It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, it’s planning season for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The Festival Marketplace menus were announced yesterday, and we want to take a look at what’s new, what’s returning, and what’s off the menu for 2014. We’ll also share our opinions, because such things surely must matter.
- Beef Tenderloin Tips, Berbere style with okra, jalapeños, tomato and pap
- South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms
- MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc
- Fairview Pinotage
- The Wolftrap Red (Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier)
Last year, the Africa booth dropped the “South” from its name, and this year, it dropped the best vegetarian dish from its menu. Gluten-free diners will enjoy the new bobotie dish, but I mourn the loss of the spinach and paneer pocket. It’s one of the few dishes that I purchased multiple times both of the years it was served. Truthfully, I would rather they had dropped the tenderloin in favor of the new turkey dish. This is another loss for vegetarians, who are generally relegated to fake meats, desserts, and uninspired pasta dishes at the Festival Marketplace. The wine remains uninspired.
American Adventure Coffee Cart
- Apple Maple Spice Latte (hot or iced)
This “Marketplace” was introduced last year with a “Shakin’ Jamaican” (wut) coffee with Kahlua, vanilla and caramel. It was weird, and the addition of this Marketplace is weird. I kind of resent having to visit a coffee cart just to complete my Festival Passport, because we don’t usually drink coffee. However, I can’t argue with the deliciousness of maple or apple spice. Let’s hope they’re good together.
- Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon Myrtle & Rapini
- Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto & Potato Crunchies ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Pavlova (Crispy Meringue Shell with Fresh Berries & Vanilla Custard)
- Coopers Brewery, Original Pale Ale
- Chateau Tanuda Grand Barossa Dry Riesling
- St. Kilda Chardonnay
- Nine Stones Shiraz
A lot of the Festival Marketplaces are switching up the food offerings this year. Not so with Australia. The three food items are exact replicas from last year, save the removal of last year’s Driscoll’s sponsorship on the pavlova. The Grilled Lamb Chop remains a Hyperion favorite, although we both preferred it before the roasted potatoes were swapped out for potato chip crumbs. The pavlova was also my pick for best dessert last year. The four beverages are all different than last year’s lineup, and with the inclusion of a beer for the first time in recent memory, I think that’s an upgrade. I’m all for more diverse drink options.
- Potato & Leek Waffle with Braised Beef
- Belgium Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache & Whipped Cream
- Belgium Waffle with Berry Compote & Whipped cream
- Leffe Blonde
- Stella Artois
- Stella Cidre
- Chilled Coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Blah. Waffles and beer. Danny will stop here a number of times, have some mediocre beer and maybe a waffle to start our brunching around the World Showcase, but I find this Marketplace’s ever-streamlined menu to decline every year. The only difference between this menu and 2013’s is the substitution of Stella Cidre for Leffe Brune. I happen to think that Leffe Brune was the best beer served at this Marketplace in 2013, so replacing it with a cider? Well, it will please some people, but probably not this person.
Block & Hans
- Robert Mondavi, Fume Blanc
- The Great American Wine Company, Chardonnay
- The Great American Wine Company, Red Blend
- Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Domaine Chandon Brut Sparkling Blanc de Noir
- Still River Winery Apple Ice Wine
Block & Hans is a new addition to the Marketplace lineup, but not new to the World Showcase. This is one of several new totally superfluous “Marketplaces” that are really just permanent kiosks in Epcot. It’s cheap, just like the wine they’re serving.
- Mocequa de Pescado (Coconut Lime Tilapia & Steamed Rice)
- Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Tomato and Cilantro
- Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
- Cocada (Brazilian Coconut Candy)
- Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
- Carnaval Moscato
- Tannat Reserve
- Frozen Caipirinha
There are big changes at the Brazil Marketplace for this year. There were only two food items on the menu last year; that number has doubled for the 2014 Festival. 2013’s seared scallop has been replaced by a more economical tilapia. The Pao de Queijo is a nice addition, but if these are like the traditional Brazilian snack buns, they won’t be a satisfying option for vegetarians looking for another savory dish. Last year’s new pork belly dish returns. I’ll hope for an improved preparation, because I thought the pork belly was a bit tough last year. On the drinks side, the Xingu Black, Carnaval Moscato and Frozen Caipirinha are all returning from last year, and Tannat is new. All in all, it’s pretty cool to see Brazil’s offerings increase from five menu items in 2013 to eight for this year’s festival.
