Oct 1, 2013

Puerto Rico: the food

I loved the vibe and sights of Puerto Rico, but the food was just amazing.

The first day we got to Puerto Rico, we headed to a little mom and pop restaurant, Mi Casita, right by our hotel. This place was small, but packed at lunch time when we arrived, always a good sign. Being in Puerto Rico, I had to order a piña colada.

We, of course, ordered mofongo (thankfully we split the order, it was huge!). Mofongo is a typical Puerto Rican dish made of fried green plantains, that are then mashed with garlic, seasonings and pork rinds. We got a mofongo relleno de pollo, which means on the inside of this mofongo mound is even more chicken. This mofongo was the one that tasted most like homemade to me. The sauce that the chicken was cooked in was delicious and moistened the mofongo just right.

That evening for dinner, we found a place in Condado called Casa Lola. This was a fancier Puerto Rican place, but it still had some dished we wanted to have while in Puerto Rico. We ordered some arañitas (literally meaning spiders). They are fritters made of shredded green plantains that are then fried. They were crispy and delicious.

After our day of adventure hiking in El Yunque and kayaking, we headed to La Estación, which had been recommended to us by some coworkers.  It was an old gas station revamped into a really cool restaurant. It had outdoor seating, which was perfect since we were soaked after our kayak trip. I don't know if it was the fact that we were exhausted after a day of so much activity, but this food was delicious. I ordered the mofongo with churrasco (skirt steak). The mofongo was delicious and the steak was super tender. Plus, I just love when they serve the mofongo in a pilón (mortar, which is where they make a mofongo).

Our last day in Puerto Rico, we went to Raíces, which is a much frequented and much recommended restaurant right in Old San Juan. The atmosphere was amazing and the food did not disappoint. We started out with drinks, that were served to us in metal cups, so cute.

I got off the mofongo boat and ordered carne frita con arroz y habichuelas (fried pork chunks with rice and beans). The carne frita was delicious and so tender. And the rice and beans tasted homemde.

It was our last day, so we had to double up on desserts. We ordered a dulzura típica (ice cream with dulce de leche, queso blanco and nuts). This is the dessert I had. I never would have thought that queso blanco and ice cream would go together so well. Everyone else enjoyed the cascos de guayaba (I'm not a guava fan). They said it tasted home made and that they were delicious.

My trip to Puerto Rico was a fun and delicious one. Everywhere we went the food was fresh and delicious. Those Puerto Ricans sure do know how to cook.

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