Well, to be truthful, I miss the Ropa Vieja that the Caribbean Islands offered us in 2012. Ropa Vieja is a shredded flank, brisket, or skirt steak served in a tomato-based sauce. I know. It sounds simple, but, served with cilantro rice, Food & Wine’s version was a beautifully-seasoned, tasty dish.
In fact, I liked it so much that I ranked it #9 in the 2012 All in WDW Food & Wine Festival Final Top 25 and wrote, “I really liked the flavor of this one and regret not finding the time to fit in a second-helping. It was the spices that did it for me. I hope it’s on the menu again in 2013 because I want another sample to make sure I haven’t become unduly smitten with it.”
Alas. Sadly, there will be no delicious Ropa Vieja in 2013. The Caribbean Islands marketplace made its Epcot debut in 2011, but its meager two-year run ended after 2012. Then, again, maybe there’s still hope. After all, in 2013, isn’t Brazil coming back after a one-year absence?
So, how did yesterday work out?
From Group #2, the items that you selected as “safe” (for now) include:
- Beef Empanada – Argentina
- Chocolate Belgian Waffle – Belgium
- Spicy Hand Roll – Japan
- Sweet & Sour Chicken – Refreshment Port
- Mongolian Beef – China
From Group #3, the items that you selected as “safe” (for now) include:
- Chicken Gyro – Greece
- Fisherman’s Pie – Ireland
- Harissa Chicken Roll – Morocco
You shut the door on:
- Venison Sausage – New Zealand
- Lobster Roll – Hops & Barley
My views? I agree with you when it comes to Argentina’s empanada. It fell off my 2012 list, but its popularity among Food & Wine diners prompts me to give it a second chance. The same goes for the fisherman’s pie. In addition, as a replacement for Greece’s 2011-12 chicken souvlaki, I’m also going to give the gyro a shot.
I, too, cut the sweet & sour chicken, venison sausage (although, barely), and lobster off of my menu. I’m not interested, however, in the chocolate Belgian waffle (too “dessert-y”) and spicy hand roll (too mundane). And, to let you know that I am listening to you, I had thrown Morocco’s Harissa Chicken Roll on the discard pile. I’m giving that some second thought, now.
Finally, let me speak about the virtues of China’s Mongolian Beef. After last year’s event, I said, “Outstanding! The meat was very flavorful. The texture of the pillowy-soft bun and crispy noodles blended fabulously. The bun made this a very intriguing dish, and for the longest time it was running in the Top 5.” I ranked this delight as the ‘sixth-best’ dish in 2012. It’ll be on my menu again this year, and, in spite of this poll, I would highly recommend you try it should you get the chance.
Keep up-to-date with our progress on our Food & Wine 2013 All in WDW Readers’ Pre-Festival Top 25 page.
OK, let’s move on! Ten more dishes and two more “polls” today, my friends. Once again, pick your THREE from each group!
- Potato Pierogie served with Kielbasa, Caramelized Onions, and Sour Cream
- Cheddar Cheese Soup
- Shrimp Ceviche with Fire-Roasted Vegetables and Micro Cilantro
- Berbere-Style (an Ethiopian chili pepper-type spice mixture) Beef served with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato, Okra and Pap (a traditional ground corn polenta)
- Gratinated (cooked with a covering of buttered crumbs or grated cheese) Mussels
- Shrimp Taco
- Kefta Pocket (ground meat – usually beef or lamb – mixed with spices and/or onions)
- Pineapple Fritters
- Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé with Fig Jam