Thank you so much for checking out my review of the top ten best food items of the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! There are only a couple weeks left of the festival so it’s that much more important to prioritize what is a must get before it ends. I can’t wait to share with you what I think is the best of the fest!
You’re welcome to read the review here or watch/listen to the video at the bottom of this post (or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/UXFKmDidC04). It’s also posted on our Facebook page at Seeking the Magical if that is easier for you. Whatever you choose, be warned this might make you hungry because I’m suddenly famished just anticipating discussing these—so let’s get to it!
First, you should know there were so many great items this year, but there were also a fair number of nearly great items. I’m definitely a bit of a foodie, and one of the things I love about the Epcot festivals is the opportunity to try small bites of new and different food pairings, flavor combinations and preparation methods. While there typically is less originality with the menus at Flower and Garden, as compared to the International Festival of the Arts for example, there were some unique items that were great. Unfortunately, a number of the more unique items just missed the mark. As a result, several of the offerings that made my top ten this time are the more classic dishes. And classic dishes aren’t bad—those flavor combinations are traditional for a reason, and, when a classic dish is done well, it becomes a staple. A few of these fall into that category, and I expect to see them again at next year’s Flower and Garden festival—they were just that good. So be certain to grab them while you can this year, and let’s hope Disney listens and brings them back for us to enjoy again in the future!
They just might do that because every year these festivals get bigger and bigger. It was a personal feat for me this time to try a wide variety of items from every booth. Somehow, I and my stomach managed, and I had a ton of fun in the process! One of our goals at Seeking the Magical is to provide you the best, most informed and honest reviews so that you can plan an amazing Disney adventure and spend your money wisely while you’re there. I sampled everything I could to give you the most accurate best of the fest list possible; you should know though there aren’t any seafood items on this list because I’m allergic to seafood. Typically, my husband, Brian, handles all the seafood reviews, but he couldn’t attend the festival this time due to work. So those items are not in the top ten. To try and make up for that I have a shout out for one that I heard was the best from many cast members and fellow guests, and I hope that helps.
Now that you know all of that, let’s get to what you came for—the food!
10. Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili-ranch Sauce – Taste of Marrakesh in the Morocco Pavilion
The tenth best item at the Festival was the Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili-ranch Sauce sold for $6.00 from the Taste of Marrakesh booth in Morocco. When I ordered this item the cast member asked me if I like spicy food. I said, “Yes, I LOVE spicy food!”, and she was relieved. She said they’ve had a few complaints that this one is too spicy.
That made me even more curious to try it because for years Disney has erred on the bland side, and their version of “spicy” has been a joke for most of us who like a little or a big kick in our food. Also, I am a ranch fiend, and chili-ranch sauce is a special indulgence for me so that sold the dish immediately.
Thankfully, I was not disappointed. It had some spice to it–nothing overwhelming or that would make you reach for something to drink immediately if you like spicy food, but, if you avoid it, the spice level in the sauce will probably be too much for you. My only issue was that as it cooled temperature wise—some of the cauliflower began to have a bit of a mush texture. I am very sensitive to mushy textures—more on that later—and I don’t know if some of the cauliflower I was served had gone bad or if it had just been sitting for too long post frying. Either way the mush factor was unappealing for me making this one—while great in many ways—come in at number ten on the list.
9. Canard Confit à la Provençal or Braised Duck Confit with Tomatoes and Olives on Polenta – Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion
The next best dish was the Canard Confit à la Provençal or Braised Duck Confit with Tomatoes and Olives on Polenta available for $6.00 from Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion. I believe this one should actually be, “Confit de canard” à la Provençal:, but I apologize to all of you as I am sure I am saying that and many other things incorrectly. Please forgive me—and while we’re on the general subject—thank you also for putting up with my voice in this video. I am getting over the flu, and my voice is still off. Anyway, back to the duck. This dish was NOT the most appealing visually. As you can tell by the photos…it wasn’t very instagrammable, but it was delicious. I loved the duck, and the amount that was included for $6.00 was impressive. Really, the only drawback of the dish was that the polenta was fairly superfluous. It worked, but it didn’t enhance the duck.
