Big Mofongo Mistake

While Old San Juan heaps on the traditionals, it could trim on the prices

All three desserts tried were tasty if very sweet: two takes on bien me sabe, traditional Puerto Rican coconut/cream cake (one flavored with piña colada, the other with Dominican orange liqueur), and tembleque, a sort of coconut Bavarian cream. My personal favorite, though, was a small but potent glass of coquito al San Juan, Puerto Rico's unbeatable version of eggnog. No, no, trust me: You only think you don't like eggnog. Try this coquito.

A lot of PR coming from old San Juan
Jonathan Postal
A lot of PR coming from old San Juan

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Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; dinner Tuesday through Thursday, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.; Sunday noon to 10:00 p.m. (brunch buffet noon to 3:00 p.m.) Call 305-263-9911.
1200 SW 57th Ave., Miami

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Menus are fully bilingual, which is useful since no restaurant personnel are, except owner Tom MacManus, a most congenial, bilingually fluent host who bent over backward to be everywhere, do everything, and answer all questions thoroughly. When other servers took over, things slowed down considerably -- and not necessarily because of the language barrier. At one meal, for instance, depleted water glasses remained empty for an hour, until a croaked request for agua at meal's end elicited a refill from a server who seemed agreeable but astonished to be asked such a thing in any language.

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