Monday, April 14, 2014

Our Favorite Outdoor Kitchens at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Besides the beautiful topiaries, the one aspect we were most looking forward to at this year's Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival was the Outdoor Kitchens. Making their debut at last year's festival, these kiosks offer freshly made dishes from local destinations and around the world.

Armed with empty bellies and the best intentions, we tried to make our way to every Outdoor Kitchen the festival had to offer. Sadly, we fell short of out goal, but we had a great time sampling some fun and delicious food. Here's a round up of our favorite eats from the kiosks.

1. Pineapple Promenade - We started our journey here. At this kitchen, you can find delicious pineapple treats. The big draw is the Dole Whip with either Dark or Coconut rum. Since this was our first stop, we didn't want to fill up too fast, so we opted for something different

What we ate:  

  • Sweet Potato Cinnamon Waffle with Pineapple Soft Serve

What we thought:  

Yum! Our first selection was a hit! The waffle was warm, moist and full of flavor. This is a dish I would want to replicate at home. Also, it would also be a dish that our kids would enjoy!

2. Buttercup Cottage - This is the United Kingdom's contribution to the festival. Originally, James was going to be the only one to eat here. But, as soon as we crossed the border from Canada, a wonderful smell drifted our way.

What we ate:

  • Pork and Apple Sausage with house-made Piccalilli
  • Fresh Baked Lemon Scones with Berry Preserves and Creme Fraiche
  • Twinings Cold Brewed English Classic with Lemon Grass Syrup

What we thought:  

The wonderful smell was the Lemon Scones. Each scone is topped with sugar crystals that help bring out the tart lemony taste. Crisp edges lead the way into the soft, cakey middle. They were nothing short of heavenly! 

James tried the Pork and Apple Sausage.  The sausage was good.  The apples were an interesting addition, giving it some texture and sweetness, and the sausage was not very spicy. He thought the flavor of the "piccalilli" was a bit overpowering.  He likened it to a vinaigrette dressing, which he usually doesn't care for.

The iced tea was very good.  Upon checking out the Tea Caddy nearby, we found they sell the same tea there.  If you like it as much as we did, you can get some to take home with you!

3. The Smokehouse Barbecue and Brews - Complete with outdoor smokers and barbecue pits, this is the place to go for the best barbecue in town.

What we ate:
  • Piggylicous Cupcake

  • Smoked Turkey Rib
What we thought:  

Nothing on the menu appealed to me, so James stepped up to the plate and ordered the Smoked Turkey "Rib", and you know we both just HAD to try the Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake!  Every time someone ordered one, the Cast Member would yell out, "Piggylicious!" and the other Cast Members in the kiosk would respond "They're Delicious!" 

James really enjoyed the "rib", and thought the portion size was perfect.   They were tender, juicy, and flavorful. I did actually try a bit of the cupcake before James could get to it.  I didn't care for it, but I remarked that James would probably like it.  He liked it.  He didn't love it, but I did like it.  It was a very interesting combination of flavors.

4. Florida Fresh - This kiosk specializes in fresh local Florida flavors. You'll enjoy local produce along with fresh seafood.

What we ate:
  • Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and a Balsamic Reduction
  • Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage
What we thought:  

I loved this salad. It was so refreshing after all of the food we had eaten that day. The combination of the sweet watermelon, spicy arugula and tart feta really hit the spot. I can't wait to make this one at home. 

James enjoyed the shrimp and grits. The shrimp were very spicy with a heat that lingered well after he had finished the dish.  

5. Lotus House - A surprising favorite was this kiosk in China. After eating here, we weren't able to continue, but it was a delicious last meal. 

What we ate:

  • Spring Pancake with Grilled Chicken and Apple
  • Vegetable Spring Roll
  • Popping Bubble Tea
What we thought:

I had the Vegetable Spring Roll. I loved it! It was crunchy on the outside while the inside was bursting with crisp vegetables. It was served with a spicy dipping sauce that went with it perfectly. 

James had the Spring Pancake. The chicken was well seasoned and cooked perfectly. The tart apple was an interesting surprise. We both commented that this would be a dish our kids would love too. 

But the biggest treat was the popping bubble tea! I wish I could make this at home because I would drink it daily! It's a cold glass of creamy tea with a twist! Inside are two types of bubbles, orange popping bubbles (filled with passion fruit) and dark tapioca. It was fun to drink and so tasty!

Overall we had a great experience sampling the Outdoor Kitchens at the Epcot International Flower "Food" and Garden Festival. We left with a list of dishes that we would love to try again and also to try to make at home.

Have you been to the Outdoor Kitchens? Which ones were your favorites?
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival Loop:


  1. We had some of the same favorites. I LOVED the sweet potato waffle. I really need to find a recipe to make them at home. :)

    1. Please, if you find a recipe let me know. I would love to make a batch for my kids! I think they would really like them.

  2. What a fun round-up of treats! I hope to get there and try some of them one of these days!

  3. Your post makes me realize that I seriously need to reconsider Flower & Garden next year! These look amazing!

  4. I think the spring rolls would be really good! Thanks for sharing your great pictures and thoughts!

  5. I'm really looking forward to dole whip topped waffle!

  6. I really missed the Buttercup Cottage this year. It was my favorite back in 2013.

    I'm really started to think I got a bad CM to make my Popping Bubble Tea, because mine was awful and every other review I've read has loved theres! Makes me sad because I was so looking forward to it! LOL.


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