Review: Maelstrom and Tamarind Margaritas at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

I know, I know… we’re officially well into the second full week of 2015 already(!).

And that probably means it’s time for me to stop wishing everyone a “Happy New Year.” But when I think of places I like to toast big occasions such as the arrival of a brand new year (or, you know… a Tuesday), it should come as no surprise that La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion is at the very top of my list.

So I’d like to take one last opportunity to toast 2015 with you here on the blog with a couple of margaritas from The House of Tequila… the Tamarind Margarita and the Maelstrom Margarita!

La Cava del Tequila Sign

La Cava del Tequila Sign

La Cava del Tequila entrance inside the Mexico Pavilion

La Cava del Tequila entrance inside the Mexico Pavilion

But first, we’ve got to take care of what might be the second most difficult thing to do at this popular tequila haven… and that’s find a seat.

Seating in La Cava

Seating in La Cava

Backs of chairs

Backs of chairs

No matter where you sit, all signs point to the star of the show… tequila! From the mural on the wall depicting the tequila-making process, to the huge array of bottles of tequila spotlighted at the bar.

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava del Tequila Bar

La Cava del Tequila Bar

So, what’s the MOST difficult thing to do at La Cava? Naming your poison. You’ve got your choice of over twelve specialty margaritas, and that doesn’t even begin to touch on the selection of straight tequilas.

Now, you know I love the Avocado Margarita.

Avocado Margarita

Avocado Margarita

Other frontrunners for me include the Horchata and the Wild Passion Fruit. But on my most recent visit I just had to start by raising a toast to a much loved (and now extinct) EPCOT Center attraction with the Maelstrom Margarita.

You may recall (of COURSE, you recall ;) ) last October, when the Maelstrom attraction [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: October 28, 2014

Happy Fall! Autumnal treats have been appearing all over Disney World for a while now, but with Halloween just days away, we thought we’d give you one last glimpse of the season’s snacks.

But that’s not the only food news ’round these parts… not by a long shot. Take a trip with us around all four Disney World parks to check out What’s New!

Hollywood Studios

October is probably my favorite time for the candy apples that hit the scene, like these at Sweet Spells.

Halloween Candy Apples

Halloween Candy Apples

"Poisoned" Candy Apple

“Poisoned” Candy Apple

Minnie Witch Candy Apple

Minnie Witch Candy Apple

Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner currently features a Caramel Apple Shake as its tribute to fall. The featured shakes here change frequently, so be sure to pop by to see what’s available on your visit!

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner

Caramel Apple Shake

Caramel Apple Shake

Joffrey’s Coffee Carts all over Disney World have changed their seasonal offerings to include a Pumpkin Pie Latte and a Pumpkin Pie Frozen Cappuccino.

Joffrey's Coffee Kiosk at Pixar Place

Joffrey’s Coffee Kiosk at Pixar Place

Seasonal Coffee beverages

Seasonal Coffee beverages

Speaking of those Joffrey’s Carts… remember the Big ‘Ol Donut? We spotted a few topped with massive amounts of cookie crumble for a change [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 12, 2014

Our favorite new treat this week — the Caramel Apple Funnel Cake from Disneyland’s Hungry Bear Restaurant! This is one you simply have to try if you’re lucky enough to be headed to Anaheim anytime soon.

Caramel Apple Funnel Cake from Hungry Bear

Caramel Apple Funnel Cake from Hungry Bear

Plus, click below for all the details on this week’s Disney Food News…

Disney Food News

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, Victoria Falls Lounge at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is featuring a new menu with tapas, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

DFB Reader Megan shared this: seasonal treat at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom: “I enjoyed a Halloween Chocolate Cream Puff with Blood Orange filling on September 28 ( a MNSSHP night). Beware: there is TONS of strongly flavored filling. The cake is excellent and the presentation is so cute, but there was definitely too much filling for my liking.”

Halloween Chocolate Cream Puff with Blood Orange filling

Halloween Chocolate Cream Puff with Blood Orange filling

Facebook Friend, Sue, sampled this chocolate candy corn cupcake from the Mara at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Halloween Cupcake

Halloween Cupcake

What’s your Favorite Find? We can’t wait to see it!

DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book

We’re thrilled to announce that the 2014 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book is now available!

And in honor of our grand launch, you can get the new Guide for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited timejust use code SNACKS14 at the check-out!

With over 280 pages of delicious snacks, the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks is part of our DFB Guide Snacks Series!

As always, you will enjoy an instantly downloadable PDF guide with comprehensive information and advice on well over 250 delicious snacks that you can savor at the Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks in the Walt Disney World resort.

The DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book includes: [Read more…]

News! “Maelstrom Margarita” at Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila

It appears that Norway’s next door neighbor (well, in World Showcase, that is!) is offering a tribute to Maelstrom, which carried riders on a “High Seas Norwegian Adventure” for the last time earlier this week (the attraction was closed to make way for a Frozen-inspired refurb).

The Mexico Pavilion’s La Cava del Tequila is serving Maelstrom Margaritas to honor the beloved attraction.

Maelstrom

Maelstrom

The Maelstrom Margarita features “Premium Ambhar Tequila blanco, mango puree, orange liquor, and agave nectar served with blueberries, habanero peppers, basil and Tajin chili powder on the rim.”

©cavadeltequila

©cavadeltequila

The drink debuted on October 6th for La Cava’s “Margarita Monday,” and while we assume this drink will only be available for a very limited time, according to La Cava’s Twitter feed: “Maelstrom Margarita will be available until you stop buying it, so it all depends on you. Made in honor of the ride.”

So, if you find yourself in the Mexico Pavilion today while tasting your way around the World, stop by La Cava to raise a glass… and to remember [Read more…]

Review: La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Aaaahhh, La Cava del Tequila… what’s a trip around World Showcase without walking inside your doors?

Well, we’re back, and we’re here to celebrate a very special birthday…La Cava del Tequila just turned five years old! For a place that’s still relatively new (in Disney World terms, anyway), it sure has earned its place on the absolute MUST list ever since opening its doors in August 2009.

We’re celebrating this special occasion with a few of my favorite things (cue the song!) and branching out with a few sips I’d never tried before.

As the saying goes, it may be “5 o’clock somewhere,” but we’re just happy when it’s 12 o’clock at La Cava del Tequila!

La Cava del Tequila Sign

La Cava del Tequila Sign

"We Open at Noon"

“We Open at Noon”

Is it noon yet ;) ? Then let’s step in!

Atmosphere

Small and cozy (and often crowded due to its well-deserved reputation), there’s still plenty for the eye to take in. Obviously, the tequila gets the spotlight – both figuratively and literally!

La Cava Tequilas

La Cava Tequilas

When you first walk in, [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: July 16th, 2014

We’re wandering the World in search of eats, sweets, and all sorts of treats! Join us for another trip around the World to find out What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Frozen Summer Fun

In case you haven’t heard, Frozen Summer Fun is happening all over Hollywood Studios!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

And of course this event includes a few extra snacks inspired by the film and its characters, such as specialty cupcakes (we loved the Olaf Carrot Cake), Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, and specialty drinks.

Take-Along Olaf with Olaf Carrot Cake Cupcake

Take-Along Olaf with Olaf Carrot Cake Cupcake

Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Arendelle Punch

Arendelle Punch

Check out our review of the Frozen eats here!

Disney Restaurant Refurbishments

Amidst the wintery fun, changes for the future are happening at Hollywood Studios, too. Rumor has it that the L.A. Prop Cinema Storage shop might just be the next Starbucks stop in the Parks. The refurbishment is scheduled to last until March 2015.

L.A. Cinema Prop Storage under refurbishment

L.A. Cinema Prop Storage under refurbishment

"Pardon Our Dust"

“Pardon Our Dust”

Stormtrooper Steins

Even if you missed Star Wars Weekends, you may not have entirely missed your opportunity to pick up some of the goodies! On a very recent visit, we spotted the Stormtrooper Souvenir Steins still available at Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway!

Stormtrooper Stein sign

Stormtrooper Stein sign

Stormtrooper Stein

Stormtrooper Stein

No telling how long they’ll last, so grab one while you still can!

