The 2015 All in WDW “Food” & Garden Festival FINAL Top 15! It FINALLY Begins!

Yes, finally!  You see, this is what happens to me.  I get in the middle of a “series” of posts (i.e. “Food” & Garden) and, then, March Madness happens.

Well, we had fun with the Magic Kingdom polls, yes?  Good.  Get your voting “muscles” ready, my friends.  The WDW poll is only days away!

So, before I let that “tourney” distract me from the conclusion of All in WDW’s “Food” & Garden coverage, let’s dive into the FINAL Top 15.  First, the …

Dishonorable Mentions

Sorry, Morocco.  You did it to yourself.  And, even though I liked your falafel less than your kebab, I’d have to say that the chicken was the bigger disappointment.  It was great in 2014.

2014's delicious kebab.

2014’s delicious kebab.

2015's disappointing kebab.

2015’s disappointing kebab.

Simple comparison of the two years, though, and I have to judge 2015 as a huge step backwards.  Try again.

And, when it comes to the falafel, I don’t know what to say.  How about, “Stay far away”!


Click on the dish’s name to see my actual “Flash Reports”!

Honorable Mentions

On the other hand, I found slightly pleasant surprises in Italy.



Pre-festival, my expectations weren’t high at all.  As executed, however, both of their dishes were more than acceptable.

That’s big praise from me, too, when you think about how much I’ve criticized Italy since they made the ill-fated Food & Wine Ravioli decision of 2014.


I liked the naan.  The pesto was all right but layered on a little bit thick.  The cheese added a nice boost to the dish.

By the way, the quinoa “cake”, itself, included white beans as a filler.  I was curious and asked the chef.  Hmm.  Or, was the quinoa the filler?


Just plain ordinary.  Honestly, an egg roll from my local Chinese take-out is just as good.  I expect more, China.

The 2015 All in WDW “Food” & Garden Festival FINAL Top 15

#15 – Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash – The Smokehouse (Pre-Festival: #5)

Keeping it simple, the ends were definitely burnt.  More burnt than my tastes … and, I like my beef well done!  In addition, it was more hash than brisket.


No, it didn’t live up to my expectations.  And, it certainly didn’t live up to 2013-14’s Smoked Beef Brisket!

#14 – Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese – Botanas Botánico (Pre-Festival: #9)


This Venezuelan corn “pancake” was quite good.  But, it was just that … a corn pancake.  Good.  Not “mind-blowing”.

#13 – Parisian-style Dumplings – Fleur de Lys (Pre-Festival: Unranked)

Not a member of my Pre-Festival Top 15, I owe France’s dumplings a great debt.  They helped me knock Morocco’s Falafel Pocket into the Dishonorable Mentions!


If you like garlic, you’ll like this dish.  The dumplings are good, but the recipe includes mushrooms.  Have I mentioned how much I “like” mushrooms? Not!

#12 – Spicy Hot Dog – Pineapple Promenade (Pre-Festival: #10)


Love the condiments!  The spicy mayo rocks.  But, in the end, it’s just a half of a hot dog.  It couldn’t beat …

#11 – Smoked Debreziner Sausage – The Smokehouse (Pre-Festival: #8)


… a solid serving of smoked sausage.  I’ve heard mixed reviews.  It has a very nice “spicy-ness”.  Some say it’s too hot.  I felt it was just right.  The serving, though, was pretty generous.

OK, my friends.  So, that was a start.  Tomorrow?  I’ll be back with the Top 10!

“Food” & Garden Outdoor Kitchen Menus – FULL List of Links!

It’s hard to believe that Epcot’s 2015 “Food” & Garden festival still has fifty (50) days to run!  50!  Almost two whole months!


The “party” runs through May 17th.  In other words, there’s plenty of time to slip down to Orlando, my friends.

For a quick “one stop” reference, bookmark this page.  It’ll launch you to every “Food” & Garden menu worthy of note.  Plan your menus, folks!  Enjoy the food!

Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico)

Lotus House (China)

Florida Fresh

Primavera Kitchen (Italy)

The Smokehouse (American Adventure)

Hanami (Japan)

Taste of Marrakesh (Morocco)

Botanas Botánico

Fleur de Lys (France)

Pineapple Promenade

Urban Farm Eats

Menu “Recon”: Pineapple Promenade

One omission that I’m going to have to remedy when we return to Epcot over Easter is the fact that I neglected to sample either version of Pineapple Promenade’s rum-soaked Dole Whip.  Yum.

Having said that, this kitchen’s Spicy Hot Dog was a nice little snack.

Of course, when it came to the dish, it was less about the “dog” and more about the condiment.  Their spicy mayo topping is outstanding!


Spicy Hot Dog

All in WDW’s Recommendation: “Just OK.”



Menu “Recon”: Fleur de Lys (France)

If you like the smell of garlic, hang around the Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen.  Garlic permeates … well, it permeates everywhere!

I wasn’t fond of France’s duck in 2014, so I left it off my 2015 menu.  I have to confess … in spite of that, I still sampled one little taste.  Still not a fan.

Their Parisian-style Dumplings weren’t on my original menu either, but, then I experienced Morocco.  Frankly, I had some of the dumplings just so I didn’t have to include Taste of Marrakesh’s Falafel Pocket in my Final Top 15.

Thanks for the “save”, Fleur de Lys!


Parisian-style Dumplings

All in WDW’s Recommendation: “Just OK.”




Menu “Recon”: Botanas Botánico

If Morocco was a disappointment, Botanas Botánico was a “superstar”!  All three of its dishes rocked!

Their Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese was a very tasty corn “pancake”.  The Seafood Ceviche was fresh and crisp.  The White Corn Arepa with Braised Beef presented one of the best flavors of the entire show!

Botánico is “Food” & Garden’s newest kitchen and is located between Morocco and France.  I’m here to tell you that it was a great addition to the festival!

Way to go, Epcot.  Way to go!


Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese

All in WDW’s Recommendation: “Just OK.”

Seafood Ceviche

All in WDW’s Recommendation: “Worth a Try.”

White Corn Arepa with Braised Beef

All in WDW’s Recommendation: “Must Have!”