If you’re like me, you LOVE going to the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT every year. Aaaand if you’re like me, you also have your favorite dishes you have to get every time and there are so many you just don’t want to try something new because you have to eat alltheHawaiianporksliders… Anybody else?
Well, I recently had the opportunity to taste every new/reimagined dish that’s being offered this year so I can share with you my personal favorites. Make a note, bookmark this page, whatever you need to do because you’re not going to want to miss these five instant favorites!
#5 Africa: Butter Chicken with Steamed Rice and Naan Bread
I have to say, I didn’t expect to like this one, but now it’s one of my favorites. I had never had Naan bread, but it was delicious with a smoky flavor that really went well with the slightly sweet flavor of the chicken.
#4 Islands of the Caribbean: Quesito – Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce
Imagine taking a piece of cheesecake and putting it inside puff pastry and serving it warm with a sweet guava sauce on top. It’s heavenly. It looks small, but is surprisingly satisfying!
#3 Wine & Dine Studio: Seared Scallop with Truffled Celery Root Puree, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms
Growing up in Florida, I’ve had my share of seafood and I’m super picky when it comes to scallops because they’re so easy to mess up. This scallop was cooked perfectly and the accompanying flavors were wonderful. I’ll be honest: I’ve never had a Brussels sprout I liked… until now. I could eat this again and again. I interviewed EPCOT Culinary Director Chef Gregg Hannon and he said this was one of his favorites, so you know it’s got to be good!
#2 The Chew: Peanut Butter Mousse
Think of a Reese’s cup and a Butterfinger getting married and making beautiful, beautiful babies together. This dish is small, but so decadent there’s no way I could have eaten more than what I had. So. Good.
#1 Hops & Barley: Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese on Griddled Garlic Toast
Y’all… I just… There are no words. I don’t like brisket in the traditional BBQ restaurant sense, but this is not that kind of brisket. It’s moist and tender and together with the pimento cheese and buttery toast it’s my new favorite dish. Seriously, I like it better than the Kalua Pork Sliders or the Korean lettuce wraps or the empanadas. This is another of Chef Gregg Hannon’s favorites and I totally agree with him. If you try one new thing this year, make it this one. You won’t regret it.
Have you been to the Festival yet? What are your favorites? I’d love to hear about them in the comments so I can give them a try on my next visit!