An Edible Adventure at Banana Cafe Not Soon Forgotten
When I decided to relaunch my blog with a focus on both food and business, it seemed fitting to go back to a place in my edible adventure history that took my palate on an incredible edible journey. That place for me was the now defunct Banana Cafe.
It was located in the Barracks Row neighborhood of Capitol Hills among a sprawling bustle of shops, restaurants and businesses. Coincidentally, it was the first local based restaurant I visited when I relocated to DC in 2015. With my sister in tow, we opted for an early evening dinner, which allowed us the opportunity to dine outdoors in the beautiful sunlight and warm weather.
We were met by a very friendly waitstaff and were immediately seated. We exchanged pleasantries with the waiter before he brought out our house made salsa and chips. I loved that the Banana Cafe was a mix of both Cuban and Mexican cuisine, Finding a Cuban restaurant here in DC was of great importance to me because I had acquired a serious love for Paella. Back home in Michigan, I often visited, Vicente’s, a Cuban restaurant in downtown Detroit, and it quickly became my local favorite Cuban restaurant because they served the most authentic tasting Paella my taste buds had ever experienced.
When I browsed the drink menu I noticed that the offered a banana daiquiri, so I went ahead and ordered one and I was not disappointed. Usually frozen cocktails tend to be a bit on the watered down side, however they used a top shelf rum to make their daiquiri and you could equally taste it along with the banana flavor as if you were drinking them separately.
As luck would have it, Paella was one of their signature dishes and it did not disappoint one bit. The beautiful thing about Paella is the you can keep the same rich flavor even if you decided to switch up on the different types of seafood that you include in your dish.
I loved that the Banana Cafe opted to experiment a bit with their recipe by adding a few surprise seafood ingredients. It was definitely pleasing to my palate. While the Paella at Vincente’s still holds the top spot for me, the Banana Cafe came in as a very close second. Sadly, I can’t recommend them to you because they closed a couple of years ago. The location is now home to DC’s newest soul food restaurant, District Soul Food. Don’t worry I plan to visit them too and give you the edible insight so stick around.
Where’s your favorite Cuban restaurant located? Do you love Paella as much as I do? Share your thoughts in the comments.