Being in Kissimmee can inspire cravings for Latin food and as far as towns go, Kissimmee is the right one to be in when that craving hits. The restaurants that serve Latin foods are plentiful. Tropico Mofongo is one such place.
Upon entering the restaurant aromas swirl around you, enveloping you in what feels like an embrace, invoking a warm feeling like that of visiting grandma’s house. Sadly this is where the similarity to that fond childhood memory ends.
First you may notice the difficulty of ordering your food over the cacophony of Latin soap operas playing on the television. Augmented by the lack of attention you will receive by the apathetic staff, ordering is a nuisance. Despite that, the food still manages to look appetizing.
Although bad service is never acceptable at any establishment, at times a spectacular meal can cause even the worst slights to be forgotten. At Tropico Mofongo this is not the case.
After ordering something like a carne guisada (braised beef), or a pernil (pork shoulder), you will find both were prepared without flavor in mind. Neither can offer anything but overcooked, greasy bites lacking any of the robust flavors famous in Latin cuisine.
The one highlight of this lackluster meal will be the arroz con gandules, a typical Puerto Rican version of rice and beans. Here you will find perfectly cooked rice, accented by delicious beans that manage to be soft and decadent, not overcooked.
The rice and beans stand out in jarring contrast to the rest of the meal with such a perplexing difference that it will make you feel like it must have come from a different restaurant.
Tropico Mofongo isn’t the worst place you can eat while in Kissimmee, it is middle of the road, but in a town where Latin restaurants are a dime a dozen that just isn’t good enough.
Next time you find yourself craving some good food you are much better off trying to find the restaurant the arroz con grandules came from. Tropico Mofongo is thoroughly disappointing.