This week on Date night the Hubby (Ok- getting less weird but still OMG) took me to Black Bean Cafe. I was excited to try it. Afterall, I am a fan of Cuban food. And this place did not disappoint.
I ordered the daily special of Chicken and Rice with Salty plantains.
Yes- I did notice my plate was ALL yellow. But presentation is not everything. And honestly for an order at the counter place, I was not expecting high marks on presentation. The chicken and rice were very flavorful which suggested that there was a lot of time put into enhancing the flavor..ie it was cooked for a long while. The salty plantains were not salty which bothered me. Call them something else like tostones, so I am not expecting salty goodness when I bit in. Even the Hubby found these babies bland. The salty plantains were mashed and fried. this reminds me a of a potato pancake for some reason. The different take on plantains was unique but I still prefer my plantains sweet.
The Hubby ordered Picadillo which is beef cooked over a long period of time. He opted for the red beans and sweet plantains. The sweet plantains were nice and moist while crispy around the edges. The red beans were the true standouts. I mean these beans could have been a soup. The beans were cooked for a long time with chorizo. This stuff was AMAZING. The Picadillo was good. The Hubby really loved it.
Our biggest complaint was the temperature of the food. ALL the items on BOTH our plates were warm not super hot when food comes straight off the stove or even mildly hot. I know this is silly and probably just the after effects of reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential....but.....Food that cooks for extended time like the Hubby's pork and beans being lukewarm t hints at bacterial and worse. Bourdain discuss this as his reason for not eating hollandaise out very often. Anywho, the Hubby and I did not have any issues though made sure to microwave the hell out of the leftovers before eating.
Our smallest complaint was they are a Pepsi company. We are Coke people.
Basically- Black Bean is like Gordos without table serve, less ambiance and colder food. My recent trip to Gordo's, the apps was so HOT we had to wait a bit for it to cool. (Click here for more) However, Black Beans' food has more more depth of flavor. Seriously those red beans were very complex. I highly recommend the red beans (Obviously) and the sweet plantains.Come hungry because it is a good portion of food.