Disney’s newest restaurant may have to be added to my list of favorites. The decor itself is enough to tempt anyone to stray from their longtime favorites, with bright tile, eclectic lighting, and a view that rivals anything in Epcot’s World Showcase. But the food – well, that’s another story altogether.
Always a fan of Mexican cuisine, I made these reservations with high hopes. We had decided that this would be a “dinner and a movie” evening, so we ate an early meal and then headed to Downtown Disney to catch the newly released Pirates of the Caribbean film. What a great evening it turned out to be!
As per tradition, we began with a cocktail to kick off the evening in a festive manner. I went out on a limb and ordered the Mango Blueberry Basil Margarita, and was surprised at how great the combination of flavors turned out to be. The basil really enhanced the drink. Jeremy ordered a Dos Equis, because “When in Rome,” right?
One thing about Mexican food – it’s doesn’t always come out picture perfect! But some of the best foods don’t. After being seated, our waitress came and recommended some appetizers to start with. She found out I would be eating a gluten free diet, but the items she had pointed out were naturally GF anyway.
We started with the Queso Fundido, which came out bubbling in a ceramic dish filled with peppers and chorizo. Of course chips and salsa accompanied it, as well. The Queso had a really amazing flavor – a little bit smoky and rich, with some spice to it. And while it wasn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever had placed in front of me, it was great nontheless! One point to make though, don’t expect this to be your typical white cheese dip. It wasn’t very liquidy at all – in fact, we used a fork when placing it on our chips after it had cooled off slightly.
We also ordered the Chilis Toreodos y Chorizitos. This was a bowl of roasted sweet peppers served with mini chorizo sausages. I was surprised by how good this was, because it wouldn’t be something I would ever typically order. But the flavor was fantastic, and it went really well with the Queso.
Our entrees presented themselves shortly after this. We decided to get two entrees and split them so that we could try a little more variety. I’m not sure which one would be the winner, since they were both so tasty!
The Pollo al Pastor was a marinated chicken that was served with roasted veggies, beans and a pineapple relish. We ate this like fajitas, since all entrees were served with homemade corn tortillas and rice.
The Tacos de Camarones contained fried shrimp with a chipotle-lime aioli, cabbage, and salsa verde. The shrimp was cooked just right, the aioli made it pop in your mouth for that wow factor. It was also light enough to be able to eat more of the chicken dish!
After this we were stuffed. I’m not talking about your average Disney vacation post-meal feeling. We had eaten so much we couldn’t even look at the dessert menu, which for me is absolutely unheard of! We also weren’t capable of getting snacks at the movie theater, and I had high aspirations of a trip to Goofy’s Candy Co! I regretted the decision not to order dessert later in the week, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to review that course of the meal after the vacation had come to an end. But what I can tell you is that there wasn’t a huge selection…most likely because everyone leaves with overly full bellies!
As was the theme for our week in the World, we loved our dining experience at La Hacienda and will make plans to go there again!