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  • Author
    • Cstauffer1

      Registered: July 2006
      Posts: 28
      Review Date: Sun November 1, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): food, service, atmosphere
      Cons: none

      Had a great meal at Bongos. Definitely one of the most underrated restaurants at Disneyworld. We were able to walk right in without reservations. The atmosphere was lively with Cuban dancing and music and the food was incredible. We started our meal with a giant cocktail which while pricy, but we knew we got our money's worth as it was one of the few cocktails that we could tell actually had alcohol in it and not just juice. I ordered the seafood platter with Cuban sauce. It would have been comparable to cioppino, an Italian seafood soup with plenty of fresh shrimp, fish, mussels, scallops, and a small lobster tail in it. The tomato sauce/broth was flavorful and not overpowering. Husband enjoyed his meal as well. Overall a great experience.
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      Registered: April 2011
      Posts: 30
      Review Date: Wed May 7, 2014 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 3 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Atmosphere, Service
      Cons: Food

      My husband and I ate here on May 2, 2014 for dinner. He ordered a dish that was shredded chicken, onions and rice with plantains and black beans. He said it was bland and not very good. My dish was a quarter chicken, yellow rice with vegetables and plantains. The chicken had no flavor, the rice was greasy at best. The best part was the plantains. For us, we could have made the entire meal at home and it would have come out better tasting. However, our server was good and attentive.
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      Wendy Writes

      Registered: May 2010
      Posts: 34
      Review Date: Sun May 4, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Food
      Cons: Noisy

      I see many people have had a problem with this restaurant. All I can say is it was fine for us. We had a good meal, good service, and had a lot of fun. It is authentic Cuban food however, and maybe that was not a good choice for some.
      I would say give it a try, it is a reasonably priced, nicely themed Downtown Disney restaurant.
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      Registered: September 2013
      Posts: 7
      Review Date: Tue September 24, 2013 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Food was very good
      Cons: Numerous "little" things...

      I was torn if I should cancel my reservations here and try somewhere else after reading all the bad reviews and now that its over I'm still torn on whether I should have cancelled our reservations and tried somewhere else. It all started when we walked up to the hostess and gave her my name and time of my ADR. She could not find me and asked if I could give her a confirmation number. Thank goodness I had my phone on me and that I had the Disney Experience app because all my confirmation numbers were written down in my vacation notebook which I left in CT. It was 6pm and the restaurant was pretty much empty. I had been worried about the complaints of the noise but it didn't start getting noisy that Thursday night until around 8 when we were leaving so if you have small kids try to get an early dinner. Our server Lile was very friendly our drinks came out very fast but our food came out VERY slow. from our drinks to dinner was 45 minutes. My daughters pizza came out at 30 minutes but then it just sat there waiting for the rest of the food to show up. I guess it comes out of a different "station" as Lile explained and he offered to put it under the warmer but I never send food back after watching the movie "Waiting". My husband had the Cuban tour and I had the skillet of seafood. Both of our dishes were very good- I have never had Cuban food so I cant tell you if it tasted authentic or not but we both really enjoyed out dinner. The yellow rice was so good but the skillet is huge so I couldn't finish it. We ordered our desserts to go because a storm was coming in and the restaurant was filling up. We were on DDP and there was some confusion with that-no clue what is was but he kept bringing me receipts and asking me to sign them and then taking them back and fixing them and getting me to sign them again. He was so nice it was hard to get irritated with him. Finally he handed my husband the four desserts to go and we walk out. About halfway across Downtown Disney(towards the Marketplace) my husband says the desserts are leaking down his legs. What?! We stop and he opens them up. They were supposed to be three chocolate cakes and some vanilla custard-they were four ???? of whip cream, cherries and ice cream?! Who packs ice cream to go?! REALLY?! It was 80+degrees outside! As much as Lile was nice this is where I finally got upset. I understand you have no control of how long food takes but you should at least check the boxes and make sure the food is right!!! Or that it wont come out at different times!!! So my husband asks me if I want to go back and get the right desserts as he stands there with and overtired, whining kid in one hand and take out dripping down his legs in the other as a thunderstorm rolls in still 10 minutes from the buses(I had no clue there were two bus stops!). Ummmmm, no honey-just throw them away. I don't think we will go back. Ever.
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      Registered: January 2009
      Location: Delaware
      Posts: 15
      Review Date: Fri August 16, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Live music inside n outside, friendly service, food
      Cons: N/A

