As we headed over to The Black Bean for dinner Saturday night, I had very high hopes. I mean look at that happy, little bongo-drumming guy, how could this not be a great place? A friend, whose tastes are normally quite similar to mine, told me about a wrap with pulled pork, rice, beans and fried plantains, and to me it sounded quite close to heaven. I couldn't wait to try this delicacy and rave about it on this blog. However, my experience was a bit of a let down. Let me explain.
Posted by Tally Foodie Monday, July 27, 2009
The interior of The Black Bean, while small, makes an honest attempt at being authentic. Posters and paintings of Cuba grace the walls and authentic-sounding music drifts through the restaurant speakers. You step up to the counter to place your order and it is then brought out to your table. They have a small outdoor dining area with patio tables, but we grabbed a booth inside. We chose to start with the Island Fries with Island Sauce, and I chose the aforementioned Havana Wrap and my husband chose the The Black Bean Club Sandwich.
When the food arrived at our table, I couldn't help but pounce on the fries coated with spicy seasoning. And when dipped in the Island Sauce (aka: spicy mayo), they make for a delicious treat. I ate about half the basket before I even touched my Havana Wrap. As soon as I did, the unpleasant surprise crept up on me. I took one bite of my wrap and tasted - dun, dun, dunnnn - ONIONS! Now, I absolutely HATE onions. I think it's a texture thing. They can't figure out if they want to be crunchy or slimy and that just really weirds my taste buds out. There are some of you out there who might be like - well, that sounds really good - and for that, I'm sorry, but onions are a big no, no for me. So as soon as I took my first bite, I was immediately turned off. I dug inside the wrap and tried to scrape the rest of the onions off and made a valiant attempt to enjoy the wrap anyway, but the onions sullied my efforts. I just couldn't do it. I ate less than half the wrap and gave up, thoroughly disappointed.
I think what made me mad the most was the fact that the onions were not disclosed on the menu, for if it was, I would have asked if the wrap could have been made without the onions. And perhaps the onions are a part of the Mojo seasoning that the pork is marinated in, I'm a newbie to this whole Cuban thing, so I'm really not quite sure. Either way, the surprise onions killed my enthusiasm for the place.
Hubby sweetly offered to switch plates and give me the rest of his Black Bean Club (regular club sandwich with island sauce) for dinner, but he seemed to be enjoying it so much, I didn't have the heart. Plus, I'm not a big sandwich-lover either, so, I just ended up eating the rest of the Island Fries. Thank goodness they were so delightful.
Now, because the whole onion thing is such a personal issue, I'm willing to give The Black Bean another chance someday. I'll just have to be a bit more careful about what I order next time. If anyone has any non-onion menu suggestions for The Black Bean, I'd love to hear them in the comments!
Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - B
Taste - B (although I didn't enjoy my dish, the fries were delish and hubby liked his meal)
Service - A
Presentation - C
Price - $
The Black Bean Cuban Cuisine
2205 Apalachee Pkwy
Tallahassee FL 32301