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Bem Bom

Written By Scott Joseph On October 6, 2018

Bembom sign

Bem Bōm’s Francisco “Chico” Mendonça is the latest chef to use his popular food truck as a conveyance to a land-bound restaurant. He recently opened a wheelless version of Bem Bōm, which features a Portuguese menu, in a freestanding building in Audubon Park.

The food truck business has proved a bumpy road for many who have tried and failed. Bem Bōm, however, has enjoyed a healthy popularity since 2012 and was once featured on Food Network’s “Eat St.” Heck, Bem Bōm has lasted longer than that tv show.

Southeast Black November

Bembom bar

Bembom int

The new restaurant is attractively casual. There is an ample patio out front with a bar that looks into the small dining room. A tiled wall lends a Portuguesian flair while woods, including a wall of end caps from wine cases, give a rustic note.

Bembom burger

The Lamb Burger was a favorite of mine from when I reviewed the food truck in January of 2014. It’s still good, a freshly-ground and thickly shaped patty, grilled to the requested medium rare, topped with pico de gallo and piri piri sauce. The piquancy of the piri was a nice complement to the gaminess of the lamb. I wasn’t a fan of the hard Portuguese bun it was served on, but it’s a Portuguese restaurant, so you roll with the roll you’re given.

Bembom tacos

My friend had the Carnitas Tacos, a trio of corn tortillas stuffed with moist shredded pork, matchstick radish and fresh cilantro leaves. A squish of avocado-tomatillo sauce was mildly spiced.

Bembom fries

Our side order of Bomb Fries, with flash-fried basil, chilies, truffle oil and parmesan reggiano shredded to a fluff, was a dud. (And way overpriced at six bucks.)

Bembom dessert

Pastel de Nata, the Portuguese tarts filled with egg custard, were delicious, even the next morning when I enjoyed them with my coffee.

Service was appropriately friendly and helpful, from the young fellow pouring water to the woman who took our order and delivered the food.

I took the suggestion from a line on the menu to “ask your server about our daily special.” She said there wasn’t one that day. I asked why.

“Because the chef is at an event with the truck tonight,” she replied.

Bem Bōm is at 3101 Corrine Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday and for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The phone number is 407-960-5101

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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