Category Archives: Food and Wine Festival

Where should I eat next at the Food & Wine Festival?

This post is “sticky” – regular blogging will appear below it.  Also, Blogless Thursday is suspended this week because I’m at Walt Disney World!

Where should I eat next?  Help me decide!  There is a short list of cities set up at EPCOT for the Food and Wine Festival that I have NOT yet sampled.  I can probably hit three of them tonight.

Menu is here ==>

I have not yet eaten at –

The Mouse Catch, Barcelona, Vienna, Melbourne, Munich, Bologna, Hops and Barley, Wellington, Marrakesh, Istanbul

And what should I eat and drink when I get there?


Obligatory sunset shot and Starship

Jane, jane, jane…

Above, we have the obligatory sunset shot, with the Dolphin and the Eiffel Tower visible. When I strolled into the USA, the “Eat to the Beat” concert was just beginning. I guess Mickey Thomas is not allowed to use the “Jefferson” name, but he does have a Grace Slick-a-like up there singing with him. People kept yelling out “White Rabbit” but he ignored it. The first song, they blistered through “Jane” – it was awesome, true to the recording, and it kicked ass all over the place. Then he did that old Elvin Bishop tune, “Fooled Around And Fell In Love”, and after that he and the Slick-a-like launched into some sickly sweet 80s tune called “Set The Night To Music” and I walked away. I was in the mood to hear the kick-ass stuff, but most of that was done with the real Slick and Jefferson Airplane. Oh well.

Yes, it was spice cake

Pretty good if only it were larger

When you walk by the South Africa kiosk, you are positively assaulted by the aroma of cinnamon and other yummy dessert-type spices. It’s like going to Boma – everything tastes like dessert. The line was long. I wish the piece of cake had been bigger – it was the size of a small cookie!

PHOTOS ADDED – Spain, spicy calamari stew

Spain is set up over near Mexico, so I took an ambiance photo

We’re having the calamari stew. It looked suspiciously like the New Zealand offering, but it was served warm and there was yellow saffron rice underneath. I gave it a thumbs down – the spices overpowering, rose just meh.

Good gawd that was awesome!!!

Want to add what it was. Chick peas, corn, diced tomatoes/onions/other fun stuff served warm. It was absolutely delish! It’s called tomatican with manchego cheese. The wine was Montes Cabernet-Carmenere, and it was tolerable for a red, went well with the dish.

The Friday Report, CONTINUED

After Haunted Mansion and the hot dog, I cruised back to Splash to redeem my Fast Pass. Sat in the second to last seat and didn’t hardly get wet at all, which was fine by me. Nothing like walking around in soaking wet underwear…. Wanted to head for Tomorrowland after that, but the parade was coming to I had to grit my teeth and cut through Stroller Hell, aka Fantasyland to get there. While walking through there, I happened to see – ok no, that was a lie – I actively sought a pretzel stand, but ended up getting a churro instead. I also passed the teacups and thought of my friend Trixy (which I spelled with an “ie” in the photo, I know not why). Once I turned the corner into Tomorrowland, I decided I really wasn’t into waiting for another Fast Pass to mature, so I cut down into the Rose Garden and hung out there for a while, just diggin’ the scenery. Wandering back onto Main Street from there, I noticed that signage for the MNSSHP was being put up, so I figured to get while the gettin’ was good, and made my way out of the park, stopping only to listen to the barber shop quartet for a bit. boarded the relatively uncrowded monorail and changed at the TTC for the monorail to Epcot.

The monorail makes a dip into the Epcot park just before letting you off, and I saw the sign for the Festival Center, which is set up in the cavernous Wonders of Life pavillion. So I made my way over there, stopping to buy a pretzel along the way (which I could only eat half of, they are so monstrously large). There’s wine tasting, a wine shop, a book shop, a kitchen gadget shop, and a place to find out about DVC at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. There’s also some sort of film being shown in there, but I didn’t stop to see it. It’s weird to see a wine shop set up right under the Body Wars sign.

