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We visited EPCOT Sunday over Labor Day weekend.

As usual it was crowded for Food and Wine.  We went to the Festival Center to claim our passholder gift.  As seen on other sites it was one of 3 buttons.  Not nearly impressive as the wine glasses and tumblers from years past.

I wanted to try the Flavors From Fire booth when I saw the sign in The Land saying that the peppers from there were used at the booth.

So I tried the  Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue featuring BelGioioso Romano and America Grana Cheeses.which I thought on the sign they listed as the hottest dish.  I also got the Chocolate Picante: Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder and Raspberry Dust.

Well the corned beef was a wash.  Not spicy at all.  In fact it was so bland that my wife and granddaughter actually liked it.  The Chocolate Picante did have a slight bite to it, but nothing to deem it fiery.

Later my daughters got the Greek Nachos, which they said were great and enough to share.

We bailed out of walking around and went to the food court at The Land and got something for my granddaughter and wife to eat.

After that we all met up for a ride on Soarin, then my wife and I left and headed back to our hotel and the daughters and granddaughter went to MK.

We did Behind the Seeds tour earlier in the day, but that will be another post, hopefully with pictures.

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We were there Sunday morning and left around 2:00.  It was getting packed around the World Showcase by then.  How crowded did it get?

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We made it as far as the top of the World Showcase where they set up the smaller countries booths that don't have a real home.

My wife and granddaughter were hot so the 3 of us went back to the Land food court.

That was probably around that same time, because we had a 3:00 Soarin FP.

My daughters walked around the entire showcase and said it was a lot more crowded on the back side.

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We were at Epcot on Friday, not necessarily for F&W, but we did stop at a couple of booths. It wasn't too crowded then. I'm looking forward to our late October trip when we have time to visit on a weekday.

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On 9/7/2017 at 4:08 PM, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

Looking forward to any and all research, photos and reviews before we get there in early Nov!

Mo I'm happy to take the bullet and do some legwork for you on this ;)

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On 9/7/2017 at 4:08 PM, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

Looking forward to any and all research, photos and reviews before we get there in early Nov!

Fingers crossed we will be able to make our Fort reservations and do some research for you. Though I honestly don't have a good feeling about it, we are supposed to check in on Thursday! 😖😕

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13 minutes ago, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Fingers crossed we will be able to make our Fort reservations and do some research for you. Though I honestly don't have a good feeling about it, we are supposed to check in on Thursday! 😖😕

When Matthew came through last year they closed the Fort on Wednesday and reopened it on Sunday if I remember correctly. There were several downed trees they had to clear. 

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3 minutes ago, LONE-STAR said:

When Matthew came through last year they closed the Fort on Wednesday and reopened it on Sunday if I remember correctly. There were several downed trees they had to clear. 

I remember reading on here the Fort was closed for several days but couldn't remember how long. It's not looking good ( mostly wishful thinking on my part) even if they get the Fort open who knows what shape the roads and for that matter our house and trailer will be in after Irma.

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15 hours ago, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Fingers crossed we will be able to make our Fort reservations and do some research for you. Though I honestly don't have a good feeling about it, we are supposed to check in on Thursday! 😖😕

Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you!

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This thread needs photos!

The TCD twins have been to the Food and Wine Festival a couple of times already, but I made my first brief visit a couple of days ago.  It was just a quick pre-game before an MNSSHP, but we did hit up a few booths.

The first place we visited was the old Odyssey restaurant, where they were serving some new items.  We wanted to try what they're calling a handwich- which is a bread cone filled with "savory" cheeseburger macaroni and cheese.  They also are offering a chilled Scotch egg here.  Both of these items are new for this venue:

 mac%20and%20cheese_zpsbl0kjdc4.jpg

Both of these items were great, and there are plenty of tables indoors where you can enjoy your food and drink.  They have lots of historic Epcot artwork and a video to look at here. My big complaint is that they needed to turn the thermostat down several degrees.  It's still hot as heck in Florida, and this is no time for Disney to be trying to cheap out on their electric bills. It was way too warm in there, which is a trend I noticed all throughout Epcot on this visit.

We also tried the SPAM hash from the Hawaii booth:

Hash_zpsungxn3tr.jpg

This also was excellent, and the first time TCD Twin #1 has ever eaten SPAM.

I don't have a photo, but we also enjoyed the frozen Nitro Chocolate Mousse from the Chocolate Lab.  Very good!

I'm hoping to get back this weekend for a longer session.

TCD

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Make sure to hit the 'Flavors from Fire' booth over by innoventions west. They had some tasty stuff, although not super spicy as mentioned above. The pancake there was probably my favorite. The Indian and African booths were also very good. So was the lobster roll at the Hops & Barley Pavilion.

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11 minutes ago, shoreline99 said:

Make sure to hit the 'Flavors from Fire' booth over by innoventions west. They had some tasty stuff, although not super spicy as mentioned above. The pancake there was probably my favorite. The Indian and African booths were also very good. So was the lobster roll at the Hops & Barley Pavilion.

