g, Protein: 52.6g
Savory Onion and Bacon Tart (Epcot Food and Wine Festival)
Serving Size: 1 pastry shell, Calories: 527, Fat: 38.5g, Carbs: 24.8g, Protein: 19.7g
New England Crab Cakes (Epcot Food and Wine Festival)
Serving Size: 1 cake, Calories: 458, Fat: 29g, Carbs: 18.7g, Protein: 30.2g
Barley – Lentil Salad (Epcot Food and Wine Festival)
Serving Size: 1/4 of Salad, Calories: 400, Fat: 28.3g, Carbs: 26.2g, Protein: 10.9

Honestly eyebrow raised because I cannot believe a Lentil Salad has 400 calories… Have you seen the size of these plates…?
So we were going to have to use our best judgment and test it out and we took it easy on the food and drinks and got to as much as we could. Don’t get me wrong Disney actually does an amazing job with dietary restrictions for restaurants and I can understand that they can only assist with allergy information on the menu maps for Food and Wine. But it was nerve wrecking for us dealing with a lot of unknown and checking his sugar levels every 30 minutes to see how he was doing. I have to say I am so proud of him. This is obviously a huge life change for him, and me, and he has held his head up high with a positive mindset and trying his best to deal with it. I’ve learned so much more about nutrition recently than I have my whole life. I even took a nutrition course in college for 2 weeks til couldn’t keep up with it and dropped the class. Now I wish I didn’t but it’s all up from here.

Anyways… REVIEWS! But first some quick statistics and at the bottom are our final statistics.  

Quick Statistics
We spent a total of $71.75
Food: $42.95
Drinks: $28.80
Food Items: 8
Drink Items: 3
Avg $5.37 Per Food Item, or $2.68 per person
Avg $9.60 Per Drink Item

We had also decided against trying the following dishes: Fries (Morocco), Moqueca (Brazil), Spanish-style Paella (Spain) and Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash (Hawai’i) because they just didn’t look appealing to us.


Flavors From Fire

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Piggy Wings
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Swine Brine

Piggy Wings: Roasted Pork Wings with Korean BBQ Sauce and Sesame Seeds
$4.75
Chris & Stacy: 10/10
Oh goodness, where to start? Well we’ve been to this booth on our first trip and tried some of the other offerings. I’m not sure why but the Piggy Wings at that time just were not calling out to me. But this time, per many suggestions, we decided to try them out. They were at this booth last year and I know they were a crowd favorite.
While we were in line I could smell the wings being roasted on the grill located directly next to the queue and it could just make you fall in heaven with the pork smell. But I must tell you this dish… AMAZING. We just wished we had MORE. The dish comes with 3 wings on a bed of coleslaw. Our dish didn’t have he sesame seeds as the menu mentioned but I think they just forgot to put them on ours. I wish this was offered at a restaurant where I can chow down forever. The flavor was amazing, the smoke on them was amazing, the meat was so fall-off-the-bone tender and mouth watering. I wish we got more of these. We both highly recommend these and hope they come back next year to this booth. I now see why it was a crowd favorite from the year prior. 

Swine Brine featuring Jim Bean Bourbon
$8.25
Chris & Stacy: 7.5/10
The best part of this drink? That it came with ANOTHER Piggy Wing. Happy Stacy. The drink itself reminded Chris of an Old fashioned. I don’t think I’ve ever had one but it tasted very much like a whiskey with sour mix with a piggy wing on top. We actually took the piggy wing and dripped it in the sauce that came with the other piggy wings which gave us a total of 4, 2 each to have!
So curious now that we’re home from this trip I went to look up other people’s reviews on this drink because I’m actually confused if Swine Brine is a typical well-known drink. Most of the reviews I saw from others stated the fact that this was the only thing on the menu without a paragraph long explanation of what this is. Interestingly enough, this drink is Bourbon mixed with lemon juice, apple cider, and dijon mustard. Wait… mustard? If i saw that in the description I probably would have passed! But you can’t really taste the mustard in it and I wish Disney did put on the menu what this drink entailed because, like I said, I probably would have passed. We gave it a higher rating because it was tasty but in my opinion not worth the asking price.
Overall I’d say this booth was my favorite this year. It had all the best flavors and honestly a little something for everyone.

Active Eats (Next Eats)

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Spice-crusted Verlasso® Salmon

Spice-crusted Verlasso® Salmon with Warm Lentil Power Salad, Crushed Avocado and Sherry Vinegar
$5.75 / Gluten Free
Chris: 6.5/10
Stacy: 7/10
Little known secret I actually only started to eat cooked fish a few years ago. I have loved sushi since I was a kid but something about cooked fish just didn’t turn me on to want it. I used to skip over the menu at restaurants that stated anything with fish.
Chris was actually the one who got me to like Salmon. I have started to eat a lot of dolphin (Mahi Mahi) and other white fish and love them. But Salmon has always been something that I didn’t look forward to… until this man cooked it for me and it was life changing. Chris is a great cook. He has a way with spices, sauces, and knows what pairs well with meats. Luckily we also have similar taste in foods and are always down to try new flavors especially anything with a good heat element to it.
So this Salmon had a lot to live up for since Chris has only made the most amazing Salmon I have ever had. The Salmon was just a little overdone. I enjoyed the lentil power salad that it came with, paired together it had a nice flavor and hid the fact that the fish itself was a little overdone.

