The anticipation was high—and for good reason. When Dollywood unveils a new festival that has ‘food’ in its very name, you have to believe that the specialty menu that accompanies the beautiful flower mosaics will be every bit as stunning as the larger-than-life displays. And stunning it is, with a menu that is diverse and most stimulating for all of your taste buds. On a recent visit to take in everything ‘Flower & Food’ we were able to sample all of the specialty items on the festival menu. Here are our Can’t-Miss items for your next visit to the park:
ENTREES and SIDES
Chili Lime Steak – flavor overload! The combination of the lime and chili marinade with tender steak strips makes this my # 1 must-have on your visit to Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival. It’s served with grilled bread, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and mixed with balsamic vinegar. This special offering will have your taste buds transported from a theme park to a five-star steakhouse.
Lobster Roll – the chilled lobster paired with a freshly toasted bun makes for a flavorful treat and a really nice change of pace to the hearty staples on the Dollywood menu. Served with salt and malt vinegar kettle chips, this menu offering proved to be a great lunchtime meal and a departure from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Upper-East Coast.
Pork Sliders – a generous portion comes on two soft slider rolls. The BBQ is traditional smoked Tennessee-style and topped with a sweet and salty pineapple chutney that provides the perfect taste for a break under an umbrella at Dollywood.
Caramelized Brussel Sprouts – this is the most ‘WOW’ item on my list and the one I would petition to take full- time residency at the park. I’ve never been one to run to brussel sprouts on any menu, but these brussels are grilled and seasoned to perfection, cooking up firm and making the perfect grab-and-go snack.
Toasted Coconut Cupcake – a gigantic cupcake that comes out chilled makes for a nice surprise when looking to satisfy a craving. This cupcake is large, and by large, I mean larger than the promotional picture on the menu! Made with coconut milk and topped with toasted coconut the flavor is only enriched with the buttercream frosting. The fact that the cupcake comes chilled provided a refreshing cool down to a warm Dollywood day.
Chocolate Ganache Brownie – calling all chocolate-lovers! If chocolate is your thing, you will love this offering. The brownie is soft, moist, and very dense topped off with a chocolate ganache that adds a nice extra kick to your sweet tooth.
Blueberry Tart – a refreshing summer tart served with fresh blueberry reduction and a slice of lemon. This treat is the perfect amount of sweet to enjoy as a meal-finisher or a stand-alone snack.
Flower & Food Cookies – it’s just hard to beat a shortbread sugar cookie in the shape of a butterfly, or flower pot, or daffodil, or the number 35 (to commemorate the 35th season of Dollywood), or… you get the point. These cookies are outstanding and take the Flower & Food Festival up just another notch as these cookies are hand-cut-and-decorated! Definitely a must-have that can be found at Spotlight Bakery.
Watermelon Lime Fresca – when you think of a summer drink, look no further than this thirst-quenching concoction. Fresh watermelon juice and lime juice paired together makes for the perfect combination on a warm day.
Blueberry Lavender Lemonade – lemonade with a kick! The flavors in this summertime classic are equal parts refreshing and stimulating. The fresh lemons provide the punch while the blueberry and lavender add a uniqueness to this summertime staple.