Monday, May 31, 2010

Eating the Island, Part 5: La Parilla

Last year, on Route 3 East, we passed a woman holding two giant lobsters for sale.  Since that moment, my mission to eat a delicious, whole, fresh lobster in Puerto Rico began.  I finally succeeded at La Parilla.

Located in the heap of fried food kiosks in Luquillo, La Parilla stands apart from its neighbors as it serves fresh seafood and is home to some of the island's best chefs.

Eating the Island, Part 4: La Bombonera

Food blogs and shows, average foodies, and travel sites all say that La Bombonera Bakery in Old San Juan is an institution and a must stop. 

Since we were staying in Condado, we decided to saunter into Old San Juan to load up on calories before heading to El Yunque National Park.

Eating the Island, Part 3: Aguaviva

I knew before leaving for Puerto Rico that I wanted to enjoy one uber fancy, most likely to be pricey, foodie meal in Puerto Rico.  Because I'm neurotic, I scoured the internet for ideas and decided that I would either dine at Dragonfly or Aguaviva, both of which are apart of Puerto Rico's OOF! Restaurant Group.   The two are located right next door to each other on Forteleza street, so I was really torn, going from one menu to the other. The manager of Aguaviva was standing outside and laughing at my dilemma, eventually luring me in with talk of a lobster stuffed snapper.  Sold. 

Eating the Island, Part 2: Bebo's BBQ

Across the street from the airport and nestled awkwardly next to a McDonalds is Bebo's BBQ.  Bebo's is a must eat while in Puerto Rico and usually my boyfriend and I hit it up after arrival or before departure.  This year, we broke our tradition as we at at Metropol on our first day with his mother, but on our way out to the beach on Sunday, we stopped at Bebo's as it was on our way.

First things first: Bebo's is no fancy hoity toity eating establishment. Instead, it is a proletariat cheap eat. Seating is outside on first come, first serve picnic tables; there is no parking, but essentially Bebo's patrons have usurped the McDonald's parking lot; and the menu is here, right in front of your face.  Note the whole chickens, slabs of ribs, sausage rings, and whole pig parts.  This is a street foodie's paradise.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eating the Island, Part 1: Metropol

On my first day in Puerto Rico, my boyfriend and I were tired.  His mom really wanted to see us so we made the almost one hour drive from San Juan to Fajardo on the condition of free food.  She told us we'd be dining at Metropol, a primarily Cuban restaurant that also served some Puerto Rican cuisine.  Hmm, Cuban in Puerto Rico. This could be interesting, but I tried to get in the mindframe of "eat Cuban things as this is a Cuban restaurant."

I first ordered a mojito, a Cuban classic composed of rum, simple syrup, soda water, and muddled lime and mint leaves.  This mojito was strong, in a good way, but could have stood for a bit more lime. To the credit of the barkeep, it wasn't too sweet or two fizzy (due to excess simple syrup or soda water).  So not the best mojito I've had, but also not the worst so I was pleased overall.

Eating the Island: Preface

As you all know, I spent a lovely week in Puerto Rico with my boyfriend and his family.  I love love love Puerto Rican food.  It is a wonderful fusion of Spanish, African, Taino, Chinese, and much much more (thanks colonization, slavery, and immigration!) Bottomline: Everything is so flavorful and bursting with cilantro, garlic, onions, tomatos, and other aromatic goodies!  

Unfortunately, I couldn't share my food ecstasy with you due to not having an internet connection.  This sucks because it made me look like a blogging bum and now I have to marathon.  But its worth it since I want to share good food with the world!

So, instead of doing a giant entry, I will be breaking down my food coma in parts covering the following restaurants

Friday, May 28, 2010

Smoothie + Summer = Giveaway!

When I was in college I was struggled in the kitchen (or lack thereof).  Thanks to living in a dorm and being broke, coffee cups doubled as bowls; pillows were dining room chairs; and speaker stands could serve as tables under the right conditions.  However, one thing that I always had was a blender (for obvious reasons...hint: it often included vodka or tequila).

