Boy, if you thought I’d been live-blogging a lot during the rest of the trip, wait til you read today – we ate our way around the World Showcase on the first day of the Food & Wine festival, and I posted a pic of each thing we got, when we got it!
The day started with checking out of Pop Century….
… and into the Polynesian!
So nice… wish we coulda stayed more than one night! We left our luggage in the trunk and decided to walk to the TTC to catch a monorail for Epcot, since our building at the Poly was actually closer to the TTC than the Poly’s monorail station. Along the way, whom should we meet but one of the Very Special Guest Stars of “2 Haunted Mansions, 1 Day”… Jennifaerie!! Wearing THE cutest belt ever, I might add…
She and her Robifaerie were headed to a water park. We read them their last rites– er, wished them luck and said we’d see them at Ohana that night (our ADRs were 40 minutes apart).
Views from the ride in to Epcot on the monorail…
Off we went to… Cities in Wonderland! None of which were quite open yet, so we lurked.
We had this idea we were going to outsmart the crowds by taking the boat to Morocco instead of walking counter-clockwise around World Showcase to the UK, France, etc.
Instead, we got to wait at the counter in Morocco for 20 minutes for their cash registers to start working properly. Plus, people were EVERYwhere – there was no outsmarting anyone!
Pocket: Pretty gross. Tough beef with watery salad, no hummus to be found. The food at the counter service place in Morocco is way better!
Slider: OK, but nothing to write home about
Scallops: Kinda fishy and too small.
Beef medallion: tasty!
Shortcake: I think Patrick liked it….
Soup: A little bland, but the cheese stick helped.
Boxty: Tasty, but not enough bacon!
Strudel: Dunno – Patrick prolly liked it….
Sausage: Meh… I’m not sure what the big deal is about pretzel bread.
Spaetzle: Holy mother, that stuff was good! I could have made lunch from it!
Prawns: Overcooked, as prawns usually are….
Lamb Chop: Really good! This was another one that made me wish I had room for seconds.
Sha cha: Tasted like mall food court Chinese food.
Ginger ice cream: I think Patrick liked this (he likes everything, basically)
Pot sticker: See “mall food court,” above.
About this time, the flavors were all starting to blend together for me. This one tasted meaty and doughy.
It seemed about time to meet another pal from the DIS Boards! The night before I had been emailing the DISer who rented us DVC points for our honeymoon, and I discovered she also happened to be at WDW that week – crazy! So we finally got to meet in person – two dames from California meeting in fake China in real Florida! We had a nice chat and finally let her go so she could continue drinking around the World with her buddy.
Off to Espana!
Gazpacho: Not really my cup of… soup!
Churros: Best. Food & Wine Fest Dessert. Ever.
From Madrid to Mexico City…
Horchada: Patrick approved.
Capitotada: Very tasty – but it woulda been even more tasty smothered in chocolate sauce from Madrid!
Chilaquiles: Cheese, tortillas and mild salsa – what could be bad? In fact, it was so good, I went looking for the recipe in the official Food & Wine Festival cookbook. Unfortunately, it was a lame “greatest hits” collection of recipes from festivals past, so unless what you liked in 2008 was a repeat, you wouldn’t find the recipe there.
So just for you, dear readers, here is a fabulous facsimile courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food (which I tried when we got home and is very close! Just use more cheese on top):
Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Green Sauce
Prep: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
To make these up to a day ahead, prep and assemble the enchiladas (steps 1 to 3); cover and refrigerate. Go to step 4 when you’re ready to bake and serve.
Before filling, soften the corn tortillas by stacking them between damp paper towels and heating for a minute in the microwave. This makes them more pliable and prevents tearing.
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
Coarse salt and ground pepper
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 jars (16 ounces each) medium green salsa
3/4 cup heavy cream
12 corn tortillas (6-inch)
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely shredded (3 cups)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place with garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine salsa and cream.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shred meat, discarding skin and bones. Peel and chop garlic. In a large bowl, combine chicken, garlic, and 1/2 cup salsa mixture.
Stack tortillas flat, and wrap in damp paper towels; microwave on high for 1 minute to soften. Working with one tortilla at a time, dip in salsa mixture, lay flat, and fill with 1/3 cup chicken mixture. Roll up and arrange, seam side down, 8 enchiladas lengthwise and 4 crosswise in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining salsa mixture, then cheese.
