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Old Lyme, Connecticut
March 29, 2011
August 8, 2006
We’re here. We had to wait an over an hour for the shuttle van from our car hire place to pick us up. At the same time we arrived, a group of 30 people, plus WAY too much luggage (without car reservations, I might add), wanted to rent cars to take them and their WAY-too-much luggage from the airport to the cruise line dock. By the time we finally got our car, we were hungry.
So it’s off to our favorite beach-side restaurant, El Alambique, at Isla Verde.
Isla Verde is a beautiful city beach at the eastern end of San Juan. It’s about 5 minutes from the airport. On previous trips to PR, we go there as our last stop. The San Juan airport has a secure area where you can check your carry-on luggage so you don’t have to lug it around with you. We get to the airport very early, much earlier than we normally would; check in at the ticket counter; check our through luggage; and then check our carry-ons in their secure area. Then into a cab to spend our last couple of hours on the beach, or in El Alambique, eating and drinking cold beer.
On this trip, Isla Verde and El Alambique is our FIRST stop. It’s warm, humid (it’s a tropical island! duh!), and the cold beer tastes good, even if it is "just" a Corona. We’ve waited 8 months for arañitas con pulpo and mofongo con pollo.
Literally translated, arañitas con pulpo is "little spiders with octopus." Plantain is shredded and deep-fried, then topped with various things--in this case wonderful, tender, flavorful octopus in a delicious sauce. The effect is kind of like Chinese noodle "bird’s nests," or, in fact, fairly large spiders. It is fabulous! Who would have guessed I would like octopus?
Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish of fried plantain, mashed with garlic and olive oil, then fried again. Hey, I never said it was health food, just that it was really really good! At El Alambique, the mofongo is topped with stuff, in this case chicken. Yum!
Eight months and 6,000 miles, but the wait was worth it.
From journal Going to Puerto Rico