For my last night in Puerto Rico, I wanted to eat something that would leave a lasting impression on my stomach. Thus, I put out a search for the best mofongo in Rincon. This pointed us to a pretty fancy place that only seemed to be for tourists, but it also pointed us to Rincon Tropical, a place that seemed much more local.
It all began with a quick stop for some Medalla Light beers and some appetizers, but after taking a look at the menu and seeing the food our fellow customers were eating, it became apparent that Bananas in Esperanza would become our dinner that night in Vieques. Bananas, like Duffy’s from the night before, is kind of like a beach bar with mainland American influence.
In a desperate search for good, authentic Puerto Rican food before leaving San Juan, we made our way to El Patio de Sam, once again in the old city. There we were greeted by perhaps one of the best waitresses in San Juan, as she not only made us feel welcome, but convinced us to start our meal off with an appetizer.
Upon arrival in San Juan, I had pretty much only one goal: to eat well. You see, I had been to San Juan before starting a meat blog, and I knew that I had missed out on some good stuff. Thus I convinced my friends to follow me to El Jibarito in Old Town. There was a decent wait when we arrived so we knew it had to be a good place.
Once upon a time, a friend of mine hooked up with a Puerto Rican lady. Afterwards, he proclaimed that he was “in foreign territory…literally.” Unfortunately, as an American he failed to realize that he was not in foreign territory at all. At least not since 1898 when the US won the Spanish-American War. Similarly, Puerto Rican food is so different from other regional American food that it almost feels like foreign territory, but after eating Mofongos in North Hollywood I realized this is some regional food I’d like to see more often.