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The Best & Worst of Food & Wine Festival

This was my first year going to Food & Wine Festival so needless to say, I was excited. What was interesting was normally I am not very adventurous in my food choices. In fact, I am the person who orders the same thing off the menu every time we go out to eat. However, at Food & Wine, I wanted to be a little more adventurous and I think I succeeded considering I ate something at 2/3 of all the places to eat. So in this week’s podcast, I talk about my top 5 best foods, top 3 worst, and my top 5 most interesting or shocking. 

 

Everything I Tried at Food & Wine

In this podcast, I only talk about a few things I ate and in this blog post, I want to talk about EVERYTHING I ate and what I am looking forward to next year! 

Epcot Legacy Showplace / Craft Beers

Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich – Imagine Hamburger Helper in a bread cone, that is essentially what this is. Now to some calling this comparable to Hamburger Helper may seem insulting but to be honest I love the stuff so it is definitely a compliment. 

Flavors From Fire

Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions, and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue – The corned beef was incredible but for whatever reason, I thought “crispy potatoes” meant french fries so I was a little disappointed to find out it was basically just potato chips. Personally, I think this would’ve been better over homemade fries, but that’s just me. However, the fondue and corned beef really made the dish and once I had eaten all of that I tossed the rest. Honestly, they gave you quite a big portion of this so it’s not that I didn’t like the potatoes… it’s just that there were a lot of them. 

Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage, Onion Jam, and Maple Butter Syrup – Mentioned in Top 3 Worst in my podcast. 

Earth Eats

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with Carmel Drizzle – Mentioned in my Top 5 Best in my podcast. 

Active Eats 

Loaded Mac n Cheese with Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, & Green Onions – Mentioned in my Top 5 Best in my podcast

Chocolate Studio

Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Carmel – Mentioned in my Top 3 Worst

The Cheese Studio

Cheese Trio – Mentioned in my Top 5 Most Interesting/Shocking

Braised Beef Stroganoff with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom, and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce – This was close to making my Top 5 list, however, the one thing that kept it off the list was the noodles. The noodles were weird like they tasted good but they were little. Which I know, in the title it says “tiny egg noodles,” but I think the dish would’ve been better if they had used regular noodles. 

The Wine & Dine Studio

Trio of Artisan Cheese: Fromager d’Affinois de Excellence with Toasted Baguette; Point Reyes Original Blue with Apricot Jam; Point Reyes Toma with Honey – Unlike the cheese studio these were three different cheese all served with complementing flavors. My one and only complaint was the bread that these cheeses were served with were entirely too hard. 

Farm Fresh

Crispy Chicken with Grilled Cornbread and Red Eye Gravy – This was also a top contender to go on my Top 5 list but the one thinking keeping it off was the cornbread. The chicken and gravy were absolutely incredible, but the cornbread was a little dry. However, this was still one of my favorite dishes.

Africa

Berbere-Style Beef Tenderloin Tips with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato, and Pap – This was very good but very spicy so if you don’t like spicy food I would avoid this. Do not attempt to eat this without water! However, my mom and I both really enjoyed this dish. They served it with plain grits and if you didn’t mix everything together the grits will help cool your mouth down. 

Germany

Schinkennudeln: Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese – Imagine a macaroni and cheese casserole with ham and that is essentially what this is. Being a huge mac n’ cheese enthusiast I was in heaven. 

Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll – Now this may be because I am an American and I sort of expect everything to be big… but I thought this sausage was rather skinny. It was really good but the pretzel roll to meat ratio was off.

Spain 

Charcuterie in a Cone with imported Spanish meats, cheeses, and olives with an herb vinaigrette – If you have ever had Italian Anti-Pasta Salad, this is basically the Spanish version of that. It is just meats, cheeses, and olives all coated in a vinaigrette. 

Belgium

Beer-braised Beef with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes – Not my favorite thing from Belgium but still a solid dish. I was expecting the mashed potatoes to be a little cheesier but still very good. 

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream – Mentioned in my Top 5 Best in my podcast. 

France

Boeuf Bourguignon, Puree de Pommes de Terre: Cabernet Sauvignon- Braised Beef with Mashed Potatoes – This is pot roast…. really good pot roast. This is not typically a dish that you would think would be French but I am down for pot roast any day. 

Canada

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup with Pretzel Roll – This being my first year I had to try this soup and it was awesome. However, I have heard from several people who go to Food & Wine every year that they are sick of this dish because they have it every year. So I have to agree that this soup was good but maybe Canada should switch it up for next year. 

Ireland

Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard – I wish when I got this that I wasn’t already full. Imagine a cake filled with melted chocolate and coated in cream…. that is basically the heaven you will experience when you eat this.  

Roasted Irish Sausage with Colcannon Potatoes and Onion Gravy – This sausage reminded me of high-quality breakfast sausage and the potatoes were the best out of all the booths. Which to be honest, if another booth had better potatoes than Ireland I would be severely disappointed. 

Japan

Teriyaki Ginger Pork – Mentioned in my Top 5 Best in my podcast.

Light Lab

RGB: Citrus Apple Freeze – Mention in my Top 5 Most Interesting/ Shocking

Morocco 

Kefta Pocket: Seasoned Ground Beef in a Pita Pocket – Almost made it on my Top 3 worst list… simply because it wasn’t all that impressive. 

Thailand

Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Stir-fried Vegetables – Mentioned in my Top 5 Most Interesting/ Shocking

China

Chicken Pot Stickers– They were like perogies stuffed with chicken and vegetables and covered in a teriyaki sauce… sooo amazing! 

Hawai’i 

Teriyaki Glazed SPAM Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions, and Spicy Mayonnaise – Mentioned on my Top 5 Most Interesting / Shocking List in my podcast

America – Hops & Barley

Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese served on Griddled Garlic Toast – Mentioned in my Top 5 Best List on my podcast.

Italy

Spezzatino con Polenta: Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta – Mentioned on my Top 3 Worst List on my podcast

Chocolate Experience in the Festival Center (Wonders of Life Building)

Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate – Mentioned on my Top 5 Most Interesting / Shocking List in my podcast.