Ok, so I have a confession to make…
Yes, volunteering for last night’s race did make me feel all warm and happy inside AND Yes, it was awesome to see Derek run past me in the middle of the race. BUT… I did have one other motive at hand….
Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival
Yes, it’s true. I signed up to volunteer last night for the free ticket to a Disney Theme Park so that I could spend a day indulging in delicious food and drinks from around the world with my Sister.
I love Disney. I love Food. I have no shame. 😉
Post-Half Marathon Derek Update: He’s doing great!
He passed the ultimate day after half marathon test when he was able to walk down a flight of stairs on his own with no pain this morning (Woop! Woop!) AND he happily spent the day eating wings and watching football with my sister’s boyfriend, Anthony. He’s still on cloud nine and I *think* I still see that full marathon in his future. 😉
I’m hoping to have his guest post up tomorrow or Tuesday.
We were all able to sleep in this morning. It’s amazing how easy it is to crash after being on your feet until 2:00am. (This must have been how I was able to sleep in so late in college)
A big day of eating around the world was on the agenda for the morning, so we kept breakfast light and easy.
I was able to piece together a few things from the hotel food court (applesauce and raisins) with some things from home (granola sample, pear, and Barney Butter) to create a messy bowl of breakfast goodness.
After breakfast Kelly and I said our good byes to Derek (who I think preferred football, beer, and wings over being on his feet the remainder of the day) and headed to Epcot for the 15th annual Food & Wine Festival.
I attended the Food & Wine Festival last year with Derek and my parents and knew I would find a way back to this year’s event – volunteering for last night’s race just happened to be that ticket. 😉
This year, however, I was excited to be celebrating at the Wine & Food Festival with my Sister.
Kelly is a grad student who works really hard studying and TA-ing for next to nothing. Often times she has to turn down fun events due to $$ or time and it kills me every time.
Being able to bring my Sister along this time thanks to our free tickets was an extra bonus. Kelly is amazing and deserves a treat every once in a while. I love my Sister. Getting to spend a full day eating our way around the world with her is worth celebrating!
First things first, we picked up our guide for the day.
This year’s Food & Wine Festival was going to be a little different than last year’s. In honor of my sister’s vegetarian diet we decided to approach the world showcase completely from a vegetarian’s stand point. Yes, this is a meat heavy festival, but I love a good challenge, and only selecting vegetarian dishes was a good one.
We loaded up our Food & wine gift card and were ready to go.
First stop: Greece!
A favorite of last year’s event and one that I knew would not disappoint.
You see those green Vs below? Each vegetarian friendly dish were clearly marked which made for easy, quick vegetarian decisions.
We selected both the Greek Salad and a Spanakopita.
I’ve had bad Spanakopita and this was NOT bad Spanakopita. The cheese and spinach feeling was warm and not overly spinachy (which is easy to do) and the flaky, pastry crust was the pert amount of buttery flakiness.
The salad was also perfect. Drenched in dressing, of course, but the heavy amount of olive, feta, red onion, and cucumber was perfect.
Across from Greece was the new Charcuterie & Cheese Booth
I spy a V!
We selected the cheese fondue with potatoes and croutons, but were a little disappointed with the amount of dippers for our fondue.
On top of the lack of dippers, the cheese was too sweet and cool. I believe this was our least favorite selection of the day. :/
Luckily, our least favorite was followed by our FAVORITE of the day.
In Belgium we had the Freshly Baked Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream.
AMAZING! The waffle was crisp on the outside and soft and warm on the inside and the berry compote was thick, rich and delicious.
Two thumbs way up!
I know it’s a Food & Wine festival, but in the hot, glaring sun I am so much more of a beer girl.
Every year Sam Adam’s brews a special beer specifically for the Food & Wine Festival. This year’s brew was the 15th Anniversary Coastal Wheat.
I love how they had small 6 oz pours this year. It was the perfect, light amount for someone who plans to do a lot of sampling. 😉
With the Pecan Bread Pudding
Falafel Pita Pocket
Another favorite. The falafel had a lot of spice and the crunchy slaw filling was a fresh, cool edition to the pita pocket.
We took a break from eating halfway around the showcase to enjoy some of the sights and rides of Epcot.
I LOVED Innoventions as a kid and was excited to see the exhibited had been re-vamped and re-opened earlier this year.
Innoventions is a cool place where you can participate in interactive exhibits ‘of the future.’ One of those exhibits had a spot where you could try a segway.
I had never been on a Segway before (Yes, I know the own recently passed away in a tragic segway accident – ironic, no?) and found the whole experience very entertaining. Segways are great, if I wasn’t so cheap it might be fun to do a segway tour of a city sometime.
I also got to make my own video game
They were suppose to e-mail me a link of the finished product, but I never got it!
It’s kind of cool though. They film you running, jumping, and dancing then use those images in an interactive video game that you play in the next booth over.
If they ever send me the link I promise to post it.
Break over! More Food!
Round II begins with Argentina!
Roasted Corn & Cheese Empanada
Another winner. The spicy corn was really what made this a winner. I love corn and thought it made a fabulous empanada filling.
Every hot day needs Ice Cream. Good thing China delivered with a Caramel Ginger Ice Cream.
The ginger was really strong in this one at first, but after a couple of bites I thought the spicy ginger was quite refreshing.
During round II Kelly and I saw a group of friends celebrating a friend’s birthday with ‘Drinks around the world’ Shirts.
On the front it said ” We’re Gettin’ Down & Dirty ‘Cuz Jason’s B-day” And the back ” Drinks Around the World” with a list of all the showcase countries and a space to write the drink from that country.
How fun is that? Next birthday I celebrate at Epcot (we celebrated Kelly’s 21st here in 2008) I am totally copying that idea!
We toasted the birthday boy with a beer from Germany
Kelly and I split the 12oz Octoberfest.
The GRAND FINALE: Italy!!
I’m pretty sure I was counting down to eating this all day.
Definitely my second favorite of the day. I <3 cannolis!!!
And that was that.
Kelly and I had a wonderful day eating our way around the world at Epcot. Such a fun time and definitely worth cheering on some amazing runners for.
Also, I would like to point out Kelly and I didn’t even cover all of the vegetarian options available at the Food & Wine Festival. If you are a veggie and heading to this year’s festival, I think we proved there are more than enough options available. Have no fear. Go. Have fun. and enjoy yourself without worrying there will be enough for you to eat. 😉
We headed home around 4:00 and I made a small dinner of brussel sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, and apple chicken sausage a few hours later.
Simple. Easy. Delicious.
Boy did it feel good to cook in my own kitchen!
It was a long week. A long weekend. And a long day.
TIme for bed!
Do you know what I’ll be doing a week from today?