Epcot’s San Angel Unveils New Tastes and Atmosphere

Inside Mexico’s pyramid in Epcot, the twilight ambiance never ceases to amaze me. After trying to take in all of the Imagineered details, two indoor culinary choices beckon guests to stay a little longer: La Cava del Tequila and the San Angel Inn.

Now, it’s not a huge secret that San Angel Inn has long been a point of contention among Disney fans — some love it; some hate it. Apparently Disney World and restaurant owners San Angel Inn, LLC, are ready to make a few changes to sway the naysayers. Recently, San Angel has added some casual elegant touches!

The round tables have been replaced with [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 20, 2011

Cupcake from Hollywood Studios

Hi, all! My biggest and favorite news of the week is the launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining! A hearty THANK YOU to those who have purchased a copy; it’s been such an honor to hear positive comments and feedback this week. I’m truly grateful.

Also, I’ve been reporting from Disney World since Thursday and will continue to do so until Wednesday. Watch my feed on facebook and twitter for real-time updates and photos from the World!

And now, on to the round-up!

DisZine shares the news about The Wave’s new breakfast buffet in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

About Theme Parks shares the results from the Readers’ Choice Awards!

Main St. Gazette takes us to Mexico’s San Angel Inn in Epcot!

Pooh’s Travels writes about Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Disneyland!

Studios Central follows up on last week’s Sunset Ranch Market post by explaining the trucks of produce nearby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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…]

Hacienda de San Angel Photos and Updates

Whew! News-heavy week here at the Food Blog! Today, let’s look at some newly released info about Hacienda de San Angel, the newly renovated restaurant opening in September in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion! Here are some great pics of the Hacienda de San Angel slide presentation given at the D23 Flowers and Fireworks event this past weekend. These were taken and donated by Lori Abramson — Thanks, Lori!

Hacienda de San Angel Intro Slide

Hacienda de San Angel will be opening with a bang in September 2010! What’s the “bang,” you ask? Illuminations, of course! The restaurant is ideally situated to offer incredible (and coveted!) views of Epcot’s nightly Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show. And with the addition of the table-service part of the restaurant, those ADRs might be tougher to get than Le Cellier for around 8:00pm every night!

Here’s an aerial image of what the restaurant looks like, under construction, right now. You can see how fantastic that view is going to be once it’s finished! Check out that outdoor, circular patio!

Aerial View of Hacienda de San Angel

The restaurant will have a whole new “backstory,” and a new service structure, which will allow the restaurant to operate as [Read more…]

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Disney World

If you’re ready to head out for the evening in Disney World, there are some great places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a margarita or two!

First of all, Epcot’s San Angel Inn is a great place to grab your evening meal (try the Pollo a las Rajas — it’s my favorite!). Accompany that with some flan or arroz con leche, or head over for an entirely different kind of dessert at the…

La Cava del Tequila! This brand new Tequila bar in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion is one of my new favorite places in Walt Disney World! Order up my favorite — the Aguacate (Avacado Margarita) — or sample another new and different margarita. They even have an incredible array of Tequila flights to suit your fancy. You can check out the full La Cava del Tequila menu here!

If you’re just passing by the Mexico pavilion and want to pay your respects, stop at the Taqueria del Lago outside for some quesadillas or taquitos, or at the Margarita stand near by for a portable fiesta ;-) (Unforunately, Cantina de San Angel isn’t open at the moment, but it will be re-opening soon with even more to offer those of us who love dining al fresco in Mexico!)

A Collection of Awesome Stuff

Two of my favorite people sent me some very cool things recently, and I wanted to share them with you on this “freeform Saturday” post.

First of all, a beautiful food pic from James Chapman. This is Le Cellier‘s sausage and corn polenta appetizer, which is out of this world delicious. It’s just too pretty not to give it the spotlight. Thanks for Mickey-fying the plates, James — how did you know that Le Cellier’s butter balls are my favorite part of the meal?