EPCOT

Future World

Sunshine Seasons is currently serving Grilled Fish Tacos.

Sunshine Seasons Menu

Sunshine Seasons Menu

Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos

Looks like a future lunch to me!

World Showcase

Moving to World Showcase, the Refreshment Port is best known for being the current home of the Cronut, both regular and a la mode.

Epcot Refreshment Port

Epcot Refreshment Port

Cronut a la mode and regular cronut

Cronut a la mode and regular cronut

However, it’s also recently added a new cocktail to its list of alcoholic beverages: the Dragon Berry Refresher featuring Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum.

Refreshment Port Drink Menu

Refreshment Port Drink Menu

Mexico

In Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila, the Summer Special is the Ambhar Tamarindo Margarita, featuring Ambhar Blanco Tequila, tamarind pulp, orange liqueur and agave nectar. Oh, and a chili powder rim – YOW!

Ambhar Tamarindo Margarita

Ambhar Tamarindo Margarita

We’re always happy to have a reason to spend some extra time at La Cava, and it looks like there is more opportunity to do just that [Read more…]

Review: Epcot After Hours Wind Down Event at La Cava del Tequila

Welcome to Epcot, After Hours! The Epcot After Hours Wind Down event kicked off on Thursday, April 17, at 9:20 pm (immediately following “IllumiNations”).

Illuminations Torch

Illuminations Torch

This 21-and-over event features small plates and drinks at the guest’s choice of four restaurants on select evenings: Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, Spice Road Table, Tutto Gusto, and La Cava del Tequila.

When we announced this event a couple of weeks ago, we got a LOT of diverse points of view in the comments from our readers. Many were concerned that the price for the event ($35) was too high. Others were excited for the opportunity to stay in Epcot after hours, enjoying one of their favorite — often crowded — hot spots!

I attended the Wind Down at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. Let’s see how it went!

Mexico Pavilion After Hours

Mexico Pavilion After Hours

I’ll start with a rundown of my food and beverage experience specific to La Cava, and then we’ll talk about the event itself — what’s good and what could use some improvement. There’s a lot to share, so let’s dive in.

La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila

A group of about 10-12 guests gathered for the evening. Walking into an adults-only situation was a refreshing experience — granted, that’s something you typically have at La Cava, but there was a bit of a different feel.

Some of that had to do with the settings in front of us: a tequila flight, a small vodka shot (to “open” our senses, as we learned later), and a Mezcal tequila shot, along with a small bottle of water.

Tequila Flight

Tequila Flight

The lights were up a bit, too, for what we were about to experience. With the covers over our glasses, we all knew to wait to begin (which gave us a nice opportunity to meet the folks around us).

Covered Glass of Tequila Blanco

Covered Glass of Tequila Blanco

We soon found out that we were going to experience something truly unique: a tequila tasting led by Hilda Castillo. This is similar to what was done during the first Food and Wine Festival tequila tasting events, for those of you who have been.

Hilda combines knowledge, passion, and fun to help you feel comfortable and appreciate more of what you’re tasting.

Hilda, Tequila Ambassador

Hilda, Tequila Ambassador

The walls of La Cava are a classroom of sorts, and Hilda showed us how the wall mural displays the tequila process.

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

With her guidance, we experienced the characteristics of each tequila through color, aroma, and taste: an incredibly strong (I mean, WOW!) Blanco (White tequila), a Reposado (Rested tequila), and an Anejo (Aged tequila).

Because I am no Hilda (though I would like to be when I grow up!), I’ll offer these descriptions below that were provided at our settings.

Tequila Blanco description

Tequila Blanco description

Tequila Reposada description

Tequila Reposado description

Tequila Anejo description

Tequila Anejo description

With every visit to La Cava, I feel a little more comfortable with the world of tequila, because someone is always willing to share their knowledge with you. But I am [Read more…]

News!! Epcot Introduces “After Hours Wind Down!” Booking Open Now!

Update: We’ve added some additional menu information for Spice Road Table and Tutto Gusto, in addition to the La Cava del Tequila menu!

We have got BIG news for you today out of Epcot!

