The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival runs from September 19 to November 10 this year. That means there's nearly two months of feasting and imbibing at this amazing annual event.
I was lucky enough to get an early start with a sneak preview of several of the new food and beverage items. One thing I love about the festival is that it brings back favorites but also rolls out something new every year. Here's a quick review of the best three among the items sampled. I have to confess that they were all delicious, but here's what really stood out (and check out the slideshow for photos):
Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider With Pimento Cheese: This beef slider will be featured at Hops and Barley in the American pavilion. Beef sliders can be bland, but I promise you won't run into that dilemma here. The sauce had enough zing to make my mouth sing without overwhelming it, and the onions added even more zest.
Baked Lobster Alfredo: Lobster mac and cheese is trendy right now, so I didn't expect this dish to wow me. Thus I was pleasantly surprised by the plentiful, flavorful lobster and the properly crunchy crust. The relatively mild cheese balanced nicely with the sweetness of the lobster meat. This is one I'll be seeking out when the festival begins.
Roasted Verlasso Salmon With Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimchurri: This is one where the sides were just as delicious as the main course. The salmon is a sustainable variety, which I always like to see, and it was seared to perfection. However, as a chimichurri fan I fell in love with the sauce, and the quinoa was very well done and could easily be served up on its own.
Of course there were desserts to put a sweet ending on the afternoon, and my favorite was most definitely the Creme Brulee Caramel Fleur de Del. That translates to a sea salt caramel crème brulee, and between its perfect creamy texture and the rich but not overwhelming taste, I was in Heaven. You don't want too rich or heavy of a dessert after sampling multiple dishes, and this was just enough without feeling too heavy.
I washed down all that food with some delicious libations. If you'd like to know my top three choices among them, go to this article. To read about the three best overall things about the festival, go here. For three helpful tips, read this article.