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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Metropol Restaurant and Bar, Carolina, San Juan, PR

From time to time, my travels for work take me to Puerto Rico.  The first time I visited, and every time after, I always make it a point to go to Metropol Restaurant and Bar for lunch or dinner...

It is a local chain that serves home style Cuban favorites.  When you first sit down, they start you out with a basket of fresh pressed Cuban bread with butter and enough garlic to knock a buzzard off of a manure wagon.  Just the way I like it...

For starters, I had the Black Bean Soup.  Their version has bell and jalapeno peppers for some nice heat.  They also use smoked ham hocks in their broth that give a nice full flavor.  The beans are velvety and cooked to perfection.

My 2 favorite dishes there are either the 1/2 Cuban Smoked Chicken or the Fiesta Cubana.  I had the Fiesta Cubana platter this time...

This is a perfect way to try all of the Cuban favorites.  Clockwise from the top:

Cassava Root: (AKA Yucca Root).  Perfectly steamed with light spice.  It tastes like a solid form of grits.

Pot Roast:  Good stuff.  Slow cooked in traditional Cuban Spices.  Fork tender and melt in your mouth.

Sauteed Cuban Veggies

Diced and Pan Fried Pork with Onions:  Crispy pork fat with Caribbean spices?  What's not to like?


Shredded Beef in a Spicy Tomato Based Sauce:  Good stuff.  The Cuban version of BBQ beef.

Congri:  (Black Beans and Rice).  Basically, this is their Black Bean Soup poured over perfectly steamed rice.  Tastes good and helps cut the fat in the meat.

As a nice accompaniment to your meal, they serve Habenaro Pepper Vinegar.  The pepper mellows out the vinegar and adds a big kick.  Also, the garlic in the vinegar adds a nice taste as well.  The perfect condiment.  I am going to try and make some for pulled pork.

Everyone is friendly, like everyone on the island.  Everyone at the one in Carolina speaks excellent English.  From my experience at the Barcenolenta location, some rudimentary Spanish would help, but is not necessary as the menu is in English as well.

If you make it to Puerto Rico, you will do good by yourself to make it here for a meal.  With a Mojito or cold beer, this should be on your bucket list.  Overall, 3.5 out of 4 stars.

Thanks for stopping by...


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