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Review of Santiago's Bodega

Santiago's Bodega
Ranked #148 of 3,922 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $38
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Santiago's Bodega presents a unique tasting experience featuring small plates that hopscotch between decadent (a warm Camembert wedge topped with sauteed garlic, onions, almonds, apricots, chopped dates, bell peppers), refreshing (yellow fin tuna, avocado, mango ceviche), exotic (lamb patties with fresh thyme, sherry, lemon zest) and just plain comfort-food-delicious (Roman meatballs on angel hair, or fried potatoes in a spicy sauce). As nothing costs over $15, there’s no major commitment, and if the relationship doesn't work, move along to the next selection. The menu’s ideal for sharing and for mixing up in endless combinations. Alternate between chevre tartlet, spanakopita, or smoked salmon carpaccio. Invent your own meal. Dining in such a way permits the rules of wine pairings to step aside like snooty impostors, and what goes best with dinner is exactly what tempts you. Santiago’s Bodega is a good-natured, low-key, food-lovers hangout, a neighborhood restaurant. - Margit Bisztray
Reviewed July 19, 2013

My husband and I went to Santiago's Bodega in Key West in July 2012 on a recommendation from a first. We didn't know what to expect, but the food and drinks were wonderful, and the atmosphere was fun and quirky, and went back a second time on our trip. The bartender told us that they were opening a new restaurant in Orlando, and we were thrilled! We tracked their construction progress online and finally went first time last weekend. It was so worth the wait! We had a reservation but chose to eat in the bar for a livelier atmosphere. I was so happy to see the moody artwork and similar style ambiance to the Key West location- I love it! Our server, Shelly, was very attentive, funny, and timely. She was great. We ordered probably 8 different small plates (at least) between the two of us, because the food is just so damn good. Our favorites were the saganaki (I could bathe in it it's so good), croquettas, beef short ribs, and the goat cheese stuffed dates with prosciutto, which was to die for and we ordered seconds of that one. The brussel sprouts were a little al dente and oily for my taste, so I probably wouldn't get them again (my only complaint). I love the small plates idea because we got to try so many different things. It's not cheap to try so much, but the majority of our bill was from drinks, actually. Great wine and sangria too. We're going back this weekend for more!

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Thank Samantha F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 8, 2013

