Lunch at “Food” & Garden ’16 – Day #2

Happy Sunday, my friends!  Are you ready for one last blast through “Food” & Garden ’16?  Yes?  Then, let’s get started!

  • Chicken Fricassee – Bauernmarkt (Germany)

I really, really loved this dish!  Germany, I’m impressed!  You truly delivered.  Now, Mrs. All in WDW wasn’t as convinced, but I felt that this had great flavor!

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Chicken, Pasta, rice, beans, and peas.  Seemingly an odd collection of ingredients, the combination just worked and worked well.

I’d, for sure, have this dish again.  In fact, Germany, I’d have a heaping plateful!

  • Pulled Pig Slider – The Smokehouse (The American Adventure)

In 2015, this former two-time festival “champ” fell to 5th place in my Final Top 15.

As I said, then, “The bun was overly dry.  In comparison to past years, the portion of pork was much smaller.

The pork tasted overdone and dry, and the addition of BBQ sauce was the only thing that helped the dish become palatable.”

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I’d honestly have to say that the same, pretty much, held true this year.  Smokehouse, at this point, this once-phenomenal dish might be in need of an overhaul.

Oh, it can be called a good value, based on the portion size given, but if the quality of the bun and meat is in any way poor, then value becomes moot.

  • Smoked Pork Ribs – The Smokehouse (The American Adventure)

Mrs. All in WDW is still raving about The Smokehouse’s Smoked Pork Ribs.  Fall off the bone tender, she called them.

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I have to admit, they were quite good.  The pork was much more enjoyable than that of the Pulled Pig Slider, that’s for sure.

The corn salad accompaniment was very good.  It had just the right amount of “zing”, courtesy of an ample amount of chopped bits of jalapeño.

I’ve said this before … the only gripe I have with ribs is that they often leave you hanging with a large quantity of bone and way too little meat.  These were no different … as tasty as they were.

  • Jerk-spice Chicken – La Isla Fresca

When I walked up to the La Isla Fresca outdoor kitchen, I was enticed by the smell of fresh fish cooking.

It was the grouper, of course, but, as I wrote a few days ago, I had my palate set on sampling their Jerk-spice Chicken.

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A generous serving, to be sure, but I was expecting more “spice” in their jerk-spice.  The dish, to me, was kind of bland.

Of course, the chicken was accompanied by mango and slaw, but, sadly, they didn’t rescue the flavor profile.

Sorry, La Isla.  I really liked your braised beef, but this one just didn’t work for me.

  • Shrimp and Stone-ground Grits – Florida Fresh

I really love that I can end this run through my ten-item menu on a very, very high note.  Florida Fresh?  You did it again!  And, further, you stepped up your game!

Wait.  Florida’s Shrimp and Stone-ground Grits have been phenomenal for years.  How could they have possibly improved on the dish?

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Check out the shrimp.  No tails!  That’s right.  In past years, in order to enjoy this medley of deliciousness, you’ve had to do surgery on the shrimp first.  Those tails had to go!

With 2016’s version, you get to enjoy the symphony of flavors with less work!  Great job, Epcot!

That’s it, folks.  Mrs. All in WDW and I have completed our first pass through Epcot’s 2016 “Food” & Garden Festival.

Tomorrow?  Well, tomorrow, I’ll present the All in WDW 2016 “Food” & Garden Mid-Festival Top 10!

With nearly three months to go, who knows when we’ll get back to Epcot.  Therefore, a mid-festival ranking makes sense.  A final list can wait!

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