"Banana Cafe/Piano Bar - Barracks Row/Capitol Hill" Top 5 Page for this destination Washington D.C. Restaurant Tip by Ewingjr98
Washington D.C. Restaurants: 647 reviews and 834 photos
We sort of stumbled into the Banana Cafe one night when a small group of us were meeting near Eastern Market Metro for drinks. I had at least heard of the place, so I strongly supported the decision to sit here for a little while. My friends beat me to the restaurant, so I met them at the bar where they had already reserved a table and were nursing a few beers. As soon as I arrived, they let us know our table was ready and we headed outside to sit on this warm November evening. Then the service went downhill.
Over the next hour, we struggled to get drinks let alone place our orders. We finally had a few beers, the fried calamari appetizer, and I had the Ropa Vieja, a shredded beef dish served with fried plantains and rice for about $15. My meal was very tasty, particularly the sweet plantains. I also got to try my friend's Cuban sliders called fritas that same in a group of three and had patties with a a mixture of ground beef, onions, bread crumbs, ketchup, mayo, paprika and other spices and served on mini buns with fries ($11). Interesting and flavorful. Unfortunately, we had to wait almost another hour just to get our bill, even though at this time the restaurant was not even half full.
This restaurant has the odd combination of Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican dishes as well as a lively piano bar upstairs. I have read that Banana Cafe's Piano Bar, along with Remington's, Phase 1, and Mr. Henry's are known as the favorite hangouts for the local gay and lesbian crowd.
Nutshell: the food was good but the service sucked pretty bad.
Address: 500 8th St SE, Washington 20003
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: 8th St SE at E St SE
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