Trip Report: Disney World (April 2013, Day 2)

7:50 a.m. Breakfast at Kouzzina

I started the morning at Kouzzina for breakfast. It’s located on the boardwalk. They have two unique dishes, one waffle, and one french toast. Both of these dishes were excellent. I don’t often have a more fine dining experience for breakfast, so having a waffle or french toast with something other than just butter and syrup is a welcome change.

The first was called the Classic Golden Waffle.

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Classic Golden Waffle

The Classic Golden Waffle comes lightly drizzled with syrup, then topped with chopped pecans and an ice cream scoop of marscapone cheese.

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Waffle Closeup

I usually pour a lot of syrup on my waffles but the marscapone cheese added enough flavor that I did not have to do that this time. Since this is not typical Disney mass produced food the bacon was served nice and crispy.

I’ve never had cheese on a waffle. This specific cheese was a perfect compliment to the waffle and pecans.

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Marscapone Cheese

Very unique, and absolutely delicious!

Rating: 9/10

The Country French Toast used a sourdough toast instead of the usual bread that most places use.

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Country French Toast

It is topped with sliced peaches and sliced figs. They also give you a small cup of warmed syrup.

Such an amazing taste. Again, the mix of peaches and figs offered plenty of sweetness where very little syrup is needed.

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French Toast Closeup

I did add a little since the warmed syrup was provided (the fake stuff) and I wanted to try everything as the chef intended.

Rating: 7.5/10

8:15 a.m. Peanut Butter Bar Cake

After breakfast I headed to the newly opened Boardwalk Bakery. I had just finished a double breakfast next door, so I chose just one item off my list of things to try during this trip. The plan was to return here on another day to try some more. As it turned out, that never happened due to a lack of time. Here is my one item, the famous (at least with Disney fans) Peanut Butter Bar Cake.

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Peanut Butter Bar Cake

This snack consists of layers of chocolate cake alternating with a peanut butter cream filling. The top two layers are a chocolate and dark chocolate ganache.

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Cake Closeup

It was overall a very moist treat, more so than an actual cake slice. The peanut butter was actually a flavored cream-like product and I don’t think there is any actual peanut butter in the dessert.

Rating: 6/10

It was time for the foods I traveled here for, Epcot’s World Showcase Flower & Garden Festival food kiosks. I knew this would be a difficult run, as there were ten food kiosks each offering between three and four dishes for me to try. That would be over thirty foods, each about the size of a typical side dish that I had to try during the rest of the day for lunch and dinner. Because of the multitude of different foods and the limited time frame, my reviews were fairly short. On top of that, the festival is ending this week, so you won’t be able to try these anyway.

11:15 Florida Fresh:

“Watermelon salad with pickled red onions, baby arugula, feta cheese, balsamic reduction.”

Excellent taste, and a great mix of flavors. The title explains all the ingredients.

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Watermelon Salad

I had read a full list and description of every item in the F&GF kiosks before leaving for this trip and had already decided I was trying every item. Therefore, when I was ordering the food I simply told the cashiers “one of each food item please.” I wasn’t even reading the menu boards. Because of that, I didn’t realize this even had watermelon in it.

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Watermelon

It was a nice surprise, and a great taste to be found in a salad. This would have been a great salad with just the other ingredients.

Rating: 9/10

“Shrimp and stone ground grits, andouille sausage, Zellwood corn, tomatoes, and cilantro.”

I’m not a huge fan of grits, and also not fond of spicy foods. This was not too spicy, but did have a little kick.

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Shrimp & Stone Ground Grits

The shrimp was well cooked and tasted fresh. The garnish didn’t add much flavor, but definitely added to the presentation.

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Garnish
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Shrimp & Grits Closeup

There was a great ratio of shrimp and sausage versus the amount of grits.

Rating: 6/10

“Angel food cake with macerated Florida berries.”

Exactly what you’d expect. A perfectly textured angel food cake, and sweetened strawberries in sauce.

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Angel Food Cake

It was light, and not too sweet so it won’t wipe you out on desserts for the day.

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Cake Closeup

The cake portion was perfectly moist. Thankfully they used real whipped cream.

