It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice finds its way into almost everything you consume. The Florida humidity starts to loosen its suffocating grip, and foodies make their annual pilgrimage to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. As always, Disney has not forgotten to include some tasty options for the veggie foodies too. The following is my top six savory vegetarian and vegan items at the 2018 Food and Wine Festival. I would love to hear some of your favorites and why they are a must try.
1.Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew, Africa (Vegan)
I have to admit that I didn’t have high hopes for this one and I actually considered passing on it. I’m glad that I made room in my stretched stomach to try this tasty creation! This lentil stew has a great flavor and just the right amount of spice. It doesn’t overpower, but still offers a bit of a kick. The stew is served with quinoa, which adds a nice texture to the dish. It’s topped with a vegan yogurt sauce that gives it a hint of creaminess. I will definitely be returning to this booth multiple times during the Food and Wine Festival.
2. The IMPOSSIBLE Burger Slider, Earth Eats (Vegan)
I can get behind almost anything with an Asian twist. This burger is no exception. The IMPOSSIBLE burger is served on a sesame seed bun and topped with an Asian slaw and wasabi cream. The slaw gives the burger a nice tangy crunch. It’s what I liked most about this burger. The wasabi cream is super subtle. I’m not kidding… If it wasn’t listed in the description, I would have never guessed it was in there. This is great for people who might be afraid to try it because of their fear of wasabi. Those of us who like wasabi will still love this burger as long as we don’t anticipate a lot of heat.
Also, make sure to check out the IMPOSSIBLE burger fun facts too. Maybe it will convince some other festival goers to cross over to the veggie side.
3. Warm Indian Bread, India (Vegetarian)
This dish comes with naan bread and three dipping sauces. All of them are delicious! The mango salsa has a nice sweet and tangy flavor that balances the spicy flavors from the pickled garlic and the coriander pesto. I had lots of leftover dip so I added it to the red curry and rice dish to give it more flavor.
4. Butternut Squash Ravioli, The Wine and Dine Studio (Vegetarian)
These are fluffy pillows of fall in your mouth. The ravioli dish does a great job creating a pleasant balance of sweet and savory. I am always a little apprehensive of trying a savory pumpkin or squash dish because it is so easy to go overboard with either the sweet or the savory that leaves the dish with an awkward taste. This is not an issue with these billowy beauties. There is just the right amount of garlic and parmesan cheese to balance out the sweet.
5. Loaded Greek Nachos, Greece (Vegan)
Ah, Greece… vegetarians and vegans can almost always expect to find something yummy to eat here. Vegans and vegetarians will be thrilled to know that the vegan loaded nachos have returned! Despite these nachos being a bit messy to eat, they are quite delicious. The pita chips are topped with shredded lettuce, kalamata olives, vegan sausage crumbles, and vegan tzatziki sauce. The crumbles really make this dish. They have a great smoky flavor that makes you doubt for a second that it is vegan.
6. Madras Red Curry, India (Vegan)
I found this dish underwhelming. It had very little curry spice to be detected on the palate. There were too many chickpeas (I really only like chickpeas if they come in the shape of a falafel though) and not enough cauliflower or carrots. I only had a few very tiny pieces of each. Despite these criticisms, I don’t want to completely write off this selection. The Food and Wine Festival is all about trying new things. I think this dish is a great introduction to Indian food for someone who has timid taste buds, but has always wanted to try curry.