- Radeberger Pilsner
- BraufactuM Colonia
- BraufactuM Palor
- Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
- Altenmünster Oktoberfest
- BraufactuM Roog ← Hyperion Favorite!
- BraufactuM Darkon
- BraufactuM Progusta IPA
Danny was elated when he read the Brewer’s Collection menu for this year. In 2012, the BraufactuM Roog was a Festival favorite, and the first beer to sell out. Last year, we loved both the Roog and the Darkon. It seems that the Festival’s buyers are wise to this, and are showcasing five of the BraufactuM beers this year. Rest assured that come November, Danny will write a post about all five after sampling them. Also returning this year is the Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, a Hefeweizen-grapefruit juice blend. This has made itself a permanent fixture in Epcot after a few years of immense popularity during the Festival. It’s basically a gussied-up shandy, but a lot of people love it, and it can be refreshing on a hot day.
- Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
- Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee & Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette
- “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce
- Moosehead Lager
- La Face Neige Apple Ice Wine
- La Face Neige Sparkling
- Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah
For 2014, Canada brings nothing new to the table. Everything served here is available year-round at Le Cellier. I think it’s a waste of space to serve items that can be purchased any day at a festival that is supposed to offer unique tastes. On the other hand, they know what they’re doing. The Canada booth regularly hosts some of the bestselling food items of the Festival, so who am I to complain? Have fun standing in that long line, suckers. The trout is pretty good, but personally, I’d rather they just served Timbits and maple syrup.
- Beijing Roasted Duck in Steamed Bun with Hoisin Sauce
- Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun with Chili Mayo
- Black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles
- Chicken Potstickers
- Tsingtao Beer
- Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
- Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Syrah
- Kung Fu Punch with Vodka and Triple Sec
- Happy Lychee with Tequila and Vodka
- Mango Green Tea with Popping Bubbles
Have the proprietors of the China booth finally realized that nobody likes their desserts? While the Mongolian beef steamed bun, black pepper shrimp, and chicken potstickers are all returning items, I’m very excited to see that last year’s ice cream dessert has been replaced this year with another savory snack. And it’s duck! That’s possibly the most delicious bird there is! Good job, China. This is one of the new dishes I’m most eagerly anticipating. I still don’t really understand why the Coppola wines are served here, but whatever. It’s not like I have to drink them. Wine and Chinese food don’t seem like the most logical pairing to me. I’d really like to see a focus on more Chinese lagers instead.
- Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis – Chico, CA
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale – Milton, DE
- Shiner Brewery, Wild Hare Pale Ale – Shiner, TX
- Abita Brewing Company, Purple Haze – Abita Springs, LA
- Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale – Chicago, IL
- Florida Beer Company, Sunshine State Pils – Cape Canaveral, FL
- Magic Hat Brewery, Dream Machine IPL – South Burlington, VT
- Terrapin Beer Company, Rye Pale Ale – Athens, GA
The Craft Beers Marketplace always shakes things up from year to year. Not everything featured here is unique or new to the Festival, but none of the brews on the 2014 menu were featured last year. That’s something. This menu is also decidedly more craft than usual. Only a couple of the breweries providing beer this year are fake micros. Danny is the beer guy here, but I would venture to guess that he’ll want to try Terrapin’s rye pale ale and Shiner’s Wild Hare pale ale. I like the inclusion of Dogfish Head’s Punkin. It’s not new to me, but it’s seasonally appropriate, as our visit to the Festival this year will fall on the last week of October. I know how I’m celebrating Halloween!
Desserts & Champagne
- Dessert Trio: Passion Fruit Coconut Creamsicle, Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Roll, and Chocolate Espresso Opera Cake
- Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles
- Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé
- Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial
- Ruinart Blanc de Blanc
- Dom Pérignon
- Frozen S’mores
As always, the Desserts & Champagne Marketplace has completely revamped their dessert trio for the new year. There’s far less chocolate on this year’s menu than last, which makes me happy. I think the blueberry lime cheesecake roll will be the winner for me. I love Feuillatte Rosé. Although Nectar Impérial is a little sweeter than I usually take my wine, I think it’s another great choice for the dessert booth. Maybe that’s why it keeps coming back year after year. Ruinart and Dom Pérignon are both new for this year. We’re curious to see how the Dom Pérignon will be priced, as it generally retails for a good deal more than the wines that are usually served here. With that in mind, I hope to try all the sparkling wines offered. And then I’ll see pink elephants.
- Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise & Pickled Jalapeños
- Griddled “Yard Bird” with Braised Greens
- Orlando Brewing Company, I-4 IPA – Orlando, FL
- Ba Ba Black Lager, Uinta Brewing Company – Salt Lake City, UT
- Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, Bold City Brewery – Jacksonville, FL
- Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale, Cigar City Brewery – Tampa, FL
- Florida Orange Groves, Key Limen
- Chateau St. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling
- St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel
Farm Fresh replaces the Florida Local Marketplace that graced the Festival for the last two years. The selection doesn’t feature the same locavore ingredient set as the old booth, but my hope is that it will showcase its produce in better ways. Danny is a little disappointed by two things that come with the loss of the Florida Local Marketplace. The first is that he really loves Zellwood corn, and he’ll miss it in this new Marketplace. The second is that he doesn’t like it when the Food & Wine Festival shutters region-specific Marketplaces in favor of generic cuisines. If we had to lose a Marketplace specializing in Florida, he would like to see another location in the USA go in there instead. He mentioned the New Orleans Marketplace that existed several Festivals ago, or maybe creating a new booth centered on the Pacific Northwest, Texas or Memphis. As for me, I’m confused (and frankly, not sure whether to be offended) at this Marketplace referring to what I can only assume is a chicken dish as “yard bird”, but braised greens? Sign me up.
Fife & Drum
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream Sundae
- Mmmhops Pale Ale
I was completely ready to complain about how the Fife & Drum Tavern is a permanent fixture of the American Adventure Pavilion, and is nearly as much a quick-service restaurant as the ghastly Liberty Inn. I was all set to protest, can this please just stop being a Marketplace already? It’s definitely another of those garbage kiosks that shouldn’t be considered a special Marketplace stop, but then I saw Mmmhops. As Hanson is an annual fixture of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, I’ve hoped that Epcot would eventually serve Mmmhops for the Festival. And here it is! So I’m going to have to save my energy and ire at the nonsense that is this pseudo-marketplace. I’ll happily get this stamp in my Passport. Ice cream sundae, though? Ugh, stop it.
- Tartelette aux Escargots (Escargot Tart with Garlic, Spinach, Bacon and Parmesan)
- Gratin de Crozet de Savoie (Wheat Pasta Gratin with Mushrooms and Gruyere)
- Boeuf Bourguignon (Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes)
- Crème Brûlée Caramel Fleur de Sel
- Beer, Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
- Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
- Sparkling Pomegranate Kir ← Hyperion Favorite!
- La Passion Martini Slush (Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passionfruit Juice)
So, the escargots have been further tamed by hiding them in a pie. The gratin pasta returns after an absence, but NOT as a side for the coq au vin that was unceremoniously ripped from us last year. And the heavy, disappointing bouef bourgingnon is back to wreak havoc again. And don’t get me started on replacing my beloved cosmo slush with passionfruit.
Happily, the Pomegranate Kir remains. Were it not for that, the France Marketplace might have been knocked down from my very favorite pavilion at which to enjoy a drink, to second to last (I don’t think anything the France Marketplace serves could ever be as bad as the Singapore Sling). I’m also very excited at the change to the crème brûlée. Salted caramel sounds like a vast improvement over the old milk chocolate flavor.
- Schinkennudeln (Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese)
- Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll
- Berliner (Apricot Jam-filled Yeast Doughnut)
- Altenmünster Oktoberfest
- J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Kabinett
- Selbach-Oster Mosel Riesling Spätlese
- J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Auslese
- Kallstadter Kobnert Spaetburgunder Spätlese Dry Barrique Style
Germany never surprises me. They have two serviceable savory staples and a dessert that can’t seem to find its way. The schinkennudeln literally tastes exactly like my grandma’s mac and cheese, despite the presence of ham. It’s always a little heavy for Florida, but I guess if I wanted some comfort food, this is where I would turn. I can only hope that the roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll will get a makeover. For the last couple years, it’s basically been a breakfast sausage that’s about five or six times longer than the roll that is supposed to hold it. I’m interested in the Berliner, but in the grand tradition of desserts at Walt Disney World, I’m sure I’ll only have a bite or two before losing interest. We usually skip the bevy of too-sweet wines served here, opting to walk next door to the Brewer’s Collection instead.
