Food & Wine ’13 Flash Report! – Grilled Beef Skewer

In 2011, I found Argentina’s Grilled Beef Skewer to be dry and unappealing. The experience left me so unenthusiastic about the dish that I couldn’t even squeeze it onto my 2013 Pre-Festival List of 25.

Well, on sampling yesterday, the dish’s Boniato (tropical sweet potato or white yam) Purée was very tasty and creamy and its Chimichurri Sauce was unique and flavorful.

I think this might be one Honorable Mention that has pushed itself into my Final Top 25.  Wait!  But, if it did, what pre-festival dish gets squeezed to the sidelines?  Hmm.

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Food & Wine ’13 Flash Report! – Roast Bratwurst

Our last day at the festival is usually exclusively reserved for going back to sample some of our favorites, but yesterday saw us squeeze in a few extra items. This little story makes me wish that we hadn’t.

We had heard a “tip” that Germany had, indeed, changed things up a bit … that their Roast Bratwurst had been upgraded into a better dish. Well, shame on us for listening to rumor. And, shame on Germany for serving us the same old breakfast sausage on the same old too-small, tasteless pretzel roll.

The best part of this dish was the “hidden Mickey” mustard!  See it?  Germany, you REALLY have to step it up in 2014.  This dish makes our “dishonorable” mention list!  Sorry.  You did it to yourself!

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Day 3 Recap: Food & Wine ’13 “Finale”?

No, not a finale.  But, a “finale” of sorts in that we’ve, now, fought our way through the masses of people to taste all of the dishes in the All in WDW Pre-Festival Top 25!

You’ve hopefully seen the pictures, but, if you missed any, please stop back at the links below.  You get pics … as well as my quick, initial thoughts.

Day 1 Recap: Food & Wine ’13 “Soft” Opening Day!

Day 2 Recap: Food & Wine ’13 “Opening Day”!

As for Day 3, well, I mentioned the rules of “Food & Wine 101” in my “Venison Sausage” post.  I’d like to return to those for a brief moment and add a few to them.

Yesterday, I said, “Rule #1 … and this is VERY important … hydrate.  Drink lots of water.  It is HOT out there – especially when you’re standing in long lines.  Rule #2 … everyone’s tastes are different.”

They’re both very true.  On Day 1, this year, I neglected Rule #1 without realizing that I had.  When we returned to the resort, I drank three bottles of cold water.  Only then did I catch my mistake.

Rule #2 is actually my favorite.  It’s also the reason I LOVE the Food & Wine festival.

Everyone’s tastes are different.  And, I love the conversation that this fact generates.  Just keep in mind – there’s no wrong choice or rank order.  There are just different choices or rank orders based on personal tastes.  For example, Mrs. All in WDW is already busily preparing her Final Top 25.  I assure you … it will be much different than mine.

Rule #3:  Use sunblock!  Last year, I got terribly sunburned on my first day at the “party”.  This year, I was smarter, and, now, I’m much happier.

Rule #4:  The companion to Rule #3.  Seek shade at every opportunity!

Rule #5:  If you’re in a party of two or more, one of you stand in line and one of you seek a table.  In these crowds, places to eat are hard to find.  Mrs. All in WDW and I have a system.  She grabs the table, and I grab the “grub”.

Rule #6:  When at all possible, combine Rule #4 and Rule #5.  Find a shady table!

Rule #7:  Share a table!  If someone asks to share your table, by all means say ‘yes’.  It might be you looking for a place to cut your filet next time!

Rule #8:  Unless you’re a crazy blogger looking to snap pictures of everything as soon as the festival opens, DON’T come on opening weekend.  The lines are Ca-RAZY long!  All of you who have told me that you’re coming next week, I have this to say … GOOD planning!

I’m sure we’ll think of more, but we wanted to pass those along as a start.  In the meantime, please enjoy one last photo tour through Epcot’s world of Food & Wine!

Pre-Festival Desserts #24: Orange Dole Whip with Crème de Cacao White (Refreshment Port)

Pre-Festival Desserts #24: Orange Dole Whip with Crème de Cacao White (Refreshment Port)

Pre-Festival #25: Fisherman’s Pie (Ireland)

Pre-Festival #25: Fisherman’s Pie (Ireland)

The tasty insides!

The tasty insides.

Pre-Festival #24: Beef Empanada (Argentina)

Pre-Festival #24: Beef Empanada (Argentina)

More insides!

More insides!

Pre-Festival #11: Scottish Salmon (Scotland)

Pre-Festival #11: Scottish Salmon (Scotland)

Pre-Festival #2: “Le Cellier” Filet Mignon (Canada)

Pre-Festival #2: “Le Cellier” Filet Mignon (Canada)

Pre-Festival #12: Seared Trout (Canada)

Pre-Festival #12: Seared Trout (Canada)

Pre-Festival #21: Chicken Gyro (Greece)

Pre-Festival #21: Chicken Gyro (Greece)

Pre-Festival (Honorable Mention): Taste of Greece (Greece)

Pre-Festival (Honorable Mention): Taste of Greece (Greece)

Pre-Festival (Honorable Mention): Venison Sausage (New Zealand)

Pre-Festival (Honorable Mention): Venison Sausage (New Zealand)

Pre-Festival #6: Mongolian Beef (China)

Pre-Festival #6: Mongolian Beef (China)

Finally, I would like to give a “shout out” to Sal Tracanna  of the Team Disney Podcast and thebestmagic.net and his fiance’ Melissa.  They just got engaged on this trip but still carved out a little of their vacation to spend a few moments chatting with Mrs. All in WDW and myself.  Congratulations, guys!

By the way, do you remember the rating team that rank-ordered our Readers’ Top 25?  Melissa was one of our culinary experts, and she told me just how much fun she had sorting all 25 dishes into order.  It was easy, eh, Melissa?!

Melissa took this shot of Sal and I.  Thanks, Melissa!

Melissa took this shot of Sal and I. Thanks, Melissa!

Food & Wine ’13 Flash Report! – Mongolian Beef

I feel like this dish is often underestimated.  The beef was perfectly done.  The sauce was an outstandingly spicy condiment and, much better, even, than the sauce found on Hawaii’s Kalua Pork Sliders. The contrast of the pillowy-soft bun and crunchy Chinese noodles lifts the sandwich to a level of uniqueness that’s unmatched.  Can you tell I liked it?  Yum!  A “must try”.

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Food & Wine ’13 Flash Report! – Venison Sausage

Another dish that we went “off the list” to get.  Now, Mrs. All in WDW liked it, but this is where Food & Wine 101 comes into play.  Rule #1 … and this is VERY important … hydrate.  Drink lots of water.  It is HOT out there – especially when you’re standing in long lines.  Rule #2 … everyone’s tastes are different.  In this case, I only have this to say about New Zealand’s Venison Sausage … no.  No. No. No.  I think the black currant reduction was too sweet.  And, I didn’t like the overall taste of the venison.  No.

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