Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dining at Disney, Part 2: Hidden Finds

As some of you may already be well aware, Disney World is a rather vast commercial enterprise. Everywhere you go it seems you're being charged for something. Some charges are small, some are huge and some end up hidden on that little room card they offer to allow you to carry around on your wrist, "for your convenience." And after awhile, everything commercial starts to look the same. However there are a few hidden finds within Disney World, if you're willing to look for them.

First, every theme park and resort has a bakery, candy store and ice cream shop combo. And it is an excellent one. The ice cream is high quality and the bakery items are very well made with high-quality ingredients. Many of the confections are made in-house at each individual shop, and samples are always offered. The Lovely Spouse was happy to find a huge selection of jelly beans at each shop, for sale by volume.

Another hidden find, that only the adults will appreciate, can be found in the Mexican pavillion of Epcot. Most people know about the delicious margaritas available at the Cantinas inside and outside the pavillion. But hidden away, just to the right of the staircase descending into the inside of the pavillion you will find a tiny door to La Cava del Tequila. At first glance it's just a bar. At second glance, everything is top shelf. Glancing at their menu you'll find tequila tastings and flights of tequila; something most people only associate with wine.

I tried the Traditional Flight for a tequila tasting. It came with a blanco, an anejo and an extra anejo, as well as a small dish of salt and lime, and a shot of granita. For those that don't know anejo tequila is "normal" blanco tequila that has been aged, at least a year, in an oak barrel. Extra anejo has been aged even longer. The oak gives the tequila extra flavor characteristics, such as vanilla and cherry, that can't be found in blanco tequilas. The granita is served to settle stomach issues that many people experience when drinking straight tequila. All were served at room temperature.

The only drawback to La Cava is the small space. There were no tables, as the others who had discovered it before we had, camped out at the tables. Bar space was made available as people came, sampled and moved on. Without fail, everyone was very nice and extremely knowledgeable. I recommend seeking out La Cava when in Epcot, even if only to sample tequilas that may or may not be available near your home and to expand your culinary knowledge. The party atmosphere and fine tequila shots don't hurt either.

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