Before I even get started on this review, there is something you should know about me. I am having a not-so-secret love affair with Mexican food. I own up to it 100% and, no, I will not stop. I love Mexican food so much that someone can just say the word “salsa,” and I begin salivating. Luckily, my love of Disney and Mexican food and drink meet when I get to Epcot. Epcot is blessed with a pretty decent Mexican quick-service restaurant, two unique table-service restaurants, and an out of this world tequila bar. Most of us have at least one Mexican restaurant relatively close to our homes, and most of the time the menu is fairly Americanized. With Disney’s restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel, I believe they are trying to bring something different to the plate (hardy-har-har) than what most of us are used to.
I experienced La Hacienda back when it first opened in 2010. My experience the first time was a little bit rough. The food quality was not really the problem. I had issues with the amount of food we got for such a high dollar amount. On top of that, I also felt that the service was really poor. I figured that since it has been a few years since it opened, I would give it another shot. This time I took a different approach. My husband and I decided to only order off the vegetarian menu to keep the cost down. That way, if we were disappointed with the meal, we would not be out a lot of money.
After a very exhausting and stressful travel day (we had a McAllister moment running in the airport), my husband and I were sure glad to be in Disney World. Upon arriving to Epcot around 6:00 pm that evening, we high-tailed it to La Hacienda to see if we could get a walk-up reservation. Turns out, they were so slow that night that they told us to just come back whenever we want to eat, and they would get us right in. It totally worked, and this time I decided not to request a specific location of the restaurant because last time when I requested “by a window” they insisted that all of the tables were by a window, only to shove us in a corner with an 8×10 viewing portal that was a good eight feet away from our table.
I actually really liked where they sat us this time. It was at a table in the middle of a section that was surrounded by windows, giving us a perfect view of the World Showcase. La Hacienda is quite large and has different rooms of varying size. Booths and tables, large and small, are scattered throughout. To be honest, some seating locations have a better view of World Showcase and Illuminations than others, so be aware of that if you make a reservation during the nighttime fireworks show. The decor is very “modern Mexico” with colorful art and unique light fixtures standing out from the muted walls.
Our waiter was on the dry and boring side but, we cannot all be super cool and witty, huh? Since my stomach felt a little off from traveling, we decided to skip the adult beverages. However, the menu is impressive. Obviously the margaritas are the real highlight here, and the variety of flavors allows for everyone in your party to find something that they will like. La Hacienda also offers a small selection of respectable tequila, as well as wine and beer.
On our last visit, my husband and I shared the “Del Mar”, a seafood entree large enough for two people to share. While it was delicious, the price was steep at $49.95. Looking at the menu, I realized that La Hacienda uses a lot of things in their cooking not typically found in most Americanized Mexican restaurants… cactus leaves, roasted corn, and pine nuts. My local Mexican restaurant pretty much sticks to queso and red sauce for everything. This was a welcome change from the norm.
Before our entrees were brought out to us, Matt and I enjoyed the most amazing chips and salsa. While the tortilla chips were average, the two types of salsa were not. The green salsa was slightly sweet and pretty mild. On the other hand, the red salsa had a rich, smoky quality, allowing for the salsas to balance each other out really nicely. Sadly, we did not get to enjoy it long before our food came out.
My husband’s entree of choice was the Tacos de Vegetales. The three tacos were full and of a decent size. He was really pleased with the flavor that the tacos had. I tried a bite and totally fell in love. Before even trying mine I thought, “I wish I had ordered that.” The roasted corn was so delicious.
The first thing I noticed about my entree was the mound of cabbage on top. Not that I do not like cabbage, it was just a bit much for such a small dish. The enchiladas were really tasty once I got past the cabbage. While the enchiladas were on the small side, I also got rice and beans. The rice was a little dry and pretty plain, in my opinion. However, the beans were really flavorful and not too thin, my biggest pet peeve about beans in Mexican restaurants. My husband took a bite of my enchilada and absolutely loved it… even more than his taco entree. It took only a few more bites for each of us to decide that we were longing for what each other had. A little entree switch-a-roo took us from content to ecstatic with our meal.
My husband and I walked out of the restaurant totally stuffed and satisfied in almost every way. That was a pretty big step up from our first trip a few years ago. Unfortunately, I hear this restaurant is pretty hit and miss with the Disney community. I am curious to see what our blog readers have to say about it.
Have you been to La Hacienda recently and had a wonderful experience like me? Are you thinking of visiting sometime soon? Drop us a line in the comment section!