Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by CattailGal, Mar 29, 2013.
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we liked Bongo's ....but then, we're not experts on
Cuban by any means
I'm Cuban American living in Miami,so I have to know about Cuban restaurants,however when I go to Orlando I'm not searching them out as I get enough of them here.As far as Bongo's goes,I've never eaten in the restaurant mainly because I tried their Medianoche sandwich in their take out window which is the same as a Cuban sandwich in a sweeter egg bread and it was clearly the worst medianoche sandwich I've ever had,even a little hole in the wall place down here makes one 20X better.I'm sure the inside restaurant has to have somewhat better food than that sandwich I had in the take out window otherwise I can't imagine how they've been open for so long.The other Cuban places in the area that I know of are the Columbia restaurant in Celebration which is a Spanish/Cuban place that's been around for over 100 years with the first one located in Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood.I've eaten at the Columbia restaurant in Celebration and St.Augustine and I have nothing bad to say about it.Again it's a Spanish/Cuban mix so not everything on the menu is pure Cuban,it's also more upscale when compared to the typical Cuban places you have in Miami like La Carreta,Versailles and Sergio's,so be prepared to spend more.Another place I've seen but not eaten in the Orlando area is Cuba Libre in Pointe Orlando on International Drive by the convention center,I have no knowledge about this place just letting you know it exists.There's been other posts before asking this same question and some locals have mentioned a place up in Casselberry which is away from the tourist areas.
Thanks for the suggestions. We're "Miami natives", now living in Tenn. DH is of Cuban heritage. We miss the Cuban food!!
We had some good meals at Padrino's Cuban Bistro. You would probably need a car to drive there, as it's east of Disney off of John Young Pkwy, but it is very highly rated on Tripadvisor, for a reason. Night and day compared to Bongo's which used to be good many years ago, but lately has been lack lustre. Never tried Cuba Libre, may need to try that sometime althogh it looks to be more expensive than Padrino's. http://www.padrinosbistro.com/home.htm
I would rank Columbia above Cuba Libre or Bongo's. My one meal at Cuba Libre was pretty lackluster, and the latter is Disney's version of Cuban....
We are also fans of the Columbia restaurant. My husband is Cuban, and from Ybor city, and actually, the founders of the Columbia restaurant were friends of his father.
Bongos = our worst restaurant meal ever! Everything came lukewarm off of a steam table. Yech!
Not Cuban, but have seen a couple of recommendations for Tropifongo (Puerto Rican) takeout place at 3160 Vineland. Have been carrying around the address for years, but still haven't made it there.
I agree that Bongo's is NOT good, we get better and more authentic cuban at the mall food court in Tampa, and actually had better by far in Omaha, NE! Bongo's may have been decent at one time, but when we went last year it was dry, lukewarm meat from sitting out, and virtually no seasoning; the only good thing for my 12 year old whose birthday dinner it was, was that they served Iron Beer, which she dearly loves, LOL.
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