Friday, October 29, 2010

Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Jonathan and I had free Disney passes for volunteering, so we utilized them during Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. I had never been before, but Jonathan went a few years ago. As you may already know, about half of the park is a "Word Showcase," featuring rides, pavilions, foods, films, and other things from various countries. During the Food & Wine Festival, additional countries are on display, and each has a kiosk where they sell small portions of authentic cuisine and drinks. This is where the fact that our tickets and parking was free comes into play... we spent about $50 on food and drink. But it was delicious! Everything was wonderful, so we have no regrets. And besides, places like South Korea and Ireland are not at the top of our international travel list, anyway.

We spent several hours doing the attractions throughout the park, but at 6pm we began our little tour of world cuisine. We technically walked the Festival backwards, but we'd actually recommend doing it that way.

Our first stop was Charcuterie & Cheese, which isn't specific to any one country, but specializes in wines & cheeses. We had the Nueske's Charcuterie Plate, which had smoked beef, duck, and ham with bread. It was all good, but the beef in particular had a nice flavor. I also had the sample of Prosecco, a peach sparking wine by Martini & Rossi. It was nothing special.
Canada was next, where we shared the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup (one of our favorites of the night) and tried the Inniskillin Pearl Vidal Icewine. Now, we adore icewine but rarely have it because it's expensive. It was wonderful here, tho a little thick (also not uncommon with icewine). I wanted to stop at Ireland for the Lobster and Scallop Fisherman's Pie, which was absolutely scrumptious. It had carrots and onions in it, and the scallops were plentiful. It was topped with a baked mashed potato, and I'd probably call it my favorite item, tied with the cheese soup. Jonathan liked it, especially because he had a big lump of lobster in his bite!

Morocco was a bit of a let-down, as we went with the Tangerine Mimosa Royale, which wasn't anything special. Tasted like you'd expect, and was a bit pricey for the serving size.

I think Jonathan's favorite was probably Australia. He had a grilled lamb chop with roasted potato salad and red wine reduction. I tried it, but of course I don't really like lamb. I thought the potatoes had a nice flavor, despite the red wine drizzle. I had considered getting the Lamington from that station as well, but it turned out that the chocolate-covered butter cake was also covered in coconut, so I skipped it.

Then it was on to Germany! We were really looking forward to that one, and honestly would've ordered everything on the menu (except the two beers) if we weren't pacing ourselves! They had 4 Rieslings to try, and since Jonathan enjoys Riesling, he was hard-pressed to choose one. He went with the Gunderloch Diva Sp
ätlese, which ended up being rather sweet, and even I enjoyed it. We also had a Nürnberger Sausage in a pretzel roll, which came with a wonderful mustard and was delicious (and probably the largest portion for the price that we had anywhere). Again, I had planned on trying the Apfel Strudel with Werther's Oiriginal Karamell Sauce, but was told it was covered in nuts, so I refrained. Our next stop was South Korea, where we couldn't resist the Barbecue Short Ribs with steamed rice and cucumber kimchi. The ribs had an excellent flavor, and I thoroughly missed the Korean sauces, since it's been so long since I've had that. I was getting pretty full, otherwise I would've dived right into finishing off the rice (which was sticky like sushi rice) and the cucumber (which was plentiful). After some deliberation, Jonathan tried the Grilled Pork Skewer with Farofa at the Brazil kiosk, which he enjoyed. Farofa is really ground up spices covering the pork, making it incredibly dry in your mouth, LoL. I thought it was kinda bland, especially since it was supposed to be a "rooty" flavor.

I was really excited about the Desserts & Champagne booth, and had planned to order two out of the three items. At this point, Jonathan was feeling like something chocolate, so he was probably going to order the third item. I was getting concerned about running out of money (we had picked up a Disney gift card earlier to make transactions faster), but it turned out that at that station only you could get all 3 items for just $3.50! That settled that! I dove into the Strawberry Angel Verrine, although Jonathan did try the middle part of that layered dessert, and found it to be very good. I enjoyed the Pear Streusel Pudding cake much more than he did, too. He did eat the bulk of the Dark Chocolate Sensation (kinda like a brownie bite with chocolate mousse on top) tho, which was fine with me.
On our way to find a nice place to watch the fireworks, we stopped at the Puerto Rico location and got a Bacardi Frozen Torched Cherry Colada. It was very creamy, and probably the least coconut-ty colada I've ever had. It was a nice way to finish.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Seth & Harry's Bar & Grill

You know how there's a restaurant in every town that keep changing hands? In Mountain View it was UWink. I can think of 3 places in Port St. Lucie that have had this happen, LoL. In Fort Pierce, that restaurant in the Sabal Palm Plaza has been a bunch of different things, too. In Melbourne, it's On Tap. Then it was called Grill 192. Now it's called Seth & Harry's, but it might have had another name-change in there, I'm not sure.

