Sunday Strolling in Eastern Market, DC October 13, 2010Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
Tags: Banana Cafe, DC, Eastern Market, flea market, food
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There are few things I love better than beautiful weather, flea markets, and good food. I actually love a lot of things, but that’s beside the point. Because I barely get a weekend off, I decided to really make it count and I wanted to do as much as possible! I haven’t been to Eastern Market in a few years, since before the fire. You can read more about that here.
I just love the atmosphere there. I enjoy being able to shop and browse outdoors instead of in a stuffy, overcrowded mall. The market is lined with merchants selling random things from leather satchels to stereoviews (I really, really wanted one)! There are so many awesome, kitschy random collectibles and items available… it’s a flea market/thrift shoppers daydream! I craved practically everything there but I decided to look, take my time, and thought I’d just come back with more cash and a more detailed idea of what I wanted rather than purchasing aimlessly.
They’ve also got an outdoors farmer’s market filled with everything you’d expect to find at a farmer’s market: fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. I didn’t buy anything because I was already stuffed to the rafters from eating at the place seen down below, Banana Cafe.
My boyfriend and I dropped into this place accidentally. After being on the metro for the past 40 minutes we really had to pee and we were starving so practically anything seemed appealing. We walked a few blocks passing Subway (trite), a grill (ooh, that sounds good… oh wait, it’s an Indian grill. I love food, but Indian food isn’t my favorite but that story is for another time), and a seafood bar (awesome! We walk in and the hostess tells us it’s passed brunch so they only serve six items that don’t look appealing, ugh). We were getting exhausted and even more desperate for food. Even Popeye’s started to look good… just kidding, never. Then I saw this bright yellow place… Latin American food, yay! As stated earlier, the place is named Banana Cafe & Piano Bar. But they don’t serve only banana foods (I loathe bananas) and now that I think about it, I didn’t see any pianos but I also wasn’t paying attention and we ate outdoors, anyway. There were many appetizing options available, but I decided on the Cuban Chicken Steak because I haven’t had Cuban food in years, literally six since going to Gloria Estefan’s Bongos Cuban Cafe in Miami, Florida (that place is delicious by the way). They brought up chips and salsa to start, which made our stomachs so happy because like I said a hundred times over, we were hungry!
The chips were thick and had a true corn flavor in every bite, which is hard to find these days. The salsa was pretty good too, definitely not the best I’ve had because it could have used a little more heat but the consistency was good and it was very fresh. Our food came out pretty quickly, brownie points for Banana Cafe. My Cuban Chicken Steak (smothered in onions, mmm…) was huge! The presentation was really nice, but the flavor is most important and it lived up to my expectations, but didn’t exceed them. I had to take it home, so I had to carry the box the entire time we were walking around Eastern Market which made me wish I had just settled for a shrimp quesadilla.
The waiters were friendly enough, the service was good, the food came out warm and fairly quick. Overall, on a rating between great, good, okay, and bad… I’d give this place a ‘good‘. That being said, I’m still looking for a great Cuban restaurant in the area, so if anyone out there knows of a good place in the DC Metropolitan area, let me know!
Here are a few more pictures I sneaked while strolling around the vendors. I say sneak, because I didn’t want them to think I was taking pictures with the intention of stealing their cool ideas. I really just took pictures for visual notes of what I may want to buy when I come back! Or you, the reader, can just print these pictures and purchase them for me because Christmas will be here soon!
So If you’re looking for something different to do in DC, make your next stop Eastern Market! Just make sure to empty your bladder first.