Ewa Beach Eats: Taste of Puerto Rico


Gandule Rice… yum!

Fellow friend/coworker/foodie/Kalihi Eats Tour Conductor Diner “E” recently visited this new hole-in-the-wall establishment in Ewa Beach called “Taste of Puerto Rico”, who opened doors just this past month.

This is exciting, as it fills the gap in this culture of cuisine that is mostly absent on Oahu’s culinary map. The only other resource I can think of here is the Pastele shop in Kalihi, and other local specialty stores like Alicia’s and Young’s Market . I do fondly remember the fantastic pastele, gandule rice and bacalao salad plate I had from Aunty’s Puerto Rican Kitchen, formerly located at the Nimitz end culdisac of Kekaulike street in Chinatown, but they’re now long gone.

Here at Taste of Puerto Rico, he and his wife both ordered the Pastele plate…


Pastele Plate – Includes 1 pastele (the “s” is silent), Gandule Rice and Bacalao salad, $6.75

He gave this plate a solid 3 SPAM Musubi rating, noting the gandule rice tasted authentic, flavorful and had perfect texture, while the pastele was pretty darned good. One twist he noticed was that they used green olives in the pastele instead of black olives…

He also noted the bacalao salad used what seemed like fresh cooked fish, and not salted cod…

Whatever the case, he enjoyed it.

He also tried this item here called a “Alcapurrias”…


Alcapurrias, $2 each

Here’s how it looks at cross-section view…

Similar to an Empanada.

He described the place as small, with just a service counter inside, and a few patio tables and chairs outside to sit on if you care to dine there. The place is family operated, with what he said was a very friendly “mama” running the front and back. I like that.

So if you’re out on the west side of Oahu and in the mood for Pasteles, Gandule Rice and other such favorites, show your love and visit the new Taste of Puerto Rico in Ewa Beach!

Taste of Puerto Rico
91-2072 Old Ft. Weaver Road
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
808 741-7401

Open Tuesday ~ Saturday from 10:30am to 6:30pm. Take-out only.

The Tasty Isand Rating (c/o Diner “E”):

(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)

****************************************

A “Hana Hou” addition to this entry…

See what we got started! With all this excitement stirring lately over Puerto Rican eats, Diner A’s wife wanted in on the “fix” too and picked up a Pastele Plate today from Maile … Wat Get? … Kitchen in Waipahu (behind Time’s Supermarket)…


Maile … “What Get?” … Kitchen – Pastele Plate, $6.50

Notice there’s one scoop of white rice and one scoop of Gandule Rice. That’s kinda’ weird. We suppose it’s to keep costs down, but personally, I’d pay the extra price to just have Gandule Rice. They can lose the Mac salad as well.

Another difference with Maile’s Pastele plate is the Bacalao salad, which includes sliced Bananas in it, or is that Plantain?. We’re questioning that, as she said it was hard, as if unripe.


Bacalao Salad with banana? or plantain? in it

Anyway, just thought I’d add this little “side excursion” with this entry, since it’s another Puerto Rican option in this particular west side area of Oahu (Waipahu is just a town away from Ewa Beach).

Maile … Wat Get? … Kitchen also has your typical plate lunch selections like hamburger steak, chicken katsu, etc., along with breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, and party trays. Pasteles are available ala carte for $2.75 each. Download the take-out menu here.

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12 thoughts on “Ewa Beach Eats: Taste of Puerto Rico

  1. Oooooh, pastele!

    Jackie’s diner in the Waimalu Shopping Center is pretty solid, they make their own pastele every week. I think they use salted cod in the salad, you should give it a try.

  2. Howzit Spotty,
    As you see, we got tempted by Diner E’s Pastele plate and made a stop at The Pastele Shop in Kalihi today. Their Pastele and Gandule Rice is excellent!

    Next time I’m in the Pearl City area, I’ll consider checking out Jackie’s Diner if I’m in the mood for Puerto Rican food. Thanks for the tip!

    Esther,
    I asked Diner E if he seen that on the menu, and he said no more. But I’ll call them tomorrow to verify the answer.

    Kay,
    According to Diner E, no, the Alcapurrias weren’t sweet. Just savory, and he really liked the unique flavor and texture of the banana and taro root batter it has.

  3. Just wanted to add that “Wife A” said that the cod in the Bacalao salad was a little too salty but the flavors of the gandule rice and pastele made up for the saltyness.

    Although the mac salad isn’t authentic to Puerto Rican dishes, it was a good mix with the pastele.

    I would like to have pasteles from all establishments and have a Pastele Shootout similar to your sausage shootout. Maybe a little later I’m all pasteled out.

  4. hi WOW! i stopped by the new place “TASTE OF PUERTO RICO” & I loved it! it is authentic puerto rican food, it is a small humble place. I tried their empanadillas, it was fantastic i recomend you should stop by !

  5. Thanks for your review of Taste of Puerto Rico. I’ve had several different dishes there and I have not been disappointed. If you like Puerto Rican food, by all means, check it out. Just one thing I wanted to point out though, Pasteles or pastele is properly pronounced exactly as it is spelled. The “s” is not silent.

    Enjoy!

  6. Nuyorican, well, we always pronounced it with the ‘S” silent, like this:
    “Pa’te’lez”. Must be a Hawaii thing. But if that’s offensive, I’ll be more than happy to pronounce the S!

    Oh, I love Puerto Rican food, and really wanna’ try that Empanada from TOPR, which Diner E and Tony K. speak highly of. I did try a Pastele stew not too long ago, and that was great! Exactly how it sounds: a stew version of steamed Pasteles. Ono on rice!

    I recently reviewed Marujyu Market in Pearl City, who has quite a tasty Pastele, I must say so myself. They got Gandule Rice too, but never tried it. Looked good though.

  7. MMMMMMMMMM…..THIS LOOKS SOOOO GOOD! MY MOUTH IS WATERING! I AM CURRENTLY LIVING IN UPSTATE NY….WHERE THERE IS NOTHING! EVEN THE CHINESE FOOD SUX! EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I ORDER FROM ZIPPYS.COM, BUT NO PASTELES! SO I SETTLE FOR LAU LAU, POI, PORTUG. SAUSAGE, ETC….BUT I MISS THE PASTELES!!!! ANYONE KNOW WHERE/IF I CAN PURCHASE PASTELE SAUSAGE ONLINE? I’VE ALREADY DONE THE RESEARCH FOR BUYING PASTELES ONLINE & FOUND A MAINLAND CO., BUT NOT SURE IF I SHOULD?

  8. I agree with the nuyorican…. the food is tremendously delicious… and the pestele is pronounced with the ‘s’.. no big deal…. it’s possible that in hawaii…we’re all the beautifull folks are.that’s how its pronounced.
    abrazos from brooklyn..

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