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Dining Reviews?

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Marietta, Georgia...
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Dining Reviews?

I can't seem to find any dining reviews in the Trip Advisor or the forums area. Is this not something that is important to most people when traveling? We are returning to San Juan this September and we'd love to try places we did not on our last trip. Best dining reviews for San Juan?

New York, NY
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120 posts
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1. Re: Dining Reviews?

I agree!! I did a lot of googling to get some PR dining reviews... and now that I returned I wanted to post reviews here and have nowhere to do it! So here goes:

Isla Verde

Lupi's Mexican Grill: This place is good for a few drinks, it seemed like a locals joint to me. The beer was cheap and the food was basic. We had wings and quesadillas and while not "puerto rican" food, it still hit the spot. The wings were good and again it was really cheap, I think 2.25 for a Medalla and the food was $15 altogether.

Mi Casita: This is a lot like an american diner, but you can find some good Puerto Rican specialties here too. I had Fried Pork Mofongo and it was delicious. I think my husband had a sirloin steak and he liked it. Inexpensive, less than $30 including tip.

Metropol: This is an authentic Puerto Rican joint, it was FULL of locals having a family meal. The specials were only in spanish so I had some trouble there, but hte regular menu is in spanish and english. I had Cured Beef in a tomato-type broth with rice, beans, and amarillos. It was really really good. My huband had steak and eggs and he also liked it. He is not as adventurous as I am so he basically had steak or hamburgers wherever we went. We also had the appetizer sampler and it was expensive for what you got, but it was a nice sampling of a few different things. Altogether I think it was around $60 bucks with tip.

OLD SAN JUAN

Dragonfly: THis is a latin/japanese fusion and it was very good. Our tab was $109 before tip for two large tapas plates, two sushi rolls, and 4 mixed drinks.

Spring Rolls-awesome. Get them.

Duck Nachos- unbelievable and very big.

Sushi-stay away. This was not good at all, the salmon was chewy and it was all very salty overall. Not worth the $18 per roll.

Dragon Punch-yummm... delicious!

Guaynabo, Puerto...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico
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1,751 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Dining Reviews?

These are some of my reviews

click on the various links on the page

http://www.visit-the-coqui.com/restaurants/

Seattle
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318 posts
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3. Re: Dining Reviews?

So true! I too, did a lot of restaurant & review searching. Here's what I found. You're right, a lot of people are not as consumed with food+travel the way it seems we are.=) But, many are willing to post a hotel review...or even a trip report. That's where you look. They WILL mention where they went for their meals & whether or not they enjoyed it- sometimes they'll tell you what they ordered. But you sort of have to look for it while reading trip reports- which can only help you...and it's fun!

I suggest looking for hotels that are in the area you are staying & read some reviews (even a bad hotel review may end with..."if it weren't for that perfect little restaurant nearby with the awesome food, we would have hated our stay!") & trip reports.

This is where we got our info.

I agree there should be a restaurant review section, because maybe people don't realize they can write them just under "reviews"????

Locals will come through for you with awesome restaurants, though!

Have Fun!

Marietta, Georgia...
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77 posts
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4. Re: Dining Reviews?

Food can make or break a vacation for us, and we are not cheap by any means when we go on holiday as long as the food/atmosphere/experience are enjoyable.

I hope there are more foodies out there who will chime in with San Juan dining reviews. :-) We ate at Metropol twice on our last trip, it was lovely. Lupis is definitely on the list for this trip. We also ate at Barrachina for lunch but did not have the opportunity to experience an evening meal in Old San Juan. We will be there for my birthday, so I'd really love a special night out. Some of the places I'd love to hear more about are

Tantra

Firefly

Aguaviva

Parrot Club

Pamela's Beach Restaurant

Thanks so much for the great reviews, guys.

Seattle
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318 posts
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5. Re: Dining Reviews?

Hey Andrabell~

Just thought of another idea after reading you want to go out for your birthday...

