Welcome back, all! I can’t believe that the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is finally here!
Oh, I know. The “party” doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, but who knows? Maybe I’ll be able to sneak a bite today!
Yesterday, I unveiled the bottom half of our tasting menu. Did you catch it? No? Find it at …
Now, let’s move on to this year’s pre-festival Top 10, shall we?
10. Seared Shrimp and Scallop Cake – Thailand
I just love crab cakes. A seared shrimp and scallop cake? It just sounds so intriguing that I’m compelled to try it!
9. Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw – Coastal Eats
Did I mention that I love crab cakes? This is one of Epcot’s dishes that was already in my Top 20 before I even started thinking of a pre-festival menu.
8. Spicy Chicken Bao Bun – China
Have I ever told you about China’s Mongolian Beef Steamed Bun? A retired, former festival “champion”, it was phenomenal.
I can’t tell you how much I hope that this chicken bun can match the Mongolian beef’s glory. One tip, my friends? If China has it handy, drizzle on a bit of sriracha. It adds a perfect zing.
7. Roasted Irish Sausage with Colcannon Potatoes – Ireland
Oh, my “bangers and mash”. I wondered yesterday if the Scotch egg at Craft Beers will be as good as the portion served by Rose & Crown.
I’m really banking on these bangers to be the restaurant’s version. No pressure, Ireland, but I have really high expectations. Failure to meet them could be fatal to your 2017 efforts!
6. Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage – Flavors from Fire
This offering earns its lofty pre-festival status based on a dish that Canada has served in the past. Their retired Chicken Sausage with Creamy Polenta was a fantastic plate.
Just like Ireland’s roasted Irish version, I have high expectations for this sausage and pancake combination. I hope you deliver, Flavors!
5. Lamb Meatball – New Zealand
A two-time former festival “champion”, New Zealand’s lamb fell on mediocre times in 2016.
Oh, the meatball was perfect. The tomato chutney was its downfall. It brought a sweetness that I’d never experienced before and lacked ‘zing’. Will it rebound?
4. Seared Scallops – The Wine & Dine Studio
2016’s serving was a perfectly prepared, handsome-sized portion.
Accompanied by roasted Brussel sprouts, it might have been the very best scallop I have ever had! Get one!
3. Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese – Hops & Barley
Another very impressive serving size. If presented the same way in 2017, this dish is totally shareable.
The meat was very tender, folks, and its pimento cheese added a unique element. Honestly, this brisket was outstanding. Highly recommend.
2. Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad – Active Eats
Always an outstanding portion, likewise, the salmon is always cooked perfectly. I can’t rave enough about the quinoa salad.
Formerly served by Patagonia, this dish has found a new home in 2017. I hope that doesn’t mean Epcot has “improved” the recipe. The dish is phenomenal, as it already is!
1. Kalua Pork Slider – Hawai’i
Oh, you had to know it, folks! A three-time, three-time, three-time “champion”, this morsel is a must, must do!
Simple and inexpensive, the pork is tender and moist, the bun doesn’t over-power the meat, and the spicy mayo boasts just the right punch. This is definitely the dish for every other item to beat!
There you are, then, my friends. You, now, know the 2017 All in WDW Epcot International Food & Wine Pre-Festival Top 20!
Stay tuned to All in WDW, everyone! Like I said earlier, hopefully I’ll be posting food pics as early as later today. If not, check back tomorrow. The party is about to get started!