The Top 10, my friends! The cream of the crop! The pinnacle of Food & Wine’s culinary mountain!
Epcot is offering dozens and dozens of entrées this year, folks. Can you eat all 80+? Do you want to spend that much money? Of course, you don’t!
That’s why we’re here. Welcome! Yes, welcome to the 2017 All in WDW Epcot International Food & Wine Festival FINAL Top 10!
What do we really recommend that you eat? Where would we suggest you spend your hard-earned cash? We’ve got the answers. Let’s see!
10. Traditional Spanish Paella – Spain – Pre-Festival Rank: 14
I’ll admit it. Given my pre-existing affection for paella and jambalaya-type meals, this dish may have had an unfair advantage when it came to locking in my final menu.
Unsurprisingly, I really liked it! It was loaded with all sorts of goodness, that’s for sure. Mussels, shrimp, chicken, chorizo. Delicious! Give me a huge bowlful!
9. Grilled Beef Skewer – Patagonia – Pre-Festival Rank: 18
As I mentioned before the festival, this has been an inconsistent item over the years. Well, 2017 saw it rebound … yet again.
The meat was pull-apart tender as we yanked it off the skewer. The purée was creamy-delicious. The chimichurri tasted great. Put it on your list!
8. Seafood Salad – Spain – Pre-Festival Rank: 12
A very pleasant surprise! A refreshing bite, this salad has it all! Mussels, scallops, octopus, green olives, wow! When all was said and done, Mrs. All in WDW fell in love with this dish.
For my part, I definitely enjoyed it too. My only critique? It was a bit heavy with olive oil. Try not to splash it on yourself. I learned that lesson the hard way!
7. Lamb Meatball – New Zealand – Pre-Festival Rank: 5
Another former “champion” done in by its condiment, I’m afraid. Oh, the meatball, itself, was perfect! Even the bread bowl was good.
The recipe’s chutney, however, delivered way too much sweetness. Honestly, when this dish topped my lists in 2014 and 2015, its blanket of tomatoes was memorably spicy.
I tried one last helping before we left Epcot, and, where I usually ask for extra chutney, I asked for less (see above). It was a much better experience.
6. Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw – Coastal Eats – Pre-Festival Rank: 9
Quite simply, I love crab cakes. We don’t have them very often, so I’m pretty sure that fact colored my view of this dish.
The accompanying slaw was mediocre, to be truthful, but that didn’t matter. A nice-sized patty, the cake, itself, was fantastic! It lived up to my lofty expectations, folks! Try it!
5. Seared Scallops – Coastal Eats – Pre-Festival Rank: 13
With two dishes in my Top 6, Coastal Eats easily wins best Marketplace in festival, as far as I’m concerned. Oh, Spain made a very solid run at it, but Coastal’s seafood takes the prize.
A perfectly cooked duo, these scallops are perfect for sharing. In addition, the accompanying side was exceptional. I’d go for seconds, thirds, and fourths of this dish, folks!
4. Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad – Active Eats – Pre-Festival Rank: 2
Whether served by Patagonia or, here, by Active Eats, this plate is a perennial favorite. It’s an incredibly outstanding bite, in fact. The salmon is always perfectly prepared. The dish delivers great flavor.
Of all of it, however, I truly appreciate that this recipe introduced me to quinoa salad. I have found that I really love quinoa salad! Thank you, Epcot!
3. Roasted Pork Wings with Korean BBQ Sauce – Flavors from Fire – Pre-Festival Rank: Unranked
Probably the festival’s biggest surprise … at least as far as my menu is concerned. ‘Fall off the bone’ delicious. That’s the easiest way to describe these gems.
We’ve seen some critics call this a puny portion, but Mrs. All in WDW and I would beg to differ. In fact, she said, “Best thing in the festival. Huge portion. I don’t care if I ever have chicken wings again. Just give me these!”
2. Roasted Irish Sausage with Colcannon Potatoes – Ireland – Pre-Festival Rank: 7
Not Rose & Crown’s very same preparation, to be sure but this version is pretty darn good in its own right. A very healthy portion size, too! Served piping hot, it was quite yummy.
Mrs. All in WDW was no where near as enthusiastic as me to try this dish, but even she called it one of the best things she sampled all festival. High praise, let me tell you!
1. Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese – Hops & Barley – Pre-Festival Rank: 3
In 2016, this item was in the running for “Best in Festival” for quite some time before Hawai’i’s pork slider finally took it down. In 2017, however, it finds the “championship” that it so very well deserves!
A generous serving size shot this item into contention for the second straight year, but the unsurpassed quality of the brisket won it the title. This year, this masterpiece was simply second to none!
The meat was tender, tasty, delicious! I could have enjoyed heaping plateful after heaping plateful! It is a sensational “must buy”, my friends. Please don’t miss it!
There it is, folks. The 2017 All in WDW Epcot International Food & Wine Festival FINAL Top 20. My menu recommendations are “chiseled in stone”.
If you’re going to be lucky enough to attend Food & Wine this year and you want help with deciding what to try, then start at the top of my list and work your way down. Your stomach will thank me!