- Vegetarian Moussaka
- Saganaki (Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios & Honey)
- Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce
- Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
- Domaine Siglas Assyrtiko/Athiri
- Alpha Estate Axia Syrah-Xinomavro
- Tzatziki Martini (Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka & BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur)
Greece has a lot of favorites for us. We always get a spanakopita and a gyro. The saganaki is good as long as it comes directly from the griddle and doesn’t have time to sit around. I really liked the Taste of Greece sampler from last year’s menu, but will welcome the vegetarian moussaka that replaces it. After all, I can make my own hitipi. The Tzatziki martini sounds completely disgusting, so naturally, I have to taste it.
- Kālua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney & Spicy Mayonnaise ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad & Lotus Root Chips ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Kona Brewing Company, Big Wave Golden Ale
- Kona Brewing Company, Castaway IPA
- Maui Splash Sweet Pineapple Wine
- Aulani Sunrise featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum
Hawaii’s food menu never changes, and it never has to. The tuna poke and the slider are both certified Hyperion Favorites. I’m also looking forward to tasting the pineapple wine this year. I bet that will go well with the poke’s seaweed salad. The Aulani Sunrise gets an upgrade, now featuring Beach Bar rum instead of Ocean vodka.
Hops & Barley
- Artisan Cheese Plate (Cabot Cloth-wrapped Cheddar, Purple Haze Chèvre & Cave Man Blue)
- Baked Lobster Alfredo
- Florida Grass-fed Beef Slider with Pimento Cheese
- Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins & Cream Cheese Frosting
- Samuel Adams Octoberfest
- New Belgium Brewing Company Snapshot
- Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat
- Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy
- La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
- Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Cambria Estate Winery
This is a vastly different menu than we’re used to seeing from Hops & Barley. I guess it’s cool that they’re doing some new things this year. The market will only bear so many sad lobster claws. Danny will miss the lobster roll, but I look forward to trying new things. I’m glad that there’s a cheese plate, since the Cheese Marketplace of previous years is no more. Lobster alfredo sounds pretty heavy but also delicious. I will happily indulge in one. A glass of La Crema is a perfect pairing for a dish like that, though I like their Russian River Valley chardonnay more than the Sonoma Coast that will be served. This would also be a good time for me to state that I really wish the Festival Marketplaces would advertise their wines’ vintage. I don’t dare to hope that the La Crema served here is a 2009, but it sure would be nice to know.
- Southwest Chicken Wrap
- Vegan Trio
- Fruit & Cheese Plate
- Side Salad
- Tuna Salad with Pita
- Asian Chicken Salad
- Key Lime Tart
- J Vineyard Pinot Gris
- Franciscan Chardonnay
- Di Seño Malbec
- Acrobat Pinot Noir
- MARTINI Prosecco
- Caposaldo Sweet Sparkling Peach Moscato
- Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvée
- Medalla Light Beer
- Einstök Icelandic White Ale
- Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider
- Assorted Soft Drinks
- Dasani Water
I’m confused. What the heck is this? Is this an actual Festival Marketplace? Intermissions Café is inside the Wonders of Life Pavilion, which becomes the Festival Welcome Center for Epcot’s seasonal events. This isn’t even a kiosk. It’s a full quick-service restaurant. It’s absolute nonsense that this would be a Festival Marketplace stop, because it’s not even in the World Showcase. I’m against it.
- Lobster & Seafood Fisherman’s Pie ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Kerrygold Cheese Selection (Reserve Cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout, and Skellig)
- Warm Chocolate Pudding with Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard
- Bunratty Meade Honey Wine
- Chilled Irish Coffee featuring Bunratty Potcheen
- Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur
We like Ireland’s very stable set of menu offerings. The fisherman’s pie gets my seal of approval every year for its abundant seafood, and Danny is seldom not in the mood for a Guinness. I think there are better cheese plates elsewhere in the festival, and I feel that one can pass on the dessert without remorse, but neither are bad. They also tend to be pretty inexpensive items, so they’re still a good value.