      On our last night there we had 8pm reservations and enjoyed every moment. It was a busy night being that it was Friday so service was a bit slow but no complaints. The drinks and food were delicious and cooked to perfection.
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      Registered: March 2013
      Posts: 6
      Review Date: Fri April 19, 2013 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 4 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): fun atmosphere
      Cons: slow service, subpar food

      I dined here on a Friday night (4/12). The atmosphere of this place is really fun. We sat on the patio which meant we had a good veiw of the courtyard and the DJ set up there for the night.
      The service was excrutiating slow, which was confusing because we'd technically had two wait staff - our official waitress and her helper. The entire meal took nearly two hours, and we'd only ordered two drinks, an app platter to share, and two entrees - and we're definitely not "leisurely" eaters who linger. We sat for a full 20 minutes between our plates being cleared and our check appearing.
      The food itself was semi-disappointing. We ordered the Bongos Combo appetizer platter to share. The fried stuffed potatoes were amazing. If I had only ordered a platter of these I'd probably be raving abuot the place. The rest of it was anywhere from boring (ham crouquettes reminded me of freezer cheesesticks) to disgusting (I couldn't finish the yucca cups).
      This continued with husband's entree. He ordered the Masitas de Puerco (marinated, fried pork). His pork was so dry he had trouble eating it - especially without the waters we'd ask for about half an hour earlier. On top of that, it tasted as if it hadn't been seasoned with anything.
      I had the Bistec Empanizado (breaded fried steak), which was definitely amazing - tons of flavor in the breading. I was not given a steak knife though, and my waitress never showed up so I could ask for one. So it was a bit difficult to saw through with my butter knife. The side dishes were pretty bland as well- black beans and rice and sweet plantains with very little flavor. I didn't hate them, but I didn't love them either.
      Overall, I don't think I'd bother going back. The price of the meal was definitely not reflected in the quality of the food or service.
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      Registered: December 2012
      Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Tue December 25, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Dining Plan
      Cons: None!

      Food was tasty! Staff was gracious and accommodating.

      Just because it's Cuban doesn't mean it's spicy or weird, it's just a little different.

      Had a delicious meal -- I had a roasted chicken which was cooked perfectly (not too dry, nor was it underdone).

      We chose the churros for dessert which was probably the only thing that could use a tiny bit of improvement. I'd love to see different sauces rather than the traditional vanilla, chocolate, strawberry.
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      Registered: October 2012
      Location: Upstate NY
      Posts: 7
      Review Date: Mon October 22, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros):

      We got last minute reservations for dinner on a Thursday evening in September. The food my husband and I ordered was very good! I had chicken with sweet plantains. His was a combo of chicken and pork (I think) with fried plantains. The black beans were delicious and I think my favorite part. We did not have dessert. I wish the childrens options had been more varied though. My kids ended up eating pizza that looked like it was frozen and prepared in microwave. I would have given it a high score if not for that.
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      Registered: September 2012
      Posts: 14
      Review Date: Wed September 26, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 3 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): tables on the balcony
      Cons: very noisy, rude waiter

      Met friends here for drinks and appetizers. No reservations so we waited 10 mins for a balcony table. After we placed our order, our waiter informed us that most people order dinner. I thanked him for the info, and said that appetizers and cocktails ($9 each by the way) would suffice for us. He said that if we take a table on a Saturday, we should at least order dinner -- the restaurant expects us to. A real charmer, don't you think?

