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Puerto Rican? Mofongo?

I am recently back from a trip to Puerto Rico where we ate some wonderful, local food. Are there any Puerto Rican restuarants in Boston? If not, are there any other restaurants that serve mofongo or similar cuisine?

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  1. Merengue, in Dorchester, is a Dominican restaurant that serves Mofongo (aka mangu). While I'm not a mofongo fan, I think their rendition is probably the least dried out / bland.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Prav

      Hey Prav, Mangu is not Mofongo. Dominican mangu is made from boiled green bananas which are mashed. Sort of a gooey mashed potato for lack of a better comparison.

      Mofongo is made from deep fried plantains which are then mashed with garlic and oil and then sometimes refried into a canoa (canoe) if someone is being extra fancy.

      Most mofongo, if not made by someones grandmother can be a bit bland and heavy, but when it is good it is very good.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Oooh..thanks for clearing that up! I never was quite 100% sure.

        1. re: Prav

          To clarify further: Mangu is a shapeless mash, as SG describes; Dominican (sometimes Cuban or Puerto Rican) and typically eaten for breakfast with eggs, meat, etc Canoa on the other hand is a totally different thing - a baked or fried whole plantain stuffed with picadillo and topped with cheese. Looks a bit like a canoe. Mofongo is the king of them all, and there is intense culinary nationalist debate over whether it is originally a Puerto Rican or Dominican dish. The classic version is served inside the mortar (or 'pilon') in which it is assembled, may or may not have chicharron (pork rind), and is filled with picadillo, saucy meat or seafood or even veg, or sometimes even more exotic things like guinea fowl or rabbit. Truly delicious stuff when done right.

          The best version I have had in a Boston area restaurant is at Miami Restaurant in JP, though it was not all that great. Had it once at El Oriental and it was horrible (dry, bland). Miami Cafe in Vlilla Victoria has, I think, the best Puerto Rican food in town, but not sure if they offer mofongo. Izzy's is decent in a pinch, but tends in general to be incredibly greasy, which I suspect would also be the case with the mofongo. The other places mentioned, which I think are all Dominican, are worth checking out. Really I think the best bet is to just have mofongo in NYC if possible. Several excellent places in various boroughs (see Mh and OBs list for details).

          1. re: elbev

            Mmmmmm you are mostly right. A Canoa de Mofongo is NOT a canoa.

            Canoa is as you described, Canoa de Mofongo is Mofongo, shaped like a canoe, then deep fried, and typically filled with shrimp or lobster.

            Oh, and Miami Cafe (Villa Victoria) is Dominican not Puerto Rican.

            Try some of the places in Lynn that I have posted about D'Leomar and I am forgetting the others if you like Dominican fair. For genuine Puerto Rican (not so different from Dominican) I have not had much luck in greater Boston.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              I believe the Miami Cafe (in the South End/Agauadilla St off Tremont) is CLOSED - give a call!

              1. re: fredid

                Miami Cafe in the South End closed over two years ago. I miss their oxtail stew.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: fredid

                  Just to keep things clear (since I actually had to go back and re-read a few posts):

                  Miami Cafe, in the S.E./Villa Victoria is closed.

                  Miami Restaurant, in JP, is still open.

                  Also, apropos of nothing, Cuban food is much better than Dominican. ;-)

                  -----
                  Miami Restaurant
                  381 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                2. re: StriperGuy

                  From the list: Lynn crawl: D'Leomar Restaurant, 228 Union St; La Fe, 189 Union; El Tipico, 29 Neptune Blvd

                  1. re: Aromatherapy

                    To Fredid, I think you are right, it did close.

                    And thanks to Aromatherapy for the names of the excellent places in Lynn.

                    1. re: galangatron

                      No it wasn't.

                      I am totally fluent in Spanish (Dominican, Puerto Rican, and several Spanish dialects) and I assure you, having spoken with the owners of Miami Cafe numerous times, they were Dominican!

                      Really.

                      I swear.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        my mistake. i always thought it was a cuban restaurant

          2. I echo the Merengue mofongo rec. I also recommend Izzy's, a little Kendall Square sub shop with very nice Puerto Rican specialties, like a lovely pernil (roast pork) plate on Fridays and Saturdays.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            2 Replies
              1. re: pickledtink

                I haven't been in about a year, but last time I went the quality had REALLY slipped. Back in the day it was pretty darned good.

            1. El Oriental de Cuba offers mofongo but as you know is a Cuban restaurant. I have had mofongo there and in Puerto Rico. I'm not particular a big fan of mofongo (it's bland) but enjoy other Puerto Rican cuisine.

              1. It's more of a lunchtime takeout place than a restaurant, but the Cafe Latino restaurant in Government Center has a nice Mofongo plate. However, whenever I go, I usually get the Pernil plate, which is absolutely delicious and enough for two lunches.

                1. Terra Luna Cafe in Lawrence has a shrimp mofongo dish that;s very good. The plantains are smashed with bacon with a tomato cream sauce. Excellent Creme Brulee also.