Overhaul! Just How Different IS This Year’s “Food” & Garden Menu?

Overhaul.  Upon deeper analysis, that’s the best word I can use to describe this year’s “Food” & Garden menu.  From my perspective, it has undergone a complete … overhaul!

Why do I feel this?  Well, of my 2014 Final Top 15 items, only seven survived!  Seven!  With last year’s ranking in parentheses, here are the dishes that get an encore in 2015 …

  • Pulled Pig Slider – The Smokehouse (1)
  • Ghost Pepper-dusted Tilapia – Urban Farm Eats (4)
  • Shrimp and Stone-ground Grits – Florida Fresh (5)
  • Harissa Chicken Kebab – Taste of Marrakesh (6)
  • Achiote-marinated Pork Corn Tortilla – Jardin de Fiestas (8)
  • Watermelon Salad – Florida Fresh (12)
  • Parisian-style Dumplings – Fleur de Lys (13)

Most concerning – to me, at least – is that All in WDW’s #2 and #3 items from 2014 got tossed “outa the game”!

The Smokehouse’s Smoked Beef Brisket (which was #2 in 2013 as well) was phenomenal!

Smoked Beef Brisket - The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews (American Adventure)

2014 Smoked Beef Brisket – The Smokehouse (American Adventure)

And, China’s Spring Pancake was so good that we actually replicated it at home!

Spring Pancake - Lotus House (China)

2014 Spring Pancake – Lotus House (China)

Such is the “life” of a food festival recipe, eh?

So, yesterday, we covered The Smokehouse.  Where to next?  How about a quick run through some of the items that I know we won’t be trying later this week?

Let’s get started!  All of these delicacies were festival items that we tried in 2014.  This year, however, we’re going to pass them by.  Here goes …

  • Parisian-style Dumplings – Fleur de Lys

In 2014, France’s dumplings hit our “Just OK” list.  Regardless, they did finish in All in WDW’s Final Top 15.

Parisian-style Dumplings - Fleur de Lys (France)

2014 Parisian-style Dumplings – Fleur de Lys (France)

Why are they being discarded in 2015?  Mushrooms.  Have I mentioned lately that I really dislike mushrooms?

  • Cheese Manicotti – Primavera Kitchen

I’m sorry, Italy, but I just can’t give you a second chance.

Three-Cheese Manicotti - Primavera Kitchen (Italy)

2014 Three-Cheese Manicotti – Primavera Kitchen (Italy)

Last year, 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 tasty, it was cold.  We’ll pass.

  • Teriyaki Curry Bun – Hanami

On the other hand, I’m almost tempted to give Japan’s “bun” offering another try.  Almost.

At 2014’s International Food & Wine Festival, Japan served a Teriyaki Chicken Steamed Bun.


Food & Wine 2014’s Teriyaki Chicken Steamed Bun (Japan)

We found its filling to be much sweeter than we’d like.  Could the curry in “Food” & Garden’s offering cut that a bit?  Hmm.  Tempting.

  • Pulled Duck Confit – Fleur de Lys

Mrs. All in WDW liked it, but I found it much, much too rich for my taste.  And, honestly, I wasn’t impressed by the presentation.

Pulled Duck Confit - Fleur de Lys (France)

2014 Pulled Duck Confit – Fleur de Lys (France)

In fairness, after I took this shot, I did see pics on the ‘net of presentations much more appealing and appetizing than this.  Having said that, the overall sweet, richness of the dish just over-powered me.

OK.  So, there you go!

Tomorrow, I’ll come back with the rest of All in WDW’s “Food” & Garden ’15 “cast offs”.  After that, the “official” Pre-Festival Top 15 will be revealed!

Have a great Monday, my friends!

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