Last night I attended a business event/cocktail party at the Jungle Jim's Oscar Event Center in Fairfield. The venue was absolutely gorgeous and they had a killer set-up as far as food, considering it was catered by the aforementioned international grocery superstore. Expensive cheeses, persimmons, any hummus you could imagine - an all out spread. So, my co-worker and I weren't as hungry as we thought we'd be by 8pm. However, I'd heard some amazing things about The Green Plantain and wanted to check it out. It was conveniently located right in front of our very fancy, high-roller room bat the holiday Inn Express.
I'd been warned about the slow service, but wasn't terribly concerned. We walked into a bustling atmosphere, but only about 10 people seated, as it was only about an hour and a half before closing time. Our server was pretty fast and super friendly, and wasn't bothered by all of our questions about the menu. I ordered a whiskey and Diet Coke - but they'd apparently been so busy earlier that they actually ran out of both Coke and Diet.
That was made up for when freshly-fried plantain chips were brought to the table with a house-made salsa that I still can't figure out.
My dining buddy isn't very familiar or comfortable with a lot of foreign cuisine, so the server and I helped her pick out something that we both thought she would like. We actually ended up ordering the same thing, which was La Bandeja Paisa. I'll get into that more later.
For now, the appetizer. When I saw they had Mofongo on the menu, I was pretty amped about it. Mashed, fried plantains with garlic and bacon formed into a ball. Yes, please! It came to the table looking and smelling delicious with a bowl of broth, which I assume was for dipping. It turned out to be a little on the bland side, but I wasn't completely disappointed. The broth contributed come of the salt it seemed to be lacking.
The dish we both ordered was pretty phenomenal. Rib-eye steak, chorizo, a slab of crispy-fried pork belly, fried plantains, rice & black beans, avocado and two fried eggs. Big hongry!
The rib-eye was a little fatty, even for that particular cut, but perfectly seasoned. The chorizo was tops, but the fried pork belly (very surprisingly) left me a little disappointed. It was tasty and crispy - but again, lacking some sort of seasoning. The fried plantains were probably the star of the show, and a great note to end on, as they're just sweet enough to feel like dessert.
I had a bit of a beef that the server assumed a nearly 30% tip was all hers. I would have hoped she would have at least offered change, even though I intended for her to keep it. As I said, the service was great. Even though we were the last two diners there, we didn't feel at all like she was rushing us out. The food left a little something to be desired - something that we Americans call "salt." It's no El Meson, but it'll certainly do when your other options are Outback and carb-central.
3.5 our of 5 sporks!