|International, Puerto Rican, Vegetarian|
One evening we visited the restaurant and decided to sit outside. We overlooked a square in the old part of downtown San Juan. On this particular evening, there were quite a bit of people in the square walking and talking. There were men pushing carts selling ice cream and other frozen treats. Couples walking, talking, and holding hands, and the quiet buzz of children running around and playing in the square. The old part of San Juan was proving to be great place to visit. The area has trees, squares, and colorful buildings. It was peaceful to sit outside and enjoy the local culture.
We were seated and our waitress was friendly and knowledgeable. She was able to explain the items that suited my needs. After careful consideration, we decided to begin with an appetizer of mofongo. Having a friend from Puerto Rico and being on the Island for several days, we had been hearing about this dish quite a bit. It was explained to me as green plantains mashed together, placed in a mold to make the cone shape, and then fried. The traditional version is most likely made with pork. Cafe Berlin was kind enough to make a vegan version. The mofongo was served simply with a bed of lettuce and two shaved carrots on top. The dish was delicious, but was a bit salty and dry. I kept thinking that it needed salsa or a sauce as an accompaniment, but that does not seem to be the way that this dish is normally served. I did, however, enjoy the flavor of the green plantains.
For dinner I ordered a Criollo Tofu which was tofu simmered in a criollo sauce and was served with rice, beans, and plantains. The sauce seemed to be tomato based and had bell peppers and caper berries. Along side of the dish was a small undressed salad. I really enjoyed the flavor of everything on my plate. After the salty mofongo, the salt in my dinner was starting to be overwhelming. If I would have ordered this without the appetizer, I would have probably not noticed the extra spice. The portion was rather large and I ended up having enough leftovers for a cold breakfast the next day. A breakfast leftover of rice, beans, and tofu was just what I needed for breakfast. I had time to recover from the salt of the mofongo and to drink a lot of water! I liked it even better the next day and would recommend this dish.
John ordered the Veggie Guava Loaf. It was a home-made vegan load in a bell pepper guava sauce served with mashed a mashed potato log and carrots and broccoli. The dish was not gluten free and therefore I was unable to try it. However, John gave it rave reviews. When he saw it on the menu, he knew it was the dish for him. John loves veggie loaf and mashed potatoes. If I had to venture a guess, I would say that mashed potatoes are one of his favorite sides. He noticed that his dish was a significantly ess salty than my dish. Like mine, it was also very filling and he had to take leftovers back to the hotel for breakfast the next day. He attempted to finish it all, but he was concerned that he would be too full afterward.
|Sunset from out hotel room|
We had many evenings were we were able to see the sunset, but only in San Juan. When we were in Rincon, we were facing the wrong direction for a sunset. It was so peaceful to be able to see sun rises in the morning and the sunsets at night over the ocean. I was even able to wake up naturally to enjoy some of the sun rise. Back home, that is unheard of as I need an alarm to wake even get me up in the morning. I guess when I am relaxed and rested, I am able to wake up on my own. It would be wonderful if like was like one long vacation! If it was then I wonder if I would get too used to it an not enjoy vacation as much as I do now.
|Morning view of the beach|
What is your slice of heaven on vacation?