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Miguel Gierbolini

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  1. which St. Peter's? the Basilica in Rome?
  2. Sultana is a local brand of soda crackers. Rectangular without salt. Not sweet either. Like saltines without salt but crisper. They come in a yellow metal box or they used to. Another brand that makes a similar product is Rovira. Sultana used to be omnipresent in local households during my childhood. I don't think that they are as popular today.
  3. Mantecaditos or Polvorones are round and can be almost white or pale. but somehow your description does not match them. Mantecaditos are sweet and of crumbly texture often topped by guava paste or color sprinkles. I don't know if they are from here but it is the only place that i have seen them. If you provide me with more info perhaps I could be of more help. Mantecaditos recipe
  4. Yes, Ropa Vieja is a new restaurant which may or may not explain the bad service. Never been. La Bombonera in my own quite humble opinion is supremely overrated. I am glad you got to go to Ajili Mojili. I think they had an asopao festival when you were here. Now they have a fricasse festivale. Chicken, Veal Goat, etc.
  5. Re: Marriott. Probably too late but anyhow: Condado area is nice to walk even late at night. The beach at the Marriott is, I think, not the most desirable and there is supposed to be a strong current there. Week-end nights are hopping in the hotel lobby with lots of locals going out for a night out. Martino's in the Diamond Palace has a very (or had) a pretty good Caesar Salad.
  6. Nectarines. Vanilla Yogurt with Grape Nuts or its generic equivalent. Boiled Breadfruit with a touch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a little sea salt. Virtuosity.
  7. Glad you liked it. I think that what you were served prior to dinner were "bacalaitos" which are cod fritters. The after dinner drink is a "chichaito"--I think-- which is an anise based liqueur. Both are a staple at La Casita Blanca.
  8. What about this very recent one? La Belle Babbo.
  9. Should I give them another chance?
  10. I agree with MatthewB. I disagree with SLK. I just had an awful experience at Babbo. July 20 @8:30 p.m. Four of us tourists from Puerto Rico, reservation made way in advance. Properly dressed but males wearing neckties. No straw hats or guayaberas and we all had socks. Arrived 10 minutes early. At 9:00 p.m. not seated yet. Left. No place to wait. No explanations. No apologies. Just a lot of frequent bumps, excuse mes, and promises to be seated as soon as the next table was readied ("lots of customers are paying their bills!!!"). Incredible behavior for a restaurant of this supposed caliber. By the way, I have never seen Mario on Food TV. I have seen Emeril tons of times but never been or care to visit any of his restaurants.
  11. La Casita Blanca has an excellent and well deserved reputation. Sila Marie Calderon (the current governor) and Carlos Ignacio Pesquera (her opponent and current President of the PNP, the main opposing party) met there for lunch prior to the 2000 elections. It is good. It is in the Villa Palmeras neighborhood which is a bit dicey at night. Ok. Distances: Bebo's is like 2 miles from the Caribe Hilton. La Casita Blanca: 2.5 -3 miles (perhaps less). Ajili: half a mile. Old San Juan (Dragonfly):1.5 miles. By the way: the Ajili Mojili is not in Joffre Street. It is in Ashford Avenue at the old Bennigan's location with a great view of the Condado Lagoon and Miramar. Another option: La Tasca de Yiyo accross from Bebo's (more or less) in Loiza Street. Very good Puerto Rican food. Great tres leches dessert. Everything here is pretty good if not excellent specially the daily specials (they have a rotation). Not a touristy place.
  12. Chayote and Augusto are in Miramar-across the lagoon from Condado. Pikayo is in the Puerto Rico Museum of Art in de Diego Avenue in Santurce. Also quite near the Condado area. If you like Puerto Rican food and if you are not particular about the setting you must try La Tasca de Yiyo and La Casita Blanca. The first in Loiza Street and the other one in Villa Palmeras also in Santurce.
  13. If I was going to stay in a San Juan hotel, I would stay at the El San Juan. I don't have that much of problem with the Marriott but El San Juan is better.
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