Las Posadas, which is a reference to the Inn in the story of the birth of Jesus, is the first Festival of the Holidays Kitchen on the walk into Mexico. It takes up residency in the usual spot before arriving at the pyramid on the lagoon side.
The menu features three food items that are similar to what we’ve seen in the past, though each is a new take. Three margaritas accompany along with the beer with coffee liqueur floater.
$5.75 Tostada de Tinga: Crispy Corn Tortilla smothered with Black Beans, topped with Chipotle Chicken and garnished with Crema Mexicana, Queso Fresco, Avocado and Tomatillo Sauce
This was the best-tasting food item of the bunch and the best non-dessert item that we’ll see overall for some time. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much.
The dish reminded me a lot of the Chipotle Chicken Tostada appetizer from Frontera Cocina at Disney Springs, pictured immediately above, only much less fresh with lower-quality ingredients. But there’s a little bit of spice there followed by a rich creaminess from the cheese. The largely-tasteless beans provide some heft along with a nice textural contrast to the hard, cracker-like tortilla. The avocado adds an earthy element. Not bad, but unlikely to wow.
$6.25 Tamal de Chilorio: Slow-roasted Pork Shoulder, marinated in Ancho Paste and stuffed in a Corn Masa. Served with Salsa Tres Chile and garnished with Crema Mexicana and Queso Fresco
This is another unique take on some flavors that we’ve seen in the past, in addition to the same cheese sauces that arrive with the Tostada. We enjoyed this one significantly less though – there was very little pork stuffed inside the crevice that is more-or-less a tamale and there wasn’t a whole lot going on flavor-wise. It just tasted like bland cornmeal with a soggy exterior and a disappointing lack of spice from the chili paste. Not recommended for the money.
$3.95 Buñuelo Navideño: A thin round Fried Pastry, drizzled with Honey and dusted with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar
This is what I was looking forward to the most from the Kitchen and in turn, was the most-disappointing. It looks the part, but was rock hard to the point where several forks and knives were lost attempting to cut it into pieces. First day jitters may be to blame, but ask someone around the kiosk that has one if they enjoyed it before committing. Otherwise, the flavor profile was pleasant as cinnamon, sugar, and honey typically combine to create sweet flavors with a little hint of spice. But I don’t think anybody in our group attempted a second bite – blogger dental insurance isn’t going to improve until the next round of union negotiations.
Pomegranate Margarita on the Rocks – $11.75
The website has a long history of fruity Festival margaritas, at least 80% of which are syrup bombs that end up coating the throat for the duration of the event, whether that’s around 40 days like this Festival, or closer to 75 days, like the behemoth that is the Food and Wine Festival that closed up shop just about a week ago.
Unfortunately, this one falls in with past entries with a really thick, syrupy viscosity and an artificial flavor. It’s a pretty color though.
Frozen Kahlúa Coffee Margarita – $10.75
For whatever reason, Mexico does coffee better and this drink was far more delightful. In this case, the drink is some Kahlua poured into the cup first and then topped with non-alcoholic frozen coffee, but it marries the comforting flavors of coffee + sugar + a little bit of vanilla from the liqueur. I think it’s the best drink offered here or at the next several Kitchens.
Horchata Margarita on the Rocks – $11.50
This is a picture of La Cava’s Horchata Margarita, which combines a real milky quality with some cinnamon-y spice.
Dos Equis Lager with a Kahlúa Floater – $4.75
I’m not crazy about mixing beer with liqueur – the small amount of Kahlua seems to do little more than make the below-average-tasting lager thicker and more syrupy with a bit of added-bitterness. But it might be worth trying at this price point if you’re unfamiliar.
Overall, I don’t think anything at Mexico’s Holiday Inn is worth a long wait. If you’re picking up something from every Kitchen then I’d look at the Tostada and Coffee Margarita first before eyeballing the dessert. But there are a lot of sweet treats coming up and China, which comes up next, is a real loser this year. So I think it’s the Tostada.