Puerto rican food san francisco -
ELMWOOD — Cerno's Bar & Grill might not be open much longer in Elmwood.
The restaurant at 118 E. Main St. is to close toward the end of this year, according to a post on its Facebook page.
Cerno's co-owner Casidy Tavares said she's received an employment opportunity in her hometown of Kewanee. That also is the location of the original Cerno's, which remains open at 213 W. Third St.
"We were hoping to hold off on this announcement as we are working with the city and building owners to find another business to take advantage of this turn-key opportunity," Tavares wrote. "An amazing building, with an incredible staff and community."
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According to Tavares, business was good despite the coronavirus pandemic. No closing date was given.
The Elmwood Cerno's opened in early 2019, in a space Elmwood Brewing Co. once occupied. It's a branch of the longstanding Kewanee restaurant known for its 50-foot mahogany bar, built in 1898.
Cerno's in Elmwood doesn't have a bar quite that long, but it does have much of the same menu as its Kewanee parent.
Earlier this year, Elmwood Cerno's chef Justin Arrowsmith received praise for his adept handling of 25 motorcyclists who on short notice arrived for lunch.
Previously: 25 hungry bikers and 20 minutes' notice: Chef at Illinois restaurant gets standing ovation
After what they deemed an excellent meal and service, the bikers summoned Arrowsmith from the kitchen. When Arrowsmith emerged, they gave him a standing ovation — and a tip of about $70.
In 2019, Cerno's in Kewanee won the Illinois Beef Association's Best Burger Contest.
This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Cerno's Bar & Grill in Elmwood to close later this year
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Puerto Rican Fare Worth Relishing
A visit to Puerto Rico’s fast food outlets--and we’re not talking franchises here--instantly immerses you in the island’s culture. At colorful kioskos, small stands perched on the edge of narrow mountain roads or lining golden beaches, you’ll taste local specialties most tourists miss and meet pleasant people on their own turf.
The kioskos are mom and pop enterprises, often enlisting the help of grandparents and all the kids. They seem to be run as social events as well as businesses. An easy drive from San Juan are the food stands at Boca de Congyejos on Route 187, just east of the city limits, and los kioskos del Luquillo, the food mecca at Puerto Rico’s most popular public beach 20 miles east.
Specializing in traditional Puerto Rican fare, these snack bars are open to the street on one side and the beach on the other. They contain a few tables flanked by a counter, and have names like “La Fabulosa” and “Teresa’s Place.” Weekends are the time to visit when all the kiosks are open to serve thousands of swimmers at calm, mile-long Luquillo Beach.
But if you have a fear of frying, better eat someplace else. All manner of seafood and local specialties such as crispy plantain and sweet potato are deep fried in big kettles of bubbling fat.
Empanadillas, which are called “tacos” at Luquillo, encase fish, land crab or meat in dough the size and shape of a banana and cost about $1.50. Codfish from Newfoundland finds its way into delicious, mild bacalao fritters for 40 cents. Don’t be dismayed if some food looks orange. It’s colored and flavored by annatto seed, a local seasoning. Cocos frios, chilled and topped coconuts to sip with a straw, cost 65 cents. Rum is extra, of course.
Great land crabs, jueyes, are the real treat at Luquillo. The blue-gray creatures are captured at night when they venture from their holes in sugar cane fields and coconut groves, and are delivered to the kiosks live. For a few days in captivity they’re fed grain or corn meal to enhance their flavor.
In San Juan, authentic Puerto Rican fare can be had at the 2O-table Ajili-Mojili Restaurant in the Hotel Condado Lagoon. With white walls covered by contemporary art, it’s a mecca for young professionals and their families.
We tried outstanding black bean soup and shared an appetizer, pastelillos of fish and meat, which was a $9 delight. The menu of the day had no prices and it was something of a chore to extract them from the waiter, but most entrees seemed to cost about $15.
Roast leg of lamb, cabrito (baby goat) fricassee, arroz con pollo, stewed guinea hen and rabbit with mango appeared. Lamb and cabrito were excellent. The wine list features French, Spanish, Australian and California wines starting at $15.
At Restaurant Tita, a few blocks from the beach in Santurce, prices are less, with 14 Puerto Rican specialties like tasajo, jerked beef with rice and yucca, for $7.50. Mofongo, a mix of plantains and potatoes, is offered stuffed with shrimp for $11. Also featured is chillo (red snapper), filleted or whole.
