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One Bite at a Time

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The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival opened Saturday, March 16, 2019, with an exciting new menu, featuring more than 35 dishes inspired by regional cuisine around the country.

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Lollipop Lamb Chops, Grilled Elote (Mexican grilled corn) and Maine Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp topped with whipped cream are just a few of the treats being offered at the festival each weekend.

The food cabins and libation stations are dotted throughout the park and guests can customize how to experience their culinary adventure with the purchase of Sampler Passes ranging from $29.99 for a 5-item sampler to $54.99 for the 12-item sampler.

First to tantalize the tastebuds were the beer-battered fish tacos topped with pineapple and cilantro slaw at the Socal cabin. There were also Blistered Shishito peppers with lemon aioli and the new meatless “Impossible” slider with fresh pico and guacamole, all waiting to be washed down with a delightful Prophecy Pinot Noir. The “Impossible” burger is a plant-based patty that looks, tastes and “bleeds” just like real meat. It’s made with an ingredient called soy leghemoglobin that releases a protein that gives the meat substitute its distinctive blood-like color and taste.

The Nola Eats cabin offered a smooth symphony of soul food and Cajun spice including oysters, gumbo and classic New Orleans Bananas Foster served with a white and dark rum with lime, orange, and passion fruit juices.

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Too many to mention here, other cabins include the Tampa Tavern serving a taste of Tampa’s history with a Cuban Egg Roll with mustard dipping sauce; a Fried Snapper Sandwich with lemon aioli and pickles and, of course, Key Lime Pie.

The Heartland cabin offered traditional potato and cheese pierogies, Italian hot beef sandwich, and St. Louis ribs with Kansas City BBQ sauce and Lobster Roll and the classic New England Clam Chowder were enjoyed at the New England Tavern.

Whilst being able to sample over 100 wines, craft brews, and specialty cocktails, guests can also enjoy world-class concerts to suit all tastes. Some of the biggest acts in musical entertainment will take the stage every weekend on Gwazi Field bringing the best in pop, rock, Latin, indie, country and alternative music including Daughtry, Justin Moore, El Gran Combo, Boyz II Men, Foreigner and more.

The festival also invites guests to choose from five expert-lead specialty tasting sessions including ice wine, sparkling wine, infused vodka, tequila, and bourbon. New to the festival this year is ice wine, infused vodka, and sparkling wine tastings in addition to the returning bourbon and tequila tastings. The intimate experience is designed to leave you with a better appreciation and understanding of these classic wines and liquors.

The Food & Wine Festival runs weekends from March 16 to April 28 and is included with admission to the park. Festival begins at 12:00 p.m. each event day. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

For a full list of cabin menus, go to https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/food-and-wine-festival/cabins/

IF YOU GO

The Busch Gardens Wine and Food Festival runs from March through April 28.

10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612

Phone:  1-813-884-4FUN

Buschgardens.com

 

Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein has over 35 years experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with neurologically impaired adults. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of South Florida in Speech Pathology.
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