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Restaurants & Bars 3

El Cafetal (Allston) 5/18/08

ScubaSteve | May 19, 200806:12 AM

was there last night with the GF. except for not realizing that BU was having their graduation we got there with no trouble.

stopped in to Deep Ellum for a couple of drinkys (Cafetal has no booze) then grabbed a table in the near empty restaurant.

service was a little strange as we would tell the waitress what we wanted (with correct pronunciation) she then asked for us to point to what we wanted on the menu then she said it out loud, Exactly as we had said it. also, requests for substitutions (tostones for sweet plantains, two eggs on my Bandeja) had to be repeated several times even though she was writing furiously as we were talking.

anyWho, we liked the food. the rice was very good, although there were two extra plates of it on the table. the beans had good flavor and were not mushy at all. my Bandeja was very nice, the steak was seasoned perfectly and everything was great, although i usually like to see avocado on a Bandeja plate.
the GF's seafood soup was interesting, i think it was described as Fresh Seafood but the fish was definitely dried salt cod. she was given the option of cream or 'water' for the soup base and she opted for water since we kinda figured that would be the thin stock type of thing rather than a more chowdery thing. her pollo a la plancha was decent too.
we had also ordered arepa with chorizo that was unlike any chorizo i've ever had, it reminded me of that Greek sausage flavored with orange and they were deep fried whole which made for interesting chewing. the arepas were nothing special.

lastly i had a fruit shake (was it mango?) that was Very Good, light, frothy and yummy until it was about half gone and then it just collapsed into wicked sweet milk.

i don't know if we'd go back just for the food, but if we're in the area again it could warrant a return visit.

(oh yah, and what is up with the basement bathrooms? what was this place before? i was thinking tanning salon with all the little rooms and the stone floor and fake plants. the GF thought it was a SpeakEasy)

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