I have a long weekend in Disney World coming up. Well, actually, work and familial obligations have conspired to make it two days. So it’s really just a weekend. And I’m not even sure we’ll step foot in EPCOT, to be honest. Time is short, you know.
But just in case we decide to take a jaunt around the World Showcase Lagoon, Dan from at Disney Again and I took a look at the Flower & Garden Outdoor Kitchen menus. And we agreed that our lists are purely imaginary. Fanciful, even. Because Lord knows that we couldn’t afford all of the things on this list (in our bellies or in our wallets). I, personally, skipped anything I can get in EPCOT all year-round (like baklava and Le Vie en Rose), and Dan did much the same.
The Berry Basket
Melissa: The perfect way to start any meal? A salad! I’ll order one.
Dan: Founders Rubaeus Raspberry is a solid beer, but too syrupy for my likes… I’m not going to pay $4.25 for a Disney-sized pour of a beer I’ve had before and don’t absolutely love. It’s a very good beer and you should try it if you haven’t, but I’m going to pass. Also: If you ever are offered this beer on nitro – DO IT.
Melissa: That beef tenderloin is calling my name–I’m a sap for whipped potatoes. For dessert, maple popcorn shake with maple whiskey.
Dan: I’ll probably grab a flight of all three beers because Unibroue makes La Fin Du Monde–a long-time favorite that’s never let me down. For $11, I can try three new Unibroue beers? I don’t even like Saisons, but yes, please! I’ll give anything a try from this beloved brewery.
La Isla Fresca
Melissa: Lime coconut sauce, please! On shrimp, on rice … on whatever!
Dan: Red Stripe Jamaican Style Lager. You’ve had it. If you haven’t, spend $2 elsewhere to get it. It’s literally everywhere in its adorable little stubby bottles. A lager is nice on a hot day, but save your calories and cash for another stop.
Dan: I don’t normally choose cider, but occasionally, I’ll enjoy one. I had a flight at the Cider House last year, which is how I learned the McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider is a good cider but super sweet. I will pass it up this year, but am going to try the Caribe Blood Orange Tropical Hard Cider. Ciderboys is on all the shelves where I live, so I’ll pay local prices for it and try that Strawberry on a day where I’m grilling out in the blazing sun.
Melissa: A past-favorite is absolutely the potato and cheddar biscuit. I’ll order it up again. And steal a sip of the Caribe Blood Orange Cider from Dan to cut the richness.
Urban Farm Eats
Dan: The Wildflower Pale Ale by Forbidden Root Brewery is on my must-try list. Being based in NYC, I am severely lacking in Chicago brewery access and love most everything from the Second City. I like the hoppiness of pale ales and also like botanicals. The WPA seems like a shoo-in for me.
Dan: I’m not sure about this one. I’ve had some pineapple beers and ciders in the past and was not too impressed. Will Pineapple Mana by Maui Brewing Company be the one I love? We may see… I guess follow me on Instagram to see if I grab one. I do like the brewery, so that makes me lean toward yes. However, not a wheat fan, sooo…. We’ll just have to see how thirsty I am as I pass by.
Melissa: Sparkling Pineapple Wine, please! (Because I love everything Florida Orange Groves Winery makes.)
Jardin de Fiestas
Dan: Literally nothing interests me about a boring lager with Kahlua mixed in. Pacifico is not a beer I like at all, and I generally don’t like to put coffee liqueurs in my beers. That’s a hard pass.
Melissa: Normally, I’d jump at tres leches cake, but I’ve had this version in years past, and it’s sickly sweet. We’ll walk on by this one.
Dan: I can’t do tapioca balls — bubble tea makes me gag. I’ll have to pass on the Dragon Pearl: Beer, Honey, Cream and Tapioca Pearls. I do enjoy Tsingtao beer, and recommend you give it a shot if you can’t get it locally. But honestly, nearly every sit-down Chinese restaurant will happily serve you a glass of China’s most popular beer.
Melissa: Pass again.
Melissa: Potato pancakes with all the fixins, followed by warm cheese strudel. Well, I am a quarter German, afterall.
Dan: Grab a flight here of three reliable beers you’ll probably love. Paulaner Original Munich Lager is a nicely-balanced beer that will show you what people drink after work in Germany. Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen is NOT the usual grapefruit variant Disney offers year-round in many parts of the Park; this is, instead, a very light hefe that will cool you down on a hot day. Köstritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager is a wonderful beer with lots of roasty notes you’ll love if that’s your thing. Drink up!
Melissa: Every year, I want to love this more than I do. This year, I’ll try the smoked ribs with black beans and corn salad.
Dan: Grab a flight. This is my strongest advice of this whole post. You won’t find these three beers near you unless you’re a Florida resident. Orange Blossom and 3 Daughters always put up solidly enjoyable beers of any and every style I’ve tried. Plus, the IPA is tequila-barrel-aged. Yes, please. I haven’t yet had the Shipyard Maple Bacon Stout, but I love maple bacon stouts in general, so this is on my list. Give all three a shot with a flight, for sure.
Dan: Being that I’m not a huge lager fan, I’ll pass on the Moretti Lager in favor of the Moretti La Rossa – I love doppelbocks. This one isn’t one I’ve seen on local shelves, so I’m excited to give this lovely dark beer a try.
Dan: I’ve had the Sapporo Premium Black Lager and Kirin Ichiban Pale Ale several times in the past. They’re great representations of their home country, I’m sure, but I’m in no rush to try them again. They didn’t stick with me in any way and are both widely available at thousands of stores across the country. Keep walking, in my opinion. You’re still working on your Florida flight, anyway.
Melissa: I’m intrigued by a matcha sake cocktail. But if Dan’s gonna keep walking, I don’t want to wait in line.
Taste of Marrakesh
Dan: Despite not loving lagers, I’m going to grab a Casa Lager here. Mainly because I’ve never seen it on offer anywhere else. I hope this isn’t a mistake… It can’t be all bad, and it’s another one off the list.
Melissa: Dinner time! I’d like a carne asada with black bean cake as well as a glass of key lime sparkling wine (there’s that Florida Orange Groves Winery again)!
Dan: Same advice I gave at the smokehouse: Grab a flight. These are three Florida beers without huge distribution networks. Get them while you can and enjoy a taste of my home state. Well… My adopted home state. Long story. Back on track: TBBC, Barley Mow, and FBC are killer breweries that have never let me down.
Fleur de Lys
Dan: Kronenbuour Blanc 1664 is a witbier about which I’m not super jazzed. I’ll probably walk right past this one without issue. Nothing I’ve read about it interests me… just a middle-of-the-road witbier.
Melissa: Raspberry macaroon to round out the day? Sounds good!
So. We probably could send a kid to a private liberal arts college for a semester with all of the money we’ve imaginarily spent here today … I’m imaginary full. And imaginary drunk. And imaginary done with this post … also, really done with this post.
What are your must-eat items from this year’s Festival? Tell us in the comments!