Blessed Cafe Restaurant
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On my last trip to Puerto Rico, I was on a mission to check out the Island’s “only” Jamaican restaurant, Blessed Cafe. This seems to be the only one in the San Juan area. However, I can’t confirm if it’s truly the only one on the actual island, hence my quotation marks. Located in Old San Juan, Blessed Cafe, is on a busy street full of a lot more tourist and a lot less locals. Personally, I was intrigued by the fact that a Jamaican restaurant would be sitting the middle of this side of town.  A little jerk chicken never heard nobody.

Blessed Cafe cocktail

Blessed Cafe was relatively empty at the time but it was happy hour. They brought us to the back of the restaurant with two drinks in tow. There was definitely a rustic aesthetic to the place and my drink was great. After a long day of walking and shopping, this was a refresher. I ordered the jerk chicken, which came out lathered in sauce. I was excited to bite into the dish, especially having heard of the restaurant before.

Blessed Cafe Restaurant

It barely met my expectations. The chicken wasn’t spicy as jerk is expected to be, and even without heat, it lacked the flavors I know too well. While I’m not Jamaican, I know jerk chicken and this unfortunately, was not it. I was surprised by the lack of delicious I was looking for in both my dish and my moms. It barely even looked like the jerk chicken I know and love so I stuck with the plantains on the side. Perhaps Blessed Cafe is not a complete disappointment and there are other menu items that suit your liking but that’s for you to find out and tell me about.

Blessed Cafe Jerk Chicken

Have you ever been disappointed when you were traveling while hungry? Comment below and share your experience.

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La Playita Fish
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La Playita Drinks

The one the most important keys to a great trip is extensive research. And by research, I mean finding out where everyone has eaten at this is worth your time, money and tastebuds. La Playita came up on my search as a by the beach resting spot for a cold drink and a good meal. I had been traveling with my mom to Puerto Rico, attempting to be tourist on land we knew better than the back of our hands. Since San Juan wasn’t a place we traveled to often, we took it on as an adventure for two.

La Playita Coco loco

Though La Playita was a on a long road, the beach awaited our arrival. There was plenty of seating for us to choose where we’d like to sit and views plus a cool breeze were in order. I didn’t want to hesitate or prolong the party any longer so I ordered the coco loco which is served in a huge coconut and taste similar to a pina colada. I got try a few other drinks there as well, but nothing really compared.

La Playita Mushroom

La Playita Ceviche

The walk it took to get us there, made us exceptionally hungry so we opted for more sides than we were ready for. Mom ordered a mushroom like salad with pita and I went for the fish ceviche with plantain chips. Is it just me, or they never give enough chips for ceviche? There’s nothing quite like a crisp plantain chip scooping of some of the freshest ceviche man could put together. The ceviche at La Playita could make your mouth water as you were eating it and it obvious that it was prepared with care and love. It was served at the right temperature, with the right amount of juiciness/freshness and had me looking forward to my entree.

La Playita Mofongo

While I wasn’t too fond of the mofongo I had because the textures were too hard for my liking, the chillo my mother had was our prize from the trip. Chillo, which simply means, the entire fish, was a beauty and tasted even better. It was perfectly crisp and heavy chunks of the fish were in abundance. The Mofongo happened to just be underwhelming but that wouldn’t stop me from returning to this restaurant again.

La Playita FishSan Juan

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Red Velvet Papillon Dessert
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The art of #hashtag searching is so underestimated and I learned this when I learned of Papillon.

When I first landed in Puerto Rico, I was on Instagram, trying to find out who was here, what to eat, and where to party. How lucky was I to come across the instagram of Bite Art which assisted in my search for Brunch on the Enchanted Island. Unbeknownst to me was that there was a small, great restaurant called the Papillon, 10 minutes away from my hotel.

As soon as I walked in, I peeped at the pastries by the door. I instantly loved this place. The decor was so cute and classic and the menu looked amazing.

