Never had a bad experience at this place! The food is always fresh and delicious, the chef is always willing to accommodate food allergies as well
This place was a big disappointment after reading the reviews. First of all, the service was slooooooow. Three hours for appetizers and burgers? Come on. You gotta do better than that. Yeah, it was a Saturday night, but when we got there there were plenty of tables open, so not really an excuse for slow service.
The food? Meh. Nothing to write home about. I had the beef tenderloin app, which was good. Salads were passable. Everyone had bison burgers. Not the best I ever had. And the patty was small for the price. The bread instead of a bun seemed out of place. Give me a big, meaty burger on a real bun and it would have been a lot better.
The prices? Way too high for what you get. I keep asking myself, are the portions too small for the prices, or are the prices too high for the portions? I can't decide.
While I like the farm-to-table movement, I can't recommend this place to people.
Overall enjoyed the place. Great drinks. Very unique and fresh. The bison burger with the egg was very unique and cooked perfectly. Service was about 80% what you eiulc expect. Definitely a returnable place. Good vibes.
Bison burger was amazing. Bison steak was great as well but not sure if that was a regular menu item.
The brunch was great! The food was best I’ve had in awhile. The chef is very involved too, bringing food out and talking to customers. Would highly recommend!
Dinner with Friends before show - great service, good food, fair price! Especially liked the Mahi Cheeks over grits and the Bison burger. Looking forward to our next visit.
Russ, our server was great. Lots of information about food and wine.
The menu is the most creative menu in central Florida, since the closing of K in College Park.
And the food was excellent.
The revived downtown Sanford historic area was the perfect before-meal backdrop to a truly first rate culinary experience.
Great menu choices, wonderful flavors..
Great as always. One of our favorite restaurants. Ever changing fresh food menu means there is always something new and delicious to try!!!
The best thing was their burger which they seem to be known for. Everything else was just ok.
Loved their food when they were in Orlando not sure what happened
Every time we dine at the Smiling Bison the food is excellently prepared. When you go expect Quality not Quanity, which we prefer. Love that the menu is different every time too, except for their outstanding Bison Burger
Restaurant was very busy this evening. Ambiance was pleasant. Water was offered but tasted obviously"unfiltered" with a strong chlorine taste. Suggest a water filter for guest water service. Cloth napkins would be a plus, as paper napkins a bit shabby for this upscale establishment. I thought the pricing was a bit steep for amount of food rendered. A 10 oz bison steak and about 8-10 tiny carrots for $44.00. Was a pleasant visit but the above mentioned issues did not impress me. May return again and try the lunch menu.
Tried to get in here for a while, no go with walk ins only reservations. Went to visit for our anniversary dinner, made reservations a week in advance. I got most expensive thing on the menu $42 bison steak, medium rare. My husband got bison burger. Food came out my stake was as rare as you can get it. I showed waitress and she proceeded to tell me that it was the right temp. Obviously she doesn't eat a lot of steaks. So i finally convinced her to take it back. By the time my husband was done with his food, chef came out with my steak, right temp this time and apologized for getting it wrong. Offered free appetizer and desert which was nice but on our anniversary I didn't imagine I was going to eat by myself while my husband was trying to kill time drinking while I was eating. Appetizer was good, desert was OK. Overall, I expected more from a place that charges $42 for a steak.
Server was great. Interesting menu. One of our meals was undercooked to a very notable degree which was disappointing. The other meal was great.
I had the chili and it was awesome. If it hadn't been a $9 bowl, I'd had 2 or 3. It was a huge bowl and priced right along with every entree. I'll get it again.
Terrible. Server was rude, she rolled her eyes when we asked if we could slightly modify an item on the menu. The food was subpar at best, and massive over priced.
Food was excellent and very creative! Dessert portions were small but delicious. A little pricey but overall, a great experience.
Awesome little spot in Sanford. Great, unique food (only complaint is that some portions are small)- the duck pizza is amazing. Drinks are great and the ambiance is very cool, nestled in historic downtown Sanford. Recommended for date night or a quick cocktail!
