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GRAND OPENING! Welcome to the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! PART TWO


Welcome back, Disney Festival Fans!

     I hope you enjoyed my vibrant photo safari of the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! (If you missed it, hakuna matata! Click HERE!) But now, it's time to hit up those Outdoor Kitchens!  Epcot has combined the most popular element of the very popular Food and Wine Festival, into the spring festival, opening about a dozen booths around World Showcase. Each location sells smaller, sample sized food items, as well as regional alcoholic beverages. For Food and Wine, the booths are themed to various countries around the world, and Flower and Garden's booths are similar, but they also incorporate the element of farm or garden fresh items, as well. But what it boils down to is this: YUM! 




     Before we get into the individual booths, I will say this... similar to last year, many of the portions are larger, as are the prices. This could be seen as a plus or a minus. If you're the type who likes to just pick a couple of things to sample, you'll be happy with the larger helping. If you're using Disney Dining Plan snack points to get items, you'll get a better value out of the higher pricing. But if you're like me, and you like to try all different stuff, you really need to bring some friends along to share the food and the cost. Otherwise, two booths in, you'll be done. Lucky for me, I had five awesome ladies with me who were willing to help out. We did our best, (for YOU, of course!), but to be totally upfront, things that I had reviewed last year, we did not get again this year, so my reviews below are combined with this year's and last year's. Fair enough? OK, let's go!


NEW! The Honey Bee-Stro

World Showcase Plaza





  • What did we try?   Roasted Cauliflower
  • How would I describe it?   A super interesting mix of veggies and rice, all roasted and seasoned. 
  • How was the portion/value?   The portion was decent. For $4.50, you can a shareable side.
  • What letter grade would we give it?   A+   Really, really flavorful and delicious! The pureed carrot added some sweetness, as did the roasted red grapes. The sunflower brittle brought an unexpected crunch of even more sweetness. Combined with the savory flavors of the seasoned veggies and rice, I loved this dish!
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   Yes!


AND

  • What did we try?   Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread
  • How would I describe it?   A flatbread with seasoned chicken, cheddar cheese and veggies. 
  • How was the portion/value?   $5.25 got three good sized pieces. This is a no-brainer to share. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   B+   The flatbread was fresh, though it was served kind of room temp. Everything had nice flavor, but I didn't get much honey flavor, and considering the name of the booth...
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   No. It was good, but not my favorite.

AND
  • What did we try?   Local Wildflower Honey Mascarpone Cheesecake
  • How would I describe it?   A mini cheesecake, topped with sparkly honey, and a mini-scoop of ice cream, also with sparkly honey.  
  • How was the portion/value?   I didn't think $4.75 was bad for a size cake it was. Easily shareable, especially with the scoop of ice cream.  
  • What letter grade would we give it?   B+   The cheesecake was very creamy and tasty, with just a touch of the honey flavor. The ice cream stole the show for me! The light orange blossom flavor was SO good. I just wish it didn't melt so fast! It was sliding all around my plate!
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   I might. 


AND
  • What did we try?   Non-Alcoholic Honey Peach Cobbler Freeze
  • How would I describe it?   A creamy milkshake was a little crumble/streusel on top.
  • How was the portion/value?   $4.25 was too much to pay for this little 3 oz. shake.  
  • What letter grade would we give it?   C   It was creamy and frozen.... I'll give it that. But otherwise the drink was just meh. Not very peachy, not very honey-y. Just meh. And weird with the cinnamon crumbles on top.
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   Nope.




Pineapple Promenade

World Showcase Plaza




     I didn't actually get anything here. I've had Dole Whip many times before, and a spicy hot dog is NOT my idea of a good time. I have had the Desert Violet Lemonade before, and really liked it, but I wasn't up for trying it again, and unfortunately don't have a picture. 


La Isla Fresca

World Showcase Plaza (Caribbean Themed)



  • What did we try?   Frozen Simply Tropical Juice Drink (non-alcoholic)
  • How would I describe it?   This was pretty much straight-up frozen mango juice. 
  • How was the portion/value?   To me, for $4.25, ($9.25 for the alcoholic version), I should get a full 8 oz. glass, not a little 3 oz. (I'm just guessing here) one.
  • What letter grade would we give it?   C   Nothing impressive about it, but not bad.
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   No.