This is my first review since I did the review of the supper that I had at the Santiago Bodega in Key West last June.
I wanted to wait until I had the chance to have supper at their newly opened Santiago Bodega in Orlando Fl. Located on Virginia Ave.
Let me just start by saying that my wife and I heard that the restaurant was opening in time for father’s day so I called the phone number and made a reservation for 6 pm. I advised when I called that I was looking forward to comparing their new location with the one in Key West.
Well, upon our arrival to the restaurant at 5:30, I couldn't help but notice that something was not quite right. First there were no cars on the parking lot that is located behind and alongside the restaurant , there were construction dumpsters on the parking lot and I saw two workers in front attaching a hand rail.
I parked my car and approached one of the workers who identified himself as Jason and made the obvious statement, “it appears that you’re not quite open yet”. I then explained the Key West story to him and stated that I bet that I have reservation for dinner at that restaurant. Jason called and confirmed that is where the reservations were. I asked him to cancel them for me since I don’t believe that I could make it there in time. He did and before I left, he apologized and gave me a coupon for a free tapas. I thanked him and said that we would be back.
We missed the soft opening on Wednesday 3 July but did make dinner reservations for my birthday on the 7th. We arrived about 5:40 for our 6pm reservation and were immediately taken to our table.
Our first impression was wow, this really looks nice. As soon as you enter, you meet the hostess , very friendly, who will either take you left to a nice size dining area or to the right which is smaller and is where the bar is located. We went right.
We were seated at a table that had a booth style seat on one side for two and a chair and stool on the other. Be advised, if you are not about 6’6”, your feet will not touch the floor if you sit on the booth side which will leave your legs dangling. If you don’t mind that, fine but I had to trade sides with my wife who is 5’8”.
The server, a friendly lady from Poland, can’t remember her name and I apologize, came over to take our order. I told her the story about Key West and that we were going to have the same meal here as we did there, for the most part.
My wife and I started by ordering the sweat tea and French Onion Soup. The tea was not sweet enough for us and we added extra sugar. The Onion soup however was excellent in my opinion. Their Onion soup has a sweat taste that I really enjoyed.
Next came the spinach salad which was plenty for two. The salad was good but not like the one we had in Key West. It was missing the glazed pecans and the dressing didn’t have the same poppy seed taste as before. Still, it was good enough that we ate it all.
My wife ordered the tenderloin with bleu cheese butter and I ordered the rack of lamb. This is where a little humor enters our experience.
I saw a server bring out a rack of lamb and approached a guest at the bar who stated that he did not order the lamb. The server then disappeared back towards the kitchen. I advise my wife that I think that my lamb ventured out to the floor and then returned where it had come from. As we continued to drink our teas, I again watched my rack of lamb meander its way out to the floor and again another guest declined the dish. Away went my lamb for a second time.
By this time, my wife’s tenderloin arrived to the table and when she tasted it she said this is why I came. She stated that it was as good as the one in Key West.
At this time our regular server came to the table to apologize for the delay for the lamb. I smiled and stated, I know, I watched my lamb enter twice, roam around and leave the same way it came in. She again apologized and brought us to freshly backed rolls which were thinly sliced. I must say, they were very good. As my wife was finishing her tenderloin, another server came to the table with tenderloin in hand. Though it looked good, we advised him that we already had ours delivered.
Finally the lamb came and just as my wife said about her tenderloin, I said about the lamb. It was excellent.
I decided that I wanted a mojito, when I got it, it was OK but not what I expected. As I was sipping on my drink, a server came to the table with a mojito. I thanked him and stated that I already had mine. He then left with the drink. We were next joined by Tanya; I didn't ask her position at the restaurant. We chatted awhile and I told her about Key West. Tanya stated that she worked there and also advised me that Jason who gave me the free tapas gift card back in June is actually the owner. Tanya then stated that she had tasted the second mojito that was returned and noticed it to be really strong and asked if mine was the same. I said yes it was. She said let me take that and correct it for you. While waiting for Tanya to return, a server came to our table with what he thought was my order for lamb. I advised him that I already had mine but thank you any way. Tanya returned with my drink and this time it tasted like a mojito should.
We wrapped up our meal with an order of bread pudding which came with a scoop of ice cream. To anyone who likes bread putting please make sure you order it. It was absolutely delicious.
Little mistakes like these are to be expected in a restaurant that has only been open for a week. My wife and I agree that we will be visiting the Santiago Bodega many more times in the months to come. I definitely give them a thumbs up.

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Thank Joseph T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2012

This was a great place, that closed December 2011!

Thank lisandbry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2010

We found this restaurant from reviews on this site on our way to the Orlando Science Center with the kids.

We recently stopped into this restaurant during the busy weekday lunch rush. There were 6 of us, 4 adults and 2 children, ages 6 and 7. They didn't have space for 6 at an open table, so they sat 4 of us at a table, with the two kids at the bar. The kids were in heaven. The took the kid's order immediately, and tuned the television on their side of the bar to The Incredibles to keep them occupied.

The staff was very attentive to both the kids and to us, prompt with refills and anything else we might need, as well as very friendly and courteous.

The food was outstanding. From the Montana Wrap, to the Fish & Chips, to the Cuban Sandwich, to the Fried Green Tomato BLT, not one of our meals was less than outstanding.

Great to find a diamond like this in the franchise restaurant rough that is Orlando.

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Thank rautyasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2009

I love this place. I've eaten there twice and both times the food was very good and the service was very good. This is a locals kind of place in the neighborhood but with excellent food. The Mediterranean plate appetizer is great and they have some very good wines for a very good price by restaurant standards.

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Thank drsknight86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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