What a pleasant surprise, not. Another gray and rainy day here in Downtown Brooklyn. And yes, it is Downtown Brooklyn, not Brooklyn Heights, no matter what my brother-in-law Jim says. Yes, having Adams/Boerum/Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard, or whatever you call it as the demarcation might make more sense, but it is Court Street, one block away, that is the official boundary. I like to think of myself as a kind of hip, gritty downtown kind of guy but he thinks I am more of a sophisticated, establishment, Brooklyn Heights person. We argue about this endlessly.
Be that as it may, the Mysterious Chinese Woman spent the day cleaning while I lounged about drinking red wine and watching The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly for the umpteenth time. Eli Wallach as The Ugly is still my favorite character in that film.
Anyway, feeling a bit guilty I decided I should take her out for dinner. We had planned to go to Bar Tabac, and I guess it did look a bit like Paris in the springtime, when it drizzles. But as we stepped out of the door, the orange awning of taino soleil caught my eye.
The View From My Door
You can just barely see the awning in the distance, partially blocked by the white van.
I have stopped in here for drinks on a few occasions, the last time being on my way home from the Mermaid Parade on Saturday. The friendliness of the bartenders has always impressed me but, for some reason, I have never eaten here. A gray and drizzly day seemed to be the perfect day to go to a place with "soleil" in its name and a picture of the sun on its awning.
It Just Looked So Inviting
We started out with a couple of beers, Brooklyn Lager on draft, and perused the menu. Next time I come in here, and I will come in here again, I will read the back. It looks interesting.
Reading The Side With The Food
Their menu has a Latin American, bent to it. Next time I will take notes and share some of the offerings with you. Well, I will share the names and descriptions with you. I will eat the offerings myself.
We started out with a shrimp cerviche. It was a bit on the small size, particularly compared to the huge ones I get in Puerto Vallarta, but it was very good.
Small, But Very Good
The shrimp cerviche was the only portion that was small, however. The Mysterious Chinese Woman ordered a salt cod stew of some kind and her portion was most generous and came with a large portion of yellow rice. We ended up taking half of it home.
I am not sure why I ordered what a did, but for some reason I decided to have the Cubana Sandwich. It was very good, but a bit different than the ones I have had in Miami. It wasn't pressed, that was the biggest difference. But that was fine, the bread was very good. Crunchy crust but chewy inside. I will have to ask them where they get it. It reminded me of the hamburger buns at the Waterfront Ale House. I had the sweet potato fries as a side and we took some of those home too. I should have taken half the sandwich as well. I was full after only half of it, but it was so good I ended up finishing it off.
A Most Tasty Sandwich
My only complaint about the sandwich was that I thought it could use more pickles. I mentioned this to the waitress and she said next time I should just ask for some on the side and then I could have as many as I wanted. And that is what I will do.
Our dinner, with three beers (two for me and one for the Mysterious Chinese Woman) including a decent tip was $60. And I consider it to have been money well spent.
Of course I didn't get out of there spending only sixty bucks. Just as I was about to leave an old friend of mine, Carlos, came in and sat down at the bar. He is one of the guys that I used to drink with when the little bar at the back of the now long-gone Chinese restaurant, Szechuan Cusine. was kind of a favorite hangout of mine. I had to have a couple drinks with him at the bar and talk over old times and current events.
All and all a most pleasant day. Probably a bit less so for the Mysterious Chinese Woman. You know, the cleaning and all.