Monday, October 29, 2012
Where to Eat Vegan: Cafe Berlin Part 2 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mofongo is a traditional Puerto Rican dish - and it also traditionally not vegan as it is often piled high with meat and served with butter. Luckily Cafe Berlin has the curious vegan traveler covered. With the choice between yucca or plantain (our server suggested yucca) the chefs at Cafe Berlin will gladly make you a mofongo topped with greens and sprouts, sans butter.
As we tentatively tried our first bites we all wrinkled our foreheads as we chewed. Not, mind you, out of distaste. Each of us felt distinctly certain that we had tasted this flavor before but it wasn't until several bites into the dish that my sister yelled "Hashbrown" and we all said "Oh yeah!" in unison.
Whether mofongo is meant to taste like hashbrowns or not it did to us and we loved it. The dish was filling, comforting and beautifully plated.
For my main meal I had several choices including a Faux Steak with garlic Potatoes, Veggie Kabobs, a Veggie Burrito, Marinated Tofu and Meatloaf in Guava Sauce. Of the choices meatloaf was at the bottom of my list but when I asked for a recommendation from my server he highly recommended it and steered me away from the steak saying that many guests found it too dry.
I was intrigued by the Guava sauce so I went for the dish and was very surprised. The meatloaf was crisp all the way around but soft inside and it was generously drizzled with the sweet guava sauce and roasted red peppers and onions. Paired with creamy mashed potatoes and lightly steamed broccoli, I felt like a down home American eating my meat and taters. I may be a faux meatloaf convert - I never thought I would say that.
As with our other two visits the service was attentive and helpful and the food blew me away with it's beautiful presentation and expert execution.
407 Cll San Francisco
San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
Mon - Fri: 11am - 10pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 10pm
Brunch on Sunday: 10am -3pm