Monday, 9 May 2016

My experience at Flower & Garden 2016

This years Flower and Garden Festival runs from March 2nd to May 30th.  The Festival once again offers the Food Booths, Garden Rocks concert series (although I didn't get a chance to go to this), and many Character Topiary's, special seminars,  and events through out the event. This is all included in your price of admission.

This is one of the best time of years to visit Epcot, the weather usually (despite some quick Florida showers) is very nice. I also like visiting in the fall for Food and Wine festival and Christmas time.

I chose to visit Epcot on the weekend because I heard from a friend the Festival Center is only open on weekends and I'm so glad I listened because there is a lot to see inside the Festival Center. Inside the Festival Center is one of the best places to chill out. There are displays to see and festival merchandise to look at. There is also a small café area called Intermission café where you can order fruit and cheese plates, fruit, wraps, salads and an assortment of other items. I enjoy taking an hour or more to walk through the displays and watch the short films about the festival which are very informative. They also have guest speakers with a lot of tips.

 Gorgeous Orchids at the Festival Center

I enjoy walking around through the many displays and topiary's. Another thing I enjoyed experiencing is the Butterfly Garden. There are cute displays and lots of flowers for the Butterfly's to enjoy.

The crowds were lower than they were at the Food and Wine Festival we went to in previous fall times. Epcot is so beautiful and vibrant this time of year and that is because the many floral displays. For example: there are 30-million blooms, 240 floating flower planters, 700 gardens, nearly 100 Disney character topiaries, 30 flower towers just to name a few.
I personally wish that Epcot had those floating flowers and the flower quilt around the lake year round, its so very pretty.

My favorite thing to do at the Festival is sample the different foods. The Flower and Garden Festival food booths are like Food and Wine food booths but there are not as many and they are more themed around freshness of fruits and vegetables.
This year there are 13 Outdoor Kitchens, up two from last year. The Outdoor Kitchens are food booths. They offer a few dishes and drinks at each booth. This year I got the wrist band gift card. Basically its a gift card on a wrist band. I put 100.00 on mine and my husbands (we shared one card) and 70.00 on our daughter and her friend. Before we went to the festival I made a list of all the food offerings and had each person decide what they might want to try and then I did a total budget, of course this was only a round about figure. The girls actually ended up eating a free things less than they had on their list and added a few more "Bubble Tea's".

I took pictures of most of my husband and my foods that we tried; however, the girls were just not "into", that. They are 16 year old so I don't want anyone thinking we let small children by themselves. Besides they were following us the entire afternoon.

One of the newest booths is the La Isla Fresca. At this booth we tried the Jerk-spice Grouper or Chicken with Mango Salsa, Chayote and Green Papaya Slaw with Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette.
Honestly this was way to spicy for my taste; however, my husband loved it.

Another dish we tried was at the Cider House and it was the Land-harvested Field Greens with Apples, Dried Blueberries, Stilton Cheese and Apple Cider Vinaigrette. I truly enjoyed this. It was perfectly seasoned and had a nice tang to it. It was also very fresh. Also at the same booth was the Pear Cider-brined Shredded Corned Beef with Braised Cabbage and Pears and Branston Dressing. That was amazing. The meat was fork tender and had branston dressing on it that was insanely good.

Moving along we stopped at the Urban Eats booth. This was my all time favorite booth. There we tried three dishes and they were The Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, B&W Gourmet Farms Baby Arugula, Feta and Balsamic Reduction, the Vegetable and White Bean “Naanwich” with Arugula Pesto and Oven-dried Tomatoes featuring Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice and lastly the Seared Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragout, Spring Vegetables and Marble Potatoes. Everything was fantastic. I really enjoyed the refreshing watermelon salad and the Nannwich was crazy good. The Pork tenderloin was superb and so of course I had to order another one.

 Next up was the Lotus House. Here we order the Gaoli Beef Bun. The bun was just ok, similar to an uncooked refrigerator biscuit; however, the beef was really tender and spiced just right.

We also stopped at the Bauernmarkt. We had tried the Currywurst with Paprika Chips: Roasted Bratwurst with Curry Ketchup and Paprika-spiced Chips. It was just ok. The meat was good but the ketchup sauce they floated in it was so-so.

Then we tried the Primavera Kitchen and had the  Mezze Lune Primavera: Egg Pasta stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach in a Creamy Sauce with Spring Vegetables and Pecorino Cheese. That was so delicious. It was cheesy and tender and oh so good.

We also went to the Smoke house. Sadly I have no pictures to share from that booth but I can tell you the food was pretty dang good. We had the ribs, and the hash and the ice-tea and bbq slider. All was really good. My favorite dish was the hash with the burnt ends.

Next up was the Hanami booth, here we had the Beef Teriyaki Udon. This was pretty good. I think it needed soy sauce.

There was many more booths to try but we were stuffed to the gullets. I can't wait to go back next year, I already have my list, lol.

Thank you for reading.

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