Coastal Eats (Next Eats)

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Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip

Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette
$5.75
Chris & Stacy: 8/10

We I’m a sucker for a good dip. You put any type of dip and something to dip with in front of me and I’ll accidentally eat the whole thing without thinking twice. 
There was a good portion of shrimp in this scampi dish, if I remember there were about 4-5 which is great for the price! Chris didn’t have any of the sourdough because it was extra carbs that he didn’t want to eat and I thought that the bread would have paired better if it was toasted and had a crunch to it. Regardless this was a well balanced dish and would have another! Maybe this time not to share.

The Chocolate Studio (The Art of Pairing)

Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel
$5.00 / Gluten Free
Chris: 7/10
Stacy: 8.5/10
My two favorite foods are ice cream and french fries. So I like to think I’m an expert when it comes to the art of fries and creamed desserts and I particularly love this plate.

Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle

My last food and wine I got this dish when it was very hot outside and it melted faster than you can say holy wow. I love this truffle, it’s creamy, chocolate, not too much almond flavor. Chris didn’t like the texture of the truffle itself, he said it reminded him of frozen moose. Honestly, that just meant that I get more if he didn’t like it. Still one of my favorite desserts of the festival but try to get it when it isn’t too hot out so you can fully enjoy it’s frozen texture. 

Islands of the Caribbean

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Ropa Vieja Empanada
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Jerk-spiced Chicken Lollipop 

Ropa Vieja Empanada with Tomato Aïoli
$5.25 / NEW
Chris & Stacy: 8/10

Ropa Vieja also known as a Cuban dish of shredded beef stewed in a tomato–based sauce. Yes, yes, yes!
Loved this empanada, great flavor, very meaty, good amount of food for the price too. I believe it is a little larger than the empandas you can get at the outside Mexico booth where they have the new margaritas.
We actually came to this booth for the other two items below and had some money left over on our card that we wanted to try this out. I’m so glad we did or either this booth would have been a complete miss for me.


Frozen Mojito
$9.50
Chris: 5/10
Stacy: 6/10


Jerk-spiced Chicken Lollipop with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt
$5.50 / NEW
Chris: 5/10
Stacy: 3/10
I’m going to be straight with you guys, I was looking forward to this dish since I heard about it on the menu. Every time we’ve come to Epcot we always somehow steered away from this area with the Island booth was so I made it our quest to try this before we left. And with a huge sad face I have to say I HATED it. The chicken was over cooked, you can see in the photo, and I think they tried to cover it up by putting more of that Mango Chutney Yogurt, which was a bigger mistake because that stuff turned me off from the whole dish. I refused to even try the salad and gave the whole plate to Chris to finish for me. I was so disappointed. Chris also didn’t like the dish as much but he was a man and finished it off. At the end he agreed with me but did mention the salad that was paired with it was tasty. He tried so hard to convince me to try it but I became too stubborn.
Not pictured was the Frozen Mojito. For some reason I have a vivid feeling that this was my favorite drink last year at the festival.My mind was thrown off a little because the booth moved or maybe they had something similar I don’t remember but it was not a favorite this year. To quote Chris, “It tastes like cough syrup.” There isn’t much to say after that…

Thailand

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Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef

Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice
$5.50
Chris: 8.5/10
Stacy: 9.5/10
This dish honestly just tastes like some home cooking if I was raised in a Thai household. It’s that southern comfort good cooking meets Thailand. I could eat a whole bowl of this to be honest. While Chris and I’s spice meter is different than others (this dude can DRINK hot sauce like water, no joke he has done it in front of me so many times) I will say that the dish isn’t spicy on “make you want to drink a gallon of water” spicy but it has that complex spice flavor with many different seasonings playing together. 
Since this dish was half rice Chris only had a little bite with the rice and mostly had he curry, might explain why he rated it a little lower. But this was an A+ in my mouth.

France

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Croissant aux Escargots

Croissant aux Escargots: Escargot Croissant with Garlic and Parsley
$5.75
Chris: 8.5/10
Stacy: 8/10
(read this in a French accent) we saved the best booth for last. Croissant with escargot is a classic for this booth. Over the years they have had different takes on this dish but they went back to the croissant a few years ago. 
If you didn’t know, escargot is french for snails so this is snails inside a croissant with garlic and parsley. To be honest it tastes similar to a garlic bread with some mussels inside.  To me escargot has a mussel flavor and texture. If you’re up for it I would highly recommend trying this croissant.

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La Passion Martini Slush

 
La Passion Martini Slush: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice
$10.75
Chris & Stacy: 8/10

Second flavor slushee drink of france, the first would be  the one offered during Flower and Garden festival. Regardless this is a fan favorite that has been back year after year and we enjoyed it. 


Overall Statistics
We spent a total of $301.20
Food: $177.07
Drinks: $124.13
Food Items: 32
Drink Items: 17
Avg $5.53 Per Food Item, or $2.77 per person
Avg $7.30 Per Drink Item

Check Out Our Other Trip Reviews Here:
Trip 1 – September 9
Trip 2 – September 14
Trip 3 – September 23
Trip 4 – October 13

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)
  • Chicken Dumplings (China)
  • Croissant aux Escargots (France)
  • Croissant Doughnut – any (Taste Track)
  • Frozen Mimosa (Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar)
  • Frozen Mojito (Islands of the Caribbean)
  • Jerk Spiced Chicken Lollipop (Islands of the Caribbean)
  • La Passion Martini Slush (France)
  • Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle (The Chocolate Studio)
  • Red Wine Flight (The Festival Center Wine Shop)
  • Smoked Corned Beef (Flavors From Fire)
  • Spice-crusted Verlasso Salmon (Next Eats: Active Eats)
  • 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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