Le Cellier Sausage and Corn Polenta Appetizer

Le Cellier Sausage and Corn Polenta Appetizer

And secondly, I wanted to share with you some “random observations” from Jeff Kocan‘s recent trip. They’re too witty not to print as-is:

Just random observations that I meant to bring up: [Read more…]

Disney Food Round-Up: January 24, 2010

Eat hereWelcome to a brand new week with a whole lot of Disney food news! Let’s recap of the news covered right here on the Disney Food Blog, just in case you missed it:

Also, Disney food fans should check out the latest WDWToday Podcast — I got to sit in and talk about eating healthy in WDW!

WEEKLY ROUND-UP
Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide, restaurant critic extraordinaire, reviews San Angel Inn.

SamLand’s Disney Adventures visits the Tiki Room Lanai in Disneyland and shares his Dole Whip. Did you know the Tiki Room was envisioned by Walt as a dinner theater restaurant?

Daveland takes us to the Hollywood Brown Derby. (Amazing photos, yet again.)

Main Street Gazette takes us on Epcot’s World Showcase Wine Walk!

Duckman’s Blog shares a fantastic story about a custom cake at the Polynesian.

TouringPlans.com goes to Kouzzina! Opa!

AllEarsNet has an incredible report about a vegan meal at ‘Ohana. Chef TJ does it again!

All Things Cupcake spotted some great cupcakes at Disney World!

Only WDWorld shares a delicious look at Epcot’s Tangierine Cafe.

Orlando Sentinel’s Daily Disney shares a blast from the past with six recipes from Spoodles, and also asks Is Rainforest Cafe or T-Rex better for kids?

Speaking of Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex, WDW Central wonders if the entertainment justifies the expense.

Thanks again for all the great food posts! Looking forward to this week’s delicious Disney posts.

San Angel Inn Review

Special thanks today to Chip over at Chip & Co. for this great guest review of San Angel Inn in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion! Also, thanks to Annabel Freeman for contributing the fantastic food photos!

A lot of people overlook San Angel Inn in Epcot’s World Showcase, and I have to ask myself “why?” San Angel Inn Authentic Mexican Cuisine has something for everyone, and if you give me a few moments I will show you some of the nuances that make it a restaurant you will not want to pass by on your walk around the World Showcase.

San Angel Inn Entryway

San Angel Inn Entryway

First off, let me talk about the ambiance:
When you walk into the marketplace you are greeted by what I feel is one of the most breathtaking views in Epcot. A beautiful wishing fountain greets you as you walk down the ramp. You hear the buzz of the people in the marketplace checking out the different wares for sale. The soft glow of the lights makes you feel like you have stepped back in time to Central Mexico. The view of the Aztec Pyramid in the background rises high over the marketplace, and upon walking into the restaurant the bold and beautiful colors of the tables are scattered before you. A gentle glow of the lamps on the table adds a sense of romance to this breath taking view.

San Angel Inn Pyramid and Dining Room

San Angel Inn Pyramid and Dining Room

You can hear the sounds of the newly updated Grand Fiesta Ride with Donald Duck in the background, which reminds you that you are not in Mexico, but still at Disney World. For some, this might be a bad thing; but for me, I want to remember I am at one of the greatest places on Earth: Walt Disney World!

Bring on the grub:
I recommend ordering the ceviche with any flavor of Frozen Margarita as an appetizer. If you don’t like seafood, the nachos are great, too. The Margarita is a lifesaver after a long day of trekking around the park. If you are there with a special someone be sure to mix those drinks up so you can sample one of each. You won’t be disappointed.

Tortilla Chips and Salsa are served to every table

Tortilla Chips and Salsa are served to every table

All the entrées are fantastic; I have yet to have anything I didn’t like. A fair warning though: the food here is different from the typical “American-ized” (I hope that’s a word) Mexican food you have back home. My first time eating here I was expecting just a traditional meal that I would have at my local restaurant (which is very good I might add –- shout out to La Hacienda), but I was caught off guard by the flavors and spices used at the San Angel Inn!

