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Aug 4, 2006 06:36 PM

conga room

anyone been? Thoughts?

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  1. Im in a bit of a rush, so i'll give you the 30000 ft view.

    I thought the Conga Room was ok. I went during Calgary Downtown Dining Week back in March, and it was surprisingly quiet.

    The space itself is really nice - high ceilings, nice atmosphere.

    The service was a bit spotty - they were attentive and friendly while getting our drinks and food order, but then promptly disappered for the 35-40 minutes it took for us to get our entree's, with the exception of dropping off our Salsas Y Mojos and Plantain chips at the table.

    The food failed to excite me. It seemed well executed, and was consistent with their theme (new latin cuisine I believe), but there wasnt enough of a latin flavor to it. They dress up a beef tenderloin and call it Lomo - but it doesnt have the right consistency, texture, nor flavour from what i experienced in South America. The Ceviche, my *favorite* latin dish ever, i won't even discuss. High expectations yes... failure to deliver... yes.

    Now to be fair, "Latin" cuisine is as regional and diverse as "Chinese" food - and their influences could be more Central American than the South American i am accustomed to. But at their price point, i would be willing to go back, but would prefer to go down the street to Divino.

    Friends of mine who have gone on the weekends say it is a tremendous amount of fun - the bands, the dancing, the atmosphere is supposedly great for parties and groups. Sort of like the atmoshphere at the Village Cantina and their drag show.

    Hope that gives you an idea.

    1. Yen, have you been to Argentina? I ask because we saw "lomo" all over menues there.. and if Conga Room has any Argentinian connection, then I am sorry to say that "bland" is spot on. Argentinian deserts, coffee, gelato and pastries are fantastic- but the cuisine is monotonous and not seasoned. I loved the month I spent in BsAs but meals were a recurring challenge- no spices at all.

      4 Replies
      1. re: John Manzo

        In BA there is a lot of beef and then more beef (ok, to be fair there is also a very large Italian influence, which is good) but to spice things up there is invariably chinichurri sauce for the lomo--and that's spicy. Overall, the food is very good.

        1. re: FAT Traveler

          I had gallons of chimichurri and did not detect an iota of pepper in it. Loads of flavour a la Italian salad dressing but not the tiniest hint of hotness.

        2. re: John Manzo

          I made a side trip to BA after spending 11 weeks on the west coast (Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Easter Island). I found the food in SA is generally a bit blander at cooking time than what we might be accustomed to, and as the FAT traveler mentioned, with lomo (and most grilled meats in general) it's really all about the aji - in Argentina, that happens to be Chimichurri, which is tasty.

          However, i actually enjoyed the food in SA - though Chile was really more my preference than Peru or Argentina. More balance in terms of seafood, fruits and vegetables, and still serving up good sides of Argentinian beef with great,great wine. And the empanadas were better there too, though no where near as good as Saltena's from Bolivia.

          Ahh... curse you John! Now im hungry, and it's past midnight!

          1. re: yen

            shawarma king is open until 4AM!