Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Frontera Cocina - Disney Springs

This post was last updated June 17, 2017

Earlier today, we had lunch at Frontera Cocina, which officially opened yesterday in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs.

Frontera Cocina by Chef Rick Bayless features gourmet Mexican cuisine.  It is managed by the same restaurant group that operates the restaurants in Disney's Coronado Springs Resort and the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot.  Because they are not Disney-owned and operated, none of them have allergy-friendly menus, but I have found all of their restaurants do an amazing job with special diets.

I was impressed by the design of the restaurant, but I was even more impressed by Frontera Cocina's menu.

 Almost the entire menu is gluten free, and major allergens are identified, which made ordering very easy.

Menu photo updated June 17, 2017 

Even though my daughters and I only ordered dishes without gluten, we had our server mark them all as gluten free, because I want chefs to take appropriate measures to avoid cross contamination.

Menu photo updated June 17, 2017 

My daughters love queso, so we ordered the queso fundido with Carr Valley artisan Jack cheese melted with roasted poblanos and caramelized onions.

I was a little surprised that it was served with warm corn tortillas instead of tortilla chips, but with all the vegetables that were packed into it, I was glad to have the tortillas.  The cheese was thick and gooey, which made it a little hard to get out of the serving dish, but it was worth the effort, because it was amazing.

I also ordered the bacon guacamole with Nueske's bacon, tomatillos, toasted pepitas, cilantro and onions.  The guacamole had large chunks of avocado in it, and it was super fresh tasting.  I really enjoyed the addition of the bacon and the pepitas, and we all liked the chips.  The guacamole was great, but if I had to pick between the queso and the guacamole, the queso fundido would win hands down.

For my entree, I chose the Carne Asada for making soft tacos, which features grilled steak, poblano rajas, black beans refritos with Cotija cheese, salsa verde, guacamole, and corn tortillas.

My daughters split an order of the chicken tacos, which features grilled chicken, poblano rajas, black beans refritos with Cotija cheese, guacamole, chipotle salsa, and corn tortillas.

Both taco dishes were very good, but I preferred the beef to the chicken, and the salsa verde to the chipotle salsa, because I do not like my salsa to have a smokey taste.

I ate two of my steak soft tacos with slices of fried plantains, which definitely kicked them up a notch.  My friend Ron, who is gluten free and dairy free, was kind enough to share his side dish with the rest of the table.

Ron ordered the Shrimp Mojo de Ajo, which features pan-roasted Mazatlan blue shrimp with mojo de ajo (slow-cooked garlic, chicken broth, olive oil, lime, chipotle), plantain rice, grilled calabacitas, and warm corn tortillas.  Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy Free at WDW and I both agreed that Ron's entree was the best at the table.  It was so delicious, I will definitely be ordering it Friday when we go back to Frontera Cocina for dinner.  Sarah ordered the Carnitas, which you can read about on her blog here.

The dessert menu is small, and only features one gluten free dish, the Plantano Sundae with warm fried plantains, Mexican vanilla ice cream, Cajeta, and toasted pecans.

I love toasted pecans on chocolate ice cream, but I did not like them on this dish.  They tasted a little off to me, which might be why I did not enjoy them.  My daughter Emma loved the combination of the vanilla ice cream and fried plantains, so she has already told me that this is what she is ordering for dessert on Friday, minus the pecans.

July 2, 2016 Update

Last night, my husband and I had dinner at Frontera Cocina with our daughters.  We had a table at the back of the restaurant with this lovely view of Disney Springs.

We started our meal with queso fundido.  This time around, it was not cooked as much, and I easily split it into fourths, and put my cheese in a corn tortilla.  It was heavenly, and now ranks as my favorite queso at a restaurant.  I love the combination of the thick gooey cheese with the roasted poblanos and caramelized onions.

Our server brought us some complimentary salsa.  We all preferred the herby salsa verde to the smoky chipotle.

As a second starter, we ordered a side of the arroz con plantains, which is white rice studded with plantains and cilantro.  We all liked this dish, though I would have to say the rice was just a little bit dry.

The four of us shared three entrees, which was plenty of food.  Katie wanted the carne asada for making soft tacos, which we tried earlier in the week.  I ordered the shrimp mojo de ajo, and Emma chose the cocina half chicken with ancho marinated half chicken, queso anejo mashed potatoes, grilled knob onions, chipotle salsa, and warm corn tortillas.  My husband and I liked all of our entrees, but we both agreed that our favorite was the cocina half chicken.  The sauce on the chicken was divine, and the mashed Yukon potatoes with aged Cotija cheese were pretty amazing.

Emma ordered a Plantano Sundae with warm fried plantains, Mexican vanilla ice cream, and Cajeta, minus the pecans.  She loved it, and somehow managed to eat most of it after sharing a plantain and a bite of ice cream with me.  Overall, another great meal at Frontera Cocina.

Frontera Cocina is a table service restaurant, but they do have a quick service taco counter with a small menu that appears to be very gluten friendly, because it does not have any notations that the snacks and tacos contain gluten.  You can read my friend Sarah's review of the To Go counter on her blog Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.

June 17, 2017 Update

Last week, we had dinner at Frontera Cocina with friends.  My daughter Katie ordered her own queso fundido, which served as her meal.  Emma and I shared a queso fundido, arroz con plantains, chipotle chicken tostadas, and a plantano sundae.  The queso continues to be our favorite dish at Frontera Cocina, and is the main reason we will always dine at this restaurant when we travel to Disney World.

The arroz con plantains was good, but the rice was a bit dry, like on previous visits, and the plaintains, my favorite part, were pretty scarce.

My daughter Emma and I were not fans of the chipotle chicken tostadas, because we did not like the taste of the chipotle chicken.  Emma ate a tostada without the chicken, and added some extra queso fresco our server brought out for us.

When we go back to Frontera Cocina in November, I will definitely be getting my own plantano sundae, minus the pecans.  It has become one of my favorite desserts at Disney World, and I don't want to share.

You can read more about Frontera Cocina, make advance dining reservations, and view their menu and hours on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Frontera Cocina?


Post a Comment