Authentic Mexican grub and a welcoming atmosphere draw diners to this cantina..
This Williambsburg go-to fufills the neighborhood's appetite for authentic but accessible Mexican food, especially at brunch. Purposefully grungy hipsters congregate at the lunch-style counter for a view of the kitchen and strong coffee or settle at close-set tables for simple but well-executed fare like juevos rancheros, fish tacos, tortas and whatever's on special for the day. The waitstaff's warm vibe is particularly welcomed considering the often long waits for a table. Though Bonita doesn't have a liquor license, patrons can take the edge off with a Michelada, a take on a the traditional bloody mary with Tecate in place of vodka, or go wholesome with a Mexican hot chocolate.
Whatever happened to Bonita???.
The restaurant in essence is very nice. I have been a regular customer since 2003, I loved this place because I'm from Mexico and this was one of the few places where you could enjoy typical food! I stopped coming for a year and yesterday when I came for dinner it was a complete fiasco!! The staff in general is still very nice but the food is terribly disappointing, there is no more typical food, the menu has downsized and there are not many options to chose from, no more cheese tacos, no more chiles rellenos, no more cochinita pibil, no more veggie quesadilla (just to mention a few that I can think of) the prices are very high and the food is not even worth it! I had one of the specials and it was way to salty, the guacamole was tasteless, the food took really long to get to the table and the wait was not worth it at all. They used to have a great menu with lots of choices, I don't understand why you would change something so good and the only thing I can think is maybe the owners have changed. It is very sad that such a good restaurant now has a typical Manhattan vibe instead of the comfortable Brooklyn atmosphere that it used to have before. I really hope they would go back to where they were and not try to change something that did not need change to begin with.
Owners should consider that there are many other real Mexican food places opening around them and all the regular customers like myself are being pushed to go to these other places instead of coming back to Bonita.
They sell Mexican food here....Where??.
So here I am lunch time and in East Williamsburg Industrial Park..the blue collar hard working section of 'Greenpoint'..and I hold in my hand Loco Burritos (on Bushwick Ave) menu and Bonita's..I decide let me spoil myself today and get a different tasting well presented lunch for my compadre and me! Lets order Bonita...!!!
That is when I went wrong..I order Huevos Rancheros..I got 3 white tortillas, 2 eggs fried hard and some cheese..that is it...I order for my friend a Chicken Torta...I got chicken on a burger bun with a green sauce that claimed to be authentic salsa verde...
All of you reading this of course know what these mexican dished are suppose to taste like, and have some idea of what is suppose to come with an order of huevos rancheros some sort of sauce..green..red something please but I received nothing and the torta was a pulled chicken burger...nothing mexican about either and to top this whole experience off... the prices are high for food that I could of picked up for half the price with full flavor and mexican roots...
Here it is foodies...when you cannot get the simple dishes right stay out of the mexican food business..
when you need 3 people to run a credit card sale stay out of the lunch crowd business because if you serve food for lunch and you aren't aware that speed is part of the business your in deeper trouble than you thought..
I have learned one thing for sure in the food rating business when you don't see any one from the country the food originates from eating at the restaurant..stay away!
VERY disappointed. Wish I had read some of the reviews before meeting friends at this restaurant. Food was bland and over-priced, especially compared to more authentic food (and generous portions) found elsewhere in the city. The service was HORRIBLE, as the waitress kept asking if we were done, even though we had forks in our hands and were chewing. This happened more than once, with our table and the one next to us. As if that weren't enough, our waitress came back when the forks were down and asked if we wanted our food boxed. Very disappointed. The tables next to us had similar experiences, as we shared a full eye-roll with perfect strangers on the way out. Go somewhere else. NOT worth it. VERY overpriced.
HORRIBLE BLAND FOOD! Poorly prepared, with that fresh out of the can / box flavor!.
BOTTOM LINE: THE FOOD STINKS! If you're hungry you'll be better off going to "Loco Burrito" up Bedford and getting some $2 steak tacos.
I ordered one of the nightly specials: "pollo con adobo." I guess it would roughly translate into "chicken with seasoning." What i got was a bowl with stewed chicken (1 leg, 1 thigh) sitting in a watered down chipotle sauce that tasted and looked fresh from the can. The drowned and flavorless chicken was served up with a mushy yet burnt yellow rice and 3 pitifully small water logged tortillas. This plate cost $13.50! The chicken tacos fared a little better flavorwise, but were anemic in size and spartan in fixings. Consisting of boiled chicken with cilantro on a tortilla, they were nothing special. A plate of three cost about $8. When asked if we could add extra tacos to the order the server stated it would be impossible. The Slow service and uncomfortable seating contributed to the overall terrible experience .
