This is my kid sister’s first guest post. Take some time to welcome her and feel free to put down some requests or ideas for places that she should visit in Puerto Rico. She will be posting monthly here on The Noshery. -Meseidy
What do you get when you mix classic cars, I heart Elvis memorabilia and good old fashioned Puerto Rican cooking? Well… apparently you get a place called “El Flamboyan”
I’ve lived in Gurabo PR for the last four years now. I have passed by this place on almost every supermarket run I’ve been on and I had never gone in.
Why? Well… I honestly don’t know, it’s hard not to notice a place with a flame painted hotrod hanging over the front door and classic cars lined up in front. This restaurant is apparently the go to place for classic car freaks to sell and buy their rides.
One day I passed by and there was this sweet 51’ Ford pick-up with the big white grille parked out front. I caught a whiff of something cooking “al fogón” and I made a vow right then and there that I would go to “El Flamboyán” that very same weekend.
A month later (I uh…procrastinate a little sometimes) there I was, surrounded by coolness. I mean… they have a 1950’s-ish bright red convertible taxi cab for a bar! A bar I tells ya! How cool is that?
It’s a small place by the side of the road that’s probably less than five minutes of the expressway. They throw open all the doors and windows to catch the breeze with some new and old-timey fans hanging from the ceiling. The place feels natural with its hodgepodge of Americana and Puerto Rican keepsakes, icons and souvenirs. You just have to keep looking around to see what else you can find.
The atmosphere is totally relaxed; you’ve got the same guy tending the bar and taking your order after he reads the menu off a neon marker board. Plus, they’ve got retro salsa videos playing on two TV’s up in the corners. While we were there a mom was teaching her little girl some dance moves while Roberto Roena‘s Apollo sound jammed in the background and a big guy with a white and pink t-shirt that said “The 80’s was a great decade” (I couldn’t agree more) came in and had a drink.
Deciding to keep with the restaurants theme we ordered homemade Hamburgers with tostones de plátano y tostones de pana, or what you may know as breadfruit. I’m pretty sure they make their own mayoketchup there because it had good sized pieces of garlic in it, very tasteh.
After the burgers our barwaiter offered us some flan de pana, I hadn’t tried that particular variation of flan so I thought I’d go for it. Very good, less sweet than other versions of flan, with a light pana taste showing up after a few bites.
We then went around taking pictures of the knickknacks and antiques scattered around everywhere. They have three porches, one up front and two on the side.
Where they hang up the same racimos de plátano that they smoosh and fry up for the patrons. Next to that porch esta el fogón that adds a whole new flavor to everything and just makes the entire place look like you stepped back in time. The little tree in the big round pot is the flamboyan that apparently gives the place its name.
So there you have it, a relaxed easy to get to place just off highway 30 where you can some as you are and order a drink from a taxi cab.
Restaurante El Flamboyán
Carr 181 Km 23.0