It’s back and it’s here for longer than ever…EPCOT’S FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL! Spanning from July 15th – November 15th, EPCOT’s most popular festival is here for 4 whole months. We were so ready for it!
Here are 13 dishes we tried on our first visit to this year’s Festival.
- Grilled Kebabs (Beef tips and Moroccan Spiced Lamb) – Morocco’s Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina $5.75 each
5/5 stars – would definitely get again for a perfectly spiced dish. Great portion size!
Grilled meats served with couscous and a tomato/onion salad topped with a garlic aioli.
We loved these two kebab dishes, the balance of well seasoned meat, fluffy, & warm couscous, and a refreshing tomato salad made for the perfect combination.
2. Pistachio Cake – Morocco’s Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina $4.25
5/5 stars – all of the flavors of Baklava, without the flaky dry mess!
We’re not even sweets people, but this cake had us drooling for more! Two moist pistachio cakes surround a cinnamon cream mixed with candied walnuts, topped with a white chocolate moroccan tile. Not too sweet and perfectly sized. Totally loved every bite!
3. New England Lobster Roll – America’s Hops & Barley $8.50
4.5/5 stars – great quality, super small portion.
The size of the lobster roll at Food & Wine shrinks a little each year, and the quality was always a little hit or miss. Some years had really let us down, but this year we’re officially calling it – the lobster roll is BACK, baby. Perfectly warm & toasted bun, great portion of slightly chilled lobster that isn’t over dressed, and a nice pour over of warm butter. I felt proud to be an American eating that thing.
4. Bold Rock Roast Coffee Hard Cider – America’s Hops & Barley $5.00 for a 6oz pour.
5/5 stars – A mind bending combination of flavors that really hit the spot!
Two of my favorite things have come to a head in this moment – tart cider and coffee. In a mashup I never imagined, dreams came true. The coffee flavor is strong for this pale cider drink (and it does taste like a true cider), I don’t know how this sorcery was made but I am grateful for it.
5. Chilaquiles con Chorizo – Mexico $7.00
2.5/5 stars – A rare miss for the Mexico pavilion.
Crispy Corn Tortillas tossed in Salsa Verde and Monterey Jack Cheese topped with Crema Mexicana, Queso Cotija, Pickled Onions, and Ground Chorizo.
Normally a super reliable booth for churning out the best food at every EPCOT festival, the chilaquiles tasted like a pressed pile of corn tortillas smothered in not-so-great salsa verde. A little too heavy without much flavor payoff.
6. Taco de Ribeye – Mexico $7.00
1/5 stars – A dry morsel of taco…and that makes us sad.
The smallest street taco I’ve ever seen, fit for a hamster! The flavors weren’t bad, but the tortilla and ribeye were dry and it was not an enjoyable dish for $7.00.
7. Schöfferhofer Wild Cherry Hefeweizen – Germany $5.00 for a 6oz pour
4/5 stars – Still doesn’t top Grapefruit Schofferhofer, but comes close!
Almost every festival we see a new variation on the beloved German imported Schofferhofer – Lemon, pomegranate…etc. Grapefruit still reigns at the top, but I really enjoyed the added sweetness of the wild cherry!
Special Offering – Emile’s Fromage Montage. This special stroll takes you through 5 cheese based dishes at 5 different food kiosks around the festival. Once you obtain all 5 dishes, you receive a stamp in the back of your Festival Passport and can redeem a prize at the Shimmering Sips kiosk! (You do not have to get all 5 dishes in one visit, you can get them during any of your visits to the festival – just keep the same Passport book!)
The following 5 items are on Emile’s Fromage Montage:
8. Griddled Cheese – Greece $4.50
A decently sized wedge of melted cheese with a nutty flavor and semi-hard consistency, covered in a drizzle of honey and crushed pistachios.
5/5 stars – would definitely get again!
This was a sleeper item for us because we didn’t expect it to be amazing and the photo in the booklet didn’t do it justice. It’s one of the only items that we didn’t get a photo of because we scarfed it down so quickly. All the more reason for you to grab one yourself when you are out there.
9. Schinkennudlen – Germany $4.50
3/5 stars – very tasty, but very heavy.
Pasta gratin with small bits of ham, onions, and lots of melted, stringy cheese.
A perfect dish for picky eaters because its all very safe flavors and familiar textures. Always great the first 2-3 bites, but then you’ll need to share with friends because it will start to feel very greasy and heavy in your stomach.
10. Crispy BBQ Pork Rinds – The Swanky Saucy Swine – NEW! $4.75
1/5 stars – extremely overly crunchy rinds with an overly sweet seasoning.
We wanted to love these so much because we are HUGE fans of the crispy pork rinds with pimento cheese dip at The Polite Pig in Disney Springs. The Swanky Saucy Swine unfortunately did not deliver on this dish. The rinds came out super hard, it was actually painful to chew through these. The flavor of the spices they mixed in were nothing special, and while the pimento cheese dip didn’t taste bad – the temperature was off, it came out way cold and made it difficult to dip into easily.
We’re still looking forward to trying the Roasted Porchetta from this kiosk in the future, but the pork rinds are something we recommend staying clear of if you aren’t attempting Emile’s Fromage Montage.
11. Passionfruit Cheesecake – Hawa’ii $4.25
3/5 stars – decent cheesecake, could have highlighted the passionfruit flavor more.
Cheesecake with a pool of passionfruit glaze and toasted macadamia nuts.
The cheesecake itself was nice and creamy, the only issue we saw was that it tasted more like plain cheesecake and the passionfruit flavor did not really stand out at all. I was really hoping for that passionfruit, you know?!
12. The Corned Beef Corner Route – Flavors from Fire $5.50
3/5 stars – Very salty, very greasy, good flavors though.
Kettle cooked potato chips covered in beer cheese and topped with shredded corned beef.
If you are a fan of salty meat and salty potato chips, you’re in for a treat. Even for a salt lover like myself, I did find it to be a bit too much to enjoy. You will want to share with your other sodium loving friends.
13. Strawberry & Vanilla Soft Serve in Souvenir Cup – Shimmering Sips $”Free” after paying $19 for all 5 items on Emile’s Fromage Montage (listed above)
Once you’ve ordered all 5 of these items from Emile’s Fromage Montage, you’ll head to the Shimmering Sips kiosk and claim your souvenir plastic wine cup filled with Strawberry and vanilla soft serve, topped with graham crackers and cheesecake bites.
Just look at that beauty.
The soft serve was great, the cup is a pretty thick plastic and cute. If you love souvenir cups and want to try a bunch of cheese dishes, it might be worth it for you.
That was the end of our first run at 2021’s Food and Wine Festival! We’re really hyped to go back soon and try some more dishes. Once it gets cooler, we want to try The Noodle Exchange kiosk and dive into all the kiosks yet to open on October 1st!
For our full thoughts, check out our podcast!