Casual Runners know that while running is a part of our lives, it is not our entire lives. Better yet, as Casual Running allows us to be healthier and live more active lifestyles, it allows us to experience new and wonderful adventures. In this special series, we will look at fun Casual Adventurers that our Team takes on when we are away from our training, even if its only for a day or two! Check out other installments in this series by clicking here.
The Casual Runner team will be heading to Walt Disney World the first weekend of November for the 2016 runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. EVERY FRIDAY Leading up to this we will be bringing you our favorite dishes and drinks from Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. We already kicked off our series by sharing our selections for the Festival’s best drinks,our picks for the Festival’s best desserts, and the best main Festival dishes, now we are turning our attention to the best overall kiosk!
As you know, the members of Team Casual Runner are big fans of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (and all of its assorted fun and frivolity). For this Casual Adventurer series we decided to call in some backup and enlisted the help of our good friends Laura and Jason from Disney Good Eats.
Make sure you check out our Must Dos at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival 2016 & our Wine and Dine Half Marathon & Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge Preview.
Candace, Tracy, Jennifer, Jake, Laura, Jason, and Mike all took on the tough challenge of sampling their way around the various kiosks located in World Showcase, and they all had some very opinionated opinions about the various Festival offerings. So, without further ado we bring you the best entrees of the 2016 Food and Wine Festival.
The Kiosk: Canada
Sold Here: Canadian cheddar cheese soup served with a pretzel roll – $4.75, “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce – $7.75, Moosehead Lager – $4.00, Neige Premiere Apple Ice Wine, Québec – $6.00, and Fielding Estate Red Conception – $4.50
Notable: Laura’s Pick and Jason’s and Candace’s (Second) Pick for Best in Show
Laura: “The filet was amazing and cooked just right. The soup coming with the pretzel roll was a major plus.”
Jason: “My 2nd favorite kiosk this year comes a big surprise to me and it is Canada! They really stepped up their game in both the filet and soup department.”
Candace: “Last year I would have never said that this was a favorite. This year though after the amazing filet mignon I knew it was a favorite kiosk and I loved the soup! So, when I love both food offerings I have to put it in the top.”
The Kiosk: Hops and Barley
Sold Here: Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese Served on Griddled Garlic Toast – $5.25, New England Lobster Roll – $7.75,Freshly Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing – $3.75, Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA, Boston, MA – $4.00, Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale, San Francisco, CA – $3.75, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, Milton, DE – $4.00, La Crema Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast – $4.50, Cambria Estate Winery Benchbreak Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County – $5.50, and Frozen Orange-spiked Tea featuring Florida Cane “Orlando Orange” Vodka – $9.50
Notable: Candace’s Pick for Best in Show
Candace: “I loved all three food offerings from Hops and Barley. I already gave the Carrot Cake my top approval for the Best Dessert and Mike let everyone know about the delicious Lobster Roll, so I will now elaborate on the Brisket. As you are walking through the America Pavilion you can smell the smoker cooking the beef brisket which is mouth watering. The sandwich did not disappoint, the garlic toast was delicious and the pimento cheese on it gave it an extra kick!”
Mike: “Disney is about the sites, the sounds, and the smells! The list of memorable smells includes the popcorn on Main Street USA, the comforting aroma of the Polynesian Village Resort, and now, the smokehouse aroma of this Kiosk when you enter the American Adventure! The aroma is so tantalizing your taste buds start salivating instantly, and it is all uphill from there!”
The Kiosk: Ireland
Sold Here: Seafood Fisherman’s Pie – $6.50, Irish Cheese Selection Plate: Irish Cheddar, Dubliner and Irish Porter – $4.25, Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard – $3.75, Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale – $3.75, Bunratty Meade Honey Wine – $5.50, Twinings® Pumpkin Chai Tea Frozen Cocktail with Caramel Vodka – $9.50, and Twinings Pumpkin Chai Tea and Caramel Shake (Non-alcoholic) – $4.50
Notable: Jason’s, Jake’s, and Tracy’s Pick, Jennifer’s (Second), and Candace’s (Third) Pick for Best in Show
Jason: “My pick for best kiosk in 2016 is Ireland, hands down! The Pumpkin Chai Tea Frozen Cocktail is definitely my favorite single item this year. Combine that with one of my all time favorite festival desserts and Ireland easily pushed its way right into the top.”
Jake: “After giving it a lot of thought I’m going to surprise myself with my top kiosk pick: I have to give it to Ireland. As much as I love the savory delights at Patagonia, Ireland offers everything delicious in one stop. You just cannot go wrong with anything on their menu.
Tracy: “Ireland is a top one for me because of the cheese plate (yum), dessert (by far my favorite), and proximity to the excellent Rose & Crown Pub (Guinness on tap!).”
