after we parked, we found that there had been some changes in the security checkpoint and tram loading areas. instead of being outside like before, we got off the elevator and were routed back around into the ground floor of the parking structure.
i think i read somewhere that either another parking structure or an extension of the existing one is being built, which is probably a good idea anyway even though the current one supposedly holds 10,000 cars. at $20 a pop, that's quite the moneymaker.
the old lady was on the hunt for a specific jacket she'd seen people wearing last time she was there, so we slid through one of the shops on our way to the food kiosks. as we walked through i noticed that those rose gold ears that were in such high demand just a couple of months ago are now everywhere - in the shops and on pretty much every other person wearing ears in the parks. sheesh.
and we couldn't figure out what this logo was for. do you know what this is?
we were pretty excited to eat. these food festivals always have some fun stuff to try, and we'd already perused the menu beforehand to have an idea of what we'd want to grab. we stopped at one of the merchandise kiosks to buy the annual passholder-exclusive pass, which gave us 8 little tickets to redeem at any of the stands for anything besides alcohol. it's a great deal if you make sure you pick the priciest items on the menus.
the bean was excited for our first stop:
this is the citrus-brined pork roast, served with a lemon pepper slaw. it was really delicious, and we were satisfied with the serving size.
the bean grubbed down on the crispy orange chicken and rice, which came with some housemade garlic crackers. it was really tasty.
we were all intrigued by the popcorn lemonade cocktail (non-alcoholic, of course). too bad it ended up tasting like feet. OMG, it was so gross. we couldn't even make ourselves drink it and tossed it in the nearest trash can after picking off the candy corn.
the caramel popcorn crispy treat was a'ight. the bean liked it, but i wasn't a fan of the texture. bummer.
the garlic kissed menu looked promising, and we got one of each item.
the creamy mac & cheese was exactly what it said it was, and we loved it.
the bean and i split the black garlic soy-braised pork belly banh mi. it was super delicious.
while the old lady isn't a pork belly fan at all, she was happy to sit with us and wash down her share of the mac & cheese with her first bloody mary.
the pier looks so sad with everything being shut down and worked on for the transformation to pixar pier.
the bean surprised us by requesting the avocado ice cream pop here:
she said it just tasted like vanilla ice cream (not a bad thing).
at our last kiosk of the night, i enjoyed the goat cheese fromage blanc tartan with rosemary and hazelnuts. it was creamy and delicious, and the bean took a bite and liked it. the old lady leans more towards hard cheese vs. creamy, so she passed on it.
as i munched, we perused the little art gallery tucked away in the corner. there were some really fun canvases and prints available, but i couldn't imagine where we'd put them if we bought any.
we found the annual passholders corner nearby, where we received our free button and got to take a(n extremely overexposed and uncentered) picture with daisy duck.
the last stop of the evening was the old muppet theater for a sneak peek of the new "a wrinkle in time" movie. costumes worn by oprah, reese witherspoon and mindy kaling were on display in the waiting area.
we liked the preview so much we ended up going to see it the very next day. it's a fantastic movie, and we loved it.
the food & wine festival goes through april 12th. i'm really hoping we get to visit again before it ends - especially since we have a few tabs left on our festival passes to redeem. mmmm, more pork belly for my belly.