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Sol Food, San Rafael, report

david kaplan | Jun 14, 200612:49 AM

Very much liked this Puerto Rican place on the corner of Lincoln and 4th in San Rafael. Highlights were the tostones and the sweet plantains. Tostones were unripe green plantains, smooshed into a patty, fried, and doused with olive oil and garlic. They held together really nicely and had a firm mealy texture, kind of like what I imagine a big cactus leaf would feel like if you bit into it. The sweet plantains were caramelized almost to a creme brulee outside, creamy and sweet inside. The two dishes balanced each other well and could easily have been my whole meal.

Sandwiches come on warm crusty bread. I liked the Cubano more, filled with a thick layer of very moist shredded roast pork. I would have like the chorizo sandwich more had it been as thick with chorizo as the Cubano was with pork, but rather than pressing whole chorizo links into the sandwich and having the grease soak into the bread and the meat get all crumbly, instead they just used thin slices of chorizo. It had the feel of a pepperoni sandwich. The chorizo was even overwhelmed by the slices of ham and cheese also in the sandwich. Oh well.

The shrimp were my other favorite. They come fresh and plump in a rich tomato and onion sauce that's thick enough to cling to the shrimp.

I'm eager to try more. Apparently they have fried fish on Fridays. There's very little seating, so it's mostly take-out.

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