Combination Plato -- Enchilada, Burrito, Steak

Combination Plato -- Enchilada, Burrito, Steak

Be daring and try something new is what I always say when on vacation. (Insert cheesy sarcastic comment here!) What my family and I always do is order different items so we can sample more than one dish. Everything on the menu is full of flavor and just blows your taste buds out of the water.

Polly a las Rajas -- Grilled Chicken with Peppers, Onions, and Cheese

Polly a las Rajas -- Grilled Chicken with Peppers, Onions, and Cheese

If you have a child like we do, the childrens’ menu will not disappoint. It is by no means chicken fingers (where is that part on a chicken by the way?) or hamburgers. Your kids will be able to sample some good, authentic, Mexican cuisine.

On to dessert, all I can say is WOW! I could eat the items on the desert menu everyday for the rest of my life. (Of course I would probably weigh 800 pounds if I did.) I have never had Flan before I came to San Angel Inn, and though I have tried it since, none can compare to the texture, smell, and melt in your mouth goodness of the Flan they serve there.

You have heard the good; now on to the bad and the ugly:
For 2010, Disney has dropped the San Angel Inn from its Disney Dining Plan. This makes me quite upset! My family and I absolutely love eating here, but now are going to have to either pay money out of pocket or maybe try to pop in for a drink and dessert. If any Disney Execs are reading this, maybe they could do Chip a favor and add this wonderful restaurant back!

Editor’s Note: See comments below for good discussion on this topic; some restaurants may sign up for the plan later than others. Our fingers are crossed!

Wrap it up already:
OK…OK… Overall, the San Angel Inn dining experience is one of my personal favorites at Disney World. Between the romantic ambiance and the scrumptious food I can think of no better place to take my family. It is good for a romantic couple’s meal (try to get seated near the water) or for a fun family experience. The service there is second to none.

So next time you are on your trek around the World Showcase, stop by Mexico, have a delicious meal at San Angel Inn, and think of me… OK maybe not… Enjoy!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: November 1, 2009

Eat hereA belated Happy Halloween to everyone! I hope you all had some wonderful treats (and very few tricks!).

Welcome to November and the first Disney Food Post Round-Up of the month — there’s already a LOT happening… . And remember, this week is your last chance to experience the incredible Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Click that link for information, highlights, and photos and menus from the World Showcase international marketplace kiosks!

On with the Round-Up!

Disney Parks Blog highlights an invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner at Disneyland in the Disneyland Hotel. Sounds delicious!

Scott Joseph Orlando has an exclusive — the recipe from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie. This recipe was featured in the Cork, Ireland, marketplace kiosk.

Meet The World in Progressland shares a truly wonderful post revealing some incredible Halloween Disney details in Tokyo Disneyland’s popcorn carts.

Main Street Gazette showcases the Animal Kingdom’s Royal Anadapur Tea Company — one of my favorite places to have breakfast in the World.

5 Kingdoms compares the different “Casey’s Corners” throughout the Magic Kingdoms. Take time to read it and not just look at the pictures ;)

The Disney Chick is back with another wonderful Disney recipe, complete with photos of each separate recipe step. This time, try out the Shrimp With Tomato Feta Compote from Citricos in the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Daveland presents us with some great indoor and outdoor photos of Disneyland’s Aunt Jemima’s Kitchen –> River Belle Terrace.

Theme Park Insider reviews Disneyland’s Cafe Orleans. (You really owe it to yourself to look at these photos today. Trust me.)

Mouseplanet reminds us what’s great about San Angel Inn in Epcot’s World Showcase. (Stay tuned to the Disney Food Blog this week to see even more great reasons to enjoy San Angel Inn!)

Global Disney Pinvestigation shares the latest news and concept drawings of the restaurants on the Disney Dream cruise ship! Also, check out his great Epcot Food and Wine Festival photo blog.

Touring Plans reminds us to stop by the ESPN Club on Disney World’s Boardwalk.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Disney food posts! If you spot a great food post this week that you think belongs on the round-up, be sure to let me know — just click on “contact me” at the top of the page!

Thanks for reading!