Tag Archives: La Hacienda De San Angel Restaurant

Eating through Disney: EPCOT

Planning and eating are two of my favorite things, so when it comes to planning where to eat on vacation, you know I’m all over it. I especially look forward to planning meals for our Disney trips, because there are just so many options. And with all the countries they have in EPCOT, it gets tough not to eat there every single day! Since they began offering the dining plan, we’ve taken full advantage which allows us for one table service meal each day of our stay. We ate in EPCOT twice; once in Italy on Saturday evening, and once in Mexico on Tuesday night.

Since I’m newly vegetarian (5 months strong!), eating in Disney this time around was definitely different, but no less delicious! I think I struggled the most in EPCOT’s countries because I wanted to try everything, and didn’t necessarily want to hassle anyone about my dietary restrictions. But, it was easy enough and I still enjoyed my meals and of course (maybe more importantly), drinks!

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In order to prepare ourselves for the Marathon on Sunday, we had an early reservation in Italy at Tutto Italia on Saturday. Italy actually has two restaurants; we ate at Via Napoli two years ago so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try their other option. I ordered myself a big bowl of spaghetti (it came with meatballs but I had it without), and loved every bite. I didn’t take a picture just because it was a bowl of spaghetti (nothing super special), but trust me when I say it was yummy. Since we were on the Disney Dining plan, our meal also came with a drink and dessert. Even though I was full from my carb loading, I couldn’t pass up Italian dessert! I ordered the tiramisu and my husband had their cannoli at the suggestion of one of the waiters. He actually came over to tell us if we ordered the cannoli, not to use a fork, because it’s better with your hands. Obviously after that humor we had to try it! He noticed us enjoying the cannoli utensil-free and was psyched to see we took his advice. You know what they say; when in Rome…

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Delicious cannoli with an awesome cinnamon plate design!

On Tuesday we had a late dinner reservation in Mexico’s La Hacienda de San Angel. We actually ate there last year, and figured we’d try our hand at a later reservation with a request to sit by the windows since the restaurant is on the Seven Seas Lagoon, where they shoot off fireworks for Illuminations. Ever since I began visiting Disney World (back in 1992!) my family has always eaten in Mexico, but up until my trip in 2011, there was only one restaurant – San Angel Inn. So I’ve been sure to keep the tradition alive and eat in Mexico on every trip (since it’s basically my favorite cuisine EVER), but vary the restaurants, which means next time it’s back to the Inn! Anyway, dinner was fabulous – we started with some melty cheese and tortillas and margaritas. Dinner was tacos with the most amazing sauce and crunchy cabbage for me, and pork for the husband. Everything was served with rice, beans, and tortillas… so much delicious food! We finished our meal just in time to enjoy the fireworks during dessert. They actually turn down the lights in the restaurants lining the lagoon, and broadcast the music into the restaurant itself – it was so awesome! I would highly recommend trying to get a reservation later in the evening (Illuminations are at 9p, so anytime after 8 works), and heading to the restaurant first thing that day to request a window seat (you can’t request it ahead of time).

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My delicious tacos!

Prior to our meal in Mexico, though, we decided to sample some beer of the world. I know that a lot of marathoners do a “drink around the world” after the race, but I know that I would never last. And actually, it isn’t just marathoners that do it – I must have seen at least 5 different groups with special t-shirts just for drinking around the world. We started in Canada, and made a stop in the United Kingdom and Germany. To save on money and not to ruin our dinners, we shared the beers and then switched to a margarita during dinner (as mentioned above). I of course could have continued with drinks in all the other countries, but didn’t want to over do it. I give credit to the people that are able to legitimately drink their way through the countries – I don’t think I could do it!

In all of my trips to Disney, I’ve eaten in most countries, but there are some still on my to-try list, including Canada, Morocco, Germany, and France. It’s hard to make reservations at new restaurants when I’ve loved my experiences at all of the restaurants I’ve tried! I suppose that just means I’ll have to keep visiting every year – such a shame.

What’s your favorite Disney EPCOT restaurant? 

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Mexican flavors in Epcot

It’s no secret that I love Mexican food, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that every time I go to Disney World, I have to eat dinner in Epcot’s Mexico. This has been a tradition my family has followed since the very first time we went to Disney World when I was 5. Whenever I go to make reservations for our trip, the Mexico reservation is the very first one I make. A few years ago they opened a second Mexican restaurant, so I decided this year was finally the year to try it.

La Hacienda de San Angel is located right on the World Showcase lagoon, and is a perfect spot to watch their nightly fireworks, Illuminations. I didn’t think of it when I made the reservations, but seeing the sun set over the water was a nice consolation prize. We started our meal with tortilla chips and salsa (a spicy chipotle sauce and a green tomatillo sauce) as we perused the menu. Since we were on the Dining Plan, we were able to select an entreé and dessert. They have a tequila bar on-site, so naturally my husband and I started off with a margarita. I had the avocado margarita (super creamy and flavorful), and he had the blueberry pomegranate (nice and refreshing). My sister settled for an iced tea since she’s only 19.

When it came to making our dinner selection, we were all stumped. Everything sounded delicious, and we wanted to try everything. Eventually my husband and sister settled on the Puerco en Salsa de Mole Negro, which is roasted pork tenderloin with mole negro sauce, served with esquites (roasted corn), sweet potato mash, beans and vegetables. For myself, I went with the Arrachera, which is top sirloin served with spring onions, tamal with rajas, cactus leaves, and beans. Our table also had two big bowls of rice and beans, as well as some corn tortillas to make our own little tacos. The flavors of everything tasted truly authentic, and my favorite may have been the black beans and tamal that came with mine.

So much food!

You may be thinking to yourself, “Danielle, you said no meat in January! You’re a cheater!.” Why yes, yes I am. I knew going into the Disney trip finding vegetarian options at every turn would be difficult – and it was. There wasn’t one vegetarian option on La Hacienda’s menu, and while I know I could have gone out of my way to request something, because I’m not truly a vegetarian, I ordered off the menu. Disney does have plenty of veggie friendly options and I took advantage of them whenever possible, but I didn’t limit myself – I mean, it was vacation after all. I’ve found the main reason why I haven’t become a full-time vegetarian is the sometimes hassle of eating out, or eating at a friend’s – I especially don’t like to make a fuss when someone else is preparing a meal for me. That may seem like a cop-out, but it’s how I approach the situation. I’m planning to go an extra week into February to make it a truly vegetarian month.

But I digress – back to La Hacienda. We can’t forget about dessert! I decided to go with an apple empanada with caramel ice cream even though I was stuffed and couldn’t bare the thought of eating more. My sister had the same, and my husband ordered a fresh fruit tamale. Even though I only had a few bites, it was delicious and reminded me of an apple turn-over. The ice cream was the star, though, with ribbons of caramel throughout the rich ice cream. Yum.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and they certainly don’t rush you. At every restaurant we had a reservation for we arrived a few minutes early, and they were always ready to seat us. It was such a nice change of pace from restaurants around here where despite a reservation, you still wind up waiting. I’m definitely glad we decided to take a bit of a risk and book our traditional Mexico dinner at their new restaurant – it was a delicious change of pace.

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