The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Leaving Puerto Rico – Cafe Avila

We spent five days in Puerto Rico and had a terrific vacation filled with great weather, lots of relaxation, and fun times. After one more breakfast of eggs benedict soup, it was time to hit the airport.

It seems obvious, but once you get to the airport there’s that undeniable truth that vacation is done. If you’re like me (which I feel sorry for you in many ways if you are) and are completely obsessed with food, that finality is even more evident went you hit the culinary bleakness of the airport.   Every once in a while, an airport will have a terrific local restaurants, like Tortas Fronteras at Chicago O’Hare.   But for the most part you’re going to be eating some shitty ham sandwich made three days ago or – if you’re lucky – Chili’s.

Airports in vacation spots that cater to Americans are even more bleak.  They often think they’re doing us a favor because we’ve been away from Cinnabon for so long.  Or they figure everyone’s completely hungover and can’t taste anything anyway.   That’s the only possible explanation for how the Cancun airport can have the very worst burrito in the history of burritos.

The San Juan airport is no better.   A quick look around and I saw a Carl’s Jr, Subway, and Auntie Ann’s Pretzels.  I know Puerto Rico is technically part of the United States, but did they have to bring in the worst the mainland had to offer?   Then again, my opinion of traditional Puerto Rican food was lower than low.

But wait…

Just as I was plotting the ingredients for my bland Subway footlong, I came upon Café Avila, a Spanish tapas bar.   I was a little leery because…well… airport food.   But I must’ve uttered the phrase “what the hell, we’re on vacation!” a hundred times that week, what’s one more?

Avila soup

Soup with tripe, Morcilla (blood sausage), and chorizo.

Avila octopus

Grilled Octopus



Wow! Talk about your pleasant surprises.   The soup was an outstanding mix of deep earth and spice.   I was almost licked the bowl clean.  And the perfectly grilled octopus was even better.

What a terrific way to end a vacation.

And yes, I may or may not have had  more than a few glasses of Rose.   How can you tell?

avila octo 2



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.

5 comments on “Leaving Puerto Rico – Cafe Avila

  1. John Toti
    October 13, 2015

    Try SJ airport on a Sunday night after 7PM…………Anyone HOME?

    food pic’s look great- and you peaked my interested with Eggs Benedict Soup.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      October 13, 2015

      I can see that… they probably try to have all the tourists out by then so there aren’t many flights.
      It wasn’t officially called “soup” but that’s what it was. Delicious.

  2. A Famished Foodie
    October 13, 2015

    The soup with tripe looks so good. I never eat at airports though unless I’ve had a 72 hour layover and feel like I’m dying.

  3. Go Jules Go
    October 14, 2015

    Tripe at an airport – now I understand the depth of your food addiction. And I toast to it with my 7th glass of rose.

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This entry was posted on October 13, 2015 by in Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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