Restaurants & Bars

Trip Report

Puerto Rico Trip Report

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Puerto Rico Trip Report

Jim Grinsfelder | Jan 26, 2004 01:19 PM

Just back from a week in PR. 5 days on Vieques. Didn't find much in the way of food on the small island.

Amapola Inn in Esperanza was decent bar-food. They used fresh oil and that put them above most of the competition.

Also enjoyed some really good Sangria at Taverna Espagnola in Isabel de Segunda.

There's some stands open on the highway outside Sun Bay on the weekend. They looked good but didn't have Pinchos (Pinchos is apparently Puerto Rican for very tasty road-side skewers full of chicken or pork).

The fish market on the docks in Isabel provided really fresh fish and live lobsters.

The grocery stores were basic and the fruit-semi was filled with shipped-in Florida, Texas and California produce.

On the main island, had some fun traveling "La Ruta de Pinchos." Overshot my exit on 53 and wound up in Humacao when I meant to get off on Hwy 31. Decided to take backroads during the backtrack and had great pinchos at two stops.

Also stopped at the Luquillo kiosks. A nice couple guided me through the menu at the kiosk. I had some excellent pork and a good rice/pigeon peas dish.

What are those bannana shaped fried dough concoctions with meat filling that they make along the side of the highway in frying pans heated over oil-drums burning broken up pallets? It's like some kind of post-apocalpytic road food and it's good. So is the Mofongo. Mofongo wins two awards in my book, one for best food name and the other for most appealing use of plantain in a food.

It looked like there was quite a restaurant scene in Old San Juan, but I was traveling with 5 and 7 yr old kids so we ate at a patio place that was just so-so. We stopped after the meal for Gelato at a place at the corner of Cruz and Sol. It was really good Gelato.

Oh, and I tried one if the Piragua's with Tamarindo. I didn't care for it. Too cloying.

I only had minor gastrointestinal distress and I think it was related to the Luquillo kiosk food because it came about 8 hours after eating at Luquillo. Who knows, the way I was eating it could have come from anywhere or nowhere.

P.S. Puerto Rican people were very nice to us. I'll probably go back next winter.

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