Puerto Rico Travelogue: Day Five

November 27, 2009 Adventure

Yesterday started off rather normal and ended on a weird note. Highlights for the day included an outstanding Puerto Rican breakfast at La Bombonera, a relaxing walk along the Paseo de la Princesa and the western coast of Old San Juan, and our Thanksgiving dinner at Marmalade.

La Bombonera was the perfect place to start the day. We enjoyed the restaurant’s renowned mallorcas and cafe con leche. Mallorcas are the perfect sweet and savory breakfast. A mallorca is “a buttery bread grilled and sprinkled with powdered sugar, which can be eaten with any combination of ham, egg, and cheese.” The restaurant is unpretentious and it feels very much like a Chicago diner. It certainly lived up to the hype, and no stop to Old San Juan would be complete without a visit to La Bombonera for a mallorca.

In the afternoon I enjoyed enjoyed a leisurely walk along the Paseo de la Princesa and the western wall of the city. The walk was amazingly scenic and relaxing. We saw some amazing historic architecture and the original gate to the city. Given that it was a holiday, that weren’t too many other people out and about. If time permits, I’d like to go for another walk along this route. It would be a great place to catch a sunset over the bay.

The night ended on a weird note. We had reservations for a Thanksgiving dinner at the highly acclaimed restaurant, Marmalade. The place was booked solid, as it was one of only a handful of restaurants open for the holiday. While the food was outstanding, the three-course meal took over three hours and our server was a bit inept. After asking our server to speak with the house manager, we were told there wasn’t one. However, we were told the executive chef/owner would try to speak with us when he had a moment. We weren’t actually expecting to speak with him, given all that was going on in the restaurant. So, we were surprised when he emerged from the kitchen and spoke with us regarding our meal. To make for a good experience, our meal was comped and we were given a free bottle of champagne. Peter Schintler, owner and chef, is a real class act. A big thanks to him for making a bad evening turn good. Good customer service goes a long way.

As a side note, the cast of True Blood was in the house last night. Apparently some of the cast are shooting a film in Old San Juan. Stephen Moyer, the main actor, bummed a light off me outside the restaurant. Talk about a surreal evening.

From Puerto Rico: Day Five

– Devon Akmon