*This gluten free dining experience took place in August 2019. It includes information about dairy free, paleo, and keto options as well.
Dinner at Maya Grill
Maya Grill is a table service restaurant located in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort that serves classic flavors of Mexico. Maya Grill is not owned & operated by the Disney Company. But, I’ve heard great things about it from friends who have enjoyed dinner there. I recently got a chance to check it out first-hand when I had dinner with Lori from Paleo Disney while she was at Walt Disney World visiting for the passholder preview of Galaxy’s Edge.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has a Southwestern vibe to it. Although the new Gran Destino Tower is more Spanish-inspired, you’ll find that the main Coronado Springs feelings have a more Mexican and Southwest flare to the atmosphere and decor.
I absolutely love the lobby and entrance area of the resort. The fountain as you walk in has always one of my favorites details at Coronado Springs.
Maya Grill is located near a variety of dining establishments including Cafe Rix and El Mercado del Coronado. Maya Grill is a little hidden, but the somewhat removed location gives it a much more relaxed vibe when you dine there.
About 5 years ago, I went to Cozumel, Mexico with one of my good friends for a week-long vacation. During our vacation, we stayed at an all-inclusive resort. Walking into this restaurant, I was transported to my time in Mexico. That’s because the decor in Maya Grill was exactly like one of the restaurants we dined at a lot during our stay in Cozumel.
If you go around opening time, you’ll have plenty of natural light coming into the restaurant.
We had a lovely seat near the windows and got to enjoy the atmosphere and a relaxed dining experience.
Of course, we both were excited to try out the food options at Maya Grill. Because it’s not owned and operated by the Disney Company, the restaurant does not currently offer an allergy-friendly menu. But, that being said, the chef spent a lot of time talking to us and providing us with safe options.
The great news for guests who are gluten free or food allergies, there are a lot of options to choose from too. Most of the menu is very gluten free friendly and is either naturally gluten free or can be easily modified too. The restaurant also offers guests with special dietary needs fried food options made in a dedicated allergy-friendly fryer too. So, if you’re craving tortilla chips, you’re in luck!
Guests who are gluten free and dairy free will find loads of options, especially because both are not heavily featured in the menu or can be easily removed from a dish.
If you’re paleo or following a keto diet, you’ll be able to substitute options (such as fresh veggies instead of tortilla chips). They restaurant can also use different types of oil, such as extra virgin olive oil (when requested), instead of the canola or vegetable-based oils that are normally used in some instances. For dishes that do not contain refined sugar, guests can enjoy the salsa (which contains no added sugar) and even the house-made sorbet which is made using monk fruit.
I was really impressed at how much the culinary team could accommodate and adjust for guests with a variety of special dietary needs, so be sure to ask to speak to a chef when you dine there!
Lori and I split several entrees along with an appetizer too. First up was tortilla chips (made in the dedicated allergy-friendly fryer), salsa, guacamole topped with grilled pineapple, bacon, and served with chicharrones (also made in the dedicated allergy-fryer) on the side. In addition to the tortilla chips, we also got a platter of fresh vegetables for dipping too. Everything was gluten free and dairy free. The salsa, guacamole, and vegetables were also paleo and keto friendly. The chicharrones may also be depending on the oil used, as well.
The salsa was extremely fresh and really tasty. And, the fresh tortilla chips were quite good. They weren’t as tasty as the ones from Frontera Cocina. But, I never turn down a tortilla chip that’s safe for me to eat! The guacamole was a bit of a disappointment. But, like the tortilla chips, it’s hard to top the guacamole at Frontera Cocina in Disney Springs. Still, I really enjoyed the toppings on the guacamole for a different twist.
The one thing I will say about Maya Grill is that the portions are huge. Lori and I split two entrees along with the appetizers. And, wow. Was it a lot of food! Here’s a photo of just a portion of what we had at our table. It’s colorful AND plentiful!
Rice and beans do come as a side with many of the entrees at Maya Grill. We were able to get these as a side with the Alambre de Res entree, which Lori ordered. The rice and beans were served gluten free and dairy free. I liked both of them, and they reminded me quite a bit of the versions at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot. That’s no surprise because the same restaurant group owns and operates both restaurants!
The first of the dishes we split was the Alambre de Res. This included Seared Flank Steak, Bacon, Poblano Peppers, Monterey Jack Cheese, Fresh Avocado with Flour Tortilla and Salsa Verde. It is a gluten free dish and can be made dairy free by omitting the cheese. It was also paleo and keto friendly minus the corn tortillas and sautéed in extra virgin olive oil.
We both really enjoyed this dish a lot. I think I preferred the carnitas overall. But, this is a great option if you like steak fajitas. The bacon in the dish was a nice twist too.
For our second entree, we split the Carnitas de Puerco. These were Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder, Sea Salt, Lime Juice, Cotija Cheese, Pickled Onions with Yucca Fries and Salsa Verde. This dish is gluten free and can be easily made dairy free by omitting the Cotija cheese, which we were served on the side. The sauce on the Yucca fries was mayonnaise based and did not contain dairy.
This is also a fairly paleo and keto friendly option too — though you’ll want to double-check all of the ingredients in the yucca fries and sauce. The fries themselves were fried in the dedicated allergy-friendly fryer but may be able to be fried with extra virgin olive oil.
Can I just say wow to this dish?! The pork was super tender and flavorful. The chef told us that the pork is sous vide (i.e. cooked in a water bath), then fried. The pork combined with picked onion, salsa verde, and guacamole made for the tastiest tacos.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the yucca fries, which were super crispy and tasty. I liked the Mezcal Aioli on the fries but didn’t love it. My only real complain with the aoili was the super strong tequila flavor from the Mezcal tequila. I would have like a better balance of flavors instead of just tasting tequila in this sauce. But, that aside, I would not hesitate to order this entree again. It was really tasty minus a few nit-picky flavor issues.
I was pleasantly surprised by the options at Maya Grill. Not only were the gluten free, dairy free, and special dietary needs option plentiful, but the chefs at this table service restaurant were very willing to go above and beyond to accommodate special dietary needs guests. Even better? The food was really delicious too! Although I would probably opt to dine at Frontera Cocina over Maya Grill, I will definitely be going back there again for dinner. The food was great, and I really enjoyed the low-key and relaxed atmosphere too. If you’re staying at Coronado Springs Resort, this is a great dinner option for resort guests too!
Have you been to Maya Grill? What did you think of the special dietary needs options?