2013 Epcot International “Food” & Garden Festival – Part II

Thanks for coming back to read the conclusion, everyone!  I’m really excited about this post because, now, we’ll get into what I think is the “cream of the crop”!  What plates do I think will rule the 2013 Epcot International “Food” & Garden Festival?  I can’t wait, so let’s get to it!

To quickly recap, yesterday we …

… presented #11 to #20 of the “All in WDW Flower & Garden Pre-Festival Top 20 List”.  Click the link to see the full detail, but, in short, it looked like this:

  • #20 – Country style pâté served with baguette and cherry compote (France)
  • #19 – Baked goat’s brie with kumquat chutney (United Kingdom)
  • #18 – Zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, onions and tomato tart with goat cheese (France)
  • #17 – Potato, chive, and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare and sour cream (United Kingdom)
  • #16 – Green asparagus, lobster, and garden cocktail sauce (Italy)
  • #15 – German meatloaf sandwich with sweet mustard and fried shallots (Germany)
  • #14 – Watermelon salad with pickled red onions, baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction (Florida)
  • #13 – Waterkist Farms heirloom tomatoes with house-made mozzarella, Minus 8 vinegar, and basil (United Kingdom)
  • #12 – Shrimp and stone-ground grits with andouille sausage, Zellwood corn, tomatoes and cilantro (Florida)
  • #11 – Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple (China)

Moving into the Top 10, we stick with pancakes … Yum!

#10 - Potato pancakes with house-made apple sauce (Germany) - potato pancakes and I have a bit of history.  My dad makes killer potato pancakes.  Germany?  My expectations are extremely high.  You better be ready to “bring it”!

#9 - Fresh grilled carrots, onions, and cabbage with Japanese noodles and teriyaki sauce served on a bun with mayonnaise and Beni Shoga (Japan) – OK, so just what is Beni Shoga?  It is a type of “Japanese pickle” made from ginger that is cut into thin strips.  Thanks, again, Wikipedia!  I have mixed feelings about this dish.  Called ‘YakiSoba Pan’ on the menu, I can’t stop thinking about the Asian noodles that you can find at ‘Ohana or Kona Cafe.  I love, love, love those noodles.  Do you want to know where I get stuck with this item, though?  I get confused by “… on a bun with mayonnaise”.  Really?  After being pre-ranked at #4 for last year’s Food & Wine festival, Japan’s Sukiyaki Beef Pan was a huge disappointment to me by falling all of the way to #23 in the Final Top 25.  Prove to me that this dish should be higher than #9, Japan!

#8 - Pan-fried vegetable bun (China) – this is another item riding on the coat-tails of a 2012 Food & Wine Festival offering.  China’s Mongolian Beef was an exhibit of the perfect blending of flavors and textures and nearly cracked into my 2012 Food & Wine Top 5.  Its flavorful meat combined with a pillowy-soft bun and crispy noodles to combine into a symphony of yummy goodness.  True, the Mongolian Beef offering’s bun was steamed and this dish’s is pan-fried.  This one is veggie as opposed to a carnivore’s version.  But, I’m looking forward to trying it, nonetheless.

#7 - Spiced lamb kebab with vegetable couscous salad (Morocco) – this one is a bit of a stretch for me.  If it is a lamb meatball kebab – akin to what you can get at Sanaa – we’re going to like it.  If it is on the order of piece of lamb on a skewer, it’s going to fall down my list.  Can’t wait to find out which way it flows.

#6 - Grilled Salmon, cooked shrimp, and crab stick served over a bed of fragrant ginger rice with volcano and dynamite sauces (Japan) – now we’re talkin’!  Salmon, shrimp, crab, volcanoes, and dynamite.  I have a feeling this plate is going to make up for all those bad ‘Sukiyaki Beef Pan’ memories I have had since last Fall.  Don’t let me down again, Japan!

#5 - Spinach lasagna, green peas, zucchini, mushrooms, broccolini, béchamel, and fresh tomatoes, with garlic and basil leaves (Italy) – when it comes to favorite meals, lasagna is near the top of my list.  To be truthful, though, my idea of lasagna includes generous helpings of meat and cheese.  I’m anxious to see how this rendition compares.

#4 - Crab tostada served with chipotle mayo and Valentina salsa (Mexico) – I told Mrs. All in WDW that I have a feeling about this one.  If anything surprises me and rises to the top of the list, it might be this one.  It just sounds so good!

#3 - Pork tacos topped with Tamarindo salsa, served on a flour tortilla with chicharrón (Mexico) – back to Wikipedia, I learn that chicharrón is a dish made of fried pork rinds.  Not a huge pork rind fan, but OK.  Pork tacos, salsa, I’m still “in”!

#2 - Smoked beef brisket with collard greens and jalapeño corn bread (United States) – in a minute, you’re going to find out what kept this one from the #1 slot, but I have to admit … one of the greatest things I have found since moving to Georgia is brisket.  Not that it doesn’t exist near my former abode in Ohio, that is.  The best brisket we have had comes from a little place in Dacula, Georgia (Northeast of Atlanta) called “Holy Smokes Barbecue”.  If Disney’s brisket equals that from Holy Smokes, add the jalapeño corn bread, and WOW!  You might have a new #1!

#1 - Pulled pig slider with cole slaw (United States) – I have thirteen words for you.  “Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise”.  The Food & Wine festival’s Hawaiian pork slider has ruled the roost for the last two years, in my opinion.  Can the “pulled pig” compete?  Can it match Hawaii’s version?  We’ll see.  If not, look out for that brisket!

There you go, folks!  Now, it’s time to eat!!  Look for pictures and details really soon!

Main Informational Resource: Disney Food Blog

Leave us your comments, fans!  What do you think of these ten dishes.  Which would you like?  Which would you avoid?  What should be ranked higher or lower?  We want to hear from you!

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