In Condado, the elegant Reina de Espana serves the freshest ingredients, Spanish style. In Spanish, the menu explains that chef Jesus Ramiro regards his cocina, or kitchen, as a divine temple where he cooks heavenly food for his friends. Service was faultless and beautifully arranged food was presented on pale green Villeroy & Bach china. Dorado with sea urchin sauce was memorable, as was striped bass with black olive sauce, both at $19.95.
If you’re shopping in Old San Juan, note the store at 104 Fortaleza, marked with a plaque commemorating the creation of the pina colada in 1963. Head one block down the hill to 152 where Butterfly People serves a nice lunch among butterflies and flowers.
The balcony restaurant, in a beautiful l8th-Century building, displays cases of brilliant butterflies. In the exotic white dining room tented with green and blue batiks, service is pleasant, background music is Baroque and lunch specials like salmon mousse with creamy dill garlic sauce are about $7. Huge, fresh sandwiches on homemade bread start at $5.
Old San Juan’s La Mallorquina, established in 1848, claims to be the oldest restaurant in Puerto Rico. But the evening we dined bumbling waiters seem to have started yesterday. The place looks the way a Caribbean landmark should with soft pink and white decor, antique l2-foot mirrors and spotless tablecloths. Specialties like asopao (a soupy rice dish with chicken or seafood) and Paella Valeciana were very good, as were red snapper with capers and garlic soup. Entrees run $9.95 to $15.95.
The only time I really hate to eat alone is when I’m dining with others. At La Mallorquina, three of us were served separately, courses mixed up with beverages arriving an hour after we ordered them. The standard reply was “Yes, yes, coming right up,” no matter what we requested, while basics--like beans and spoons--never arrived. Maybe Monday is an off night.
At La Zaragozana, another Old San Juan standby, the food didn’t measure up to the service. The whole red snapper at $21.95 would not yield to a knife, which bounced away from the rubbery flesh. But the menu is ambitious, offering everything from Puerto Rican specialties though Shiskebab Beirut to Long Island Duckling a l’Orange. Affable mariachis wander through La Zaragozana and it’s a pleasant restaurant we’d try again.
A handy place to pick up mainland newspapers in San Juan is the Kasalta Bakery in Santurce just a couple blocks from the Ocean Park beaches. It’s also a good place to have roast pig, a Puerto Rican specialty, on weekends. The half-block-long, black and white tiled establishment serves delicious sandwiches on crusty rolls for $3.25, as well as deli items and tempting pastries.
A $5 taxi ride from Condado on the Ocean Park side of Isla Verde, is Che’s. A popular Argentine hangout for families, Che’s specializes in meat, such as Parillada Argentina, a mixed grill with sausages, steak, chops and sweetbreads that can feed four for $25.90. Chimichurri sauce of garlic, parsley, oregano and vinegar served on the side is delectable.
Out on the island it’s easy to find Puerto Rican food in clean, popular restaurants on well-traveled roads, but we overshot El Indio on a winding mountain road near the Caguana Indian Memorial Park, about 50 miles southwest of San Juan.
The owner-chef stated the menu: “Pizza, meat loaf, pizza, pork chops and um . . . today, pizza!” After deducing the specialty was pizza we ordered a big one with green peppers and pepperoni. It was wonderful baked in a gas oven and served in a jungle setting on a patio filled with laminated wood furniture straight out of an office. Don’t make a special trip, but if you’re in the vicinity, El Indio is worth a stop.
The following restaurants are recommended:
The kiosks at Luquillo Beach serve Puerto Rican snacks and full meals. These 60 or so small restaurants parallel Highway 3 east of San Juan. They’re closed Monday (as is the beach) and hit their full stride on weekends.
Ajili-Mojili specializes in Puerto Rican food at the corner of Joffre and Clemenceau in the Hotel Condado Lagoon in Condado. Lunch and dinner, closed Monday; (809) 725-9195.
Restaurant Tita (Puerto Rican) is in Santurce at 103 San Jorge. Lunch and dinner 7 days; (809) 722-7828.
Reina de Espana serves Spanish and Puerto Rican food at 1006 Magdalena in Condado. Dinner 7 days, lunch Sunday-Friday; (809) 721-9049.
Butterfly People, 152 Fortaleza in Old San Juan, is open only for lunch. The menu is eclectic; (809) 723-2432.
