I don’t like standing in lines or being smooshed among thousands of people or spending a lot of money for the privilege of standing in line or being smooshed, so I don’t like Disney World. This doesn’t make me a terrible person. It makes me a normal human being.
What do I like? I like food. I like trying different foods. I like trying different foods without spending a lot of money.
You can imagine my surprise and confusion when I learned that Disney World had a food (and wine) festival dubbed the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I was torn. An opportunity to try a bunch of different foods would come at a hefty price: going back to Disney World.
My hesitation was over quickly when I was told that the reservations had already been made. I guess we were going back to Disney World.
Our day at Epcot started with a Fastpass and some drinks around the world from Club Cool before checking out some food options. Throughout Future World I found groups of small buildings taking with a flurry of activity and plenty of smoke pouring out.
I started with a crab cake ($5.00) and shrimp scampi dip ($5.50) from Coastal Eats. The crab featured nice chunks without a lot of fillers on a bed of slaw was a tasty citrus squirt on top. The shrimp were rich and buttery with just enough greens to fool your brain into thinking it was getting a vegetable.
At Earth Eats, the wife went for the Ravioli ($4.75) and the beef skewer ($5.25). Sadly, some scoundrel ate some of hers while she was picking up a burger for the kids. The ravioli was extra authentic with fresh pasta while the beef had a nice sharp bite that resembled a teriyaki glaze.
We broke for the afternoon to rest up and digest before returning for dinner. Even the sweet sounds of Boyz II Men couldn’t distract me from the mission: eating more foods. For the nighttime, we shifted over to the World Showcase.
It didn’t take long to stumble upon the lobster roll from Hops and Barley in America. At $8.00, it was the best item of the day. Huge lumps of lobster on a toasted bun. Without a load of dressings and seasoning, the lobster was in the spotlight.
I’m pretty sure I’ve spent at least some time in a previous life as an old Italian man hanging by the coast. When I saw the vodka cream penne with shrimp ($7.00) and the spicy calamari ($8.00), I couldn’t refuse. The pasta was expertly cooked and although I only received two shrimp with my order, they were crisp as flavorful. I’m sad to say the calamari was the only disappointment of the day. It was a bit rubbery and kind of boring. The sauce did pack some spice, but not enough to save the dish.
Even though the prices of the small plates added up by the end of the night, the excitement of the exploration was worth the price. Plus when you’re at Disney, any break from the monotonous food options are appreciated.
The Food and Wine Festival at Epcot was a great addition to an otherwise mundane day in Orlando.
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives the Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2017 8.7 “C-Food Diets” out of 10.