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Feb 21, 2009 12:41 PM

Puerto Rican?

I was wondering if there were any good Puerto Rican restaurants in Boston/Cambridge? After living in Orlando for a few years I had the opportunity to sample some great P.R cuisine, but have not been able to located anywhere in Boston to try. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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  1. izzy's in cambridge and bella isla in chelsea

    1 Reply
    1. re: galangatron

      Last I ate there, Izzy's was not as good as it once was. Boston is a bit limited, but in the burbs there is pretty good Dominican food in Both Lynn and Lawrence. I posted a thread that became a discussion of some of the places in Lynn a while back. Curious about Bella Isla... I've never been. There is a relatively small Puerto Rican community here so harder to find good food of that ilk. Dominican is very similar.

    2. another vote for izzy's! (although I haven't been there since the summer).

      1. Thank you for the recommendation of Izzy's! We really enjoyed our meal there. We ordered the Roast Pork special and The Fried Pork dinner. Both dishes were really good. The yellow Rice and Red Beans were also cooked really well, and the Plantain was perfectly sweet and crispy along the edges. Izzy's does a great job in my opinion, and also what a great deal (2 dinners and 2 drinks $18.00)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Matt H

          Cool to hear Izzy's was tasty. Be great if they got their groove back on as they have been an institution in that spot for 20 years +.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            Izzy's hasn't changed and isn't likely to, in talking to Izzy's wife their kids have never been that interested in running the business... and they have the same cooks working too. Recently their food seems to have improved a bit, I have had decent chicharron de pollo and puerco, the fried food in the case is a bit fresher. I do like their montanero, although I wish they would serve it with chicharron de puerco instead of the fried pork. The goat hasn't been my favorite lately, they have been inconsistent with the yellow rice (very overcooked occasionally, sometimes no gandules). The pernil is always consistent though. I don't know why they tempt us with placemats with a beautiful mofongo when they don't serve it!!

            Bella Isla has changed. They opened a cafeteria/cafe next to the Rosev cash and carry on 2nd street. Just looking at the menu, Americanized wraps and so on jump out of you, so you think its a generic cafe. But they have a per-lb buffet with Puerto Rican and various a-la-carte offerings. Its definitely nicer than the original restaurant (not certain if its still opening).

            Is El Taino still in business? Also the Jorge Hernandez Center offers Puerto Rican food when they have events their (dance night, concerts, other things), but not certain if they are doing much right now... When summer comes there are the festivals and there are a lot more Puerto Rican cultural offerings and restaurants out to the west of the state.

            I would agree with the sentiment above that Dominican food is more of our forte these days and Lynn is definitely a good suggestion.

          2. re: Matt H

            One of my more recent loves at Izzy's has been there Ensalada de Pulpo (Octopus salad). Definitely need some gum or breath mint after that though, if you're heading back to work - whoa, onion breath!

          3. There is a little cafe at Centre Plaza in Government Center that I think serves P.R. cuisine. - can't recall the name.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Cafe Latino - I've only had the roasted pork - it's salty and tasty and takes me 2 days to eat it.

              1. re: cindywho

                That's the place. May have to check it out today.

                Actually did - got the roast pork lunch with rice n beans, salad - $6!
                Crazy amount of food - lots of cracklin' hard pig skin - whooo...that skin sure was piggy tastin'! A little too barnyard autentico for my tastes. The meat was great.

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  Is this at Court & Cambridge over a shoe repair (?) place? Friend just told me about it. She said the oxtail soup was more of a stew and very good.

                  1. re: Aromatherapy

                    Same place - it is set back above street level on the plaza that is between the John Adams courthouse and Center Plaza, in the Center Plaza building.

                  2. re: Bob Dobalina

                    I love the skin - sometimes if you peek at the the pile of pork you can see a pig's head in it.

                    1. re: cindywho

                      Lechon is all about the piggy skin...

              2. You also must be sure to try the Bistec Encebollado at Izzy's. I've been to PR and plenty of restaurants, and Izzy's still makes it the BEST!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: BigBrother

                  I'm so glad to hear that Iggy's is in the groove lately. It used to be a real favorite of mine, but went about a year ago and had a so so meal. Guess I better hit it again.