Best restaurant in South Williamsburg. This place has life! Huge Mexican tiles on the wall, beautiful hand-painted lettering on the windows, traditional cooking and killer sangria (ask for less ice if you want to get our money's worth). Only once did they mess up my order (waitress forgot to put it in). I believe it was her first night and anyway, the manager comped our food, and I was happy. Other than that It's loud, and if you sit at the counter you can feel the heat from the stove, which is great on cold nights. Some times I think that this place is a little over priced, but not for a date and you're paying for the atmosphere.
Drinks just can't make up for what the food lacks!!!.
I've been mostly to their Fort Greene outpost but I can imagine both locations are pretty much the same, at least from what I've heard. Although the drinks are great and the Margarita Piquante is cool the food is SEVERLY lacking. I usually go for the chopped salad with pork and it's okay but one many occasions at least one person in my party is seriously disappointed. One friend had a pork burrito that was COLD in the middle and not just luke-warm but COLD! Another friend had a quesadilla that could've come from a box. Fried plaintains were flavorless nad covered in some sort of soggy mush...probably what should've been fresh mojo but got lost along the way. Rice and beans side is only enough for one person but priced as though it should feed at least three. My neighboorhodd Mexican restaurant (Acapulco is WAY better and much cheaper) stay away from Bonita!
P.S. the snooty waitstaff is reason enough to stay away
NOT A TRACE OF AUTHENTICITY.
As a latino and life-long resident of Williamsburg, I think I can speak to where good latin food is in the neighborhood. This is not one of them, albeit the friendly service.
The quarters of this establishment are uncomfortable. The tables are small, tight and the entire layout of the restaurant is narrow. The management obviously had not decided to improve on the space or decor as it was before it became Bonita (it was formerly a Dominican lunch counter) though it?s possible this was out of their control.
As for the food, not only is it inauthentic, it?s also very bland. I ate here once and had their chicken with rice. There are plenty more Dominica/Puerto Rican restaurants in the neighborhood that offer the same meal more flavorful and in larger portions.
In truth, this will satisfy anyone who is not familiar with authentic Latin American fare and probably not from the area. To no surprise, I have not been here since.
I could take it or leave it. I checked this place out with a friend the other night, and wasn't all that impressed. We managed to get the last remaining table in the place. The service really bothered me... alot actually. Our waiter came and before we even took our coats off, he was asking us what we wanted to drink and if we wanted guacamole - which we did. I had about .03 seconds to scan the drink menu before just ordering a dosequis because I sensed he was annoyed that I might have preferred not to drink the bottle of tap water that was sitting on the table for god knows how long before we got there. He came with our drinks before I even had a chance to read the menu, and stood there waiting to take our order. Since we both felt rushed we ordered beef, veggie and fish tacos to share. The guacamole was ok, though a little pasty, it was deffinately the best part of the meal. The tacos weren't so great. The portions were pretty small. The beans tasted really dry and bland and the tortillas were also really dry and pasty. A food runner brought us our food and I couldn't find my waiter when I wanted to order another beer (which was about 5 minutes after we ordered our food). I got really annoyed after we had been finished with our (not very good) tacos for a while, and asked the bartender if she could ask our waiter for the check. Maybe we caught them on a bad night, maybe they were shortstaffed or something. Next time (if there is one) I'll sit at the bar where I'll be sure to get proper service, and I'll probably just stick to the guacamole.
Yummy burritos and fun atmosphere.
Bonita has great food generally (I recommend the burritos), the ambience is casual but gets livelier as the night goes on, and the waitstaff are friendly and attentive. Even when busy I haven't had to wait long to be seated.
**Warning to vegetarians, though: the options are limited and the portions are not really commensurate with the price (as is the rest of the menu, in my humble opinion). The chile relleno was tasty but so small that even a light eater would not have been satisfied by it. The pico de gallo was just right but it would have been nice to receive additional tortilla chips with it when we asked for a little extra and were duly charged for it.
Otherwise, if you're not vegetarian and want an awesome burrito and michelada to wash it down with then be sure to check out Bonita!