Puerto Rico Diary 2: Dining Out

Rex Cream ice cream, courtesy of kikepic, Flickr.com My wife and I once spent the better part of a day trying to find a restaurant in New Jersey that served authentic Puerto Rican food. It didn’t turn out to be the easiest thing. I could think of one place in Elizabeth called La Lechonera, but I refused to go back to Elizabeth on general principle, and she remembered a little spot in Lakewood called Yolanda’s Coqui, which was a disappointment. So we were back to square one. Even though New Jersey doesn’t lack for other kinds of Caribbean, central- and south-American, it’s nigh-impossible to find an explicitly Boricua restaurant.

What’s ironic, though, is that Puerto Rico–at least outside of Viejo San Juan–wasn’t exactly an embarrasment of riches when it came to Puerto Rican food either. Luckily, however, it’s not all Chinese, McDonald’s and Pollo Tropical. Read on for a bit of what we found.

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Puerto Rico Diary 1: Puerto Rico Para Gringos*

El Meson logo So we’ve just returned from Puerto Rico. Armed with the knowledge of a week in the Commonwealth, I feel fully qualified to offer this travel guide for your time on the Island of Enchantment.

We’d been warned 1,277 times (conservative estimate) about not drinking the water and told to avoid the streets of San Juan after dark, but this advice, however well-intentioned, only goes so far. The following article picks up where the usual advice leaves off, letting you know where you can find those little touches of home throughout the island, so that you can alleviate homesickness, and so you need not be exposed to the local arts and culture, much less the locals themselves. Fear not; you’ll find reminders of home nearly everywhere you go.

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