Saturday, October 3, 2009

Food & Wine Festival 2009: Round One

it is incredibly difficult to decide where to start! *so* many delicious menu options. after an observational trip around the World Showcase, and a few minutes in a cool spot, soaking up some air conditioning while i formed my plan, my first selections were...

Melbourne, Australia
Seared Barramundi with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula and Lemon Oil. Rosemount Traminer Riesling.

this was super light, a nice way to ease into the festival. the fish was fairly mild, and it tasted very good with the cherry tomato & lemon, especially. i am also a big Riesling fan, so i was happy that was the recommendation. this one was very sweet & fruity. my favorite. ;-)

Cape Town, South Africa
Seared Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Puree and Mango Barbecue Sauce. Fairview Winery Pinotage.

i think this may have been my Round One favorite. i was a little skeptical about the sweet potato, because i am typically not a fan, but i was intrigued & decided to give it a shot. i am *so* glad that i did. the beef was so tender, it practically melted in my mouth. that barbecue sauce was to.die.for. it was just the right amount of tangy & zesty, as a barbecue sauce should be, with just a hint of sweet from the mango. i seriously considered licking my plate! and the sweet potato went with it so well. i think there was some cinnamon or some other "warm" spice mixed in with it. whatever it was, i really liked it. and for me to say that about sweet potatoes? big deal. the Pinotage was ok. it was the recommendation, but i am not a huge fan of red wines--they make your mouth feel "fuzzy" & can taste like "root cellar" (on the West Coast are two people who have to be mildly impressed that i have retained something from all their hard work at teaching me these things!), and that is precisely why i wasn't crazy about this one--which isn't a surprise when you recall what i said about the wine selection from Melbourne. the Pinotage tasted good with the food, but when i had two sips left to finish at the end, let's just say i didn't relish them. ;-)

Munich, Germany
Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce.

yum! apple strudel is no "taste adventure" for me, but i was wanting something "dessert-y" at this point and it's been a while since i've had some strudel. the vanilla sauce was so good too. i love me some vanilla!

New Delhi, India
Chilled Mango Lassi.

by this point, as i was heading out for the day, i wanted something refreshing. i chose correctly. this was a cool sweet drink, about the consistency of a slightly melted milkshake (still thick but not so thick you can't drink it), made from mango & yogurt. i sipped it all the way back to the Monorail. the perfect way to conclude Round One and leave me drooling with anticipation for Round Two!

11 with their own thoughts:

Lisa Michelle Monday, October 05, 2009 10:41:00 AM  

OMG...All that food looks so yummy!! You have me drooling for round two!!!

Heather Monday, October 05, 2009 1:07:00 PM  

its funny how until i let it set in i forget that you are not in frigid temps like we are so yes the refreshing is needed!
hope to come sooner than later!

Nichole M Monday, October 05, 2009 3:12:00 PM  

Yes! Fuzzy! Love that about reds. But I'm glad you tried it!

K13 Monday, October 05, 2009 4:55:00 PM  

Yum!! Wish I could have joined you!!

Kim Monday, October 05, 2009 7:19:00 PM  

Yum!! It all looks delicious! It may have been nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice in the sweet potatoes, I'm pretty sure that's what my mom used to put in hers.
Can't wait to hear about round 2! :)

J-Dawg's Realm Monday, October 05, 2009 10:11:00 PM  

mmmmmmmmm that Riesling sure looks good!

penuttpie Monday, October 05, 2009 10:38:00 PM  

here i am thinking "wow dawn hasn't updated in a long time!" when in actuality bloglines just totally sucks!

Brandi Tuesday, October 06, 2009 8:08:00 AM  

Ooooo, this just made me *so* excited to go to Food & Wine Fest on my birthday! Thank you! :-)

~**Dawn**~ Tuesday, October 06, 2009 8:55:00 AM  

Lisa Michelle: Round Two will be October 12. I'm going up for my birthday after work to collect my free merchandise gift card!

Heather: Not cool here. In fact, we're heading for the mid-90s the rest of this week. Booooo...

Nichole: I have no problem trying it. I can say with conviction now: that particular glass of wine--me no likey.

K: Me too! We will in the future though! ;-)

Kim: They have a festival cookbook that highlights "the best of" & I plan to take a peek in it to see if that recipe is in there. That is the first time I have ever really *liked* sweet potatoes!

J-Dawg: I have yet to meet a Riesling I didn't like. ;-)

G: That is the exact reason I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader. Much more reliable!

Brandi: There are so many things I want to try this year. I can't wait to go back for more! I can send you a link to all the menu options if you want to browse & make a tentative plan! =) I like to have a plan. Scratch that. I *need* to have a plan! LOL

Joe B. Thursday, October 08, 2009 8:33:00 AM  

Dawn, I have to tell you, you do such a great job with this feature each fall. It's a real service to people who want to go, too.

I didn't take in much of the festival this year -- food-hopping around World Showcase doesn't really work with a 4-year-old when there's rides to go on -- but I always enjoy reading about it here.

~**Dawn**~ Thursday, October 08, 2009 10:55:00 AM  

Thanks, Joe! One of these times, you're going to have to make your rounds. It is so worth it! Stay tuned for Round Two, coming soon!

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