*This dining experience took place in April 2016.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to La Hacienda de San Angel, located at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. It’s a World Showcase restaurant that I’ve really enjoyed, and I was excited to dine here recently with friends for dinner.
La Hacienda de San Angel is a table service location, and one that is not owned and operated by Disney, which means they don’t have an allergy friendly menu. However, they have long been very good with gluten free and special diets diners and even note gluten free (and dairy free) options on their menu.
On every visit I’ve had at La Hacienda de San Angel, I’ve spoken to a chef, which is great. Many of the dishes can be easily modified to be gluten free or dairy free. Often, it’s as simple as removing cheese, which is great.
I often get the parrillada entree, which serves 2 people. To say it’s a lot of food is an understatement. On this particular visit, I chose to order the pork carnitas, as they were marked gluten free and dairy free on the menu.
Unfortunately, the chef informed us that the tortilla chips served as an appetizer are no longer gluten free as they are fried in the same fryer as items containing gluten. I was prepared for this, as Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando had posted about this last year. While this was a bummer, as I love tortilla chips, our group was offered warm soft corn tortillas and a side of guacamole as an alternative.
This was a great starter, and I loved the added crunch of pumpkin seeds (which is a very traditional Mexican accompaniment) to the guacamole. That being said, our whole group thought the guacamole was a wee bit too spicy. We went through a lot of water & soft drinks before our entrees came!
All three of us dining were gluten free. My friend and I both ordered the carnitas, and her daughter ordered the Costillas en salsa de Chile (Braised short ribs topped with Chimichurri served with potato puree and chile de arbol sauce). The potatoes did contain dairy, but they can modify to make dairy free, if requested.
Both my friend and her daughter said this dish was extremely flavorful and the beef was fall apart tender. It looked amazing and delicious!
The pork carnitas turned out to be a HUGE portion and a great choice. I love pork and carnitas are always something I enjoy. The version served here came with warm corn tortillas, avocado salsa, chicharrón (aka pork rinds), and sides of rice and beans.
The pork rinds were a nice touch and especially yummy. The pork was served in a cool cast iron skillet and on a banana leaf, which made for great presentation. The pork itself was also very tender and slightly sweet with flavors of citrus.
The avocado salsa added a great fresh touch to the dish and was the perfect salsa.
The refried beans here are so good. If you’re in a hurry in the World Showcase or want a quick service meal, you can get these beans and the rice served with chicken or beef tacos at La Cantina de San Angel next door!
I really like La Hacienda de San Angel’s take on Mexican rice, as I prefer it to not be heavily salsa based. This version is nice and light and was a great accompaniment.
During dinner, we got a chance to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Though the restaurant is all indoors and has no outside seating, it was still a great view. The restaurant does dim the lights and pipe in the music from IllumiNations, which is really cool!
Overall, we really enjoyed La Hacienda de San Angel. Everyone thought the food was great, and the portions were huge. I ended up taking half of mine home and had it for lunch the next day, which I rarely do when I dine at Disney — even as a local. That’s how big the portions are!
On top of the great food, we loved the atmosphere and getting to watch IllumiNations from the restaurant. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a nice view for the fireworks. We also ended up getting a great view for the Star Wars fireworks at Hollywood Studios too! If you’re interested in a view, do ask a cast member if you can be seated with a World Showcase view. You might have a wait but it’s definitely well worth it!
Have you been to La Hacienda de San Angel? What did you order when you dined there?