Grab a Taste of Epcot’s Holiday Celebration, Folks!

My friends, I’m very sad.  When it comes to Epcot’s 2017 Holiday Kitchens, I must, unfortunately, pass the food festival baton over to my podcast partner – John Peters.

All of my dreams of Mongolian beef, sauerbraten, and other savory delights have been dashed.  Regrettably, another “real life” obligation has trumped our December trip to Orlando.

Never fear, however.  John has us covered!  Mrs. All in WDW and I might not be there to try the delicacies in person, but we’ll be there in spirit!

In the meantime, if I had been able to grab a taste of Epcot’s holiday celebration, here was how I ranked my target list:

  1. Mongolian Beef Bao Bun – Shanghai Holiday Kitchen – China Pavilion
  2. Sauerbraten – Bavaria Holiday Kitchen – Germany Pavilion
  3. Seared Salmon with Crown Royal Whisky Glaze – Yukon Holiday Kitchen – Canada Pavilion
  4. Seared Pork Tenderloin – American Holiday Table – American Adventure Pavilion
  5. Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere – Yukon Holiday Kitchen – Canada Pavilion
  6. Slow-Roasted Turkey with Stuffing – American Holiday Table – American Adventure Pavilion
  7. Slow-roasted Pork Shoulder in a Corn Masa – Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen – Mexico Pavilion
  8. Roasted Pork with Smashed Yuca – Feast of the Three Kings
  9. Chinese Barbeque Pork Rice Bowl – Shanghai Holiday Kitchen – China Pavilion
  10. Pasta in a Creamy Parmesan Sauce with Pancetta – Tuscany Holiday Kitchen – Italy Pavilion

Alas, John will have to devour that menu for me, but guess what?  He’s already given it a start!  Can he make it through all ten dishes?  We’ll have to see.  Take it away, my friend!

By John Peters

Hello, food fans!  My wife and I stopped by Epcot after my Sunday shift at Animal Kingdom a week or so ago, and sampled some of their holiday best!  Great food, everyone!

First, we tried American Holiday Table’s Slow-Roasted Turkey with Stuffing.  It was very tasty!

Then, we dropped by Bavaria Holiday Kitchen for a serving of their Sauerbraten.  Also, outstanding!

Bob published my holiday report last year, and if you read it, you know that I said, “Big difference between this [festival] and Food & Wine.  The prices and serving sizes are both bigger.”  Take a look back at 2016’s pictures!

Well, the biggest difference from last year, folks, is the portion.  Where, last year, they were huge, this year, they are much more Food & Wine-like.

Better yet, the prices are size-appropriate!  For example, in 2016, the slow-roasted turkey cost $11.25!  The sauerbraten was $12!  The prices, now, are $5.25 and $6.00, respectively.

Great improvement, Epcot.  Much more enticing and much more affordable.  Good work!  If you’re in the neighborhood, everyone, stop by World Showcase.  Food & Wine is gone, but delicious cuisine is still flowing!

It’s Holiday “Food & Wine”, Folks! … report provided by John Peters

You all know how much I love Food & Wine, don’t you, my friends?  Hey, if you listen to Doug Davis, Epcot’s annual food-fest is my “Super Bowl”.

Actually, that’s not too far from the truth.  All in WDW does get its best “action” – by way of visitors and page views – when the festival opens in September!

Having said all that, imagine my dismay when Disney announced the arrival of 2016’s “Holidays Around the World Marketplaces”.  Wait.  “Dismay”?

Well, I knew that Mrs. All in WDW and I weren’t going to be able to make it to Orlando this Christmas season.  I also knew that I was doomed to miss this particular “party”.

Thankfully, we – the WDW Main Street Podcast and All in WDW – have a Florida correspondent!  John Peters to the rescue!  So.  Where first, John?

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“Big difference between this and the Food & Wine festival, Bob.  The prices and serving sizes are both bigger.

Let’s talk Alpine Haus.  Found between France and Morocco, we sampled their Duck Confit and Cheese Fondue.

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The duck was $13, but it was a lunch entrée size.

