Finally! We have arrived at the “top of the mountain”! It is the “cream of the crop”. The “best of the best”! It’s time to find out which dish is the All in WDW 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival “champion”! I’ve waited for days … I can’t wait any longer!
5. “Le Cellier” Filet Mignon – Canada
Ever since moving to Atlanta, I’ve been “ruined” for filet mignon. After all, NOTHING measures up to New York Prime. Nothing. Not even you, Le Cellier, I’m sad to say. You see, now, I know what a filet is supposed to ‘cut like’ and taste like.
As I said during the festival, “ … we tried this two times. All in all, it [was] a bit of a disappointment. For me, at least. I think it was much ‘tougher’ than any filet has a right to be (both times), and I don’t like mushrooms enough to make up for that fact.”
The result? It drops out of my Top 2. O, Canada! After having two Top 5 dishes in 2012, you were supposed to be a contender! Not this year.
4. Kalua Pork Sliders – Hawaii
September 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM. That’s the date and time when the impossible became reality. Hawaii’s Kalua pork slider lost its “title”. What?! A world without Hawaii’s pork slider as the best Food & Wine dish ever? To be fair, we tried it three times. Mrs. All in WDW and I, both, came away disappointed … ALL three times. There were a variety of reasons.
The portion of pork seemed much smaller than past years. At the least, the serving size was somewhat inconsistent. The first time we tried it, the pork had a bit of a scorched taste. The spicy mayo seemed to be “tamed down” and almost tasteless. And, the Dole pineapple chutney, for the most part, over-powered the dish.
Wow! If we had that many “complaints”, how in the world does this former “champ” even hit the Top 5? Call it the benefit of the doubt. This slider has been phenomenal in the past. Just phenomenal. I’m banking on a bad Opening Weekend for Hawaii and will try this one again in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
3. Seared Mahi-Mahi – Singapore
I really liked this dish in 2012, and its return in 2013 was even better. The secret? More “Singa” sauce. I remember that my portion last year had the sauce, but it was much more sparsely delivered.
This year, bathed in soy sauce-tasting “Singa”, this perfectly prepared piece of fish was an overall winner. There’s a lot of seafood at the festival this year. This dish was the best of a pretty good “bunch”.
2. Ravioli – Italy
I don’t even know where to start. It’s such a simple and ordinary dish. Typically I count that against an item, but it was #3 in 2012 and is #2 this year … how can it consistently excel? Is it because I always seem to sample this one at the same umbrella table in Italy … with a glass of wine?
No, as I said last year, it was “[t]he other-worldly blend of flavors – cheese, sauce, meat, pasta.” It’s a culinary orchestra that I just can’t deny. If I were to pick one festival dish to have as an entire meal, this would be the one. And, I can’t tell you how hard it was to NOT name this the 2013 All in WDW Food & Wine “champion”.
1. Mongolian Beef – China
Another symphony of flavors! But, a much, much more UNIQUE composition. Hey! If you’re going to become the”champ”, you better bring the whole “orchestra”, AND you better have an original “song”.
The beef was savory and perfectly cooked. There was absolutely outstanding flavor in that steak. Where the pork slider’s sauce disappointed us, we found China’s rendition to be vivid, full of flavor, spicy but not-too-spicy, and utterly fantastic. The crunchiness of the noodles balanced perfectly against the unique and pillow-like softness of the bun.
When I look back on the dishes that populate my Top 25, there are few that stand out enough for me to say this … if you tell me that you’re going to visit this year’s edition of Food & Wine and that you can only have ONE dish, have China’s Mongolian beef! It IS the 2013 “champ”!