after an amazing yoga class downtown on saturday i picked lily up from drop-in baby sitting and headed over a couple of blocks to the fairly new san juan cafe located at 3314 wrightsville avenue, in the space formerly occupied by nagila.
eating out on a budget is a fun challenge and a lot easier to do at lunch than dinner. i was hungry after class and so was lily.
we got there early and had the restaurant all to ourselves. we chose a table near a window on and sat on a banquette which runs the length of one wall.
we were handed both the dinner and lunch menu. since i had already decided we were eating on the cheap i stuck to the lunch menu and gave lily the option of choosing from the lunch or kid's menus which offered a good variety of choices. i had my mind set on the mexican city tostada but was almost swayed by the cuban sandwich. i don't eat meat but there is something about a cuban sandwich i find hard to resist. since i just came out of yoga and was feeling healthy and compassionate i stuck with my original choice and was not disappointed. the tostado was piled high with refried black beans, grilled cherry tomatoes and green beans. lightly topped with cheese and a drizzle of sour cream sauce which made it pretty to look at and yummy to eat at a budget friendly $7.50. the side salad of mixed field greens with balsamic dressing was a nice accompaniment.
lily had a harder time trying to decide. she looked at the lunch menu, had tons of questions for the very patient waiter and almost chose the white bean and collard soup until we found out it was made with beef and beef stock. (watch out vegetarians.) the kids menu offers a variety of typical american kid foods from pb&j, to hot dogs to a grilled chicken breast with rice and beans. from $2.75-$4.00. a more adventurous kids meal or a vegetarian option could definitely be made from the sides which included red or black beans and rice, plantains, baked sweet potatoes and green beans. Lily finally decided on a cheese quesidilla ($3.75)with fries and a side ceasar salad ($2.50) the kids meal was definitely big enough for two and we ended up bringing half the quesadilla home for another meal! we ended up blowing the budget on dessert which are each a whopping $6.00. i would have opted for the arroz con dulce but decided to split a slice of chocolate cake with lily instead. ask up front for crayons and coloring for impatient little ones and the staff will be glad to oblige. this is a restaurant that seems to understand kids.
This is my new favorite restaurant. Cheese quesadilla - good, fries - great, ceasar salad- love it. The chocolate cake was so good I licked the plate. My mom said I can't do that when I'm an adult and I said I know so I'll do it now while I'm still a kid.