REVIEW: A quick taste of the 2017 FESTIVAL OF HOLIDAYS Festive Foods Marketplace

The Disney Holidays are officially here and that means the Festival of Holidays is back once more at Disney California Adventure. This year’s menu offers up a slew of bites, sips, and tastes to please every palate. We tried just a small sampling of the menu offerings so far this year but have a complete look at everything that you’ll want to try! BON APPÉTIT!

Quick Review

Below is a quick review of what we tried, presented in rough order of our favorites.

Braised Pork Belly Adobo

With garlic fried rice. Hands down my favorite of the event, so far. The garlic rice is nice and garlicky and when paired with the salty braised wonderfulness of the pork belly makes an irresistible combination. But you have to get a complete bite that also has some of the delicate wisps of chicharon on top. It’s a flavor combination that’s seriously fantastic.

Beef Short Rib

With mashed potatoes and gravy and topped with cranberry sauce. A definite crowd please with flavor to appease a wide range of palettes. The meat is perfectly seasoned, juicy, and delicious. The gravy adds the right amount of richness with the cranberries to awaken the palette.

Milk Chocolate Candy Cane Pot de Crème Cup

Sure, it’s just dessert and really it’s about as simple as you can get but it’s chocolate. And Peppermint. You know what you’re getting and if you like the flavor combination you’ll love this one.

Nashville Fried Hot Turkey

With dill pickles served on a toasted bread. If you like Nashville spice then this is something nice. Heat level is great on here, not for the timid but nothing to be scared about. The pickles unfortunately sliced way too thin providing a bit more of form over function; delicate and pretty but don’t do much to help balance the flavor or cut the heat. Thicker slice or more of them would have been great here.

Warm Polenta With Chilled Crab Salad

It’s about what you’d expect. Neither is particularly bad. You might twist your head at the thought of pairing the two together. It doesn’t sound bad, right? It’s not. It also doesn’t special, does it? It’s not. Certainly not bad by any mean but there’s no magical melding of the two flavors here.

Menu Options

Chips, Breads & Holiday Spreads

  • Chicken Liver Paté with cherry jam and pistachios, $5.50
  • Cranberry-Pear Tart with rosemary-infused cream, $4.50
  • White Chocolate-Dipped Lingonberry Speculoos Cookie, $3.75
  • Chorizo Queso Fundido with house-made tortilla chips, $6.00

Making Spirits Bright

  • MIMOSA FLIGHT: White Cranberry, Pear and Blood Orange Mimosa Flight, $16 (Also sold individually for $14 each)
  • WHITE WINE FLIGHT: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand; Fess Parker Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County; and Bertenura Moscato, Italy (Kosher), $16 (Also sold individually from $10.75 and up)
  • RED WINE FLIGHT: Castle Rock Pinot Noir, Reserve, Russian River Valley; Joel Gott Zinfandel, California; and Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, $16 (Also sold individually from $10.75 and up)
  • Chandon Sparkling Wine, Brut, California, $12
  • Red & White Rotational Wine Selection

Joy to the Sauce

  • Seared Salmon Filet with lemon-caper sauce, $7.50
  • Beef Short Rib with mashed potatoes and gravy and topped with cranberry sauce, $7.75
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding with brandied vanilla sauce, $4.50
  • Conundrum White Wine Blend, California, $14.00
  • Rodney Strong Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $12.00
  • Holiday Eggnog Cocktail with whipped cream and nutmeg, $11.75
  • Apple Lemonade with whipped cream and caramel, $5.00

Spicy Celebrations

  • Nashville Fried Hot Turkey with dill pickles, $7.00
  • Beef Corn Tamale a la Plancha with spicy rojo sauce, $7.25
  • Spicy Peanut Brittle, $4.50
  • Pomegranate Margarita with a chipotle-smoked sea salt half-rim, $12.00
  • Winter Michelada with Modela Negra and a brown sugar rim, $9.50
  • Modela Negra Lager, Mexico, $9.50

