2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Florida Local

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!


11 responses to “2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Florida Local

  1. I have tried a few of the Florida Orange Groves Wines (we went to the beverage seminar last year … I think)… I’m underwhelmed by all of them. I won’t spend money or calories on any of them.
    I had thought I’d get the slider this evening on our stroll, but now I’m thinking that the shrimp cerviche is a better bet. Maybe I’ll pair it with a brew from America?

  2. Yeah, certainly don’t waste the money or calories, especially since you were underwhelmed by them as well. The ceviche is the clear winner in my opinion here, although I would order the slider again if it was better prepared!

  3. @lecubbon suggested last week that I change my tactics for the Marketplace Booths, she said that I should get in the longest lines (with a beverage of course) – because they’d be cooking the food right then to keep up with demand (idea being that the seafood etc wouldn’t be overcooked by sitting under heat lamp)… We’ll see if that works, if I ever get around to trying it (I hate lines)

  4. That’s a great theory! You’ll have to let me know if it works! I can’t stand lines either. 😉

  5. Thank you for the pictures. We can never go during the fall so this is the only way I can get information about the F&W festival.

  6. You’re welcome! Glad you can live vicariously through them!

  7. Hi Sarah. I Loved the shrimp ceviche too. In a word. Awesome! And I totally agree with the Florida wine review. In a word. Ewwww! The other day at my local Publix they were promoting Florida ‘wine’ and every time someone tried it they would grimace. It was funny, but Not a good response to a beverage!

  8. Ha! I would love just peoplewatching the expressions of those that would sample it!

  9. It was funny, but sad. 😦 Really. Florida wine? Just my two cents worth, but having ‘wine’ at the Florida booth is like having ‘tequila’ in the new Zealand booth. Or ‘champagne’ in the Singapore one. It doesn’t make any sense. Florida is the home of daiquiris and rum runners and Cuba libres and Bahama breezes. The Bacardi HQ in Miami. The Florida Caribbean Rum HQ in Lakeland ( ron carlos and cruzan). Ybor city brewing co in Tampa. Floridas natural HQ in lake wales. Things floridians can be proud of! hey but what do I know?

  10. The Ceviche and grass fed slider were the only things I had! And they were superb! The sangria was ok, but very sweet.

  11. So glad you liked them both! I’m wondering if I’ll have time to get one more slider this weekend since mine wasn’t the absolute best. And yeah, that sangria was sweet. Not my favorite.