Authentic Mexican Food: Frontera Cocina Disney Springs

Frontera Cocina Disney Springs

Most of us think of our local Tex-Mex place when we think of Mexican food. Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina Disney Springs offers authentic Mexican cuisine that displays an upgrade in terms of that style of food.

With the landscape of table service dining changing so often at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World, some restaurants get overlooked. Frontera Cocina’s authentic Mexican-style menu falls into that category. This place does not qualify as the best at Disney Springs. Yet, it is far better than many at Disney Springs.

Have you ever craved some cheese-filled, sour cream-covered Tex-Mex food? Okay, is it just me that wants some chips and salsa right now? Some queso sounds good with a side of rice and beans too. If you have lived in areas with a prominence of Tex-Mex style food, you can relate a little. However, when I crave Tex-Mex style cuisine, I never think I am dining on authentic Mexican cuisine.

Rick Bayless, Frontera Cocina Disney Springs

Frontera Cocina Disney Springs
Rick Bayless at Frontera Cocina Photo Credit: Frontera Cocina Social Media

Authentic Mexican food shares some traits with Tex-Mex, but they look and often taste very different. Rick Bayless, the celebrity chef, knows this difference very well.

Rick Bayless could be declared famous in the culinary world for many reasons. His main crossover in the theme park world would be his restaurant, Frontera Cocina Mexicana, in Disney Springs. This restaurant offers flavors from all over the regions of Mexico. A dining experience at Frontera Cocina Mexicana allows guests to explore all types of Mexican food. Guests will also experience that the cuisine here will look different from the Tex-Mex described earlier.

For example, in an interview with Mashed, Bayless said, “… Tex-Mex food covered with sour cream and guacamole. That’s not Mexican food at all. Mexican food is incredibly varied and very regional.” In that same interview, he comments on how different regions of Mexico will have food that tastes nothing alike.  Some have compared this to the differences in pizza across the United States when hearing Bayless say this.

Carne Asada Tacos

Mexican Food

In this interview with Mashed, Bayless also said, “The most interesting thing is that Mexican food doesn’t use much cumin, and Tex-Mex food uses tons of cumin. In fact, chili powder has got a huge amount of cumin in it, so when people from Mexico taste that, they go, “Whoa, what happened to the food? Why did you put all that cumin in there?” Also, if you expect authentic Mexican cuisine to feature sour cream, Bayless said, “That whole notion of putting sour cream on everything is sort of weird too.” With Mashed, he also said that in Mexico, a restaurant placing rice and beans on plates would not be a very nice restaurant. Sure, rice and beans are common in Mexico, but the combination is a “Mexican-American” thing, in his words.

The cuisine you will experience at Frontera Cocina Mexicana will taste wonderful. Still, it will cost more since this cooking style takes longer to make.

Frontera Cocina Disney Springs
Chicken Tinga Tacos

For example, this would be the presentation of chicken tacos we ordered recently. The tortillas came wrapped and ready for us to make our tacos. As you can see, rice does not appear with this entrée. The menu offerings at Frontera Cocina Disney Springs taste great but look different than your local Tex-Mex place. We are confident that most people would not expect their tostadas, enchiladas, or flautas to look like this.  In authentic Mexican cuisine, sauces play a crucial role.

Frontera Cocina Mexicana brings genuine Mexican cuisine to Walt Disney World.  Of course, we enjoy Tex-Mex too. Yet, if you want to eat solid Mexican cuisine, then a Rick Bayless restaurant makes a good choice. If you are looking for some excellent Tex-Mex-style cuisine, many restaurants in the Orlando area offer that. As always, eat like you mean it!

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