Sunday, March 16, 2014

Flower and Garden Fest 2014: Round Two

I had a ninety minute hair appointment before I hit up Epcot for my next tour of Outdoor Kitchens, so it was nearly 1pm and I. was. starving. Which means I hit the first one I came to.


Land-Grown Eggplant "Scallop" with Romesco Sauce and Spaghetti Squash.

Let me just say, I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this dish. And not simply because I was ready to gnaw off my own arm. The eggplant had a nice crispy crust on it that, if I didn't know it was a vegetarian dish, I would have sworn included bacon. There was a very tasty smokiness to it. The romesco sauce was amazing. The red pepper flavor was awesome with the eggplant, but it was even better with the spaghetti squash, which I have to say, I had never had before but had been very curious to try. I've heard it was just like spaghetti many times, and while I'm not sold on that, it was pretty good!

Now that I wasn't in danger of going hangry on people who stop directly in front of me, in the middle of the walkway, completely without warning... Hmmm, perhaps, I really should get something else to eat.


Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction.

Very light and fresh. The peppery greens, the creamy feta, and the refreshing watermelon all tasted great with the dressing. The one change I would have made was more thinly sliced pickled onion. They were sliced rather thick and were somewhat overpowering. Their tangy-ness would have worked better if their strong flavor had been a little more balanced with the other salad components.

Yep, *that* took the edge off! And the shady bench I had found on which to eat it happened to be just across from...


Three Cheese Manicotti (egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce and bechamel).

This was excellent. It was just the right ratio of pasta and cheese, but even better were the generous sauces. I loved the combination of traditional tomato and creamy bechamel. And that fresh basil leaf: perfection.

Where to next? Well, there wasn't any line at...


Harissa Chicken Kebab with Couscous Salad. Desert Rose (sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur).

After going three for three, I hit a partial dud. I liked the spices on the kebab, but unfortunately the chicken was really dry. Bummer. I was hoping I would at least like the salad, but the texture of the raisins and the heavy celery flavor were also not a winner with me. Oh well, you can't love them all, right? What I did love? The Desert Rose. I had it last year too. It's bubbly and a little sweet and completely refreshing. It couldn't redeem the meal, but it's a winner on its own.

Room for one more. Dessert!


Fresh Baked Lemon Scones with Berry Preserves and Creme Fraiche.

Now *this* was the way to end a meal. The flavors were light but satisfying. I was amazed by how much lemon flavor they packed into those little scones. I also find lemon, cream, and berries to be my very favorite combination of flavors for spring, so sitting on my shady bench, I was pretty much in heaven.

The next few weeks will be busy for me, so it will be April before I get back again, but I'll be planning my attack during my hiatus. I think maybe two more rounds will cover everything on my must try list.

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