Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flower and Garden Fest 2014: Round One

Back in the day, it was a long, slow, lonely wait between Food and Wine Fests. I was sad and wistful. I sighed a lot. Last year, EPCOT did something *wonderful*. They introduced food booths to Flower and Garden Fest and suddenly the cartoon Disney birds sang sweeter and I had an extra skip in my step. The idea appears to be a keeper (commence ecstatic squealing!), because it's *back*, with its own unique flavor (my puns are always intended, I'm going to stop apologizing for them) -- mostly lighter, more garden-centric menus -- and a fancy new name for the food booths: Outdoor Kitchens! (For Food and Wine Fest, they are "Marketplace Booths," in case you were wondering.)

I was ready, passport in hand, taste buds fired up!

First stop...


Field Greens with Strawberries, Toasted Almonds, and Farmstead Stilton. Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee.

I don't even know where to start. You're thinking "that's just a salad," right? WRONG. It was many things, but "just" a salad was *not* one of them. It was exactly the food I think of when I think of spring. It was light. It had so much flavor, yet wasn't overwhelming. It covered all sorts of sensory points: sweet (strawberries), slightly bitter (field greens), crunchy (toasted almonds), creamy (cheese), tangy (whatever that incredible vinaigrette was that dressed it). And it was gorgeous to boot! (Did I just say "to boot?" I am a dork.) But seriously, more than one person stopped me to ask where I had gotten it as I made my way to one of my secret dining locations. And if you can't kick off a great food event with a "glass" of something bubbly, well, then I don't even know or care. I wanted bubbles. The cuvee was *perfect* for me. It was super subtle, neither too dry nor too sweet (though if it had one toe slightly over the line, it was probably a wee bit closer to the sweet camp). Paired with that salad, I could have stopped right there and been palate-ly? cuisine-ally? Forget the modifier. I could have been satisfied.

Don't be silly. There's no way I stopped there.


Frushi (fresh seasonal fruit - pineapple, strawberry, and melon -- rolled with coconut rice, served with raspberry sauce and sprinkled with toasted coconut with whipped cream on the side).

Yes, I know. Total sacrilege to even pretend this is sushi. But it's fun and colorful and light. And I ate it with chopsticks! That's a win.

Time for something a bit more substantial, yes?


Smoked Turkey "Rib."

I cannot believe I am about to say this about a piece of smoked meat, but I was the total lack of flavor! I don't even know how that happens. I mean, shouldn't it at least taste, well, *smoky*, if not like turkey? It was so bland that, if I hadn't been festing solo, I would have gone back to the "fixings" station for some barbecue sauce, just so I could feel like I was eating something. I mean, the portion was more than generous (that was about a meal-size meat portion for me *easily*) and the meat was tender and very juicy (if I had guessed I would have a complaint here, it would have been that it was dry, not tasteless, because turkey is notorious for that), but honestly, I was disappointed. I wanted smack-me-in-the mouth flavor and let's just say I've found more flavorful plain white rice.

I was actually kind of full after the turkey (seriously, full after eating something that tasted like nothing! the injustice!), so I knew I'd only have room for one more taste.


Vegetable Spring Rolls.

These were a great way to end. They were light and crispy (not at all greasy or soggy) on the outside. The inside was mostly cabbage with some carrot and (I think) some finely chopped mushroom. And that unidentified dipping sauce? Awesome. A bit of zip to jazz up the dish. There was no way this one was bland!

Appetite has been whetted. Round two awaits!

2 with their own thoughts:

*krystyn* Friday, March 14, 2014 12:04:00 PM  

That frushi looks interesting...probably as close to eating sushi as I would ever get. :)

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP