I contacted Banana Cafe about three weeks before my birthday to inquire about having a fairly large party (40) at their restaurant for a brunch celebration. The owner, George, called me back within a few hours himself, and from that point on was incredibly kind, responsive, and accommodating. Not only did he open the Piano Bar area solely for my party, but offered us drink discounts, allowed us to bring in an outside cake without any cutting/plate fee, and allowed my guests to order from both the brunch menu and the regular lunch menu. The Piano Bar also worked out great because we had our own bar and bathroom, and didn't have to go up and down the stairs at all.
Every single person in my party loved their food - and this was a pretty discerning bunch. The plates on the table ranged from the Cuban Chicken Steak and Grand Marnier French Toast, to the Nachos and the Seafood Enchiladas. Let me put it this way - there were NO leftovers or doggie bags.
Also, the service was excellent. Miguel, our server, always managed to appear right when someone needed him. The food came out very quickly, and plates and empty glasses were cleared within moments.
We did come on a holiday Monday (President's Day), so quality control was likely much higher due to only a handful of guests rotating in and out of the downstairs part of the restaurant. Parking was a bit difficult for those who drove, but this is always the case in Eastern Market. This restaurant is literally one block from the top of the Metro escalators, so most people took advantage of that option, especially since the margaritas had been flowing all afternoon.
If you are a laid back diner, who wants good, fuss-free Puerto Rican or Cuban food, GO!
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