Paladar Boricua is a new authentic Puerto Rican restaurant located just off Cleveland Heights on Robin Road in Lakeland in a little strip center behind Papa Johns. I ate at this restaurant the day the magazine was going to the printer. My food was absolutely delicious and thought my foodie readers needed to know. I scrambled to find room for their Dish Pick and could only squeeze out this half page. This may be a short Dish Pick, but after you eat Paladar’s food, you will thank me later.
I went with a traditional meat dish, the Carne Frita and in this case, fried pork chunks with onions, red and green peppers served with Mofongo and a salad. The pork chunks are not over fried. They have a crisp outside and a moist, meaty inside, and were simply seasoned letting the natural juices of the pork be the star. They were very tasty.
In short, Mofongo is a fried plantain based dish. It is typically made with fried green plantains mashed together in a pilón, with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork skin cracklings. Paladar makes theirs very similar. It is sort of fun to order Mofongo because you feel like you are getting away with cussing at someone. When you think of Mofongo, think of it as a staple food like potatoes or rice and served with many Porto Rican dishes. When I eat this dish I like to combine the Carne Frita with my Mofongo, peppers and onions. The different tastes pair well together for a better overall enjoyable experience.
Over the years I have eaten a lot of Porto Rican food from my wife’s mother, grandmother and a whole slew of relatives during holidays so I think I am a pretty good judge of Porto Rican cuisine, both good and bad! And I must say I am a fan of Carne Frita at Paladar. I am looking forward to trying more of their food.
Paladar Boricua 635 Robin Road Lakeland, FL., 863.738.8666