Plantain Canoes from The Ricans
Sundays are for Smorgasburg, the best gathering of food vendors in downtown Los Angeles! Smorgasburg is relatively new in LA. It launched a little after I moved here, and I was very pleased about that! When I would vacation or work in New York, I would sometimes go to the original Smorgasburg in Brooklyn (after shopping at the Brooklyn Flea), where I could choose to eat from 100+ local vendors. It was -- and still is -- foodie heaven! I could have lumpia in one hand, a ramen burger in another, and, when I was done with both, I could grab hand-shaved ice for dessert.
Now that Smorgasburg has been in DTLA for over a year, I've had the chance to discover food from many outstanding local chefs; and, most recently, I found The Ricans, who are bringing their take on Puerto Rican cuisine to LA.
Behold, the plantain canoe!
The day I hopped in line at The Ricans' food tent, I ordered their plantain canoes. Admittedly, my decision-making was greatly influenced by the beautiful photo The Ricans had posted on their Instagram page to show off this flavor-packed dish. But, as a lover of plantains, meat, and cheese, I also couldn't imagine a more perfect dish to indulge in on this sunny Smorgasburg Sunday.
The Ricans offer two types of plantain canoes -- vegan and beef. I chose the beef canoe, and it was bananas! (See what I did there? 👀)
The soft, sweet fried plantain is super-stuffed with seasoned beef (like a picadillo) and cheese, and topped generously with microgreens. The canoe floats in a peppery, tomato-based sauce with a plump cooked tomato on the side for an extra zingy burst of flavor. This dish is the perfect mix of savory and sweet! And the presentation can't be beat.
If you're at Smorgasburg LA, be sure to stop by The Ricans' booth and try their plantain canoes. You'll be glad you did. And don't forget to order their cinnamon mint mojito lemonade. It's a refreshing complement to the rich dish!