Bongos is a table service restaurant located in the West Side at Disney Springs, right across from the west exit to Orange Garage and near AMC Theaters and Splitsville. Bongos is one of the last remaining pieces from the Downtown Disney days and is owned by the Estefan family. Yes, that Estefan. Bongos was one of the last remaining WDW restaurants that our own Tom Corless hasn’t been to, so we got on our feet and headed down to the springs. We expected the worst, but found a great silver lining.
Pina Colada – Oakheart Spice Rum, Creme of coconut and pineapple juice – $13.00
OR, IN OUR CASE, $28.00 because we couldn’t leave without the souvenir ceramic bongo mug. Right? Not only is the pina colada good but they pack an ungodly amount of alcohol into the 21oz container. It’s well worth your money, plus the mug is awesome.
Estefan Kitchen Cuban Combo – Applewood Bacon-wrapped Maduros, crispy Pork Bites, Breaded Stuffed Potatoes, Black Bean Hummus, Plantain Chips, and Ham Croquettes (serves two) – $24.00
They’re not joking, it’s GIGANTIC and can easily serve a party of four. The bacon-wrapped maduros were surprisingly good with a great smokey flavor that contrasted the earthy maduros. There’s two stuffed potatoes stuffed with… olives and meat? We’re unsure what meat it was, but it was pretty tasty. There’s not a lot else going on with them though. The ham croquettes were creamy and had a weird texture to the inside, but that didn’t matter when they were gone with two bites anyway. Black bean hummus was also another good choice with the plantain chips. The star of this dish, though, was the crispy pork. There’s a gigantic amount in the middle of the dish topped with onions that’s almost as big as one of the portions we received for actual dinner. It’s crispy and flavorful after you get past the five minutes of chewing needed for each piece. Everything on this sampler was good, we were quite impressed.
Mojo Chicken – Pan-seared, Mojo-marinated Chicken Breast, and Grilled Onions served with our famous Black Beans and Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Brown Rice – $22.00
We’ve been burned by bad chicken dishes so often in the past it’s about time the record was broken. Bongos, of all places, put the curse to rest with a well-seasoned and cooked chicken breast. The mojo sauce rests into the chicken perfectly and isn’t overbearing, just enough to give great flavor. There’s a lot of onions, either for your enjoyment with the chicken or to be pushed to the side, and enough rice and black beans to make anyone happy. Everything works together in Cuban harmony. It’s honestly a great dish, albeit not too exciting or different.
Award-Winning Cuban Slow-roasted Cuban Pork – Traditional Cuban-style, 24-hour Marinated Roasted Pork topped with Grilled Onions, Mojo, Moro Rice – $23.00
As if the pork from the appetizer wasn’t enough, this portion is again gigantic. There’s a heaping pile of well marinated and cooked roasted pork topped with onions and heaven. We opted for white rice instead of the moro rice, which is a combination of black beans and rice. Our server was wonderful enough to give us plantains on the side as well. They’re well cooked and have a great fresh flavor to each bite. But back to the never-ending bowl of pork. We tried to finish it but it kept reappearing from another realm of happiness. It’s good, but a little too much for one person. Consider getting this and an appetizer to split.
Cuban Coffee – $5.00
This coffee is ultra-condensed, rich, and packed into a small glass. It’ll wake you up with a robust flavor and great Cuban flavor.
Churros – Six pieces of churros served with condensed milk, chocolate and guava sauce – $12.00
Twelve dollars is a lot for churros, but think of it as buying three regular sized churros in the park and cutting them in half. That makes the price easier to swallow. Fortunately these are the single greatest churros you will find at Walt Disney World. Hands down. They’re crispy and coated extremely well in the cinnamon sugar mixture. The condensed milk, guava sauce, and chocolate are all unique and wonderful in their own ways. We’re going back to Bongos and getting this as a snack at the bar. All. The Time. They’re life changing and shouldn’t be missed, even if you just stop in for a drink at the bar.
NOTE: The one problem we have with Bongos is the lack of discounts. They do not accept Tables in Wonderland, annual pass, or pretty much anything for a discount. If it weren’t for this policy, we would probably visit way more often.
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