Review: Epcot’s La Hacienda de San Angel

It’s been over a year since Epcot’s newest Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel, opened its doors to great fanfare.

Our first visit there (when it first opened) was good, but not entirely memorable; so we were eager to give this spot a second try. And this time we brought along AJ’s Mom and AJ’s Dad to get their feedback!

Atmosphere

La Hacienda is a beautiful restaurant. The contemporary decor, look, and feel of the place gives off a polished, sleek Mexico-inspired vibe without being kitschy and stereotypical. The high ceilings and simple furnishings give the space a fresh, light, airy feel; but the furniture is solid and steady — a fun contrast!

Carved Wood Tables

I think it’s got one of the most soothing vistas on Disney property — a long-windowed look out onto the World Showcase Lagoon and [Read more…]

Review: High Octane Refreshments at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When I was a kid, my dad and I always celebrated that Thursday was the “day before the day before the weekend!”

I don’t know about you, but this week has taken it’s sweet time, so I thought we should celebrate this “day before the day before the weekend” with a little happy hour… whaddya think? :-D So, we’re headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a visit to a place that a lot of people don’t even know is there — High Octane Refreshments!

High Octane Refreshments

Atmosphere

This spot is next to the Studio Catering Company (where you can get your eats), and pretty much blends into the background unless you’re looking for it.

There’s plenty of seating between the two restaurants as well. Unless you’re visiting on a truly busy day, you shouldn’t have to search too hard for a place to plop down. We advise that you take your refreshment to the shaded seating closer to the restaurant. It’s all hot sunshine in front of the bar!

Seating

The Signature drinks here — Stoplight Margarita, Long Island Iced Tea, Grand Margarita, Pina Colada, Rum Runner, and Frozen Golden Margaritas — aren’t necessarily mind-boggling in their creativity, but I can speak from experience that they’re highly enjoyable. Especially the Stoplight Margarita; but more about that later.

Menu and Full Bar

First, let’s look through the menu and options… [Read more…]

Review: Maya Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Hidden in Coronado Springs Resort’s El Centro, between the lobby and the Casitas section of the resort, Maya Grill offers a Latin American menu in the midst of Mayan architecture.

Atmosphere

You really do feel like you’re at the entrance to a Mayan pyramid when dining in this restaurant, and the decor — with soaring ceilings and moody lighting — is stunning. But many folks shy away from Maya Grill due to its distance from…well…just about everything.

Maya Grill sign

We arrived without a reservation, and although I could see many empty tables, we were told there would be a 45-minute wait. This was disturbing, since I think of Maya Grill to be one of the lesser-populated restaurants in Disney World. But since we were already staying at Coronado Springs (and since we had to eat here anyway so that we could cover it on the blog), we just told the hostess that we’d come back in 45 minutes, and spent the time catching up on work in our room.

When we returned, she’d [Read more…]

Disney World Margarita Gallery

This post was originally going to be a throwdown, but I had so many margaritas I wanted to share with you that it ended up being a curated gallery for heaven’s sake!

Also, I hope you guys are willing to share with me in the comments section your favorite margaritas (and maybe even your pictures of them to add to the gallery!).

Take a look through the reviews below and let me know what I’m missing! Let’s work together to make this comprehensive! :-)

Multiple Locations: Margarita Flight

Finally, if you just can’t make up your mind, head over to one of Disney World’s Mexican restaurants (they’re all run by the same company) and order a Margarita Flight! I’ve mentioned it a couple of times already here on DFB, but it’s really a great option if you’d like to try multiple different flavors.

Margarita Flight

As daily readers know, my favorites here are the Lime, Mango Blueberry, and Pineapple. Not so much with the veggies and the flowers. ;-)

You can get these at most of Disney’s Mexican food locations, including Maya Grill and Rix Lounge at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s World Showcase.

If you’re very, very lucky, you can also get one in my favorite place in all of Disney World — La Cava del Tequila. They are only served on certain days here.

Paradiso 37: Twisted Margarita and Regular Margarita

Paradiso 37 in Downtown Disney offers this fabulous concoction that’s half frozen sangria and half frozen margarita. Yes please! They call it the Twisted Margarita…

Twisted Margarita -- half sangria half margarita

Their classic margarita is fantastic — and just about the farthest thing from watered down you can get. Boasted as their famous Souza margarita, the Paradiso 37 lived up to its accolades!

Paradiso 37 Margarita

High Octane Refreshments: Stoplight Margarita

Over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this little outdoor bar has quite a few offerings. Now I expected this Stoplight margarita to be the same high-alcohol, low-flavor type that we see at the Epcot Margarita kiosk (see below). But boy was I wrong!! After years of fiesta margaritas in Epcot, this was a breath of fresh air!

Mixer-mass-produced, yes — flavorless, no! I loved the mix of melon, strawberry, and lime flavors in this frozen drink. Kudos, High Octane Refreshments!

Stoplight Margarita

La Hacienda de San Angel: Orange Mango Fire Margarita

Margaritas are a specialty at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot, and you can’t go wrong with the classic margarita here.

But for something different, try the [Read more…]

Review: Margaritas at Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila

You guys know how much I love Epcot’s new tequila bar, La Cava del Tequila. Located in the pyramid of Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, the Cava opened in August 2009 and has been a huge success!

The interior of this place is so cozy; it’s one of those hidden Walt Disney World gems that you just cherish once you find it. Heavy, painted furniture sits on large, rough tile. And the mural along the wall depicts [Read more…]

Review: San Angel Inn Restaurante

Well, we finally did it. After dreading a trip back to Epcot’s San Angel Inn in the Mexico pavilion due to a couple of bad meals there, we booked an ADR. It was more a “we have to go because I write a food blog” thing than an avid desire to give the restaurant another chance, but…as it turns out…we’d been missing out for far too long.

Atmosphere
Atmosphere has always been the main selling feature of San Angel Inn. Located inside the Epcot Mexico pyramid with seating along the Gran Fiesta Tour river, this restaurant offers a fun ambiance that you just won’t get anywhere else (besides Blue Bayou in Disneyland, maybe!).

Because the Mexico Pavilion’s pyramid is home to the set-up of a Mexican village in the evening, the restaurant is in a perpetual state [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!”: Snacks and Drinks

We’ve recently started a fun new series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Due to some keen suggestions from readers, we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks & drinks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts.

Today, we’re taking a look at Snacks & Drinks! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the “Best Thing They Ever Ate” — snacks and drinks style — in Disney parks and resorts. To be sure, the answers sounded veeeery similar to our recent post about the Best Value for your Snack Credits, but we had a few different ideas as well!

Snacks

Who doesn’t indulge a bit with some of the great snacks available on a trip to Disney? Here are a few of the favorites, as determined by Disney Food Blog readers:

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a classic! The Mickey Premium bar has been sweetening Disney trips for years, and I doubt that will stop anytime soon. While other ice cream treats come and go, I’m pretty sure you can count on the Mickey Bar to be available just about everywhere you can find the Big Cheese himself.

Mickey Premium Bar

Thanks again to Morgan! (Photo courtesy Morgan and Jeff Rooks via flickr)

School Bread

This Norwegian delight is a staple in the World Showcase and a favorite of [Read more…]