What better way to kick off spring than with the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. One of the best times of year to see and now taste what spring is all about. The Flower & Garden Festival will run from March 5th to May 18th and boasts 11 “Outdoor Kitchens” around World Showcase that you must try. Today we are going to review some of the most popular dishes so you know what to expect when you go!
We began our day at the International Gateway and decided to start off our journey around the world in France. Some things you will only see Kyle’s review on because Victoria was getting full halfway through and also is a VERY picky eater!
Fleur de Lys (France)
At Fleur de Lys we each tried the La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush and the Confit de Canard.
Confit de Canard, Pommes de Terre Sarladaise
Kyle: One of my favorite dishes of the festival. The duck was very tender and had a great flavor and it wasn’t over seasoned so you could really taste the great flavor of the duck. The potatoes added the perfect crunch to the dish and had just right amount of onion to compliment everything perfectly.
Victoria: Kyle and I differ a lot on this dish! I thought the duck was tender, but wasn’t flavored very much.. I felt like it tasted pretty plain. I really liked the potatoes and agree with Kyle that it would have been easy to over flavor them with onion but they didn’t, the onion was perfect. It was a good dish! I would definitely eat it again, but overall, not my favorite at the festival.
La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush
Kyle: My favorite drink at any of the outdoor kitchens although there are a few other close behind it on my top 5 alcoholic beverages list. The drink is just what you need to cool down in the hot Florida weather but the cranberry mix isn’t overpoweringly sweet. The mixture of cranberry and Grey Goose is perfection! The only downside is it is impossible to look manly while drinking this baby!
Victoria: So amazing! This drink was so refreshing! I love the icee texture, and don’t worry the Grey Goose was not very strong so if you’re not a huge fan of vodka don’t let that scare you away! Like Kyle, I think this was one of my favorites!
Taste of Marrakesh (Morocco)
At Taste of Marrakesh we tried the Lamb Brewat Roll, Harissa Chicken Kebab, Desert Rose, and White Sangria.
Lamb Brewat Roll
Kyle: The lamb was really dry and had almost no flavor whatsoever. The roll itself was pretty bland but had a nice crisp crunch to it. The only real positive about this dish for me would be the sauce was amazing. Overall my least favorite of the entire festival.
Harissa Chicken Kebab
Kyle: The chicken was good not spectacular but it wasn’t covered in seasoning which was nice to simply taste the fresh chicken. The real standout in this dish for me was the couscous salad. The couscous salad was very refreshing and the bits of fruit inside put it over the top.
Victoria: I didn’t exactly know what to expect but was so pleasantly surprised when I got this dish! The chicken was seasoned great and was very tender. The couscous salad was so delicious! It was served cold, and was another dish that was really refreshing! There were mandarin orange slices mixed in there. This was so different than anything we eat normally so I would say this is a must try for everyone out there!
Kyle: Light and refreshing nothing spectacular the splash of pomegranate gives it a fruity after kick.
Victoria: Also at this stand if you are looking for a drink the Desert Rose was great! They only put a splash of flavor in there so it is not overpowering to the drink which I really enjoyed!
Kyle: Way too sweet for my taste. Almost felt like I was drinking juice box grape juice.
Victoria: Not a fan.. sorry for my bluntness, but I love sangria usually, this one was just not good.
At Hanami we tried the Frushi, Hanami Sushi, and Orange Mango Slushie.
Kyle: Last year this was by far my favorite thing and nothing changed, it was exactly the same as the year before…DELICIOUS!!! The fresh fruit and sticky rice are the perfect combo and putting them together in a sushi roll makes it fun as well. This dish is the perfect spring time treat and a great way to beat the heat.
Victoria: We loved the Frushi last year, and loved it again this year! Just a little spin on sushi and I just think it’s so cute. Really sweet little dessert that I think is the most kid friendly dish at the festival!
Kyle: The beef was very tender and fresh with a perfect flavor to go with the rice ball, definitely my favorite of the 3. The salmon was also extremely fresh and had a great flavor while not being fishy in the hot Florida sun. The scallop on the other hand was extremely fishy and mushy, if all 3 were scallops I would have taken one bite and thrown it away.
Victoria: The one thing I remember about this dish, is it was hard to share! When we tried to take half bites of the rice balls they did fall apart a little so keep that in mind when sharing this dish! Now to the meats, as Kyle said the scallop was BAD. Those were my negatives, but other than those 2 things, the other 2 were great! I loved the salmon and beef! and the pink sauce is so unique and the perfect pair with the fish and beef!
Orange Mango Slushie
Kyle: The Orange Mango Slushie was very refreshing and obviously being a frozen drink the perfect thing to cool off with. The mango was a little over powering, which made it just a touch too sweet, but overall I really enjoyed it. Very weak drink so perfect for you light weights out there!!
Victoria: Maybe I am one of the lightweights Kyle’s talking about, but I liked this drink! Yes it was sweet, but it was the middle of the day and getting really hot at this point so I thought it was just what I needed!
At The Smokehouse we tried the Smoked Beef Brisket, Smoked Turkey Ribs, and Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake!
Smoked Beef Brisket
Kyle: Very tender absolutely falls apart in your mouth just like brisket should. The smokey flavor is very authentic and being a southern boy this was even good to me. Collard greens were an awesome combo, again very authentic to what should be served with beef brisket (except I need some baked beans somewhere with my bbq). As for the cornbread it was nothing special at all pretty bland obviously made from a box.
Smoked Turkey “Rib”
Kyle: Smoked to perfection and the best part was the ribs had a ton of tender fall off the bone, meat on them. I had read some other reviews that said they didn’t give you much at all, but now that they give you two healthy ribs it is one of the best bites you can grab around the festival.
Victoria: Perfectly cooked and ate these until the bones were bare! I think the 2 ribs was plenty of food and the sauce is just so good! Just as many other reviews have said, Smokehouse is amazing and you definitely need to go there if you’re at the festival!
Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake
Kyle: Honestly was expecting this to be really gross and was pleasantly surprised. Perfect combination of salty (bacon and pretzels) and sweet (maple frosting). If you haven’t ever been adventurous enough to try bacon sweets like me this is the perfect item to introduce yourself!
Primavera Kitchen (Italy)
Kyle: Exactly the same as what you get inside of Tutto Italia, so yeah the stuff is good. The fresh mozzarella is to die for but the peppers didn’t seem quite as crisp and fresh as the ones inside.
Victoria: I LOVE cheese. It is definitely my guilty pleasure and the fresh mozzarella was so good. I say good because this dish was just good. Nothing amazing you need to rush there for, because as Kyle said, it’s kind of a smaller, less fresh version of the appetizer you can get in Tutto Italia.
Thank you for reading part 1 of our Flower and Garden Outdoor Kitchen Reviews! To complete the trip around Epcot check out part 2 of our Outdoor Kitchen Reviews.
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