The food of my people at Puerto Rico’s Cafe

On the night before we were set to leave Orlando, we decided to eat Puerto Rican food at Puerto Rico’s Cafe in Kissimmee, Florida. We like to get authentic Puerto Rican food and we remember it being great when we visited years before.

Puerto Rico’s Cafe is very unassuming and it is decorated how you would see a home decorated in Puerto Rico. The food was what you would expect to come out of a Puerto Rican kitchen.

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Native Decor

We started out with Acapurrias and Empanadas. The Acapurrias were meat-stuffed, deep-fried fritters. Empanadas are little pockets stuffed with meat or cheese. My son Jackson actually ate the Cheese Empanada because we told him it was a grilled cheese and it worked. He said it was delicious and I did like the Empanadas better than the Acapurrias. I’ve helped my dad make empanadas and they are a great handheld food, and now we know we can make them for Jackson and he will actually eat them.

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Acapurria and Empanada

For my entree, I decided on the Mofungo Relleno con Pollo or Stuffed Mofongo with Chicken. Mofongo is made from fried plantains and stuffed with meat, seafood or chicken that is formed into ball.  I’ve had Mofongo in Puerto Rico and the fried plantains were made into a cup and filled with meat. Now, I like it both ways. TK had Mofongo Relleno con Mariscos or with shrimp. The meat, chicken or seafood is always flavorful and tender. It is made and served seconds after, so it is piping hot. The Mofongo was paired with a bowl of chicken broth, but I only tasted it to make sure it was broth and didn’t actually eat it.

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Stuffed Mofongo with Chicken

TK said his Mofongo Relleno con Mariscos was delicious and he still remembers how good it was.

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Stuffed Mofongo with Shrimp

If you are looking for a place with delicious food where you don’t need to deal with the tourist crowd, Puerto Rico’s Cafe will satisfy your appetite and curiosity.

Puerto Rico’s Cafe, 507 W. Vine St., Kissimmee, FL, 407.847.6399

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As Close as I’ll Get to Cuba

After they closed the Victorian Manor in Lemont, Pennsylvania (right outside of State College), my favorite restaurant became Victor’s Cafe on 52nd and 7th in New York City. It serves food that I am accustomed to because I am half Puerto Rican and Cuban food is very similar. Also, everything they serve is delicious.Flan de Huevo

In 2010 we ate at Victor’s for our second wedding anniversary and really loved it, so I suggested revisiting it for the bachelorette party in the city. I remembered that I was in love with the Lechon (shredded pork) in 2010, so this time I decided to get the Taste of Cuba which is one of their prix-fixe options and included a number of Cuban classics. Honestly, I am pretty pleased that I allowed myself to try everything.

The first course caTaste of Cuba Appetizerme with Croquetas Corral con Salsa Lulu (ham croquettes), Chorizo (sausage) and Papas Rellenas (stuffed potato puffs). All of them were delicious and a nice intro to a fabulous meal. My father makes the Puerto Rican version of Papas Rellenas and it is one of my favorite things to eat.

The entrée portion included Lechon Asado (roast suckling pig), Camarones Enchilados (shrimp in creole tomato sauce), Ropa Vieja (shredded black Angus steak) and Platanos Maduros Fritos (sweet plantains). The Lechon also included a couple of pieces of Chicharron (crispy pork skin) and it was crunchy and flavorful. All of the options were a little more than three bites worth and completely delicious. It was awesome to have all of those options instead of choosing just one. Sincerely, at Victor’s, it is like Sophie’s Choice trying to pick something to eat because ITaste of Cuba know I will love what I chose but wish I could have it all. By the way, the entrée is served with white rice and black beans, which I could eat also because there was not an exorbitant amount of food, not because I am a porker, even though that is true too.

To complete this delicious meal, the dessert plate came out with three Cuban specialties. The Flan de Huevo (caramel custard) I am not a fan of, so I gave it away, but the Arroz con Leche (rice pudding) and the Guayabitas de Maria (guava cobbler) were both small and delightful. Sometimes you can only stand a few bites of dessert anyway, so this was the perfect amount of sweets.

The beverage of choice for my meal was a Dragonberry Mojito. It was so good and not overly sweet. I also didn’t have a problem getting mint leaves out of my teeth, which I find happens to me every Taste of Cuba Desserttime I order a mojito. Another tasty beverage option is the fruity sangria, even though I had it in 2010 and not on this night, I know it is great and now so does most everyone I had dinner with. You can order the red, the white or a champagne version.

A meal at Victor’s is always pretty expensive but I can’t be disappointed because I loved every part of it and plan on going back because there are still things on their menu that I haven’t eaten.

Victor’s Cafe, 236 West 52nd Street, New York, NY, 212.586.7714