Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sequel: Banana Bean Cafe

A second visit to Banana Bean Cafe brought the same squeals of delight as the first one did! My husband and I dined on the patio of this fun bistro last night. It was a great evening for dining outside. We sat on the small patio and had a really fun dinner. Arriving early we were able to take advantage of their 4-7pm Happy Hour. A complimentary basket of chips and habanero salsa whetted our appetites and readied us for libations! Bob had a draft beer and I started with a strawberry margarita. This proved to be the only bump in the evening. The draft beer was flat. Bob switched to bottled beer. It was golden from that point out. My strawberry margarita was good, but I decided to switch to the $2 ritas and they were delicious as well.

We began with the plantains. For me, this is the major reason for coming to Banana Bean. Good Lord I love those plantains!!! Bob was smitten as well. We actually ate about half and decided to save half to be our dessert!

After much deliberation over a menu that offers so many things you want to try, Bob and I decided to order several small plates so we could try an assortment of items. We went with the crab cake, the shrimp and grits and the sarasota chips. This was such a great way to sample more than we would have if we'd gotten our own individual dinners. And both Bob and I have never shied away from eating off of each other's plates!

Our selections were dead on! The crab cake was just right. It was full of delicious crab meat served on red pepper & basil aioli with sprouts. Now I love Maryland crab cakes. These are a bit different. A more Caribbean style. They were downright delicious.

The shrimp and grits had smoked bacon etouffe with creamy goat cheese grits. Oh MY! I think that if no one were around and it was anatomically possible, I would have licked the bowl. Yes, they were that good! I thought I would like these. I didn't just like them, I was absolutely wickedly crazy about them!

And not to be forgotten were the sarasota chips. And I do mean you cannot forget them. They were so incredibly good that even though we were stuffed we could not leave a single chip on the plate. They are homemade potato chips with alfredo sauce poured over them and chunks of blue cheese generously sprinkled over top. Oh yeah. Our server literally caught me licking my fingers.

Speaking of our waitress! Natalie (and I wish I'd thought to take a picture of her for you) was an absolute doll! She was just everything you could ever want! She was so stinkin' cute, attentive, fun, smile that lights up her entire face, knows her stuff about the food being served, can't do enough for you kind of good. I wanted to put her in my hip pocket and take her home with me!

So when (not "if") you go ask for Natalie, get the plantains, get the shrimp grits and most definitely get the ritas! Just GET THERE!!!!!!!

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