Each day from noon to 3 p.m., the pork-centric South Beach restaurant turns into a traditional chinchorro, which is basically a place to get some good booze and bites. It's the Puerto Rican version of a good ol' American dive.
The special menu is inspired by Las Octavitas, the eight-day celebration that begins January 9 and honors the Three Kings and the birth of Christ.
Mendin says the menu was a labor of love and remembrance. "This is more about me going back to my roots and childhood, eating with my mom, who is a huge foodie and who used to take me all around the island of Puerto Rico for the best dishes.
"This menu is also for all the Puerto Ricans who want to celebrate the Octavitas, but this is mostly for me and getting those boricua flavors in check. And, yes, there will be Pubbelly twists, as in all my cooking."
The menu features classic dishes mashed up with the Pubbelly touch. Mofongo is made with pork belly and caldo de pollo ($10), tostones are served with fresh ceviche ($8), and lechón asado ($18) is made from slow-roasted Berkshire pork. The tripleta, a PR-meets-MIA dish, features a trio of roast pork, country ham, and pastrami ($16). Sides ($6) include tostones con mayo y ketchup, papitas fritas, amarillos, and arroz con habichuelas. For dessert, choose between flan and tres leches ($6 each).
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If you want a taste of chef Mendin's down-home cooking, would like to extend your holiday festivities, or simply like a good mofongo, you have only a few weeks to indulge. The La Lechonera pop-up runs through January 31.
Take-out is also available, and reservations can me made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.