There wasn’t much else I wanted to do there last night. My body and particularly my feet were SCREAMING at me for some rest and some non-crap food. So I walked up to the International Gateway and caught the boat back to the Dolphin. I messed around on the net for a bit and then went to dinner at the Fountain (I could only eat half that buffalo chicken salad, but it was good!). My waiter was a young British lad with Prince Harry type cuteness (same coloring) and he kept winking at me. He was very cute, but how Mrs Robinson would THAT be? LOL Probably he was just gigolo-ing himself for a better tip.

After dinner, I came back to the room for a nice, long, hot shower before sitting down to tell my tale. I think the hot shower is what did me in; I think I was technically asleep before hitting the pillow, and did not bother to set the alarm or a wake up call.

I awoke to another beautiful morning. Only 69* at present, and out on the balcony it feels like the humidity has broken. A full night’s sleep for a change, but I still feel sorta lazy. I think I shall post this and then get dressed and head out for Animal Kingdom. I know a place in Harambe where I can get a fruit smoothie for breakfast!

The Friday Report

The Friday Report

I had two very early sessions. Thanks to the drinking the night before, I had no difficulty falling into bed and makin’ wit da Zzzzzs whatsoever. But still, the alarm came way too soon. Coffee helps, so did some fruit. I went and learned some stuff, came back to the room and checked my work email, and then headed for the bus stop over to the Magic Kingdom.

The park is done up for Halloween, with some really cute decorations in the town square. This is a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party night, so it would be an early closure. First I needed to eat something – that fruit cup at 7:00 am seemed a while ago. I decided I would eat shit that was bad for me today, so I went to the Main Street bakery and got a ham, egg and cheese croissant. OK, I also got a banana; my brain works better on bananas.

After the hunger monster had be quieted, I went across the street to the Emporium to find the silly birthday had and took a photo of it. It is not on the blog. I didn’t take it for the blog. I took it to send to my big brother because it is not only my 15 year anniversary (that’s my cancer-free anniversary, by the way), it is also my big brother’s birthday. I don’t generally mention my anniversary to the family because it sorta taints his birthday or something. So in my family, October 12th is just my big brother’s birthday.

That being accomplished, I proceeded into Adventureland. I was proud that I passed the Aloha shack; Dole whips are to die for, but here’s the problem with the Magic Kingdom. There are SO many yummy treats there, one has to pick and choose because if you try to have them all in one day, your stomach will explode. So I passed it. Next time!

I was very nearly acosted by the spitting camel; got out of the way just in time. My next stop was Pirates of the Caribbean. The wait said 20 minutes, but it was actually more like 10. As I passed through the hologram (or whatever it is) of Davy Jones, something dripped on me, and since he’s got all those tentacle/elephant trunk things on his face, I immediately thought, “eeew, he SNOTTED me”. I’ll take the spitting camel, thank you. Tried on some pirate Mickey ears in the merchandise area after the ride. The smoking area heading from Pirates to Splash is being refurbished. If I recall correctly, all that was back there before was a split rail fence and a grassy slope beyond it. Not sure what they intend to do with this area…

Big Thunder Mountain looked SO cool against the blue, blue sky. There was not even one hint of a cloud in the sky today. It really was THAT blue! However, when I got there, I found it was down for rehab. Went and got a fast pass to Splash, and then headed through Frontierland toward my next stop – Haunted Mansion. Ah, I just found a pic in the phone that I hadn’t posted – a pin that says, “The Empress”. This is for you, *1L!

Jessie and Woody were dancin’ in the streets as I passed by. Jessie’s head is so HUGE; I don’t know how they get it on the cast member wearing it. A crane, perhaps? Nor do I know how she manages it keep it upright while doe-si-doe-ing.

Finally, Haunted Mansion. I only went through once, and I want to do it again soon because I’m confused. I know they did a lot of re-work on this attraction, expanding the attic scene. It looks like the bride was upset because she discovered that her groom had been married countless times before? There were all these pics of all these brides and him as the groom. But also in the beginning of the ride, pay attention when your doom buggy is going past that coffin with the body inside lifting the lid. There is a repeating bit of audio that sounds to me like a baby crying! Don’t know what to make of that. If anyone has some commentary on what they think the changes are all about, please post your comments here!

