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Dishin' With Downtown Diane

Credit: Downtown Diane

Delectable Getaway…

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Runs Until Nov. 11
Many of you followed my journey through pictures on Twitter and Instagram this past weekend at the opening of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This was our second year attending this festival held around World Showcase in Epcot. If you love food, wine and/or beer, this is a must attend event. It's the perfect weekend getaway, and if you stay at Disney's Boardwalk Inn it's only a five minute walk to the festival through the back entrance at World Showcase. Regular Epcot admission includes the delectable Wine & Food Festival and then you only pay for what you want to sample.

It's a wonderful way to enjoy the food and culture around the world with only a two-hour flight from Baltimore.

Every country in the international marketplace offers food samplings and pairings with beer, wine or cocktails. You can sample as much as you like with most items priced between $4 and $8. In addition, there are extra marketplace stands added, offering the food from more countries and also a Terra and local Florida option. There are many vegetarian dishes, as well.

Scotland made its debut this year and we were highly impressed with the vegetarian haggis with neeps & tatties and seared salmon. Innis & Gunn beer was a huge hit and the Scotch Flight is a must try.

Carla Hall
Credit: Downtown Diane

There are also wine and food seminars, special dinners, concerts and celebrity chef demonstrations throughout the 46-day festival. We attended a La Crema wine seminar and a chocolate demonstration with Jacque Torres. Both were educational, fun and very tasty, of course. Carla Hall from "The Chew" was also on hand this past weekend signing cookbooks and leading cooking demos.

Another highlight was the Grand Marnier tasting in France Pavilion, held Saturdays during the festival. We sampled and mixed cocktails and enjoyed Crepe Suzette prepared with Grand Marnier.

You may think how does one eat and drink so much and not gain weight? Well, we tracked our steps with a pedometer and just between Saturday & Sunday we walked over 11 miles. Time for Italy Pavilion! Via Napoli in Italy is our go to restaurant when in Epcot. We love their pizzas and pastas paired with a bottle of Barbera d 'Alba. Make advance reservations online.

So what were some more of my favorites at Epcot Food & Wine Fest?

  • Mexico: definitely try the shrimp taco paired with a Mango-Habanero margarita.
  • Singapore: seared Mahi Mahi and jasmine rice with a Singapore sling
  • Argentina: beef empanada with reserva torrontes
  • Germany: If you are a beer fan, you can't beat the beer sampling
  • Italy: ravioli and Chianti. Period.
  • France: crème brulee au chocolat lait paired with sparkling Pomegranate Kir
  • Hawaii: tuna poke and Kona golden ale or an Aulani sunrise
  • China: chicken potstickers with a happy lychee vodka
Credit: Downtown Diane

Also, be sure to stop by the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, located by the fountain at the entrance to World Showcase, a great photo opportunity. You will learn all you ever wanted to know about cranberries. Ok, there's a start for you. If you can't make this year's fest, make plans for next year, you will not be disappointed.

Get more details here.

What's Coming Up In Charm City?

Birroteca 1st Anniversary Party

Thursday, Oct. 3, 5:30-11:30 p.m. The event benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Maryland Chapter.  Enjoy Birroteca samplings, local drafts, anniversary cocktails, raffle prizes and auction.

Get full details & tickets here.

oysterfestMoet Oyster Ball At Ryleigh's Oyster Kicks-Off OysterFest Weekend!

Oyster Ball: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 7-10 p.m. Enjoy endless oysters from the overflowing raw bar (and featuring over a dozen of varieties). The premium open bar will feature craft cocktails, beer and wine. There will sensational fare from chefs, free flowing Moet Imperial Champagne, door prizes, DJ, raffles and welcome gifts. It's an equal parts feast and fundraiser for the restoration of the 1901 skipjack Sigsbee through the Living Classrooms Foundation & Maryland's Oyster Recovery Program.

For details, click here.

Oysterfest: Oct. 12 & 13 Federal Hill
The fest includes raw bars, entertainment and a shucking competition.

For details, click here.

Think Pink! About Faces Pink Extensions For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

All proceeds benefit American Cancer Society.

For details, click here.

The Doobie Brothers Headline One Cause

Saturday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m. at the Lyric Opera House. Presented by PRS Guitars, the event will benefit Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. A VIP pre-party features appearance by band, guitar auction, catered small plates and mixology by American Harvest Organic Spirit.  One Cause is the flagship benefit of PRS Guitars. The Living with Cancer Resource Program offers education to cancer patients and families at Johns Hopkins free of charge.

For details, click here.

Fleet Street Kitchen 1st Anniversary Party

Sunday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m. Proceeds from the anniversary benefits Red Devils, which assists breast cancer patients and their families. Join in after the Ravens game. Guest chefs will offer hors d'oeuvres, Union beer and desserts.

For full details & tickets, click here.

Baltimore Beer Week Oct. 18-27

Hundreds of beer-related events will take place in Charm City. Here are some of them:

DAS Best Oktoberfest, Saturday, Oct. 19 at M&T Bank Stadium

For details, click here.

OktoBEARfest, Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

For details, click here.

James Joyce Pub in Harbor East has a week of events planned

For details, click here.

For a full schedule of beer events, click here.

Linganore Winery Reggae Festival

Oct.19 & 20. Wine, music & art! Shop the open air market with hand-crafted and imported goods from around the world. Enjoy a day listening to live bands and sampling o'delicious wines.

For details, click here.

Ravens Goodwill Halloween Bash

Monday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m. at Dave & Buster's at Arundel Mills Mall
Put Your Game Face On! Join Goodwill and the Baltimore Ravens as they host the Halloween party of the season. This year's event will include catered food, an open bar, a costume contest, dancing, games, pool, bowling and a silent auction. Hosted by Michael Oher, Arthur Jones, Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.

For full details & tickets, click here.

Ravens Gametime Complementary Buffet

The Admirals Cup Fells Point offers $5 drafts and house wines! There is also $10 all you can drink bloodys & mimosas on weekends and free live music throughout the week.

Check the schedule here.

New Haute Blow Dry Bar Opens in Towson. Coming Soon To Harbor East!

Need a quick blow dry in a beautiful setting? For $35, you can get it at the new Haute Blow Dry Bar. I also love that they offer you mimosa or wine during your service.  Make an appointment or just walk on in. It's located across from Towson Town Center in Fresh Market shopping center.

For more information, click here.

Downtown Diane is a Baltimore area food, travel & entertainment reporter, appearing Fridays on 105.7 The Fan Norris & Davis Show with her entertainment report. Follow her for Daily Dish on Twitter @DowntownDiane & check out upcoming events at

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