Several months ago, Sommerfest it Epcot’s Germany pavilion revamped its menu. We stopped in to try their Currywurst, which was a nice change of pace. Since then, the menu has remained the same with the exception of some price increases, primarily in the entrees section and on the souvenir stein.
One of the items I’ve been wanting to try for a while was the Nudel Gratin. While it’s been on the buffet at Biergarten, it wasn’t one of the items that made it on my plate on our last visit. When the Disney Parks Blog posted a recipe for the dish last August, our friend Betsy at On the Go in MCO gave the recipe a try and found it to be successful. I figured I’d skip the task of doing the work at home myself and first sample it at Sommerfest.
Described as “Baked Macaroni with Cheese Custard” on the menu, the portion is what I would consider “Food & Wine” sized with a reasonable $3.49 price tag. In fact, they served a similar dish during the 2012 Festival – Schinken Nudel – a pasta gratin with ham and cheese for $3.25. While the latter reminded me more of a light quiche that would have been well-suited for breakfast, the Nudel Gratin did fell more like a hearty side dish better suited for lunch, dinner or a filling snack.
The noodles were nicely cooked, and the custard for this dish was less eggy than the Schinken Nudel. The top layer of cheese was congealed and sort of came off in a sheet, but the bottom had a crispy, caramelized layer of cheese. It was my favorite part of dish.
One thing I will note that was a bit off-putting was the amount of oil this dish had. You can see it along the bottom edges of the pictures. While a lot of it is likely from the cheese, I image they use a good amount of oil to get the gratin to releasing from the pan its baked in, and to get that crispy edge. As a quick bite at a reasonable price to help soak up some of those World Showcase beers, this certainly wouldn’t keep me from ordering it again.
Have you tried the Nudel Gratin when you’ve been to Biergarten or Sommerfest? What did you think of it?