San Juan Cafe
3314 Wrightsville Ave
Wilmington, NC 28403
Business: (910) 798-9940
San Juan Cafe has taken over the spot Nagila occupied for several years. They haven't changed much about the decor, but obviously the menu is completely different.
My first trip was for lunch. I had the black bean toastadas and a side of beans and rice. The black beans were mashed and spicy and placed on top of some really good corn tortillas, then topped with chopped green beans and sour cream. It made for interesting texture and the flavors went together well. The beans for the beans and rice were brothy, using red beans and chunks of potato. Good, but a little under-seasoned.
The next visit was with my husband for dinner. We both ordered a cup of the soup of the day, which was an artichoke and chickpea. Again, unfortunately a little under-seasoned, but a couple of shots of salt helped bring the flavors out nicely. Lots of chunks of artichoke and chickpeas floating in broth - it was good. Not great, but good.
My husband ordered a spinach and portabello mushroom and artichoke salad. He enjoyed it a lot. I got a little house salad that was just fine.
For the main, Phillip ordered the chicken and I ordered the pork. I know, I should have asked for a menu. They don't seem to have one online and I can't remember what the dishes were called. Mine was a pork chop, well-seasoned and fast-grilled - perfect. It came with a side of steamed then mashed and crisped plantains that was new to me and tasty. It was a pretty hefty serving, so P. helped me with it. His chicken came with a small piece of roasted sweet potato. (He said his only comment would be that he'd have liked a little less chicken and slightly more sweet potato, but that's quibbling - the chicken was well-seasoned with a rub and perfectly cooked.)
Just good, simple food with a few interesting twists thrown in. Overall, I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5, probably. We'll definitely go back. Service was great and the overall atmosphere was cheerful and pleasant.