The All in WDW 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Pre-Festival Top 25! – Part II

I’m back!  With a bunch of delectable delights!  With the best of the best?  Yes, well, with MY alleged “best of the best”!

Let’s get after it with …

#15 – Beijing Roasted Duck Steamed Bun – China

You all know how much I loved China’s Mongolian Beef Steamed Bun in 2013.  It topped my Final Top 25!  Do it again with duck?  Sure!  Count me in!

#14 – Grilled Lamb Chop – Australia

Mrs. All in WDW gets cross with me when I slot one of her personal favorites deep down the list. The truth is, this is a really good dish.  But, I like lamb.  She LOVES lamb.

#13 – Lamb Meatball – New Zealand

Of course, this is a lamb dish I CAN love. Very tasty.  I’ve said this before.  I’ll take my lamb ground please.

#12 – Crispy Pork Belly – Brazil

Brazil’s inconsistency in 2013 held this item back, in my view.  I’m looking for a rebound.  After all, I DO love bacon.

Crispy Pork Belly - Brazil

Crispy Pork Belly (Brazil)

This is another dish that Mrs. All in WDW liked WAY more than me last year.

#11 – Tilapia – Brazil

Brazil, back-to-back?  I guess so.  You know what I think of when I see Epcot and Tilapia?  “Food” & Garden’s Ghost Pepper-dusted Tilapia.  Brazil?  If you can match that pepper-dusted delight, you’ll have a winner!

#10 – Roasted Verlasso Salmon – Patagonia

In 2013, Scotland’s salmon was a very small serving.  Here’s hoping for better-sized portion in 2014, Patagonia!

Frankly, I could do without the quinoa salad, but the arugula chimichurri sounds very nice.  Will it be the same “concoction” that Argentina applied to their Grilled Beef Skewer?  Probably.

#9 – Teriyaki Chicken Steamed Bun – Japan

Japan rounds out Epcot’s trio of 2014 steamed buns with a serving of chicken.  Will it be better than China’s duck?  I’m thinking so.

You know, Japan has fooled me before, so I’m taking a bit of a chance with a Top 10 ranking.  Don’t let me down, guys!

#8 – Rib-Eye Taco – Mexico

Now, we’re getting into the “meat and potatoes” of the list … literally!  Mexico always delivers.  Always.  Whether shrimp or beef, their tacos are GOOD!

#7 – Grilled Beef Skewer – Patagonia

This dish, historically served by the Argentina Marketplace, started off 2013 as one of my Honorable Mentions.

Photo Sep 29, 12 19 21 PM

Grilled Beef Skewer (Patagonia)

When all was said and done, not only did it break into my Final Top 25, it leapt up to be my 7th favorite item!  It was phenomenal!

#6 – Shrimp Taco – Mexico

As I said a few seconds ago, Mexico ALWAYS delivers.  Their shrimp taco is no different.  Crispy shrimp.  Tasty sauce.  Can’t wait to have it again!

#5 – “Le Cellier” Beef Filet Mignon – Canada

This is the first of two offerings needing a bit of redemption.  In 2013, Canada’s famed filet delivered a great taste.  The cut of meat, however, was lacking.

True, my “filet-o-meter” has been distorted by the extremely high quality steaks served by Atlanta’s New York Prime, but I still expected more from a dish carrying Le Cellier’s name tag.  After all, it was my #2 favorite item in 2012!

#4 – Kālua Pork Slider – Hawaii

“Redemption Island” welcomed its second tenant when Hawaii announced it was bringing its pork slider back to the party.

Two-time defending “champion”, it was my #1 in both 2011 and 2012.  As such, I gave it three chances in 2013.  The pork was overdone and the spicy mayo was too tame all three times.

Make your comeback, Hawaii!

#3 – Seared Mahi-Mahi – Singapore

Epcot’s most-maligned Marketplace has delivered one of the tastiest seafood dishes I’ve ever had two years in a row.

Seared Mahi-Mahi Singapore)

Seared Mahi-Mahi (Singapore)

It’s the “Singa” sauce.  Oh, the fish was cooked perfectly, but the sauce definitely pushed this Mahi-Mahi over the top.  A soy-based concoction, it’s just fabulous.

#2 – Cheese Ravioli – Italy

OK.  Italy?  Let’s talk.  I want you to check out this description.  Ravioli de formaggio all’emiliana.  Italy, this recipe was a delicious symphony of baked cheese ravioli, creamy beef bolognese, parmesan, and mozzarella. Just phenomenal!  I LOVED it!

This is what you’ve done … Ravioli alla caprese.  Cheese ravioli, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil.  That’s the recipe for 2014?  Really?

Here, let me read what I wrote about your Three-Cheese Manicotti during this past Spring’s “Food” & Garden festival …

“This one was a disappointment.  The pasta was overdone.  Either that, or the serving had been sitting around in the warmer for quite a while.  And, although the sauce was quite tasty, it was cold.”

Better outperform that, Italy, or your Ravioli is going to end up in the trash can … and, out of my Top 25!  There.  Just sayin’!

#1 – Mongolian Beef Steamed Bun – China

To be the “champ” you’ve got to beat the “champ”!  It’s that simple, really.

My choice to “crown” China’s Mongolian Beef as my Favorite overall item in 2013 came down to presentation and taste … as you might expect.

Frankly, the beef is well-seasoned, tasty, and tender.  The sauce is outstanding and carries the right amount of “bite”.  Take a look at it!  Yum!


Mongolian Beef Steamed Bun (China)

The characteristic that kicked this dish to the “title”, however, was that fact that it is just so unique.

A steamed bun?  I can make a pork slider (and have), a filet mignon (and have), or a plate of ravioli.  I can’t imagine figuring out how to deliver a well-made steamed bun.

I really look forward to having this dish again this year, China.  So, bring it!

There you have it, my friends!  We’re mere hours away.  The PICTURES will start flowing sometime after 11 AM this morning!

The best way to keep in touch with all the cuisine is to follow me on Twitter or follow the All in WDW Facebook group.  Every time I post a Food & Wine “Flash Report”, a link will appear in either of those two places.

Otherwise, keep stopping back to visit All in WDW!  Now.  Let’s eat!

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