My friend and yours, Ms. Sarah Holodick, headed over to La Cantina de San Angel this weekend to investigate the newest (refurbished) quick-service spot in the World. Touring Plans blogger and “man’s man, ladies’ man, man about town” Todd Perlmutter sent over some pics from his meal there as well. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Sarah Holodick’s Review
It’s finally starting to cool off in Florida, so walking around the parks was very pleasant. It was also very quiet, so I was able to walk on almost every ride. Gotta love college football season in Florida! I headed over to Epcot to try out the newly opened quick service restaurant at the Mexico Pavilion — La Cantina de San Angel.
AJ’s been keeping all of you well informed on the happenings surrounding the restaurant, so I thought I would take to the field and try it out myself! The entree menu is simple but I think most people could find something to enjoy. It’s a good introduction into Mexican cuisine for those who may be hesitant to stray from burgers and fries, and it’s a step up from your typical Mexican drive-thru — including in price.
I was looking forward to trying out the freshly made corn tortillas, so I knew I was going to have to order tacos. I decided to go with the Tacos de Carne, which came with 2 lime wedges, Pico de Gallo, and tortilla chips. I also ordered Churros con Cajeta for dessert and a Sidral apple soda to wash it all down.
As for the tacos, I didn’t know what to expect, and I was impressed by the portion size. I didn’t expect the beef to be shredded and instead expected it to be more like steak strips, but no problem. Check them out!
Now before I go any further, let me say that I LOVE salt. Not as much as my mom, who salts her salt, but I digress. I took my first bite, and I immediately noticed the soft chew the tortillas had. Delicious. As I chewed, I started to taste the beefy goodness. Then, I hit a wall. A wall made of salt.
Okay, so maybe a little melodrama is kicking in, but someone had a heavy hand in seasoning the beef. Now, I don’t want to say I would never order this again, because I honestly think a mistake was made somewhere along the line. If and when I try them again, whether I order them or have to perform a quality control check on a friend’s, it may be different. Also, I consider the fact that since the restaurant is new, there will be a margin of error as everything is ironed out. The saltiness didn’t stop the flavor, which was good, but it was enough of a distraction to hinder what I believe the tacos could have been. I tried one with lime squeezed over it, and it wasn’t an improvement; and the Pico de Gallo was standard. The tortilla chips were warm and crispy, but if they are made fresh (which I don’t know if they are), I think they would be better served by a sprinkle of sea salt as opposed to what appeared to be standard iodized.
On to the Churros! I’ll admit that I don’t think I’ve ever had a churro before. I knew what they were, and the closest I’ve ever had were those Cinnamon Twists from Taco Bell (those awful things that replaced the Cinnamon Crisps). But, for you faithful readers, I was going to place aside my aversion to sweets and give them a try. Let’s just say, I’m glad I did!
Now I don’t know what to expect from a churro, but these were crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. Shall I presume that is how they should be? I tried the churro and the caramel both separately from each other as well as together, and it all was fantastic. I did think that when I dipped the churro into the caramel, the cinnamon flavor overcame the delicate caramel, though I could still taste the caramel. Regardless, it was a win in my book!
Now my beverage choice: I’m a fan of “weird” beverages. Club Cool is a great cool down spot, and I always seem to have Japan’s Ramune soda on hand in a variety of flavors. When I saw the Sidral apple soda, I had to try it, despite the fact that it just may not go well with the eats. Surprisingly, it did for me. It was like a slightly sparkling apple juice. I see myself heading over to La Cantina just for a bottle of this stuff.
And, for my REAL dessert, I had to stop by the margarita stand for a strawberry margarita!
I’m looking forward to experiencing La Cantina again, as I really want to try the Empanadas de Queso, as well as the Nachos (do I foresee a Nacho throwdown?). Because it is new, there may be a few glitches to work through, so I will consider the salty tacos a fluke for now. I know I’ll stop by again soon, as well as experience table service at La Hacienda. If any of you have tried La Cantina, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Todd Perlmutter’s Review
OK, I’m pretty sure Todd didn’t intend for me to publish these descriptions, but I think they’re great and really helpful — especially the one about tears of joy — so I’m publishing them. 🙂
Here are some pics of my lunch from the Cantina — the cheese empanada. It tasted to me like a plain Jack inside and a fontina sprinkled on the outside. I didn’t verify specifically and am going by my palette.
I asked to see the ingredient book, but they don’t have one yet like other counter service restaurants tend to. So we had a big conversation with the manager about allergies — specifically dairy — for a friend I was meeting at the restaurant. Anything can have the cheese removed except for the cheese empanada. We also got a “The Churro? You can’t go anywhere near the Churro.” response from the manager.
Sitting on the deck at the Cantina is gorgeous to the point of tears of joy, by the way — you’ll love it.
The ceiling shot is the roof of the Cantina deck and the Jewish stars are on a door at the Cantina.
A Nacho Throwdown sounds just about right, Sarah; and the outdoor seating photos make me long for a day in Florida, Todd. Thank you both so much for these great reviews! Agreed that I’d love to hear thoughts from anyone else out there who’s made it over to the Cantina — or from folks who are planning to go! Give us your comments in the comments section below!