Jardin de Fiestas – 2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Jardin de Fiestas (Party Garden)

Jardin de Fiestas (Party Garden)

The Jardin de Fiestas is located directly across from La Cantina de San Angel, it is also the same structure used during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in recent years… Like the other booths during the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, there’s rarely a line out front. Although there isn’t any seating directly associated with this food booth, there is seating up on the patio in front of the Mayan pyramid… this is where we chose to sit, not a bad location excepting for the screaming and whining children this particular afternoon.

mosaic on the side of the building

mosaic on the side of the building

The “educational” poster at this booth was about Prickly Pear Cactus (well, that’s unique at least)…

Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico Booth) - 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - 10

Learn about Prickly Pear Cactus…

The featured plantings are Corn, Jalapeño, Prickly Pear Cactus, and Agave… but there were other edible plants in evidence too…

Corn Plant

Corn Plant

Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico Booth) - 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - 05

Jalapeño Pepper plant

a little jalapeño on the plant

a little jalapeño on the plant

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

Blue Agave

Blue Agave

Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico Booth) - 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - 09

a baby avocado on the Avocado Tree

Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico Booth) - 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - 04

One of two planters filled with featured plantings

The menu…

Menu for Jardin de Fiestas

Menu for Jardin de Fiestas

We both like mexican food (particularly the authentic food coming from La Hacienda de San Angel) and thought that we’d enjoy the items on this menu. I mean, what’s not to like about pork carnitas and crispy fried pork rinds? and, crab is good… Nick has never had flan (I have) and we both tend to like custard… And we know from past experiences that we like the rosita margarita… Should be good to go with this booth!

Round 1: Crab Tostada, Rosita Margarita, and Carnitas Taco

Round 1: Crab Tostada, Rosita Margarita, and Carnitas Taco

Let’s start with the Rosita Margarita (well, you know me, I have to start with the tequila containing item)… We’ve had this margarita at least 4 times in the past (especially at the Tequila Luncheons during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival… here and here), we really enjoy this margarita… This was not a real Rosita Margarita. It was premixed and it tasted premixed… pity… not only that! The danged thing was $8.50 and it was TINY.

Size comparison of the Rosita Margarita and my iPhone... humph!

Size comparison of the Rosita Margarita and my iPhone… humph!

Finally, found some tequila at the very bottom; not much though. Will we continue to get the Rosita Margarita (available only at La Hacienda as best we know)?… yes, of course. Will we get another one of these from the booth? nope, not a chance.

First up, “Tacos de Carnitas (Pork Carnitas topped with Tamarindo Salsa, served on a flour tortilla with Chicharron)”. We both found this to be very salty, the pork was moist and flavorful, the chicharron was a nice crunchy addition.

Tacos de Carnitas

Tacos de Carnitas

Nick thought that the quality of the pork was better than the pulled pork at the Smokehouse :O The three big handicaps of this dish? (1) size, it was pretty tiny (2) saltiness, just too much salt and (3) sauce wasn’t anywhere near evenly distributed. The pork itself was moist, tender, and simply prepared. We asked ourselves if we’ve ever seen this pork anywhere else on the menus at the Mexico Pavilion… so I did some research… nope, this simply prepared and d*mned good pork isn’t on any of the menus. Heads up Disney World – put it on the menu somewhere – with the current craze about pulled pork… put it on the menu.

close-up of pulled pork

close-up of pulled pork and chicharrones

So, the crab tostada… “Tostadas de Jaiba (Crab Tostada served with Chipotle Mayo and Valentina Sauce)”. General impressions: very fishy and very bland…

Tostada de Jaiba

Tostada de Jaiba

We both really like fish, we really like shellfish… this is real honest-to-goodness picked crab meat… the problem, it was also very fishy smelling and tasting – ugh! Not spoiled (dear goodness, I don’t think that food could ever spoil at a Disney World Food Booth barring the end of the world; there’s more danger that the food will be bland, boring, or overcooked because of food safety rules at WDW), just too fishy.

close-up of Tostada de Jaiba

close-up of Tostada de Jaiba

That being said, once we got a good amount of lime juice on the crab & got bites that included the jalapeño and sauces, the flavor greatly improved. The crispy tostada “shell” was good, but had a tendency to shatter when you bit into it. We enjoyed the slightly spicy tingle that the two sauces had, not excessive by any stretch of the imagination. Are we likely to get this again? Not really. Would we like to see a fresh crab meat dish in La Hacienda – sure.

After the “main courses,” nick went back to the booth and returned with the Flan de Guayaba and the Conga Fruit Punch (the fruit punch was a surprise)… Dessert Course…

Flan de Guayaba (Guava Custard)

Flan de Guayaba (Guava Custard)

Not much to look at yet…

Digging into the Guava Custard

Digging into the Guava Custard

Traditionally, flan has a smooth, liquidy caramel at the bottom… this flan had a smooth guava flavored syrup (?). I thought it was a little bland without the syrup and nick thought it was really sweet with and without the syrup. We both liked the texture and the sweet fruitiness – not likely to get it again though… we’re tending away from sweets lately.

better close-up of the guava syrup

better close-up of the guava syrup

What about the Conga Fruit Punch? Well, it’s fruit punch… it’s good fruit punch… it’s refreshing on a hot day… it ain’t as good as Frunch from Animal Kingdom Lodge. BTW: We didn’t finish this – we’d had enough sugar with the flan.

Conga Fruit Punch

Conga Fruit Punch

Final Thoughts…

We’d likely get the pork if it was offered in a dish at one of the other food venues at the Mexico Pavilion.

It’s possible that I could convince nick to split a flan based dessert in the future.

There’s a lot of potential at this food booth to introduce people to new foods and to provide old favorites – also, I believe that this is a golden opportunity to educate people that Mexican food isn’t Tex Mex or Taco Bell.

Recent Tweets

Follow Me on Twitter

Powered by Twitter Tools