[dfb-restaurant id=”25″ align=”right”]
It’s been over a year since Epcot’s newest Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel, opened its doors to great fanfare.
Our first visit there (when it first opened) was good, but not entirely memorable; so we were eager to give this spot a second try. And this time we brought along AJ’s Mom and AJ’s Dad to get their feedback!
La Hacienda is a beautiful restaurant. The contemporary decor, look, and feel of the place gives off a polished, sleek Mexico-inspired vibe without being kitschy and stereotypical. The high ceilings and simple furnishings give the space a fresh, light, airy feel; but the furniture is solid and steady — a fun contrast!
I think it’s got one of the most soothing vistas on Disney property — a long-windowed look out onto the World Showcase Lagoon and all of the countries bordering it.
And since Mexico has a prime spot on the edge of the World Showcase, you really do get an interesting view of the architecture from so many different countries.
This was our table for the evening — a bit crowded for four people, but I liked that we all got to take advantage of that great view!
Once seated, we got right down to business discussing the menu…
The menu at La Hacienda is relatively small. Here’s a primer: The first page? Alcohol. The second page? Meat.
OK, it’s not quite that straightforward — the second page also includes veggies, fish, and cheese. 😉 But, in all honesty, this is what I like about La Hacienda. The food is relatively simple and no frills. It’s fresh. It’s a contemporary take on Mexican cuisine, and just like the restaurant’s decor, the menu avoids the kitschy and stereotypical.
We started out our evening with a couple of drinks: Dos Equis for AJ’s Dad and an Avocado Margarita for me.
I finally realized what the Avocado Margarita tastes like, thanks to some reader feedback — bananas! How does it taste like bananas??
Our server brought over the complimentary chips and salsa, complete with both green and red salsas. Our salsa experts at the table were impressed.
Being the cheese-worshiper that I am, and having heard rave reviews from readers, I ordered the queso fundido as an appetizer and Woah Nellie was this good! Poblano peppers were mixed into the melted cheese, and a pile of chorizo came on top of the dish.
While many folks dislike chorizo due to the copious amounts of grease that accompany it, I say the more the merrier. It gives great flavor!
The cheese was served with flour tortillas for dipping, but I preferred to use the corn chips (better scooping action for maximum cheese-to-scooping-vehicle ratio!!).
Our next appetizer was the Taquiza dish, which came in a flashy chrome stand. Beef (with chipotle salsa), chicken (with salsa verde), and pork tacos were artfully arranged and got high marks from the table. Favorites were definitely the pork and beef tacos — both were very flavorful.
After these goodies, we moved on to the entrees. First up: the Puerco en Salsa de Mole Negro. This came with esquites (roasted yummy corn sauteed in butter and onions, then super-charged with a spicy mayo sauce), sweet potato mash, veggies, and beans. The pork was not overdone, and this got high marks from the table. It was one of our favorite dishes of the evening.
Next: the Pollo al Pastor, which is served with roasted veggies, beans, and pineapple relish. This is the dish I had on our last visit, and once again I felt that it was dry and somewhat lacking in flavor. However, this wasn’t MY entree, and the person who ordered it enjoyed it. 🙂
Now here’s the big kahuna of the bunch. Two of us split the La Hacienda Parrillada — a massive platter of meat (sirloin), meat (chicken), and more meat (chorizo), meant for two people!
This thing is ginormous, and, naturally, that uber-flavor-packed chorizo was my favorite part of the platter! While I enjoyed the sirloin, I wanted a bit more flavor in the marinade; and the chicken wasn’t really the best I’d had. So I made a meal out of those sausages and the accompanying esquites! 😉 YUM!
We had to make room for dessert, and since I was lucky enough to have four stomachs around the table, we ordered every dessert on the menu (all four of them). 😉
The Crema de Chocolate Abuelita was essentially a chocolate pudding or mousse. Not anything to write home about, but a good chocolate flavor. Knowing the deliciousness of deep, dark Mexican chocolate, I would have expected something a bit less ho-hum, but the bunuelo strips and caramel syrup were a nice touch.
I was very excited to try the Tamal de Dulce, as it had come so highly recommended by friends. This was a guava-filled tamal topped with strawberry coulis.
Honestly, this one didn’t strike my fancy. I enjoyed the strawberry coulis, but the tamal was a bit grainy for me.
The Mexican ice creams came next, and I loved these. The strawberry and mango flavors offered a great ending to the meal, and I actually found this to be a decent portion size! Perfect for sharing.
Finally, the empanada de manzana with dulce de leche ice cream and cajeta (caramel sauce) was very good. I would have ordered an extra side of cajeta, though, since I’m always running out of dessert sauces before I’m ready! 🙂
This visit to La Hacienda was a bit better than our first. Now that I have a strong understanding of the restaurant’s goal and focus, I can better appreciate the dishes. And, once again, I’m a huge fan of the appetizers and drinks at this place! In fact, I may just order a couple of apps as my meal on my next visit! (And maybe a side of esquites… .)
Also, don’t forget that this is an incredible spot to watch Epcot’s fireworks show every evening, so if you can snag one of those window tables around 9pm, be sure to do so!
Have you been to Hacienda recently? What are your recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below!