Amazingly, after Haunted Mansion I was hungry again. I could smell the hot dog cart, and my mouth watered. I can’t believe I ate a hot dog so soon after breakfast! After the hot dog, it was time for my Fast Pass to Splash. It was awesome, and sitting in the second to last row, I hardly got sprinkled at all. Yay, no soggy underwear for me today.

My eyes are closing by themselves; will finish tomorrow.

Good gawd, those banana dacquiris are THE SHIT! (Thursday Report)

OK, as y’all can see, I ventured into Epcot late this afternoon, after I had talked to cranky clients and attended research sessions all the doo damned day. I walked in from the Dolphin, on the Yacht Club side.

The very first (mis) adventure was that my brand spankin’ (re)new(ed) Annual Pass would not work in the turnstiles. I had to go stand on the ticket line to get it sorted. There was ONE ticket lady and about a bazillion people on line. So I was very cranky when I finally entered the park.

I hung a left after the International Gateway, and made my way to Canada to start grazing. I knew from last year that the maple salmon with arugula and corn was REALLY good, provided that you cannot smell a “fishy” smell when you get to the kiosk. There was no “fishy” smell, so I bought it and parked myself upon the trash can near the entrance to Le Cellier to imbibe. It came with a Mission Hill Chardonnay that I liked. If I could have given it two thumbs up and still taken the picture, I would have. They also have a small sample size of the famous cheese soup there, but it was so hot and sticky in the park this afternoon, I could not bear the thought of it and passed.

My next stop was the Peru kiosk for some duck and rice dish. There were some other choices, but I asked the girl ringing me up to make a recommendation, so duck it was. TOOTIE, I AM SORRY, WHAT CAN I SAY, I WAS HUNGRY! lol It also had peas, and was flavored with some sort of local chile, which gave a greenish hue to everything. It was good, I liked it, but I kept thinking it needed something. A woman next to me and I started talking about it, and we became convinced that some diced tomatoes would have given it a burst of fresh, and also some other color besides green. So that’s why it only got a listing thumb (the pic has not shown up, so I will post it later). I forget what the name of the wine was, but it was dry and red and went well with the duck.

I proceeded up the rose walk into the Dominican Republic, where I found a dacquiri stand. They had mango, passion fruit, and banana. Well, Mexico has mango margaritas, which I like, but I have them all the time, so I wanted something different. I asked the lady ringing me up to make a recommendation, and she said to go for the banana, so I did. Missing in action is a picture of the thumbs up for the dacquiri, which I was slowly sipping on (to avoid brain freeze) as I made my way around the lagoon.

I called a friend when I reached that first gift shop, over by the MacDonalds french fries place. It was quiet behind the building, relatively, and I could hear her fairly well. We chatted, and I sipped, and when we hung up and I stood up, I was like WOA! I kept walking, toward Mexico, and then my mother called, to rehash cousin so-and-so’s baby shower and all the scandalous occurrences that happened. I had to sit down again on some benches near Odyssey. After we hung up, I wandered into Mexico and found a place to sit so I could call Debbie and make my now famous recommendation of the banana dacquiris in Dominican Republic. I also took a pic of the dead soldier against a Swan and Dolphin sunset background.

I’d bought a bottle of water with my Canadian meal, and now I was going at it in earnest, trying to sort of mitigate the damage. You know, clean out my brain cells and kidneys and such. By time I reached the International Gateway again, I had to buy another bottle, and ended up twitching on the boat ride home until it dropped me off at the Dolphin and I could find a place in which it is acceptable to pee.

OK, I’m sorta spaced out still, and not sure that if I hooked the camera up to the PC, would I actually copy the pictures or delete them. So I think I’m not long for this world, and bid you all fond goodnight.

I just wanna say that I am very much looking forward to the Main Moose Meet later on this month – and yes, we are going to get us some banana dacquiris! WOO HOO!

The Wednesday Report

My last session ended pretty early yesterday, so I headed down the Boardwalk for Epcot. I had to renew my Annual Pass, which I did at the International Gateway, and then proceeded to take a left through the UK and Canada, where I stopped for a moment to listen to the blistering bagpipe rock of Off Kilter and snapped the pic of the wine t-shirt for Georgia. I took this route because I wanted my first eating to occur in Mexico. I have to say the chilequiles was awesome. The older I get, the more appreciation I develop for Mexican dishes. The wine was wine; I don’t know much about wine, so I cannot comment intelligently on it, but at least it didn’t clash with the chile sauce. Before eating, I did ride El Rio Del Tiempo (no, I can’t recall the new name, and yes, I will likely continue to call it El Rio Del Tiempo for eternity, thus dating myself every time I speak of it).

