Ah, Epcot. The Disney park that takes you around the world in one afternoon, allowing you to cross the English Channel from England to France in minutes, and leap miraculously from Norway to Mexico without paying heed to geographic distances.
And why does the world showcase exist? Walt himself may have wanted to bring the wonders of far and exotic countries to the people of central Florida, but we all know the real reason:
It's true, Epcot is a foodie's mecca. It's like a food court on a larger, fancier scale, where you can pick a country and then sample their culinary masterpieces without ever breaking out your passport.
On the final day of our trip, Jeremy and I wandered around Epcot before our flight with several sit down meals, quick service meals and snacks left on our dining plan. And what a place to have free dining vouchers! Pastries and quiches in France, pretzels in Germany, enchiladas in Mexico...it was great.
But on our first day at Epcot, we had a more scheduled approach to our dining: Lunch at Biergarten, dinner at Chef's de France.
It's interesting when you have a fairly early lunch reservation and you have to run through several different countries to make it to Germany on time. No time for you, Japan. Sorry, Italy, we'll come back! Canada...psh. Who goes to Canada anyway?
But Germany? What a country! Beer, meat and potatoes, more schnitzel and spaetzle than you know what to do with, and did I mention the beer? But I'll come back to that 🙂
Here we are outside Biergarten, where's it's always Oktoberfest. They were right on time with our reservation, and they seemed excited about my last name (Westendorf) and how German it was. Dorf means village, so I guess it means West Village?
The restaurant is composed of large family-style tables arranged on three tiers, centered around a stage and dancing area. If you are a lone party of two, like we were, you get paired with other parties to fill up the tables.
You're surrounded by lamposts and German house fronts, so it feels like you're sitting outside in a little town, waiting for the band to start playing.
A small section of the buffet area, with Jeremy and his pink shorts walking into the shot. Again. I forgave him once I saw the food, however.
By this point I was salivating too much to take any decent pictures. BUT they also had:
- Rotisserie chicken
- Chicken schnitzel with hunter's sauce
- German meatballs
- Sautéed green beans (gross)
- Salmon in dill sauce
- PLUS a whole meat carving station we were too full to check out!
I also blocked the flash with my hand, like a true photographer, which is why it's dark at the bottom of the picture. To be fair, I hadn't needed to use my flash until then, so I wasn't used to it!
A few notes about the food itself:
- Spaetzel is freaking amazing. I'm definitely going to try and make this, so if anyone has any old family recipes or something, let me know in the comments! For those who have never eaten it, it's like German mac n' cheese.
- German meatballs? Delicious, and way heartier than other meatballs I've eaten.
- Jeremy loved the shnitzel, but I ran out of room in my stomach and didn't get to each much of it. What I had though was good.
- The sausage salad was horrible, and tasted way too vinegary. Even in the pictures it just looks slimy and gross to me. *shudder*
How on earth could I possibly forget THIS!??! Jeremy ordered a beer, being in Beirgarten and all, and when the waiter asked if he wanted a small, or German-sized, he shrugged and said "German-sized?"
Turns out German-sized means an entire liter of beer. What you can't see in this picture is how his arm muscles are straining to hold up this monster of a glass. I couldn't even lift it without fear of pouring it down the front of my dress until it was half empty. Even then, I felt like I was drowning in beer.
But I don't date quitters!
Like a boss. And to finish off our delightful meal at Biergarten, the band showed up. Also we had apple strudel.
It's like my mother always used to say: "There's nothing better than German polka music to help you digest a liter of beer and a pound of sausage and sauerkraut." *
And get you pumped to go visit 1o more countries before your dinner reservations!
All in all, we had a great time. The food was fantastic, the beer was bottomless, and the band was lively and fun, despite the fact no one got up to polka. Made me proud to be German!**
*My mother never said this
**I'm not really German, I just have a German last name. I'm mostly Hungarian, I think. Anyway, hooray German food!