Seriously – At every opportunity eat the food from the Islands, you will be in for a treat. A mainstay is rice and beans, my wife’s parents, Puerto Rican and Nicaraugan, always, and I mean always have a pot of rice and beans on the stove. If you stop by anytime, I mean anytime, it could be 3:00a.m. mom wants to feed you. the rice and beans which contains other things, i.e., chicken pieces, olives, spices – corriander, garlic, onions, peppers is GREAT meal. You will find soups and stews are most prevelant, as well as a variety of chicken dishes. Such dishes would includesopon de pollo ccon arroz – chicken soup with rice, frijoles negroes – black bean soup, fish soup -sopon de pescado. Any soup may have chickpeas added for texture and flavor. Any place you eat will have different versions and tastes. For stews the best one I think is carne quisada puertorriquena, which is long for puerto rican beef stew, which may includepeppers both hot an sweet,onions, garlic, olives, cilantro, potatoes, maybe pumpkin – it all depends on the cook.
You may have the opportunity to have barbequed pig – lechon asado w/ green plantains ( sort of a banana ) – don’t eat raw or you will get sick, very sick, trust me. Plantains are cooked a variety of ways and are quite good, fried, broiled, steamed, etc. Although some(who ever they are) say they are an acquired taste.
You will see many chicken dishes, and perhaps some goat dishes,which are my favorite. Also adobo dishes are very popular. If you get lucky, usually in mom and pop rerstaurants you will find breaded cals brains, kidney or stuffed beef tonque(lenqua rellena).
All of these types of foods, or some variation are staples of the islands. And are certainly worth searching out, as a distinct alternative to eating aboard ship. Also they have nude beaches in Martinique.
EAT RUM and Enjoy
Mmm, Puerto Rican food! There’s a great roadfood-esque place in Guynabo, which is 15 minutes away from San Juan, called La Casita Blanca. It’ll just be you and the locals, eating fantastic tradional Puerto Rican food. The meal starts with a basket of freshly baked and buttered PR bread (drool), followed by another basket of sizzling bacalao (more drool). The wait staff will hold up the chalkboard with the day’s menu written on it – in Spanish only, so bring your dictionary if you don’t speak the language. EVERYTHING is great. Sit on the porch if you can, so that you can enjoy the unique ambiance of the place. If you’re too full for the flan after your meal, get some ice cream from the local street vendors in downtown San Juan. The passionfruit ("parcha", I think) is amazing, as are all of the tropical fruit flavors. I hope to add more to this topic later, I just need to remember more names of my favorite restaurants there!
I have been all over PR and stayed one week at the "El Conquistador" for a meeting. Real neat place on the north east part of the island. It was featured many years ago in the James Bond move "Goldfinger" It has since been enlarged, improved and it is beautiful. Sets at the base of the rainforest.
One of the unique things I found about PR was the roodside food. All kinds of fruit and particularly fried things. I am not sure what they were but they were everywhere.
I think that is particular to PR
Paul E. Smith
I am going on a cruise out of san juan puerto rico to st thomas, martenque, barbatos and aruba. first time vacationing outside of roadfood teritory. I will eat constantly on the ship but would very much like to find roadfood at each stop. I am a seasoned roadfood follower so i will seek out the locals. any help would be appreciated.
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