Joe, Bryan, and I went to Seth & Harry's on a Thursday night for a late (8pm) dinner. I was not really impressed in any way, but the guys both thought it was okay. My biggest gripe would be the service. Our waitress wasn't clear on the menu items (particularly when she told me they had crinkly fries... they were straight), came by rarely, and we ultimately sat around waiting for the check for more than ten minutes.

We had the chicken nachos as an appetizer. It was one of the only menu items without a description, and when I asked what was on them, the waitress didn't know. We ordered them anyway, asking for black olives on the side if they were supposed to come with some. They were okay. They were served with a spicy salsa verde and some sour cream. The chicken was kinda pulled apart, as in not sliced, but not as in pulled chicken. The chips were tri-color, and the cheese was standard nacho.

I had the guacamole bacon burger, no lettuce, with fries. As I already mentioned, the fries were not what had been described. There was also lettuce on the burger... and no bacon. It already was cheeseless, so it ended up being a rather strange combination. I took half home, and it was much better with a layer of mashed potatoes, LoL. The fries were plain, and I didn't really care for them... with no flavoring, they could have at least been crunchy.

Joe had the French dip with coleslaw (though he did not order coleslaw, and was hoping for fries), and didn't have anything remarkable to say about it. Bryan wanted a buffalo chicken sandwich, which wasn't on the menu. There were buffalo chicken sliders, and they were able to create one large sandwich instead. He also had the fries as a side. Contrary to my opinion, Bryan liked the fries. He ended up ditching the bun to focus on his sandwich toward the end, so it must have been pretty good.

I don't really recommend the place, but they weren't all bad.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dim Sum King

Dim Sum King is in the plaza behind Pho Nam, and that's how we found it. It's really like a fast-food dim sum place, in that there's a menu, you order and pay, then you take it to-go. There were a few tables, so we stayed to eat there. We got chow mein (average, a little oily), shrimp dumplings, stuffed pork dumplings, pork potstickers, and an egg roll. The shrimp dumplings were a little thick, but good. The stuffed pork were sweeter than I was expecting, and I could only eat one. The pastry part just killed me. The potstickers were average, but the sauce wasn't anything special, and I think that usually makes the difference. The egg roll was gross... I think I ate half before giving up.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pho Nam

Pho Nam on El Camino (I specify location because it's kinda a common name) was some of the worst pho I've ever had. And that's all they make... they don't specialize in any other Vietnamese dishes. We ordered shrimp summer rolls to go with it, but they had purple cabbage or something inside that made them taste funny, too. I added a whole lime's worth of juice and hardly tasted it. I added five ice cubes and it was still too hot to eat. Most of the pieces of chicken had dark spots on them. It had plenty of cilantro and green onion, but too much mint. Jonathan didn't eat as much of his as he normally would, either. But, honestly, I was rather distracted by how strange mine was to ask him what he didn't like about his.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thai Spoons

Thai Spoons was very close to the hotel, so we ate dinner there after I got in. The place was pretty deserted, but pick-up orders became popular toward the end of our meal. There was a credit card minimum so we ordered an appetizer - which ended up being the best part of the meal. The Thai Shrimp Rolls were simple: fried shrimp in rice paper. But the "sweet & sour chili sauce" with which it was served made a great accompaniment. I had pad thai, no peanuts. The fried tofu in it tasted like egg, and the chicken was kinda strange. It also lacked a sweet flavor, and I'm not even sure I ate half of it. Jonathan had curry. He didn't finish it, but didn't take it home, either.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Food on Continental

So I flew out to California for five days for a house-hunting trip. I flew Continental, which was different. It was (note the past-tense, since they turn to pay-for-food on the 12th) still a full-service airline, so I was treated to a meal/snack each leg of each flight.

The first leg on the way there and the second leg on the way back served a turkey sandwich, simple with lettuce on a whole-wheat roll. It also came with a bag of Fritos and a packet of M&Ms. The second leg on the way there was a delicious chicken pocket with three kinds of cheeses, peppers, and taco sauce. It came with chips, baby carrots, and a kit-kat bar.

The morning flight on the way back was honey-nut chex, an apple muffin, and a box of raisins. The turkey sandwich was average. The chicken pocket was great (made by Stefano's, but apparently not sold in stores. I looked already), and carrots were a nice addition, but they were getting ready to turn, I think. The cereal was okay. The muffin was too crumbly.