As a very loud and proud Puerto Rican, it always disappoints me, but doesn’t surprise me when my friends state they’ve never had Puerto Rican food before. True, Puerto Rican restaurants are few and far between in Chicago, but I always try to introduce my peeps to the cuisine, whether through my own cooking, or taking them to a good Rican restaurant. So with that goal in mind, I broadened yet another one of my friend’s horizons and took them to Cocina Boricua, my favorite Puerto Rican restaurant in Logan Square.
True, it’s kind of hard to get to (it’s on Fullerton and Western), but it’s BYOB, and it very conveniently has a liquor store right next door. The food is extremely cheap as well, but amazing. For appetizers, I always order their tostones topped with a layer of guacamole, and then again topped with a slice of salsichon. The cool flavors of the guacamole offer as compared with the spicy hotness of the salsichon offers a surprisingly wonderful effect, and I haven’t met a person who hasn’t liked them.
Moving on in our ridiculously unhealthy but delicious meal, we ordered one steak jibarito with plantains in place of sandwich bread, as well as an order of bistec encebollado (steak slow-cooked cooked with onions) with Puerto Rican rice on the side. I’m not kidding when I say stuff tastes the exact same way my Grandma made every Sunday when I went over to her house when I was little. Speaking of Abuelitas, what I can only assume is the matriarch of the family-owned place came to our table and made sure everything was to our liking. I pointed out it was my friend’s first time eating Rican food, and when said friend said how good it was she quickly quipped with her oh-so-familiar accent “So you’ll come back next week, no?” Pretty great.
Since most of my readers (hello token minority in all friend groups and I love it) I’m sure haven’t had Puerto Rican food I am making this restaurant a MUST go to. I couldn’t represent the island better myself, and you can have Italian or Sushi BYOBs at every corner. Do something different, go to Cocina Boricua, and I promise it will not disappoint. And all my gringo friends have unanimously agreed.