Papillon Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Papillon Mimosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started with the mussels that smelled, looked, and were delicious. This woman next to me wouldn’t stop staring over at our table while I was consuming them. The mussels were cooked perfectly, had a sauce that didn’t overpower, and they were easy to open.

Papillon Mussels

I ordered the Papillon Burger which has caramelized onions, mustard, cheese, and pickles on it plus it’s served with fries. It was very filling and I enjoyed the variety of textures and flavors in the burger.

 Papillon Burger

There’s no way I was leaving without this decadent red velvet cake even though I was full by this point. It was well worth the binge.

Red Velvet Papillon Dessert

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bar Gitano Pork and Chorizo Rice
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On my first night at Puerto Rico Restaurant Week, we dined at Bar Gitano. The restaurant was loud but the music was a very nice added touch to our experience. We started off with a sangria pitcher which tasted like juice. That meant we would need a few more before we started feeling it.

Bar Gitano Sangira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The restaurant week menu here really had some great options so I was happy when my friends decided to order from it as well. For the first time ever, I tried salmon and spinach croquettes that was accompanied by this amazing sauce. The croquettes were fried perfectly and the balance that the fish gave the spinach made it just right for my taste buds. My mouth just watered thinking about it.

Bar Gitano Croquettes

And for the main course, I had set my heart on the pork served with chorizo rice. The rice tasted like the rice from a bowl of paella . It was really great and I could taste all the ingredients coming through one bite. The meat was really thick but I was able to cut through and enjoy..

Bar Gitano Pork and Chorizo Rice

The wait time for our food here was ridiculous. They also over fried our churros so they were somewhat difficult to enjoy.  I’m sure that on a slower night the place is amazing with that kind of stuff but it was a holiday weekend after all.

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Water Beach Hotel Zest Restaurant Pasta
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Next time I’m in Puerto Rico, I hope to stay at the Water Beach Hotel just for Zest, the restaurant on the ground level.

Water Beach Hotel Zest Restaurant Menu

While the Condado was a fabulous hotel, the Water Beach Hotel is just plain sexy. The blue lights and accents, the rooftop lounge, and being right next to the water had me sold. During my visit, the restaurant, Zest, was participating in Puerto Rico Restaurant week and even had two for one drinks!

Water Beach Hotel Zest Restaurant Cocktail

We had so many options to choose from and since everyone was starving, we started to order everything. The pasta which I had as an entree, was probably one of the most amazing dishes I’ve had on my stay. My friends wanted to go back the next day, just to have this again. It was a homemade fettuccine with a truffle-bacon carbonara that had crabmeat and peas in it. It was hearty with deep rich flavors and filling.

Water Beach Hotel Zest Restaurant Appetizer

As if it wasn’t enough, for dessert but we had mini donuts with creme and nutella powder on top. I’ll definitely be back.

Water Beach Hotel Zest Restaurant Pasta

 

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Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel Sandwich
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During my visit for Puerto Rico Restaurant Week, I stayed at the Conrad Condado Plaza, which was a breath-taking hotel! My room was excellent, beautiful, and spacious! Not to mention, we had a balcony and an amazing bathroom.

Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel Bathroom

Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel Room

The hotel also had two pools and a bar inside of the pool! There were steps towards the back of the pool area that led to our own semi private beach. Can you say beach bum?

Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel Beach View

When I arrived, I was already starving! So I decided on eating inside the hotel cafe even though I wanted local food for the entire trip. I tried this Philly cheese steak with fries and two shots of Don Q. Apparently, and I learned this last time, everyone only really drinks Don Q. But anyways, my sandwich was really messy because it was so cheesy and the steak was just falling out of the bread, but it was amazing nonetheless. I wound up ordering it again on my last day because it was just that good.

Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel Sandwich

The Bar at the hotel was always busy and even an attraction in the evenings. It was a good way to meet other hotel patrons and the staff was really attentive.

 

Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel Bar

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