*This dining experience took place in March 2015.
San Angel Inn, located inside the Aztec Pyramid of the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase, is a beautifully themed restaurant with an impressive atmosphere. Always set to resemble twilight, the interior of the building is dark (which you’ll see reflected in my poorly lit photos), but that adds to the charm of this restaurant. Even more charming is the fact that the boats from the Gran Fiesta Tour slowly meander around the restaurants waterfront view. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you’ll recognize this as a similar restaurant style to Blue Bayou.
I had not dined at San Angel Inn in many years. I don’t recall being particularly wowed by the food on the first visit, and I love going to La Hacienda de San Angel with it’s sparkling World Showcase Lagoon view and amazing dishes, so it’s not surprising that it’s taken me this long to go back. After reading Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando’s review of San Angel recently, I knew it was time to make a reservation and see what new offerings were available to gluten free and dairy free diners.
When we arrived, the hostess mentioned that the menu noted gluten free and dairy free offerings, and I was excited to see that the menu had these choices listed – though the dairy free options were basically only one item. Of course, I learned that this is not the case, so I’d love to see the restaurant come up with a menu that more accurately reflects the gluten free and dairy free offerings.
Our server Martin was amazing. After being seated, he inquired about my special dietary needs – noting that the chips might not be safe for me to consume due to cross contamination. He said that sometimes they fry churros in the same fryer, so he would need to check with the chefs on whether today was a safe day or not. This is definitely an important thing to look out for, and I was so glad he wanted to ensure my safety. He seemed very knowledgeable in gluten free dining and celiac disease, which is awesome.
Martin reported back that the chips were indeed safe that day, and he brought out a fresh basket along with two kinds of salsas. Like La Hacienda de San Angel, you get a salsa verde and a salsa roja (green and red salsas) — both delicious. The red salsa was a bit sweet and smoky (definitely chipotle-based) and the salsa verde was much milder and a little tangy (thanks to the tomatillos in it). I’m glad that these were OK for me to consume that day because chips and salsa are a must at a Mexican restaurant!
For my entree, I ordered the enchiladas verdes de pollo. These chicken enchiladas with green sauce were fantastic. The only modifications I needed for dairy free were removing the queso fresco (cheese) and sour cream. I really loved the red onion garnish and the chicken inside was very good. I loved the black beans and rice — although I have to say I preferred the rice that La Hacienda de San Angel is now making that is not salsa/red sauce based.
Having recently spent a week in Mexico, I have to say that this reminded me of a lot of the dishes I got while on vacation. It was a little pricey but overall would be something I’d order again. I’d love to see something like this in a quick service restaurant. We need our version of Rancho del Zocalo (from Disneyland), especially given that La Cantina de San Angel Inn is no longer very gluten free friendly.
There weren’t really any dessert options for gluten free and dairy free diners, but gluten free diners will find that there are several options. Of course, there’s always an after dinner margarita at La Cava del Tequila!
I was very impressed with how my server and the culinary team handled my special dietary needs — especially given that this restaurant is not owned and operated by the Disney Company. They did a terrific job of making sure that my meal was delicious and safe! You can find out more information on their website at: http://www.sanangelinnusa.com/
Have you been to San Angel Inn? What were your favorite menu offerings?