Bake until cheese is browned and salsa is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes; let rest 10 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.
At this point, we decided to sit a spell in Mexico to eat our food and blog about it….
Then it was off to Argentina for even more food! Actually, Patrick had thrown in the towel at this point, but I was bound and determined to try everything we’d marked on our program as potentially interesting.
This was nothing to write home about… but it was something to blog about!
By this time we were hot and thirsty, so I was very excited to discover neon slushies near Argentina – they look weird, but they were actually normal flavors!
Having made one nearly full circuit of the World Showcase, we decided to check out the far-flung Festival Center, which was so distant from the actual festival it was practically in Disney’s Hollywood Studios….
There wasn’t a whole lot to do there if you didn’t want to wait in a long line for a demonstration or buy wine. So after Patrick had his fill of photographing the defunct attractions and I’d rested my feet, we set off on the trek back to the World Showcase.
We’d just picked up my next taste (see below) when who should come by but… Jennifaerie and Rob!
But first – the review:
I actually threw this away. I love plantains and I love shrimp, but it just tasted like “bad”….
Jennifaerie and Rob graciously dropped any plans they might have had (solve global warming, uncover the secret of life, find a cure for cancer, etc.) to join us on a boat ride to Morocco for some wandering around.
I got very excited to see a private event setup at my beloved UK Lochside and had to snap a pic…
Immediately after stepping off the boat in Morocco, we walked to…
Where we had our picture made with some oversized condiments.
Again, things were all sorta starting to blend together for me at this point. I think the bread pudding was good, but it no doubt would have benefited from some Spanish chocolate sauce!
Finally, we began to think about getting seats for the free Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show that was part of the Eat to the Beat concert series. We bid Jennifaerie & Robifaerie adieu for about 2 hours, with promises to accost them at Ohana later.
Patrick found us pretty dang good seats – you can’t really sit in the middle at America Gardens Theater becasue the middle is an aisle. Also, the sun was at that totally annoying low angle where it shines right in your eye….
The show was really fun – it was hard to resist the urge to get up and swing, but the crowd-control CMs seemed really stern. I was pleased to see BBVD turn in a solid show, instead of phonin’ one in for the Disney freaks – hee hee!
It was great to be so close – I could never afford to sit that close at a BBVD show at Walt Disney Concert Hall or the Hollywood Bowl. It was also Patrick’s first real concert (can you believe it?) so he really enjoyed it.
It only lasted about 30 minutes, though, and they didn’t play “I Wanna Be Like You” from Jungle Book – their biggest Disney hit! I guess they were saving it for one of their two other sets that night. I wished we could have gone to a later show, but we had that ADR at Ohana.
After the show we hopped the monorail back to the Poly to check out our room and freshen up for dinner.
Gratuitous room shots…
So…. don’t hate on me, but I think I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t like Ohana. It was SO LOUD!!! And the food was aggressively mediocre…
They sat us right next to the Coconut 500 Speedway, and we watched as every child in the place came running or screaming or conga-ing or coconut-coaxing right past our table. I had neglected to bring my earplugs, so I was not a happy camper. I’m not sure why it didn’t bother me at Whispering Canyon – maybe we weren’t in the flow of traffic there.
Hmmm…. I seem to have no pictures of the meat, but we all know what shoe-leather looks like, right?
Finally something snapped for me and I decided if I couldn’t beat ‘em, I’d join ‘em! Patrick and I began exhorting the racing children to go faster, faster, FASTER! And farther, farther, FARTHER away from us!
On their way out, Jennifaerie and Rob came by to chat, and I hope I thanked them again for switching ADRs with us. We were all politely vague about our post-dinner plans, not wanting to obligate the others to hang out. Patrick and I planned to go watch HalloWishes from the Poly beach again, but we almost didn’t make it cuz it took so long to get the bill.
We raced down the beach trying to find an open spot, and finally ended up at Sunset Point, where we perched in the damp grass.
At the end of the show we stood up to leave, and who should be sitting right behind us but… Jennifaerie and Rob! It was really shameless the way they stalked us on this trip… We all walked back to toward our rooms together, talking and talking until we finally almost fell asleep on our feet. Patrick and I are so used to being solo on our Disney trips – it was nice to feel like we were on vacation with friends!
Coming up next…
(Those of you who know, pipe down!)