You're probably thinking, "That sounds great, but I've never bought a car or a computer without first reading the Wikipedia definitions for car and computer—I'm not about to buy a Groupon either without a briefing." Well, neither would we, and since this is everyone's first Groupon, allow us to briefly explain how it works.
How Groupon Works
Groupon is a combination of the words group and coupon. Each day, we offer an unbeatable deal on the best of Orlando: restaurants, spas, sporting events, theater, and more. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, we get discounts you won't find anywhere else. We call it "collective buying power."
If you want to get the deal, just click BUY before the offer ends at midnight. If the minimum number of people (20 for today's deal) sign up by the end of the day, you'll be emailed a gift certificate the next morning. You can print your Groupons or redeem them with our iPhone app. Use them whenever you want until the deal expires—today's expires in four months. If not enough people join, no one gets the deal (and you won't be charged), so invite your friends to make sure you get the discount!
It's nice to wake up to something new every day. Some people get their daily fix from puppy-themed desk calendars. Groupon is kind of like that, except the puppy is an unbeatable discount, and the funny caption is a profound reflection on the flowers and needles growing from life's cactus. We selflessly share our deep insights, hoping that you will join our mob of consumers, thus strengthening our collective buying power and commanding even better deals. Here are some thoughts about today's deal...
A tortilla makes a handy mouse pad, an acceptable patch for stiff denim jeans, and, if you draw a face on it, an ideal companion on fishing trips. But there are many other uses for it, as today's Groupon proves. For $12 you get $30 worth of dine-in Mexican and Cuban fare and drinks at Maria Bonita on East Colonial Drive.
The Union Park eatery serves up fresh Mexican and Cuban eats made from scratch with fresh ingredients daily. Start with a flaming order of queso fundido ($5.99), a fiery cheese dip served with a side of tortillas, before tackling the super chimichanga ($10.99 for chicken, $12.99 for steak, carnitas, or shrimp) or house-made tamales ($8.99 for two) stuffed with your choice of pork, chicken, or a mix of vegetables. Cuban entrees, which are served with white rice, beans, and a choice of sweet maduros, tostones, or yuca, include the ropa vieja ($11.50), a stewed and shredded flank steak in a tomato, onion, pepper, and white-wine sauce, and the grilled pescado a la plancha ($10.95), an Adobo-marinated fish fillet topped with a cozy blanket of caramelized onions. Several of the eatery's dishes are available on the pared-down lunch menu as well ($4.95–$8.95).
Wash your Cubo-Mexican meal down with one of Maria Bonita's flavored margaritas (starting at $5) or mojitos (starting at $6) from their specialty drink menu. Sip on the refreshing libation as you recline in one of the eatery's hand-painted booths, soaking in the festive atmosphere and traditional Mexican tunes that transport you back to childhood memories of summer nights on the Veracruz boardwalk with your beloved wallaby, Duncan, trailing at your heels.
This Groupon is not valid for happy-hour specials and cannot be used on May 5 or Mother's Day.
Reviews are mixed when it comes to the service, but the Orlando Sentinel recommends Maria Bonita for a festive meal, and its online users give the restaurant 3.5 stars. BooRah users give Maria Bonita a 90% rating for the food, seven Yelpers give it three stars, Yahoo! Locals award four, and 78% of more than 80 Urbanspooners like it:
- I love this place, the food is great!!! Margaritas are huge and perfect. The deserts are soooo tasty!!! – lolis-MMX, Orlando Sentinel User Reviews
- The salsa is interesting I think they use green onions and it is very tasty. I had shrimp tacos which I had never tried before and really enjoyed. Others at our table had a chicken burrito which was very yummy and chicken quesadilla which was fine. Had their house beer Maria Amber which was…good and cold. – dustin, Yahoo! Local
Maria Bonita Mexican & Cuban Restaurant
The chefs and staff of Maria Bonita are eager to share. They want to introduce others to the flavors of Mexico and Cuba and the passion they have for fresh ingredients. Luckily, most visitors don't take much convincing. Cuervo and Patron tequilas swirl with amaretto, Grand Marnier, brandy, and fruit to create more than ten different margaritas, all of which are kept cool with ice, which is flavorless. The lineup of cervezas complement their signature queso fundido or fajitas fabulosas. Cuban entrees sail to tables alongside yuca, sweet plantains, or tostones, which take a supporting role to slow-roasted, marinated pork, stewed and shredded flank steak, or grilled fish topped with caramelized onions. The restaurant also serves Churrasco, Parrillada, and Mofongo dishes.