SODA OR POP. The orange variety of Sumol ($2.75), a Portuguese soda offered in passion fruit, orange and pinapple. photo/Emily Fussell

After starting as a Portuguese food truck, Bem Bom opened their first location on Corrine Drive in Audubon Park.

In Portuguese, “bem bom” means “good, good,” a description fitting of the restaurant’s atmosphere, service and food.

Originally hosting an old bank, the building features a spacious patio and bar. Despite the potential confusion the parking lot creates due to the small turn in, Bem Bom offers a quaint dining experience.

The bar held an espresso machine, a variety of alcoholic beverages and more seating for the small restaurant.

From the accent tiles on the wall to the various lighting fixtures, the restaurant gave a Portuguese vibe.

Throughout the restaurant, spaciously arranged white tables offered customers a place to sit and rest.

Bem Bom offers a variety of options ranging from regulars on the menu to specials that the waiter will verbally describe. Unfortunately because the specials were not on the menu, by the time the waiter finished listing them, remembering the previous options proved difficult.

The pricing of the specials were never mentioned, which also proved surprising as the Carne Asada special ended up as $28 while every entree on the menu remained under $15.

Bem Bom offered a variety of soft drinks ($2.75) including: Mexican Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite and a Portuguese soda called Sumol. The orange flavor of Sumol resembled a fizzy version of the vitamin-C drink “Emergen-C.”

The chips and salsa ($2.95 to $4.50) at Bem Bom were nothing extraordinary. Tomatoes and peppers overpowered the blended salsa, but such strong flavors would not be found in the chips which were lackluster and needed seasoning.

Off all menu items, the Poblano Chicken Quesadilla ($9.95) stood out. The roasted pepper complimented the mild cheese and the grilled chicken. A side of the cilantro lime rice ($2.50) paired well with the quesadilla. The grains of rice seemed smaller than the size of rice from other restaurants, this new texture offered variety to the standard dish. The Frango de Churrasco ($13.95) consisted of a barbecued half-chicken and a side of sauce to paint onto the chicken. The lemon mustard sauce was citrus flavored and light, which paired well with the chicken and the side of rice and beans that came with the entree.

The Carne Asada special ($28) offered the most flavor of any of the dishes, but also the heftiest price tag. The dish, comprised of a grilled steak topped with a garlicky, green sauce similar to a chimichurri, was also served with a side of beans and rice.

The seasonings on the food proved spicy, so one should ask the waiter for a pitcher of water for the table, if they desire water on command.

All of the food was cooked to order, yielding a wait time between ordering and receiving the food, but the outstanding flavor of the food made up for the moderately long wait.

All in all, the inviting atmosphere and delicious food led to a memorable dining experience.

The Hilights:

What: Bem Bom

To Try: Chicken Poblano quesadilla ($9.95)

Where:  3101 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803

Cost: $2.75 to $28

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

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