Review: La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion, Walt Disney World

I’m gonna be honest. On my last few trips to La Hacienda de San Angel, the cost just wasn’t worth the experience.

But on this visit, things were a bit different. Maybe it’s because I ordered the things I was confident in, or maybe it’s because I had a killer window table and view of IllumiNations. Or maybe it was just the margaritas. (But I’m pretty sure it was the soup. More to come on that.)

But no matter how it happened, this was a night to remember! An expensive night to remember, but a night to remember nonetheless.

Wanna hear about it??

Atmosphere

Start your adventure by heading into Epcot’s World Showcase and swing by the Mexico pavilion. Step up to the archway bearing this sign at the entrance, and you’ll have found the check-in podium. It’s hard to miss.

The check-in podium is underneath this sign!

La Hacienda Sign

Once inside, you’ll receive a pager and take a seat in the waiting area if there’s one available. We were dining on a steamy day and would have appreciated a larger place to hang out. Our table wasn’t quite ready when we arrived, but that was probably due to the fact that we asked for a spot by the window.

We weren’t in a hurry, however. So taking a load off was kind of nice. We’d made a 7:30 reservation with the hopes of seeing the 9:00 fireworks, so we knew we had some time to kill. And we were seated soon enough.

One thing that La Hacienda got right straight from the beginning is the ambiance. Simply put, this is a gorgeous restaurant.

Atmosphere

Inside the Restaurant

The soaring ceilings, heavy furniture, and warm-colored tile floors give a homey feeling to the spot, which totally makes sense. This is La Hacienda, after all. You’re dining in a residence-turned-restaurant. (For more of the backstory, you can see one of my earlier reviews.)

The whimsical hanging lights — both the punched metal star sconces and the paper lanterns — are just beautiful! As the light wanes, they become even more breathtaking, lighting the space with a candlelight-like glow.

One of the Main Dining Rooms at La Hacienda

Another View of the One of the Dining Rooms

Seating is a combination of booths and tables with chairs.

Seating

Seating

Booths line the center of the room, as you can see from an earlier pic. But some of my favorite booth seating is elevated and along the back wall. This is a cozy way to enjoy the view of World Showcase.

Booth and Artwork

Booth Seating

And speaking of the view…here it is! As I mentioned, we waiting for a little while to get this window-side table. And it was totally worth it. Check out our stellar [Read more…]

DIY Disney Recipe: Shrimp Tacos from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Shrimp Tacos are on the menu today! Our guest chef Carol provides in-depth instructions to a dish featured at the Mexico Marketplace during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World.

DIY Disney Recipe -- Crispy Shrimp Tacos

I don’t know about you, but the Epcot Food and Wine Festival season is my absolute favorite time of year to visit the parks at Walt Disney World. The weather starts cooling off just a bit (for us Floridians, 80s is definitely cooler)! Walking around the World Showcase sampling amazing food from many different countries is a great way to welcome Fall! If you’ve never been to the festival or are planning a visit, check out the end of this recipe to learn more about the festival along with a few helpful tips to maximize your journey!

I have to say, there are way too many great dishes to actually pick a favorite, but I can tell you that we LOVE the marketplace at Mexico. You HAVE to try the mango habanero margarita while visiting. It’s one of my favorite festival drinks of all time and is probably the most unique pairing of flavors in a drink that I’ve ever had. It pairs so well with the tacos from this marketplace, which by the way are amazing! They taste so fresh, and with a rib eye taco and a tempura shrimp taco to try, you learn quickly that this is definitely a gourmet food-lovers paradise!

Mexico Marketplace

Mexico Marketplace

I am excited that the festival sells a cookbook each year. It’s filled with classic festival recipes and updated each year with a few new ones, too! It’s a great way to keep the festival going year round in our house by making fun dishes that we tried on our journey around Epcot’s World Showcase. Luckily, the shrimp taco recipe is in my new 2013 festival cookbook!

Festival Cook Book

Festival Cookbook

I’ve already made this dish twice since visiting last year. Hopefully these tacos will get your family excited about visiting the festival or bring back great memories of your last trip to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. These fun little tacos are very easy to make, so let’s get started!

Mexico Booth: Crispy Shrimp Taco with Chipotle Lime Mayo and Cabbage Served on a Flour Tortilla

Mexico Booth: Crispy Shrimp Taco with Chipotle Lime Mayo and Cabbage Served on a Flour Tortilla

Ingredients

Makes 10 (6-inch) tacos.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Chipotle Mayo:

Chipotle Mayo

Chipotle Mayo

-2/3 cups mayonnaise
-7.5 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Shrimp Tempura:

Shrimp Tempura Ingredients

Shrimp Tempura Ingredients

-1 egg white
-¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-2 tablespoons cornstarch
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/8 teaspoon baking powder baking soda
-1/2 cup water
-1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
(approximately 30-35 shrimp)

Shrimp Tacos:

Ingredients

Ingredients

-10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
-3 cups shredded red cabbage
-3/4 cup favorite salsa verde (green salsa)

Extras:
-Vegetable Oil for Frying

Instructions

Making Chipotle Mayonnaise:

Step 1: Puree chipotle peppers with adobo sauce in a food processor

Puree Chipotle Peppers

Puree Chipotle Peppers

Step 2: Mix mayo and pureed chipotle peppers in a medium bowl until smooth

Mix mayo with pureed peppers

Mix mayo with pureed peppers

Step 3: Cover and refrigerate

Mayo and Pepper Mixture

Mayo and Pepper Mixture

Making Tempura Shrimp:

Step 1: Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit in a deep fryer or pan that can withstand heat

Heat Vegetable Oil

Heat Vegetable Oil

Step 2: Beat egg white in a small bowl until frothy and light. Do not overbeat. Set aside.

Separate Egg White

Separate Egg White

Beat Egg White

Beat Egg White

Step 3: In a large bowl, combine flour.

Combine Flour

Combine Flour

Add cornstarch.

Add Corn Starch

Add Corn Starch

Add salt, parsley, paprika, baking powder, garlic powder, baking soda, water, and egg white.

Mix until smooth.

Mixture.

Mixture.

Step 4: Add shrimp and toss until fully covered with batter. Drop 6-8 battered shrimp at a time in hot oil. Do not overcrowd. Fry 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove fried shrimp [Read more…]