Food of the Future: EPCOT Food Review

Thanks to all of the Gentle Readers for their thoughts and experiences with Disney food. Today we move into the future, the brave new culinary world of EPCOT. In theory, the World Showcase can give you a taste of many countries in a short jaunt around a small lake. How did it work in practice?

Fresh coffee, at last.

Fresh coffee, at last.

In all fairness, the food at EPCOT was a LOT better than Disney World. However, it was still far inferior to what you could get in the real world. I always think about an essay by Umberto Eco talking about modernity’s need to take reality and put it in a museum. I have that sense in Las Vegas, and I have that sense in EPCOT. I’m looking at a mirage, and I just want to step behind it.

Most highly trafficked spot in EPCOT.

Most highly trafficked spot in EPCOT.

We managed to get a reservation at a sit-down restaurant, the Rose & Crown Pub, which worked out mainly because it sheltered us from a sudden downpour. And hey, since the UK is not exactly famous for haute cuisine, I thought perhaps it would work out. It did for a couple of us.

Shepherd's pie, made with lamb, carrots, and cheesey potatoes. Peas, not mushy, on the side.

Shepherd's pie, made with lamb, carrots, and cheesey potatoes. Peas, not mushy, on the side.

The Eldest Practical Cook Junior and I ordered Shepherd’s Pie. It was made with ground lamb and carrots, and tasted fresh and like real food. She’s not a huge mashed potato fan, but she ate this up. (So proud that my little one doesn’t fear gamey stuff!) The portion shown is hers, which is again confounding not because of the mouse plate, but because the kid’s version comes with a green veg, while the adult’s does not. Seriously?

Make your own sundae at EPCOT!

Make your own sundae at EPCOT!

For dessert, they had make your own sundaes, nicely portioned and fun, and I got Sticky Toffee Pudding. Let me just tell you, I’m a huge fan of Sticky Toffee Pudding, and I’ve got a recipe I’ve made and love. I’ve made it a couple of times, and yet my version was superior to theirs. That is not right. (I’ll share the recipe upcoming, perfect winter dessert.) So the pub fare was a draw, not bad, but too pricey and inconsistent.

Best food of the day: cabbage roll from a Polish food stand.

Best food of the day: cabbage roll from a Polish food stand.

The real winner of the day, the little food stalls set up for the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. Small bites, interesting options, and more realistic. I got a cabbage roll in Poland, some fondue in France, a cannoli in Italy, and would have continued on the bender if not forced to stop by the sheer exhaustion of my party. (If my esteemed colleagues, one from Italy, and one from France, are reading this, please note that I was Swiss in my food selection.)

The Juniors Fave Food: A Grab-and-Go Turkey and Cheddar sandwich with grapes at the airport. Real food at last!

The Juniors Fave Food: A Grab-and-Go Turkey and Cheddar sandwich with grapes at the airport. Real food at last!

We finished the day with a fairly unfortunate meal in Mexico (really, you can’t supply decent Mexican food??), and then ran for the airport the next day. Moral of this story, select your countries wisely, and don’t bother spending a lot of money. My lingering question, where is India in all of this? Not a samosa in sight!

Have you traveled the world and the seven seas at EPCOT? What did you think of the food there? Post a comment below, or Tweet!

Thoughts, ideas, queries? Email practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, How to Throw a Milkshake Party.

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