The Berry Basket

World Showcase Plaza



  • What did we try?   Warm Wild Berry Buckle
  • How would I describe it?   A coffee cake-like pastry, covered in a mixed berry compote, and topped with a small scoop of pepper berry gelato.
  • How was the portion/value?   At $4.50, it was easily shareable between two or three people and is about the size of most Disney desserts, so I think this is reasonably priced. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   C+   The cake was served warm, which was nice, but the ice cream melted pretty much on contact, making a gooey mess that ran over the sides of the plate. The cake itself seemed like a package coffee cake, and would have been better as a more hearty biscuit. The flavors were good, and the pepper berry gelato was something a little different. (You get pretty much no pepper-flavor to it.)
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   No. Not my favorite. 
Berry Julep and Berry Buckle
AND
  • What did we try?   Twinings Green Tea Mint Berry Julep (non-alcoholic)
  • How would I describe it?   A refreshing mint-berry slushy, served with blackberries on top. 
  • How was the portion/value?   $4.25 is probably a little much for a few ounces of slushy, but since I liked this one a lot, that made it somewhat worth it. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   A-   I loved this! This drink wasn't overly sweet and the mintiness gave it an awesomely refreshing finish to it. 
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   I absolutely will. 

     Even though Refreshment Port isn't technically a Flower and Garden Outdoor Kitchen, it still got in on the specialty food action: 




Northern Bloom

Canada









  • What did we try?   Seared Scallops
  • How would I describe it?   Caramelized scallops with green beans, roasted red skin potatoes and bacon crumbles, in a brown butter sauce. 
  • How was the portion/value?   $6.50 got us two scallops, two potato halves and about a half a cup of green beans. Not too bad. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   B   The scallops were fantastic and some of the best I have ever had. The green beans, however, were warm, but raw, which made them kinda gross. Overall, stellar flavors, but I wish the beans were cooked, and believe it or not, I would be okay with less butter. 
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   Maybe, but I'll probably try the beef next time. 



Cider House

United Kingdom
















  • What did we try?   Pear Cider-Brined Shredded Corned Beef
  • How would I describe it?   The most delicious St. Patrick's Day I've ever had! Shredded corned beef with cabbage and a sweet, cinnomany pear sauce. 
  • How was the portion/value?   $5.50 for about a cup or meat and veggies. Not bad. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   A-   So yummy! I LOVED the sweetness the pears gave this dish. I ordered mine without the dressing on it, since I generally don't like condiments and it did not disappoint. 
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   Yes! On St. Patrick's Day, I'll be back for more!

AND
  • What did we try?   Freshly Baked Lemon Scone
  • How would I describe it?   A warm lemon scone, lightly iced, and topped with mixed berries and fresh whipped cream.
  • How was the portion/value?   Bigger than a mini-scone from Starbucks, but smaller than a full sized one. Does that help? I thought $4.25 was ok. Maybe a bit high. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   A+    One of my very favorites from the festival! What a delightful surprised to be served an oven-warm scone! The flavor was lemony, but not overwhelmingly so. The berry topping was not sugary, and more like fresh berry compote. The cream gave it a nice contrast. I loved this!
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   Absolutely. 
AND
  • What did we try?   Martinelli's Sparkling Cider 
  • How would I describe it?   Your typical, sugary, sparkling apple cider that you were likely served as a kid, on New Year's Eve.
  • How was the portion/value?   A small glass for $4.75? I can buy a bottle for $2 at any grocery store. Perhaps one of the most overpriced things I bought all day.
  • What letter grade would we give it?   C   Yeah, it tasted good and was served cold, but this is not in any way something special.
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   Not a chance I'm paying almost $5 for this again.


Fleur De Lys

France







  • What did we try?   Tarte a la Tomate Provencale
  • How would I describe it?   A thin, think pastry crust tart shell with onions, tomatoes and seasoning.
  • How was the portion/value?   For $5.50, this was pretty decent. Probably 4" across. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   B-   This was a nice, light, airy snack. Nice flavors, and very much what I would picture myself eating by the Eiffel Tower. 
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   No. The flavor was nice, but I didn't enjoy it enough to get it again. 

AND
  • What did we try?   Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette
  • How would I describe it?   A fudgy chocolate macron, coated in more chocolate and chocolate candies, and put on a stick. 
  • How was the portion/value?   Considering how expensive macarons are, I thought $4.95 was a decent price for this. It's a large macaron and has lots of chocolate on it. 
  • What letter grade would we give it?   A+   Loved it! I mean, how could you not? It was chewy, rich, and sweet, and the crispy rice balls coated in chocolate added an extra texture that was really enjoyable. 
  • Will we get it again, when we return to the festival?   YES!


~~~~~~~~~

     So that's about half of what we tried so far. What do you think? What looks the best to you? Well, stay tuned because I'll be back again tomorrow with PART THREE of my review, and I'll tell you what items made it into my Top Three this year!

     Until tomorrow, Disney Friends, have a magical day!

                                                                                    - Jenn





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