We've got exactly one month to go for the Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World! This is my all time favorite festival because it makes a stroll around Epcot that much more of an experience with the different topiary characters, flowers in full bloom, and butterfly garden! Now, the festival also has food stands that offer seasonal treats for sampling (a la the Food and Wine festival). After strolling around the world a few times, here are my personal recommendations if you want to try to not overdo it as you sample (but, luckily, you can still indulge if you want without guilt, as the sizes are much smaller!).
Arbor at the Gardener’s Terrace
I’d say your best bet here is the Smoked Salmon Stack with Avocados, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Caviar, and Focaccia Crostino.
Flavor Full Kitchen
Either of the non-dessert options look like they’re on equal footing, depending on if you eat fish or not: Citrus-poached Salmon with Ancient Grain Salad, Roasted Vegetables, and Citrus Greens, or From the Garden: Roasted Beets, Cashew Cheese, and Micro Herbs with Lemon-Oil Dressing. Both are safe if you have a gluten intolerance!
La Isla Fresca
While I’m more prone to reach for shrimp before red meat, the Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro is probably the better bet since the shrimp is a sugar cane shrimp.
The Citrus Blossom
Your best bet is one of the seafood options: Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon (gluten free!) or Tuna Tataki with Spicy Yuzu Glaze, Mango, Avocado, and Pappadam Crisp.
Dole Whip is here, my friends!
The Honey Bee-stro
Your best bet is the gluten free and vegetarian friendly option: Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Purée, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey-blistered Grapes, Sunflower Brittle, and Coriander Flowers.
Northern Bloom (Canada)
This gluten free option sounds pretty tasty: Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette, and Applewood Smoked Bacon. Because it’s a sampling size, the brown butter vinaigrette doesn’t worry me as much as it would if it were on a full-sized entree.
Fleur De Lys (France)
Your healthiest option sounds like the Vichyssoise aux Concombres: Chilled Cucumber Vichyssoise Soup (gluten free and vegetarian). There’s also the Canard Confit à la Provençal: Braised Duck Confit with Tomatoes and Olives on Polenta.
Florida Fresh (between France and Morocco)
Neither option sounds super healthy, but these are probably on equal footing: Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream, or Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish. I personally would go for the shrimp and just be cautious of how much gravy they put on it.
Taste of Marrakesh (Morocco)
The Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad sounds delicious and healthy!
I highly recommend the Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut, Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side. It’s lightly sweet and great if, like me, you tend to get a sweet tooth after a meal but don’t want a full blown dessert!
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews (America)
Of all of these, none of them sound good for you, but the lesser of evils would be the Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw.
Primavera Kitchen (Italy)
The Pizza Toscona and the Tri-colored Tortellini are probably on equal footing, however you probably get more protein out of the Pizza Toscana’s toppings (Sweet Sausage, Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmesan Cheeses)!
Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market (Germany)
I’d go for the Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce (which is also vegetarian!).
Lotus House (China)
The Vegetable Spring Rolls would be my personal pick!
Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico)
These are probably on equal footing!
Trowel and Trellis (near Mexico)
They’re offering Grilled Street Corn with a savory garlic spread that’s gluten free and vegetarian friendly! I’d go that route for sure.
Have you been to the Flower and Garden Festival? Let's chat in the comments about your favorite part of the festival!
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