Where to eat? Holiday lunch at Disneyland's Rancho del Zocalo

November 22, 2011, 12:17 PM · It's Christmas time at Disneyland!

Christmas at Disneyland

And that means more than snow on the castle and trees in Town Square. Christmas at Disneyland means special holiday food, too. So last week, I stopped at the Rancho del Zocalo for lunch.

Tamale and carne asda platter t Disneyland

Rancho del Zocalo has put tamales on the menu for the holidays, offering a tamale platter ($9.99), as well as a carne asada and tamale combination platter (pictured above). For $11.99, you get a chicken tamale, along with about a quarter pound of sliced carne asada steak, accompanied by refried beans, rice, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. You also get two, plastic-wrapped flour tortillas for the steak.

I wondered why Disney had cluttered the plate with the plastic wrap for the tortillas. But when a puff of steam hit my face as I opened them, I realized that the plastic wrap was keeping my tortillas piping hot until I was ready to eat. Disney also presents the tamale out of its corn husk for easy eating.

The tamale comes with a green sauce and cojita cheese, which helps liven up the corn masa surrounding the chicken. I wish Disney had spiced up the marinade for the carne asada, though. The steak was a bit chewy and on the bland side, for my taste. I understand why Disney plays to middle-of-the-road tastes at its counter service locations, but Southern Californians are used to some spice in their Mexican food. (The carne asada is available year-round in the red chile enchilada combination platter, also for $11.99.)

Still, it's a pretty impressive platter for a theme park at this price. Even though I didn't finish the steak, the tamale, rice, beans and tortillas more than filled me up.

So much so that I didn't have room for dessert.

Disneyland's Holiday Demitasse Dessert

Disneyland's Holiday Demitasse Dessert is a peppermint chocolate pot de crème inside that festive Mickey mug, served with butter cookies on side for $6.99. The special holiday selections at Rancho del Zocalo and other Disneyland restaurants (including, among other selections, gingerbread beignets with eggnog anglaise at Cafe Orleans) will be available through the end of the year.

Replies (6)

November 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM · are you taking notes, cedar fair and six flags?
November 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM · El Pollo Loco gives you tortillas in a plastic bag. It is quite common to preserve heat.
November 22, 2011 at 7:15 PM · Ok, that looks really good!
November 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM · Okay, why does the food at Disney World suck so bad in comparison to Disneyland? The full service places are good, but we don't have anything close to what you're describing here. That mickey mouse mug dessert, if it existed at all in Florida, would likely cost somewhere around $8 or $9 as well. Seriously, even the turkey legs now cost $9.99 here. What is going on? Why don't we have good, affordable food here?
November 23, 2011 at 4:59 AM · ^ Its all about the demographic. Disneyland relies on repeat local guests for a lot of its patronage. WDW is all about one time guests and vacationers who come once a year or less. The food at Disneyland is part of keeping people coming back often. They don't need to do that at WDW. Also, at Disneyland its a very short trip to cheap food outside the berm. At WDW guests are a bit of a captive audience.
November 23, 2011 at 3:00 PM · I know where I'm headed on my next visit. My husband and I are on a quest to eat at every "non-portable" food establishment inside the parks, so we try to eat at different places on each visit. We've been to the parks 15 times since July 3 and still have about 15 locations left to visit. We ate at Rancho back in July, but I'm pretty sure he'll agree to a repeat visit before the end of the year.

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