Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante is serving up a whole menu of holiday food at Disneyland once again, and we stopped by to try all the new dishes.
Caldo de Pollo – $12.99
Savory soup with chicken, rice, and vegetables
When we last had the caldo in 2019, it was $5.99. It has now more than doubled in price. It’s hearty and tasty, but that’s a big increase.
It is loaded with chicken and vegetables. The broth tastes like a really good chicken noodle soup stock, and the chicken is tender and also tastes like it has been cooking in stock all day.
If you dig a bit, you’ll find even more vegetables like corn, carrots, and potatoes. All of the vegetables were tender and well cooked. The corn was also good and fun to remove and nibble on. The soup had a bit of a twist with the onions and cilantro and a hint of acid from the lime.
While this may not be the most desirable dish in hot weather, as temperatures cool down, this is a great option.
Chile Verde – $12.49
Slow-cooked pork with spicy tomatillo sauce served with Mexican rice and refried beans
The slow roasted pork is more like pork belly than the pork shoulder that we expected, but the flavors are all still there. The pork itself is a little tougher than we would like from chile verde, especially if it is a slow stewed pork, but the flavor makes up for it.
The tomatillo sauce is not spicy at all, despite being labeled so on the menu. That’s not a mark against it, though. The salsa is delicious and ties the whole dish together. The refried beans are just common refried beans that you can find anywhere, but the Mexican rice was something special. It’s not the same Mexican rice we’ve had a hundred times over that is orange colored but no different in flavor than traditional rice.
This has been seasoned with a bevy of spices with a noticeable cumin note that surprised us and made this rice a real hit. Overall, we enjoyed this dish, and we can forgive the minor textural faults on account of the delicious flavors therein.
Pan Dulce Ice Cream Sandwich – $8.49
Colorful Mexican sweet bread with eggnog ice cream, hot buttered rum-flavored sauce, whipped topping, and chocolate skull
This ice cream sandwich features eggnog ice cream and a hot buttered rum caramel sauce drizzled atop for a great flavor combination. The rum flavor from the caramel sauce is strong on its own but mixes in with the eggnog well for that classic flavor that tastes like the spirit of the season.
Nestled within the pan dulce, it is a little unwieldy and messy, but the flavors are all still there. The normally sweet bun tastes starchy in contrast to the ice cream, but as a whole uniform dish, it helps to cut some of the sugar and make it more palatable. We enjoyed this messy dessert, and the proof of that is scattered across the front of our shirt.
Strawberry-Agave-Limón Agua Fresca – $6.49
Strawberry-basil Agave Nectar-sweetened Limeade
This is a sweet drink that, while good any time of the year, just begs to be enjoyed sitting in Frontierland, on a warm, sunny afternoon. It transports the drinker from the cold, windswept shores of the Rivers of America during the holidays to the sunny bygone days of high summer. The bright strawberries are complemented by the basil, which helps to cut some of their artificial flavors from being canned strawberries.
The bright pop of herbaceous basil and slight note of lime balance out this beverage to make it supremely drinkable. We could easily down six or seven glasses of this sweet, fruity concoction. Suffice it to say, we will be returning for this one again soon.
The holiday season at Disneyland runs from November 11 through January 8.