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