Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2009

Ok I know its been over a few months now…but I was lucky enough to have participated in this great event for the first time last year and lately there has been SO much FOOD talk on the podcasts, I wanted to share my thoughts on the experience. I think this was our last day at WDW, we didn’t do any rides (we did those during our first day at Epcot this trip) we just walked around and ate. We hired a stroller for our son who, although was a bit too big, was happy as he could just relax and enjoy the ride for a change as it’d been a long week for him. This was our first time at F&W and we’d heard so much about it from the podcasts we listen to, we were very excited…although reading and looking back at it and others’ accounts, videos, etc. I don’t think we got the full experience and hope to do it again better another year.

Firstly I’ll cover the wine part as its quick and easy…I’m not really a wine drinker so I didn’t drink my way around the world, just ate…however, we had an ADR at Le Cellier in Canada (not the same day we ate our way around the world) and when I was ordering my tender, mouth-watering steak…I saw that they had some of Dan Aykroyd’s wine on the menu. I’m a BIG fan of Dan’s and so HAD to try it (made my husband take my photo of me holding the bottle and everything!). It was LOVELY! I highly recommend it to everyone. Whilst walking past Mexico I also had to stop at my fave margeritta stand for a triple flavored rita…other than that it was water all the way (and an occassional soda).

ON TO THE FOOD!! As I’m using my photos to refresh my memory, I will talk about Greece first as that is the first photo in my album hehe. We had the chicken souvlaki with tzatziki…mostly due to a comedians googlewhack of hydroid souvlaki (Dave Gorman’s GoogleWhack) and it was LOVELY!! This was easily my favorite dish of the day. I’d love to be able to make this at home, it’d be a great summer lunch/snack.
Chicken Souvlaki in Greece

Next we moved on to Montreal Canada, sadly maple syrup in a cup was not on menu. However, looking back at the menu in my photo I wish I’d tried the Maple Sugar Candy…c’est la vie. My husband had the Maple Glazed Salmon with Lentil salad which he loved. I tried a bite but not being a seafood person it did nothing for me, but at least I gave it a try.
Mark happy with the Maple Glazed Salmon from Canada
Tara's not so sure...

From there we went to Paris, France and while our son had his photo taken with Marie my husband went and ordered us a serving of Parmentier de Boeuf Braise au cabernet (braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes). Now…we were expecting a few mini ribs and a dollup of mashed potatoes…what we GOT was a ‘pie’ of mash (for lack of a better description) with shreds of braised beef inside. Oh my God…This was SO yummy!! Easily my 2nd fave of the day. The mash was perfect and the beef was succulent and tasty and the presentation was a pleasent surprise.
Braised ribs in mash at Paris

Moving on to Marrakesh Morocco…we had the Kefta Pocket, I wish I’d also had some of the baklava as I love a good baklava. The Kefta Pocket is some ground seasoned beef in a pita bread pocket and it was quite nice. Reminded me of a soft shell taco, but nice flavor and very enjoyable.
kefta pocket in Morocco

On to Italy which made our son happy…he’s just 6 and isn’t much for trying new foods but luckily Italy had his favorite food…PIZZA. So that was his little partake in this whole event hehe but he really enjoyed it and ate it happily while I had my Cannelloni. I love things like lasagna, cannelloni (especially with spinach) although this one was just cheeses and tomato but it was still very enjoyable. A bit too much cheese for me, I don’t care for it when its too runny, but it was nice.
Gage and his pizza in Italy

While we were enjoying our Italiana…my husband popped over to Austria for their Mushroom Soup with Chive Dumplings. Again, another dish I’m not a fan of but I did try it. I just don’t like mushrooms but he loves them…will just eat them raw (BLEH). He really enjoyed it and could’ve had another helping hehe.
Mushroom Soup from Austria

On to Munich, Germany…not much here for the family but I could not pass up a German apple strudel with vanilla sauce. It was lovely, nice and warm and refreshing. It was a welcoming sweet dish amungst all of the savory and meaty things we were having.
German Apple Strudel

Melbourne Australia didn’t have much to our liking but my husband loves lamb and so had their grilled lamb chop with red wine sauce and really enjoyed it. It was well presented and did look tasty, I’m just not one for lamb.
Australian Grilled Lamb

In Cape Town South Africa we had to try the seared beef tenderloin with sweet potato puree and mango barbeque sauce. This was quite nice as well. Very juicy and tender, the sweet potato was a tad too soft for me. I know it said puree and not mash but it was lacking texture and was nearly like a very thick soup to me. (sadly we don’t have a photo of this for some reason).

Almost to the end at Shanghai, China and we fancied the Pork Pot Stickers. I was really let down with this dish…out of all the things we’d tried that were fabulous, this one was quite bland in my opinion. It was like some sweet and sour pork in a soft won ton. It was nice don’t get me wrong, just a lack of flavor. Pork Pot Stickers in China

Krakow Poland offered us braised pork shank with cabbage and fresh herbs…once again a bit of a let down. No real flavor, easy on the pallett and nice to eat but I just wasn’t going “oh wow” like I was with other foods I’d tried that day, which is a shame as I love pork. It was very bland to me.
braised pork shank with cabbage

Well, thanks for reading about my family eating around the world at the 2009 Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. We’d really love to do this again and would love to hear of your favorite dishes. Looking back at the menus in my photo albums I see deserts I wish I’d tried but even though we only bought one serving to share between the two of us…at the end of the day it was a lot of food and this counted as our lunch and dinner. Next time I plan to look harder at the menus and try more deserts and drinks. 🙂

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