Posts Tagged by margarita

Friday Feast: Pre-Race Meal at Tortilla Joe’s

It’s no secret that I’m a Mexican food addict.  I could eat chips, salsa and guac everyday without getting tired of it.  Some might think that it is a strange cuisine for a pre-race meal, but it is my go to!  As seen by my pre-race recommendations for Walt Disney World, I’ve eaten at San Angel Inn prior to the WDW Marathon and Maya Grill prior to the 2013 Princess Half, both of which worked out very well!

So it’s probably no surprise that I went with Mexican prior to the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon!  My friend Amanda (a fellow Mexican food junkie) has raved about Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney ever since eating there of Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend and we knew that was going to be the place to go!

01 Tortilla-Jos

Tortilla Jo’s is part of the Patina Restaurant Group, which also runs one of my favorite spots in Walt Disney World, Tutto Gusto, as well as a few other Disney restaurants.  Since we had an early morning that day from the Disneyland 10K and knew we were hitting the sack early for the half marathon, an early dinner was in order.  B, Amanda and I headed over there around 4:45 pm and there was already a 20 minute wait…you should’ve seen it when we left!  The restaurant was massive and can probably hold over 400 people, so having it be that busy was a good sign 😉  I mean look at this menu…YUM!  Click the image for a larger version.

TortillaJos_MainMenu

TortillaJos_Margarita-SpecialDrinks

Once seated, we were brought some chips and salsa and we promptly ordered the table side guacamole we saw being prepared at the table next to us.  Now Tara Gidus advised against fats pre-race in the runDisney meet up earlier that week, but I just couldn’t pass up the guac.  Avocado is a healthy fat, right??

02 Tortilla-Jos-Chips

04 Tortilla-Jos-Guac

05 Tortilla-Jos-Guac

I also ordered another pre-race no-no…a margarita.  Look I had just ran a 10K that morning and it was still early enough in the day that it wouldn’t effect my sleep or the race.  What is Mexican food without a margarita??  Are my excuses convincing??

03 Tortilla-Jos-Margarita

Jo’s Super Gold Margarita

I didn’t want to order something too heavy for my meal and I definitely didn’t want to be weighed down with tons of dairy.  Jo’s Carnitas seemed to be the obvious choice.  Braised pork with some rice and beans for carbs…perfect!  Oh and was it oh so delicious!

Jo's Carnitas

Jo’s Carnitas

Crispy Pork Goodness!

Crispy Pork Goodness!

The pork came with freshly made corn tortillas and extra bonus, the waitress was nice enough to give me a few extra to bring back to the hotel for a morning snack.  You can bet that I loaded those up with some peanut butter the next morning 😉

Amanda ordered the same dish and B went with his favorite Enchiladas Suizas.  I didn’t try them, but they looked great and he said they were really good.  He particularly liked the corn that came with it which had a bit of a kick to it.

08 Tortilla-Jos-Enchiladas

We left there stuffed to the gills and very satisfied.  Probably one of the best Mexican dishes I’ve ever had.  Hey Patina Restaurant Group…can you PLEASE open one of these in Downtown Disney in Orlando so I can eat there more often??  That would rule!

Have you eaten at Tortilla Jo’s?  What is your go to pre-race meal?

Friday Feast: Sanaa

Sanaa Sign

This meal has been a long time in the making.  After reading numerous stellar reviews and given my love of “exotic” foods, Sanaa always sounded right up my alley.  My only barrier was B who HATES anything flavored with cumin (and I mean hates!) and isn’t a fan of Indian spiced food.  So I figured my girls only trip over Princess weekend would be  the perfect time to check it out.  Oh yeah!

After the runDisney meet up and picking all of our things up at the Expo, my partner in crime Amanda and I headed over to Sanaa for a late lunch.  This was my first time at Kidani Village and I was taken aback by how small it was.  After coming over from Jambo House, the lobby seemed tiny but eerily familiar.  We headed downstairs to check in for our 2:50 reservation.  Did you know there is a hidden Mickey  in the woven baskets on the wall next to the check-in desk??

Hidden Mickey next to the check-in desk

Hidden Mickey next to the check-in desk

The restaurant is small, but incredibly detailed to look like an outdoor African marketplace.  There are beads, artifacts and other various artwork scattered throughout the restaurant.  I love the lanterns and really wanted to steal them for my patio set at home!