Onward then we go to Norway, where there was an Ireland kiosk outside. You might ask yourself, what’s Ireland doing in Norway? Why aren’t they in the UK? Well, since they put the Ireland kiosk darn near across the lake from the UK, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say the kiosk is actually “Republic of”. I had the Irish Cheese Plate here. They give you cheese, which is full-bodied and flavorful, and chutney, and butter. That’s three things to try with the brown bread, which is crumbly and sort of unflavorful until you put one of the above on it. The problem here is that there is not enough bread to go around. I had leftover of all three things. I ended up making a sort of fruit rollup with the extra chutney and cheese, but it wasn’t the same without the brown bread. Ergo, this offering from the “Republic of” kiosk gets only a moderately erect thumb.

While chowing down in Norway, a string group came out and played a little ditty, during which they would periodically stop and yell “hey!”. I thought it was funny, and so did some little kids standing by, who would all yell “hey!” with the string players.

After this, I just did the country walk for a while. It was very hot and sticky on the country walk yesterday afternoon, and I kept having to stop to buy yet another bottle of water. Pretty soon I was in France, which had been the ultimate dessert destination in mind. I partook of the film, as always enjoying the music of the French composers, and then purchased the peach tart in the bakery. Ooo la la! It was wonderful. The glaze was not overdone in terms of sweetness, and you could really taste the peaches. The pastry was very flaky and good. Big thumbs up!

After France, the sky was darkening, and I wandered toward the front of the park to stalk the geosphere. It’s got to be one of the most photographed objects on the planet. I have tons of photos of it myself, but I keep shooting at it. Why? Because now it is NAKEY! Gone is the ugly arm of Mickey with the wand and the word “Epcot”. I always thought it was stupid to put the label on it. It’s an icon, a logo, OF COURSE it’s Epcot. What else would it be?

So I waited through two cycles of the fountain show and tried to get something as good as previous shots, but I don’t think the ball-stalking gods were with me last night, because I’m not really satisfied with the results. So I’ll leave you with one from earlier in the day, when I was messing around with composition and perspective. Hope you like it!

Adding missing pic


I don’t know why but when you add photos to an existing mobile post, they come out at the top of the post, not where you have the cursor. So you have to drag them around to where you want them, which I have. Anyhow, the menu identifies this dish as “Chilequiles – baked tortillas with chicken and cheese” There is a clear-ish sauce with green tint on it (presumably green from the chiles). It is paired with L.A. Cetto Chardonnay.

So, Sheena Easton…

She opened with a steamy disco number, and then did a short stand-up routine, which was pretty funny. (paraphrase) “Hmmm, don’t know that song…. don’t know a lot of her songs…. well, pretty soon she’ll do the one about the train… where’s she been all these years? One word – SOCCER. I have an 11 yr old and a 13 yr old. Practice three nights a week. Three nights! A week! Games on the weekend. Oh and then there’s TOURNAMENT weekends. Three games on Saturday, two on Sunday. I’m a bad mom. I am. I sit there during tournament and whisper ‘don’t score, PLEASE don’t score”… I can’t be the only mom who thinks this way! (people in audience raise hands)” I guess she had a soccer mom audience, cause they loved her. And then she launched into “I’m Almost Over You” and I moved on after she almost hit the high note… really, transpose that thing down a half step, and you woulda had it!

Item 2 – Shell Schitt

For my Sanibel-a-holic friends, I saw some shell shit in one of the high-end gift shops at the Dolphin. In another display, they have the usual bottle filled with pink sand that has “Florida” written on it, but all the shells inside are from the freakin’ Phillipines ::lol::

Some phone shots that didn’t post – Item 1

Item 1: The pic that was supposed to tell Mari that she was correct about “where in the World” I was having lunch (and btw – Mari and Chris would get along splendidly, I am sure. Together, they could be the Snark Sistas) ::lol::