I definitely have the Flavors from Fire booth on my short list.  I want to try that corned beef dish that Travisma mentioned his post along with the piggy wings.  I wasn't planning on the pancake.  But, now I'll have to give that a try too.

I've had the lobster roll before.  I thought it was overpriced, but I know lobster is expensive.

I think the Indian booth is new- I do plan on checking it out.

TCD

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8 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

I definitely have the Flavors from Fire booth on my short list.  I want to try that corned beef dish that Travisma mentioned his post along with the piggy wings.  I wasn't planning on the pancake.  But, now I'll have to give that a try too.

I've had the lobster roll before.  I thought it was overpriced, but I know lobster is expensive.

I think the Indian booth is new- I do plan on checking it out.

TCD

It was a toss up between the pancake and the corned beef.  At the last minute I picked the beef thinking it was going to be spicier.  It wasn't, in fact it was so mild my wife even liked it and to her, brown mustard is like fire.

The dessert was decent.

And don't forget the Greek Nachos, both my daughters like those.

We're going to WDW next weekend, hopefully the temps will be down to a balmy 88!

 

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All I can say is that the last two days there have been unbelievably hot. Glad to be back in cooler temps.

Mo, it's not on the literature but the Refreshment Port has a 'Stow Away Mary', which is a Bloody Mary with blue cheese stuffed olives and a couple of chicken nuggets on a skewer. Was a great way to get rolling in the morning. Not as good as the Bloody Mary at the Dawa Bar in AK, but good nonetheless.

Also, skip the dole whip w/ rum; wait and get the Spiky Pineapple at Trader Sam's instead, or get the 'Extra Spiky' version with the 151 floater...

And if you like the Grapefruit Hefeweizen beer in Germany, be sure to try the new Pomegranate version. The only place we saw it was at the Brewer's Collection beer garden next to Germany.

 

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1 hour ago, shoreline99 said:

All I can say is that the last two days there have been unbelievably hot. Glad to be back in cooler temps.

Mo, it's not on the literature but the Refreshment Port has a 'Stow Away Mary', which is a Bloody Mary with blue cheese stuffed olives and a couple of chicken nuggets on a skewer. Was a great way to get rolling in the morning. Not as good as the Bloody Mary at the Dawa Bar in AK, but good nonetheless.

Also, skip the dole whip w/ rum; wait and get the Spiky Pineapple at Trader Sam's instead, or get the 'Extra Spiky' version with the 151 floater...

And if you like the Grapefruit Hefeweizen beer in Germany, be sure to try the new Pomegranate version. The only place we saw it was at the Brewer's Collection beer garden next to Germany.

 

Excellent advice and duly noted.  Thanks Tim!!

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We were at F&W Saturday. It was really hot. We finally had enough about 3pm and headed home. We will head back when it is a little cooler.

Hubby was excited to try the Spam Hash and loved it. We did have a wait for it but received a free slider for the wait.

A couple of things we noted. Some booths seemed to be having a hard time keeping food in stock. We had to go back through the line in Ireland because the first time we were told no Cheese Stout Dip. In Germany we ordered the Apple Strudel and they were out of the vanilla sauce.

 

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Just now, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

Interesting!  I don't think I've ever seen that happen before.  Was it particularly busy that day?

I would say normal crowds for F&W. A little light at the start of the day and getting busier as the day goes.

We were at Hawaii about 11am so I can understand they were a little behind. We hit Ireland about an hour later. Germany was about 2:30.

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Two of the TCD girls were out of town this past weekend, but Twin #2 was in town, and had a rare Friday night off, so we made a plan to meet up at Epcot on Friday night to hit up some Food and Wine kiosks.  It wasn't a great plan because there was a MNSSHP at the MK, and that normally would mean that Epcot would be super crowded.  But, we lucked out and it stormed early in the evening, and the park cleared out.

We put on ponchos, and braved the rain, and enjoyed cooler weather and no lines at the food boots.  Because it was raining pretty good, and we were in ponchos, I kept my phone put away.  It was raining enough that it would have been a bad idea to have the phone out for photos.  So, sorry, but no food photos.

We began at the Flavors from Fire booth. We tried the Piggy Wings and the Smoked Corned Beef.  The Piggy Wings were great- a serving has two "wings," which are actually a  small piece of pork shank. There was a lot of meat on each, and the Korean BBQ sauce was very good.  The Smoked Corned Beef did not have a smoke taste at all, and was overwhelmingly salty.  I haven't seen any other complaints about salt on this dish, so we must have had a bad batch.  We did not try the Sweet Pancake- but I'll be back on another day to try that.  I would have the Piggy Wings again, but I will pass on the Smoked Corned Beef based upon what we were served that night.

