edit July 25th 2013
Ok guys. A quick edit about a year later after just coming back from Adobos where I had dinner with family and some friends that are here visiting from Croatia. Before I say anything, I have to say I gave myself time to cool off and I am not putting this on here to be mean, but I do not want to keep this review on here and have someone go there based on this post and be disappointed like we were tonight.
What happened is we had a really bad experience with the waitress that show me the worst service so far I had in America since I came here nine years ago. I'm not even going to get into it but as she said, about five months ago the plac changed owners and as far as I can tell the place went downhill since then. I didn't go there for a while since I just had a baby and I was on bed rest before so I wasn't aware of this, but the place has changed! There is still a same menu in place, but the food is not as good as it was before, you can tell the difference, it is greasier, they are skimping on sauces that make appetizers so appetizing (when asked for little more because we got a pinch on one appetizer and NONE on the other, the waitress said she is sorry but they are saving it because they are running low on it in the kitchen Who are you saving it for? Is there someone special more 'special-er' than me coming to eat later? I'm paying for my food too, am I not?
In the end, after as I said, the worst service ever, after waiting for 20 minutes for them to have their own food at the bar and get our money, she thought she can just keep all the change without even asking, which would be over 25% tip. Yeah. Right. I'm sad, never going back there until I hear they changed owners again. Big big shame. I will longo for my mofongo I guess.
Hey! Guy Fierri said it first...on one show of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" (fried episode). He was remembering a dish he ate at a Puerto Rican restaurant on one of his "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" show episodes. I remember seeing that original episode and thinking: "wow, that must be awesome". Then I remember seeing that same show rerun and wondering if I would ever get to eat something like that. I mean, Puerto Rico is pretty far away, specially when you spend all the time/money to travel back home to Croatia, as much as you can. And it isn't like Salt Lake is full of Caribbean joints. Or for that matter, it's not like it's full of good dives and good small local restaurants either. There is some, but I long for a "foodie' tour on the East Coast. Or in the Bay area. Now, I may totally be wrong here, so if you are a foodie and know of great places in SLC, please, please, please say so in a comment. I would love to check them out!
This time I ordered sangria and I loved it. It was perfectly cold and fruity. I am not a big fan of wines, but I am always for a sangria. This was a good one. I forgot I was supposed to take pictures and drank half of it (plus I ate the pretty orange decoration) so it was not very attractive looking when I finally remembered to take photos. And the photos. Well. I know they are not the best, but there was a lot of people in the restaurant when we went in for our lunch and we couldn't get a table anywhere near the windows, so the pictures are what they are. Sorry.
Last time we were there we had three different appetizers. We had the Pan con ajo,Beef picadillo empanadas and Yuca alcapurrias.Pan con ajo is a pressed Cuban bread brushed w/ Fresh garlic, Olive oil & salt. It had a very nice flavor. Of course it did, olive oil and garlic, one of the best flavors there is. But the bread is very thinly sliced and it was just a little bit on a dry side. All in all, nice bread, but not something I would want to order again, considering other stuff they offer. The other two appetizers we ordered again this time, they were so good we didn't even want to experiment with anything else. Maybe someday when we get enough of them first!
As with the empanadas, the filling is similar and very flavorful. It isn't quite as creamy, because they don't put cheese in this mixture. But it is still delicious with all the spices they put inside. It doesn't come with a dipping sauce or any mojo drizzled on it, so if you go there and want to try this, ask for a little mojo on the side. Beautiful stuff.
He wanted to try something else today, but he didn't want mofongo. I think he is not crazy about the idea of mashed plantains. He has texture issues. He decided on El Cubano, a roasted pork shoulder sandwich with sweet ham, swiss cheese, pickles, Mayo & mustard, all on a pressed Cuban bread. I always wanted to try this sandwich too, so I was happy he ordered it. But. I think the problem was that it had cubed pork shoulder in it, instead of shredded pork. Which would make it more juicy. While just the cubed pork left it somewhat dry. Very flavorful, but a little bit dry.
And last but not least, for sure.My main dsish - Mofongo. Do you know what a mofongo is? Because for most of my life I had no clue! It is a dish made by smashing together some fried plantains, garlic, pork cracklings and olive oil. Since looking it up on the internet I've learned it can be served in many ways, as a side to sea stews or a 'bowl' base for variety of sea food, chicken, pork or beef. The meat usually comes fried on top. Not battered though. This is the way I tried it so far.
In the past, at Adobos, I had Carne Frita Mofongo, which is boneless pork sirloin fried until crispy and served with onions, cilantro mojo and little bit of a tomato based sauce. This was my first mofongo, and I wanted to sing. It was just Succulent. Where have you been all my life mofongo? So simple, so delicious?! Then I tried it with fried fish. The Filete de Mero a la criolla. This mofongo is made with filet of grouper seasoned with Caribbean adobo, sautéed with island mojo. It was very different than carne frita. Milder because of the flaky white fish, but it had more of that delicious sauce on and it was even juicier, soI told myself, I will always get this one. Until this time. This time I had what my friend originally recommended, but then I really wanted to try the fired pork. This time I had Chicharrones de pollo! Crispy marinated chicken chunks topped with island mojo on top of that wonderful mofongo and all topped with that delicious sauce. I don't really know how to describe that sauce. It's exotic! I mean, I know it is red and it is tomato based. But it is sweeter than a regular tomato sauce and more garlicy. And it has some wonderful spices that I will have to put some research into. Because oh yeah, I am making this baby at home. I am ordering the wooden mortar (or what they call pilon in Puerto Rico) and this will happen! I am going to have to wait to come back from my vacation though. But mofongo and me, we have a date.