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Guest Review: El Pirata Y El Perico

My friend and fellow Disney fan, Sarah Holodick, headed over to El Pirata y El Perico last week to enjoy the last few days of this restaurant’s “busy season” run. You’ll be hearing from Sarah a few more times over the next couple of weeks, too! Take it away, Sarah!

Atmosphere
Not so long ago, I had the pleasure of trying a “new to me” restaurant as well as a couple old favorites. First, I will highlight my experience at the ever-elusive El Pirata Y El Perico. I went solo on Thursday morning and was surprised to see the menu was different from what I had previously seen at various sites online. I had read it would be from August 15th – September 4th for lunch to help accommodate free dining, so I knew this was my chance to try it out, and I’m very glad that I did!

El Pirata y El Perico Ordering Area

El Pirata y El Perico Seating Area

Menu Entrees

Kids' Picks Menu

Beverage Menu

Eats
I went in anticipating ordering the Beef Tacos, only to find that the menu had been modified from what I had seen. Hey, I can roll with the punches, so I quickly decided on the Beef Nachos. Similar, but different. I hadn’t really read over the menu descriptions, so I really only expected the seasoned ground beef atop tortilla chips, much like how they serve the Taco Salad — DIY style. Not the case with the nachos: along with the beef was a DFB Favorite — PLASTIC CHEESE!!! Let’s face it: I saw that neon glow of cheese sauce and was giddy. It wasn’t even mentioned on the menu description! And, in addition to that addictive sauce, a black bean and corn salsa was served atop the concoction. Along with the chips came a side pouch of sour cream.

Beef Nachos

As at all great WDW quick-serve locations, there was, of course, a Fixin’s Bar.

Fixins Bar

Alas, this one did not have the accommodation of more oozy, neon cheese, but it was sufficient considering the food being served: shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and salsa. There were also packets of Red Devil Cayenne Pepper Sauce and Ortega Thick and Smooth Taco Sauce. I passed on the lettuce and just added additional cheese, tomatoes and salsa to my nachos.

Cheese and Salsa on Fixins Bar

Lettuce and Cheese

And now, on to the review of the food! Quite honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. I was in for a surprise! Perhaps the low expectations influenced the fact that I felt the nachos were really quite good; however, because I would happily order them again, I discredit that theory. Consider it busted!

Beef Nachos with Fixins

Overall
The beef was well seasoned, finely ground (a HUGE factor for me) and not greasy, and the portion was massive. I was full before I hardly even made a dent (although I powered on). This could easily be split between two adults, perhaps not as a full meal, but a decent “cut the midday hunger”, filling snack. The cheese sauce, of course, was delicious, and the black bean salsa added a nice flavor and texture to the dish. The chips were fresh and crunchy, and only started to get soggy toward the end of my epic nacho battle when the cheese and beef had been relaxing there for a while. Overall, the Beef Nachos were a win.

Thanks again, Sarah! Now, about El Pirata, word on the street is that it’ll be closed for quite some time, with possibly even a name change coming around the bend! Just a rumor…

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14 Comments

  1. Jill says:

    We too have only been to this spot once because it was always closed. It is on my list of quiet places to take a rest and has a very nice bathroom. When we did get to eat the food we loved it. I would go as far as to say the nachos were better than the Cantina de San Angel in Mexico over at EPCOT. I wish it was open more often! Thanks for the report.

  2. Allison says:

    I’m a big fan of this place (when it’s open. :-)) The taco salad is divine – perfectly seasoned, just slightly greasy and the right amount of crunch.

  3. AJ says:

    Jill — Thanks for your review! I’m intrigued to see what happens to the restaurant when it comes out of hiding again!

    Allison — Well said! I haven’t had the taco salad here, but now I definitely want to try it!

  4. Liz says:

    This is one of the few places I have not gotten a chance to eat at since it’s always closed when we go. I hope that they don’t permanently close it down since it sounds like the food is actually good and it’s a nice change from the usual burgers and hot dogs we can get all over the park.

  5. carolyn says:

    I’ve never been there before, I’ll be excited to see it open. The black bean and corn salsa looks pretty good – not so positive on the plastic cheese, though! :-o But, seeing the fixin’ bar has shredded cheese it may do. Now I’m craving nachos and it’s 7:53 in the morning…. tee hee.

  6. Janna says:

    Back in the day, this was one of my favorite places to eat in MK. I haven’t eaten there in YEARS! I used to love to sit on the side facing Pirates plus the bathrooms on that side were rarely crowded. *sigh*

  7. Kathy says:

    I love that place but it’s hard to find open. Guess it has to be very busy.

  8. Marisa says:

    I really enjoy this place, and the Pirates of the Caribbean music that’s played throughout the restaurant. But, if I could give a slight suggestion, I would tell everyone to go at the non-typical lunch times. It’s a fairly popular restaurant and seating can be difficult to find, even for one person! But a good restaurant!

  9. chris says:

    Okay, I’ll be the Debbie Downer here. I like Taco Bell better, which I think says something about this place. I will say that I went with a vegetarian and she liked it a lot, so there’s that.

    Yes, I’m the crabby commenter.

  10. Galloping Gourmand says:

    This place is one of my holy grails. I’ve never been there when it’s open. From the looks of the picture you can get your nachos “wit wiz.” Nice!

  11. CanadiansloveWDW says:

    ate here last week .. I had the chicken buritto it was very good.. but impossable to eat with out a knife and fork.. my wife had the taco salad .. it was also very good.. glad i could try this place.. if its open next time i am at WDW i will eat there for sure….

  12. Steve says:

    My wife and I love the Pirate and the Parrot! We were disappointed last time we were in the MK that it was closed, as it’s been noted it’s not always open. But we love to stop by when it is and get a couple things to share, usually a taco salad and a burrito. Last time we had to settle for Pecos Bill’s which was OK, but we’d had our minds set on one of our favorites…

    Let’s hope when it comes out of rehab it comes back strong, with some tasty food. I’d hate for it to go the way of the Sunshine Tree Terrace.

  13. Heather says:

    I hope the menu changes and such indicate that this place will be open on a regular basis! The last time I was at the MK it was serving Pecos Bill’s style food because Bill’s was closed!

  14. Josh says:

    I guess in the case of Disney if it says Nachos, you must assume that it comes with cheese on it. Or something of the sorts. By the looks of it, it seems as though they just took the ground beef from the burrito (or whatever they happen to use the ground beef for) and stuck it on your nachos. I’m more of a fan of the shredded beef as it has more of an appeal.

    I really hope the changing to a Tortuga theme IS NOT a rumour as it would be so much cooler!!

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