Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival Review

Happy Memorial Day everyone, and welcome back to my blog!

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram this weekend, you’ve probably noticed a lot of food on my story. Well, I had a long weekend off from school, and my family and I were looking for a fun road trip destination. Because of timing and weather, we decided to go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for the Food and Wine Festival! We were at Busch Gardens on May 25th and 26th, which happened to be the opening weekend of the festival. For today’s post, I’ll be reviewing the event and all the food I ate.

First up, I visited the Virginia booth, which was right at the entrance to the Scotland area of the park. I bought the deluxe sampler card here, which includes 15 samples that you can order around the park. At the Virginia booth, I got a strawberry lemonade. The drink was good, but if I were to go back, I would probably pass on it and save for another sample elsewhere.

Next, I went to the American Southwest booth, which is right in between Loch Ness Monster and the Highland Stables. I ordered one of the fish tacos and a chocolate lava cake. Both were amazing and I would totally get them again. The order of fish tacos only had one taco, which was a little disappointing because of how good it was. The lava cake was a pretty decent size. Not only was the cake itself good, the “lava” inside had a little bit of spice in it that brought out the taste of the melted chocolate and made it so much better. I ordered a second fish taco, and I would totally order the cake again.

After that, I went to the Hawaii booth, right outside of the Abbey Stone Theater in Ireland, and ordered the Huli Huli Chicken. It’s a chicken that’s marinated in a pineapple barbecue sauce, and I loved it so much. It came with a side of a potato salad, which I wasn’t really a fan of. I didn’t like the sauce that was on it, so I didn’t eat it. However, the chicken was so good that it became one of my favorite dishes of the festival and I came back to get more.

The France booth, right at the beginning of the France area near the train tracks, was serving crepes, which I absolutely love. I decided to try the chocolate strawberry crepe and the strawberry cheesecake crepe. Both of them were a chocolate crepe rather than a traditional one, and it was definitely something that I’m glad I tried. The chocolate strawberry was pretty much the typical strawberry-Nutella crepe that a lot of places serve, so it wasn’t really that different for me. On the other hand, the strawberry cheesecake crepe was something very new for me. It was stuffed with cheesecake filling, strawberries, graham crackers, and topped with whipped cream. Both crepes were a decent size, and I would definitely go back and get either one again.

The French Quarter booth was located across the way from the Griffon roller coaster, and was serving a few things that looked good. I decided to order the Shrimp Etouffee, and I’m glad I did. It’s a shrimp dish served over rice with a sauce that has some spice to it. I’m not sure what was in the sauce, but it was amazing. If you don’t like spicy food, you probably wouldn’t like it even though it isn’t super spicy. The shrimp and the rice were also really good, but the sauce really made the dish. I loved it so much that I did go back to get it again.

The German pavilion held the Caribbean booth, which was across the way from the Land of the Dragons. There, I ordered the Mojo Shrimp, which was a spinach salad with shrimp, heart of palm, corn, beans, and a citrus dressing. This salad made me love heart of palm, and I also really enjoyed the dressing and how it tasted with all of the other ingredients in the salad. I also went to get back this salad again.

The park had an India booth, which was in front of what used to be DarKastle. I ordered the Tandoori chicken. It was pretty much chicken with spices and a yogurt marinade over rice. This dish was so good, and even though it had spices, it didn’t really taste too spicy. The yogurt also added a really nice flavor to the chicken and the spices. I liked it so much that I decided to get a second order of it later on.

In Italy, I ordered one of my favorite desserts- Panna Cotta. It’s a vanilla crème pudding that kind of looks like a little cake, and it’s served with a strawberry. I’ve had it at Busch Gardens in the past, as well as other places, but I still enjoyed it so much. For me, it’s sweet but not too sweet, and the strawberries taste so good with it. I order it whenever the park has it, so I obviously got it more than once on this trip.

Last but not least, the Italy area held the Japan booth, which was near the pathway to Festa Italia and Escape from Pompeii. This booth was probably one of my favorite booths of the festival. I ordered the Soba Noodle Bowl, the Mushi-Gyoza, and the California Roll. All of them were amazing. The Soba Noodle Bowl had noodles and a bunch of different vegetables in a really good broth. While this dish was good, it wasn’t as good as the other two. The Mushi-Gyoza were chicken dumplings that came with a sauce, and the California roll was the typical sushi roll with crab and vegetables. The dumplings and the roll were amazing, as well as a pretty good size. I also heard a bunch of other people in the area saying how much they enjoyed it. I did get the dumplings and the rolls again.

As I mentioned earlier, I did get the 15-sample card, however, there is also a 10-sample card, and you can buy each sample individually without any sampler cards.

All in all, everything at the festival was really enjoyable and tasty. Even though I didn’t try every dish or go to every booth, everything I saw looked delicious. The little areas and decorations around each of the booths were adorable and perfect for pictures. I would definitely recommend the festival to anyone looking for a fun weekend activity. There are so many options that I’m sure everyone will be able to find something they like. Plus, it’s at Busch Gardens, so all of the shows and rides are still running and there’s plenty to do. The Food and Wine Festival was such a great experience and I hope that I’ll get the opportunity to go back in the future!

For more about my experience at the festival (and some nice pictures of my food), head on over to my Instagram @pinkdaysblog and check out my story highlight, BGW Food and Wine!

Lots of Love,

Toni

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