One of the things I love most about these long festivals is how long I have to find (and repeat!!) my favorite things. Just think – today is September 1st – so we've had a month and a half to discover our favorites…and still have more than two months to revisit them!!
I was thinking the other day…I've definitely settled into the comfortable habit of repeating dishes at Food & Wine instead of trying to taste every last thing. And so, without further ado, here are the top ten dishes at Epcot's 2021 Food & Wine Festival……the dishes that have become a sort of comfort food amidst all of the madness that is otherwise 2020-2021.
1. Shrimp & Coconut Curry Rice Noodles – Noodle Exchange
There are no losers at the brand new Noodle Exchange booth. The pho and udon are both excellent. But I keep going back this curry soup. It has so much flavor and the mildest of little kicks. They're always generous with the shrimp and the noodles are consistently done well.
And here are the pho and udon – as you can see you can't go wrong!!
2. Croissant aux Escargots – France
I'm probably in the minority in not being a huge fan of the Beignet aux Trois Fromages (which sounds AMAZING in theory but doesn't quite work in execution) but I won't complain because the croissant aux escargots is back!! A buttery, garlicky, flaky croissant dotted with bits of escargot that carry the flavor and add just the right amount of texture.
3. Fried Falafel Pita at Tangerine Cafe – Flavors of the Medina
Tangerine Cafe has always been one of my top 3 quick service locations on property, so I'm just happy to see it back in any form. This falafel pita is such a hearty portion and pure comfort food. But truth told you can't go wrong with anything at this location. The kebabs are as good as ever, the stone-baked Moroccan bread is cooked in front of a flame in front of your eyes – and comes with an amazing spread of dips – and the pistachio cake is as delicious as it is pretty.
Stone Baked Moroccan Bread
4. Griddled Cheese – Greece
It's gotta be good if it looks like this…
Cheese cooked on the griddle with pistachios and honey. For just $4.50?? Need I say more? (And the spanakopita and moussaka are nothing to sneeze at either…)
5. Spicy Hako Sushi – Japan
This is SO good. A dense cube of sushi rice topped with spicy tuna and salmon, tempura crunch, and volcano sauce. And while it happens to be my personal favorite, the teriyaki chicken bun and tempura shrimp sando are just as good. (Actually I could go for one of those buns right about now….)
Teriyaki Chicken Bun
Tempura Shrimp Sando
6. Chilaquiles con Chorizo – Mexico
Crispy corn tortillas tossed in salsa verde and monterey jack and then topped with crema Mexicana, queso, pickled onions, and ground chorizo. It's like the definition of comfort food – with a kick. If you're here and want something more, the ribeye tacos are fantastic, too.
7. Crispy Barbecued Pork Rinds – Swanky Saucy Swine
I always want to like pork rinds because they're a great low carb option but I usually find them wanting. These, on the other hand, are so good – especially with the pimento cheese that they're served with. If you're looking for something a little lighter to pair them with, the crispy pig ear salad is a huge surprise hit.
Crispy Pig Ear Salad
And if you want a grownup drink to wash it down, the Bourbon Bloody Mary is such a cool drink. A whiskey bloody?? Brilliant!
8. Sliders and Poke – Hawai'i
Picking a favorite at this iconic booth is like trying to choose a favorite child. These two dishes have been around for so long for good reason. If you've got a sweet tooth too, grab the passion fruit cheesecake.
9. Garlic-Parmesan Wings – Brew-Wing Experience
There are 5 different types of wings at the Brew-Wing Experience and trying them all is so much fun. The garlic-parmesan took home first prize for us – but give the BBQ, teriyaki-sesame, buffalo, and mango-habanero a try and let me know your favorite!!
10. The Chimichurri-up Offense – Flavors from Fire
It's been my favorite for years and it'll take a knockout to defeat this champ. Charred chimichurri steak on a smoked corn cake with pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aioli. How could it not be perfect?
How many times have YOU been to Food & Wine this year?? What are you favorites? We want to know!
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If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.