Brews & Bites

  • Sliced Calabrese Salami with crackers, $5.00
  • Warm Bavarian Pretzel with whole-grain Dijon mustard, $5.00
  • Beer Flight: For a Snowy Day with Victory Prima Pilsner, New Belgium Accumulation White IPA, Aftershock Oatmeal Rasin Cookie Ale and Great Divide Hibernation Ale (Also sold individually), $13.75
  • Beer Flight: For a Sunny Day with TAPS The American Cream Ale, Brewery Ommegang Witte, Backstreet Raspberry Sour and Refuge West Coast Red Ale (Also sold individually), $13.75
  • Stone Brewing IPA, $9.75
  • Unsung Naturia Double IPA, $9.75
  • Karl Strauss Holiday Porter, $9.75

Holiday Duets

  • Macaroni and Cheese with cornbread crumbles, $7.25
  • Warm Polenta with chilled crab salad, $7.50
  • Cookie Butter and Jelly Cheesecake, $4.50
  • Holiday Mickey and Minnie Cookies, $7.00
  • Pomegranate Mule garnished with pomegranate seeds and rosemary sprig, $13.00
  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic), $6.00
  • Warm Chocolate Float with whipped cream and brownie crumbles, $5.50

Classic Crocks and Casseroles

  • Chana Masala with grilled garlic naan, $6.50
  • Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole with crispy onions, $5.75
  • Milk Chocolate Candy Cane Pot de Crème Cup, $4.25
  • Ice Green Mint Tea with mint sprig, $5.00

Blissfully Braised

  • Braised Pork Belly Adobo with garlic fried rice, $7.50
  • Braised Lamb Cheeks with Mediterranean cauliflower, $7.75
  • Fruit and Nut Rugelach, $4.50
  • Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Hoppy Poppy IPA, $9.50
  • ACE Premium Craft Hard Apple Cider, $9.50

A Twist on Tradition

  • Reuben Potato Smash with Russian dressing and rye toast crumble, $6.75
  • Butternut Squash and Almond Pakora Fritters, $6.00
  • Chocolate Yule Log with candied chestnuts and clementine compote, $5.00
  • Horchata Fudge, $4.50
  • Pumpkin Spice Float Cocktail with cream liqueur, vanilla ice cream and pumpkin seed brittle, $13.00
  • Frosty Frosé – Frozen Rosé with blue curacao and white cranberry juice with mint sprig, $13.00

Winter Sliderland

  • Holiday Ham Slider with pineapple relish, $7.50
  • Roast Turkey Slider with cranberry sauce, $7.50
  • Egg Nog Macaron, $5.00
  • Hot Buttered Rum with a cinnamon stick, $13.00
  • La Crema Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $12.00
  • Festive Beer Flight with Bottle Logic Brewing (714), Blonde Ale; Oaskar Blues Brewery Pinner, IPA; Barley Forge Brewing Co. The Patsy, Coconut Rye Stout; and Modern Times Fruitlands, Passionfruit and Guava Gose (Also sold individually), $13.75
  • White Hot Chocolate with house-made cinnamon marshmallow, $5.00

Grandma’s Recipes

  • Grilled Chicken Sausage with red beans and rice, $7.25
  • Beef Brisket with brown sugar-glazed carrots, $7.75
  • Sweet Potato Pie, $4.50
  • Molasses Gingerbread Cookie, $3.75
  • Merry Cherry-Pineapple Punch with assorted jellies, $5.00
  • Warm Bourbon Cider with bourbon-infused marshmallow, $12.00

Festive Holiday Extras

  • Brussels Sprouts with goat cheese, cranberries and bacon, $6.75
  • Baked Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, $6.50
  • Pineapple Kesari with golden raisins, $4.25
  • Holiday Sherbet Punch with flavors of pineapple, lime and orange, $5.00
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company Piper Down, Scottish Ale, San Diego, $9.75

Complete Menus

See it (and Taste it) for Yourself!

You can experience the Disney Holidays now through January 8, 2017. At Disney California Adventure you will find the return of the Festival of Holidays, Viva Navidad, and “World of Color – Season of Light.” Plus, at Disneyland you can see a roster of familiar favorites returning once more including ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade, Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday, and ‘Believe … in Holiday Magic’ Fireworks Spectacular.

Author: Joey Inigo

I have been a part of MouseInfo.com since 2003. I enjoy visiting the Happiest Place on Earth and am happy to talk about Disney Parks all day long.

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