Next, we headed over to the collection of booths that sit on the space where they set-up the butterfly garden during the Flower and Garden Festivals. These booths are all new this year- they're called Earth Eats, Active Eats and Coastal Eats.  It was still raining, and only a few folks were around this area.  From Earth Eats, we tried the Grilled Beef Skewer.  This ended up being really good.  The beef was covered with an unidentified sauce that had hints of teriyaki and ginger, but is not identified in the official description.  The sauce is good, whatever it is. The surprise with this dish is that it was served on a bed of romaine lettuce, dried apricots and feta cheese tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. The salad was really good and a welcome addition.   I would definitely have the grilled beef skewer again.  From Active Eats, we tried the Loaded Mac 'n' Cheese.  This was basic macaroni and cheese- the bacon was supposedly Nueske's Pepper Bacon, whatever that is, but it seemed like finely ground Bac-O's to me.  It was OK, but I wouldn't bother with this dish again.  I wanted to try something from Coastal Eats, but there was a longish line at this booth- in the rain- which meant that either it's really good or really inefficient.  Either way, we passed.  I'll hit it next time.

Next, we headed down the path toward the World Showcase.  There are some new booths along here this year.  The first one we stopped at was The Cheese Studio.  The first dish they offer here is called Braised Beef "Stroganoff."  We asked the CM why stroganoff was in quotation marks. She said she didn't know.  If she didn't know, we didn't want to find out something the hard way, so we passed on that and went with the Cheese Trio.  We didn't read the description of this, and were surprised by what we were served- it was a tray with three things on it that looked more like pastries than cheese.  Twin #2 actually went back to look at the description on the sign so we could figure out what we were about to eat.  The first item is described as a profiterole, which is like a cream puff.  The second item was a smoked salmon pinwheel, and the third was a strawberry macaron with Boursin pepper cheese.  All three were weird surprises.  Twin #2 balked at taking more than a little nibble of each.  I had to finish them off.  None of the items were bad, but the flavor of Boursin cheese dominated each item.  Come to find out that this booth is sponsored by the Boursin cheese company.  So I imagine that is what the beef stroganoff is made out of.  I am going to go back to try the beef stroganoff, but I'll pass on the Cheese Trio.

Next, we tried the Wine & Dine Studio.  It also offered a cheese dish- this one called the Trio of Artisan Cheeses.  The dish was a tray of three different cheese portions along with a small slice of toasted bread for each.  It was a lot of cheese.  One of the cheeses was bleu cheese, and Twin #2 wanted none of that.  Overall, this cheese tray was fine, and a much better choice than the Cheese Trio from the Cheese Studio.  I'd have this Trio of Artisan cheeses again.

We skipped the Islands of the Caribbean booth, but I plan to stop there next time for the Mojo Pork.

Our next stop was Canada, where we both got a serving of the  "Le Cellier" Wild Mushroom Beef Filet.  This was the first time I can remember ever being able to walk right up to the cashier and ordering at Canada with no wait.  We proceeded to the next CM, and were immediately handed our filets.  They had a bunch pre-cooked and ready to hand over.  This was also a first.  We normally have had to wait for our filets here.  It turns out the prompt service came with a price- our steaks were room temperature.  Normally, this steak is my favorite thing to eat at the Food and Wine Festival-but mine wasn't that good.  Oh well, they were obviously prepared for a big crowd, and stuff was sitting out for longer than they anticipated because of the bad weather.

The good news for us is that the rain let up, and we were able to ditch the ponchos.

From here, we skipped the UK booths and went right to France.  Here, we got Twin #2's favorite drink from the Food and Wine Festival- the La Passion Martini Slush- If you like the Grand Mariner slush from France, then you'll like this drink.  It's very good.  I think we end up getting at least one each time we visit the Food and Wine Festival.

With the rain stopping, there were many more folks out and about in this stretch of the World Showcase, but it was still very uncrowded.  We stopped at a table near Japan to enjoy our drinks.  We could hear the band 38 Special performing at the theater across from the American Adventure pavilion, and I got to hear them close with their big hit "Hold on Loosely."  That was a big song when I was in college, and it was kind of neat standing there with my daughter who is now the age that I was then, listening to that song.  Of course, she had never heard of the band or the song.  But, it was still a cool moment for me.

At this point, we were both satisfied, and Twin #2 said she was done eating and drinking for the night.  We headed around the World Showcase, and I was kind of sad that we couldn't stop at more booths because they were so uncrowded.  We did stop at Germany so I could get a Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll.  Both the bratwurst and roll were smaller than I remembered from years past, but they were both very good, and I wasn't that hungry, so no complaints from me.  Sometimes the pretzel rolls have been stale, but mine wasn't.

That bratwurst ended up being the last item we had on this quick trip.  We had planned on staying for Illuminations, but we got through all of the booths so quickly that we would have had to wait, and Twin #2 was planning on coming back on Sunday for the 35th anniversary stuff, so we decided to beat the crowds out, and left.

At this point, I've enjoyed two quick visits to the Food and Wine Festival.  My impressions this year are that the booths are more efficient and that the food portions are more generous.  There are also a lot more new items this year than there have been in the past.  That's all good.

TCD

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