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Whipped Cream

Rating: 7/10

11:35 a.m. Hardin due Fiestas (Mexico):

“Crab Tostitos with chipotle mayo and valentina salsa.”

Continuing around the World Showcase, the next stop was Mexico. The Crab Tostitos was my first item, and I quickly found I wasn’t happy with it.

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Crab Tostitos

The hard shell made it difficult to eat since the plastic knives offered didn’t cut through it, and you can’t just fold it in half to eat as a sandwich without it crumbling to pieces.

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Crab

It also had a somewhat bland taste. The imitation crab did not stand out amongst the rest of the ingredients. It wasn’t terrible, just nothing that was memorable.

Rating: 4/10

“Pork tacos with tamarindo salsa.”

This was much better. The pork tasted so much better than the crab.

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Pork Taco

I don’t know the difference between the Tamarindo salsa this one used compared to the Valentina in the other, but the taste of this salsa gave it a more Mexican flair. It was also more of a jelly-like texture.

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Pork Taco Closeup

One thing that really stood out were the crispy pork rinds against all the other soft ingredients. The green onions also added a standout flavor.

Rating: 6.5/10

“Guava Flan”

I’m not big on flan, but the guava flavor was good.

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Guava Flan

The Guava “jam” at the bottom really helped me like this more.

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Guava Jam

It keeps it from being too much of a monotone texture and adds a boost of flavor.

Rating: 5/10

12:05 p.m. Kringla Bakeri og Kafé:

“Lingonberry Waffle”

The final piece to the DFB “waffle crawl.”

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Lingonberry Waffle

As a huge waffle fan I was a little disappointed in this one. The waffle was very soft and the only flavor was in the lingonberry jam.

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Waffle with Powdered Sugar

The jam tasted great, but it felt like I could make this at home by heating a packaged microwave waffle and spreading lingonberry jam on top, then folding it over. It tasted good, but it was nothing special.

A shot of the lingonberry jam inside.

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Lingonberry Jam

You can see how soft the waffle was by the way I just rolled it back with my fork.

Rating: 5/10

12:35 p.m. Lotus House (China):

Next stop, China. They covered the range of hit and miss in terms of quality. Let’s start with the hit.

“Spring Pancake with grilled chicken and green apple.”

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Spring Pancake

This was a great meal. The soft shell made it easy to hold, and it had a solid meal wrapped inside.

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Inside Spring Pancake

The combo of meat, sweet apple, and crunchiness of the sprouts all blended well.

Rating: 8/10

“Pan-Fried Vegetable Bun.”

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Pan-Fried Vegetable Bun

Not a bad dish, but the fried vegetables got a little lost in the large amount of bun wrapped around them. The bun itself tasted fine, like any normal bun, there was just a lot of it compared to the heart of the meal, the pan-fried vegetables.

This however was fixed slightly by the sweet and sour sauce that was on the plate for dipping.

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Sweet & Sour Sauce

There was plenty of sauce to coat every bite and keep it from just being a dry bun with a small taste of something hidden inside.

Here you can see the pan-fried vegetables hidden inside.

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Hidden Pan-fried Vegetables

Rating: 5.5/10

Now the miss:

“Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries.”

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Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries.

The candied strawberries were disappointing. The strawberries were a little under-ripe (slightly green), but otherwise tasted fine.

The candy coating was bland. You expect a clear candy coating to be really sweet, but it wasn’t. It also produced somewhat sharp pieces when biting into it. It has to be eaten slowly to avoid hurting my mouth.

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Closeup of Candy Coating

They looked great. It’s a simple concept and had the potential for being a nice treat, but they failed on the execution. I wasn’t happy with the lack of flavor and the need to eat so cautiously.

Rating: 3/10

1:15 p.m. Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market (Germany):

“Savory Bread Pudding with spring peas and wild mushroom ragout.”

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Savory Bread Pudding

Wow, what a salty meal! I usually don’t like mushrooms. I will eat them with dishes prepared that way since that’s what the chef intended the dish to taste like when they created it. In this case the mushrooms were so empowering in the flavor, it was almost all I could taste. You can see how much mushroom was included here.

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Mushrooms

The only thing stronger than the flavor of mushrooms was the salt. It was so salty I had trouble finishing it. Individually the bread pudding wasn’t bad through all the saltiness, but that was the only good point of this dish in my opinion.