Had the burger. It was excellent and the service was even better
Great experience and very friendly staff, Stacey was great!
One of my favorite places to eat. The staff is amazing
We miss the Orlando location and decided to drive up to Sanford. Loved the new place, great drinks and the Bison Burger was still amazing!
Cool place in historic Sanford. The bison burger was delicious. Duck was juicy just needed more duck. Highly recommend and will be back!
There were 3 of us in our party. We had a reservation and were seated immediately. The location and restaurant are nice but the food is a bit pricey for what you actually get. I had the bison burger with an egg and salt and pepper fries. Overall tasty but the food came out cold and the burger was very small for $17. We ordered the charcuterie plate because we were all still hungry. The pate was very good. The wait staff was not very friendly and took away my friend's coffee that she had not finished and tried to take away the charcuterie plate before we were done without asking. Overall I wouldn't recommend this restaurant.
Smiling Bison is a top rated downtown Sanford restaurant, so we thought we'd give it a try on a recent Saturday, arriving just after 5 p.m. for an early dinner. An Octoberfest event was going full blast outside, but inside the dining room, it felt calm. I had requested a quiet table not near large family groups, and this was honored. A good sign was how many people approached the front desk to try to have dinner; most did not have reservations and were shown the bar and high top tables as options. A bit surprising was a trickle of people who seemed to be only buying the Happy Hour priced beers and walking out with plastic cups. The food was tasty: poutine, pork belly, bison burger, with banana pudding and chocolate cake for dessert. The coffee came in only 1 large sized French press pitcher. Don't expect huge servings; we didn't mind the tradeoff with well executed and presented dishes. The cocktails were well priced $5 for Happy Hour, and our server was sweet but seemed a bit frazzled and tongue tied toward the end as she juggled a few tables. Would come again, and definitely make reservations.
Bison Burgers were amazing!!
Also love the choose of craft beers.
AMAZING food; service was quick and friendly, definitely great for a date night. Drinks were awesome too
So noisy it was impossibly difficult to hear anything but the noise. The service was very slow, and I found the menu limited. But nothing mattered except the NOISE!!!!
Food delicious, great service!
Great bison burger. Delicious $5 drinks during happy hour. Small menu. Only one salad is offered and when I asked for a side salad with my burger the waitress said nope only one salad, the $12 wedge. Otherwise everything was great.
Great place, okay food
The food was good, really enjoyed the Bison burger. Unfortunately, the service was awful. The server taking our order was rude when you could get her attention, and the bar tender was even worse. Two of our guests were drinking Moscow Mules (No Copper Mugs) and the drinks were VERY inconsistent. Since we could not get our server to help, we went to the bartender and he talked down to my wife and they charged her $1.50 to remake the drink.....seriously. Someone needs to clean house, the servers are all too cool to be effective!
Only suggestion would be to have a couple of specials each night since the menu is not big. Love the food and lots of people would eat there st least weekly if some more choices. Excellent food!
This is a true gem hidden just off the main drag in Sanford. The chef puts a unique spin on traditional and not-so traditional recipes. Good selection of craft beers and hand-crafted cocktails. If you are looking for something different and delicious, you must try The Smiling Bison.
All the staff we interacted with were great. The food was fantastic. Amazing drinks at the bar
All I can say is that I can't wait to go back and this time I am ordering the bison burger.
Creative food. We made it for an early dinner, caught happy hour, enjoyed the casual atmosphere and fast service. The restaurant is set back from first street, don't miss it the food was great
The food was amazing, service was on point and the atmosphere was ideal for a dinner out during the week.
The food was excellent, but don't expect to split the Bison burger between 2 people... the Texas toast description threw us and we expected a BIG burger, which it isn't! Overall, a good experience. Looking forward to trying the dinner menu... duck! :-)
Everything was and always is amazing; simply an all around fantastic experience. There just aren't words good enough to describe the awesomeness that is The Smiling Bison.