Cuisine: Caribbean, Creole, South American, Spanish, Fish, Seafood
Restaurant Features: Bar, Happy Hour, Nightclub
Location: Northeast Minneapolis, MN
Address: 501 East Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55414 (612) 331-3360
Atmosphere: Conga Latin Bistro is located in Northeast Minneapolis, at Hennepin and Central Ave. The dining room takes up about half the space, with a colorful mural of conga drums gracing the back wall and two large, floor-to-ceiling wooden conga drums at the entrance. There are mostly tables but there a couple of round booths along the outer wall that can accommodate up to six people. It was very comfortable and had a very clean feel to it.
The bar and dance floor area take up at least half of the space, a very popular place on weekend nights when it turns into a nightclub.
Menu: Appetizers at Conga Latin Bistro include Empanadas, Chicken Croquettes, Calamares a La Romana, Seafood Ceviche, Plantain and Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Plaintain Tapas, Green Plantain Tapas, Chicken Wings, Habanero Chicken Wings, Fried Chicken, Chicken Tenders, Sweet Plantains with Queso Fresco, Yuca xon Mojo, Burrito Cubano, Tacos, Nachos and Cheese Platter, and French Fries in Garlic Butter.
Soups offered include Black Bean, Asopao de Mariscos, Asopao de Pollo, and Soup of the Day.
Salads offered are the House, Cesar, and Avocado Mango Salad.
Rice dishes at Conga Latin Bistro include Arroz con Pollo, Arroz con Camarones, Arroz con Vegetales, and Arroz con Mariscos.
Entrees include Jamaican Chicken, Pollo Al Ajillo, Pollo Isabel, Bistec Encebollado, Chicken Parmesan, Pork Tenderloin with Mofongo, Filet Mignon, Ropa Vieja, and Pernil (roast pork).
Seafood entrees include Tilapia in Curry and Coconut Sauce, Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Spicy Shrimp Creole, Shrimp Victoria, Halibut in Garlic Sauce and Broiled Salmon in Brandy.
Specialty Dishes at Conga Latin Bistro include Churrasco Argentino, Parrillada Argentina, New York Steak with Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Steak and Scallops, Halibut a la Mar, Seafood Stew, Paella Valenciana, Paella Marinera.
Desserts include Flan, Tres Leches Cake, and Rice Pudding.
Price guide: Appetizers $5-12 Entrees $10-20 Paella $40-50 Desserts $4-5
- Mon-Fri 5-7pm
What we ordered: I visited on one of the hottest days we’ve had this summer and nothing sounded better than an icy, frozen drink so I ordered a Pina Colada (2 for 1 during Happy Hour). It was refreshing and tasted like a non-alcoholic pina colada. Seriously, I don’t think it had any rum, which was a shame.
One of my companions ordered a Mango Pineapple Margarita. This drink was sweet and slightly tart, not too strong.
We started with the Ceviche appetizer. This was a nice mix of chunks of shrimp, fish, clams marinated in lime juice then tossed with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro. Light, refreshing and tangy, a perfect appetizer for a hot day. Served with a side of tortilla chips that may have been Tostitos.
We also ordered the Habanero Chicken Wings. There were six giant, breaded wings that were tossed in a spicy habanero sauce. These wings were not saturated with sauce like buffalo wings often are, which is probably a good thing because they were much spicier! Great if you like a lot of heat, if not, they were served with a side of ranch dressing to help cool them down. The order was also served with a basket of french fries.
My companions and I ordered all of our entrees to share. One of the entrees we ordered was the Shrimp Victoria. This was a delicious, but interesting dish consisting of 7-8 peeled shrimp swimming in a creamy sour cream and wine sauce with thinly sliced mushrooms. It was served with white rice.
Another dish we ordered was the Pork Tenderloin with Mofongo, which came highly recommended by our server. The center of this dish was the Mofongo, made of fried, crushed plantains with olive oil and garlic. The pork tenderloin was cut into eight bite-sized pieces, then seared and served in a dark wine sauce with sauteed onions.
The last entree we tried was the Arroz con Mariscos. The dish of rice was seasoned with Saffron, then tossed with bots of rice, peas, olives and onions. The rice was tossed with small pieces of Mussels, Shrimp, Halibut, Clams, Crab and Calamari, which were all overcooked. We all liked the flavor of the rice but wish the seafood would’ve been tender as it should be.
Service: We had no problem getting a parking space on the street outside the restaurant on a very hot weekday afternoon, nor did we have any problem getting a table. In fact, we were a few of the only customers at the time we arrived and had our pick. Our server was nice, but spoke with a strong accent and had a few problems communicating with us. Our food and drinks were taken care of in a reasonable amount of time.