The entire city of San Juan was a pleasant surprise. It is not quite modern America, but a blend between downtown Tucson and a historic town that time really does not closely pay attention to. At 18 degrees north of the equator, the weather is fantastic and warm year round on the beautiful little island.
We arrived at the port in San Juan and explored the old part of town on foot in a few hours. In old San Juan there are narrow cobblestone streets, historic forts, and gorgeous views of the water. All of that walking made us hungry, and thirsty. As a US territory, my smartphone had excellent coverage and thanks to Open Table we found Barrachina for dinner.
Famous for the origin of the Pina Colada, it was the best Pina Colada that I have ever tasted! The food was amazing and fresh. Barrachina is reasonably priced, providing great service, and amazing food.
We started with Grouper Fritters that were fresh, perfectly prepared (not too greasy for breaded & fried fish), and delicious. Due to all of our walking before dinner, these yummy appetizers did not last long enough for a picture.
Mofongo beef, chicken, and shrimp is a fried green plantain dish, that can only be described as a flavor explosion. My mouth waters just remembering how good it tasted. The spices reminded me of Spanish cuisine, complex and mild that would not count as “spicy” compared to any Mexican dish.
The ultimate treat was the local caught, grilled whole red snapper fish with shrimp and putanesca sauce. Yes, it is a 24 ounce entire fish with scales, eyes, tail, and face. Admittedly, I skipped the eyes and tail. The fish alone could easily serve 4, then they added shrimp, rice, veggies, beans, and hearty tomato putanesca sauce. Two of us barely put a dent in this wonderful dish.
With so much to see just in San Juan, we did not explored much of Puerto Rico and now I have another must-explore list to my future travel plans. We will definitely dine at Barrachina on our next visit to Puerto Rico, which I hope will be soon!
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