Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Noon Time Travels - Banana Bean Café

L3 (the trained palate) and I (the pudgy gal) headed to the Banana Bean Café. She has been there several times before, but I never have. And I have been positively itching to try it!

The choice of location seems a little odd to me. It is on Greenlawn Avenue right across the street from Berliner Park. You really can’t miss it thanks to the palm trees. I’m pretty sure they’re the only ones around. We walked in and the place is just darn cute! I loved it the minute I walked through the doors. The main floor is where the bar is located and up about 5 or 6 steps is a small dining room with awesome wood high back booths and tables.

Arriving at eleven, we were the first patrons of the day. (I know it says “Noon Time Travels”. The “noon” is flexible.) We were seated in one of the wonderful booths upstairs. I knew even before we got our menus that I was ordering the plantains. I cannot get enough of those babies. And if you remember in a previous post here on Dishing It Up!, Laura mentioned the plantains with YaYa sauce. However she warned me that the YaYa sauce was way too hot for me. Good thing she knows I’m a wimp. That sure saved me some grief!

The menus came and I placed the order for the flash fried sweet plantains. I immediately decided that I would order the Wild Shrimp & Sweet Corn Chowder. It is served with "house-made potato chips, thyme, and corn cob smoked bacon". Laura said that every time she’s been here they are out of it. I was hoping that since we were the first customers of the day I would have a shot at it. No such luck. That was a real bummer.

The plantains were served and we dug in. The plantains are black on the outside and just gorgeous on the inside. So sweet and perfectly cooked. They were worth the wait. The YaYa sauce? Well you’ll have to ask Laura. I did not taste it!

Now what else were we going to have? Laura decided on the Cuban Black Bean soup, with a "tomato, scallion, sour cream, & manchego garnee". We apologize that she mixed it all up before I took the picture. She got happy and didn’t wait. We’ll try not to let it happen again. It really was a work of art. And it tasted pretty darn good, too.

I chose the Little Havana Cubano. This is a sandwich that is filled with "citrus kissed pork tenderloin, sweet bolo ham, emmenthaler swiss, dill slices, & dijon on pressed pan cubano". It was tasty, tasty, tasty! I highly recommend this sandwich! I’d order it again in a heartbeat.

L3 also got a sandwich. Hers was the Lump Blue Crab Cake with "lettuce, tomato & sherry – cayenne mayonnaise on an olive oil brioche roll". It was quite lovely. And since we always have to taste each others food, I can verify that this crab cake sandwich was way good!

The service at Banana Bean was great. When we finished our meal, we sat and visited with a cup of tea. There was no pressure to give up the table. In fact, our server and several others were very attentive making sure we had plenty to drink. Definitely a plus!

In my book, Banana Bean Café is a definite do-over. There are so many things I want to try. Especially that shrimp and corn chowder…if they ever have it!

Banana Bean Café, Brewery District
340 Greenlawn Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43223

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