Jennifer: “Again, every dish here is good and you can have a complete meal: appetizer, main course, and dessert.”
Candace: “Nothing here disappoints! With so many amazing foods to choose from I had to go with my top picks getting my top votes for kiosks, but when your second favorite foods are all in one place it definitely has to make it into one of the top kiosks!”
Mike: “What else is there to say that has not already been said, other than…so…freakin…good!”
The Kiosk: Patagonia
Sold Here: Beef Empanada – $4.75, Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée – $5.75, Roasted Verlasso® Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri – $5.50, Verum Pinot Noir – $4.50, and Bodega Noemía A Lisa Malbec – $4.50
Notable: Jennifer’s Pick and Jake’s (Second) Pick for Best in Show
Jennifer: “EVERYTHING HERE (Patagonia) IS AMAZING!!!! (Beef Empanada, Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée, Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri) If I had to pick one, I’d go with the empanada. But honestly my comments apply to all of these. They are spicy and flavorful without defaulting to hot and peppery (which is how a lot of places define “spice”), they were well balanced between carbs and protein, and were just so tasty. I could eat here every time I visit and not go anywhere else and be perfectly happy. (Also, spoiler alert: Patagonia will be my top choice for top overall kiosk).”
Jake: “Patagonia takes second places for me, simply because they have two of my favorite dishes. So save some room after you stop in Ireland”
The Kiosk: Brazil
Sold Here :Pão de Queijo: Brazilian cheese bread – $3.75, Crispy pork belly with black beans and tomato – $5.50, Escondidinho de Carne: Layered Meat Pie with Mashed Yucca – $5.00, Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer – $3.75, Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine, Serra Gaúcha – $6.00, and Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça – $10.50
Notable: Laura’s (Second) Pick and Jason’s and Jennifer’s (Third) Pick for Best in Show
Laura: “I would say Brazil would be my second. I have only had the pork belly once this year and wasn’t impressed with my portion, but I will give it another chance. That was the booth that was a must-do on every visit to Food and Wine last year.”
Jason: “I have to give an honorable mention to Brazil, which was the kiosk I could not stop talking about last year. I was a little disappointed with the pork belly this year due to the serving size, but it’s still really good and so is the cheese bread”
Jennifer: “Another kiosk where you cannot go wrong with whatever you choose.”
Honorable Mentions: With so many kiosks to choose from at the festival we were all bound to have choices that others didn’t rank in their top three.
Jennifer and Jake both gave nods to The Chew. Jennifer stated, “because this kiosk overhauled almost the entire menu I haven’t had a chance to taste everything this year. But last year this was in my top four and the new items are definitely contenders for some of the most interesting new dishes this year.” Jake added, “Of all the kiosks on the map this year, that is the one I am most anxious to taste. Not only was their menu on point last year, it sounds like they have not let anything slide for this year.”
Candace enjoyed the France kiosk stating, “I absolutely love the La Passion Martini Slush! I also sampled the Cabernet Sauvignon-braised Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes off my brothers plate and found myself enjoying these as well. I cannot wait to get back and try the Caramel and Chocolate Crème Brûlée topped with Caramelized Sugar thanks to Jason’s recommendation and maybe even the Escargot Croissant with Garlic and Parsley.”
Insider Festival Tip: Tasting Sampler vouchers can be purchased at the Food and Wine Festival Center, both Bridge Kiosk locations, Canada Festival Emporium, and the Festival Boutique Kiosk. You can either purchase 8 vouchers (coupons) for $59 plus tax or 16 vouchers for $109 plus tax. The 16 voucher pack is the better deal as each voucher is worth around $7.25. So it is best to use these coupons to pay for items that cost over $7.25. Disney DOES charge tax when you buy these vouchers. In contrast, the food and drink item prices at booths are the tax-included prices. So, when you are doing the math to see if this is a good deal for you, make sure you take note of this. Essentially, if you are using your vouchers for items that cost $7.25 or more and pay cash for everything else, it is a good deal!
These vouchers do not have to be used on the day of purchase and can be used on both food and beverages. There are a few items that the vouchers cannot be used on, so make sure to read the fine print! Also with your purchase you receive a collectible Food and Wine Festival pin. There is no passholder discount available for this purchase.
BONUS Insider Festival Tip: The various menu boards will tell you which items are eligible for purchase with Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits. This is a much better (and much more delicious) value than using those credits on bottled waters or Coke products.
Hopefully this gives all of our readers a great place to start sifting through the many tasty food offerings at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival this year. Make sure to check back next Friday (October 28th) as we bring you our favorite overall kiosks of the festival!
We hope you enjoyed the list of our favorites, and remember, ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!
Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!
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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!