When it comes to sweet/savory succulence with tropical gloss, I can’t think of a dish more appetizing than fried sweet plantains with black beans and sour cream ($9).
Ripe plantains are already one of my favorite foods because they take the boneless custard joys of banana and amplify them into a vegetal place. Plantains have a richer, thicker texture bordered on bready, an almost honeyed sweetness, and an a chewy essence that shouts ‘plant food.’ Makes ’em more interesting than bananas.
Whipper Snapper’s chef/owner Bill Higgins maximizes all the complexities of ripe plantains with a Caribbean spin. Thick chunks are pan-sauteed until their natural sugars caramelize, giving the edges a chewy crispness almost like toffee. The plantains are bedded down over savory, meaty black beans in their own gravy. Thin rivulets of sour cream are drizzled over all, adding a light tang and contrasting color to this zesty combination.
While these are a satisfying snack on their own, they become a stellar meal when I pair them with Whipper Snapper’s grilled all-natural chicken wings with guava habanero glaze (ask for the glaze on the side to control the heat quotient) and organic mixed green salad with coconut vinaigrette ($9) for refreshment and to cool the palate.
Eat this combination on the vibrant-colored restaurant’s surprisingly tropical back patio. It’s surrounded by palm fronds, yet is right on the West End of Fourth Street. It feels like an instant Caribbean vacation.
Whipper Snapper, 1613 Fourth St., is open for lunch Tuesday to Sunday and dinner nightly. Call 256-1818 or go to www.whipsnap.biz
Contact Leslie Harlib at email@example.com