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My wife loved it!  I found it to be a little bit too rich!  Now, the cheese, on the other hand, was great!

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But, I’ll tell you this … you better really like cheese!  There’s a lot of it!

American Holiday Table is serving Slow-roasted Turkey and Seared Pork Tenderloin.

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We chose to try the turkey.  It was very well done and enjoyable, but it was simply typical holiday fare.

I was excited by the beer I tried.  It was the Shipyard Eggnog White Porter Aged in Bourbon.  It was very good, but it was also very, very rich.

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To end the “tour”, we stopped by Prost!

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Located between Germany and the African Outpost, we sampled both of their items – a German Artisan Cheese Plate and Sauerbraten.

The cheese plate was a good deal.  Three unique cheeses and a slice of ham for $5.

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The sauerbraten, though, was probably the “winner” of the day!

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Plenty of slow roasted pork, red cabbage, and spaetzle!  Very good, and VERY filling!  It felt like over a pound of food!”

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Wow!  Sensational reports, John!  Fantastic job!  I’m even more dismayed.  I mean, that sauerbraten looks delightful!

Actually, folks, it’s true.  We won’t be making our own trip to Disney this holiday season, but we’ve sort of done the next best thing.

We’re scheduled to attend the opening weekend of January’s “Festival of the Arts”.  Epcot mentioned something about “Food Studios”!

Hey!  We’re not going to miss out!  Mrs. All in WDW and I are going to drop in and see what these “creations that look almost too good to eat” are all about!

“Food & Wine” in January?  Yeah, we’ll be there, for sure!

No Love For Turkey Legs?!

Or, is it no love for smoked meats?  About a day into our “smokin’ poll”, this comment, from one of our friends on Twitter, was quite an indictment …

“How can eight people vote ‘Neither’?!”

Actually, when all was finished, 33% of you elected to decline either “snack”.  I have to tell you, I threw the option, “Neither”, in at the last minute.  I never expected it to be so “popular”!

In the end, however, Gaston Tavern’s Pork Shank ruled the day(s) with 45% of your support.  Turkey legs never had a chance.

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Although Gaston earned my vote as well, I’m a bit surprised by the outcome. First, WDW’s turkey legs live in infamy! They have their own t-shirts, for Pete’s sake!

Second, they can be found in every park. I was expecting the leg’s greater availability to plain out-number the pork’s popularity.

I think our WDW Main Street friend, Dennis Conroy, summed it up best … “The Pork Shank blows the Turkey Leg out of the water!”

Yes, Dennis. We all agree. It certainly does!

What a Smokin’ Showdown! What’s your vote?!

Good morning, all!  We received an interesting question in response to yesterday’s Gaston’s Tavern post.

Did you catch that “Dining Recon”, by the way?  If not, please stop back and take a look!  You know you want to see the pictures, at least.  Yes?

Mmmm.  Pork Shank!  Oh, OK.  Here’s the pork …

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Look back at yesterday’s piece to see the Cinammon Roll (er, loaf)!

Anyway, one of All in WDW’s dear Facebook friends asked, “I have never had the turkey leg or the pork shank.  Is there a similarity, or are they completely different?”

I’m not a big fan of turkey, so I offered up Mrs. All in WDW’s review …

“They’re completely different, but Pork Shank, hands down!”  She’d even add that the Pork Shank is both more tender and moist.

Everyone has a preference, eh?  Of course, that led me to wonder … which would YOU prefer?  Well, which?

Cast your VOTE, this morning, my friends!  Turkey or pork?  You choose!

Thanksgiving in Walt Disney World?

Just a short tip, here, my friends.  We found this out a little bit late to help anyone … especially ourselves!

Where can you find a traditional, and very reasonably priced, Thanksgiving dinner if you’re staying in Walt Disney World?

How about in the most obvious(?) of places – Disney’s BoardWalk’s ESPN Club?!

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Yes, I said ESPN Club.  Take a look!

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So, note it in your files.  You want turkey and stuffing?  Is Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern “stuffed” with Guests?  You want to mix some football in with your meal?  Try ESPN!

Hmm.  I wonder if they serve Christmas dinner as well!  Anyone know?