Least Favorites from Food & Wine 2016

In my last post I talked about the food and drinks I loved from the Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT. This is about the foods I didn’t like. It’s a shorter list this time.

Loaded Mac and Cheese (Farm Fresh) – Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some mac and cheese. It’s one of my favorite foods on the planet. I had a plate of pasta covered in cheese sauce, bacon, and jalapeno peppers. What’s not to love? Admittedly I still wolfed it down, but the dish suffered from a major fail: It didn’t have enough cheese.

No, that’s not my pro-cheese agenda talking. There was enough cheese to coat the pasta but not enough to bind it all together. Without that the water from the cooked peppers and grease from the bacon loosened up the mac and let it fall apart on my fork. The flavors didn’t mesh together as well either, instead random bits of pepper and bacon with little cohesion. Folks, don’t skimp on the cheese.

Korean-style BBQ Beef AND Roasted Pork Lettuce Wrap (South Korea) – These dishes were split between both of us, but all we could taste was salt. I’m hoping this was just the result of someone having a heavy hand with the soy sauce that day, because I was excited about Korean BBQ and kimchi. Turns out “cucumber kimchi” is actually code for “pickles” and the kimchi on the pork was also bland.

Beer-Braised Beef with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes (Belgium) – Belgium is a regular kiosk at the festival and I was hopeful when I saw something on the menu that wasn’t a waffle for a change. This sounded like a tasty dish in theory, but it’s not one that can sit under a heat lamp for very long. Gravy doesn’t tend to keep for long, so by the time I got my braised beef the sauce had turned to slime. The texture ruined it for me in a way that not even cheesy mashed potatoes could save. It’s a damn shame.

Golabki (Poland) – Bland filling wrapped in overcooked slimy cabbage. Maybe it too sat for too long, maybe I just don’t like stuffed cabbage. Your mileage may vary.

Overall this was a great trip. There aren’t many pictures of the food because we were too busy eating it all. I gained about seven pounds that I’m still trying to work off. Definitely worth it.

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