What about Ostra Cosa...it's this restaurant that is known for serving foods that are considered aphrodisiacs. The chef meets with the table & asks what types of food you like, then comes up with a menu to serve based on the "vibe" or feeling he gets from you. It's kind of a cool experience for a celebration if you're a foodie...not inexpensive, though. But judging from your wish list, you aren't as concerned with that.(BTW, most of those places get awesome reviews on here in trip reports, so you can't go wrong-maybe. Could Firefly be Dragonfly... I've never heard of Firefly.) Also there's a new restaurant in Old San Juan called Marmalade- they have a small table that they set up for couples and make a special menu for your occasion.

Both may be good choices.

Madison, Wisconsin
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6. Re: Dining Reviews?

We recently spent some time in Isla Verde and I think the best meal we had was at The Palm Restaurant inside the El San Juan Hotel. This was around Valentine's Day and they were running a "sweetheart's special" - we selected steak (an unbelievably good filet mignon), crabcakes and shrimp (the crabcakes are full of lump crabmeat and are very nice), ceasar salad, greenbeans (served with cloves of garlic) and champagne. All really excellent. The service is very good as well. My only criticism is that the dining room gets noisy and loud as the night progresses. If you want a quieter dining experience, go earlier. Total cost for two people that night was $120 - and really well worth it.

We also ate at Metropol, which is Cuban influenced and good, with very reasonable prices. The garlic shrimp is probably one of our favorite dishes. Try the flan for dessert.

I agree that Lupis is good for drinks and appetizers - we did order dinner and weren't too impressed. I had the fish tacos, which consisted of fried, breaded fish in hardshell tacos ( you could also order them in soft flour tortillas) with the standard lettuce and tomato-type topping. They were fine, just somewhat unremarkable. A minor point is that the salsa on the table that night had a spaghetti-sauce quality that we found unusual. The place was packed and people seemed to be enjoying themselves, so the atmosphere is nice that way.

One other place we enjoyed is the Asian Bistro inside the Holiday Inn - good shrimp dishes and good service. If you want a lighter meal, its a good choice.

Happy dining!

upper marlboro, md
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493 posts
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7. Re: Dining Reviews?

Also at the Holiday Inn is a new Puerto Rican restaurant called "Coladas". Reasonably priced (not hotel prices) and the food is so delicious, from appetizers to desserts. Relaxing, warm decor, friendly staff and you can eat inside or out on the wrap-around deck. Their Churasco melts in your mouth and the brownie dessert is too scrumptious. Their menu has chicken, pork, fish and meat. They have a crab appetizer (can't remember the name) but it is really mouth-watering. Wish I was a food writer so I could explain things better.

Seattle
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8. Re: Dining Reviews?

You did a pretty good job, elfin.

The word mouth-watering pretty much nails it for imagery! Yummy crab appetizers...mmmmm!

Madison, Wisconsin
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9 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Dining Reviews?

I'm glad to hear about Coladas - we'll definitely give it a try the next time we're in town. I think we must have walked right past it thinking it was more like a bar, so thanks for the head's up.

Florida
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29 posts
249 reviews
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10. Re: Dining Reviews?

Regarding restaurants -- you "foodies" out there might also want to check out chowhounds recommendations. We've been going to Isla Verde for a bit -- always enjoy the cuban food at metropole (do try the whole fried snapper sometime; and if they have it the avocado salad is great); Lupes -- we like their ceviche and my husband likes their fish tacos. Not fine dining but a good break. We also go to Il Mulino's in the Ritz and sit at the bar and have appetizers and half portions of pasta. It can be expensive depending on what you order, but usually quite good. IF you have a car, do drive down the road towards San Juan and try Che's -- an argentinian restaurant with great churasco steak and house salad (with hearts ofpalm). Portions are easily shared. Or next door, there's Atlantico for seafood -- huge portions every type of seafood you can think of; and good paella and other dishes. We've not tried Casa Dante (as parking is a problem) but some people say their mofongo with camarones (shrimp) is the best; Although there are quite a few places specializing in mofongo (that's the PR stuffed rice dish with your choice of type of meat). And for desert -- try Pio Bello for gelato (near Lupes/across from the Hampton Inn. Just read about a few new places and there's some local places back in a few blocks by the water that look interesting...

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