There is one more item from Fleur de Lys in France that made my top ten so stay tuned for that, but, first, I want to give an honorable mention to two of the other options available at this booth because they were both really good and almost made this list. First, the Tarte au Chévre which was a Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions on a flaky Pastry Crust that they sold for $5.50 was mouthwateringly good. What missed the mark was that mine was a little soggy in the middle. I purchased it right as the booth was closing, and I think it sat for too long in the warmer prior. So there’s that. Second, the La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy made of Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice was very refreshing and, at $10.75, has proved very popular. Overall, I would say that Fleur de Lys wins best booth of the fest because every item was noteworthy.
8. Tri-Colored Cheese Tortellini with Sage Butter and Chicken Veloute -Primavera Kitchen in the Italy Pavilion
Moving on to number 8, I thoroughly enjoyed the Tri-Colored Cheese Tortellini with Sage Butter and Chicken Veloute for $9.00 from Primavera Kitchen in the Italy Pavilion. This one surprised me because the noodles were actually cooked al dente which I love!!! Al dente means “to the tooth” in Italian and it signifies that noodles or rice are only cooked to the point where they’re still firm to the bite. So often noodles at Disney—especially in their mac n cheese—are cooked to the point of mush. As I alluded to earlier, I’m very big on textures, and mush is just not my thing. Really, I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m old and lose my teeth. I’ll probably have to subside on milkshakes from In-n-Out…that wouldn’t be so bad actually. Ahh…In-n-Out…how I miss you. Sorry—daydreaming there—back to the Italy Pavilion in Epcot…so yes, the noodles were done perfectly, and the chicken veloute—which is just a rich sauce made with chicken stock, cream and egg yolks—was perfectly balanced with the sage. While not the most exciting dish on the list, this is one of those classic dishes that they did very well.
7. Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread – Trowel and Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods at the Entrance to World Showcase
Coming in at number 7 was the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread for $5.50 from the Trowel and Trellis booth Hosted by Impossible Foods. This booth is located right before the Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase. Now, I was born and raised in rural Minnesota so like most Midwestern girls, I love me some corn on the cob. And at an amusement park, it’s such a nice, light snack to have when so much of what one eats is heavier and not nearly as good for you. The garlic spread on this one was particularly good. It was a little thick in parts, but I just spread it out to cover the lower portion of the cob that was originally wrapped in tinfoil. Then, it was the perfect amount. As refreshing as this was, I’m still partial to the corn-on-the-cob that is sprinkled in curry seasoning available at Harambe Market in Animal Kingdom…but this was still really good!
6. Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle – Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews at the American Adventure
Number six is one of those show off how high we can stack this—kinds of dishes, but I won’t fault them for that. It is Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle available for $7.50 from the Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews at the American Adventure. This one was a challenge to eat neatly, but I think it was worth the stain on my shirt. They made a smart choice using the cheddar fondue to coat the meat, and the flavor combination of the burnt ends and pork belly was delectable. My only complaint was the sausage had dried out and didn’t add anything to the dish…but it was easily removable.
5. Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette—the Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop – Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion
Shockingly, number 5 is the first dessert on my list. Usually, the desserts are more prominent in my top picks from the festivals, but this time they didn’t measure up as high. Overall, I think most were far too sweet. It was just sweet on sweet on sweet. Which can be nice—I love sweets—but I think the best desserts are more balanced. I will rarely reorder a sweet on sweet dessert, and to make my top ten an item must be more than reorderable—a dish must be truly craveable. The Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette—the Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop selling for $5.25 from Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion was definitely craveable. It was also adorable. The only feedback I have on this one was the best part was the portion that was coated in chocolate and nuts so, Disney if you bring it back next year, please coat the whole thing in nuts or at least most of it. Merci beaucoup.
4. Beef Tenderloin Tips with Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes and Garden Vegetables – Northern Bloom in the Canadian Pavilion
Moving on to number 4, my next favorite was the Beef Tenderloin Tips with Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes and Garden Vegetables available for $6.75 from Northern Bloom in Canada. This is an undeniable classic, and it was done very well—especially considering that they’re serving it out of a booth in 90 plus degree heat most of the time. The beef was moist and flavorful, the carrots were not overcooked and they provided a lighter note to the dish, and the potatoes were great. Sometimes you just gotta show some respect for the classics, and this was one of them.
