Exploring the Puerto Rican Cuisine
While in Puerto Rico, I tried a variety of the local cuisine. I'll be featuring my favorite (and not-so-favorite) meals that I enjoyed during my trip to the island of Puerto Rico.
What: Skirt Steak with Puerto Rican "Mamposteao" Style Rice with Black Beans
Where: Eter Rooftop Lounge- Ciqala Luxury Suites 752 Avenida Fernandez Juncos San Juan, PR 00907
Review: The steak was delicious, prepared medium well, it was flavorful and the rice and beans were the perfect sides to accompany the steak. I'd rate this meal a 10/10.
What: Mofongo, or a stuffed green plantain filled with a protein of your choice, covered in Chimichurri or Garlic and Islander Sauce, "Mojo Isleño."
Where: This dish was also from Eter Rooftop Lounge in the Ciqala Luxury Suites at 752 Avenida Fernandez Juncos San Juan, PR 00907
Review: I wanted to try something new, specifically a dish that was a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine. This was my first time trying Mofongo and even though first impressions matter...let's just say I'd like to try the Mofongo again at different restaurant. I typically enjoy plantains, but I usually like Maduros, or the sweet, ripe plantains. Green plantains are used to prepare Mofongo, so you get a savory taste instead. I wasn't really prepared for the hard taste of the plantain that held the shrimp and fish; it felt like I was eating a bread bowl of some sort.
What: Fresh, fried Dorado fish baked inside of a crispy empanada
Where: Kapi-Kapi Restaurant Bar & Grill located in Barceloneta, 00617, Puerto Rico
Review: The empanadas were very tasty and I liked the Dorado fish for my first time trying it. I rate the empanadas a 9/10.
What: Ensalada de Pulpo, or octopus salad with Tostones
Where: This dish was also from Kapi-Kapi Restaurant Bar & Grill located in Barceloneta, 00617, Puerto Rico
Review: Considering I enjoyed octopus when I first tried it, I'd rate the ensalada de pulpo a 8/10, mainly because of the contents paired with the octopus. I prefer to eat octopus by itself, instead of eating in a pasta salad-like form. However, this dish paired well with the tostones, or twice fried plantains.
What: Tuna sandwich with fries and a mimosa
Where: Restaurante Freddy Los Pinos located at 5830 Av. Isla Verde, Carolina, 00979, Puerto Rico
Review: 9/10...it was lunch, I love a good tuna sandwich, mimosas are always a good idea, and most importantly: I left with a full stomach.
Check out their menu below:
And last but not least...
What: Ceviche (fresh raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices, mostly lemon or lime, and spiced with ají and chili peppers) Tacos and Beef Tacos
Where: 24 Marketplace located at 5959-5869 Av. Isla Verde, Carolina, 00979, Puerto Rico. This restaurant is conveniently located along 'the strip' of Isla Verde in Carolina, PR. With the current midnight curfew in place, this was one of the few food options available during certain early or late night hours.
Review: 9/10 for the ceviche tacos, 6/10 for the beef tacos. This was my first time trying ceviche and I really enjoyed the combination of the raw fish marinated in lime juice. Ceviche is typically served as an appetizer and it's not usually served on a taco, but these were really tasty. Not surprisingly, the beef tacos weren't as tasty as the ceviche ones. These beef tacos in particular had the cheese baked in the meat, which made the tacos taste like a cheeseburger.
What: Panadería España, "La España" is a bakery and wine shop with plenty of tasty breads, cakes, and wines to go around. Check out their website here.
Where: Panaderia España AO-23 Centro Comercial Villamar Marginal, Calle Román Baldorioty de Castro, Carolina, 00979, Puerto Rico
Review: The cakes and flan were amazing! I also recommend trying a slice of strawberry cheesecake or the Tres Leches cake.