The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Puerto Rico Eats: Marmalade

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.

OSJ STreets

 

And, of course, this little piece of history.

Barrachina

 

It was hot outside and we were walking around for a few hours, so a Pina Colada sounded perfect.

Barrachina Pina Coladas

 

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.

marmalade inside 1

 

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

marmalade urban hipster

Raw fresh coconut pulp, organic pink guava yerba buena & Don Q Crystal, with a splash of ginger beer

 

Here’s what we ate –

Heirloom Golden Beets – raw hearts of palm, avocado, radish carpaccio, goat cheese, grapefruit, almond vinaigrette

Heirloom Golden Beets – raw hearts of palm, avocado, radish carpaccio, goat cheese, grapefruit, almond vinaigrette

“Sushi esque” bite size pieces of crispy Andulusian style paella filled with smoked chicken, peas and peppers flavored with a saffron-garlic espuma & a chorizo-tomato sauce

“Sushi esque” bite size pieces of crispy Andulusian style paella filled with smoked chicken, peas and peppers flavored with a saffron-garlic espuma & a chorizo-tomato sauce

 

Tiny white bean soup – scallions, black truffle oil & pancetta “dust”

Tiny white bean soup – scallions, black truffle oil & pancetta “dust”

Hawaiian Sea bass – on a bed of green bamboo rice, pineapple-ginger-macadamia relish, fresh coconut water

Hawaiian Sea bass – on a bed of green bamboo rice, pineapple-ginger-macadamia relish, fresh coconut water

Prepared sous vide and seared, resting on a bed of barbequed black bean puree with garlicky greens roasted peanut and lime emulsion & a Californian peach-pablano marmalade

Pork cheeks – Prepared sous vide and seared, resting on a bed of barbequed black bean puree with garlicky greens roasted peanut and lime emulsion & a Californian peach-p0blano marmalade

Salted caramel corn creme brulee with peanut brittle ice cream

Salted caramel corn creme brulee with peanut brittle ice cream

 

 

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.

 

 

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

9 comments on “Puerto Rico Eats: Marmalade

  1. ksbeth
    July 7, 2015

    yummm. i’ve never been to pr, but it’s one of the stops on my wish list for travel. i can’t wait to read about the soup when you make it –

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 7, 2015

      I think PR would be a good place to visit if u go inland. If u want beach, id go elsewhere.

  2. OMG! I LOVED Marmalade when I ate there. We stayed across the street at the Casa Blanca our first time in PR and since Marmalade was so close and the food sounded awesome – we stopped. I got to try many of the same dishes you did plus the owner/chef stopped out at our table to chat for a while. Our group of six had a tremendous experience while there and we all went away “fat ‘n happy”. My second time in PR was only as a day-stop on a cruise and we chose to eat at Restaurante Raices so I could get mofongo (awesome) and most of the customers were locals who were happy to see us tourists stopping in for food.

    I’m so glad you ate at Marmalade!

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 7, 2015

      So were we! raices was one of rhe recommended ones, but we rememvwred we werent paying for it.

  3. elizabeth
    July 7, 2015

    The beginning of the Puerto Rico episode of No Reservations has Anthony Bourdain lamenting how bad the food is in the touristy part of San Juan, but it’s still on our list of places to eventually go because my husband really wants to go to one of the roadside stands that sells the whole-roasted pigs.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 7, 2015

      Yes, thats Ruta de Lechon – road of the roasted pig. Theres also ruta de longaniza (sausages). Both are about 90 minutes inland in the mountains. We didnt rent a car and a driver wouldve been insane. Car servicd from our hotel to San Juan was 70 each way for a 40 min trip.

  4. Max D.
    July 13, 2015

    Well, I finally made it back to PR. I haven’t been to Marmalade yet, but in two days I’ve had about a case of the local Medalla beer. I have to tell you, it’s really, really, refreshing beer-tasting water.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 13, 2015

      Yeah, it wasn’t the best… I may not have the post out in time, but make sure to grab food at the Tapas place in the airport. The octopus was to die for

      • Max D.
        July 13, 2015

        You recommend going to the airport just for the octopus? I can’t remember what time out flight leaves. (I’ll eat octopus, but not sure if I can handle it at 5:00 a.m.)

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This entry was posted on July 7, 2015 by in Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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