Eating A Rainbow- Yellow: Lakeside Café’s Platanos Fritos

Picking up where we left off, Eating a Rainbow series continues with the color Yellow. Yellow foods are lumped together with orange foods and include yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pineapples, tangerines, butternut squash, carrots, yellow peppers, pumpkin, summer squash, sweet corn, plantains and sweet potatoes. They are loaded with healthy nutrients such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C.

While dining at Lakeside Café one afternoon, I had asked Antonio if he would teach me how to make his Platanos Fritos as I wanted a yellow food to share with my readers. He laughed and said that Platanos were too easy to make. “That’s what most people want- easy.” I told him. Above is his mother Isabel showing me how to cut and peel the plantains. Antonio stressed that the plantains must be very ripe and almost all brown because they will make sweeter Platanos Fritos.

Next Antonio deep-fat fried the cut, quartered, and peeled platanos for about 2 minutes at 375 degrees. He said, “the grease must be very hot for the platanos to come out right. They should be golden brown all over.”

The platanos were drained well on paper towels then plated. Look at the golden color of those platanos. Perfect. His Platanos Fritos are served with a side of beans and Salvadorian Sour Cream or Crema.

This is a beautiful and delicious dish. The texture of the Platanos are soft but not mushy and very creamy almost melting in one’s mouth. Are they greasy? Not a bit. I would have never guessed eating a sweet dish like Platanos Fritos with a side of beans and sour cream, but it works, and I must say it is the only way to go. The Salvadorian Sour Cream or Crema as Antonio calls it, is a rich thick cream that is not as sour as the American version. It is a bit saltier and smoother on the tongue as well.

I was very pleased with the simplicity of this dish while still enjoying its complex flavors. I am also very happy that I can make this dish at home when I need my fill of yellow foods but I will stick to ordering it at Lakeside Café. Oh and I’ll take extra Crema too please.

I would like to thank Antonio and his mother, Isabel for welcoming me into their kitchen and showing me some of their specialties. They know I will be back over and over again for more of their good, home cooking.

Lakeside Café
1641 Washington Plaza
Reston, VA
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, open 7 days per week. Featuring Central American and American specialties. Located inside Lakeside Pharmacy. Lakeside terrace seating available.
Open –
Monday to Friday 9 AM to 6 PM
Saturday 9AM to 6PM
Sunday 9AM to 5 PM

Related Posts:
Eating a Rainbow- Red: Grape Salad
Eating a Rainbow- Orange: Warm Yam and Chickpea Salad
Lakeside Café: Boasting Salvadorian Favorites


  1. Sara
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    I love fried plantains! The last time I bought a plantain, it took aobut 3 weeks to ripen – that’s the only bad part, you have to plan in advance 🙂

  2. Sabrina
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    How cool is that you got to go in their kitchen. It looks like a great place. Can we go there the next girls afternoon out?

  3. Sheila
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Wow! I have actually eaten from there before. That is amazing; I will have to try to make these for Adam. He loves plantains.

  4. Melissa
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Those sound tasty! That would be a fun after school trip.

  5. unconfidentialcook
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    I love plantains…and I love that they’re served with the beans and crema. You’ve inspired me…

  6. Juliana
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    Plantains…I pretty much grew up with it. It remind me so much of my childhood…yummie! Wish could find similar restaurant in Los Angeles. Great pictures.

  7. Josie
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    My favorite restaurants serves their plantains with a creamy-spicy salsa dressing. I love the salty, spicy flavor against the sweetness of the plantains – in case you are ever looking for a different sauce to serve them with 🙂

  8. Mindy
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    This makes me miss the Salvadorian restaurant we used to go to in Durham, NC when I lived in Chapel Hill. I’ll have to keep an eye out for some plantains now…

  9. Grace
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    since i’m woefully afraid of playing with hot oil, my experience with fried plantains is slim. what i have had was most definitely not up to par, because they didn’t look anything like what you’ve pictured. note to self: try legitimate fried plaintains.

  10. That Girl
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    The only yellow food I ate yesterday was cheese! But it was oh so good.

  11. zoe
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Fried plantains are sooo goood…..those pictures are making my mouth water!

  12. biz319
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never had plantains before – they look so good!

    How nice of them to share their kitchen with you!

  13. Ingrid
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

    I grew up eating these. Very yummy. Antonio’s right the blacker the better.

  14. Laurie
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    Robin, I loved your Lakeside Cafe posts! How lucky you were to get a behind the scenes look at how to make their specialties.

    And your strawberry jam made me just itch to get making my own. Strawberries aren’t ripe here yet, though. We usually make it over the Fourth of July weekend. We are a whole holiday behind you!

  15. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted May 29, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never tried those before either! I always seen plantains at the store, but I’ve been leary.

    Thanks for sharing such a great place with us!

  16. Elyse
    Posted May 29, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    Ooo, Robin Sue, these plantains look absolutely delightful! I’m so glad you shared this place with us. Sorry I’ve been absent over the past week; I had a friend in town!

  17. foodcreate
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Delicious! I love Platanos fritos they look delicious and they taste

    Thanks for sharing such a great place and recipe~

    And you can visit me if I can visit you:)


  18. Jeff
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    Great post and I think I found my problem with my plantains. I never buy the brown ones. Grrr….going to have to give another shot now.

  19. tamilyn
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Those look awesome!

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