The restaurant looked a bit questionable on the outside, but I guess just like when it comes to people, it's what on the inside that really counts. The menu was pretty long, and we were starving, so it was a nice touch when our waitress brought us a basket of fresh hot bread and a bowl of spicy green sauce.
As you can see by the last photograph above, we absolutely loved the food! The chicken (even though it was dark meat) was awesome. The seasoning reminded me of Russian shashlik. And of course I love anything with tomatoes and fries. The rice was cooked perfectly! I wish I was as capable.
The beef dish surprised us a bit: there were still bones in the pieces of meat, and there was a weird membrane on each side of the meat. However, once all that extra "stuff" was removed, the meat was tender and well seasoned! The beans, though, were the bomb! I think these were the best beans I've ever had [sorry, Laura :) ].
Alas, the plantains were a bit disappointing. I had plantains for the first time when I became friends with Laura, who is Puerto Rican. Every single time I visit her, she makes fried sweet plantains. She cuts them on a diagonal and then fries them in oil. They are so insanely good that we need to count the slices to make sure each one gets the same amount. The plantains in the restaurant were cut in half and then cooked. Maybe they weren't ripe enough or did not soak up enough oil, but they just did not taste quite right. Anna and Jenn, however, liked them.
We were pretty stuffed, but I never (or very rarely) say no to dessert. We chose fried doughnuts served soaked in a sweet syrup. Again, this dish reminded me of a Russian dish: ponchiki (fried doughnuts). I'm glad we chose just one order: any more, and we would have had to leave the food behind.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this restaurant to others. The service was courteous, but not intrusive, and the food was definitely solid.