I really wish I could have tried the Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon sold for $7.00 also from Northern Bloom in Canada because that is the dish that many, many people told me was the best seafood option at the festival this time. Alas, I couldn’t sample it because I’m allergic, but every part of it—minus the scallops for me—sounds wonderful. I’ve heard you should check that one out if you can.
3. Braised Beef served on a Crispy Sourdough Roll with Queso Oaxaca, Avocado, Pickled Onions and Jalapeños in a Spicy Habanero Sauce – Jardin de Fiestas in the Mexico Pavilion
Breaking into my top three now, my third favorite dish was the Beef Torta—which was Braised Beef served on a Crispy Sourdough Roll with Queso Oaxaca, Avocado, Pickled Onions and Jalapeños in a Spicy Habanero Sauce sold for $6.50 at Jardin de Fiestas in the Mexico Pavilion. This was so tasty and super filling too. It had a substantial amount of meat, and the bread was pretty hearty so it was a good mini-meal that was well balanced with a nice small-kick of spice. I wouldn’t call it spicy, but the flavor was deep and rich from the peppers and sauce. The thing that placed it at number three for me was how they served it. They stacked everything other than the meat on top which looked pretty, but it was very hard to disperse the toppings when trying to eat it. Also, the sauce seemed to be only on the opposite side of the toppings and, then, pooled in the little dish at the bottom. One could dip the slider into the sauce for more of a kick once it was a smaller portion, but it was pretty messy and unmanageable until you ate at least half of it. By that point, the other toppings were gone, and it was not as well balanced—but still really good.
2. Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese – Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market in the German Pavilion
It’s weird, but I feel like I’m going to disappoint you with the dish that came in second best. It’s just so simple…boring even…but it was so delicious! Really, I could find no faults with it other than not being super photogenic. But who cares when the dish is so tasty! Number two on my list is the Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese sold for $5.25 from Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market in Germany. Whether you’re more of an adventurous eater like me at the festivals or super classic or even picky, I venture to guess that this one will please the vast majority of palettes. So I can’t knock it for being simple…my mouth is watering right now just thinking about the gobs of melty cheese that were hanging off it and the slight saltiness of the bread. So good. Get it. Enjoy. Nuff said.
1. Zeppole: Ricotta Cheese Fritters, Powdered Sugar, Chocolate-Hazelnut Sauce and Raspberry Sauce – Primavera Kitchen in the Italy Pavilion
And finally, coming in at number one on this list—the Zeppole from Primavera Kitchen in the Italy Pavilion. These ricotta cheese fritters were sprinkled with powdered sugar, drizzled with chocolate-hazelnut sauce and accompanied by a raspberry sauce for dipping. They cost $7.00, but I would’ve happily paid double that. THEY WERE SO GOOD!!! If you read our recent review of the Wish Granted Donut in Magic Kingdom—spoiler alert—it did not grant our wish—you’ve already heard how Disney can sometimes fail on the donut front, but they did not fail here! We’ve had many, many donuts from Disney over the years—in the parks, at Joffrey’s, at the water parks, and as dessert options in various restaurants—and these were the best donuts I’ve ever had on Disney property. They were light and fluffy with a richer flavor from the cheese. The powdered sugar added a nice sweetness, and the amount of chocolate-hazelnut sauce was perfect. If you ask me, they didn’t even need the raspberry sauce—that was just a bonus. They were great in the middle of a super-hot afternoon, standing at a table, melting in the sun. I didn’t care—I loved them, and I would eat them under any circumstance. They would’ve been wonderful with a cup of coffee or amazing with a nice glass of Pinot Noir or a Cab Franc. Obviously, I want many more of them right now. Sadly, I’m no longer in Florida, and I can’t. If you’re watching this though, you’re most likely heading there so do your taste buds a favor and grab the Zeppole in Italy. You can thank me later.
Well that completes my top ten best of the fest for the 2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. I hope you get to check out some of these before the festival ends! If you’ve already been to the festival, please leave a comment below letting us and your fellow readers know your favorites so we can all learn from each other. Before you go, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss our upcoming reviews, tips and tricks. Until next time, we hope you hug your loved ones, cherish the memories and always continue Seeking the Magical.