derryX in Puerto Rico 2014 – Day 3

Day 1

Day 2

For our third day in Puerto Rico this year, we decided that we’d take the bus ride into Viejo San Juan to walk the streets. We wanted to browse some shops, but the main goal was to dine at another favorite of ours, Cafe Manolin.

For breakfast that morning, I resorted to the Denny’s inside of our hotel.

Denny's to go

Ham sandwich

Not unexpectedly, I overpaid for an awful ham, egg, and cheese sandwich. Every meal can’t be a home run, I guess!

A little later, we headed into Old San Juan.

Senor Frogs in Old San Juan

The closer you walk to the southern coast, since that’s where the cruise ships dock, the more touristy the dining options are. We did pop into the conveniently placed CVS right across the street from the dock for some toiletries.

(I've never encountered this flavor of Doritos in the US.)
(I’ve never encountered this flavor of Doritos in the US.)

It took us something like 20 minutes to walk from CVS to Cafe Manolin, and that includes some quick browsing.

Cafe Manolin Menu/Placemat

What we love about this place is how inexpensive and authentic the food is. I ordered so much food, and there’s plenty of material there for a post of Cafe Manolin on its own, especially since we stopped back in during our trip.

Mofongo at Cafe Manolin
Mofongo at Cafe Manolin

After the hefty lunch, we walked around some more and did some shopping. We found a Marshalls, and Cassie did some browsing there. Across the street was a store that would have made my mom happy.


We enjoyed the beautiful weather while taking in the architecture and vibrant colors on the island.

I've shown a picture of this before

Apartment buildings

At one point, I saw a neat looking place that I wanted to check out for some coffee. It was called “The Poet’s Passage”.

The Poet's Passage

The Poet's Passage

The shop is two fold. On the right side is a small store with various prints and gifts of poetry by Lady Lee Andrews, a famous Puerto Rican poet.

Poet's Passage Prints

On the left is a coffee shop that also has sandwiches and sweet treats.

Cafe Cortado from The Poet's Passage

Menu at The Poet's Passage

I ordered cafe cortado, and sat down to take in a little of this place. At the small table we occupied were two little cute drawers with funny messages.

"Que busca" - (translation: what are you looking for?)

"I see you"

Buckets with paper and pencils

There were also buckets with scrap paper and pencils. The intent is to write some poetry and share it by placing it in the bin out front. It’s a really cool idea, and it was a pretty popular place. The coffee was pretty awesome too.


We took the bus back to the hotel and relaxed for a good part of the afternoon. When we were ready for dinner, we decided to check out a place called Waikiki, which is right next door to Hacienda Don Jose. This place has a patio overlooking the ocean, and, while I’m usually not a fan of outdoor dining, the air that evening along with the view were enticing. I had the pork chuleta can can, which is a whole pork chop, cooked with the belly and skin attached.

Chuleta can can from Waikiki

Dinner was great, but the weather turned quickly, and we had to gather our stuff and run inside to avoid a downpour. We almost got caught in it. I have lots more to say about this place.


On the way back, we wanted something sweet, so we decided to check out the dessert at the upscale restaurant inside of our hotel, Pikayo.

chocolate tart with peanut butter ice cream

The staff at this place really didn’t know what to do with us, since we didn’t have a reservation. I had asked if we could sit at one of the three unoccupied bar tables just to order dessert, and it seemed like it was a big deal. Because of the demeanor of the staff, dessert was a little uncomfortable, but tasty. It was excessively priced ($12), but that sometimes happens when you go to an upscale restaurant in a hotel.

All we had to do was take an elevator to get to our room, so that was pretty cool!


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