Monday, February 20, 2017

President's Day in Puerto Rico Mega Post

Took a little hop to Old San Juan today....
We got to Cafe Berlin a few minutes before they opened at 8am, and they kindly let us in...
my 'Vegan Breakfast' of Tofu Scramble, Potatoes and Bread was even better than anticipated (though Le Pain Quotidien's Tofu Scramble remains the best I ever had). Anyway, highly recommend Cafe Berlin. Great service and atmosphere...
plus lots of vegan options on the menu...
not much opens in Old San Juan before 10am, so we wandered the empty streets...
this guy pushes a wheelchair full of fruit up the street. He whistles really loud so shop keepers know he is coming and they buy fruit to start their day...
we found the Parque De Palomas where there are supposed to be tons of pigeons, but they werent up yet either...
they come out of a machine now, still were good...
found the store where you get perfectly fitted for a Panama Hat. I enjoyed all the Arts & Crafts stores in Old San Juan, there arent that many on St. Thomas. Most stores had a place for the Mr. to sit while I browsed...
then it was on to the reason I came to San Juan...
the ABC Station in St. Thomas is broadcast from Puerto Rico. Al Dente Restaurant has a commercial that runs almost every half hour if not more (see above)...
The power of advertising works, after a year and a half of watching the commercial, I got myself to Al Dente. We got to chat with the owner, Giancarlo, and we arent the only people lured in by the commercial, even though it is five years old and the food they show isnt available anymore...
the restaurant is very dark, so the pics arent so good. The Bread was fantastic...
Giancarlo helped with the ordering since we had to amend some dishes. The Bruschetta was excellent (they left off the mozzarella)...
and they made a special Pesto Primavera for me that excluded the cheese. A lovely meal, but after watching the commercial hundreds of times, I dont think anything could live up to my expectations. After lunch it was back to the airport...
a view from the ride back of some little islands between St. Thomas and Puerto Rico. Thanks for looking. Bye for now.


  1. What a beautiful post. I love the streets and the bright colors of the buildings!
    Your pesto Primavera looks outstanding!
    That beautiful blue water, I just want to jump in!!!

    1. I hope you do jump in! It is a great thing to do!

  2. How amazing that you can just fly to PR for the day!! And i've actually been to cafe berlin! Ha!! It was a few years ago now, but i remember being so glad to find veg options.
    That tomato toast and pasta looks delicious- the commercial story is too funny but obviously works! Looks like a spectacular view from the plane too. Hope the kids behaved themselves at home for the day ;)

    1. That is so neat that you and I have finaliy experienced the same restaurant. I liked Cafe Berlin and would go again. The faux meat in the Scramble was particularly tasty.

      Thought I would do a Bloody Mary today, but it didnt work out. Gotta watch out for Worcestershire, Clamato and other things. No fun;-(

  3. Serious lifestyle envy over here! Living in paradise, and then taking a day trip to another country entirely! Amazing!!

    Breakfast really looks divine. Who knew PR was veg-friendly?! A million years ago when I went to Mexico, it was rough pickings. Wandering the shops looks like it wasn't too touristy, which I would love!

    I love that you made the trip enticed by a commercial - totally something I would do. 😂

    1. Puerto Rico veg friendly? not so much. There are some options, but most were closed on Monday (when we went) or outside Old San Juan. Still there is hope in case you decide to visit.

  4. Ooh that breakfast looks delicious! I love that they have so many vegan options too. That bruschetta is beautiful, it looks so fresh and the pasta primavera also looks delicious.

    That is too funny about the commercial but I'm sorry it didn't live up to the expectations. At least the meal was still good and it sounds like they were really friendly and accommodating there.

    That crystal blue water is so beautiful! Seriously so jealous. Our beaches are brown. So sad.

    1. I didnt mean to imply so many vegan options. Although, I did see some advertised on menus. Wish I had taken pics of those. It is sometimes overwhelming with all the stimuli.

      I spent my life going to Ocean City, Maryland in the summers, so I know the water of which you speak.

  5. The shot from the plane is beautiful. I commend you for continuing to get on what look like such tiny planes. I'd be terrified.
    The pasta primavera looks fantastic, and the bruschetta. So funny that they have Italian food down there.
    Were the pina coladas alcoholic?? I never thought about where they originated. Old San Juan has some fantastic buildings. I've never been to PR!
    The potatoes on the side of the scramble look good too.

    1. Puerto Rico would be a great place for you to practice your Spanish.

      Yes, Barrachina added rum to the Pina Coladas after they came out of the machines. Not enough to have any effect.

      Cafe Berlin did a great job on the Scramble and Potatoes. As good as Champps? You could be the judge!


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