Monday, November 5, 2012

Food and Wine Fest 2012: Round Four

Round Four was something of a "split screen." It started Saturday evening, when Nichole and Daniel arrived for their vacation, paused for a "Vacation Kickoff" visit to Biergarten (something I will never pass up, not even in the name of Food and Wine Fest), and resumed its trek on Sunday at 11am.

Saturday began with...


...where the lines are always short because the food is "scary." What, I ask you, is so scary about this?
Harissa Chicken Roll.

Oddly this little dish was not included on the original menu (I take all my booth and menu photos on my initial run), but it's there now! That crispy outside. The medium-level spiciness of the filling. I remembered it from last year and it was still just as good.

The first segment of Round Four concluded in...


Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries.

I still don't quite understand what those berries are or why they would taste so good with beef, but they do. This year, I received more sauce than last time, which seemed to take away from some of the flavor from the lingonberries. I liked it better with less sauce, I think.

The following morning, we headed immediately for...


Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Ganache.

This is a longtime favorite. What could go wrong with a little chocolate cake, filled with more chocolate and setting up camp in a pool of chocolate and Baileys? In a word: yum.

Over the bridge, past France and around the corner, we arrive in...


Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream.

Warm off the waffle iron, sweet juicy berries nestled into the waffly top and a plop of whipped cream started to melt from the waffle's warmth. It was light enough to melt in your mouth but not so light the berries made it  soggy. That's my favorite breakfast food, right there. A waffle isn't much of a culinary adventure for me. It's just to delicious to pass over.

While I guarded our camp (a great table, shaded by an umbrella), Nichole went to...


Kim Crawford Pinot Grigio.

I was disappointed in New Zealand's menu this year. I wasn't totally sold on the scallop, which was the same as the one they served in 2011, and, on personal principle, I just cannot eat lamb. So, I sipped a wine. I wish I could say I remembered a single thing about it, but Nichole and I were busy chatting, and whatever impression it gave didn't trump the conversation. And that? Is ok. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with Nichole.

We strolled slowly, pausing to peruse various menus, until we got to...


Pumpkin Mousse with Dried Cranberries and Orange Sauce.

I recall enjoying this little dessert very much last year. It's like a little shot glass (seriously, how cute is that dish?!) of Thanksgiving. A little granola, some spicy pumpkin, tart-sweet dried cranberries and a pop of orange. If autumn tasted like a food, this is it.

After a chips-and-salsa break and a visit to the Three Caballeros (...we're three caballeros, they say we are birds of a feeeeeather!), I decided it was time for a cruise through the...


Bacardi Frozen Dragon Berry Colada.

Another menu that kept last year's selections, neither of which appealed to me enough to revisit them, a went with a frozen adult beverage. It was cold and sweet, like a grown-up milkshake, only less creamy. The only time I truly tasted rum was when I got to the bottom of the cup. So, it was either all settled in that final half inch or this was one of those dangerous drinks that doesn't taste like it will do you in. (More likely the former.) It had almost a watermelon-ish flavor, light but fruity. And my friends laughed at me as I chased the last bits of it with my straw... we waited in line for...


Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun.

The beef was slice super thin and combined with long ribbons of crisp-tender onions, and they nestled into the fold of a spongy bun, before being drizzled in a mildly spicy sauce. I really enjoy the flavors and textures of this one, especially the crunchy noodles over the top!

About to burst, I made my final stop of the day in...


Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket.

This was a new menu offering that I was excited to try! The pocket was soft and flaky but not soggy. The filling was spinach (yum) and cheese (yum) with some spices (I needed some water). It was tasty but also rather large and surprisingly filling. I ate about two-thirds of it before handing the rest to Daniel for finishing. There was just no more room in me...

I have a few more items to cross off my list for a shortened Round Five, before embarking on my Grand Finale Tour of Favorites. I can't believe another Festival is rapidly coming to a close...

2 with their own thoughts:

gail@more than a song Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:53:00 PM  

A few weeks ago my youngest son was passing back through Orlando after a cruise with friends..Stacy and I told him they should check out food & wine fest! I think they had a blast at WDW.

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