American Table Review: 2018 Epcot Holidays Festival

American Holiday Table is our next food booth at Walt Disney World’s Christmas-time Festival, located in the heart of Epcot’s World Showcase in the American Adventure. In this review, we’ll share photos of the snacks and desserts on the menu, and offer our food reviews & tasting notes of this hearty Thanksgiving-inspired feast.

The “America” booth at these Epcot festivals is always a wild card. Sometimes, the good ole U.S.A. comes to play, and other times we get overpriced cliches. This time, we get a little from column B and a lot from column A. The menu at American Holiday Table most certainly contains some American cliches.

However, it also contains three of the absolute best dishes at the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and none of them are overpriced, at least by Walt Disney World standards. Suffice to say, we were pleasantly surprised by everything we tried at American Holiday Table…

Here’s what’s on the food menu at the American Holiday Table…Holiday Kitchen for 2018 (in case you can’t tell, it really bugs me that the word ‘Holiday’ is in the name of this Holiday Kitchen):

  • Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cranberry Sauce
  • Hand-carved Smoked Ham with Green Beans and Sweet Potato Casserole (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
  • Chocolate Pecan Tart with Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce (Vegetarian)
  • Red and Green Chocolate Chip Cookie (Vegetarian)

Now our photos and reviews of each item…

Slow-roasted Turkey – Served with mashed potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce, this is a quintessential Thanksgiving dish.

For me, the most important question about turkey is whether it’s sufficiently juicy, and that’s definitely the case here. Otherwise, this melds together for a symphony of holiday flavors in your mouth. It’s a must-try this time of year, and a good value.

Hand-carved Smoked Ham – Before Americans became so deeply divided on matters of politics, something else entirely tore apart thousands of families this time of year. That’s right, I’m talking about that age old debate: ham v. turkey.

Conventional wisdom says you have turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Christmas, but I’m here with a totally different perspective: have both for both, you cowards. Of course, that’s the perspective of someone who is allowed nowhere near the kitchen since the Deep Fried Turkey Debacle of ’08, but I defy you to refute my air-tight argument: both ham and turkey are delicious, make families happy, and more food is better. (The logic is ironclad.)

Anyway…the smoked ham at American Holiday Table is flavorful and tender, with perhaps slightly too much fat (but that undoubtedly varies from plate to plate) with excellent sides in the green beans and sweet potato casserole. Also a must-buy and good value.

Chocolate Pecan Tart – American Holiday Table was our last booth of the night, and I think everyone was about Yule Logged out at this point. This created an opening for the Chocolate Pecan Tart: despite being ridiculously stuffed, we were looking for a change of pace.

The Chocolate Pecan Tart absolutely delivered. It’s rich, it’s decadent, it’s creamy (well, the topping is)…and it’s not yet another Yule Log.

Red and Green Chocolate Chip Cookie – They were sold out of this cookie by the time we arrived at American Holiday Table in the early evening, which might beg the question, “how do you review it?”

The reason we mention it is because all of these cookies were very ordinary, so if you’re doing that cookie stroll (don’t), one being sold out is the best possible scenario. Ask nicely and they’ll still give you the stamp. Just hope that the free completer cookie isn’t also out of stock…

Here’s the American Holiday Table drink menu:

  • American Heritage Milk Chocolate Gourmet Hot Cocoa with Wondermade Marshmallows (non-alcoholic)
  • Orange Blossom Brewing Cranberry Kringle Pilsner, Orlando, FL
  • Shipyard Eggnog White Porter, Clearwater, FL
  • JDub’s Season’s Greetings Peppermint Milk Stout, Sarasota, FL
  • Holiday Beer Flight
  • Cocoa Candy Cane: American Heritage Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps

Overall, American Holiday Table is a very pleasant surprise. It should go without saying that nothing here is pushing the culinary envelope, but that’s totally fine with us. Each of these dishes is an American holiday staple, and each is executed very well. They might seem like simple dishes that should be no-brainers to get right, but as the Italy booth has demonstrated on an annual basis, even pasta can be screwed up. We think the emphasis of this event is more on the holidays than it is the ‘foodie’ side of things, and to have a booth offering three holiday favorites at relatively reasonable prices (by Walt Disney World festival standards) is a victory we will gladly take.

Check out our Food Guide to the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays if you want to see and read more about every Holiday Marketplace this year, what to eat & avoid, and other tips for making the most of the culinary side of the event. As this event isn’t just about the cuisine, you’ll also want to read our full Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Tips & Tricks post for info about the non-culinary side of the festivities. That covers Candlelight Processional, the Illuminations: Peace on Earth tag, Holiday Storytellers, and more!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of the American Holiday Table Kitchen? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? What did you think of them? Do you agree that there’s something to be said for Epcot nailing these holiday staples and offering them for reasonable prices? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!


2 Responses to “American Table Review: 2018 Epcot Holidays Festival”
  1. Dave Corey March 3, 2019
  2. JR November 21, 2018

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