22 September 2010

Review: La Hacienda de San Angel

La Hacienda de San Angel is located in the Mexico Pavilion on the World Showcase Lagoon and is the newest restaurant to open at Walt Disney World. Being that the restaurant is new,it doesn't take reservations yet. (Reservations can be made for October 15 and on.) It is first come, first serve seating. Since first arriving at Walt Disney World on September 11th I had been waiting for the restaurant to open. I have traveled to Mexico on several occasions so I wanted to give La Hacienda a try and compare it to what I've had in Mexico. Now this is not your typical American style Mexican restaurant with burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas. La Hacienda brings authentic fresh southern Mexican food to the World Showcase.

Since the restaurant doesn't take reservations I walked up around 8:15 pm and was quickly seated. It only took about 5 minutes before the pager went off. My husband, Aljon and I were seated at a table in the last room of the restaurant, one table over from the window. The restaurant is decorated in very warm and inviting colors with wooden tables and chairs, beautiful artwork and lighting fixtures.

Our server Daniel, was quick to greet us and tell us about the menu. We decided to start off with two unique margaritas. Aljon had the Lime Raspberry which was made with El Mayor premium silver Tequila, orange liqueur, raspberry, lime juice and agave nectar syrup, served on the rocks with hibiscus Himalayan salt on the rim ($12.50). Being a fan of hot and spicy foods I ordered the Orange Mango Fire, El Mayor premium silver Tequila, ginger liqueur, mango, orange juice, lime juice and a dash of Tabasco sauce, served on the rocks with a Tajin chili powder salt on the rim ($12.50). I tasted both but my favorite was definitely the Orange Mango Fire. It had a sweet heat and the Tabasco surprisingly complimented the mango really well. You could taste the heat but you couldn't tell it was Tabasco and the rim, well it was amazing. The Tajin chili powder mixed with the salt was perfect. This margarita hits almost all of your taste senses - sweet, salty, sour and pungent. The Lime Raspberry was very good and the agave nectar syrup and orange liqueur added a nice sweetness to contrast the sour and bitter of the lime and raspberry. I love the hibiscus salt which can also be found on some of the margaritas served over at La Cava del Tequila located inside the Mexico Pavilion's Aztec Temple across from the restaurant.

Since we were served the chips and salsa we decided to pass on a starter this time around. The chips are multicolored and served with two sauces - salsa verde and chipotle salsa. The salsa verde was very mild but had a nice fresh flavor and the chipotle wasn't overly hot. It had a nice heat with a hint of smokiness.

For my entrée I decided to go with the Tacos de Camarones, lightly breaded and fried shrimp topped with red cabbage, chipotle-lime aioli and salsa verde, served over flour tortilas with lime halves topped with Tajin chili powder ($22.95). This dish was incredible. The shrimp was cooked perfectly and the breading was very light. The toppings were delicious and the combination of them and the fresh squeezed lime gave it a nice freshness. Aljon ordered the Pollo al Pastor, Achiote marinated chicken served with roasted vegetables (green and red peppers and onions), beans and pineapple relish. The chicken was just slightly dry but still very tasty. The achiote added a nice peppery spice to the dish which was a nice contrast to the pineapple relish that topped it. A perfect dish for someone looking for something that has a sweetness but with a little bit of heat. Also severed with the entrées was black beans topped with queso fresco, rice and homemade corn tortillas. Black beans topped with queso fresco or cojita cheese are always a favorite of mine. The cheese adds nice flavor and a little bit of saltiness to the beans.

After we finished our meals I decided to give the Tamal de Dulce ($7.95) a try with a cup of coffee ($2.19). It was suggested to us by the owner, Ricky Debler who was dining next to us. He didn't steer us wrong. The sweet corn tamal was filled with guava and topped with strawberry coulis and a side of whipped cream. It was delicious! The tamal was light and not dense like some tamals can be. The guava inside was slightly sweet and the strawberry coulis complimented it perfectly. The coffee was very good. It had a full body flavor that went nicely with the bold flavors of the desserts offered.

*Kristen Hoetzel, Ricky Debler (owner), Ernesto Zendejas (executive chef) and Aljon Go

One thing I must mention is that this is THE place to view "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth". Seating by the windows gives you a clear, unobstructed viewing of the nighttime event. Nothing beats this view, including dining at Rose and Crown on the other side of the lagoon.

Overall, this restaurant was wonderful. It exceeded my expectations by a long shot. With it's authentic Mexican food (which brings me back to dining in Puerto Vallerta), unique margaritas, beautifully decorated and designed restaurant, perfect view of "Illuminations", and top notch service (Daniel gave us some of the best service we've received at a Disney restaurant) it's now one of my favorite restaurant in Walt Disney World. I will most certainly be dining there on my next trip to the World, as I've already made my next reservation. If you are looking for something new, authentic and delicious... I highly recommend trying La Hacienda de San Angel on your next trip to Walt Disney World. This restaurant does not disappoint.

Cooking With Mickey

1 comment:

  1. All of the above! Kristen, I couldn't agree more with your assessment. In fact, I can't wait to return :D


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