Cocina Boricua | Logan Square | Caribbean, Latin American | Restaurant
Off-the-radar and off-the-hook Puerto Rican joint.

Our Review

This Puerto Rican joint seems to be off the radar of local foodies. Maybe that’s a good thing, because the place is remarkably unspoiled. From the first bite I had there, my primary sensation was wow. We started with guachitas, smashed fried plantain disks topped with guacamole and a slice of salchichon, a piquant red sausage—an inspired combination. The canoa, a large sweet plantain filled with cheese and beef, was also killer. Mofongo is plantain smooshed together with lots of garlic and chunks of pigskin and served with a side of golden consomme that’s meant to be dashed in. At Cocina Boricua I had the best version I’ve ever had—and I’ve tried it all over Puerto Rico. Another guaranteed pleaser is the pasteles, plantain tamale, with a core of lightly spiced pulled chicken. For this dish and others we found ourselves reaching for the salsa, a garlicky tomato puree; Puerto Rican cuisine, like that of neighboring Cuba, is on the mild side of spicy. Served the cabrito en fricassee, exceptionally tender chunks of steamed baby goat in a light wine sauce speckled with green olives, I knew I had found my paradigm for preparations of the horned beast. There are also jibaritos, the Chicago-invented sandwich of two flattened fried plantains filled with beef, chicken, or pork. For dessert we had an exquisitely eggy flan and the templeque, a light yet rich coconut gelatin. Cocina Boricua is BYOB, as a pink neon window sign announces.

David Hammond

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