Even today, with real, grown up kitchen items I still cling to my trusty blender from college, but now I make more smoothies than margaritas.  Although my blender's purpose has changed, one problem remains: portion control.  I try with all my might to make a smoothie for one (sometimes two if I can trick my boyfriend that day) and I end up smoothies for four.  This is unfortunate because it inevitably wastes beautiful fruits and vegetables, along with time, yogurt, juice, and ice.

Finally, there is a solution to this problem, a blender for one! Hamilton has this swanky personal blender, and it even comes with a travel lid for when you're rushing off to the gym or work.  More importantly, it has great product reviews so it actually works.

Thanks to the kind folks at CSN Stores, I want to hook up one lucky reader with this amazing product!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On the road...fork and all

In preparation for my trip to Puerto Rico, I will not be doing a post tomorrow as I will be packing!

I will be vlogging most of my food reviews next week, since I won't have much time to actually write while on vacation.  So still check me out and I hope you enjoy all the tasty bites I plan to share!

Spaghetti, Meatballs, and Dessert Empanadillas?

Yesterday I tweeted that I would be making both savory and sweet emapandas with my best friend.  Due to her forgetting to take out the Goya empanada discs, our dinner direction changed since we were starving and not willing to wait!

We'd planned to make ground turkey empanadas seasoned with sofrito, recaito, sazon, and adobo. Instead, I ended up making turkey meatballs, red sauce, and pasta.  Yes, we went from Latin to Italian, and thats okay.

As I've said in past posts, I'm not a measuring chef...I cook and add what I feel.  So for the turkey meatballs, we used:
  • Roughly one pound of ground turkey
  • Two slices of wheat toast
  • One egg
  • Sea salt, fresh ground pepper, italian seasoning
  • Chopped bell pepper, onion, and fresh garlic
I made them into generous sized meatballs (see below) and popped them in the 350 degree oven (covered with foil, pan sprayed with Pam) for 45 minutes; I uncovered them and let them brown for an additional 15 minutes, making total cook time one hour. Two things surprised me, as I'd never made meatballs from ground turkey.  One: These things shrink like crazy! and  Two: they give off a lot of water, but were surprisingly not dry.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brunch Hard at the Liberty Tavern

This is a long overdue post.  First, Brunch is my favorite meal and I have a sinful attraction to breakfast food.  I mean I brunch hard, so hard that I listen to this song before embarking on my brunch journeys

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Pop's Ice Cream!

As the weather heats up, my soul cries for ice cream (despite being lactose intolerant) and I eat it almost every day during the warm, southern months.

Following my graduation last Friday, I wanted ice cream due to the lackluster dessert offerings at McCormick and Schmicks.  So, I typed in "ice cream" into the GPS and we ended up at Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Old Towne Alexandria.  The atmosphere is definitely old school, nostalgic, 1950s-ish and I was smitten.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gulf Shrimp, No Shrimp?

I believe that it is important to support local industry and I'm always impressed when restaurants tout local and sustainable options. Plus, ever since I took that Globalization and Politics class as an undergrad, I can't bring myself to support Asian shrimp fisheries.  

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cinco de Mayo cocktails extend beyond margaritas

A dirty martini is a classic drink, and as a 24 year old most people wouldn't expect it to be one of my favorite drinks.  I like my martinis made with vodka, extra dirty, and with extra olives.  A classic is a classic, often percieved as foolproof yet easy to butcher.  So I get really excited when I have a stellar dirty martini.

This leads me to moderately pricey McCormick and Schmick's, yes...the seafood chain. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

McCormick Recipe Inspirations are somewhat inspiring

So after seeing a million heart warming commercials showing moms make delicious and wholesome meals for their families with the help of McCormick's Recipe Inspirations, I got suckered into to buying this product. 
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