After its debut last year, the Florida Local kiosk at the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has returned. I was looking forward to the new Beef Slider being offered and trying the Shrimp Ceviche, which I missed out on last year. The kiosk returned this past spring at the Flower & Garden Festival as “Florida Fresh,” and again the food was fantastic.
At a respectable price for it’s size, the Florida Grass-fed Beef Slider with Monterrey Jack and Sweet and Hot Pickles looks quite appetizing. The slider was a touch small for the bun, but at least was thick and not a thin patty.
The cheese was nicely melted, and the pickles had a great flavor and had a slight kick to them. Considering the amount of heat I’ve been getting on some dishes at the festival, these were relatively mild.
Unfortunately, the slider was cooked through, leaving it somewhat dry, especially alongside the bread. A condiment would have helped, and would have added some additional flavor. The slider seemed to have no seasoning to it. Word of mouth says this has been the norm for the dish, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you receive it the same way should you order it. Still, at $3.75, this wasn’t breaking the bank, and hopefully word will get back to the chefs so they can make an adjustment in cooking.
If you are looking to try just one item from Florida Local, though, I highly recommend the Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire-roasted Vegetables and Micro Cilantro. It was packed with shrimp (I believe there were 6-7), and the broth is wonderful, like an amazing Bloody Mary. The micro cilantro added a great brightness to the dish, but for those that do not like cilantro, it’s easy enough to remove.
I also tried the Florida Orange Groves Hurricane Class 5 Florida White Sangria which was offered last year as well, but I didn’t try it. According to the website:
Through the secret blending of several of our most popular wines we have created the worlds most refreshing white sangria. This wine is our best seller. Its often imitated but has never been duplicated. Uniquely Florida, it is elegant for any occasion and perfect with any food.
Now my first experience with Florida Orange Groves wines was during Flower & Garden Festival in the Spring, and I wasn’t too impressed. I figured I’d give them another shot with their sangria. I like white sangria, but this was too sweet for my liking. I need to learn that sangria poured straight from a bottle probably won’t be great. 😉
Hopefully the Florida Grass-fed Beef Slider is just going through some growing pains and will be adjusted as the festival continues, as it certainly has potential. The Florida Shrimp Ceviche is a big win, and while the serving vessel has changed over the past week to a bowl (like this one), it was still filled with shrimp and delicious tomato broth. Personally, I wouldn’t go back for the Florida Orange Groves Hurricane Class 5 Florida White Sangria, and I’m not interested in spending the money on the Key Limen version since of the three wines I’ve tried by Florida Orange Groves, I’d buy 0 out of 3 at the store.
Share your thoughts on this year’s Florida Fresh offerings!