Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Puerto Rican Food Porn..From Trendy Hotspots To Local Faves!

If I could have any job in the world, I would just travel and eat my way through every country. I love nothing more than food and travel. I was lucky enough to make it out of the polar vortex us New Yorkers have been dealing with and spend the past weekend in sunny Puerto Rico! Hello girls trip!

Puerto Rico is known for a few yummy local specialties that every one should try if they make it to this lovely corner of the US common wealth. Here's a few I either tried or heard about and will def make it a priority on my next trip...

TRIED-Mofongo-the unofficial king of Puerto Rican cuisine. This is a tasty concoction of mashed plantain, seasonings and a virtually unlimited choice of fillings. Veggies, shrimp, steak, pork, seafood, literally every type of filling you can think of. You can also find mofongo everywhere from roadside shacks to some of the island's most refined local eateries. The best part? The garlicky Criollo sauce. Yummy!

Tostones-Mashed and fried potatoes. I know, ridiculous. Especially when served with a savory ketchup/mayo concoction that seems to be a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine.

Fritters & other Fried Treats-Noticing the fried trend? It seems PR locals love their fried food. 

DIDN'T TRY BUT NEED TO-Lechon, succulent roast pig. People come from far and wide to sample this delicacy. It's such a beloved dish that there is one road in Guavate, Puerto Rico that is known as the Ruta del Lechón (the Pork Highway). To get here, take Highway 52 south to exit 33 (Guavate). Turn left and head up Rd 184. You're now in lechón territory. Woo hoo!

Now on to the food porn...

I heard this was one of the best restaurants in the area so naturally we had to go. 
Over all the food was very good (see images below). The Popcorn Soup with truffle and rosemary was the main stand out. So delicious and creative, it's a must try. We did find the entrees to be a bit on the salty side but luckily the apps, decor...and wine made up for it;-)

The Popcorn Soup. A fluffy cream with popcorn served to you in a snifter. Then your server pours the creamy hot soup over the cold cream for an explosion of texture, flavor and temperature in your mouth. Orgasmic to say the least.

Pear and Blue Cheese Dumplings. Not super local but also very good. 

The stand out entree-Short Rib Gnocchi. The meat was super tender and the dish was the only entree that wasn't overly salted. 

No trip to the PR is complete with out a mojito...or two..or three...

I think this was by far our fave.
Located in the lively La Placinta "Block Party" neighborhood, this hidden and I mean literally hidden gem is worth finding. No sign, no reservations and located right by a parking lot, this spot is not easy to find on your own. But just ask any of the friendly locals and they'll show you the way. This was our party night and the epic evening started here. First of all, the food is outstanding. We also had an adorable, amazing bartender, Alberto who made a mean drink and kept us in good spirits. Jose Enrique is an acclaimed chef that has worked in restaurants from Florida to New York until finally, he headed back home and opened his self titled resto in 2007. Well done Chef.

The fried, cheese filled bundles of goodness were so amazing, we ordered a second round. 
I believe they were called, Empandillas. There's the ketchup/mayo sauce again!

Fried Yellow Tail. The fish was flaky and moist. 
The batter was out of this world as was the pureed potatoes the fish was served on. 

More random local bites...

Our plate of fried goodness

Chicken Mofongo!

Gracias Puerto Rico!

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