WDW Mouse Tales is back with another restaurant review and our second soft opening
review of the year. This means that we visited La Hascienda in its first week of
operation before even accepting reservations. After dinner this restaurant has certainly
moved into one of the most enjoyable overall dining experiences at Epcot. Read on
to find out why.
(These photos are of the lobby)
So after picking through the menu and an enthusiastic recommendation from our waitress
Esmerelda, we decided to try the Botana appetizer which the menu describes as a sampling
of traditional Mexican favorites; chicken tostada, Chilorio sope (marinated pork)
and cheese empanada and priced at $9.95. All three of these items were highly delicious
and I could order each one by itself as an appetizer and be satisfied. My wife and
I both picked our favorite out of these, and it was the marinated pork. Two things
to note about these is one, the portion size is not very large each one consist of
just a couple of bites and second they are not very spicy...which depending on your
taste could be a good or bad thing.
At the start of your meal you receive chips and salsa for the table which features
a chipotle and tomatillo salsa. The chipotle salsa is extremely hot and since I don’t
like to burn my taste buds tasting it once was enough for me. I did not really care
for the tomatillo either, however my wife thought it was pretty good. She would dip
a little Chipotle with more of the tangy tomatillo.
We will start the entree portion of the review with the far better entree of the
two. I ordered the Arrachera which the menu describes as Flank steak with spring
onions, tamal, cactus leaves and beans priced at $25.95. This steak was marinated
to perfection, highly delicious and certainly the highlight of this plate. The onions
were very tasty as well but I did not care for the cactus leaves. It’s really hard
to describe the taste but the texture is kinda slimy. There really was not much of
it on the plate anyway so not a big loss.
The black beans and rice definitely made up for the cactus leaves. The black beans
themselves were some of the best I have had in a long while and my wife and I frequent
many Spanish restaurants. I recommend dipping your chips in this for the ultimate
The meal also included the tamal and corn tortillas. The tamal was like eating a
raw cornbread mix and I really enjoy cornbread so this is certainly not a bad thing
and the tortillas were fresh, hot and ready to melt in your mouth.
My wife ordered the Puerco en Salsa de Mole Negro which the menu describes as Roasted
pork tender loin with mole negro sauce, served with esquites (roasted corn), sweet
potato mash, beans and vegetables and priced at $25.95.
Okay so this was the only real hiccup of the evening because it was really not good
at all. Actually it was terrible! To start with the pork was waaay too salty and
the mole negro sauce was not very good. The other issue, the main issue, was that
the pork was highly undercooked and light pink in the middle. We do not mind steak
on the rare side but in our eyes pork needs to be thoroughly cooked. This was not
an evening breaker because we informed our waitress of the issue and she quickly
replaced her meal with the steak dinner that I had ordered. Even if this was cooked
thoroughly we still would not have enjoyed this dish and I would highly recommend
trying something else if you choose to dine here because everything else was wonderful.
To be honest at this point in the meal my wife and I were extremely stuffed and did
not need anything heavy for dessert so we went with the Helado which is described
as a traditional Mexican ice cream. This included three different flavors of ice
cream, which were Watermelon, Mango and Tamarind. All three were light and delicious
and more like a sorbet rather than an ice cream. All three tasted just like eating
the fruit itself and my wife loves watermelon so you can guess her favorite. The
tamarind is a sweet and sour type of fruit and was the best for me.
The Restaurant’s theme and decor
La Hascienda is not a restaurant that is hard on the eyes. The different rooms are
themed to a home in the country side and have soft lighting, beautiful pottery and
glassware and carved wood tables and chairs. I know the restaurant located inside
the Mexico Pavilion is lovely with the boat ride floating by as you eat but La Hascienda
in my opinion is even more comfortable. Another reason for this is that if you are
a small party most likely you will be seated at a comfortable cushioned booth instead
of tables in the middle of a restaurant.
The view from the restaurant will certainly be another reason people will try to
reserve late dining here. The view of the World Showcase Lagoon from the restaurants
large windows are breath taking at night. This is even more wonderful when Illuminations
starts, the lights dim and the wonderful soundtrack is played inside the restaurant.
This was the best view of the video globe I have ever seen.
(Beautiful glass lighting)
So here is the deal. I do not want to turn anybody off to this restaurant with the
little hiccup with the pork entree. Everything outside of this was wonderful from
the staff, view of the lagoon and excellent overall food. I will certainly be visiting
La Hascienda again and hope that you do to.
As a special treat following the photos of the restaurant below I have included a
HD video of most of the Illuminations show from my table at the restaurant. Enjoy!
(The video below is a interior tour of the restaurant)
Your comments are always welcome here.
WDW Mouse Tales Web site readers save 5% off the already low priced Disney items
at our store this week with coupon code “Halloween”. Just click here to shop.