Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

El Cafetal, Allston

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Restaurants & Bars 4

El Cafetal, Allston

Joanie | Apr 18, 2004 07:25 PM

Nab and I got lunch on that warm Sat., probably not the best time for heavy South American food (can't remember what specific country we're talking). Good sized pleasant enough room, loud TV, many choices in the $8-16 range. Nab got an amazing mango drink which is worth a special trip, beats half the frappes in the area. The bread was eggy with a Portugese sweet bread flavor, very good but we didn't want to fill up since we started with an appetizer combo ($6) of corn cake, plaintains, fried pork, sausage and some round balls and little puffy things that Nab will have to describe. Plaintains definitely needed the spicy sauce, corn cake was tasteless, fried pork was better than I've had before (tends to dry out), sausage had some good taste but who knows what the hell was in it. We split a small sized typical plate which they called "mountain" plate ($7.50): steak, fried pork, rice, beans, plantain and fried egg. Except for the pork, it's much better at the Columbian place on Harvard Ave. (whose name I always space on). Steak was esp. thin and tough, one piece of plaintain (sweeter version), yolk got cooked hard on the egg. Our second dish was an improvement, shrimp in garlic sauce w/ rice and salad ($10). Salad was pieces of beet on shredded lettuce but there were a good amount of medium sized shrimp in a tasty semi-creamy sauce. Service was nice and on top of things. Glad I finally made it there but no need to rush back, esp. with the zillions of places on Brighton Ave. that no one's even mentioned yet (two Thai places, Oodle Noodle, taco place, etc).

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