Saturday, March 30, 2013

Flower and Garden Fest 2013: The Debut

My great love for Epcot's Food and Wine Fest is well-documented. In light of this, you can imagine my joy when Disney revealed that it would be adding food and beverage booths to Flower and Garden Fest. There have been a couple of token booths the past couple of years, but nothing to write home about. For 2013, though, it was announced that there would be twelve booths featuring fresh produce and tying in with the theme of Flower and Garden Fest. I was immediately curious.

I finally made my way up to Epcot to check out the lay of the land, so to speak. And oh, it did *not* disappoint. The booths are themed differently from Food and Wine Fest, and the menus are entirely original! I made my customary  "first circle," checking out the menus and getting my booth and menu photos, but I could not *wait* to dig in.

The question was...where?


Potato Pancake with House-Made Apple Sauce.

Perfect place to start! I was pretty hungry, it being after 1pm and my having not eaten anything since breakfast much earlier in the day. I needed something with enough weight to keep me from getting hangry, but not so heavy that I would feel full too quickly. The potato pancake was crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and the mashed potato had just a hint of spice to offer a little interest and a tiny bit of kick...which was immediately tempered and cooled by the cool, tart apple sauce. So delicious.

Now I was ready for something of more substance.


Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw

First, I have to say, that for the price, I was impressed. It was no more than most of the other more substantial menu options for either of the two fests, and it was a generous portion! The slider was probably as big around as my fist, and it was heaped with pulled pork and topped with some cole slaw. The bun was nice and soft, but not so wimpy that it couldn't stand up to its contents.The meat was flavorful, the slaw was excellent -- crunchy and with a vinegar-based zing -- and the sauce I chose (there were bottles of sweet or spicy -- I opted for sweet and I liked that I had control over how much I got) gave the slider a nice tang.

It was a bit warm in the sun, not bad, but I was getting thirsty, so I went off in search of a tasty beverage to wet my whistle.


Desert Rose (sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur).

Oh. Oh my. So cool and light. And bubbles! This was perfect for sipping on my shady bench, watching the people go by. (Even though the crowds were relatively light!)

Ok, time for more yummy eats!


Tarte a la Ratatouille et Fromage de Chevre (zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, onion and tomato tart with goat cheese).

I knew I didn't want another heavier food, after the slider, so I decided to go with the Tarte. The crust was light and flaky, the vegetables were savory and the goat cheese was the perfect little creamy addition. It may have been light in texture, but the flavors were awesome!

Time for something sweet. Hmmm...


Berry Trifle.

That was three bites of heaven. (And just the right size, following that slider, earlier, which filled me up surprisingly well.) There was some vanilla pudding, a little bit of sponge cake, some berries (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry), a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of chopped nuts for a hint of crunch. Light and sweet, not overpowering, just what I had been wanting.

I was done eating, but ready for something cool to sip on my way out.


Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade.

This one was "family friendly" and so refreshing. The addition of violet to the lemonade was not at all floral. It was subtle, not overly sweet, just enough "something" to cut some of the harshness of the lemon. And just right for the long trek back to my car.

With one round firmly under my belt, I anticipate another threeto get in all the tasting that has caught my eye. A "mini" Food and Wine Fest to get me through to the real thing in the autumn? Epcot, you know the way to my heart. I hope this little bonus treat becomes an annual event!

3 with their own thoughts:

Desert Songbird Monday, April 01, 2013 11:58:00 AM  

I've always wondered about additives like lavender and violet to lemonade. I love lemonade, and I love it tart. I also like the traditional additives, such as cherry, strawberry, or raspberry. I've wondered if the foral additives would make it.....well, floral! Thanks for the review.

Janet Monday, April 01, 2013 3:57:00 PM  

I love these write ups :-) I always read and I think ... would I have gotten that? Then I peruse the menu and 9 times out of 10 I'd've picked the same thing as you :-)

~**Dawn**~ Monday, April 01, 2013 7:30:00 PM  

Songbird: I really thought it would be floral too, and was a little hesitant, but it was such a subtle addition! Pleasant surprise!

Janet: I love that you look at the menus to see what you would choose!

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