This place is hoppin’ on a weekend night! Talk about a great vibe, with the line stretching out the door and all along the front of the restaurant down to the recently opened take-out-only Sol Food annex, and everyone talking, smiling and looking very happy.
I confess that I’ve been to very few Puerto Rican restaurants, and this is the only one I know of in Marin, but based on how delicious the food is, I’m surprised there aren’t more. This one is very colorful, loud, and vibrating with energy. It’s casual dining, but the food is really high quality, and beautifully presented, so it’s what you’d expect at a more formal restaurant. Here, you wait in line to place your order at the cash register, then you get a number and are seated. Most of the tables are family style, so you share with one or two other groups. You can also sit at the counter and watch the non-stop activity in the kitchen and with the wait staff, or you can sit at the open-air (well, when the weather’s warm) counter along the street windows.
The servings are very generous – we like to get an appetizer and split one entrée and that’s plenty for the two of us. You’ve got to try the plantains – I like the green plantains which are fried, smashed, and fried again. Oh, and then served with olive oil! And, the Pastelon de Carne (also has plantains) is exceptionally good, and you can’t find it anywhere else, so it’s very special.
The drinks are big too, served in very large canning jars, and have fresh fruit drinks like limade, mango iced tea, etc. You will not leave hungry or thirsty.
So, there are actually three Sol Food’s now: the Big Place, Small Place and Take-Out. The Small Place stays open ’til midnight all nights except Saturday and Sunday, when it’s open ’til 2:00 a.m.!
Where: Big Place 901 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael 94901(map)
Small Place: 732 4th Street, San Rafael 94901 (map)
Take-Out: 903 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael 94901 (map)
Hours: Doors open Sun-Thur 7:00 a.m.; Sat-Sun 8:00 a.m.