I know. I took forever to get back to Food & Wine. It’s not because I didn’t want to finish my Top 25. That darn Deluxe Resort poll was just so popular that the F&W recap seemed a bit trivial. Nonetheless, it’s time to finish talking about 2012’s festival. Let’s hit the best. Let’s hit the Top 5!
#5 – Shrimp Taco (Mexico)
Three of my Top 5 jumped out of no where to surprise me, and the first was Mexico’s shrimp tacos. I had thought that Mexico’s filet tacos would rule, but shrimp knocked beef out of the park! This is one that my wife and I have talked about making on our own. A little guacamole, some spicy sauce (we use Frank’s Red Hot mixed in some mayo to make a quick and tasty spicy sauce), red cabbage, and blackened (not fried) shrimp and we’d be on our way! The flavors and textures were phenomenal. I had this one three times and hope that it returns in 2013.
Next, we’ll go ahead and jump on a jet. ‘Cause, I want some …
#4 – Chicken Chipotle Sausage (Canada)
This one ranked in at #11 in 2011. I have no idea why. I loved the spice of the sausage and the flavor of the sweet corn polenta. My wife had a small taste the first time I bought it. The second time we stopped by for a helping, she had to have her own. Now, this is one we wish we could make at home. Bring it back again next year, Canada! We loved it!
#3 – Ravioli (Italy)
Why? Why didn’t I take even one picture? Why? Actually, I tried. The photo was so dark that it was un-usable. That’s no excuse, though, since I had this one four times – and had four chances to take a shot! This one skyrocketed up the charts with the first bite. The other-worldly blend of flavors – cheese, sauce, meat, pasta. It was near time for Illuminations when I tried this dish, I had a glass of red wine nearby, and we were sitting at one of those tall umbrella tables in Italy (you know the ones). It was the perfect setting for this morsel to score big! In the end, the only thing this luscious ravioli couldn’t do was beat …
#2 – “Le Cellier” Filet Mignon (Canada)
Pre-festival, I told my wife that Day #1 of our crusade through World Showcase would start with Canada and Hawaii. I wanted to settle it quick and once and for all. Did Le Cellier’s filet have what it would take to best my 2011 favorite – Hawaii’s pork sliders. Fortunately, the kiosks are near each other, making it easy to hit those two booths first.
I should start by saying that we’ve been to Le Cellier a handful of times, but I have only ordered the filet. Call me boring, but I love filet. And, I love Le Cellier’s filet. I’m not a huge mushroom fan – actually, I’m not a mushroom fan at all – but, for some reason, having it with Le Cellier’s filet and risotto is phenomenal. I was convinced this dish would take Hawaii “out”! The F&W version of the plate didn’t disappoint, but I definitely missed the risotto. Nonetheless, it was fantastic enough to have two servings during our trip and to live up to its pre-ranking at second place on my chart.
#1 – Pork Sliders (Hawaii)
Well, there’s no mystery now – 2011’s “defending champion” does it again. I don’t know what to tell you. The combination of the roll, the moist and flavorful pork, and the pineapple chutney are expertly pulled together with the best tasting sauce on the planet to make this my favorite F&W dish. It was my favorite last year, and it still rules. Le Cellier’s filet was the absolute stiffest of competition, but I clearly came away with the sliders as, once again, “Best in Show”! Proof of my love? Five of these culinary masterpieces jumped into my belly! Yum!! PLEASE, Disney! NEVER take away those sliders. The best news I have heard lately was when Disney Food Blog reported that the sliders are being sold at a kiosk in Downtown Disney. Can’t wait for my next trip!