What better way to jump into Day #2 of the 2015 All in WDW Epcot “Food” & Garden Festival Top 15 than with a visit to the Kitchen of kitchens? Of course, I refer to The Smokehouse!
Found in World Showcase’s American Adventure, it lives up to its moniker of being the “home” of barbecue and brews. Don’t believe me? If you get the chance, stop by and visit. See for yourself!
Let’s get on with my menu … and the fact that The Smokehouse “owns” three of the top eight spots! Wow!
#8 – Smoked Debreziner Sausage – The Smokehouse
I asked it a few days ago … Debreziner? Well, according to our friends at Wikipedia, a Debreziner sausage is “a pork sausage of uniform fine texture and reddish-orange color, named after the Hungarian city of Debrecen.
The sausages are heavily spiced with paprika and other seasonings like garlic, pepper, and marjoram.”
One of my best friends owns a Big Green Egg charcoal grill/smoker, and he’s made Mrs. All in WDW and I smoked andouille sausages on several occasions. Another type of pork sausage, by the way. They are outstanding!
I can only say this … Smokehouse, can you match him?! We’ll see!
#7 – White Corn Arepa with Braised Beef – Botanas Botánico
Botanas? You had me at “Braised Beef”!
Also prominent in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine, arepas aren’t a stranger to Epcot’s food fests. In 2012, Food & Wine served a … White Corn Arepa!
Filled with pork, it was kind of tasteless. In addition, I remember it being quite greasy. Please do better than that, Botanas!
#6 – Harissa Chicken Kebab – Taste of Marrakesh
I really enjoyed Morocco’s kebab in 2014. I’m banking on a repeat.
#5 – Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash – The Smokehouse
This dish has a lot to live up to, in my mind. After all, The Smokehouse’s Smoked Beef Brisket was phenomenal two years in a row! And, its jalapeño corn bread accompaniment? Wow!
This hash is a “toss up”, to me. It’s either going to be great … or, it’s going to be a big “bust”. We’ll see.
#4 – Kung Pao Chicken Bun – Lotus House
This dish is my “dark horse”.
If you’ve followed me for long, you know that I just love China’s steamed buns. In fact, according to my palate, their Mongolian Beef won the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in 2013.
I’m also quite fond of Kung Pao Chicken. Kung Pao. Steamed bun. This one could be a big winner!
#3 – Shrimp and Stone-ground Grits – Florida Fresh
I’ll quote myself from 2014’s festival, “This dish is just flat out delicious. Just the right amount of spice. I didn’t even mind taking the tails off the shrimp.” We’ll, actually, I minded a little.
Regardless of the tails, however, the presentation is beautiful. The symphony of flavors is phenomenal. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.
#2 – Ghost Pepper-dusted Tilapia – Urban Farm Eats
Again, from 2014, “A really generous portion of tilapia, in our opinion. And, despite the fact that it was dusted by the ‘hottest pepper in the universe’, it wasn’t all that hot.
The crisp winter melon slaw was very crisp and a pleasant surprise. [We] would most certainly have this one again.”
And, thank you, Epcot, for giving us the chance for a second helping! In 2014, this was one of your very best “bites”!
#1 – Pulled Pig Slider – The Smokehouse
Finally. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. To be the “champ”, you have to beat the “champ”!
Pulled pork topped with slaw and piled on an ordinary bun sounds so simple, but this is one of the best-tasting and best values of any Epcot food-fest.
Take my word for it … whether you prefer it “plain” (as pictured), or smothered in BBQ sauce, this over-sized slider is outstanding.
It has “won” this festival two years running … and deservedly so!
So … we come to the end of All in WDW’s week-long preview, my friends. Now, it’s time to eat! Look for food photos starting sometime mid-day tomorrow! Let’s get the party started!