*This dining review took place in July 2013 and includes a gluten free and yellow food coloring allergy review.
|View of the Mexico Pavilion|
Let’s take a trip to La Hacienda de San Angel at the World Showcase in Epcot. With authentic food and decor, it’s easy to think you’ve traveled to Mexico. La Hacienda de San Angel is a great option for guests who are gluten free & dairy free. As I discovered there are tons of choices and the menu is almost completely gluten free naturally! On this particular visit, I enjoyed the Pollo al Pastor, chips and salsa and other authentic accompaniments.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were surprised to see how quiet it was. The last time I went there (see my first review HERE) it was quite bustling. It was actually nice to have it be quiet and low-key. We were seated at a really nice table right by the windows. It had a terrific view of the World Showcase Lagoon! This would have been an awesome view for IllumiNations!
Our server came over to discuss the menu options with us. I was also dining with another special diets diner. My friend is gluten free and also allergic to yellow food coloring. Both of us had dined at La Hacienda before, so we were looking forward to the meal and also felt comfortable that we knew the menu. Since this location is non-Disney owned the chefs do not come out and talk to you (something that can be a little bit of a bummer). Most of the servers are really knowledgeable and can help you with options, but be prepared to ask a lot of questions. And don’t hesitate to ask for a chef or manager if you do not feel comfortable with your server’s knowledge or suggestions. This location seems to be a decent one for gluten free diners, as everything on the menu is said to be gluten free (by both servers I’ve encountered) except the shrimp tacos which can be made gluten free by using corn shells and grilling the shrimp instead of frying them. We also double-checked again and the server said they use dedicated fryers for the chips. She also said both salsas were safe (which they said the last time I was there too).
I decided to try the Pollo al Pastor dish which is Achiote marinated chicken served with roasted vegetables, beans and pineapple relish. My friends ordered the La Hacienda Parrillada which is the similar to the Del Mar platter that I ordered last time. It came with Mixed grill offering New York strip, chicken al pastor, chorizo and vegetables, served with beans and fresh salsas.
First up were the chips and salsa. I’m a fan. I really like the salsa verde which isn’t too spicy at all. The salsa roja has quite a kick (pretty sure it has chipotle in it), so I stayed away from that one.
|Salsa and chips|
Up next came our entrees. My chicken al pastor was sooooo delicious. The chicken was really nicely marinated and very tender. I am also a huge fan of squash and zucchini, so I loved having that as the veggie. And the pineapple relish/sauce was amazing. Sweet and spicy. Perfect with the chicken. I would say that it wasn’t a huge portion by any means. It was a just right portion for me, especially after having the parrillada the last time.
|Pollo al Pastor|
The platter that my friends ordered was HUGE! Just as huge as the platter I had the last time with seafood. It’s a lot for two people. In fact, they had leftovers of everything and were able to take them to-go.
|La Hacienda parrillada|
As you can see, it’s a big meal. Overall, I’d say it was another hit for me. This is the 2nd time I’ve been there in the past two months, and I’ve really enjoyed it a lot. The only downside for me is that they don’t take Tables in Wonderland which would be a nice thing, especially if you order a drink.
|Orange Mango Fire Margarita on the rocks|
This is definitely a nice gluten free friendly restaurant, and pretty good for dairy free diners too. I was able to get a lot of the options with the cheese and/or sour cream removed. I love that. In addition, if you are a vegetarian or vegan diner, there are some choices for you, and I believe they have a separate menu for those choices. Here’s the listing that I saw:
- Empanadas de Queso – cheese empanadas served with rice and beans
- Tacos de Vegetales – grilled vegetables and queso fresco on flour tortillas, served with esquites (roasted corn)
- Ensalada de la Casa – spinach salad with queso fresco, tomatoes, pomegranate, pine nuts, and avocado, with mustard vinaigrette dressing
- Enchaladas de Vegetales – corn tortillas filled with vegetables, served with salsa verde, rice and beans
I think you could easily remove the queso fresco and make thinks dairy free (with the exception of the empanandas). Additionally, blog reader Jenn notes that the rice made at La Hacienda is made with chicken stock. I would contact Special Diets in advance to see if vegetarian/vegan stock could be used as an alternative.
Overall, I’d give this an 8 out of 10 for good service, great food and decent gluten free & dairy free offerings.