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“A little bit of Caribbean Flavor in Downtown Disney”
Review of Bongos Cuban Cafe

Bongos Cuban Cafe
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Ranked #366 of 3,776 Restaurants in Orlando
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Caribbean, Latin, Spanish, Cuban, Central American, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Families with children, Special occasions, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Lake Buena Vista
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A little bit of Caribbean Flavor in Downtown Disney”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Latin food is so good! I really enjoyed the arroz manpostiado con carne asada y amarillos (cuban rice with tender pork and sweet plantains). If you are feeling like having a good latin night, I recommend this place. It was a fun evening.

Great atmosphere!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Miguel A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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    Value
    Atmosphere
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English first
Doncaster, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Save your dollars! Don't go!!!!”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

We are currently still in Orlando, however we felt compelled to write a review to warm people about this horrendous place!

We went after making an online reservation, which there was apparently only two times available when booking...strange that when we turned up the place was half empty and seriously lacking in atmosphere!

We were taken to the back of the restaurant to a table that had chewing gum underneath, not pleasant and not what you expect at disney! The waitress brought our drinks and food, however my mums meal was freezing cold and smothered in grease!

The meal was sent back and the same meal was brought back, after being in the microwave, which obviously was not working as it was still cold!

My mum decided not to eat, with the rest of us eating what we could of our meals, ok, but not brill. We have had a number of delicious meals this holiday and this was a real disappointment!

In conclusion, this meal was cold, greasy, unimaginative and expensive! Take your money and eat somewhere else!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Kelly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
38 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not great, was excited about going there but left disappointed”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

The place itself is impressive, the location is good, decor is exciting and my sister and I were really excited about eating there to view it in person. Unfortunately, our excitement stopped there. I'm one of those people who comes to a restaurant so hungry that I could care less about the number of times my water glass is filled, so I really can't say much about the staff or service other than the server we had talked really fast and I have no idea what he said the specials were. The food is a different story.

Now I hate to say a whole menu is bad just from the couple things I happen to try when I eat out, but I'm not ashamed to say that I eat out alot, and if one dish is good, most of the dishes will usually be just as good unless you happen to get the one dish on the menu that is just awful. This is a big menu so it is possible that happened, but it just seemed like the chef didn't really try that hard. Most of the food was very bland and not well seasoned at all and the rest was just ok, which would actually be fine if this was a hole in the wall place, but it's not. The meals are in the $20 range and I have eaten at hole in the wall places that were half that with way better food!

Let me just tell you how this went. We ordered calamari to start because you usually can't go wrong with calamari. Well, they did. The sauce was pretty good, I would love to pair that with quality calamari, but this stuff tasted like it came unseasoned right out of a box. It was rubbery and bland and I could barely stand to eat one unless it was covered in the sauce first.

For the meal I got the vegetarian plate, which was probably the problem right there, but I'm pescatarian (no meat except fish) and wasn't feeling like overdoing it with the seafood that particular day. Now I have to say that most places have very good vegetarian meals. It isn't that hard to do very creative, delicious things with only vegetables as long as they are seasoned correctly, but this place does not know how to season correctly or be creative. I even asked if they could take one of the fried rice meals and replace the chicken with extra veggies and the server looked at me like I asked him to sacrifice his first born to the moon goddess Pennelope. Usually restaurants in this price range try to be accomodating but he just started giving me lame excuses so I just said screw it and got the vegetarian meal. When the meal arrived, it was basically steamed vegetables seasoned with only garlic (if there was anything else I did not taste it), plain rice, and plantains that could have been pulled directly off a cheap chinese buffet. I've actually had cheap pescatarian chinese buffet food that was better than this.

My sister had a cuban shrimp dish which was slightly better than mine, but had bland sauce and very dry plantain patty things. I was really not happy with it at all, especially considering there is a cuban place where I'm from that serves meals 10x times better than this for half the price. I really wish everyone on here that says Bongos is good could eat at that place, because then you would know what real cuban food is supposed to taste like!

Their best feature was actually the mixed drinks. My sister and I each had a different one and both were really good, but I couldn't convince myself to order another one at $10 a pop. I was also pretty grossed out by their mojitos because the table next to us ordered 2 and they had a brownish color. Not sure how they tasted or if they were supposed to be that color, but I have never had one that looked like that anywhere else.

SO yeah it was pretty bad, and probably the worst meal we ate the whole 9 days we were there, including the not-so-great free breakfast at the hotel. On the plus side though we went to Babycakes bakery afterwards and got some really delicious cupcakes and a cookie sandwich. Now that place is GOOD!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Natalie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
72 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 278 helpful votes
“Very bland food”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

We ate here one night during our recent trip to Downtown Disney. We were looking forward to it but were bitterly disappointed. The place was very very noisy, so much so that you couldn't have a conversation across the table. There were also 3 blokes doing the rounds "singing" at peoples tables although I wouldn't say they were particularly in tune. The food choices sounded very appetising but when it arrived, it was very bland and tasteless. It was such a shame as every place we ate during out trip we could not fault except this one and sadly will not be returning any time soon. I think they trade on the name of their owner but does not live up to the hype.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dan_wigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Always the best”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

A family favorite for years they keep serving up great food with good people helping you we always notice the management stepping in to help out when needed and asking the guest about their experience well done. Bar tenders do an outstanding job as well blows splitsville away as far as good times.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank The O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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