Bongos Cuban Cafe Downtown

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1498 East Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL, USA
(407) 828-0999

Bongos Cuban Cafe Downtown Orlando Reviews

streamlines streamli…
20 reviews
Oct 03, 2005
A cuban "chain" owned by the Estefan's (Gloria and Emilo). The food was just OK, but the service seemed rushed and was probably the worst we had during the entire fortnight.
Bongo's
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lulusartshack lulusart…
50 reviews
I can't believe they call it Cuban. Jul 09, 2000
Ok, so I have to admit, I'm super spoiled when it comes to Cuban food. I grew up in Miami surrounded by Cuban food, both my parents were born in Cuba, so I was eating black beans before I could walk or talk. I didn't even realize Cuban was considered "ethnic" until I was about 14. But I have to say, by far, that Bongos Cuban Cafe in Orlando has been the worst, most over-priced Cuban food I have ever eaten.

Honestly, I was a little weary at first to pay $10 for a plate of "picadillo," or ground beef. But I was on a date, and I know my husband (then boyfriend) was trying his best to make a cultural connection, so I figured $1 for a "papa rellena" (stuffed potato, described to me once as a meatball surrounded by mashed potatoes) seemed ok, until I got my food. I'm a little embarrassed that this is so many people's first foray into Cuban cuisine. The picadillo was bland, tasted like nothing I've ever had (in a bad way). The papas rellenas were a disappointment. They tasted ok, but they were tiny and the meat inside was bland as well. My poor future husband had never had black beans and rice, and since then it's taken him several years to try them again for fear of pasty beans.

The Cuban coffee from the take-out window is not bad, but the pastries seem to be perpetually soggy and I've heard rumors of people finding mold growing in them. A real disappointment for what could have been a really good idea.
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