We all love sampling and drinking our way around Epcot’s World Showcase, right? Well, things just got a little more interesting on that front, with the introduction of After Hours Wind Down!

Evening at Epcot is Extra Magical!

Evening at Epcot is Extra Magical!

Epcot After Hours Wind Down!

After you enjoy Illuminations over World Showcase Lagoon (yep — AFTER the park closes!), purchase a ticket and choose from four of World Showcase’s hottest spots for drinks and small plates! (We’ve got a sample menu for you at the bottom of this post, so keep reading!)

Tickets are available today for dates starting Thursday, April 17, and running through mid-September on select nights.

Choose from the following spots in Epcot:

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

This is a hard ticketed event. The price for admission to Epcot After Hours Wind Down is [Read more…]

Six Secret Disney Dining Deals

Everyone’s looking to save money and to wring just a little bit more enjoyment out of their Disney dollars. We’re right there with you!

Six Secret Disney Dining Deals

So today, we’re bringing you the details on some of our favorite Disney Dining Deals!

These little-known tricks and tips could save you big on your next Disney World vacation, so let’s get planning!

Prix-Fixe Menus

One of my favorite ways to save a little dough around Disney World is by taking advantage of Prix-Fixe Meals — specialty multi-course menus that let you choose from a variety of the restaurant’s popular dishes for a discounted price.  While you’ll find them here and there in a number of places, lots of Epcot World Showcase restaurants offer them.

For real savings, check out the prix-fixe offering at Les Chefs de France in the France Pavilion.

This beautiful spot is one of my favorite places to dine in all of Disney World anyway, so saving money is a great perk.

Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Prix-Fixe Menu at Les Chefs de France -- Click to Enlarge

Prix-Fixe Menu at Les Chefs de France — Click to Enlarge

When you compare the price with the a la carte prices for each item, you can really see the savings!

Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Appetizers — Click to Enlarge

Entrees -- Click to Enlarge

Entrees — Click to Enlarge

With desserts set at $8.99, that’s a $7 savings!

Enjoy fan favorites, like Bisque de Homard and the Croque Monsieur. And you have your pick of dessert! We love the Profiteroles here!

Save Room for the Profiteroles!

We Pick Profiteroles!

The savings are a little slimmer at [Read more…]

Top 5 Ways to Get Your Veggies at Walt Disney World

I  know, I know. It’s the new year and you’re really trying to fit in your five servings of fruit and veggies every day, right? Well, I’m here to help you stick to that goal — even when you’re vacationing in Disney World!

Here are my top 5 ways to get my veggie servings in Disney World… . Don’t forget to take notes.

Jalapeño, Avocado, and Cucumber Margaritas at La Cava del Tequila

One of my favorite ways to get my veggies comes with a healthy dose of tequila. That’s right, Friends. We’re heading to Mexico — in Epcot, that is — to La Cava del Tequila.

Seating in La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Because that’s where you can get some of the green stuff via their Handmade Margaritas. (Yep, that’s right. None of that pre-made, swirling in the slushie machine stuff for you here.)

The Avacado Margarita is one of our favorites!

Avocado Margarita in Epcot's Mexico

Avocado Margarita in Epcot’s Mexico

If you like a teensy bit of zip, go for the Jalapeño Margarita, which features tiny pieces of the peppers right in the mix.

Jalapeno Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Jalapeño Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Another refreshing option is the Cucumber Margarita.

cucumber margarita

Cucumber Margarita

Fans of this unusual choice swear by it. It’s like a spa treatment in a glass! With tequila!

Pizza at Via Napoli

Savvy parents have been sneaking veggies into stubborn kids’ food since the dawn of the food pyramid, I figure. And now, I think we should take a page from their book and visit Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion. Because who doesn’t love Pizza?

You guys — you know I think their pizza is totes the BEST. Ever. But hey, who says the best ever can’t have a few healthy benefits?

On our last visit, we tried several pies, including the luxurious Pizza Carciofi. Doesn’t “Artichoke” sound so much more appealing in Italian? This gorgeous pie also features Truffle Oil. So that’s got to count for a serving too, I’m thinking.

Pizza Carciofi

Pizza Carciofi at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Or you can skip the pizza and have your [Read more…]