La Zaragozana is in Old San Juan at 356 San Francisco. The menu has something for everyone. Lunch and dinner every day; (809) 723-5103.
Che’s in Isla Verde specializes in Argentine grills at 35 Caoba, Puntas Las Marias. Lunch and dinner every day; (809) 726-7202.
Kasalta Bakery, 1966 McLeary in Santurce, serves sandwiches, deli items and desserts. Open all night; (809) 727-7340.
El Indio, near Utuado (south of Aeeibo) on Highway 111 specializes in pizza. Closed Monday; (809) 894-7586.
Maduros are fried plantains; however they're different from tostones. These are sweeter because they are made from riper plantains. They taste similar to a caramelized banana. They're typically served as a side dish or dessert. I think they taste best when paired with creamy vanilla ice.
Asopao is popular across the Caribbean. It's essentially a blend of rice and soup. This dish is similar to gumbo and is often paired with seafood, chicken or pork. There are many different variations of this dish. The most popular in Puerto Rico is asopao de pollo, which is made from broth, rice, chicken, oregano, tomato, olives, onion, garlic, and other seasonings.
12. Coco Rico
Coco Rico is the Coca Cola of Puerto Rico. This carbonated coconut beverage is just what you need to cool off after a long day at the beach. It has a fairly light flavor and is similar to Sprite, but with a coconut aftertaste. The soda is usually enjoyed on its own, but you can try this Coco Rico Mojito recipe if you're looking to mix it up.
Coco Rico is the widely popular on the island and can be found almost anywhere: grocery stores, restaurants, drug stores, bakeries, gas stations, roadside markets. The brand can now be found in the United States as well. The next time you're in the supermarket, keep an eye out.
Coquito is a milky coconut drink served during the Christmas season in Puerto Rico. It is similar to eggnog; however, the egg component is replaced with coconut. Coquito is made from a blend of evaporated milk, cream of coconut, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, rum, vanilla, and is often enjoyed with a cinnamon stick.
You can order your own delicious coquito that's sure to be better than your abuelita's from Brooklyn Coquito, or if you're feeling adventurous you can make it yourself.
14. Cafe con Leche
Coffee is a staple in Puerto Rico. Some of the island's most popular brands are Yaucono, El Coquí, and Café Rico. Personally, I love 787 Coffee Co. because their coffee is 100% Puerto Rican and has a unique, rich flavor. They also have a coffee shop in Maricao, Puerto Rico.
15. Arroz Con Dulce
This coconut rice pudding is made from cooking rice with coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Arroz con Dulce is often garnished with cinnamon sticks and raisins and enjoyed as a dessert. Who knew rice could taste so sweet?
Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue on Flickr
Flan is popular in most hispanic countries and comes in many different varieties. In Argentina, Mexico, and Uruguay dulce de leche flan is the most prominent, and in parts of Spain flan de naranja is commonly enjoyed. However, the most popular flan in Puerto Rico is flan de queso, which has a rich taste similar to cheesecake.
Tembleque is creamy coconut pudding made from coconut milk, sugar, and cornstarch. Although similar to arroz con dulce, tembleque has a smoother consistency. It is often topped with cinnamon for added flavor. The dessert is enjoyed year-round but is especially prominent at parties during the Christmas season.
19. Dulzura Borincana
Although not exactly a food, Dulzura Boricana is the island's most popular candy brand. Among the most popular are marrallo, a chewy bar candy made of black coconut; cremas de coco, coconut cream bar candies; ajonjolí, crunchy sesame seed snacks; and pilones, lollipops with sesame seed.
Pilones are unfortunately the only candy Dulzura Boricana does not sell online, but the rest are all available for order. You don't even have to pack your bags to try these sweet treats.
Also not a food, Adobo is a seasoning used in many Puerto Rican dishes. They use it to season meat, fish, vegetables, you name it. If you want to try preparing your own Puerto Rican-inspired meals, it's a necessity.
As you can tell by the length of this list, Puerto Rican food is fairly versatile and accessible. There's a dish to satisfy everyone's tastebuds or dietary restrictions.
Even if you're not going to Puerto Rico, you can enjoy some of these foods at restaurants in the United States. Some of my favorites are El Rincon Tropical in Virginia Beach, Pearl Island in Charlottesville, and Sazon in New York City.
If you're feeling ambitious, you can also try cooking your own Puerto Rican dishes. Puerto Rican food blogs like El Boricua and Que Rica Vida provide lots of easy-to-follow recipes.