France’s Global Marketplace is a perennial favorite and one of the best snack spots in Walt Disney World. This booth at the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival lives up to its namesake country’s rich culinary tradition year in and year out, and that remains just as true as ever.
In terms of World Showcase dining, France has enjoyed a strong reputation since the beginning, with EPCOT scoring a huge victory in the ‘celebrity chef’ department early on when the recently-deceased Paul Bocuse signed on as one of the founders of Chefs des Frances (he’s also the “Paul” in Monsieur Paul).
Of course, the France Global Marketplace’s reputation stems just as much from a reputation that precedes the real-world France, arguably the most food-rich country in the world. Consequently, the France Global Marketplace tends to draw the longest lines of any booth in World Showcase, with switchbacks set up for the busier days. Deservedly so, as France has been one of our reliable favorites for at least the last 5 years.
A mainstay of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for over 20 years, France does a good job of tweaking its menu each year while not departing too much from the greatest hits. While in the past we’ve hoped the chefs would try to push the culinary envelope with something inventive, it’s tough to argue against the tried and true approach.
If anything, the menu should be about quadruple its current length. How cool would it be if each of the 18 regions of France received its own booth? (Or even “just” a few of those 18 regions.) Maybe back in the new area once the Ratatouille trackless dark ride opens? Highly unlikely, but we can dream. After all, Hawaii has its own booth, and it’s one of fifty states!
Anyway, here’s a look at the menu for France:
Fondue Savoyarde: Fondue of Imported Cheeses and Chardonnay served with Croutons (V)
Croissant aux Escargots: Escargot Croissant with Garlic and Parsley
Boeuf Braisé à la Bordelaise, Pomme Dauphine: Beef Braised in Cabernet Sauvignon with Red Onions and Puffed Potatoes
Fondue Savoyarde ($5.25) – The medley of cheeses here is fantastic. It’s nuanced, aromatic, and just plain delightful. Miles above your ordinary fondue, or even Canada’s Beer Cheese Soup.
However, and this is a big however…what on earth is going on with the bread?! We were served those four slivers of what’s basically sandwich-quality wheat bread. I ended up eating this with a spoon as a soup, which was still good, but as-served this is a disappointment. This is a new item, so hopefully the France booth corrects this as the event goes on. If that happens, we highly recommend this. If not, it’s a much closer call–probably not.
Croissant aux Escargots – A returning favorite from the past several Epcot Food & Wine Festivals, this is always a winner. The sweetness of the croissant provides a mild contrast to the garlic, while neither overpowered the escargot.
We recommend this so highly that we’d recommend the table service restaurants in the France pavilion find a way to incorporate this into their menus. Heck, it’d also be a winner at Be Our Guest Restaurant on the new prix fixe menu!
Boeuf Braisé à la Bordelaise, Pomme Dauphine – The lone “new” item on the menu for France (those are air quotes because it’s really the preparation method that has changed–it’s not entirely new), this beer-braised beef is another winner.
The meat is tender, and has a richness from the braising that works really well. The puffed potatoes have a nice exterior crispness giving way to a soft interior.
Crème Brûlée – Rounding out the menu is the classically French creme brulee. As usual, it’s excellent. We really appreciate that the dessert has a twist: with the sweet custard being mixed with a tart raspberry jam that works really in the dish.
Of course, there are plenty of options on the alcohol menu for France:
Kronenbourg 1664 Pale Lager Draft
Chardonnay, Maison de France
Cabernet Sauvignon, Village la Tourelle, Bordeaux
Kir à la Grenade: Sparkling Wine with Monin Pomegranate Syrup
La Passion Martini Slushy: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice
You probably didn’t need to read this review to know that France is a must-visit booth at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Nonetheless, hopefully this review was helpful in letting you know that everything is worth ordering here, as France doesn’t stumble with any of its dishes this year. With other “popular” countries like Mexico and Italy both being disappointments, it’s good to see France picking up the slack.
What do you think of France’s Global Marketplace? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? What did you think of them? Do you agree with our take that France is a reliable winner at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? 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!