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Sol Food
732 Fourth Street.
San Rafael, CA


Great Puerto Rican chow!

What kind of childhood- deprived wingnut doesn’t like a banana?
Not me. When I saw this cute little Puerto Rican kitchen open shop, I had to give it a try.

Line up, order at the counter, pay and give your name. The guys in the small kitchen get the food done fast. They call out your name – you eat. The folks who work there are friendly, efficient and keep the place tidy.

I love the look of this little place. Palm leaves decorate the awning. The utensils are stored in washed out jars, the hot sauce is presented in recycled bottles with cork stoppers. Plantains hold down stacks of clean napkins.
  Pollo Al Horno ($8.95):
Three boned, skinned, free range chicken thighs. These were baked after a bath in garlic and oregano. While the choice of the flavorful thigh is a good one, I pined for the additional flavor from their skins and bones. The bed of rice and beans were delish alongside a little salad. Their pink beans were perfectly cooked. The tostones (fried, smooshed plantains) were delish, but eat ‘em while they’re hot and at their prime.
  Deep-fried Tilapia (around $9.00) Special – not on daily menu:
This was the crowning glory. If I had only gotten the chicken, I might not have been as impressed. A whole fish is scored, seasoned and deep-fried. A squirt of the lime, a splash of the house made hot sauce and you have one tasty meal. This comes with those yummy pink beans cooked with potatoes and olives. It also has rice, a nice slice of perfectly ripe avocado, a little organic green salad and fried plantains.


There are 5 counter seats inside and about 8 outside (no tables.)
I classify this as an “eat it and beat it” place, (not a linger and chat with friends all afternoon restaurant.)

I think that I will order their specials from now on. On Wednesdays it’s a shrimp special, Fridays is fish, Saturdays is pork. They offer take out but I wouldn’t want my tostones to get cold and soggy (I hate it when that happens!) or my crispy fish skin to get limp. Then again, you have to deal with limited seating those crowded weekends.

Overall Rating:

3 carrots (out of 4)
I’m bananas about this place.

The coconut soda (in a can!) was non-carbonated and lightly sweetened. Little white bits of nutmeat float around like a drinkable snowglobe (except it’s better tasting than an actual snowglobe.)
Tasty, very sweet Mango drink was from Trader Joe’s.

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