Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2019 Flower and Garden Festival: Treats & Eats Part 1

Agent Maci here to bring you some details on my favorite time of year at Epcot, the International Flower and Garden Festival! Today's post is going to focus on one part of the festival: The food and beverage offerings! Over the last few years, this festival has really stepped up it's food and drink game offering new booths each year that feature seasonal, fresh and garden-related or regional items. 

To help navigate, this blog post will focus on the booths that are more garden-focused (not tied to the countries of World Showcase). The booths that would fall into this category include Arbor at the Gardener's Terrace, Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth, The Citrus Blossom, The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board, Trowel & Trellis Hosted by IMPOSSIBLE Foods, Pineapple Promenade, Florida Fresh, and Taste Track. 

First up is the Arbor at the Gardener's Terrace.  This place is really a hidden gem because it's inside the Odyssey Pavilion with AC and tables to sit and take a break! Here I sampled the dessert, which was a mixed berry buttermilk cake and the cider flight, while I met some friends that enjoyed the fried green tomatoes and smoked salmon stack. I personally loved the cake. It was gluten free which is a huge plus and it was a nice indulgence without being too sweet or too heavy. I enjoyed all of the ciders as well and love getting to try a few. I loved the rainbow the different flavors provided and enjoyed the "black widow" cider the best. 

Cider Flight
Fried Green Tomatoes with Blue Crab-fennel Salad, Remoulade and Smoked Paprika Oil
Smoked Salmon Stack with Avocados, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Caviar and Focaccia Crostino
Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake, served with Apple Cider Sorbet (V) (GF) (KA)
The Citrus Blossom was home to this year's big hit, the Orange Bird Sipper. So of course I had to give that a try and paired it with the crispy citrus chicken.  I've heard the lines/availability of the sipper varies, so you'll just have to try your luck. I had no issue getting mine and only waited about a minute in line so I was very lucky! I just love how cute it is and the orange cream slushy inside was delish! Think a creamsicle milkshake, yum! The Crispy Citrus Chicken was also a huge hit for me.  Again, you wouldn't be able to even tell this was gluten free and it just had a great, bright fresh citrus punch to it. They were a little heavy on the aioli for my liking but otherwise a huge hit! 

Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Crispy Citrus Chicken with Orange Aïoli and Baby Greens (GF) (KA) 
Florida Fresh has been a staple for a few years now and is home to one of my favorite beverages, the watermelon slush! It's so light and refreshing on a hot Disney day. It comes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. The shrimp and grits from this booth are also a favorite of the festival.

Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Gin
Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish
A surprise for me this year was Trowel and Trellis, which was an entirely vegetarian and, I believe, vegan booth. Here I tried the street corn which you can smell before you can even see the booth! It was delicious and great to eat while walking to the next adventure. 

Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread (GF) (V) (KA)
Last up (for now) is one of my absolute favorites, the Honey Bee-stro. I pretty much enjoy everything on this menu every year. They do a great job balancing the sweetness of the honey with the other flavors in each dish. 

Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Purée, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey-blistered Grapes, Sunflower Brittle and Coriander Flowers (GF) (V)
Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
Honey-peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka
Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, Charred Vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Citrus Greens 

Now this is only a few of the booths available and only a thing or two from each that I tried so there's lots more out there left to enjoy! Have you tried any of these items? What has been your favorite so far? What should I try next?! Let us know in the comments below!

- Agent Maci

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