Another Food & Wine Festival has finished at Busch Gardens, Virginia. My friend and I bought the Deluxe Sampler for the festival and decided to try it out. Was it good? Was it great? Or was it just average? Well, I’m here to give you (to the best of my ability) a small inside scoop on what Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival has to offer.
Now keep in mind that we were not able to try everything there was available, as there are dozens of samples to choose from. I’m only going to review what we were able to try.
I will also be rating the samples on a scale of 1 to 5, one being “meh,” and five being, “This is so amazing, I gotta figure out how to recreate it at home so I can eat it all the time!”
The Deluxe Sampler was priced at $62 with 15 samples/10 oz drinks. By sharing, my friend and I each spent $31.
There was also another sample available and priced at $32 with 10 samples/5 oz drinks.
The 15 samples/10 oz drink description was completely inaccurate, or at the very least the policy changed right before we bought it. There is no 10 oz drink limit. The drinks are your samples.
For example, we got the Hibiscus Lemonade from the Hawaii booth and instead of one, maybe two ounces, we got twenty! Later we found out we spent a whole sample on that lemonade, and the 10 oz policy no longer applied. So read carefully and ask questions before you make your purchases-and this is a wise thing to do in every circumstance!
Delights of the Caribbean
– Gamba Fritters
Gamba Fritters are described as “Caribbean fried shrimp dumplings with pickapeppa dip,” and that is a pretty accurate description. These fritters were amazing! Not too crispy and very soft! The dip is also pretty good! It’s a similar taste to Tartar sauce, but not quite the same.
Taste of the American Southwest:
– Chocolate Lava Cake
“Fudge brownie cake with molten Ancho-spiced Chile Chocolate filling.”
This cake was more like a large muffin with filling inside, but still really tasty. I’m not used to spice in my desserts, but it was only a little bit. It was moist and filling was great!
From the Islands of Hawaii:
– Hibiscus Lemonade
Extremely sweet and sugary, but very delicious and refreshing!
A Snack from Japan:
“Japanese-style steamed chicken dumplings with citrus ponzu sauce.”
This was very delicious! The sauce was also very good! The only downside was I had a strong-feeling I could get these in a Japanese restaurant and get more than just two dumplings.
Delicious Crêpes & [No] Coffee:
– Chocolate Crêpe with Nuetella and Strawberries
– Strawberry Cheesecake Crêpe
I think both titles speak for themselves. Very good! Could’ve been stuffed a bit more with filling, but it was still satisfying!
“Pork Schnitzel slider with sliced lemon and caper sauce.”
The Schnitzelwich was pretty good, though, I believe the patty could have been thicker.
– German Meatballs
These were some of the best meatballs I have ever had! Though I don’t remember the description, I can tell you that the amount of meatballs was very generous, enough for a full meal! It also includes two pieces of buttered toast and two pickles, topped with sauce. I’m not a fan of pickles, but I would guess that pickle-lovers will find satisfaction. A perfect sample to share with a friend!
Sweet of the French Quarter:
“Fried doughnut squares topped with powdered sugar and drizzled with caramel.”
The beignets were good. I feel as though they were crispier than intended and a bit chewy. Other than that, they were a satisfying treat, and also a good sample to split with a friend if desired.
Feast of Ireland
– Bangers and Colcannon
“Irish sausage with mashed potatoes, cabbage and Guinness brown sugar gravy.”
This was very, very tasty! I’m not used to a cabbage texture in my mash potatoes, but I never actually tasted the cabbage. The Irish sausage was also nice and fat! This was another good sample to share with a friend.
Taste of Italy:
“Italian parfait with sweetened mascarpone cheese, layered with espresso-soaked lady fingers.”
My friend proclaimed it blasphemy that I have never had tiramisu. We waited until our last trip in June to have it and it was worth the wait…not too milky, not too dry. Just right!
Delights of Virginia:
– She-Crap Soup
The She-Crap soup was one of the samples that I was looking forward to the most. When I finally received it, I was disappointed. It was incredibly greasy and didn’t look as appetizing as the picture. The crab was also full of fat. Maybe I just tried it on a bad day, but I would recommend going to a local seafood restaurant for this (if available).
– Bacon and Cheddar Hushpuppies
A little bit crispier than expected, but still pretty good. It had a certain sweet taste to it that was appealing, and it came with the sweetest butter I’ve ever had. If you’re looking for a nice snack, this is one to choose!
A few samples were disappointing, but I did not regret the experience I gained! I was a little annoyed that the rules for the sampler seemed to spontaneously change, but we worked around it pretty well! Soon, I’ll have another blog post about the rest of our summer at Busch Gardens! Thanks for reading, and I hope this post was informative for future trips!
Hunter Hayes Concert:
Just a few highlights of the Hunter Hayes Concert.
Need I Say more?