We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Perfect for a birthday celebration!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Banana Cafe & Piano Bar

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar
500 8th St SE, Washington DC, DC 20003-2834 (Capitol Hill)
202-543-5906
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Banana Cafe & Piano Bar is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #461 of 2,495 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $20 - $20
Cuisines: Mexican, American, Caribbean, Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Cross street: Corner of 8th & E street S.E.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
“Perfect for a birthday celebration!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

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!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

131 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    64
    20
    9
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A decent brunch with a Cuban influence”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I wouldn't have thought "Cuban-Mexican" for brunch, but Banana Cafe did a solid job. I went Anglo with the Grand Mariner French Toast, and she went Latin with the Seafood Enchiladas...something for everyone in a pleasant setting.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Stellar service... OK food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

My friends and I came on the weekend of the Inauguration in DC so it was BUSY! But our waiter did a fantastic job of keeping up with our table. The wait staff here really seem to bust their butts. Our drinks were ample and good, whether the Mojito, Bloody Mary, etc. There's some great variety on the menu including breakfast, brunch and lunch items. You might want to pass on the Cuban Sandwich though, as the pork was very tough. (I ordered this once before and remember being disappointed then, as well.) If you like cheese, have the Huevos Rancheros... it was smothered with cheese, making the egg and other items barely discernable... this is good for the cheese lover but not so good for those liking the traditional dish. Others at the table were happy with their meals so it's not as bad as it seems. With a good location (though parking is difficult no matter where you go on 8th St.), a varied menu, great staff and decent drinks, I would return here without hesitation.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Welcoming, Bustling, Caribbean-Cuisine Inspired Capital Hill Brunch Spot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Rendezvous'd here with my long-lost 1981 wedding maid of honor and her husband, while traveling from Austin and attending a DC sales convention in nearby National Harbor, MD. Cold. The day was cold and crisp but sunny, so this Sunday afternoon brunch spot had the qualities of being warm and noisy yet friendly and 'alive'. Initially, we had friendly, attentive waitstaff table service but I would have enjoyed a more immediate pouring of hot coffee & cream on this rather cold early afternoon, while perusing their brunch menu. Coffee was only served to us 5 after we had placed our brunch orders...Two of us ordered the Banana Café Eggs Benedict; one ordered the Breakfast Waffles with banana syrup, strawberries, & bacon. Another guest ordered the Huevos Rancheros, served with fried breakfast potatoes; and the 5th person in our party ordered the Breakfast Quesadilla, a "twisted quesadilla" w/ scrambled eggs, cheese & bacon, served w/ guacamole, sour cream & pico de gallo. My only complaint was the fact that I had specifically asked the waiter for "hard cooked eggs" for my Eggs Benedict order, and the eggs arrived yellow and runny. I sent them back to the kitchen, and 15 minutes later, I received my breakfast item. Needless to say, I was the last one who finished eating brunch...We 5 enjoyed our brunch with fun, lengthy chatting after many years of not seeing each other. The restaurant provided a cheerful, fervent atmosphere for our breakfast meals, and an engaging, casual "reunion gathering" for us after so many years.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lizardlips48
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Good food for adults and kids”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

The food was good. The salsa was excellent--a little mild but perfect for our adult/child mix. Refills on the chips and salsa came without request. The kids' chicken tacos vanished quickly. Only complaints:
**The adults all had the Saturday specials, and we should have had only one for every people. The portions were too large, and we had to waste too much food. My house margarita was slightly above average.
**Everything was quite salty, and we all were thirsty for most of the following day.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Banana Cafe & Piano Bar also viewed

 
Washington DC, DC
 

Been to Banana Cafe & Piano Bar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Banana Cafe & Piano Bar, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.