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Thursday, November 11, 2021

EPCOT Food and Wine Recommendations for the Final Stretch

 by Ray Keating



November 11, 2021


The EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2021 has hit the final stretch, with the last day of this year’s event on Saturday, November 20. But it’s never too late to descend upon EPCOT to sample the wide array of cuisine offered during this festival.


Here’s a list of some favorites – and a few not-so-favorite – this year…


• The Noodle Exchange: The Shrimp and Coconut Curry Rice Noodles was quite good – nice size shrimp and a broth with some kick. And the Char Siu Pork Udon featured super tender pork; a soy sauce egg that had a unique and welcome flavor; and tasty, not too salty, broth.


• The Refreshment Port. The Braised Beef Poutine was a delicious combination of French fries, cheese curds, garlic and herbs cheese sauce, and relish. The beef was a bit salty, but not overwhelmingly so.

• Ireland. Let me just say that the Fisherman’s Seafood Pie is freaking awesome. That’s right, feel free to quote me. It’s a perfect blend, and jammed full of seafood.

• France. The Beignet aux Trois Fromages was a wonder of melty cheese, but the French cheese expert in my group expected the beignet to be a bit sweeter. Meanwhile, she adored the Crème Brulee au Grand Marnier, noting that it “never disappoints,”  particularly appreciating the crunchy topping and the Grand Marnier follow through.

• Greece. The Griddled Cheese offered, well, more melty cheese goodness, with our cheese expert saying that it was thinner than expected compared to prior years, but the sweetness of the honey-coated fried cheese swept away any doubts.


• Japan. The offerings here were a little more mixed. The Teriyaki Chicken Bun was unique, sweet and smoky, and the bun ever so soft. And the Tempura Shrimp Sando, with crunchy shrimp accompanied by Yuzu Crab, was cool and delicious. However, the Spicy Hako Sushi, while tasty, was too spicy, to the point that the flavoring overwhelmed the tuna and salmon.

• Germany. Unfortunately, the Roast Bratwurst in a pretzel roll was disappointing, as both the brat and roll were way too dry. Meanwhile, the Schinkennudelin – i.e., pasta gratin with ham, onion and cheese – or German mac and cheese, needed the ham’s saltiness to punch up the taste meter. By the way, I regret not trying the Apple Strudel with vanilla sauce – what the heck was I thinking?

• China. The Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings were a surprise as the orange sauce was more spicy than sweet. However, on one visit, the dumplings were overdone. The ZiRan Beef Bao Bun offered appetizing beef with a small kick. Finally, the Mango Bubble Milk Tea is always a treat of cool, tasty refreshment, coupled with the fun challenge of sucking the chewy boba up the straw.

• Spain. The Spanish-style Paella is highly recommended, with a great sauce. However, the Seafood Salad was not for all. If you enjoy the taste of pickles and olives, then dive into this mix of shrimp, bay scallops and mussels. If you don’t, then don’t take the dive.

• The Alps. Our stop in the Alps was to try the Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with baby potatoes. The portion was smaller than expected, but the warm cheese was salty in a good way.


• Kenya. The Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin turned out a tad disappointing. The beef was tender, but not the best cut of beef, and while tangy, there wasn’t much coffee flavor detected.

• Lobster Landing. How can a booth called the “Lobster Landing” possibly be passed up? The New England Lobster Tail was tender, and the Lobster Bisque Sauce was a nice accompaniment. As for the Baked Lobster Dip, it was delectable, but the flavor of the dipping chips was too overpowering.

• Donut Box. Okay, we went all in here. Yes, we ordered the Crispy Chicken on a Sriracha-glazed Donut. Be still my heart. The chicken patty was oversized and juicy, with a nice crunchy coating. Placed on a glazed donut, it was bizarrely wonderful, and then factor in the spiciness of sriracha, and this was a flavor explosion.

• Mac & Eats. One of the booths that opened a little later than the others, the bowls of mac and cheese here varied wildly in flavor.  The Traditional Macaroni and Cheese with Herbed Panko was a little too bland.  On the other hand, the Truffle Macaroni and Cheese was a delightful version of a grown-up mac and cheese. In a white sauce, it was earthy, with just a hint of a smoky aftertaste. It was also cheesy enough without having the liquid-y, runny sauce that sometimes plagues overly cheesy sauces.  Definite win on the truffle version.

Go, enjoy and eat hearty before the 2021 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival comes to a close. Never fear, though, the arrival of the Holiday Kitchens is only a week behind.




Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at raykeating@keatingreports.com.


The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?


Great Christmas Gift! The Disney Planner 2022: The TO DO List Solution is here! It combines a simple, powerful system for getting things done with encouragement and fun for Disney fans, including those who love Mickey, Marvel, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pixar, princesses and more. Also, “The Disney Planner 2022: The TO DO List Solution” comes with a handy spiral binding for easy use. 


Keating has three new books out. Vatican Shadows: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel is the 13th thriller/mystery in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.comPast Lives: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story is the 14th book in the series. Again, get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed book at www.raykeatingonline.com. And order the 15th book in the series What’s Lost? A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story – grab it at Amazon.com or signed editions at www.raykeatingonline.com


Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of DisneyFree Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.


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