Guavate: Pig heaven in Puerto Rico
A couple of weeks ago, we were in Puerto Rico for The Boy's cousin's wedding. Most of our short stay was taken up with the event itself (the reception for which involved three live bands and lasted way past my bedtime).
But The Boy has evidently inherited his parents' love of good food, and they were happy to make a side trip to Guavate, a small mountain town famous for one thing: pork.
Specifically lechón, whole pig roasted on a spit.
The road through Guavate is essentially one lechonera after another. All follow pretty much the same design: open-air restaurants with a small bar and picnic-table seating, offering not just spit-roasted pork but also every possible variation on the magical animal: smoked,
fried with onions,
and turned into various types of sausage. The morcilla was amazing.
The star, of course, was the lechón: fatty and juicy and sweet, and served with its crisp, salty skin.
We got a little of everything, plus pavechón (turkey roasted in the lechón style); rice with pigeon peas; rice with longaniza (another sausage); a dark, almost malty pastel (filled with pork, natch):
Also batata (a root vegetable, boiled); mangú (mashed plantains with olive oil and onions, aka fufu); and cuajo (pig stomach in tomato sauce).
I think that about covers it.
There was more than enough for four people, and plenty of leftovers to take with. Total cost, including drinks: $50.
And bonus points for the mural depicting happy pigs awaiting their delicious end.