It’s time for my favorite Epcot festival! The Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has begun in Epcot and runs from today (March 3rd) until July 5th!
This year they are doing a fully plant-based Garden Graze again. There are five items you must get (and get stamps for) then you can redeem a prize at the end, I’ll touch back into this at the end. There are a ton of vegan options this year so let’s not waste anytime getting to these reviews.
First up is the Flavor Full Kitchen which has brought back the Grilled Baby Vegetables. This dish first appeared last year and features smokey grilled vegetables, a hummus cream, and red pepper coulis.
The vegetables were cooked well and seasoned well too. It had eggplant, zucchini, carrot, tomato, and a yellow squash. This is a nice vegetable only option, but it is pretty oily. This item is a part of the Garden Graze.
Next is a new option that is one that we were able to modify to be vegan. At EPCOT Sunshine Griddle there is an Avocado Toast that is vegan without the goat cheese. We spoke with a chef who checked the allergy marker and said that it shows it contains dairy due to the cheese. We however, found out after we ate it, that they use butter when toasting the bread. So you need to request that your slice be untoasted as well as no cheese.
The ciabatta was a good thick slice. They put a generous amount of the avocado on it and top it with marinated tomatoes, radish, and edible flowers. The flavor was good with this and I would get it on a menu somewhere for breakfast if available.
Pineapple Promenade has the same options this year and has the classic DOLE Whip and Violet Lemonade. I opted to skip those this year as we had a lot to eat and the Garden Graze treat came from here, which I’ll touch on later.
At Refreshment Port near Canada you can find a new option, the House-made Italian Sausage and Peppers Poutine.
This is one of my favorite things we ate. I think calling it poutine is incorrect though, as it’s basically a sausage “chili” cheese fry. The sausage and peppers are the same that were on the Macaroni and Cheese during Food & Wine last year. It’s basically a repurposed mac n cheese on fries and I am not mad about it.
The sausage has a kick to it, so if you don’t do spicy I recommend either omitting it completely or asking for it on the side. We think the “gravy” was a cheese sauce, because that’s all it tasted like. This item is a part of the Garden Graze.
Next up is the big hitter, Trowel & Trellis, which is sponsored by Impossible Foods. This entire booth is plant-based!
We had a returning hit with the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob, which as usual is delicious but incredibly messy. it comes with a savory garlic spread and crispy vegan cheese. They do now serve it on a plate, which is great because now you can set it down while eating.
The rest of the menu is new here this year so next up is the Impossible Sausage and Kale Soup. This is not ideal in Florida heat, but it tasted really good. It had a good spice to it and was full of potatoes, sausage, kale, and topped with what we believe to be a pesto. It also came with a relatively stale pita. The portion was very large for a festival item.
The Boneless Impossible Korean Short Rib was another large portion for a festival. You got two big slabs of the “short rib” which was basically a thick burger. It came topped with a Kimchee Mayo which was very good and added the right amount of creaminess to the dish. It was paired with Cilantro-Lime Rice and a Danmuji Slaw which didn’t add much. This item is a part of the Garden Graze.
The new dessert here was absolutely delicious. The Lavender Pot de Creme is a unique and creamy dessert. The whole thing is covered in a white chocolate like shell and is filled with creamy goodness. The blueberry cake on the bottom served as a great crust and the lime whipped cream added a nice tartness. I’ll absolutely be getting this dessert again, but I recommend sharing because it’s a lot.
For the first time ever we have a vegan option at the Jardin de Fiestas booth in Mexico. The Sope de Chorizo features a fried corn dough topped with black beans, soyrizo, and an avocado mousse.
I had high hopes for this one but it did not hit the spot. The fried corn dough was incredibly dry and overpowered the taste of anything else. I am hoping that is a just a first day glitch, so I am going to give it another try next time. The mousse tasted like straight lime so when you tried just the toppings and skipped the corn dough all you could taste was lime.
Returning from last year at the Refreshment Outpost is the Pineapple Skewer. This is just a large skewer of pineapple topped with tajin. This item is part of the Garden Graze.
Another retuning option this year is at Bauernmarkt in Germany. The Potato Pancakes are topped with a house-made apple sauce again as well.
The pancakes were very good, less onion than last year too. I wish they had the sour cream like the latkes during the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, but the apple sauce was still good. The pancakes were creamy and also crispy, something I will enjoy again. This item is part of the Garden Graze.
New this year at the Taste of Marrakesh is a vegan dessert! The Lemon Magdalena Cake comes topped with a Fig Compote and a Sangria Gel.
The cake was very good but also pretty dense. It was a moist cake with a great lemon flavor. The fig compote added a nice sweetness and overall the cake was very good and I would get this dessert again. This item is part of the Garden Graze.
Lastly we were able to modify an item at the Festival Favorites booth. The Watermelon Salad is vegan without the feta.
The watermelon salad features watermelon, arugula, pickles onions, and a balsamic reduction. It’s a nice light snack and had a great flavor.
Once we completed the Garden Graze we went to Pineapple Promenade to get our complimentary item. Just as last year it was a Lime Dole Whip in a plastic cup and seeds to plant into said cup.
This is hands down the most food I have ever eaten in a festival in Epcot. In total, with the modifications, we were capable of enjoying 14 things. There is absolutely something for everyone here with this festival. Plus I love seeing all the topiaries and specialty gardens around the park.
I will absolutely be back in Epcot soon to eat this food again. What are you most excited to try?