- Ravioli alla Caprese (Cheese Ravioli, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Parmesan & Basil)
- Filetto di Pollo, con Funghi al Marsala (Chicken, Cremini Mushrooms, Marsala Wine Sauce and Ciabatta)
- Cannoli al Cioccolato (Chocolate-covered Cannoli Filled with Sweet Ricotta, Chocolate and Candied Fruit)
- Moretti Lager
- Moretti La Rossa
- Procecco, Bosco del Merlo
- Pinot Grigio, Placido
- Chianti Classico, Placido
- Frozen Primavera with Limoncello and Tequila
We pretty much always write Italy off as a disappointment, but there have been some big changes to the menu this year. The ravioli used to be served with a bolognese that would make Chef Boy-Ar-Dee weep with shame, but they’ve taken out the meat this year which could be an improvement. The old sausage and peppers dish has been replaced with a chicken marsala. I’m sure it will still be microwave dinner quality, but at least it’s something new. My beloved Italian Marhgerita is no longer made with grappa anyway, so I’m not sad to see it replaced with a “Frozen Primavera”, although that appears to differ from the new Italian Margherita in name only. We’ll stop here, get a prosecco, and get our Passport stamped.
- Spicy Hand Roll (Tuna and Salmon with Kazan Volcano Sauce) ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Teriyaki Gyoza Bun (Steamed Bun Filled with Chicken, Vegetables & Sweet Teriyaki Sauce)
- Chirashizushi (Salmon, Shrimp, Crab and Egg Served over Seaweed Salad and Ginger Rice)
- Kirin Draft Beer
- Kikusui Ginjo Sake
- Sake Sunrise
- Sparkling Peach Sake Gell
How freaking awesome is it that Japan got to take that awful California Roll off their menu? It would have been nice if they replaced it with something, but just the omission of the California Roll and the Yucky Youki Tofu are a good start for creating a simplified but very strong menu in the Japan Marketplace. We love the Spicy Hand Roll, and look forward to trying the Chirashizushi. And is that a jelly shot I spy on the bottom of the drink menu? Kampai!
- Hess Shirtail Chardonnay
- SIMI Cabernet Sauvignon
Yet another not-a-real-Marketplace. More bad wine. I don’t think I’m going to get that stamp of completion in my Passport this year.
- Shrimp Taco with Pickled Habanero & Onions on a Flour Tortilla
- Ribeye Taco with Roasted Chipotle Salsa & Grilled Scallions on a Corn Tortilla
- Sweet Corn Cheese Cake
- Dos Equis
- Tequila Flight ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Mango-Strawberry Margarita
Mexico is always a pretty strong Marketplace for us. I love Mexican-style corn cakes, so I’m excited by that new addition. I also think it’s a good idea to put one of the tacos on a corn tortilla instead of serving both with flour as has been the norm in previous years. Having corn tortillas on hand gives diners another gluten-free option. The tequila flight is a Hyperion Favorite. Don’t let the fact that the Mexico Marketplace does not list the brand names on this flight deter you. These are tequilas stocked by the Mexico Pavilion’s La Cava del Tequila, which is one of the best curated bars on property. The tequila selection may not be the same every day of the festival, but you will always get a good quality blanco, reposado and añejo variety of tequila at a very reasonable price. This can actually work out to be one of the best values of the Festival, in fact. We recommend sipping these spirits from youngest to oldest to appreciate the growth in flavor that the aging process encourages. Tequila has a bad reputation as a frat party libation of questionable quality, but this flight can actually be a great first step in quelling that persistent prejudice. Body shots at Señor Frog’s this is not.
- Kefta Pocket (Ground Seasoned Beef in a Pita Pocket)
- Spicy Shrimp Roll with Cilantro and Mint Sauce
- Casa Beer
- Guerouane White
- Mimosa Royale (Sparkling Wine and Orange Juice Topped with Orange Liquer)
The Morocco Marketplace is highly divisive here in the Hyperion office. What we can agree on is that the kefta pocket is a constant disappointment, and Casa beer sucks. Danny says that the sangria is surprisingly good, calling it rich and fruity. I agree with the rich and fruity adjectives, but it’s because I felt it lacked the acidity that I expect from a sangria. This coated my tongue like candy. I look forward to trying the new spicy shrimp dish, but due to the cilantro (aka, “Devil’s weed”), Danny will likely not try more than the tiniest taste.
