Friday, May 9, 2014

Bongos Cuban Cafe -- Downtown Disney

Last September, my daughters and I dined with my father-in-law at Bongos Cuban Cafe in Downtown Disney, while my husband was in China.  I had always wanted to try it, and my daughter Emma was working on a report about Gloria Estefan, the owner of the restaurant, in computer class, so the timing was perfect.

I was really excited to see that gluten free options were marked on the menu, and our server quickly brought out a chef for me to speak to.  You can view the menu for Bongos Cuban Cafe here.

I ended up ordering the Cuban Style Skirt Steak with fried sweet plantains, white rice, and black beans.

Look at how huge the skirt steak was when I unfolded it!

My daughters love black beans, and I am not a huge fan, so I gladly gave them up.  The rest of my meal was so good.  The steak was flavorful and cooked perfectly, and I loved the chimichurri sauce it came with.  It reminded me of an Emeril Lagasse recipe we have made for Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.  You can view the recipe here.

I subbed the fried green plantains that came with the dish for fried sweet plantains, a favorite of mine.  Everything on my plate was excellent.

The decor at Bongos is also really fun, and Emma got to check out pictures of Gloria Estefan.

Downtown Disney has some cute fall decorations in September and October, so we had to get a picture with the Mickey pumpkin after lunch.

We had dessert at Haagen-Dazs, where they have protocols in place if you have a food allergy.  The new Haagen-Dazs location near Disney Quest will hopefully be opening soon.  The store front we went to in the fall has been closed, due to the construction taking place for Disney Springs.

Have you eaten at the Bongos Cuban Cafe in Downtown Disney, or their locations in Miami, South Beach, or Hollywood, Florida?


  1. I was really disappointed with Bongos when we visited in March 2014. We ate lunch and dinner there during our trip. Both times a chef did not come out to our table to discuss the menu-the only restaurant in the greater Disney World area that this happened. I really was disappointed to not enjoy many of my favorite cuban foods (that I can cook at home) due to some kind of seasoning that they use that includes wheat. I love picadillo, ropa vieja, and masitas de puerco (none of these I could eat at Bongos). Salads are not even recommended as they can't guarantee the dressings. The only plus was that the plantains (both green and sweet), french fries, and yucca are fried separately from the rest of the food to guarantee they are gluten free.