Banana Cafe: Washington, DC, USA
I came here after church because a friend recommended this place, and I saw that they had plantains on the menu. Plantains are one of my favorite cuban dishes, and I couldn’t turn it down! In addition, I’ve always wanted to try mofongo. Not knowing what it is exactly, I was definitely surprised by this dish! A Puerto-rican dish, it utilizes green plantains that are mashed and molded, then fried. It is then served like a bowl with various vegetables and meats in a puerto-rican sauce. More information on mofongo can be found at this link to Wikipedia. Things tasted today included:
- cod fritters
- seafood paella (my friend’s order)
- seafood mofongo
- sweet plantains
- super savory and tasty
- fell apart in your mouth with a good but not over-powering seafood flavor
- too small and only five to share! If you have a party of five, that’s only one per person!
- large quantity
- great flavors
- good seafood to rice ratio
- I can’t really say for certain but this is pretty up there for flavor and authenticity.
- great portion size: definitely shareable for small to moderate eaters.
- good flavors in the meat and vegetables
- too heavy of a dish if you’re not starving: the fried plantains themselves were almost like a heavy potato paste.
- ratio of seafood to mofongo/plantain paste is a little off given that the plantain bowl is so dense and starch-heavy.
- great quantity
- not overcooked or over-caramelized
This was a really nice treat from the usual things I eat. I can’t say that caribbean food is my top choice when it comes to things I love to indulge in, but the plantains were amazing. It was good to try a new dish I had never tried before, and there was enough to take home and add more seafood such as shrimp for later days. All in all, a summary:
- fried cod fritters: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- seafood paella: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- seafood mofongo: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- fried sweet plantains: ***.9 (3.9 stars)
If you wanted to check out Banana Cafe for yourselves, you can find them here at the address below. One of the only complains that I had was that I had called to make a reservation, and the lady who picked up the phone didn’t enter it into the system for the day I needed to make it. We ended up having to get on the waiting list which was just not at all what we had planned.
500 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
That concludes our DC series! Onward to Atlanta and then a detour up to one of my favorite cities in the USA: Seattle and then to Banff and Calgary!