Bongos Cuban Cafe at Disney Springs

This review reflects our experience from September 2015.

We often see questions pop up about eating vegan in Disney Springs (formally Downtown Disney). We decided on our last trip to try one of the many restaurants there so we could gain some knowledge about the offerings there. We decided to try Bongos Cuban Cafe which is owned by Gloria Estefan and is located on the West Side of Disney Springs. On the menu we saw a Vegetable Platter and hoped for the best.

Image from TouringPlans.com
Image from TouringPlans.com

We opted to sit outside as they offer both a patio upstairs and downstairs. Once seated we told our server we were vegan and he informed us that the Vegetable Platter was vegan and we asked about the Bongo’s Famous Black Bean Hummus. He said he would go check and returned to tell us that it can be vegan but it normally has an aioli on it. We ordered the hummus to start and both got the vegetable platters since it was the only entree we could get. 

Bongo's Famous Black Bean Hummus
Bongo’s Famous Black Bean Hummus

The black bean hummus was okay. The hummus itself was a cold dip and reminded us more of a bowl of refried black beans. I’m not really sure the cilantro lime aioli could really make this better. It was a pretty boring hummus.

Plantain Chips
Plantain Chips

The plantain chips were also really bland. It seemed like they needed salt or something to help boost any flavor. We know plantain chips are usually pretty tasteless but this was a huge disappointment.

Vegetable Platter
Vegetable Platter

Once we finished our appetizer our entrees came out. We both just stared at them for a while surprised at just how lame this looked. The rice was really dry, we both ended up pouring our black beans on it to make it better.

Black Beans
Black Beans

The black beans were basically a black bean soup. Nothing special. They definitely helped out the rice though.

Garlic Vegetables
Garlic Vegetables

Luckily the vegetables on this plate were delicious. They were heavy in oil but had a ton of garlic flavor on them. I wish they had a better selection of vegetables instead of green beans, broccoli and carrot though. They have peppers and onions on the menu so it was kind of a let down to just have a bowl of garlic green beans mostly. The menu describes the vegetables in this dish as “seasonal vegetables” but I don’t think that was the case.

Since we sat outside we didn’t get to have the live entertainment inside. However, half way through our meal some sort of positive rap battle began next to the restaurant between Bongos and Starbucks. We asked our server about it and he said they do it once a week and it had just changed days apparently. It really killed the mood of the cuban music and we hurried to finish and get out of there.

Would we go back?
No, we paid way too much for such a mediocre meal. At least our drinks were good!

Price?
$$$

Corey & Melissa

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