Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Because I’m craving another vacation…

…I decided to finally start/complete my post(s) about Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Day #1:

It is apparent that if my head wasn’t already attached to my body, I leave the damn thing behind. To be so intelligent, I’m pretty dag on loopy. I normally take several trips abroad every year, but somewhere between my move LAST YEAR, I managed to misplace my passport and just haven’t had the time to go sit in the DC office to renew it. Problem: I was craving some island weather…something different and Miami just wasn’t going to cut it this time around. Solution: *spins the globe a la Coming to America and lands on “Queens!”…no, Puerto Rico*

Previously on “Just call me Sangria San Juan”…

Casey and Amanda (she’s not a blogger, but she’s my best friend, so get used to reading/seeing her name) not only were getting drench during what appeared to be Waterpalooza 2011, they manage to drown their kidneys in Chambordy sangria goodness. For the stateside recipe, click here.

While swimming in pitchers of Chambord Sangrias, my bff and I decided to sample a few items off of the menu at the suggestion of Dah-veed (David).

Took a high dive into that pitcher!

Well as I was typing this, I got so excited to show you guys the Latin Sliders, but realized that I ate them too fast to catch them on camera. *sad face* They were three little burgers with a perfect mix of angus beef and longaniza sausage, caramelized onions, a slice of pepperjack cheese and a smidgen of roasted garlic aioli. HEAVEN!!! Now I could go on and on about the wonderfulness of longaniza and how that changes with the region, but I won’t. I encourage you to just try it sometime…anywhere where there’s Latin or Spanish influence, you’ll find looooooongaaaaniiiiiiiiizaaaaaaa. So now you can understand why there is no picture…

In the meantime while I was waiting for the sliders to come out, Amanda and I ordered shrimp cocktail. The shrimp were probably about the same as any that I had had before, but these were laid over a nice helping of pineapple salsa with a side of spicy pineapple cocktail sauce. Both were made from local pineapples harvested from Hacienda Don Juan in Lajas. And maybe I was so impressed with the pineapple sides because I’m a fan of locally harvested foods, but I swear it was the sweetest, juiciest damn pineapple I’ve ever had. I think I finished the salsa before I did the shrimp!

Juicy pineappley shrimp

Once the monsoon let up just enough for us to get back into the hotel without being washed away, we retired to the room to catch one of those good, after meal, during the rain, mid-afternoon naps. Fast forward a few hours to darkness, of course I was starving and ready to get out to do some damage. I was thinking about mojitos and coconut flan, something a little less touristy, but somewhere where the servers could understand and the menus were written in English.

Creamy, dreamy coco flan

Exactly what I asked for...

Now I’m craptastic for not remembering the name of this restaurant, but it started off my obsession with camarones al ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce). I was looking for napkins and anything else that wasn’t nailed down to sop up the rest of the sauce!

Starting to see a trend here...

I no longer wanted to try anything else on the menus when we went out…I wanted camarones everywhere we went. The same thing went for drinks…Chambord was callin’ my name! And it was always worth it! At the end of Day 1 and a long full belly walk later, I was wishing I had a doggie bag…


Filed under Casey, Posts

Just call me Sangria San Juan

That kinda sounds like a strippers name, and although it was hot and muggy enough to make you want to strip when we arrived in Puerto Rico, I can assure you that I had on more clothes than Rihanna wore in her last three concerts combined.  The past few weeks leading up to the trip, I did nothing but research restaurants and dream up fictious Puerto Rican food concoctions.  While I had things that I definitely wanted to try, I came across several things that I hadn’t even thought about…hadn’t even imagined.  I figured this post would be a good follow up to Lindsey’s “Thirsty Thursdays”.  We’ll call this Sweet Sippin’ Saturdays!

Upon arriving at La Concha and looking around a bit, we were eager to get out and do some sightseeing.  Unfortunately, we weren’t visiting during the dry season and were caught in the middle of a 45 minute torrential downpour.  So we decided to eat at one of the restaurants at the hotel…this was our “go to” for the remainder of the trip.  We were greeted by a very attentive and gracious staff and they were willing to suggest or caution against certain items on the menu.  …Too bad Amanda kept getting that tough a** chicken sandwich!

Anyhow, our waiter David (pronounced Dah-veed) was enthusiastic in his recommendation the Chambord Sangria.  And while I’m no red wine connoisseur, I said what the hell and went for it…went for it so much that I ended up spending $60 on a pitcher.  La Chambord SangriaThis was a novel idea!  Why had I not heard of this in the US before???  It only makes sense to add a fruit based liqueur to a fruit based drink.  Pineapple was not only used as a garnish but it was soaked with Chambord, which made for a delish snack while drinking.  The raspberry sweetness added to the somewhat muted flavor of the wine.  You got all of the Chambord, but on the back end, you could taste the wine and the fruit.  IM HOOKED!  This became our staple drink for the duration of the trip…for meals…poolside…and in place of water when we needed hydration.

I then proceeded to dive into several pitchers in hopes to figure out the ratio of ingredients.  I think I may have it, but I’m gonna throw a curveball by using white wine as a base instead.  After driving around Baltimore for forever and realizing no one sells a normal sized bottle of Chambord, I was ready to get this sangria crackin’!  The mini bottle actually worked perfect for this.  Find the recipe below…it makes one pitcher (but keep in mind to make this at least one, but no more than 5 days in advance if you’re adding fruit):The ingredients

ͽ  2 bottles of Spanish white wine (it can be inexpensive, you’ll be sweetening this later)

ͽ  1/5 of a fifth of Brandy

ͽ  ½ cup of orange liqueur (I like to use a Spanish one, Torres, but Grand Marnier works just fine)

ͽ  375ml Chambord

ͽ  1 c of orange juice, sans pulp!

ͽ  1 apple sliced very thin (you can add or substitute any light fruit…peaches, white grapes and pineapple work well)

ͽ  simple syrup, to taste (to make, boil equal parts sugar and water and let cool first)

Let it marinate!

Mix well and let sit overnight, at least.

PS:  Also, this recipe does produce a slightly strong (not a watered down restaurant) version, so all ingredients can be adjusted to suite your personal taste.  Gypsy says, bottoms up!


Filed under Beer!, Casey, Posts