Rating: 2/10

“German Meatloaf Sandwich with sweet mustard and fried shallots.”

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German Meatloaf Sandwich

I liked this one much better. It was simply a semi-hard roll with a slice of what looked like ham (German meatloaf) topped with the fried shallots.

This is another food that had the contrast of something crispy (fried shallots) mixed with softer foods (meatloaf).

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Fried Shallots

Simple, yet flavorful. The sweet mustard for dipping was fantastic.

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Sweet Mustard

Sometimes simpler is better.

Rating: 6.5/10

“Potato Pancakes with house made applesauce.”

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Potato Pancakes

The potato pancake was well cooked, just crispy enough while still softer in the middle. It was topped with applesauce that I’m pretty sure was sweetened.

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Pancake & Applesauce

Another simple yet tasty dish, similar to something many of us may have had at home as children.

Rating: 7/10

1:25 p.m. German Chocolate Caramel

While in Germany, I decided to pick up another item off my list from Karamelle-Küche. Of course, you can’t go in there and just get one thing. I picked up my German Chocolate Caramel.

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German Chocolate Caramel

My wife wanted to try the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel.

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Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel

Both of these tasted almost identical. The only difference I noticed was that the German chocolate one had shredded coconut pieces mixed in, and the dark chocolate sea salt had… well, dark chocolate and sea salt.

You can barely see the white chunks of coconut mixed in with the caramel here.

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Coconut

Notice the difference in how this one’s caramel has a smooth texture with no coconut.

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Sea Salt’s Caramel

Other than that difference, they were both chocolate covered caramels. How can one complain about that combo? My wife took a bite out of the corner of each, and I finished them.

Rating: 8/10

1:40 p.m. Primavera Kitchen (Italy):

“Green Asparagus & Lobster, with garden cocktail sauce.”

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Green Asparagus & Lobster

The description doesn’t mention the green leaves, thus making it a small salad. It was a truly fantastic little salad.

The cocktail sauce was very flavorful.

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Cocktail Sauce

The two pieces of lobster were real as far as I could tell. They were mixed in with the cocktail sauce and I realized later that I never got a photo of them. Everything worked here and overall it appeared as if it could be healthy too.

Rating: 9/10

“Lasagna Primavera.”

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Lasagna Primavera

This was an interesting one. The lasagna was made from spinach noodles, which to me tasted about the same as regular noodles. I’m generally used to meat lasagnas so I have no reference for anything else.

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Lasagna Closeup

I thought overall it tasted pretty good and while I’d still prefer the meat version, I’d eat this again.

Rating: 6.5/10

“Panna Cotta with wild berries.”

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Panna Cotta

I found the panna cotta to be another simple and enjoyable dessert. It’s one of those lighter foods that doesn’t put you into a food coma.

For me, fruit (i.e., healthy things) don’t usually belong in the dessert category.

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Berries

In this case where I’m eating 30 small meals, including 6 desserts in a 6 hour period, I’m ok with it.

Rating: 5.5/10

2:15 p.m. Sunshine Seasons:

“Roast Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with candied pecans and vinaigrette dressing.”

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Roast Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

My wife has gluten sensitivity, so she hadn’t been able to eat much during my World Showcase run. She was a little hungry, and I was ready for a short break from eating. We headed over to The Land pavilion to get her lunch at Sunshine Seasons. This salad was her lunch, and I didn’t eat any of it.

The salad had at least two types of beets. The pecans and goat cheese rounded out the protein.

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Salad Closeup

Other than the sugar from the candied pecans, this truly was a healthy meal (unlike most of the foods I was eating during the week). My wife reported that the salad was excellent, and she wouldn’t hesitate to get it again in the future.

4:00 p.m. The Cottage: Savories, Trifles & Teas (England):

My two hour break was over. Back to the food. We headed the opposite direction around the World Showcase this time. First stop, England.

“Baked Goat’s Brie with kumquat chutney.”

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Baked Goat’s Brie

I love cheese and therefore liked the Baked Goat’s Brie as well.

The kumquat chutney was delicious.

