This past Monday, the long-awaited Choza de Margarita stand outside of the Mexico pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase opened to much fanfare (and whistling… more on that in a second). Relocated from the Norway side of the pavilion’s central pyramid to the World Showcase Plaza side, this will be the new permanent home for “quick service” margaritas (as opposed to the more intimate setting of La Cava del Tequila, which has been slammed with patrons during the last few months to account for the missing stand).
Much larger in size and scope, the new Choza de Margarita stand exhibits a bit of smart, practical design on Disney’s part – the stand allows room for a line that will not impede traffic through the World Showcase promenade, and also has a good amount of room after you pick up your treats to stand or sit and enjoy them outdoors before heading off to your next destination. Another great part about the new stand? They have tons more offerings now, featuring options ranging from the traditional machine-spun frozen margaritas from before, as well as higher-end signature margaritas more akin to La Cava’s offerings (previously the stand only offered one of these a month), and even several snacks!
The frozen margaritas featured on the menu are mostly the same recipes and results as before – strawberry ($10.50), lime ($10.25), and passion fruit/mango ($10.25), or you can go for the Fiesta margarita ($10.50), a combination of all three flavors, which also comes with a lot of celebratory whistling and singing from Choza’s Cast Members. There are also a few beer options (Dos Equis Ambar, Cerveza Pacifico, and, for the Bloody Mary-style drink lovers, a Michelada).
The more interesting options come from the “Signature Margaritas” section of the menu, though. Ranging from $14-14.50 (a bit pricy, in my opinion, but in line with La Cava’s indoor pricing and quality), you can order three specialty drinks assembled to order featuring higher-end spirits and more complex flavors:
- Acan grapefruit, featuring Tequila Casa Noble blanco, grapefruit liqueur, elderflower cordial, lemon, cardamom bitters, and ginger beer
- Lime cucumber, featuring Tequila Avion blanco, fresh cucumber juice, orange liqueur, agave, and Tajin chili rim
- Guava pink peppercorn, featuring Mezcal Zignum reposado, guava nectar, grapefruit liqueur, lime, Peychaud’s bitters, and pink peppercorns
Of course, I had to try out a few of the new drinks and snacks (all in the name of research, right?). First up, I sampled the Acan grapefruit, which sounded like a light option, perfect for a hot day. This margarita is on the sweeter side because of the elderflower, but the ginger beer brightens up the tequila and the floral cardamom, balanced well with the acid of the grapefruit flavors and the lemon juice. All in all, this was a very smooth sip, and perfect for those who prefer their margaritas with sweet/sour contrast.
I also had a chance to try the lime cucumber margarita, which looks like a party in a glass, and tastes like one, too. The cucumber flavor is definitely strong here (which I loved) – sweet and refreshing, lightening up the sour lime just enough to make this so smooth, it’s dangerous. Fans of La Cava’s longtime favorite, the avocado margarita, will likely love this drink – the mellow sweetness from the cucumber reminded me a lot of the green melon flavors from the avocado version, only the lime cucumber is served on the rocks and felt much lighter, as a result.
I was pretty excited to see food on the menu here – the Mexico pavilion could always use more options for quick-service-style food, and I was hopeful this would provide a nice option for a snack or light meal going forward. On the menu:
- Tacos al pastor (gluten-free), with marinated grilled pork, green tomatillo sauce, onions, pineapple, and cilantro, served on corn tortillas with a side of corn esquites (Mexican street corn with spicy mayo and cheese) – $9.25
- Empanadas de barbacoa, empanadas filled with barbacoa beef, topped with chipotle sauce, Mexican crema, and queso fresco, served with a side of corn esquites – $9.75
- Guacamole, topped with mango and pumpkin seeds, served with fried flour chicharron, salsa Valentina, and lime – $7.50
My first bite came from the tacos, served two to an order. The flavor on the pork was smoky and a bit spicy, offset by the acidic tomatillo salsa and pineapple, but I wasn’t overly wowed by these at first bite. They are a better offering than most tacos available at La Cantina (across the promenade), but I’ve had better tacos from this pavilion’s stands. I would definitely give them a shot if you’re a fan of tacos al pastor, but I definitely found the empanadas, my next bite, to be more satisfying, on the whole.
Also served two to an order, the empanadas de barbacoa were, in short, everything. Perfectly fried, crispy and tender, the beef filling smoky, sweet, savory, and a tad spicy, these empanadas pair perfectly with a refreshing margarita to make up a great mid-afternoon snack (or in my case, a light dinner). And as if the empanadas weren’t enough, the corn esquites served on the side are absolutely delectable, too. Sauteed fresh sweet corn comes topped with a mildly spicy mayo and creamy, salty cheese, emulating a much easier-to-eat version of the Mexican street corn that’s become so trendy lately. I will gladly come back to order these again next time I’m hungry in World Showcase.
Also a favorite was the guacamole, basically a more upscale presentation of the version served inside La Cava. The guacamole itself is herbaceous, with just the right amount of lime to give it that acidic punch, and to kick up the appeal, is served at Choza de Margarita with tiny dices of sweet mango and crunchy pumpkin seeds. The flour chicharron, drizzled with the smoky and slightly spicy salsa Valentina, are a perfect vessel for the guacamole, far more preferable than plain ol’ tortilla chips for me. This was also a pretty hearty portion of guacamole, easily shareable by two or three people as a side or snack.
All in all, I’m very happy with the upgrades to Choza de Margarita. On the practical side, the new location and logistics make for a much more positive ordering and eating/drinking situation. The new menu’s upgrades to include several tasty signature margarita offerings gives guests a better (and faster) on-the-go option, and the new food items really shine as a quality snack addition. With the always-friendly and efficient Mexico Cast Members at the helm, Choza de Margarita definitely improves upon a long-favored location, turning a simple margarita stand into a quality food and beverage option in World Showcase.