Waikiki – Puerto Rico
Early in the day, I asked my buddy at the desk at our hotel where he’d recommend we eat. And I call him my buddy because he and I talked daily about WWE Wrestling (he commented on how awesome my Hulkamania shirt was when we checked in). One of the places he mentioned was Waikiki. It shares a wall with Hacienda Don Jose, and it’s a wonder I’ve never eaten there before since I’ve walked past it probably 60 times.
They have a fully exposed back patio. Since it was a really breezy night, we thought it would be fun to dine outdoors. Since it’s right next to Don Jose, we knew the view would be great. Keep in mind, I pretty much never dine outdoors.
For this trip, I had already loaded up on mofongo, so I wasn’t really in the mood for that this evening. A lot of the other menu items reached way too far into other cuisines. I’m not going to order lo mein or linguine at a place in Puerto Rico unless there’s a specific reason. Being that this place is within a 5 minute walk of a handful of hotels, I understand why they’d have those menu items, but I’ll pass.
It was between the churrasco and the whole center cut pork chop (Can Can). Chuletta can can is something that’s everywhere in Puerto Rico. It’s a pork chop with the belly attached, marinated with sazon, then roasted or fried. I had some that was featured on Man vs. Food on the prior trip.
It’s not the dish you order if you’re trying to lose weight. I’m also not going to Puerto Rico to lose weight, guys.
As our entrees came, the wind really picked up. We weren’t the only people outside, but we noticed that the other people who were out there headed back inside.
I dug into my pork chop and was really enjoying it. It’s salty, garlicky, fatty, and glorious. If you mash together the experience of eating a pork chop with eating pork rinds, this is what you get. It was a tad overcooked, but that’s the name of the game with this particular menu item, and it’s actually really common to have overcooked pork of all varieties in Puerto Rico.
The rice and beans at Waikiki are served separately, which is common. The beans are stewed with some pumpkin and spices. You’re supposed to mix some into your white rice. I also ordered some tostones for good measure.
While we were eating, a few employees were outside on top of the building fixing a spotlight that was right over our table, and, before it was fixed, they headed inside. We figured something was up.
Just as we were going to ask for some fancy sauce (aka mayoketchup), our server came and tapped us on the shoulder and strongly urged us to move inside. I had felt a rain drop or two, but made nothing of it. Just as we had gotten inside, the sky started falling. We would have been soaked, and the pork rib that I was about to finish off would have been ruined.
We got a good laugh out of the whole dinner. We really enjoyed ourselves.