Friday, July 18, 2008

Go south of the border...or at least South of East Capitol St.

You'll find a lot of restaurants down by the Marine Barracks. Some are bound to be better than others of course, but they are, for the most part, unique. This is a bonus in a town filled with corporate sandwich joints.

My chosen restaurant on this particular day in SE DC was Banana Cafe. It's a mish mash of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban fare. The building is nice, colorful, and comfortable. There's a great patio outside (too hot to sit there the day I was out) and a piano bar upstairs. The restaurant is decorated with the artwork of the owner, Jorge Zamorano. Interesting Cuban/Southwest/Catholic motif and colorful walls abound.

Jorge's Neon Cow Skull

Interesting stuff...but on to the food.

Carnitas Cubanas

I ordered Carnitas Cubanas, which is marinated pork roasted with oranges and onions. It was tender and flavorfull. This was obiously shoulder, whereas you normally see this done with pork loin. It's got more of a greasy texture than the loin, but it was good. The yucca was still firm, and the black beans and rice on the side were better than the average.

Service here is above the average as well. We were never left waiting for long when we made eye contact with anyone even though most of the tables were full.

The cocktails I saw going out looked good, though I couldn't imbibe at the time. Maybe I will next time.

Bottom line? Thumbs up. I'd go again. If you go, tell Grant the manager you read about it on Pleasures of the Table!

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