Sol Food - San Rafael - Puerto Rican Cuisine
I noticed this place - a new place in San Rafael
It's very tiny - either take out or a small number of outside cafe tables
Most of the menu is Vegan
There is some chicken in 2 out of the 12 dishes
otherwise fried plantains
It's not really my kind of food - I am not keen on beans and I would rarely eat chicken through choice
but the place looks like nice
it seemed friendly and fun
and the smells coming out of the kitchen were good
so I would have given it a try, for sure,
unfortunately I couldn't persuade my lunch companion to be that adventurous, at leat not today.
prices range from 1.50 for an avocado side,
4-5 for salads and plantains
6 for chicken
and 7.95-8.95 for larger combination plates, 1x veggie, 1 x chicken available
It has a website under construction which gives you an idea, but the menu is not the same as the one I picked up today. (there was no beef on the menu I saw)
Has anyone tried it yet?
Yes, once for dinner and thought it was very good, very personal. My wife and I had chicken and beef and beans and rice and salad and both preparations of plantanos. A lot of food for a little money, and though I haven't been to Pueto Rico, the feel seemed authentic. It certainly didn't feel much like Marin County. We plan to return soon!
If your friends are interested in Puerto Rican, Sofrito has some hot prepared Puerto Rican food at the Saturday Berkeley Farmers market. Never tried them as I usually go early before they start cooking.
Don't know if they ever opened a real restaurant. They were thinking of it long ago.
Yep, that's the one.
Going early just has to do with the parking thing with me, I like to get near the market so I don't have to haul my oranges a few blocks. Those Berkeley parking police are like mosquitos, always buzzing around and just as annoying.
Although, actually I like to go early or off hours most places because there are fewer crowds and things are more relaxing. Nothing I hate worse that waiting in line (like Mama's in Washington Square or Betty's in Berkeley). I'm usually there a bit before opening.
A couple of friends surprised me the other day with a take-out from Sol Food.
Being Puerto Rican, and knowing my way around a kitchen, they figured I could gauge the food, especially the "mofongo" in a vegan incarnation, as this dish traditionally calls for pork rind as a taste enhancer.
They also bought me "habichuelas rosadas" - mine are, I have to say immodestly, really good, and meatless.
The mofongo was very good! The ingredients were kept solely to plantano, garlic (ajo), and olive oil. I would say, mission accomplished. Of course, a fish soup/broth would complement the mofongo, but that may be more than they want do.
I'm curious to see what diners will accompany with the mofongo, certainly not rice, I hope!
The beans were good for restaurant quality; good taste that tries to keep with the traditional flavours. Some of the common seasonings for certain bean dishes are difficult to find in the Bay Area, unless there's a well-stocked Vietnamese grocer handy. Puerto Rican cooks are masters of various beans, and while this isn't the number one on many cook's menus, it's my bean of choice, rather than the red bean.
I'm going there for lunch tomorrow, to see what else may be authentic.
I tried Sol's - music was too loud but nice feeling in restaurant. I tried tostones, they were good! But I was dissappointed that they did not serve any Puerto Rican rice dishes. I grew up in a latino diverse neighborhood & the Puerto Rican's were very proud of their rice.
Read this thread, and somehow read about Sol Food:
I thought I was going to a restaurant, but it turned out to be a fast food type place. I haven't had Puerto Rican food too many times before, maybe only 1-2 times.
I've only had one 1-2 other times. It was ok. Not bad, not great. I read in another thread that a few people thought there was too much mustard. I didn't notice that.
1 Piece Pollo:
It was pretty good. The marinated flavor is definitely something unique.
I had read to try a unique brand of soda, Fizzy Lizzy. I had the pineapple flavored one. It was pretty good. It contained 67% juice too.
Considering that Puerto Rican food isn't too common, and this was a cafe/fast food place, it was pretty good. I'm sure it could be better, but if one wants this type of cuisine, it should be ok.
Parking is hard to find in this area. There's only 2 or 3 spaces in the parking lot. The rest has to be found on the street. And even that's hard to find.
Plus, I saw signs that parking wasn't allowed from 4-6pm on weekdays, on the streets.
I ended up parking 1.5 blocks away, not bad, but just be prepared to look for a space.