Saturday, August 9, 2014

San Angel Inn Restaurante Lunch - Epcot

Today, we had lunch at San Angel Inn Restaurante in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

San Angel Inn is modeled after a 17th century hacienda at the base of Mayan ruins, and you get to dine on Mexican specialties in perpetual twilight.   

Arriving when the restaurant opened at 11:30, we were lucky enough to be seated at a table overlooking the water and the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros.  Dining at San Angel Inn reminds me of the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland, which overlooks Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Our server started us off with two huge baskets of freshly fried corn chips, which are made in a dedicated fryer.  

I loved that that the chips were warm, and perfectly salted.  

My whole family enjoyed the green salsa with tomatillos, but no one seemed to like the red version.

We decided to eat family style and share all of our food, so that meant everything had to be gluten free.  Our server reviewed the menu with me, and I was shocked that almost all the dishes, with the exception of a couple of desserts, were naturally gluten free, or could be modified to be gluten free with the use of corn tortillas.

We started with the Tacos de Carne, grilled New York strip steak on corn tortillas, topped with chipotle pepper sauce, scallions, and avocado.  Our girls loved the black refried beans and rice, which didn't surprise me, because they are content to eat beans and rice when we eat at Mexican restaurants.  Everyone enjoyed the Tacos de Carne, which were nice and flavorful.  

My husband and I both agree that our favorite dish was the Pollo a las Rajas, grilled chicken breast served with red peppers and onion cream sauce, poblano rice, and queso fresco.  This is the dish I have ordered the last couple of times we have dined at San Angel Inn, and it has never disappointed me.  I love the cream sauce on the rice and chicken, and the quesco fresco is the perfect garnish.

The final entree we sampled was the Huarache de Res, thin sliced New York strip served over a corn and bean flat bread, topped with arugula, avocado, queso fresco, and chipotle-lime aioli.  Because I am not a fan of sour cream or mayonnaise/aioli, we had those items left off our food.  Interestingly enough, my daughters enjoyed this dish more than my husband and I did.  I liked it, but probably not enough to order it again.

Gluten free options for dessert include the Crema Bavaria, and Helado de Dulce de Leche, caramel ice cream.  I decided to order the Crema Bavaria, a creamy bavarian mousse served with mixed berries, cinnamon and orange liqueur.  Our server said it was similar to a flan, but it was way better than any flan I have ever tasted.  I did share a bite with everyone in my family, and they all thought it was great.  I loved the intense cinnamon flavor and the wonderfully creamy texture.  I think you will be seeing this dish make an appearance on my list of the best gluten free desserts I have ever eaten at Disney.  You can view my dessert installment of The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney here.

After lunch, we rode the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros right by San Angel Inn.  Definitely request a waterside table.   

I give San Angel Inn and A+ for theming and atmosphere.  The chips, the Pollo a las Rajas, and my dessert deserve an A+ as well.  I enjoyed our other two entrees, but would probably try some other dishes on our next visit.

If I had to choose between San Angel Inn and La Hacienda de San Angel, I would probably choose to dine at La Hacienda de San Angel, but unfortunately, it is only open for dinner.  That being said, both restaurants are excellent choices for gluten free dining at Epcot.

March 7, 2015 Update

San Angel Inn is now marking gluten free and dairy free options on their menus.  A big thank you to my friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW for sending me a picture of their lunch menu.  You can read her lunch review here.  Gluten free options for lunch include:

Soup & Appetizers
  • Sopa Azteca - traditional tortilla soup , served with fried tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, and pasilla pepper

Traditional Mexican Lunch - sopa azteca, enchiladas verdes de pollo, crema bavaria (includes a soft drink or iced tea)

  • Pollo a las rajas - grilled chicken breast served with red peppers and onion cream sauce, poblano rice, and queso fresco
  • Arrachera con chilaquiles - New York strip with corn tortilla, green tomatillo sauce, topped with queso fresco, onions, and sour cream; served with refried beans.  
  • Enchiladas verdes de pollo - corn tortillas filled with pulled chicken, covered with green tomatillo sauce, topped with sour cream; served with black refried beans
  • Pescado a la veracruzana - catch of the day prepared with capers, olives, bell peppers, spanish onion and tomatoes, seasoned with white wine and spices, served over poblano rice
  • Lomo de Puerco en Pipian (chef's recommendation) - pork tenderloin served over roasted vegetables and pipian (pumpkin, chiles, and almond sauce)
  • Crema Bavaria - creamy bavarian mousse served with mixed berries, cinnamon, orange liqueur and vanilla sauce
  • Mousse de Chocolate - chocolate mousse and almond brittle candy
  • Helado de Dulce de Leche - caramel ice cream

We recently tried the caramel ice cream.  It was good, but I much prefer the crema bavaria.

You can view the lunch and dinner menus, and make advance dining reservations for San Angel Inn Restaurante on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at San Angel Inn?


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