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Chutney

In truth, I found the brie hard to taste, but the texture of a soft cheese was evident.

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Brie

The chutney added a lot to the taste, and was the dominant flavor of this dish.

Rating: 6.5/10

“Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with House-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 vinegar and Basil.”

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Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Vinegar & Basil

A caprese salad made with some fine ingredients.

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Caprese Salad Closeup

It tasted great and was a different flavor than usual since it used vinegar instead of the typical extra-virgin olive oil.

Rating: 6/10

“Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and sour cream.”

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Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare

One of my favorites is a tartare of any sort. Every part of this was great, the bun, the fish, and the flavored sour cream.

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Smoked Salmon

It was also nice to once again have the opportunity to eat with my hands and not make a huge mess, especially with such elegant cuisine that is normally reserved for a knife and fork.

Rating: 8.5/10

“Trio of Trifles (Chocolate, Berry, Ginger and Tea).”

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Trio of Trifles

Three little tastes.

Being a chocoholic, this one was my favorite.

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Chocolate

The berry was very good as well.

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Berry

The green tea was just all right, but I never really liked the taste of green tea that much in the first place, so I’m a little biased on this one.

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Green Tea (half gone)

The view above shows the various layers in each trifle.

Rating (as a group): 6/10

4:20 p.m. L’Orangerie (France):

“Country-style Pâté served with baguette and cherry compote.”

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Country-style Pâté

This wasn’t too bad. The bread was a little too crispy for my taste. The pâté was good, and I really liked the cherry compote. The three together created a sweet and salty taste that I enjoyed.

Rating: 6/10

“Ratatouille Tart with goat cheese.”

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Ratatouille Tart

I did not like this at all. It was loaded with various vegetables that stood out too much in the overall flavor. I don’t mind bell peppers in smaller quantities, but in this tart they were way too overpowering.

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Tart Closeup

The tart portion was about the only thing I liked. After eating about half of it, I scraped the top vegetable portion off for my wife to eat, and I finished the leftover bottom breaded portion.

Rating: 3/10

“Peach Charlotte.”

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Peach Charlotte

I’d say this was average at best.

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Charlotte Layers

The top layer of peach flavored cream was not bad, but the peaches at the bottom had a strong taste of spice. It didn’t work for me.

Rating: 4/10

4:35 p.m. Taste of Marrakesh (Morocco):

“Spiced Lamb Kebob with Couscous Salad.”

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Spiced Lamb Kebob

A little spicy for my taste, but not enough to ruin the dish.

The lamb was flavorful and the cold couscous salad was a great contrast to the lamb.

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Couscous

If it weren’t for being a little too spicy for me, this would have rated much higher in my opinion.

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Spiced Lamb

For those that like spicy, this is an excellent dish.

Rating: 6.5/10

“Harissa and Lemon Confit Chicken Drumette with chermoula and cucumber salad.”

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Chicken Drumette with Chermoula & Cucumber Salad

I enjoyed this a little more than the spiced lamb, which is unusual since I really love lamb. Chicken is so common that it can be difficult to really make it special.

The “cucumber salad” as they call it was more like a vinegar based coleslaw.

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Cucumber Salad

The chicken was tender and easy to take off the bone, making it plasticware friendly.

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Chicken Drumette

Rating: 7/10

“Moroccan Sweet Pancake.”

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Moroccan Sweet Pancake

The Taste of Marrakesh kiosk keeps improving with each fare. This was very sweet, and very good. The pancake was absolutely soaked in what appeared to be a watered down honey tasting fluid.

Then topped with almonds. Heavenly!

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Almond Topping

Rating: 8/10

4:45 p.m. Hanami (Japan):

“Grilled Vegetables with Japanese Noodles and teriyaki on a bun.”

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Grilled Vegetables with Japanese Noodles

I love Japanese noodles. These were cooked well and had a normal flavor that you get from these types of noodles and their corresponding herbs.

Along with the noodles was (I believe) pickled cabbage and some type of sauce, most likely mayonnaise.

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Noodles

I hadn’t even noticed the bun initially and was eating it with a fork.

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Hidden Bun

When the bun finally appeared I ate the rest as a sandwich. The bun was a typical very soft, packaged sandwich bun.

