Friday, January 29, 2010
Favorite Restaurant in Puerto Rico
Though, I wasn't born in Naranjito, it is has always been home. Titi Sarita, La Rueda, Las Lomas, Bingo games, where my wedding dress was sewn, the summer living there when I was ten, El Salto and so many other memories. Add Las Cataratas: my favorite restaurant.
High up in the lush mountains about a ten minute drive from Naranjito (an hour from San Juan) in the middle of the island, on Route 152, on the road up to Barranquitas, you will find Las Cataratas. Las Cataratas is a clean but unpretentious restaurant nestled on the side of a mountain overlooking a rocky ravine through which a river flows as it ambles down towards the sea. That is where I recently went with my sister Doris after we visited Mom in the nursing home in early January. On other happier occasions Mom had come with us, as well as my brother and other sister.
"What shall we eat?" Though we ask that question, we already know the answer as we look at the menu. The chuletas or pork chops with white rice and pink beans that smell of cilantro. The chuletas are nicely seasoned with a touch of garlic and salt, deep fried, moist inside, but crunchy on the outside. They come with the best pink beans on the island seasoned with sofrito, a Criollo mixture of onions, cubanelle peppers, ajies, which are small green spicy peppers, and for an added zest, some cilantro. For some reason their particular beans, have an extra dose of cilantro that can be described as a little bit typical and a little bit of heaven.
To that add a side order of crunchy tostones as well, and on a good day, a profuse gushing river below rushing towards the ocean, which brings me to the surroundings. The surroundings are almost as important as the meal itself, since the restaurant is surrounded by breathtaking nature and typical country scenes, such as la finquita or small farm with its rows of banana trees, mango and breadfruit trees, and ornamental palms as well as coconut and royal palms dotting the hills below. On this day we spotted an illegal resident, an iguana, trying to see the ocean as it perched itself on top of a avocado tree. Who knows what you will see on your visit?
So if you want to enjoy an excellent meal of typical Puerto Rican fare at reasonable prices with good service that you will want to visit again and again, this is the place for you,: Las Cataratas. I've included a picture of the menu with the restaurant's information on the cover. Let me know if you visit, won't you?
Or better yet, which is your favorite restaurant?