What a Coastal Experience!

Good morning, folks!  The area of Epcot up near the Imagination Pavilion is dedicated to a number of Food & Wine booths in 2017 … making the festival much more than a World Showcase event.

Home to some really great dishes, over the next day or so, let’s see what Evan has to say about Next Eats – an area that offers three sensational marketplaces – Coastal Eats, Earth Eats, and Active Eats!

By Evan Chaisson

Let’s start with Coastal Eats!  Bob was right.  Their Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw is fantastic!

The crab cake was moist.  The cabbage had good flavor.  Its Avocado Lemongrass Cream gave it a nice, smooth finish.

Their Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette was a big disappointment for both of us.

This dish was way too fishy tasting, and it seemed to be loaded with grease.  We’d suggest that you pass!

Likewise, Coastal’s Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Butterbean Succotash and Chili-Chipotle Butter Sauce will not disappoint.

It comes with three big seared scallops that are surrounded by a healthy portion of roasted corn.  This morsel didn’t last long … as my wife and I were both pushing for that third scallop!

Overall, Coastal Eats rates as an above average booth, everyone.  I would grade it as a solid B!

Hangin’ Out on Casey’s Corner!

By John Peters

Fans, I have a confession to make.  I was born and raised in Orlando, and I have been to the Magic Kingdom countless times.  Having said that, I had never before eaten a hot dog from Casey’s Corner!

Well, that was until my most recent trip, that is.  My wife and I had found a great spot for the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade – by the way, it is now at 2 PM instead of 3 PM.  There’s your “tip for the day”!

While we waited for the festivities to begin, I got her a popcorn.  For me, I decided that a hot dog would taste great!

Casey’s serves hot dogs, fries, and sodas.  When you do something right, you don’t need to offer an extensive menu!

Foot-long price is on the left. 8″ dog’s price is on the right.

Their special that day was a hot dog topped with pineapple, red peppers, cilantro, lime juice, and sweet chili sauce.  I almost decided to order it, but, in the end, I went with their Macaroni & Cheese All-Beef Hot Dog.

Draped with macaroni and cheese and adorned by bacon, the dog was delicious!  In fact, for me, the mac-n-cheese had just the right creamy texture!

Casey’s Corner’s hot dogs all come with your choice of apple slices or French fries.  Each is available as either a standard 8″ dog or as a foot-long version.

Oh, and they do have a toppings bar that is utterly loaded with onions, sauerkraut, and jalapeños.  Good stuff!

I’ve finally made it to Casey’s, everyone, and I have to tell you … I will return very soon.

Come to think of it, though, I only have one little critique.  The only thing that would have made my experience even better?  Hah!  A beer, of course!

Evan’s Italian Pavilion Adventure Continues!

By Evan Chaisson

Hello, everyone!  Fresh off of my Via Napoli post from a few days ago, let’s visit Italy again … this time for Food & Wine!

Check out Evan as he presents Via Napoli Pizzeria e Ristorante!

One of the main things that Italy is known for is their pasta, and, boy, did they deliver with their Absolut Penne!  A delicious penne pasta in vodka sauce and adorned by shrimp!

The sauce was creamy and packed with flavor!  It definitely was the “boss” on this dish.  Top it off with three succulent shrimp?  What an outstanding item!

The next thing we sampled was the marketplace’s Crispy Calamari with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce.  As far as it goes, I’ll just say it’s just OK.

It was nothing to write home about, to be honest.  The calamari lacked flavor.  In fact, it needed to be fried a bit more!  The sauce – which I had hoped would save the dish – lacked any memorable flavor.

Third, we tasted their Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta.  Honestly, I really can’t tell you much about this dish.

Why, you are probably asking?  Well, I only took one bite.  Look at it!  The rest of it went into the trash barrel.  Maybe that tells you enough of what we thought of it.

Finally, we, of course, ended with dessert – Italy’s Chocolate-covered Cannoli.  A decadent delight, it was a chocolate-covered cannoli filled with sweet ricotta, chocolate, candy, and fruit.

My recommendation?  This dessert was perfect for one person.  I’d even say it wasn’t designed for sharing.  If you’re there with friends or family, each one of you should get your own!

In the end, I’d say that Italy is a tough booth to judge.  I think I would give the penne and cannoli, each, a solid B.  The calamari and stew, however?  They get D’s, at best!  Pass on them both.

Wow! Now, We Have 400 Reasons to Celebrate!

What a milestone we celebrate today, folks!  With this post, the WDW Main Street Podcast celebrates its 400th episode!

Wow!  400?!  Are you kidding me?  Who can talk that much for that long?  Um, the answer to that question will reveal itself to you in just a few seconds.

Naturally, I didn’t personally participate in all 400 shows.  Not even close.  Neither has John Peters, for that matter.  Even our retired colleague – Dennis Conroy – came on board well after the podcast was born.

Who can talk that much for that long?  The show’s founder and host, of course.  Yes, it is Doug Davis who has that incredible “gift of gab”.

Doug and I at Laguna Bar!

Main Street was his brain-child.  He’s hosted or co-hosted every single episode.  In truth, it is Doug that deserves all the credit for this feat!  Congratulations, Doug!  What a phenomenal accomplishment!

My friends, join John and myself, as we congratulate Doug.  Attend our little party.  Step into the WDW Main Street Pub and listen to …

Episode #400 – 400 Reasons to Celebrate!

Wait! Did Someone Say Free Chocolate?

By John Peters

If you’ve been to Disney Springs, you probably know this trick – stop by Ghirardelli and pick up your free sample of chocolate!  You did know that, I hope!  If not, there’s your “tip for the day”!

Anyway, did you realize that during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Disney gives away those very same samples in their Festival Center?  Yes, they surely do!

Head over there, folks, and go to the back of the Festival Center.  There’s a small Ghirardelli shop on site.  They pass out the samples!

The coolest part about that place, though, is the dioramas that are on display.  They are all made of chocolate and candy.  Better yet, they mostly feature Disney themes!

This year, Ghirardelli is featuring the likes of Moana, Beauty & the Beast, and Pandora.  It’s a nice, cool way to spend a couple of minutes and grab a taste of great chocolate!  Check it out!