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La Hascienda Restaurant Review

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)

 

Appetizers

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.

Entrees

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 nachos!

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.

Dessert

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)

 

Final Thoughts

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.

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