first Tequila Lunch at La Hacienda – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2014

This Food & Wine Festival experience took place on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I think this was our seventh Tequila Lunch (we did it twice in 2012 and in 2013), but it was Nevie’s first time. She had told us that she likes tequila – we found out later that she really likes margaritas (oops, but it was okay). I’m going to skip all of the tequila education stuff, you can find our take on it (2010 Tequila Tasting, 2011 & 2012 & 2013 Tequila Lunch). This lunch was more for fun and less for reporting… so it’s going to be brief on details!

Nevie’s Comments: Before the lunch started we stopped at the margarita booth and got a regular margarita before entering the lunch. We also decided to do two lunches this day the Tequila lunch and the Sake lunch. I think we might have lost our minds but it was a fantastic experience.

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Welcome Margarita! Orange Mango Fire (one of my favorites)

Nevie’s Comment: Welcome drink: Orange Mango Fire Margarita – I can’t say enough about how much I loved this drink.   The spice around the rim instead of salt gave a nice heat to spice up the mango. I wish I could have had room to have another one like Nora and Nick but didn’t want to overdo it for our second lunch. I thought being conscious for the sake lunch was important.

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Humberto welcomed us to the Festival and to today’s luncheon

We were served tequilas that weren’t on the menus. The area manager from Patron was visiting, he had a new line of Patron called “La Roca”, it’s only two months old. So we had La Roca Silver, Reposado, and Añejo.

The Silver La Roca Patron was paired with a Mayan Cerviche. The silver had really nice legs, especially for a silver tequila. Nick and I thought it tasted better than silvers we’ve sampled in the past – it was slightly fruity. The Cerviche was delicious!

Nevie’s Comment: The Ceviche was very refreshing and light. This was a great way to start a meal with this light and flavorful dish. I was concerned with the amount of onions but the flavor was not overwhelming and balanced the dish perfectly. The mango sorbet was the perfect amount of sweet to really round out the dish. The Tequila really complemented the dish well and was nice to sip on. After cleansing our palpate with a shot of vodka it was on to the second course!

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Mayan Cerviche – scallop, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocado and lime juice; served with mango sorbet and a slice of avocado.

The second course was paired with Reposado La Roca Patron. The guy from Patron said that this was his favorite. I really liked it, it was slightly sweet and slightly spicy. This tequila is very traditional. The second course was a sweet potato cream (soup) – I forgot to take a photo until my bowl was empty. The texture of this dish was a bit more challenging for Nevie than the first. I thought it was very tasty, but it read more like a dessert than a soup to my tastebuds.

Nevie’s Comment: The soup had great flavor to it but the texture for me was weird. It was not as silky as I would have hoped and kinda had some clumping to it. I couldn’t decide if I enjoyed the soup because of the texture of it, which was a shame because the flavors worked very well together. The Tequila was a bit strong and overpowered the soup a bit but overall the pairing worked. Another vodka shot and we are at the third course!

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Sweet Potato Cream – prepared with tequila, roasted sweet potatoes, cream and tequila reduction; topped with queso fresco foam and cinnamon oil

The last couple of years, the main course has been a surf-and-turf or a land-and-sea combination… Same this year. This was paired with the Añejo La Roca Patron. The fattiness of the pork belly (land) made the añejo much spicier. The vinegar on the salad also went very well with the pork belly. The octopus was topped with slivers of dried ajillo peppers… excellent.

Nevie’s Comment: I can’t believe how tender the Octopus was and how much flavor they packed into it. The most interesting part was they didn’t soak the Octopus in milk first it was just a lot of juices to break it down and make it that tender. The Pork belly was prepared well also. The flavor was great and the salad brought everything together. The Tequila was my second favorite and brought a lot to the dish. The last Vodka shot and we are at Dessert!

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Land and Sea – pork belly carnitas style with tequila gastrique reduction, octopus seared in an ajillo pepper sauce; accompanied with a cactus leaf salad, cilantro oil and corn puree

One course to go – this was paired with Ultimo Agave Almond Tequila Liqueur. We were instructed to break open the cake and pour the liqueur into it. Delicious!

Nevie’s Comment: The cake was very moist and had great flavor. It was not overly sweet which I really enjoyed and pouring the tequila into it make the dessert even better! This was overall my favorite pairing and course.

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Tequila Tres Leches Cake – tres leeches cake dipped in tequila liqueur and coffee whipped cream; served with avocado mint ice cream

We’re really happy that we got to share this event with Nevie. We’re also really happy that we have a second reservation for the Tequila Lunch during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!

Nevie Post Script: The food at this event was fantastic. The flavors and effort to pair the right tequila with each dish was prevalent. I can’t wait to see what they do next year!

Nora Post Script: I think this means that she’s all in for doing this again next year! Even if she doesn’t realize it consciously!

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