      A third of the cafe's tables were empty at 8 PM on a Saturday. I would like to recommend this as a place for drinks and dancing (nice little dance floor) as it has a lively atmosphere. However, they don't want you to hang around and drink up (for $9 a cocktail). Clearly! So why the blaring loud dance club music then??? This place needs to resolve it's identity crisis. Go someplace else where your patronage is welcome.
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      Registered: September 2012
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Sun September 2, 2012 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 1 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Haven't found any yet
      Cons: Limited QSDP options

      We went during lunch to try the takeout options using our QSDP. The only items using an adult credit are sandwiches, entrees are not available under the dining plan. We decided against getting a sandwich since we can get better value at Wolfgang Puck Express on the east side or Pollo Campero.
      So I ordered a kids pizza for my daughter using a child credit. They should not bother serving pizza since it was basically Ellio's.
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      Registered: July 2006
      Location: Taunton, Massachusetts
      Posts: 42
      Review Date: Sun August 19, 2012 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 3 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Nothing
      Cons: Too loud, lackluster food

      Right from the start, the woman at the check in desk could not find our reservation, which annoyed her. She offered outside seating or we would need to wait. We chose to wait. We waited about 20 minutes, and were seated in a booth near the bar. Our group of 5 adults (three in their twenties, 2 in their fifties) all thought the restaurant was unbelievably loud, music blaring. We were unable to have a conversation without shouting.
      Our server was nice, but slow. Another review mentioned 15 minutes to take drink orders, 15 minutes to get them, etc.
      We ordered 3 Cuban Tour and 2 Chicken Milanese. The meat was stringy and bland. The Milanese has almost no sauce, an way too much cheese. None of us were impressed at all. The others had sorbet for dessert, which was already half melted and soupy. I had the rice pudding, which was the best thing I ate there. We were on the dining plan, thankfully, because all of us agreed that we would not have wanted to "pay" for that mess!! We will not be going to Bongos again!
      I see in other posts that people love the food. Perhaps it is our taste. However, I have a hard time believing that the servers who work there day after day aren't going to have severe hearing problems after being in that environment over time!. The loud music is the worst! We were happy to get outside!!
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      Registered: June 2006
      Location: Massachusetts
      Posts: 14
      Review Date: Fri May 25, 2012 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 3 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Dining Plan
      Cons: Bad service, dead bugs, and more

      I will start by saying once I spoke to the manager, our meals were free but how we got to this point was a major headache.

      I was on the Disney Dining Plan and my friend was not. I have food allergies and relayed the info to our server. He came back saying they had fresh chicken and plantains they could make me. I had to ask for rice. Our meals came out in 5 minutes, a bad sign considering my meals always take longer to prepare.

      My chicken had been washed of its marinade with specs of black pepper (my allergy) left behind. The server took down the wrong order from my friend. She got some other dish with dry, hard chicken. Mine went back and the waiter returned to say the chef would ONLY make me the 1 vegetarian dish they offer, plantains, rice, and steamed veggies. I agreed because I was starving.

      My friend complained about her meal but nothing was done. Normally, a manager or chef talks over my allergies with me. I didn't see anyone until after I ate and requested to see him.

      I told him everything that happened and he apologized multiple times. I pointed out the 3 dead mosquitoes on our table as well. He comped our meals.

      I eat at a Miami chain, Sergio's, without problems. I can also enjoy food at El Pub in Little Havana, and at Cuban restaurants in CA. This was an awful experience. I'll never go back & it's a huge let down since I'm a big fan of Gloria Estefan.
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      Registered: March 2012
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Thu March 22, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): great atmosphere

      Food is wonderful, so are the drinks. Just know that they are truly on "island time" and the wait between order your dinner and receiving it can be lengthy....just enjoy... have a drink, an appetizer and relax.
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