We continue from Chestnuts and Good Cheer.
Las Posadas, which is a reference to the Inn in the story of the birth of Jesus, takes up residency in the usual spot before arriving at the pyramid on the lagoon side. Those nuts are located at a kiosk down to the right of this picture.
Either my abacus is acting up again or we’re looking at more than $62-worth. It’s a good thing blogging about churros is so lucrative. That thirteen-dollar beer better be brewed with the waters of Lake Minnetonka or something.
Giant Tostada de Chorizo – $9.75
Chorizo served on a Giant Tostada with Chipotle Black Bean Purée, Salsa Verde, Queso Cotija, Crema Mexicana, and Pickled Onion
Since (almost) all of the photos on this website are resized to 800 pixels wide, it’s probable that the immense size of this thing is not adequately captured, particularly when I forgot to take a picture of it by itself and had to crop it out from the group shot. The website offers returns, but not refunds.
Mexico actually hit the nail on the head on this one flavor-wise, which is something I almost never have the opportunity to type until we get to Bavaria or thereabouts. At nearly ten dollars, you’re certainly paying for the privilege, but the crispy tortilla provides a nice base for the creamy spread of mildly spicy black bean puree that’s accented by cumin and cilantro. The tomatillo-based salsa verde and accompanying jalapeno, lime, and cilantro help bring some acid and heat before the star of the show, the spicy smoked sausage, shines bright underneath the crunchy, piquant pickled onion.
If so many references to spice are a put-off, don’t fret, as the silky crema mexicana cools things down thanks to a heavy sour cream tang that’s further enhanced by the salty, milky cheese. This description may or may not make the dish sound delicious, but the complex variety of flavors come together really nicely. While initially spendy, it’s easily six or eight times as much food as Mexico’s standard Food and Wine tacos, making it a good value even if the Dining Plan isn’t around to take one of your credits. It’s a rare dish from Mexico that I would happily order again.
With that said, the Nachos from La Cantina nearby are just a couple more dollars, and four or five times as much food, though there’s much less nuance and quality with that hunkering pile of chips and beef. Mexico almost never returns a dish to a Festival menu, which is further testament to the quality. You don’t need any fingers to count the number of times you’re going to hear, “Hey, I love that, it’s a great value” at Food and Wine, unless that person is talking into a mini-tripod-mounted phone or handheld camera, wishing longingly to be part of the Disney freebie TikTok crew. I can’t believe I just typed any of that.
Tamal de Barbacoa – $7.50
Shredded Barbacoa Beef in a Corn Masa topped with Ranchera Salsa, Queso Cotija, and Crema Mexicana
I’m not sure if there was a lack of communication, but with several of the same ingredients as our gargantuan tostada, and approximately three bites of bone-dry beef encased in far too much doughy corn filling, the dish makes for a prettier photo, but has little more going for it. The tostada is a smarter buy even at the higher price point.
Dulce de Leche Churros Sprinkled with Cinnamon-Sugar – $5.95
I was once told that I shouldn’t call something “fairly standard” because it either is standard or it isn’t; but this is a fairly standard, crispy churro with more of the cinnamon that went missing from The Donut Box, filled in with a thin layer of luscious, creamy caramelized filling. Since the beer runs $13, I’m trying to get as much value as possible out of it, which is why we see it here. I may carry it around for the rest of my life and take every picture with it.
Our Churro was fresh enough to not be soggy, but I could see that being an issue since nothing is made in the booth, which is why “Festival Kitchens” like Mexico often suffer on quality, or are at least wildly inconsistent from one dish to the next. At least you can bank on Morimoto Asia being consistently bad these days after a couple of good years.
I’ll admit I was expecting more than one of these things given the implication of the ‘s’ in the “Churros” title, even if it ended up being just the one regular churro cut into pieces, but it’s just the one long piece in our experience. Considering the filling situation, it makes sense, unless they were going to serve bite-size versions in a paper boat or something. I’d probably hold out for something more interesting, but it’s a nice accompaniment to the Tostada if you’re making a stop.
Cranberry-Cinnamon Margarita – $13.50
Apple-cinnamon infused mezcal, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice with a cinnamon-sugar rim
I would be lying if I said I usually know what’s going on, but I found this year’s new margarita particularly perplexing. The menu makes no mention of the herb garden floating on top, and you can see the watered down cranberry juice on top separating from the glowing orange liqueur underneath, and small amount of what is apparently apple-cinnamon infused mezcal that might as well have not been there as far as I could tell.
Like virtually all of Mexico’s margaritas, these are made in batches of hundreds of ounces, and it’s possible that their machine wasn’t churning quite right on day one. But who is? Still, I don’t see a whole lot of room for improvement. The sugar rim covers about 8.3% of the top of the cup and is probably there to help cut the tartness of the cranberry juice, but the fact that the drink is already half water does a fine job of that already. As usual, I’d save your money for a surer thing, even if it’s just across the way at Choza de Margarita, where they at least have a couple more years of experience making bad, overpriced margaritas.
Horchata Margarita – $13
Centinela Blanco Tequila, Abasolo Corn Whisky, Agua de Horchata, and Cinnamon Horchata Rum
Is there another Christmas flavor that isn’t cinnamon? Or does a sprinkle of the spice immediately transform something from summery fresh to holiday cheer? And where are our unadvertised, random herbs? My garden could use an infusion of basil. Or maybe a radish this time? The Horchata is another drink that would probably be delicious if shaken fresh. The right ingredients are all there. It’s the right idea. But as the rice water splashes tirelessly against the sides of the plastic dispenser, and your beverage dispensing cast member attempts to hit a new high for how much ice they can fit into such a small cup, it’s a difficult price point to swallow. We enjoyed it more than the Cranberry version, but La Cava should stock a similar jug somewhere out back, even if it’s not listed online.
Mistletoe Cerveza Lager with Blackcurrant Liqueur – $7 for six ounces or $13 for twelve ounces (seriously)
Ah, the 40% price hike. Thanks abacus. Whether or not an extra $2 makes you think twice about picking one up probably depends on which side of World Showcase you started on and your level of inebriation. We’re all ignoring the prices and then declaring bankruptcy after we get home anyway, so I could probably nix the “Value” rating and replace it with a, “Tickety Tockety Your Credit Card is That Much Closer to Being Decliney” rating. But the editor is more persnickety about these things than you would guess considering the quality of these posts. You’d hate to see the original, which I write in Latin.
I’m not a big fan of mixing liqueur with beer and there’s probably a reason why it’s not trendier or offered as an add-on at more restaurants. I could actually be wrong now, as I have to ride my motorized scooter a little more than 33 miles before I arrive at an Applebee’s that doesn’t have my picture with “Do Not Serve” underlined in the back. But the addition of the liqueur makes for a thicker, more syrupy experience than enjoying the roasted malts and crisp finish of the beer on its own. And the liqueur just kind of sits on the bottom like the tilapia in Living with the Land. Thirsty, yet?
We usually see the Blackcurrant on top of French-ish sparkling wine to make a Parisian-ish Kir Royale. But it’s possible that I just haven’t been to a Burger King in Mexico to experience Los Mistletoe Cerveza for myself.
Overall, the Tostada is worth checking out. Adding a Churro is a little more interesting and a lot lighter than those donuts from The Box, but not worth waiting in a long line to order.
A very brief stop in China is coming up next.