Wednesday, March 15, 2017

the perks of being APs

the old lady and i headed down to anaheim on her day off again to check out this year's food & wine festival at california adventure.  this time, we didn't get there until a couple of hours after the parks opened and it was so much easier to get through parking and security.

that doesn't mean that it wasn't crowded, though.  starting in late march and all the way through april, spring breakers from all over come out for their disney fix.  add in the locals like us who wanted to check out the festival, and you get this at noon on a monday:


we stopped at the welcome booth to take a look at the map of where the festival kiosks were placed.


and we found one of the merchandise booths not too far away.  here's the official festival hat:


wine collectibles:


and fun t-shirts.


for annual passholders, there's a special shirt:


and the "sip & savor" pass.  for $45, you get this lanyard with 8 removable tabs.  each tab is good for any food item (but none of the alcohol) at any of the food kiosks.  considering the fact that the average food item was running at least $6, this was a pretty good deal.


first stop:  "garlic kissed."  here i picked up the black garlic and soy-braised pork belly bao, served with pickled vegetables.



the old lady made her way over to the "uncork california" booth for a flight of mimosas - pear, apricot and mango.


to go with it, she stopped at "nuts about cheese" for the chèvre fromage blanc tartine infused with rosemary and honey, topped with toasted hazelnuts.  all those words look like this:


yay, mimosas!


you know i was gonna stop at a booth called "bacon twist."  i scooped up the bloody mary with candied bacon and blue cheese-stuffed olives here, along with the baby iceberg and heirloom tomato wedge with peppered bacon and blue cheese dressing for the old lady.



while i waited for those items, the old lady went over to the "olive us" booth to grab me the chilled cioppino with shrimp, crab claw and grilled olive bread.


i was totally double-fistin'.  oh yeah.


from "the onion lair," here's the old lady's french onion mac & cheese topped with chives and parmesan crumble.  she loved this, and the bite i had was pretty tasty.


while we munched on our grub, we headed down towards the pier and watched the junior chefs class led by goofy as they made "magical oatmeal raisin cookies."  we didn't stick around for the whole thing so we didn't get to see what made them so magical, but made a note to take the bean so she could experience it for herself. 


on our way to the hollywood studios area, we walked right past mickey riding down the street in the trolley, fresh from a street performance.


at this last stop, we tested out the sangria flight - red, white and peach.



and inside stage 17, there was more merchandise and the stage set up for the cooking demos.  these are ticketed shows led by celebrity chefs like graham elliott, cat cora, duff goldman.


oh, and for every one of those "sip & savor" pass tabs you redeem, the cast member ringing you up also gives you one of these little buttons.  some APs are super duper into these things, although at our house they just get tossed into a drawer with the other bazillion disney buttons we've collected over the years.


we were there for just a couple of hours - ate, drank, browsed.  and then we left to beat traffic and get back home in time to pick up the bean from school.  it was a perfect way to spend a few hours together and enjoy some disney time, and now we can't wait to go back and enjoy even more bites from the festival with the bean.

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