Florida Man on the Run

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2019 Food Review

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Epcot remains one of my favorite Disney parks because it does something better than any other: festivals. The 2019 Flower and Garden Festival is no exception to that wonderful tradition. The combination of exciting new options and favorites from previous years, keeps the festival a must do. While not as food heavy as Food and Wine, the flowers and topiaries serve as their own draws. I visited on April 5th, so this review currently only has information from that trip. Read on to see my favorite dishes, treats, and alcoholic beverages!

The Orange Blossom

Starting off with one of the more popular new booths at the Flower and Garden Festival. The Orange Blossom is the home to everyone’s must have souvenir: The Orange Bird Sipper! Though it has been sold out for the majority of the festival so far, I lucked into a day with instock. The Orange Bird Sipper is my favorite piece of festival merch in years. It’s $15 and comes filled with a sweet creamscicle slush. The slush was good, but can be pretty heavy on a hot day.

While the Flower and Garden Festival isn’t the food mecca festival at Epcot, its still pretty stellar. I settled on the Crispy Citrus Chicken. It came with an orange aioli which was really crisp and refreshing. The chicken itself had a nice crunchy breading and was delicious. There was a slight citrus flavor to the chicken, but the aioli was really the flavor winner here.

Overall, the Orange Blossom was a solid start to our day. Not sure what else I would get here though since I’m not typically a fan of lobster or tuna. I also didn’t try any of the alcohol but that’s another trip down. However, I highly recommend stopping here to get the chicken and grab your Orange Bird if he is home.

Pineapple Promenade

Next up at the Flower and Garden Festival is the Pineapple Promenade. This is where you’ll go to get your Dole Whip at Epcot during the festival. This booth has a number of items featuring the eponymous fruit, including beers, wines, and liquor mixed with Dole Whip. If you have been dying for some pineapple alcohol, this booth has it all.

With regards to actual food, however, the booth is somewhat lacking. It has a single non-desert option, the Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney. That being said, it was my favorite dish from my first visit to the Flower and Garden Festival. Hot and fresh off the roller grill, the hot dog lived up to its spicy nature without overdoing it. The pineapple chutney on top was an absolutely stellar addition. The sweet and tangy chutney was the real star and its flavor complemented the spice of the hot dog perfectly.

Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney. Orange Bird Sipper Cup, exclusive to the Flower and Garden Festival, is behind it.
Orange Bird is ready to chow down on the Spicy Hot Dog

The Spicy Hot Dog is likely one of the only “full” dishes at the festival and it is priced accordingly. While I loved it, the $8 price would make me seriously consider buying again. With most other dishes priced below $6, its a hard sell even for a really great hot dog. Stop by if you love pineapple, otherwise you can skip this booth.

Trowel & Trellis

The most exciting new booth this year is sponsored by Impossible Foods. Trowel & Trellis is an entirely vegan booth at the Flower and Garden Festival this year. This is an addition that many have been clamoring for each year, so its nice to see Disney respond. Its appearance alone is exciting, but what is even better about this booth is the food.

We tried two of the offerings and intended on coming back for the third but forgot. So now we have to come back and try it all again! The two items we did get were the Farmhouse Meatball and Chocolate Pudding Terrarium. We failed to try (but will be returning for) the Grilled Street Corn which was being cooked in the open and smelled amazing.

Perfect mix of art, theme, and food in one yummy desert!

The meatball itself was mega-delicious and absolutely full of flavor. The meat had a lamb taste, according to my wife, which is probably down to the seasoning of the meat. The meatball was done with a lentil bread and creamy herb sauce that was tzatziki-like. The Greek taste was spot on and I loved the whole thing. We followed that up with the Chocolate Pudding Terrarium. This super neat dish was a mix of garden, art, and food! The pudding was your standard chocolate and featured chia seeds, pomegrante, and matcha crumb on the top.

Trowel & Trellis seems to have been a hit while we were there. I hope that it serves as an indication to Disney that they should try more vegan offerings. It’s exciting to see Impossible get their own booth and I’m looking forward to see what they might do at Food and Wine.

