Flower and Garden Festival
I like the Food and Wine Festival which is held every fall at Epcot but I love its cousin-the Flower and Garden Festival. It’s like Food and Wine, without the Team Bride groups, Frat Boys, just turned 21 year olds, shocked parents of toddlers and the puke.
Flower and Garden is more like a scaled down, more relaxed, we are going to grandma in the country instead of grandma in the city’s house. It’s a place you can kick back, take your shoes off and let the kids play-seriously.
One of my family’s favorite things to do is grab a snack from the booth closest to the temporary playground, (this year it was Urban Eats) grab a beer, and take off our flip flops while the kids blow off some steam. The fake turf feels good, the beer tastes good and my mind feels at ease.
This year didn’t disappoint. After the massive crowds at Food and Wine, I was expecting to regret spending a Saturday at Flower and Garden, but little faith I had in the magic of this festival.
The crowds were, dare I say, light? (I don’t want to jinx it) I waited no longer than four minutes for food, usually less than that but my husband is a chatter. The food was great, in fact so great we forgot to take pictures until after we’d already eaten some.
We started at Urban Eats, near the entrance of the World Showcase and made our way through Canada and England. We didn’t stop at every booth (we aren’t millionaires) but the only one which seemed crowded was the Pineapple Promenade. We started our journey around 2 pm.
Stop 1- Urban Eats
Vegetable and white bean naanwich with arugula pesto, oven dried tomatoes, with quinoa and red and brown rice.
Watermelon Salad with pickled onions, arugula, feta and a balsamic reduction.
Seared pork tenderloin with Mushroom Ragoût, Spring Vegetables and Marble Potatoes.
Fish and Chips in England for the kids and seagulls
Hi-chew candy in Japan
Stop 4 Florida Fresh
Kale Salad with Dried Cherries, Almonds, Goat Cheese and White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Shrimp and Stone-ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro
Sea Dog Acai Berry Hefeweizen
We also wanted the watermelon juice but it was sold out.
Beer and pretzel in Germany for the little ones
Stop 7-Urban Eats again
Pork Tenderloin (made a friend try it)
Sierra Nevada Otra Vez
Stop 8-Jardin de Fiestas
Corn Tortilla Quesadilla served with Roasted Mushrooms and Zucchini Blossom topped with Green Tomatillo Sauce
Elderflower Watermelon Sangria
Stop 9-Lotus House
Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries
Stop 10-France and Illuminations
Although my daughter and I didn’t have the most eco-friendly car of the day on Test Track, we did beat the other four in our group-woot, woot!
And what better way to finish off out day but to head to France, minutes before closing, grab a beer, croissant, crème Brule, and chocolate mousse, watch the waning moments of Illuminations, listen to the crowds shuffle out, feel the spray of the water fountain, and think about all the food I can’t wait to come back and try.