Image from DisneyWorld.com
Hands down, one of the restaurants with the coolest atmospheres I've ever been in is San Angel Inn in Epcot. This is the table service restaurant in the Mexico pavilion of the World Showcase, and it's awesome. The restaurant is housed inside a big pyramid, so you definitely can't miss it. Once you step inside the pyramid, walk towards the back. There you'll find San Angel Inn.
The inside of the pyramid is amazing; it's like you go from a hot, humid day in Orlando to a cool, dark night in Mexico, and you can see another pyramid and volcanoes in the distance, all giving the effect that you're not really indoors. Unfortunately, as much as the darkness makes for an awesome, romantic atmosphere, it's not so great when you're trying to read the menu. Although I didn't really have too much of a problem seeing, those hard of vision may need a little extra light to see what's going on.
Speaking of the menu, although all the items are technically in Spanish, there are English descriptions right underneath. But this isn't the food from your neighborhood Taco Bell. My sister, for example, was surprised that they didn't seem to have the types of Mexican foods that she recognized. She was expecting enchiladas and burritos, and she didn't realize that the menu items at San Angel Inn are rather different. It is true, authentic Mexican food (or at least that's what they had me believing... I probably wouldn't know if it wasn't).
As for what we ordered, a few of the members of my party, including myself, chose to have a steak, but oddly enough, we all had very different meals. Some of our steaks were tough, and I know that mine seemed overcooked even though I ordered it medium. However, some of the others in my party had delicious steaks that were cooked perfectly and were extremely tender. It was odd that though we all ordered the same thing, we had such different experiences. As a result of my steak in particular, I would say that the food was mediocre at best, but if I had been given the steak of another person in my party, I probably would have said that it was incredibly delicious. I'm going to give Disney the benefit of the doubt here and say that they were having a bad day, but I probably won't be visiting San Angel Inn for a while. Though this is at least partially because there are many other restaurants in the World Showcase that I haven't visited yet.
Overall, I would say that if you're looking for a great experience, you should try San Angel Inn. I mean, if you're lucky (as we happened to get), you can get a table overlooking the water below, and you can watch as boats on the Gran Fiesta Tour float by. That's fun in itself. Of course, if you don't feel like having a sit down meal, there will always the renovated Cantina de San Angel across the street (once it reopens, that is). If you'd like to see the menus for San Angel Inn, you can find the lunch menu, dinner menu, vegetarian menu, and kids menu all on allears.net.
So now, as always, I'd like to hear from you! Did you have an unfortunate experience at San Angel Inn like I did? Or was your food fantastic, and I must have visited on an off day? Or do you just prefer to get counter service across the street? Or none of the above? Leave a comment, send me a tweet (@discollegeblog), or post on the Facebook page! I'm looking forward to hearing from you!