Friday, September 11, 2009

Restaurant Week - The Banana Bean Cafe

Bob and I really enjoyed the Banana Bean Café when we went a few months ago. And I certainly enjoyed it when L3 and I did a NTT there. I’ve wanted to get back. But as happens with so many things we want to do, it just slipped away among all the things we need to do.

I was surprised to see that they weren’t on the Dine Originals’ website for Restaurant Week. They participated in the spring. And I know that they’ve held blogger events there. Then I heard through the grapevine that they were indeed participating. I have no idea why their menu was not listed. That was a major faux pas for whoever dropped the ball. In my estimation, the Banana Bean Café is one rockin’ restaurant. And I think everyone should go there at least once, I’m just sayin’.

As soon as I found out they were participating, I added them into the roster of our game plan. Originally we had planned to take a respite tonight and eat at home. *gasp* I know, I know. (I’m tellin’ ya, this Restaurant Week combined with the steroids after surgery is making my ass even bigger! As if…)

With Bob needing to head out of the house tomorrow morning at 0:dark30, he was wanting an early night. He’s doing the “Tour de Donut” ride just west of Troy, OH. Yes, my sixty something husband is riding his bicycle in a “timed ride” (not a race, he tells me) that takes five minutes off your total time for each donut eaten. He will be riding this with a friend that is 20 years younger, another that is 26 years younger, and yet another that is 53 years younger. I’m bettin’ on the 14 year old! By sheer consumption of total donuts ingested!

I digress. Back to the Banana Bean. So I asked Bob if he could get home a little earlier than normal and we’d hit happy hour for their $2 margaritas. We’d grab a quick dinner and be home for him to fine tune his bicycle, “the Mistress”. And he could get to bed early.

The Banana Bean has Happy Hour 4pm-7pm Monday through Friday. During this time they have $2 house margaritas and Hemingways, $1 Bud Light and a complimentary basket of chips and house-made salsa. If I'm remembering correctly, it is habanero salsa. Too hot for me! But I love the chips. Warm and salty. Mmmm.

The last time we were at the Bean we ate on the patio. It was just starting to be nice weather and we really wanted to eat outside. The patio was bland and boring, but it was outside. It kind of hit us that it was maybe an afterthought. Like, “oh yeah, we can call that a patio”.

Boy, were we surprised and happy to see the changes they’ve made to it. It is now called the “Parrot Head Patio” and it is bright and happy and a fun place to eat (other than the cigars & cigarettes). We sat under an umbrella and ordered up a couple of $2 margaritas and perused the menu. Now check out this deal. For Restaurant Week Banana Bean is offering one small plate & two brunch items for $20.09. That’s crazy! The brunch menu items run anywhere from $9-15, with most being in the $12-15 range. And they have added quite a few new items to the menu, making it even more interesting and fun!

For us the small plate was a no-brainer. We absolutely, positively, indescribably, simply must have the “Flash Fried Sweet Plantains”. At least that is my point of view. Lucky for me Bob agrees. I would need therapy for God knows how long if I went to the Bean and didn’t get plantains. Unthinkable!

That decision having been made, we moved on to looking at the brunch items. (What Bob and I did previously was order several items from the small plate menu and share. That was a great way to try things. We’ll definitely be back to do that again!) There were so many choices to make! New items that screamed to be tried! Old items that you want to have again because they knocked your socks off the first time around! If nothing else, Restaurant Week is sharpening my decision making skills!

I simply had to go with one of the new items, the “Lobster Hash”. Griddled Lobster & Red Bliss Potatoes, two Poached Eggs, Green Chile Hollandaise, and Simple Salad. This dish was absolutely awesome! The potatoes were perfectly grilled with crunch on the outside and fluff on the inside. The lobster sauce had big chunks of lobster and the poached eggs were right on. Topped with the green chile hollandaise…oh my. No simple salad was served, but I didn’t even notice it til I started writing this post! So apparently it wasn’t necessary. And another thing about Banana Bean is that the serving size is huge, but you most certainly are not sacrificing quality.

Bob ordered “Espresso Steak & Eggs” - Cocoa & Coffee Rubbed Flat Iron Steak, Two Fried Eggs and Skillet Potatoes. The steak was extremely tender; like melt in your mouth tender. Again, the potatoes were perfectly grilled and his eggs that were ordered “medium”, were actually medium. He cleaned his plate. And was he ever a happy guy!

We saved some of our plantains for dessert. That’s what we do. We eat half before and half after. Works for us!

So here is the summary: Restaurant Week at The Banana Bean is an amazing deal! We had Flash Fried Sweet Plantains - regularly $6, Lobster Hash - regularly $15 and Espresso Steak & Eggs - regularly $15. So we had a thirty six dollar meal for $20.09! Thank you Banana Bean Café and thank you Dine Originals Restaurant Week!

But let it be known that visiting the Bean even when it is not Restaurant Week is a great value. The food is just incredible and the portions are generous to a fault. And it won’t break the bank to eat there. The service is friendly and the atmosphere fun.

We certainly plan to go back multiple times. There are so many items on the menu that both Bob and I want to try. And we are anxious to take friends there that have not had the pleasure yet.

So look for us soon, Banana Bean! We’ll be back for sure!

The Banana Bean Café
340 Greenlawn Avenue
Columbus, Ohio

1 comment:

  1. All that food looks delish! But something tells me I would've been perfectly happy with a $2 margarita and a basket of chips and salsa.