Guest Review: San Angel Inn at Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Step inside Epcot’s Mexico pavilion with guest author Rebecca Dolan! Let’s check out her lunch review of San Angel Inn.

If the thought of eating Mexican food at an amusement park brings up images of overstuffed burritos, taco salads, and plastic-cheese nachos, you’re not alone. And while Disney does those things (and does them well), when dining in Epcot you can expect more authentic options.

The Mexico Pavilion is home to two full-service restaurants, San Angel Inn and La Hacienda de San Angel. Today we’re heading deep inside the pyramid for lunch at San Angel Inn.

This spot has been hot and cold for us in the past. On some visits, it’s wonderful; on others, there’s a lot left to be desired. So I’m excited to see how Rebecca got on in one of Epcot’s legacy restaurants!

Atmosphere

Once inside the pyramid you’ll step into a town square, where a fiesta is being held under a twilight sky.

Entering the town square

Entering the town square

There are stores, street vendors, a tequila bar, and the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros boat ride.

[Read more…]

Best of the Fest: What to Eat at the 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

It truly is one of the most beautiful times of the year at Epcot, now that the 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival has officially begun!

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is Officially Underway!

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is Officially Underway!

From now through May 29th, Epcot guests will enjoy over seventy Disney-themed topiaries all over the park, special exhibits and seminars for all the Green Thumbs (and those aspiring Green Thumbs!) out there, and the Garden Rocks Concert Series (complete with Dining Packages this year). [Read more…]

Review: Frontera Cocina by Rick Bayless in Disney Springs

Frontera Cocina is the latest Table Service addition to the Disney Springs dining scene!

Frontera Cocina is headed by Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless. It’s located in the Town Center of Disney Springs, which still has a few eateries on the way throughout the summer; among them, Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine and Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza.

Chef Bayless may be best known as the host of the PBS show “Mexico—One Plate at a Time” (though he has received numerous accolades throughout his career), and Frontera Cocina likewise showcases authentic Mexican cuisine.

You’ll find Frontera Cocina right across from Sprinkles (though, since Sprinkles is still new itself, more familiar landmarks are seen just across the walking bridge — spots like Raglan Road and Morimoto Asia).

Frontera Cocina

Frontera Cocina

Now that we know where it is, let’s step inside… [Read more…]

Review: San Angel Inn in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Today, we are heading into the pyramid once again for dinner at one of Epcot’s most atmospheric restaurants — San Angel Inn Restaurante.

We have had a myriad of experiences here, ranging from very, very bad to excellent. In the past, San Angel Inn has suffered from a Disney restaurant’s biggest drawback — inconsistency.

We haven’t visited the original Mexico table service restaurant since the pavilion’s latest spot, La Hacienda de San Angel, opened on the waterfront. But we continue to love to drop by La Cava del Tequila and Cantina de San Angel, Mexico’s counter service option, so we thought it was time to give San Angel Inn a try once more.

Besides, they had undergone some changes since our last meal, and we wanted to see them for ourselves.

Atmosphere

Walking through Epcot anytime of the day is a treat, but it’s especially beautiful at night. And that’s when we decided to visit Mexico for dinner one evening on a recent trip.

You’ll find San Angel Inn by heading into the Aztec Temple, which serves as the centerpiece for Mexico.

Pyramid -- Up Close

Aztec Pyramid in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

And inside the pyramid, it’s always nighttime. As you make your way toward the back of the building, you come into an open courtyard setting, which feels like the town square of a quaint Mexican Village. In the distance, you’ll spot another Aztec Temple that looks very like the one you just entered. Beyond that, there’s also an active volcano. It’s really quite pretty, and sets the mood for the entire area, which also houses shopping, as well as La Cava del Tequila and the Three Caballeros Attraction.

In fact, boats of riders make their way along the quiet river below the restaurant — very similar to Blue Bayou in Disneyland.

View of the Aztec Pyramid

View of the Aztec Pyramid Inside

Among the other village building facades that border the square is the entrance to San Angel Inn, through this archway.

San Angel Restaurant Entrance

San Angel Restaurant Entrance

Step through the archway, and the floorplan for the restaurant opens up before you. It’s actually a fairly small space. But tables are placed very close together. This was a new detail of the recent renovation and restaurant updates, and I’ve gotta say — it’s not my favorite aspect of dining here. I’m uncomfortable in a restaurant whenever I feel like I can reach out and touch the person at the table next to me.

Seating Area and Restaurant Scenery

Seating Area and Restaurant Scenery

This table for two, near the rail that overlooks the Three Caballeros attraction, does offer a bit more intimacy. We always recommend requesting a waterside table here!

Aztec Pyramid, Volcano, and Intimate Seating

Aztec Pyramid, Volcano, and Intimate Seating

The layout of the restaurant is quite nice. The floor is actually comprised of varying levels, which lend some interest to the space. I took this photo near the railing, looking back up into the courtyard.

Lower Patio Seating Area

Lower Patio Seating Area

Although tables are uncomfortably close together, they are [Read more…]