This past weekend we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Back when we were on our honeymoon in Antigua I think we discussed coming back for our 5th anniversary, but we now have a 1.5 year old and I am 34 weeks pregnant. So any major kid free travel plans have been delayed for the foreseeable future. Instead we spent our anniversary at Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival. We bought three day Disney passes this year and used the other two days at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom earlier in the year. It just so happened that the crowd calendars said the weekend of April 9 would be a “slow” weekend (is there such a thing at Disney?) The weather isn’t unbearable yet and since it’s only an hour and a half from home it was an easy day trip.
I’ve never made it to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, but this is my 2nd year going to the Flower and Garden Festival. I love too see all the flowers and get ideas for my own house. Epcot and I were on the same page this year and I have a bunch of the annuals they used in my front door urns. But let’s be real… it’s all about the food and drink. We got there when the park opened and did a few rides. Hadley could have stayed in the Nemo area watching the dolphins all day, but mommy and daddy had other plans. Once the World Showcase opened we headed over and started in Canada.
The first outdoor kitchen we came to was Urban Farm Eats. We ordered the Watermelon salad. At $3.75 it was a good value, I thought. The pickled onions were very overpowering, but I enjoyed it overall. Hadley ate most of the watermelon and cheese. She gave it a thumbs up. Hagin thought the pork looked good and in hindsight we probably should have gotten that over what we had next.
We skipped over Cider House in England. Well, Hagin got a beer from somewhere but I was busy chasing Hadley throuh the flowers.
Next we stopped in France. The French booth, Fleur de Lys has a delicious frozen drink, La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush, which I got last year. Everyone was ordering it… except me. Since Hadley seemed to enjoy the last tasting I thought I would order the Cassoulet au Confit de Canard: Pulled Duck Confit with Braised Flageolet Beans ($5.75) and she could eat the beans out of it. She is a bean fanatic. Only she wanted nothing to do with it. The duck was not very tender and it was a tiny portion. The beans were good, but the presentation was just lacking. Not something I would recommend or order again. I have a feeling this won’t be back on the menu next year. I was probably one of the only people to order it.
After France we headed back to Figment to use our last fast pass, then back into the World Showcase. I stopped at the Pineapple Promenade and ordered a Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade ($3.50). It was nice and refreshing, but sure was sweet. I enjoyed it while we took the boat across to Morocco to pick up where we left off.
Next stop was the Florida Fresh booth. I had read rave reviews of the shrimp and grits ($6.25) so I was looking forward to trying them. They didn’t disappoint. Three large shrimp on top of creamy grits all topped with a spicy broth. I googled the recipe and will be making it for dinner this week. By far the best thing we had eaten so far. Hagin isn’t even a shrimp fan, but he tried one and enjoyed the grits.
We almost stopped at the Moroccan booth for the falafel, but decided against it. Instead we headed to Japan’s Hanami and ordered the Chicken Edamame Bun ($5.50) and Sake ($6.95). Since I ate most of the shrimp and grits I let Hagin have most of the bun I just snuck a few bites to taste test. It was good. I liked the curry sauce on top. We got the last one, so it must be popular.
(I’m just holding the sake for the picture)
Hadley fell asleep at this point so we searched for some shade and just meandered around for the next hour. Hagin grabbed a beer in the US of A. A Virginia IPA that he enjoyed while I waited in line at the Smokehouse.
The Smokehouse was probably the stop I was most excited for, but had the most potential for let down. I read great things about the pulled pig slider ($6.25), but had it set in my mind that there was no way it would live up to my expectations… well it did! It was delicious. By far the best thing we ate. The Smokehouse line was the longest of the day. I was really tempted to order both the slider and the burnt ends hash, but in the end just the slider won out. I was starting to get pretty full. The onion straws on the slider gave it a nice kick and the slaw the perfect crunch. It was a winner and I would probably come back next year and head straight here.
We let Hadley continue to nap while we watched acrobats in China and passed on Italy, German and China’s outdoor kitchens, for now. After she woke up we headed back to Germany so Hagin could try the beer flight and I got a chocolate caramel cookie in the Werther’s shop. And with that cookie, our eating adventure was over.
We rode Gran Fiesta Tour, played at the splash pad and then headed to the car. We were back at home by 7pm. It might not have been Antigua, but it was a fun and memorable way to spend our 5th anniversary.