Saturday, January 19, 2008

La Casa del Mofongo en Puerto Rico

Back in December, J and I took a trip to Puerto Rico. We returned to the resort where we got married, the Westin Rio Mar in Rio Grande, except it is now the Wyndham Rio Mar, and the service has deteriorated, in our opinion, but that's a story for another day. After spending three beautiful days in Miami prior, we landed in San Juan just as Tropical Storm Olga decided to pour down on Puerto Rico; it rained for two and a half days. Instead of locking ourselves in or room for two days, we rented a car and went an island expedition. Unfortunately we didn't see much off the coast because of the rain and clouds, but it was fun driving.

As we left Rio Grande heading east towards Luquillo, it was raining. We drove through Fajardo where we had dreams of taking the ferry to Culebra, but it was raining. We continued on, heading south towards our destination, Yabucoa, in the rain. About halfway between Rio Grande and Yabucoa, the rain had let up, so we decided to stop at a road side restaurant called La Casa del Mofongo, or, the House of Mofongo. We were in Punta Santiago, one of the thirteen wards of Humacao.

Ordering at La Casa del Mogongo was a challenge since neither of us speak Spanish very well anymore (use it or lose it - we lost it.) We were fortunate that someone sitting at the bar recognized we were clueless and asked, in English, if we needed help. He got us a menu, and then ordered for us. We think he may have been an employee who was off that day. J and I settled on the churrasco a la plancha mofongo. Churrasco is skirt or flank steak, and a la plancha means from the grill, or griddle; this steak definitely came from the griddle. Mofongo is fried green plantains mashed with garlic, olive oil and pork cracklings served with with fried meat or seafood on the side or stuffed inside. So we had fried steak on a plate with mofongo. It was VERY VERY garlicky, and very very good. It didn't hurt that Medallas and Presidentes were $1 during happy hour. We were happy.

La Casa del Mofongo

Mofongo y Churrasco a la Plancha

The next best thing to the great steak and mofongo we just washed down with $1 beers was our check. You'll see below that the Nombre del cliente (name of the client) is Gringo. J and I had a great laugh at that. While it is often thought that the term gringo is derogatory, it is usually used simply to refer to an English speaking foreigner who is either visiting or living in a Spanish speaking country, or in the case of Puerto Rico, a territory. We took no offense and took the receipt home as a souvenir. Click on the image to zoom in.

If you ever find yourself on the east coast of Puerto Rico and your close to Punta Santiago, stop in to La Casa del Mofongo for cheap beers, good food, and good times. La Casa del Mofongo is on Route 3, the scenic route that follows the coastline north and south.

Muy bueno.


  1. a la plancha means grilled, or on/from the grill, not on the plate.

  2. Hi Anon - yes, I stand corrected. My Spanish is terrible, obviously, and the translator I used got it wrong. Upon further investigation, it can mean from the griddle, or hot plate. I've corrected my post - thanks!