Jardin de Fiestas

This booth is a staple at the Flower and Garden Festival (and others) due to it being a permanent structure near Mexico. The menu this year has changed entirely from last year. Its nice to see some turnover on the menus, though in the case of this booth I would have preferred last years dish with was stellar.

Orange Bird Sipper Cup is behind a Beef Torta that has cheese, pickled onions and jalapenos on top.
Ready to heat things up with the Beef Torta and Spicy Habanero Sauce

This year I got a Beef Torta which featured a might tasty and spicy habanero sauce. The beef in the sandwich had some really good flavor but was a tad greasy. The hardest part of this sandwich is the fact that it is served in a cup. The sauce is at the bottom and they place the cheese, pickled onions, and jalapeno on top. It makes it hard to mix the flavors together and it just kinda awkward to eat. All that considered, it was flavorful and filling which is all you can ask for.

Jardin de Fiestas could probably use a good shakeup next year. It serves as the default location for Mexican food during the festivals but I’d like to see them think a bit of the box for what to serve out of here. For the Flower and Garden Festival, I’d like them to focus on a funky presentation or even a vegetable focused menu next year.

Hanami

Hanami is a returning favorite from prior years of the Flower and Garden Festival. The go to here has always been the Frushi, simply because I’m not fond of the rest of the menu and I’m usually kinda full by here. We had believed that the Frushi was vegan, however, according to Vegan Disney World, it is not because the wrap contains cochineal extract. I didn’t know that before writing this and didn’t even think to ask about the ingredients at the time because it’s an item that appears vegan without the whipped cream.

The Frushi is really delicious, despite not technically being vegan. It is a refreshing desert that comes about halfway around World Showcase and can help break up some of the more savory dishes found on either side of Japan. Despite not being vegan, its certainly a call for each person to make on getting it or not. With festival options so limited, you might be willing to overlook that fact. I’m hoping to go back and try the Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail, so Hanami will be on the return list.

Alcohol at the Flower and Garden Festival

Our visit came on a pretty warm day, so we stayed away from most of the alcohol choices. However, what fun is a festival if you don’t partake in a few beverages. The Tampa Bay Brewing Company Twisted Strawbery Fest Fruit Ale (that’s a mouthful) from Florida Fresh was our first choice. It was good, but the strawberry flavor was super faint. This ale isn’t something I’ll be coming back for, but the Watermelon Cucumber Slush with Gin is. My wife got a virgin version of the Slush and it was amazingly refreshing. Adding a touch of gin would give it a nice kick for sure.

Strawberry Fresh Fruit Ale and Watermelon Cucumber Slush next to each other on a table.
Strawberry Fresh Fruit Ale on the Left, Watermelon Cucumber Slush on the Right

The various Joffrey’s Coffee locations also had special beverages on offer. As we were leaving for the afternoon, we stopped by the location next to Disney Traders. This spot had the Goose on the Loose, a frozen passion fruit and ice tea cocktail with Le Citron Vodka. We enjoyed this, though at the end of the day the sweetness was a tad much. I would get this again at the start of the day instead.

I’ll be back before the close of the festival, so a night adventure around the world is in order. My to drink list includes stops The Honey Bee-stro (Brandy Barrel Honey Ale), The Citrus Blossom (Lemon Hefeweizen), Lotus House (Kung Fu Punch), Northern Bloom (Beer Flight), and Joffrey’s near Canada (Cold Clover). With the warm late spring nights coming, these trip will be super refreshing.

Flower and Garden Festival Wrap-Up

My trip to the Flower and Garden Festival didn’t hit every booth on my first go. Though the amount of food is far smaller than Food and Wine, there is still more than you can eat in a day. In particular, I’m looking forward to Flavor Full Kitchen, The Honey Bee-stro, La Isla Fresca, Bauernmarkt, and Primavera Kitchen. If you eat everything that sounds delicious in one day, you’ll probably explode (and empty your bank account). If you want to see everything on the menu, check it out here!

After I make my next trip, I’ll be updating this post with my additional reviews of food. In the mean time, if you’re looking for more Disney content check out my article on Toy Story Land. If Disney isn’t your thing, then why don’t you try out my Ten Must See Places on the Pacific Coast Highway. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more updates and photos!

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