Mofongos in Orlando

6:54 PM


“I longo for my mofongo”. Guy Fieri couldn’t have said it better.

Even though Orlando – after New York – has one of the largest populations of Puerto Ricans outside of Puerto Rico, you would be surprised to know that there aren’t that many Puerto Rican restaurants in the city.



There are a few bakeries/cafeterias that serve food, more for breakfast and lunch than dinner. Also a few Latin restaurants that have a mix of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Colombian and even Mexican items on their menus. And there are a few other hole in the wall type of places that have Puerto Rican dishes as well.

We are going to profile the ones we believe are truly Puerto Rican and serve the best food in Orlando!


Guavate Puerto Rican Eatery and Bistro

This little restaurant in East Orlando (Waterford Lakes area) has been bringing to the table delicious and authentic Puerto Rican dishes like mofongo (mashed green plantains with garlic, olive oil and herbs) and pasteles (similar to tamales but better!) for a couple of years to the delight of Puerto Ricans, Latinos and Americans alike.




Guavate has a diverse menu that includes a lot of appetizers like alcapurrias, bacalaitos, sorrullitos, etc.  (for more info on these, see this post http://www.funeatsandtravels.com/2011/07/frituras-puertorriquenas-greasy-and.html). They also have sandwiches like the famous tripleta (a sandwich with roasted pork, cube steak and ham with potatoes sticks and mayo-ketchup sauce), and Guavate’s tripleta is one of the best that we have had in Orlando. Believe us, we have tasted many.

During the weekends, this restaurant is always packed. They are now taking reservations for big groups but to avoid waiting outside, arrive before 12:30pm, especially on Sundays. 

Address:
422 S Alafaya Trail #20  Orlando, FL 32828
(407) 281-4700


Rancho Latino

This is the typical lechonera (they sell pork and lots of it!) or chinchorro (small, simple restaurant with great food and cheap prices) that you will find all over the island Puerto Rico.

Is authentic as it can be! They have live music during the weekends; you can find old men playing dominos outside and others having a ‘cervezita’ (beer) looking on. You will find children running around while their parents eat… young, old… everyone goes to this restaurant when homesickness attacks.

The sights and sounds captivate but the food will make you feel right at home. From lechón asado (roasted pork) to pernil (baked pork) and pasteles, alcapurrias, mofongos, rice and beans and even cuajito, you will find all the regular Puerto Rican food fixings that you crave and love.  Nothing is closer to having a true Puerto Rico experience than Rancho Latino.



Address:
4000 S Orange Blossom Trl
Kissimmee, FL 34746
(407) 870-9977


Sol de Borinquen Bakery

This is one of the best bakeries in all Central Florida and not only because it is a Latin one. It just is. The bread is made fresh every morning and they have a good selection of baked goods (pastries, donuts, cakes, etc).

They open very early in the morning seven days a week and are open for lunch and dinner. But be patient, there is always a line to either order food or to pay and service is usually slow.

For breakfast, you have to have one of their many sandwiches and order it with pan sobao (soft and sweet bread), a quesito (cheese filled sweet pastry) and a café con leche (latte). You won’t be disappointed by any of their breakfast offerings.

They have many lunch specials during the week that start at $4 and they have good prices overall during the weekends and dinner. They serve everything from rice, beans and pork, mofongos with shrimp and fried pork, beef stewes, yucca al mojo (with garlic and oil) and much more.

Go with an appetite because they serve a lot of food but leave the extra cash at home. For $30 a family of four can have a delicious and filling meal.

Address:
2510 Michigan Ave 
Kissimmee, FL 34744
(407) 518-7755


Tropifongo

We have to admit that we didn’t like Tropifongo the first time we went there. The food was over seasoned, oily and overpriced. However, we recently gave it another try and we fell in love with the place. It has been renovated and decorated and it is under new administration and we believe, under new chef and cooks.

The mofongo is the best. Still made with lots of garlic but the flavor doesn’t diminish the pork cracklings, the mashed green plantain and the olive oil used. The fried pork as well as the fried chicken is tender, flavorful and not greasy. They make one of the best churrascos in town (beef skirt)! With mofongo or with rice and beans, it is delicious.
They have hearty soups and stews good enough to revive the dead (literal translation of the saying in Puerto Rico – una buena sopa para revivir hasta los muertos!) as well as other dishes but the best is definitely the mofongo.

Address:
3160 Vineland Rd 
 Kissimmee, FL 34746
(407) 397-7666

Remember, these are top places. Be sure to let us know which ones are yours and why!

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