Wandering around Downtown Disney the other day, we finally made a stop at Paradiso 37. After all of the reviews we had heard, many of them not very favorable, we thought we would experience this restaurant first-hand.
Being it was the middle of the afternoon, getting a seat was no problem; we ended up on a high-boy in the bar area. The first thing that struck me when we reached the table was the towering shelves of tequila that is positioned behind the bar (37 varieties in all). My littlest one’s only question was how do they get the bottle on the top shelf? I wondered that as well.
Paradiso 37 is a restaurant offering menu items representing the 37 countries of the Americas. So my first question was do they have dishes from every nation in that 37? The answer, sadly is no; but they do have an array of interesting items to sample, with the requisite burger found on every menu within Disney’s environs, albeit with a few twists for originality.
We decided on ordering a couple of appetizers as our meal. The trio we picked were: the Mexican dipping trio, quesadillas and the chorizo and beef skewers.
The first thing that came out was the Mexican dipping trio. It consisted of some excellent corn tortilla chips served in a paper bag and one small bowl of: chunky guacamole, chili con carne and spinach/queso dip. I am a big fan of corn chips and these were some fresh chips which complemented each of the dips tremendously. The guacamole was nice and flavorful, not as good as mine, with a fresh taste. The chili con carne was excellent with the spinach/queso dip, although very good, the weakest out of the three.
As we were eating the chips and dips the other two appetizers came out. Fitting it all on the high-boy was a challenge, but we managed. The chorizo and beef skewers came on a sizzling cast iron platter and were accompanied by tomatoes, pearl onions, marinated mushrooms, chimichurri pita bread and offered a citrus yogurt sauce for dipping. The presentation of the food, like the dipping trio was very nice and the chorizo was excellent. The beef, however, was not up to snuff. It was a bit tough and not very flavorful at all. Also, I was not sure whether to strip the skewer of its contents and make a little sandwich with the pita bread; if that was the case, then the pita bread needs to be larger to accommodate a sandwich.
Finally the quesadillas got their chance and honestly, how can you ruin a quesadilla? We ordered chicken quesadillas and were not disappointed. They were very flavorful and the trio of dishes were ordered offered a little bit of something for everyone in our party.
Going into Paradiso 37 our expectations were pretty low due to the negative reviews we have heard about the service, the vibe and its cuisine. Well, I can imagine that the restaurant at dinner time would not be the place to try to have a conversation, but I was not put off by its vibe at all. The service was great and our waitress was very attentive without hovering and readily available whenever we needed something. Finally the food, which is the reason you walk into a restaurant in the first place, was good across the board.
Some of the smaller things were great and that entices me to go back and try a full dinner experience to see how they hold up to our first experience. Overall, however, I would recommend anyone check Paradiso 37 out at least once on a visit to Downtown Disney.