Invigorate your taste buds with a kick from Platanos

Sabrina Belara/ Skyline View Staff ()

Sabrina Belara/ Skyline View Staff ()


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Drive down to the Mission, but step out of the endless options of Mexican cuisine and into Platanos. Dimly lit with terracotta-toned walls adorned with Latin inspired art, floral table tops and salsa music all add to the romantic ambiance. This place is easy to overlook and hard to forget. Located on the corner of 18th and Guerrero, Platanos, unlike the majority of restaurants in the Mission, serves up Caribbean and South American cuisine from places such as Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.

Though their prices lean more towards quantity, with appetizers priced around $8 and entrees’ ranging from $12 to $18, quality is without a question. The delectably colorful cuisine and hospitable servers make the cost well worth it, whether people go for special occasions or just a change in the menu.

For appetizers, the empanada assortments are a must and are nothing like empanadas found in Mexican or Filipino cuisine. They offer chicken, beef and corn, each accompanied by a different sauce.

The chicken empanada is unexpectedly topped with large sugar and salt granules and is accompanied by a chipotle sauce that unpredictably and pleasantly suggests hints of cinnamon. The beef and corn are just as savory and well worth trying.

For the entrée, whether or not you order the grilled halibut with mango salsa, steamed white rice and vegetables (though I opted to substitute the greens for black beans topped with crema to keep with the Caribbean flavors) or you get the puerco or pollo (pork or chicken) tamale made Nicaraguan style; filled with diced potatoes, white beans and green olives, served with black bean salad, queso frito and hand made tortillas, this culinary experience cordially awakens taste buds leaving them elatedly disoriented.