- Steamed Green Lip Mussels with Garlic Butter and Toasted Bread Crumbs
- Venison Sausage with Pickled Mushrooms, Baby Arugula and Black Currant Reeduction ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney
- Kim Crawford Pinot Gris
- Mohua Sauvignon Blanc
- Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay
- Kim Crawford Pinot Noir
New Zealand’s menu has not changed at all in the last year. The green lip mussels are a mild, meaty variety that we recommend, despite being a little gritty. We ordered them twice last year, which speaks highly of them. They’re not a Hyperion Favorite because they’re not as good as the old mussels dish that could once be found in the Belgium Marketplace. We still miss those. The venison sausage, on the other hand, was among the best newcomers of last year’s festival. The sausage is deeply flavorful without having the “gamy” taste that scares people away from venison. The casing had a nice snap, and the peppery arugula, sweet black currant reduction, and pickled mushrooms all played well together on the palate. The lamb meatball, on the other hand, is about as bland as lamb can be, and that the sweet, ketchup-y tomato chutney dares call itself spicy is nothing short of brash audacity. We shy away from the Kim Crawford wines these days (why would I drink unoaked chardonnay?), but agree that the pinot noir is our favorite, if you must.
- Beef Empanada
- Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri & Boniato Purée ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri
- Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
- Terrazas Reserva Malbec
- Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier
- Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé
Last year’s Argentina booth was fleshed out this year to become Patagonia, borrowing from both Argentine and Chilean cuisines. Two festival favorites return to the food menu, and a new salmon dish is introduced. We love chimichurri, so we’re all about this Marketplace. The two Cono Sur Bicicleta wines are new, and I look forward to trying both with the beef and fish dishes. The Viognier will likely complement the hearty-yet-zesty grilled beef skewer well.
- Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream
- Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash
- Okocim Brewery, Okocim O.K. Beer
- Blaufraenkische Donausonne, Hungarian Wine
- Frozen Szarlotka (Apple Pie) featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
Much like the Italy pavilion, Poland suffers from bland, freezer-aisle foods. We like good pierogi (and to be honest, we’d probably even like bad pierogi), so we’re never too offended by the kielbasa and potato pierogi dish, even though it falls well short of homemade. What is disappointing is that this pork and potato item sells so well that the Poland Marketplace decided to do it twice this year, sacrificing yet another vegetarian dish (last year’s Zapiekanki) for a sauerkraut pierogi with pork goulash. Come on, Poland. You can do more.
- Ensalada de Carrucho (Caribbean Conch Salad with Onion, Tomato and Cilantro
- Carne Guisada con Arroz Clanco (Slow-Braised Beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice)
- Sorullitos (Sweet Polenta Fries) & Bolitas de Queso (Cheese Fritter with Mayo Ketchup)
- FlanCocho (Vanilla Caramel Custard with Chocolate Coffee Cake)
- Gasolina Sangriiia
- Medalla Light Beer
- Frozen San Juan Breeze
- Frozen San Juan Breeze with Don Q Limón Floater
- Chilled Club Caribe Mango Rum
After a two-year hiatus, the Puerto Rico Marketplace is back in a big way for 2014. When this booth last appeared in the 2011 Festival, it featured only four items. Now sponsored by what we suspect is a large government tourism effort, we have a new, promising menu for 2014. Danny has already declared that he will be ordering one everything. He loves conch enough to deal with the cilantro, even. I, for one, am dying to know what sangriiia with three I’s tastes like.
Refreshment Cool Post
- Mango Star featuring African Starr Rum
- Frozen Yogurt
Do I even have to write about these faux Marketplaces anymore? Just take your Dole Whip and go.
- Croissant Doughnut
- Fried Shrimp with Dole Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Fried Chicken Chunks with Dole Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Dole Fruit Squish’ems Apple-Strawberry
- Dole Whip
- Dole Whip with White Crème de Cacao
- Dragon Berry Refresher featuring Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum
Just so we’re clear, cronuts are not the new cupcake. However, Disney may come closer to Dominique Ansel than they ever have to making a good cupcake, so I guess we’ll give their “croissant doughnut” a shot. Last year, Danny sampled from a friend’s basket of fried shrimp with pineapple sauce and enjoyed the food. Be aware that the shrimp and chicken baskets served at the Refreshment Port are not normal Festival Marketplace sized menu portions. They’re huge baskets that can serve as lunch for more than one person. That said, they’re one of the best values of the Festival if you’re looking to fill up.
- Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps & Tatties
- Fresh Potato Pancake with Smoked Scottish Salmon and Herb Sour Cream
- Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon
- Crannachan: A Traditional Scottish Dessert Trifle
- Innis & Gunn Original ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich 12 year ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Glenfiddich Scotch Flight (12, 15 and 18 year) ← Hyperion Favorite!
Last year, we weren’t impressed with Scotland’s inaugural food offerings. We’re not sure what they did to that poor salmon they were serving, but the area always smelled like a bait shop. The dish itself wasn’t terrible in taste, but fishy smell alone was enough to turn us off from ordering more items. To rub salt in the wound, the vegetarian haggis cake was dry and flavorless. We were afraid that this booth wouldn’t be returning, which would have been a real shame. A shame because the drinks served at the Scotland Marketplace are outstanding. Best value of the festival, best mixed drink of the festival, and best beer of the festival can all be found here, in the Glenfiddich flight, the Loch Lomond, and the Innis & Gunn, respectively. We came and drank, and then brought our parents back to show them our great discoveries. As any good parent would be, they were proud of us. We must have had Innis & Gunn on at least four separate occasions last year, and it was also the very last item we ordered on November 11th, because we could think of no better way to close out the 2013 Festival. We have hopes that the new potato pancake with smoked salmon and the sea scallop will succeed where last year’s food items failed.
- Lemongrass Chicken Curry with Coconut and Jasmine Rice
- Seared Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and “Singa” Sauce
- Tiger Beer
- Marqués de Caceres Satinela
- Singapore Sling featuring Hendrick’s Gin and Cherry Heering
In the past, if you asked us what the single worst Festival Marketplace was, we would probably tell you that it was Singapore. The mahi mahi is indescribably boring, with a watery sauce and jasmine rice indistinguishable from Uncle Ben’s. The Singapore Sling is unfit for human consumption, and should only be used as industrial strength engine de-greaser. Tiger beer is almost as bad as the Casa found in Morocco, and Marqués de Cacares is from Spain. What’s that about? However, the lemongrass chicken curry singlehandedly won this booth our “most improved” award last year. I’m glad it’s returning, because I definitely look forward to ordering it again. Now, if only we could get them to make that sling with something — anything — other than Hendrick’s.
- Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Roasted Pork Lettuce Wrap with Kimchi Slaw ← Hyperion Favorite!
- Bokbunjajoo (Bohae Black Raspberry Wine)
- iCing Grapefruit Sparkling Rice Brew
- Soju Fruit Slushy featuring Jinro Chamisul Soju
When the South Korea Marketplace replaced their beef bulgogi with a shrimp and mung bean pancake for the 2012 festival, I named it an irredeemable crime against my taste buds. When they replaced that awful mung bean monstrosity with the kimchi dog for the 2013 Festival, redeem themselves they did. Now this booth has two really solid food items. The lettuce wrap has been Danny’s single favorite Festival dish since this Marketplace’s introduction in 2010, and we hope it remains a staple in the years to come. The Kimchi Dog is a great addition to the booth, and possibly the best embodiment of the street food vibe that the Festival’s nibbles are supposed to portray. Now that they’ve nailed the foods, let’s get them to work on the drinks.
- Blackened Chick’n Breast, Farro Wheat and Spicy Gumbo Sauce featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast
- CraB’less CraB Cake with pepper slaw and Cajun remoulade featuring Gardein
- Chocolate Blood Orange Cupcake with Tofu Icing
- Red Bridge Ale
- The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
- Paperboy Red
- Fresh Watermelon Juice
I’m afraid we just don’t understand the Terra booth. Once again, it would be our preference that all of the Marketplaces have a region-specific cuisine. If the Festival wants to place a special emphasis on vegetarian and vegan dining, perhaps they would do better to offer more of those items and the Marketplaces that represent other countries. Especially at those where it really makes sense, like in the Far East. I would love to see the now-retired India Marketplace return with exclusively vegetarian offerings, for instance. Furthermore, getting a sponsor like Gardein, a company specializing in making “fake meat”, to represent vegan interests is rather insulting. So many good foods can be made that are naturally vegan. There’s no need to make pretend-foods that taste like things that vegans don’t eat and call them palatable. I guess if we stop here because we decide we simply must get our passport stamped, it will be for watermelon juice. I honestly feel bad for people who subscribe to the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and are stuck with this stuff. I really think that Epcot can do better.