Sanaa Quote

Sanaa Entrance

Sanaa_Lights

To the left when you enter is a really nice lounge area that I didn’t even know was there.  I will definitely be returning here for drinks and appetizers on a future trip.  I think I can probably get B to agree to that!

Sanaa_Bar

We were seated at a table right nice to one of the giant windows overlooking the savanna…how lucky were we?!  The restaurant was actually pretty dead at this time, which is really good to know because I’m sure you could easily get a walk up.  We were greeted by a few zebra who hung out with us the entire meal!  Our server was even taking pictures of them because she said it was very rare that they would come this close.  They must have known we were animal lovers 🙂

Zebra_1

Whatcha eatin??

Whatcha eatin??

I told the server that I have an egg allergy and was brought a separate egg allergy specific menu.  This was the first time I’ve seen this at a Disney restaurant…super cool!!  I think I was so excited about the menu that I completely forgot to take a photo of it…total fail on my part, but here’s the link to the menu so you can see all of the fun offerings!  The chef came out as usual to consult with me on what I can and can’t eat.  I also can’t have cucumbers or squash, so she pointed out those items I should avoid.

We were there on National Margarita Day (February 22nd), so obviously we both started out with the Malawi Mango Margarita.  This is a frozen margarita with tequila, tangerine liqueur, mango puree and lime juice.  It was tasty, but a bit too sweet for my taste overall.

Malawi Mango Margarita

Malawi Mango Margarita

Margarita with a side of zebra butt??

Margarita with a side of zebra butt??

Earlier that day we gorged ourselves with delicious Kouzzina breakfast, so we weren’t going to order too much food.  I was having a really hard time deciding what to have, but we finally settled on sharing the Indian-Style Bread Service and the Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs.

When you order the bread service, you have a choice of 3 breads and 3 accompaniments.  Let’s start with the breads.  We chose naan, garlic ginger naan and papadum.

Indian-Style Bread Service

Indian-Style Bread Service

I LOVE naan.  The texture, the flavor…everything!  This was great naan, but I couldn’t really tell the difference with the garlic ginger naan.  Usually garlic naan is incredibly strong, but I could hardly taste it here which was a tad disappointing.  I’m sure Amanda was happy about that though so she didn’t have to smell my garlic breath for the rest of the day.  The papadum was the surprise hit of the group.  It is crisp, cracker-like bread made from lentils and rice flour (gluten-free!) and has caraway seeds throughout.

For our accompaniments, we went with the mango chutney, red bell pepper hummus and tamarind chutney.  Our selection was more limited since neither one of us eat cucumbers and 3 out of the 9 choices have cucumbers, but we were very happy with what we got.

Clockwise from the top: Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney, Mango Chutney

Clockwise from the top: Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney, Mango Chutney

All 3 choices were on the sweet side, but went nicely with our bread selection.  There are some very spicy choices on the menu, but we decided to steer clear of those.  The hummus and mango chutney went really well with the naan since they were thicker.  The tamarind chutney was more like a thin sauce and was great for dipping the papadum in.  Overall, this was a hit!

As an entree, Sanaa offers a choice of two proteins that are simply slow-cooked in gravy and served with basmati rice or a five-grain pilaf.  Instead of getting two different proteins, we ordered 2 short ribs so we could each have our own little dish…genius!

Short Ribs in Gravy & Basmati Rice

Short Ribs in Gravy & Basmati Rice

Oh. My.  This was INSANELY DELICIOUS!  The short ribs were incredibly tender and just fell apart when you cut them with a fork.  And the gravy…whoa.  This was intensely flavorful with both Indian and African spices incorporated.  At the suggestion of our server, I poured the rice out on to my larger plate and then poured the short ribs and gravy all over it so it would soak up all the goodness.  This is one of the best things I’ve had on Disney property…hands down.

Gravy Goodness

Gravy Goodness

We were pretty full after all of this, so we sat and enjoyed the view while sipping the rest of our margaritas for dessert.  I’m glad we came for lunch so we could see all of the animals out on the savanna.  I would think that the experience wouldn’t be as good for dinner when it is dark out.

