I recently was back in Orlando for a couple of weeks, and although I didn’t get to indulge in my Mexican food dream because I heard the prices at El Coqui went up, I did get to enjoy one of my favourite eateries in Winter Park: Black Bean Deli.
I was excited to the point of idiocy as I giddily made my way inside, eyes gleaming at the menu. Oh joy! Oh rapture! Ohmigosh, plantains!! Because I was ordering take-out for two (or, rather, two and a half, since my friend Melanie shared her meal with her friend Badi), I went kind of crazy and ordered the vegetarian platter, the vegetarian tamale platter, a vegetarian empanada and an extra side of plantains.
I was so, so excited.
After the wait gleeful anticipation of the food to be ready, I took my treasure down Orlando/Mills Avenue to my friend Melanie’s house, where I unpacked the glory that is take-out from Black Bean Deli. I felt like weeping tears of joy at the sight the bounty. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve had rice and beans?! I didn’t realise how much I had missed the simple Caribbean dish, and Black Bean Deli didn’t disappoint. The vegetarian empanada was amazing, and had I known it would have been that good, I would have ordered two. Instead, I cut off a little piece for myself to try and gave the rest to my friend Melanie who had the vegetarian platter dish without the tamale.
Look at the plantains! Aren’t they the most gorgeous things ever?! Oh, how I love fried plantains. Sweet, delicious and beyond amazing. I think I may have made fried plantains a few times for myself. I should do so again now that I’m back in London. For that matter, anyone in London have a favourite place to get fried plantains?
Because that would be very helpful.
Anyway, the food was enjoyed by all, and when it was revealed I had also ordered extra plantains, there was much jubilation to be had in Melanie’s apartment. I had hoped to find some way to sneak back to Black Bean Deli again before I left for London, but it wasn’t meant to be. Next time.
In the meanwhile, there is a Cuban place on Upper Street in Islington called Cuba Libre that I’ve been curious about, although having a look at their menu they seem a bit pricey, although the yucca chips might win me over, and they do have fried plantains. Or maybe I just need to cook up this stuff myself. Can anyone swipe some Black Bean Deli recipes for me?