Cuban >Bongo's Cuban Cafe
2426 Viscount Row, Orlando, FL | Directions 3280928.456035 -81.415875
If Only We Could Eat the Furnishings – Gloria Estefan and hubby Emilio have created a rather far-out interpretation of Old Havana. It would have been better if they put as much imagination into the menu.
The food is standard and nouvelle Miami Cuban fare
and it is OK and abundant. For a Floridian like myself, there are the same dishes for much less in Tampa and Orlando. Maybe a person from Minnesota would be impressed.
I think the best dishes are the shrimp Cuban Creole and the Cuban style Milanese steak. A lot of people just have some black beans and rice, a Cuban sandwich (hope there is no mayo), and lots of simple chicken dishes. For dessert there is a good flan.
Bongos seems to fall short of its potential. The place has the largest balconies in WDW, but due to the heat, they are usually empty. There is live music at times, but no place to dance. The tables are so close that you couldn’t cha cha cha around them.
Bongo's Looks Great But Food Disappoints – My wife and I had a couple of days in the Orlando area, and have eaten at a Latin/Cuban restaurant in our Midwest hometown, so were attracted to try "authentic" upscale Cuban food. In the middle of the afternoon, service was a bit slow. The stuffed potato appetizer was very good, but unfortunately was the highlight of the meal. It seemed as though the chef substituted saltiness for the real flavor we expected. I had a creole dish, which was OK but nothing memorable. We had two kinds of rice, white and a rice with black beans, both were primarily salt-flavored. For dessert we tried the chocolate tres leches, which again was OK but not as good as we've had at a quality Latin/Cuban restaurant in the middle of Kansas. All in all, Bongo's was overpriced for what at best was mediocre food. We were looking for a memorable dinner, and went away modestly disappointed.
Bongo Bongo Your way somewhere else – I went to Bongo's on the last of my vacation with my pregnant wife, who was craving some cuban food. Since we were at Downtown Disney we figured we would try it. We ordered a cuban sandwich and a steak sandwich and they were both dry and taste less, even the fries were soggy. The server didn't bring us bread until we saw some other table receive bread, so we asked for some. We also asked the waitress to split the tab in two and she didn't even get that right. The only thing that was good was an appetizer that was a potato stuffed with meat. It was pretty expensive for tasteless food. My wife which is pregnant and will almost eat anything did not like it at all, and I only ate it because I was starving. I felt like I needed to put ketchup on everything. The food was dry.
Horrible All The Way Around – It was my last night on vacation and was tired of park food. My friend Rachel and I thought we would celebrate by splurging a little. We invited another friend of ours from the area to join us. The three of us were seated quickly but remained at our table for some time without any acknowledgement. We ordered drinks and the server left only to return 10 minutes later with no drinks. We gave our order and asked for our drinks. Twenty-two minutes later still had no drinks or bread. I got up and talked to the manager. He said he would take of us. The drinks arrived 15 minutes later and wrong. We sent one back and it was returned again wrong. The foor was mild at best. Our bread arrived after our plates were removed. Our server came to the table all of twice, drinks and food was delivered by many different people. The bill arrived at full price. Speaking to the manager he offered no explanation or discount. Save yourself some aggrevation and skip this place all together.
definently not banannas for bongos.... – My boyfriend and I have passed Bongos before and admired the resturant and thought it would be a great place to eat. appearances can be decieving though.... Well I was so excited to eat there finally and get some "authentic" cuban food well it was yucky! we ordered cuban fried chicken that came dry, plain and with a side of white rice and a few peas scattered on the plate...the rolls were cheap and the flan was not very good either. what really freaked me out was no more than 2 minutes after ordering our food was already brought to us making me wonder if it had just been sitting out... I do not recomend Bongos to anyone it is too expensive for what we got! for 2 people eating plain rice a thin slab of unseasoned fried chicken and a few peas we ended up paying over 70 dollars!
Come for the Experience – We were promptly seated, although we arrived at a low-traffic hour. The server was courteous and promptly brought our drinks and our bread.
The spanish food was not out of this world...Both Franc and I have tasted better food at small Mom & Pop establishments. It was expensive. It was not incredibly tasty but it was not a yuck fest either. The atmosphere was great, especially since they feature a live band on Friday and Saturdays where you can dance. Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay but we've heard it's great! We give it a 3 "yummies" out of 5.
Skip this place...It's Lame – I've been there a couple of times and the story is the same. You get the typical immigrant arrogant attitude. The staff seems not to care as they get tips automatically charged to your bill. The food seems more suited to being sold in vending machines or served at a school cafeteria. The ambience is OK, but it doesn't make up for the bad service, horrible food, and absolutely horrendous people waiting on tables. Bongo's is one of the worst places I've ever dined as well as super expensive. Stop by and give the place a glance as it is attractive and tropical, but eat elsewhere. Save your money.
Bongos? Go someplace else! – I went to Bongos for dinner after reading an advertisement in Disneys brochure. The ambience was okay, atmosphere was lively, and the menus looked appetizing. The quality of my food was poor and equivalent to food offered in a hospital or school cafeteria. The appetizers were marginal and my shrimp in tomato sauce looked and tasted like tiny, day-old shrimp in ketchup. My girlfriend ordered breaded chicken and they served her breaded veal. Our waiter refused to acknowledge the mix-up, even after she showed him the dark veal meat. This was acceptable because she also likes veal, but the quality and presentation of the dinner was horrible. I still gave 20% tip on my $100 bill since I dont want to penalize our waiter for poor management. I eat-out 3 to 4 times per week & this was the worst restaurant that Ive visited in 2 years. Go someplace else.
Cuban-American Gloria Estefan and husband Emilio created this cafe as the Disney version of Old Havana. – In Short
Leopard-spotted chairs and a mosaic bar with stools shaped like bongo drums add a funky air and a touch of Estefan's hometown, Miami's South Beach. The upstairs patio is excellent for people-watching. Thick black-bean soup kissed with onion is the appetizer of choice. There are many authentic Cuban entrees, but thin Cuban steak with grilled onions and saffron rice cooked in a paella pan with seafood and fresh vegetables outshines the rest. Don't miss the thick, dark Cuban coffee.
BONKERS FOR BONGOS – ONE OF THE MOST ROMANTIC TIMES I HAVE EVER HAD. THE FOOD, AMBIANCE, SERVICE, AND WINE WERE ALL WONDERFUL. FELL IN LOVE WITH THE PLACE AS WELL AS MY WIFE (THEN FIANCE) ALL OVER AGAIN.
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