El Bohio de Luquillo

Review By Randall Corsi

First impressions upon entering Bohio de Luquillo are of an upscale eatery, not a “kiosko” in Luquillo. It has warm colors and nice furnishing which proved to be comfortable as well, and a generally warm and welcoming ambiance.

I was greeted promptly, no small feat on the island, and had my beverage within minutes. I chose the calamari ($7) for an appetizer as I find it a good barometer to see if the chef is paying attention. As a general rule it needs to be cooked less than 2 minutes or more than 2 hours or it’s like chewing on a rubber band. It arrived after 10 minutes. I suspect it spent a few minutes in the pass as it came to the table warm but not hot. To my delight it was at once crispy and tender. Usually I prefer the dipping sauce on the side but the amount the chef used in his presentation was appropriate. For my tastes the aioli could have used a little kick. I would have preferred a little more garlic and cilantro and I would have liked to see a wedge or two of lime on the plate which would have brightened up the taste considerably.

Okay, so I originally went there with BBQ on the brain. I quickly changed my mind when I saw the Cacique Meatloaf ($14), an all time favorite of mine. It arrived in 16 minutes. It was nicely plated with garlic mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy with obviously fresh asparagus, topped by several nicely crisped onion rings. Great! For dessert I chose the Molten White Lava Cake ($7). All I can say is decadence on a plate! It was dense, chocolatey and just plain good.

Meatloaf with Onion ringsThe service was friendly and efficient, the bathroom clean and orderly (including paper towels and soap in the dispensers, again hard to find). Top all of that off with reasonable prices, proper portion sizes and as confirmed by Chef Jose all fresh ingredients made to order, which was obvious by the high quality of the food. However, I was not to be denied my BBQ fix. I ordered a full rack of St. Louis style ribs to go ($18) which came with cornbread and I selected Smoked Mac & Cheese for my side.

It was a pleasant surprise when it turned out to be penne pasta noodles as opposed to the normal and tired elbow macaroni. The ribs, after sitting in my fridge for 7 hours and being nuked, were well, just about perfect! They were tender, moist, and easily pulled away from the bone. Again, just based on my personal preference, I would have preferred a little more kick in the sauce. All in all it was a very pleasant experience. Bohio de Luquillo, Kiosko #36, is definitely on my return engagement list. You can find them online at bohiodeluquillo.com. Be sure to check out their diverse menu.

 

Randall Corsi is a trained sushi chef, judge for the Caribbean BBq Association and world class foodie. He contributes regularly to Foodies.

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