We had a chance to preview some of the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival food and beverage menu items. Take a look at what you’ll be able to enjoy at this 90-day festival taking place March 2 – May 31, 2016.
The preview was kicked off at the front of Epcot with Eric Darden, Disney’s Horticultural Manager, giving us a tour of this year’s festival. He’s been doing this since the beginning of the festival so he was full of knowledge! The tour ended in the World Showcase between Canada and United Kingdom at the WorldShowplace.
As we entered the venu to enjoy the delicious menu items, we were greeted by Cast Members offering us the Desert Violet Lemonade. It’s sweet, but not too sweet with nice floral notes. We’ll share the recipe with you soon.
2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Food and Beverage Menu
- Jerk-spice Chicken with Mango Salsa Chayote and Green Papaya Slaw with Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette – La Isla Fresca
- Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale – Florida Fresh
- Maple Bacon Stout – The Smokehouse
- Rod Bender Red Ale – The Smokehouse
- Currywurst with Paprika Chips – Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
- Watermelon Cucumber Slush with Hendrick’s Gin – Florida Fresh
- House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare – Cider House
- The Great American Wine Company Red Blend – The Smokehouse & Intermissions Café
- Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños – The Smokehouse
- Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen – The Smokehouse
- Cider City Brewing Tampa-Style Lager – Cider House
- McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider – Cider House
- Sonoma “The Pitchfork” Organic Pear Hard Cider – Cider House
- The Snakebite: Cigar City Brewing Tampa-Style Lager mixed with McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider – Cider House
- Macaron Chocolat Framboise: Large Raspberry Macaron with Chocolate Fudge and Raspberry Jam – Fleur de Lys
- Honey Baklava – Taste of Marrakesh
- Beef Teriyaki Udon: Thin-Sliced Beef, Onions, and Noodles, tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger – Hanami
- Armer Ritter: Egg Battered Toast with Cherry Compote and Powdered Sugar – Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
- Land-harvested Field Greens with Apples, Dried Blueberries, Stilton Cheese, and Apple Cider Vinaigrette – Cider House
- Watermelon Salad with pickled Onions, B&W Gourmet Farms Baby Arugula, Feta and Balsamic Reduction – Urban Farm EATS
- Key Lime Sparkling Wine – Florida Fresh
- Hurricane Class 5 Florida White Sangria – Intermissions Café
- Sparkling Pineapple Wine – Pineapple Promenade
- Florida Larder Board: Orlando-Made Ricotta Cheese, Cahaba Farms Micro Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic, Coutry Pâté, and House-Made Pickles – Florida Fresh
- Hugo-Charles de Fere “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint – Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
- Zonin Prosecco – Intermissions Café
- Seared Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragoût, Spring Veggies, and Marble Potatoes – Urban Farm EATS
- Avivé Natural Peach Sparkling Wine – Urban Farm EATS
- Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, and Cilantro – Florida Fresh
- Urban Mary made with Smirnoff Vodka – Urban Farm EATS
We tried nearly every single item that was offered, except for the Marcaron Chocolat Framboise. It wasn’t because we didn’t want to, it was because they were all gone. Unfortunately, since they were served in wrappers making it easy to leave the venue with them, several people did. Once we made our way to the stand, not one was left. 🙁
Before the end of the food and beverage tastings, there was a panel of Cast Members involved in the planning to tell us about this year’s event. The panel included Eric Darden – Horticulture Manager, Gregg Hannon – Epcot Executive Chef, Dave Kesting – Disney Proprietor, and Forrest Bahruth – Show Director.
The Florida Larder Board with Orlando-Made Ricotta Cheese, Cahaba Farms Micro Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic, Coutry Pâté, and House-Made Pickles from Florida Fresh was our least favorite item. The pickled veggies were great, but we’re not big fans of pate and the ricotta cheese didn’t have a lot of flavor to it.
If you enjoy salads you must try this one at Cider House! The Land-harvested Field Greens with Apples, Dried Blueberries, Stilton Cheese, and Apple Cider Vinaigrette was really light, refreshing. It’s the perfect salad to have on a nice spring day.
One of the many items featured from Urban Farm EATS was the Seared Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragoût, Spring Veggies, and Marble Potatoes. The pork was tender and the mushrooms added a nice earthiness to the dish.
A fan favorite from Florida Fresh has returned for the 4th year. The Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, and Cilantro is excellent. It has a lot of flavor and the grits are a nice contrast to the spices in the sauce and sausage.
The Jerk-spice Chicken with Mango Salsa, Chayote and Green Papaya Slaw with Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette with very good. The chicken was moist and tender and the mango salsa added a nice sweetness to the dish. It will also be available with grouper at the festival.
This dish has been a fan favorite from the beginning – Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, B&W Gourmet Farms Baby Arugula, Feta and Balsamic Reduction. It’s a perfect summer salad. The saltiness from the feta and sourness from the pickled onions pairs nice with the sweet watermelon. We love this dish!
A new dish this year at Primavera Kitchen is the Mezze Lune Primavera – Egg Pasta stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach in a Creamy Sauce with Spring Vegetables and Pecorino Cheese. We enjoyed the creamy sauce. It compliments the ricotta and spinach nicely and the veggies are a nice contrast to the the creaminess.
This has been one of our favorites since it debuted – Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños. The cheese sauce is great and the pickled jalapeños add a tiny bit of heat to the dish, but not too much. You have to try it with the Shipyard Maple Bacon Stout.
After two years hiatus, Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market is back. There are new dishes too. We highly recommend trying the Currywurst with Paprika Chips – Roasted Bratwurst with Curry Ketchup and Paprika-spiced Chip. It’s just a bit spicy, not too much though so even those who don’t like spicy dishes will enjoy this.
If you like noodle dishes you won’t want to miss this one. The Beef Teriyaki Udon – Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger. We thought that the 3 Daughters Rod Bender Red Ale paired really well with it. It’s a good thing that the American Adventure Pavilion and Japan Pavilion are so close to eat other.
New this year is Cider House. It’s replacing the previous Outdoor Kitchen in the United Kingdom Pavilion. For those who like smoked salmon, try the House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare. It’s delicious!
Another new dish at Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market is the Armer Ritter – Egg Battered Toast with Cherry Compote and Powdered Sugar. If you are a fan of French Toast, you must try this menu item.
The Honey Baklava has returned to the Taste of Marrakesh menu along with the Falafel Pocket and Harissa Chicken Kebab. Those who like Baklava will not be disappointed by this one.
Primavera Kitchen is featuring a new dessert this year, Cremoso al Pistacchio – Pistacchio Cream, Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream. It’s a very light dessert. The strawberry adds nice flavor to mascarpone cream.
The Urban Mary available at Urban Farm EATS is made with Smirnoff Vodka. It’s kicked up a notch with spicy greens beans. They’re really good.
If you’re looking for something sweet to drink, there are plenty of choices! Those who like peach will really enjoy the Avivé Natural Peach Sparkling Wine available at Urban Farm EATS. Guests who like REALLY sweet wines will enjoy the Hurricane Class 5 Florida White Sangria at Intermission Café. It’s a blend of mango, lime, passion fruit, pineapple and watermelon. If you’re looking for something less sweet try the Sparkling Pineapple Wine at Pineapple Promenade or our favorite, Key Lime Sparkling Wine at Florida Fresh. We found the Key Lime to be the least sweet of the sweet wines.
Make sure to check our soon-to-be-released podcast with interviews about the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and review! You can also follow on the fun on social media by following #FreshEpcot.