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So, I’m not a foodie and I’m definitely not a food critic, but I can discern good Puerto Rican food from bad Puerto Rican food for two reasons: 1) I’ve screwed up enough white rice and red beans to know the difference; 2) at one point in my life, I did call this evergreen, 112×40 mile island, home.

pr

In Miami, gourmet Cuban restaurants are a dime a dozen, but Puerto Rican restaurants, specifically good Puerto Rican restaurants are hard to find. Cuban food, while similar, is not a close substitute to the food of my youth.

The Spanish word “criollo” refers to something that is native, specific or authentic to a region, a country or a people — in this case, Puerto Rico. This weekend, we were super excited to find a Puerto Rican restaurant, Raices, which promised to deliver on all things criollo.

Located in Homestead, Florida, this restaurant serves island style food which reminded my husband and I of the food kiosks in Piñones we used to visit along the sandy northern beaches in Puerto Rico. We ordered mofongo — a fried plantain dish mashed together in a pilon (a wooden mortar and pestle) with onions, meat and vegetables; piononos – a rolled ripe plantain filled with ground beef and cheese; and the staple of all Puerto Rican food, red beans and rice.

mofongo

mofongo

pionono, red beans and rice

pionono, red beans and rice

We also ordered tembleque (translated it means tremor) – a traditional dessert made of coconut cream, milk and spices — to polish off our meal.

tembleque

tembleque

I strongly urge all foodies and non-foodies who are interested in sampling traditional Puerto Rican food to visit Raices Restaurant for great service plus affordable and tasty food.

 

 

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