Tag Archives: lifestyle

Cocina Abierta @Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico

So yesterday was my birthday and being a holiday (Holy Friday) I figured everything would be closed. To my surprise not everything was and we ended up at Cocina Abierta in Condado. Thank the #culinarygods! This place was phenomenal.

The concept is different to your typical restaurant. The menu is divided in 4 acts with small servings with the sole purpose that you order several items and try more than one thing. The portions are just right: Big enough to share, and small enough to order 2 or 3 items. Since it was my birthday, I did not go stingy. We ordered a plate from each act and dessert. Oh boy! I’m going there again.

Aside from the delicious food, they have an extensive wine list and wine pairing suggestions for every plate on their menu. Since we already had a few beers, we didn’t go with wine, but the “adventurous pairing” option certainly called my attention. Perhaps next time…

So, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Unfortunately, Act II plate (Seared scallops) never made it to the photo. (I was really hungry!)

Act I: Fried Calamari with coconut milk and chives 

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Fried Calamari

Act II: Seared Scallops (Sorry, no pic).

Act III: Pork Tenderloin Cambodia Style (not sure this was the exact name)

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Pork Tenderloin

Act IV: Seared Duck with Green Mole and Pico de Gallo

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Seared Duck with Green Mole

Desserts: Make sure you leave room for it!

Citrus: Deconstructed Lemon Tart

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Citrus: Deconstructed Lemon Tart

Chocolate: 

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Chocolate Dessert.
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How to Use a Greca

This sleek design is a more modern version of the traditional Greca which has an octagonal shape (I think it's 8)
This sleek design is a more modern version of the traditional Greca which has an octagonal shape (I think it’s 8)

If you’ve ever traveled to Puerto Rico, maybe you’ve seen one: A strange looking metal contraption with a handle. It’s a Greca. A greca is an old school coffee maker. Frankly, an ingenious invention, the Greca is both travel friendly and eco-friendly. Compact and enduring, the Greca coffee pot works directly on any stove, grill, or open flame.

Yes, I know by looking at it, it’s probably baffling, but trust me, this type of coffee maker simply never fails.

How does it work? Simple:

Greca_2014-03-26_0041. Open the Greca. Twist off the top part. You will end up with 2 chambers and a funnel-like filter like the picture on left.

Greca_2014-03-26_0052. Fill the bottom chamber with water up to the small screw nut at the top (tap is fine… the water will boil).

3. Fill the filter with ground coffee.
Greca_2014-03-26_0023a. For strong Puerto Rican coffee squeeze the coffee flour down into the filter and fill again, squeezing and filling until the filter is filled to the rim.
3b. For milder coffee, don’t squeeze, fill the filter loosely with coffee.
3c. Obviously you may play with coffee intensity by varying the water levels and coffee quantity used.Greca_2014-03-26_003

4. Place the Greca on the stove (high heat).

5. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes, until the top chamber is filled with coffee. (The water in the bottom chamber boils and rises, passing through the coffee in the filter/funnel and up to the top chamber.

6. Serve.

7. Enjoy delicious old school Puerto Rican coffee!
8. Clean the Greca after it cools.

Have a nice day!