Hot Plate

Boy, but they're clean at Cafe Latina (1972 Fairview, 528-8304). Before you're allowed to sit at one of the spotless tables, don't be surprised if they insist on giving it a good going over with Tilex. I like this place. The tables have cloths, the chair backs resemble scallop shells and the columns are disguised to look like banana trees: green paper along their length and, sprouting from their upper reaches, plastic leaves. Pretend bananas complete the effect. Reason enough to come here, one would think. But there's at least one other: the roast pork. Served with black beans (plenty of cumin), plantains (they have the texture of sweet potatoes) and lots of rice, the pork is cooked more than is good for it, I suppose. But who could resist? Chewy, with just a trace of grease, it's served with that best of all garnishes, raw onion rings. Now that's what I call eatin'.

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