It’s time for another quick festival in Epcot, one of my favorites for shopping but not for eating. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts runs from January 14th – February 21st this year. During the festival there are tons of shops with Disney inspired artwork for sale, signings from artists, outdoor kitchens, and Broadway singers that vary throughout the festival. This year for eating vegan we only have three options.
First up is a new version of a dish from last year at the Gourmet Landscapes in Canada. This is the Blood Orange-braised Beet Carpaccio with mustard vinaigrette, pickled clamshell mushrooms, golden beets, and crostini.
Last year the beet dish was pretty hit or miss, I’m hoping this year this one is pretty consistent. The dish itself was very good. I loved the beets with the mustard on the crostini. The mushrooms were slimey and not anything I ever want to eat again.
They did include vegan bleu cheese crumbles on it, like the brussels during Food & Wine. The beets weren’t an overly earthy flavor, they were sweet because of the blood orange, which was great. If I had one complaint of this dish it was that it needed more crostini as it was best with that. On it’s own it was fine, but the bread took it up.
Since this dish is part of the Color Stroll you can get it 5 times for your stamp since this dish is the only vegan one on the stroll.
Next up is Tangierine Cafe in Morocco, which is now just being used for festivals (I miss you Vegetable Platter!!). The vegan option here is Carrots Three Ways: Berbere-spiced grilled carrots, pickled carrots, and carrot ginger purée.
I was not looking forward to this one as I have an issue with cooked carrots. That being said, this was my favorite of the day! The carrots still had a good bite to them (my issue is they are often just mush when cooked) and the berbere spice was delicious with a mild kick to it.
The grilled carrots were my favorite part of this plate. The texture was perfect and some of them even had a bit of caramelization to them. The pickled carrots on here were VERY pickled, which was a bit of a shock upon first bite. I only had two slices of the pickled carrots, but I enjoyed them as well. The puree I could do without, but with the cooked carrot it was fine. I am glad I ended up really enjoying this one.
Last is a return of several years at Refreshment Outpost, which is located between China and Germany. The vegan options over here once again is the Plant-based Bratwurst with spicy turmeric aïoli, coffee barbecue jackfruit, and slaw. I have never been a fan of this one for a few reasons, it’s hard to eat and I didn’t ever care for the flavor of the jackfruit here.
This year it’s just as hard to eat, but the jackfruit was greatly improved. This time it was more of just a bbq jackfruit and had less of the flavor of coffee. I love coffee, but not in jackfruit. The sausage (Beyond Meat) was cooked fine, nothing to write home about.
The slaw and aioli really don’t add much, but I also struggle to keep any of it around when eating this messy brat. This is also made to order, so I imagine if you’re gluten free you can get this one without the bun (but double check on that). Be sure to either grab lots of napkins or bring a fork and knife to eat this if you opt for it.
That is it for vegan options this year. I will miss our gyoza from the last few years. I was hoping we’d get a dessert, but maybe next year.
I do enjoy this festival for everything else though. The art here is so fun and there is truly something for everyones taste. They are still doing the paint by number mural, which is over by The Land pavilion. It is only open until 5pm so if you want to do the mural keep that in mind.
There is also chalk artists out, an adorable Figment Popcorn bucket (though I don’t believe the popcorn here is vegan), a Figment Spork, and musicians throughout the day. This festival celebrates all types of art, which is really great. I hope next year we have some more vegan options.