Miss A Columnist

Michelle Pollak Landwehr is a freelance PR consultant. In her spare time, she loves trying new restaurants with and recipes for her new husband, M., looking for hot, classic designs in neighborhood boutiques, supporting local charity events, and visiting the newest museum exhibits. Additionally, Michelle volunteers for a Montessori school in San Francisco, and sits on the board of an East Bay non-profit which supports those living with cancer. If you have a Bay area event, restaurant, boutique, art or cultural event you would like covered on Miss A, please contact Michelle at mplittlep@gmail.com. You can follow her on her blog.

Sol Food: Puerto Rican Food in Marin County

On Saturday, M. and I were in search of something to do so we hopped into the car and drove to San Rafael in Marin County to Sol Food at the recommendation of Yelpers, who gave it high ratings. I had been there several years before, as well.  Located at 901 Lincoln Avenue, Sol Food is a restaurant painted in bright colors reminiscent of its Puerto Rican roots. We drove past it and saw a line of people out the door and were worried we would have to wait long.  But once we parked the car, the line had dispersed and we were only third in line to place our order. All of the tables were full, so we sat at the bar looking out the windows. The music playing in the background was just loud and energetic enough to make me feel like I was in old San Juan.

The extensive menu features traditional Puerto Rican dishes including Pollo al Horno, bistec encebollado, flat pressed sandwiches, plátanos and flan de queso.  The combinaciones plates are served with rice, organic salad and maduros or tostones.  Maduros are sweet fried plantains.  Tostones are savory plantains served with garlic.  Sol’s drink list features the usual sodas, but also includes delicious fresh-made limonada fresca and té helado, which are served in large Mason jars.

The limonada fresca I ordered arrived just in time as we were waiting for our lunch. It contained enough for at least two servings and quenched my thirst. It was sweet and sour in the perfect combination. I asked for a “to go” cup as I couldn’t finish mine before we left.  M.’s té helado was a not-too sweet, sweet tea.  Also served in a Mason jar, he drank his quickly, enjoying its refreshing taste.

The pollo al horno I ordered included one (also available with two or three pieces) boneless, skinless chicken thigh baked to perfection in a garlic and oregano marinade.  It was the combination plate so it included all of those delicious accompaniments as well as pink or black beans – I chose the black.  The chicken was juicy and tender with just the right amount of flavor.  The beans and rice were out-of-this-world yummy – I hope I can make them at home for us.  The salad was so flavorful with light lemony vinaigrette.  I saved my two maduros for last and shared them with M. as dessert.  So delicious!

M. had the Cubano flat-pressed sandwich.  It was a man-sized sandwich piled high with roasted pork, ham, mustard, mayo, pickles and Swiss cheese.  The French bread was toasted perfectly.  The combination of the ingredients melded the flavors of the sandwich together under the flat press.  Every flat-pressed sandwich has the option of a small organic salad or small rice and beans for an additional low price.

Overall, this delicious but simple Puerto Rican restaurant fulfills all of your essential needs for a fantastic restaurant: delicious, simple foods, great ambiance, affordable prices and a cheerful wait staff who bring your food and drinks quickly in the bustling restaurant. We will definitely make the “trek” across the Golden Gate Bridge again for a meal at Sol Food.

Total cost for two beverages, a sandwich and an entrée without tip or tax was $25.

Reservations are not taken.  Call Sol Food at 415-451-4765.

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