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Dec 10, 1999 06:24 PM

BAnania cafe on smith st.

  • j

I was the first customer at banania cafe any one want to hear about it?

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  1. l
    Lenny Karle-Zenith

    Yes, I'd be very interested in your experience. Just to be on the up and up, I'm the "webster" for




    9 Replies
    1. re: Lenny Karle-Zenith

      o.k had 3 apps an entree, dessert, glass of wine for 44$.sauteed oysters dusted w/corn meal, on celery root puree topped w/ sunflower sprouts,and tomato seed vinaigraite, water cress oil. it was great, although not crazy about the corn meal. then had morrocan spiced calamari on pumpkin puree w/ a balsamic syrup, again superb.last `app, foie gras on quince puree (puree night?)w/ pommegranates and pomm.sauce,again sublime.entree, mushrooms struedel, a little dry and just ok, dessert there were 2, lime pie and the ever present warm ch ocolate cake, had the latter also very good. r oom nicely done very french bistro, wait staff good, logo offensive? highly reccomend

      1. re: joey g
        Brian Brooklyn

        Thanks for the review. What is the nearest cross street to the restaurant?

        1. re: Brian Brooklyn

          corner of douglas and smith sts.

          1. re: joey g

            Joey G I'd like to know if Banania is open for lunch.

            1. re: Vinny

              i dont know if their open for lunch and the logo while not meant to offend could, its a picture of a black man, clearly unshaven, with huge lips. what up wit dat

              1. re: joey g
                Trip Kirkpatrick

                The Banania logo (see below for a poster) referred to is the marketing image used for years by Banania, a French brand of cocoa-based beverage. The person whose image is used in the cafe graced the packages of the Banania company beginning around 1915, and was called "l'ami y'a bon"; this image was later (1959) reduced further in racial caricature to the picture used in the cafe today. Though the founder of the company 'discovered' the drink in Nicaragua, the image that became associated with the company was a Senegalese rifleman in the colonial army.

                You want to eat at cafes that celebrate cultural and military imperialism (cf Uncle Pho), that's your biz.



                1. re: Trip Kirkpatrick

                  i would like to know what city and country the banania cafe is located.

                  1. re: leslie joe

                    That would be Brooklyn, New York, USA.

        2. re: joey g

          Joey G my girlfriend wants to know what you mean by logo offensive.

      2. Just ate there tonite. Excellent. The chef is from Bouley, as is the headwaiter. Very attractive cream interior with lovely real copper wainscoting. The place is American-French comfort food. The name and the logo are common in France; the reference is to an old-fashioned brand of cocoa. Don't be overly PC about it, because it's not meant badly. . A French person of a certain 40+ age would remember it fondly, the way you might think of oh, Maypo. A comfort, childish thing. As others had, we also had the wonderful cornmeal oysters with celery root, and a mesclun salad to start. For entrees, the Asian-influenced poached red snapper and vegetables in carrot-ginger sauce, also a lovely French-style pork chop on creamy mashed potatoes with caramelized pearl onions and pears in port sauce. Both were excellent -- and a far better price than you would see in Manhattan. The service was fine. The word's out about this place tho' because at 7:30pm on a Sat. the line was out the door. I highly recommend this spot, based on this one visit. I've been in the Bklyn Hgts area for about a year now and I think this and Noodle pudding are my favorites. I hope the other Smith St. restaurants get this good and don't develop the attitude that so often comes with a more upscale presentation.