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REVIEW: Islands of the Caribbean – 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The Islands of the Caribbean marketplace is back again this year and its most popular items from last year, the Ropa Vieja Empanada and the Jerk-spiced Chicken, are back!

Food Islands of the Caribbean 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Let’s see how good they are in my Islands of the Caribbean Review for the 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Islands of the Caribbean Marketplace:

It’s hard to miss the Island of the Caribbean marketplace with its bright blue and red colors. It gets you right in the mood and you feel like you are on the Islands.

Islands of the Caribbean 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth

Islands of the Caribbean Menu:

So last year they made a big change as they introduced two new savory items to the menu in the Ropa Vieja Empanada and Jerk-spiced Chicken Lollipop.  I’m really happy that these are sticking around again because they were two of the biggest surprises for me.

The Quesito is also back again and is made from puff pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce. Besides that the rest of the menu at Islands of the Caribbean stays the same.

Food:

  • Ropa Vieja Empanada with Tomato Aïoli (KA) ($5.50)
  • Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt (GF) ($5.50)
  • Quesito: Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce (V) (KA) ($4.00)

Beverages:

  • Red Stripe Lager ($4.50)
  • Caribbean White Sangria ($5.00)
  • Frozen Mojito ($10.50)
2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus Islands of the Caribbean

Menu Review:

Ropa Vieja Empanada ($5.50):

So last year the Ropa Vieja Empanada took over for the old Jamaican Beef Patties, and it’s far superior. It’s a much bigger portion than the patties were and we really love the taste.

I love the shell which is lightly fried and very crispy and flakey.  The beef mixture inside was equally as delicious and very moist, but it wasn’t nearly as stuffed as it could have been. It’s very well seasoned, not spicy but seasoned I’d say.  And we love the Tomato Aioli which adds a lot to the flavor.  

Ropa Vieja Empanada Islands of the Caribbean 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

My only complaint now this year is that it’s much smaller than last year at an elevated price point too. That combined with the fact it isn’t as stuffed as last year either means that the empanada is no longer a must-get snack at Food and Wine for us.

Jerk-spiced Chicken ($5.50):

Last year they were calling it the “Chicken Lollipop” and I didn’t know what to expect, but this year it’s no longer on the bone, but boneless dark meat. The chicken itself was really good, moist and not dried out at all.

Jerk-spiced Chicken Islands of the Caribbean 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

It was very flavorful, you get lots of jerk spices in there which were mind-blowing!  I wasn’t super thrilled with the chutney on top though. It was too sweet for me and took away from the amazing flavor of the jerk chicken. If they reduce the quantity or think of another topping that would be even better yet.

Quesito: Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce ($4.00):

This was an amazing dessert last year, and it’s still as good as it was then.  When you tell me Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce in a light pasty crust, it doesn’t take me long to get on-board!  

Quesito Islands of the Caribbean 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Islands of the Caribbean are good at their crusts, because this too was very, very light, and flakey.  It just broke apart when you bite into it, but at the same time it was actually buttery and flavorful.  The cream cheese filling was very creamy and sweet and worked well with the guava sauce for a little fruity action.  Nice light dessert and definitely recommended.

Caribbean White Sangria ($5.00):

This is different from your normal sangria, though still really good.  It’s refreshing and fruity, like peaches and mango maybe?  Only thing is it’s tiny, so don’t think you’ll be getting a lot.

White Sangria Islands of the Caribbean 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Booth Summary and Grade:

We have mixed feelings on the Islands of the Caribbean marketplace.  It used to be one of the most underrated menus at the Food and Wine Festival, but this year it just feels kind of stale. The Ropa Vieja Empanada is good but took a hit due to the smaller size this year. We still enjoyed the Quesito and Jerk-spiced Chicken, though the later could be better with a different salsa.

I have to drop Islands of the Caribbean a few notches this year from and hope they will change he empanada back to how it was and also change up some of the food and drink offerings again for next year.

If you have to get just one thing:

Quesito

Islands of the Caribbean Review
Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10
  • Overall Grade - 7.5/10
    7.5/10

I want you to be able to have the best info on the Festival so you have a great time and don’t waste your time!  Take a look at all of my 2019 Epcot Food and Wine articles including:

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think about the Islands of the Caribbean Review at the 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival…

  • Which is your favorite item?
  • Which do you still want to try?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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