leave your inhibitions at the door
On our recent trip to Puerto Rico, we took a little excurstion to Old San Juan. It’s a neat little area that’s packed with history with its centuries-old forts and cobblestone streets.
And, of course, this little piece of history.
It was hot outside and we were walking around for a few hours, so a Pina Colada sounded perfect.
They were great, however… they were poured out of one of those big frozen drink machines that you see at your local 7-Eleven. I’m no neurophysiologist, but I’m pretty sure the original Pina Coladas were not poured out of those machines. But it was expected – the bar and much of Old San Juan was packed with tourists.
After Barrachina, we started looking for a good dinner place with authentic Puerto Rican food, but that touristy atmosphere was making things look bleak. Not exactly Playa del Carmen bleak, but still pretty bleak. I was hoping to find a hole-in-the-wall dive as those very often have the best food but there weren’t any around, but Old San Juan is all for the tourists.
So we went to Marmalade, a high-end modern food restaurant. It totally didn’t fit the surroundings, but that was a good thing.
One encouraging sign was that the bar area was packed as all of the sommeliers in San Juan were there sampling wines. They had a terrific wine list but, go figure, I had an Urban Hipster
Here’s what we ate –
The starters were very good. The beets were bright tasting and the paella was layered with many different flavors. Boom Boom’s sea bass was out of this world – one of the best I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in the pork cheek. It was a little too soft and was salty. The creme brulee more than made up for it, though.
The big winner of the evening was, surprisingly, the bean soup. I thought the waiter was exaggerating when he said it was their “Signature Dish” and that it was the best on the menu. But he was right. It was luscious, earthly, and oddly refreshing. I could’ve had a couple or three bowls of it and been ok with not having anything else. I clearly wasn’t the first one to ask how it was made since the waiter had a stack of cards with the recipe in his pocket.
I’m definitely going to make it and will share it with y’all.