I really loved my meal here and can’t wait to go back and try some of the other menu items.  I think the Tandoori Chicken and the Shrimp with Green Curry are next on my list to try!

Have you been to Sanaa?  What is your favorite meal there?

Friday Feast: San Angel Inn

Due to still not having power, I’m finally getting this week’s Friday Feast up using free WiFi and power at Starbucks 🙂  Hopefully, I’ll be back to a normal schedule next week.  Enjoy!

San Angel Inn used to be one of my favorite restaurants in Walt Disney World.  I am a Mexican food addict and here you can enjoy some different and unique dishes compared to your local Tex-Mex joint.  The Mexico pavilion is also my favorite in World Showcase.  I love how it completely takes you to another place.  You can go from the sweltering Florida sun and humidity to a cool evening in a Mexican marketplace.  The restaurants atmosphere is romantic and oddly scenic if you can get a table overlooking the El Rio del Tiempo…oh wait, the Gran Fiesta Tour 🙂

When La Hacienda de San Angel opened across the way a few years ago, I forgot about San Angel Inn for it’s newer, spiffier cousin.  I love the simplicity at La Hacienda and kept returning there when I had a Mexican craving.  So recently, I decided to head back to my old favorite for lunch with my friends Amanda from Disney Every Day and Tony from Disney By the Numbers to see if it was still as good as I remembered.  Let’s take a look at the menu first before diving into the meal…

Drink Menu

Appetizers & Entrees

They have an extensive tequila and margarita list here that is very similar (if not the same) to La Cava De Tequila’s menu.  I went with the San Angel Inn margarita, which is the classic preparation.  I was very excited when they came to the table with the shaker and then left a “2nd round” for me to pour.

How cute is the mini ice bucket?!

As with most Mexican restaurants, we were brought chips and salsa after we placed our drink orders.  The chips were very good and seemed homemade, but the salsa left something to be desired.  It was very spicy, but was lacking in overall flavor.

Amanda and I ordered the Enchiladas Verde de Pollo which are corn tortillas filled with pulled chicken, covered with green tomatillo sauce, topped with sour cream, queso fresco and onions, served with black refried beans.  Salsa verde is one of my favorite sauces, so I was sold immediately on this one.  This was insanely flavorful, the chicken was moist and the black beans were great to scoop up with the tortilla chips.  Big winner here!

Enchiladas Verde de Pollo

Tony ordered the Tacos de Carne (my second choice!) which is a grilled New York strip on flour tortillas, topped with chipoltle pepper sauce, scallions and avocado.  Served with rice and beans.  I don’t think I would’ve been happy with the whole scallions in the tacos, but Tony said the dish was really good.

Tacos de Carne

It wasn’t very crowded during lunch, so this is a great options if you are looking for a good meal for lunch without an ADR.  San Angel Inn has moved back to the top of my list of WDW dining.  The food is tasty and fresh and the atmosphere is unlike anywhere else.  I’d highly reccommend giving it a try!

What do you think of San Angel Inn?

Scenes from a Saturday Run: October 13, 2012

It was chilly in the Northeast today!  We kicked on the pellet stove and commenced winter hibernation this morning.

Pellet Stove in Action

It got to about 50 degrees by 1 pm, so I decided it was a good time to head out for a run.  My goal was to try for 10 miles, but I wasn’t sure how I’d do since I haven’t done much running since the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  Once I got out into the cool air, I knew I’d have no problem hitting that distance.  As much as I don’t enjoy the winters here in the Northeast, it makes for really good training weather!  Here’s a quick photo recap of my run…

Cinderella in CT???

GIANT Hill…this picture doesn’t do it justice! Yes, I ran up the whole thing 🙂

First view of the Long Island Sound around Mile 5

Mile 7 Stretch Break

GORGEOUS Day!!

I got the full 10 miles in and then some!  I even cut 8:30 off of my Tower of Terror 10-Miler time from 2 weeks ago!  It’s amazing what cooler temperatures and no humidity will do for you.  I had some shin splint issues in the beginning and tight calves towards the end, but overall I felt really strong and was super happy with my performance.

So how do I celebrate a 10 mile training run??  With Mexican food of course!

Love Boat Margarita…yes, that is a lime full of tequila

Chicken Mole Enchiladas YUM!

Did you get a long run in this Saturday?  How did it go?