Best Mofongo (2006)

Benny's Seafood Restaurant

Mofongo is the signature dish of any Puerto Rican restaurant worth its salt. Whether served as an entrée or an accompaniment, the mashed plantain concoction must not be too dry or too mushy, and it must strike the perfect balance between the mild saltiness that keeps it from being bland, and overseasoning. Benny's, which has been serving Puerto Rican food for twelve years, offers several mofongo dishes, all served in a wooden mortar bowl. Chewy on the outside, soft in the middle, liberally seasoned with crunchy pork bits and garlic ... this mofongo -- whether you order it con langosta, con camarones, or plain -- is perfect. Prices vary, from $23 for the most expensive mofongo dish, which comes with an array of seafood, to $8 for plain. (While you're at Benny's, try some of the other Puerto Rican food, like fried blood sausage, and green banana ceviche stocked with chicken gizzards.)

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