Rating: 8/10

“Grilled Salmon, Shrimp and Crab Stick over ginger rice.”

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Grilled Salmon, Shrimp & Crab

Great array of some delicious seafood on one plate. It was almost like a couple sushi rolls were unwrapped and plated, as all the ingredients were there.

This was served in the form of a salad with the shrimp and crab mixed in and the salmon laid on top.

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Seafood Salad

It was then drizzled with a couple different mayonnaise based sauces. Very tasty dish. Great seafood flavor.

Rating: 8/10

“Fruishi (Fruit Sushi).”

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Fruishi

I mentioned the previous plate looked like unwrapped sushi. The Fruishi had the look of more traditional sushi, except with a different take. It’s fish free.

This is one of a few plates where they appeared to have put some thought into the actual presentation of the food by making it look as great as it tastes. Presentation can do a lot for the taste buds before you even take the first bite.

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Presentation

The fruit was wrapped in seaweed, and everything inside was the same as a normal sushi roll, minus the protein, and using fruit instead of vegetables. Great idea, great execution.

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Fishless Sushi

Once again, real whipped cream. No fake product here!

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Whipped Cream

Rating: 7/10

4:55 p.m. The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews: (America):

I came upon my final kiosk, and it was the one I had been looking forward to all day. American barbecue! The problem was that in the last five and a half hours I had visited nine different kiosks and sampled twenty-eight small meals. I was feeling pretty full, but was sure I could squeeze one last group of meals in to finish my food run.

“Pulled Pig Slider with cole slaw.”

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Pulled Pig Slider

The pulled pig slider was decent. It was no better than any pulled pork you can get at any barbecue restaurant. I didn’t think the coleslaw on top added much to the flavor either.

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Coleslaw Topped Pork

It was a little disappointing after I had hyped myself up for these last three items.

Rating: 5/10

“Smoked Beef Brisket with collard greens and jalapeño corn bread.”

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Smoked Beef Brisket

Again, I’m not a fan of spicy. Take the jalapeños out of the corn bread and it was excellent. As it was, with the jalapeños as an ingredient, it wasn’t so spicy that I couldn’t eat it. Overall I still think it was very well made.

The collard greens were well cooked and tasted as I believe they should have (I’ve had them so few times I’m not sure how they’re truly supposed to taste).

The smoked beef brisket was incredible. Maybe one of the best meals from the F&GF food kiosks. I almost went back the next day to have it again, but held back to save room for new items I hadn’t tried yet. The meat was tender, moist, and had the perfect smoked flavor. It looks like my complete fullness hasn’t affected my ability to still enjoy some great food.

Rating: 9/10

“Rocky Road Brownie Mousse.”

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Rocky Road Brownie Mousse

Fantastic brownie. All the flavors of rocky road in a hand held treat. You need to love chocolate for this one. It was very sweet.

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Brownie Mousse Toppings

It was a fairly thick mousse, but still easy to slice with the plastic fork. It was a perfect ending to my thirty-one course “chef’s tasting menu.”

Rating: 8/10

After a four hour break, we were on the way back to the car and decided to stop for one last treat at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at the Beach Club resort. This is where you find various specialty sundaes. The one I was after was the No Way Jose.

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No Way Jose Sundae

It is a very large sundae. You can see the full sized “sundae” spoon on the plate for comparison. It was two scoops of vanilla ice cream and one scoop of chocolate ice cream. It had massive quantities of peanut butter and hot fudge swirled inside. It is topped with another layer of peanut butter, whipped cream, and chocolate chips.

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Pile of Toppings

While it may only be three scoops of ice cream (I’m not positive on this as it’s hard to count them once they’re half melted and covered in toppings), they were very large scoops. This was a huge ice cream glass and it was overflowing. They did not go light on the fudge or peanut butter either. After eating all the ice cream I still had at least a quarter of the glass filled with these two toppings.

For me, most sundaes are very similar as they are all ice cream with mostly common toppings. In this case I’d rate this one a little better due to the abundant quantity of both ice cream and toppings you get. I never thought to ask if I could choose my own ice cream flavor, but if I were, then next time I may ask for all chocolate, or peanut butter ice cream if it’s available.

Rating: 8/10

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