One of the best Puerto Rican restaurants I’ve ever been to is Sol Food. It’s located in San Rafael, north of the city of San Francisco. I was introduced to this place by my cousin Paolo, who raved about it and said it’s worth going to just for the vinegar. When a Filipino tells you that they just had the BEST vinegar of their lives, you know you have to try it for yourself. Since it’s quite a ways out of the city, I held back on going for a few months. Then we had some wedding clients talk non-stop about this place. Telling us how it’s the best Puerto Rican food… and all their bridal party agreed and could not stop talking about it. My husband is Puerto Rican, we just had to make the trip. We shot a wedding last summer in San Rafael and the hotel we stayed in was minutes away. Jeff and I decided to give it a try.
Lines out the door. Wrapped around the block. That’s when you know the hype for this place is pretty legit. The lines do get long but it goes quick and should really be seen as a testament to how good the food it is. People are willing to wait for this food and we soon realized why. It was so packed but there was another building to the right of it. We walked in and it was a second part of the restaurant open for those who just wanted to buy their dressings and vinegars and order food for take out. Brilliant! We decided to get a few things, their top seller is their rotisserie chicken. Picked up some vinegar and headed back to our hotel room. Folks… this is FRESH, authentic Puerto Rican food. I cannot even begin to describe this vinegar. You think you pour way too much on your plate and then you don’t stop adding. AMAZING… BEST EVER. BEST. There have been chefs from all over come to this place, buy up bottles of this stuff and try to replicate it. We have yet to try a better vinegar.
I would suggest this place to anyone. Most of their menu is gluten free but still DELICIOUS. You can see in their plating that everything is authentic, you don’t feel like they’re trying too hard. Their PLATANOS… omg… droooool. Wow! Every bite… you can mix every single ingredient on your plate and as you’re chewing you’re just thinking to yourself, “this all makes so much sense.” You even consider living off this food for years, and you can. We have to keep going back, I want to try every single sandwich on their menu. Went back with my cousins Bianca and Paolo, saw them buy up over a dozen bottles of vinegar, and then I got to try their bistec encebollado, which is thinly sliced steak & sautéed onions. You can choose pink or black beans, plantain or French fries for your sides, and it comes with a salad as well. My cousin Bianca ordered the camarones empanizados which Plantain-Fried Prawns…AND I DRENCHED THEM IN VINEGAR. You can check out more of their menu here, trust me, if you love good food, you’ll wanna order a bit of everything.
I’ve since gone back twice and tried their pork chops and their mofongo relleno de camarones which is simply the yummiest shrimp served over mashed green plantain with salad and fresh avocado.