San Rafael - Sol Food 2nd location now open
Sol Food has a larger restaurant open on 701 Lincoln one block away from the smaller restaurant. Both are open. Both menus are identical. The hours for both are the same.
The new restaurant has been open for about five weeks. There are some large commununal tables with benches and a few smaller tables. There's a nice friendly feel to the place.
Didn't try anything as I had one of the worst Cubanos in my life elsewhere (NOT Mambo) and I need to distance myself a little before I write about it or I will totally trash the place. So I just stopped by Sol to see if they had a different menu. Nope, everything identical to the original location except there are more tables and it is larger.
Decided to give this place a try for lunch today. Convinced a few coworker buddies to come along. I knew they had a cubano ($7.25) on the menu from previous posts and so I pretty much knew what I was getting. I opted for the small organic side salad which for $1 is really a great deal. For $2 you can get rice & beans.
We ordered and sat down at the last remaining seats at the window counter and awaited our foods' arrival.
Victor's Pollo al Horno and Jesse's Habichuelas Rosadas arrived first. The Pollo al Horno consists of chicken thighs (free range) along with some rice & beans, salad, and 2 flattened fried plantains. I tasted the chicken (he chose 2 for $7.50) and it was moist and simply flavored, but nicely done and healthy taboot. The plaintains were also good and not very greasy.
Jesse's Habichuelas Rosadas ($3.50) was a large bowl of pink beans with some olives and an herby flavor. They threw a fried plantain in with beans and included a slice of fresh avocado on the side. The beans were subltely flavored and well prepared.
Finally my cubano arrived and it looked money. Really big sandwich with a big old portion of greens on the side. Just looking at it I knew I was in for a treat. I hadn't had a good cubano (aside from my homemade ones) since moving out here from NYC. This one wasn't quite the same as my old spot, Havana Chelsea on 8th Avenue (NYC), but it sure did hit the spot. The fact that they use "all natural pork" makes it that much better. The shredded pork on the sandwich was delicious. The ham, however, was lacking. I have a feeling that maybe only the roasted pork is natural, and that the ham is run of the mill deli ham. Nonetheless, I truly would have loved the sandwich had there not been mustard included on it. The menu clearly states that mustard is included, I just didn't notice, or didn't think it would be so abundant. I'm not really used to having mustard on my cubano so next time I'd just order it without and I'm sure I'll enjoy this sandiwch even more.
Another poster wrote that the chicken sandwich is the best, and I'll definitely have to give it a try next time. It has roasted chicken, ham, sauteed onions, tomato, organic greens, swiss and cilantro-lime mayo. That cilantro-lime mayo sounds tastey. I might have to try and get some of that for my cubano next time too!
The homemade hot sauce is also a nice bonus. Vingar-based and loaded with chunks of chili and garlic. All 3 of us doused just about everything with it.
732 4th Street
Saturday afternoon I was headed over to Mambo's, but stopped to take a look at Sol Food's new digs. Has anyone else noticed the letter complaining about the lime green exterior that's posted in the front? All I could think about was that if "Angelo" thinks Sol's shade is "garish and ugly", I wonder how he'd describe the interior decorating scheme at Yuet Lee in Chinatown? (vbg)
Angelo's complaint letter -
I was wondering what was going on with the second location. It is a little confusing to have 2 places don't you think? I am not sure which one to go to. All I have ever eaten there is the Pollo al Horno and I have to say that it is extremely well priced, the flavors are really quite good, the plantains a nice treat, the beans and rice probably the most flavorful I have ever had. I feel like I could eat that dish everyday. The hot sauce is supberbly HOT; maybe because I like anything with vinegar. Overall a great restaurant. Glad they opened a 2nd as I really HATED trying to find parking at the first plus dealing with the tight, crowded, & cramped closet of a restaurant really put me in a bad mood.