Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate and other things in Old San Juan

I am in Old San Juan working on a fantastic Chocolate exhibit project. This is a view from my house. The area is known as La Fortaleza, as it is close to The Fortress, or the Governor's mansion, the oldest executive mansion in the New World. My house is located down the street from Hotel El Convento a former Carmelite convent built more than 350 years ago. Now a beautiful luxury hotel, the Spanish Colonial architecture and design of El Convento is amazing.

In New York, days before leaving for Puerto Rico, while getting ready for my trip, I was inspired to try a "Mallorca" from a big chain coffee place. Only one bite told me I was on the wrong track. This version was as if someone twisted a cardboard breadstick, sprinkled it with sugar and let it sit in a coffee shop flavor migration tank before wrapping it in industrial plastic.

Simply put, nothing compares to those served fresh at La Bombonera 259 Calle San Francisco, Old San Juan,
Puerto Rico (787-722-0658).

At this authentic Puerto Rican cafe from 1902, the La Bombonera Mallorcas are really dreamy. They are a fluffier cross between a slightly sour white roll and a perfect donut.

To start, sit at the counter and prepare to get mesmerized by the outstanding and entertaining orange juicer while deciding which Mallorca to try. They are available with cheese (do not let them give you processed American), ham, egg and a variety of other savory innards.

Upon ordering, the buns are cut into two slices, slathered with butter and cooked on a grill. After their hot butter pressing, they are covered in healthy dose of powdered sugar. When paired with a cup of hot Chocolate Cortés, breakfast is truly served.


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