Finding one of the best-hidden gems of a new city makes the experience of eating there all the more exciting and earthy. We have bought something similar for the people living in or visiting Puerto Rico. If you are in San Juan and are looking for a restaurant that is not just about the food they serve but the overall environment in that place, then Orujo is exactly where you need to go. Located in the Miramar neighborhood, this place is all about comfort and hospitality and, of course, delicious and detectable food.
The Gorgeous Interiors
As soon as you enter the restaurant and climb up a few steps, you will find a beautiful dining room all set to welcome 20 people. Along the walls, you will find colorful paintings and a cabinet racked up with dinnerware. You will also see cookbooks from some of the most talented food magicians and bins filled with vinyl records for you to pick up for the evening. If you love to play guitar, go ahead and pick up the one leaning against the buffet table. Additionally, you can also enjoy some board games and puzzles with your family while you wait for your food to arrive.
The Food Tasting Experience
At Orujo in San Juan, you are offered a tasting menu with 15-20 fantastic dishes. The menu there changes very frequently. However, one thing that remains the same is the flavors. The head chef, Carlos Portela, is on a journey to make people realize that Puerto Rican food is more than just rice, beans, and pasteles. He tries to incorporate island staples in his food, such as calabaza, yuca, gandules, and much more. Although the chef doesn’t have a signature dish, you would not want to miss out on his goat cheese and beet cracker amuse and alcapurria fritters topped with Wagyu beef.
An Experience Like No Other Place
The one thing that would make you want to go to this restaurant for sure is that the kitchen here is open to visitors. Unlike other places, where chefs do not let the guests enter their staff-only zone, the chefs at Orujo love to share the experience of cooking with the people. In fact, the front and back of this place are the same in order to make the kitchen and the dining room more connected. The chef also ensures that he interacts with the visitors, learns what they liked and disliked, and makes sure they are having the best time of their lives.
Plant-based food is emerging as a niche in the culinary world. Fast food or quick-serve staples are also getting a makeover with this kind of approach. The latest restaurant under the umbrella is Hart House. Located in L.A. and launched by comedian and actor Kevin Hart, Hart House is the first national plant-based fast food restaurant, scheduled to open for business on August 25.
The Unique Restaurant
With its first location in the Westchester neighborhood of L.A, Kevin Hart, along with Andy Hooper, the founding partner and CEO, is going to start this restaurant with a 100% plant-based concept. The delectable menu includes salads, fries, tenders, tots, chicken sandwiches, burgers, and milkshakes. All of the foods here are made without any use of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors. The restaurant is also going to focus on the pricing, as alternative proteins are more expensive than their standard versions.
The Creative Head
To create the menu with a universal appeal, the Ride Along actor brought in Mike Salem, the former head of culinary innovation at Burger King. Salem was also responsible for the rollout of Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. He was appointed to serve the same function in Hart House, with the plant-based concept. With his expertise, he spent months perfecting the development of proprietary protein analogs, which serve as the foundation of plant-based alternative protein items, but without compromising on the taste and flavor.
The Future Plan
With several other locations in the pipeline, Hart House by Kevin Hart is eyeing to be the first national plant-based food franchise. The company also has joined a string of other US-based quick-service concepts, trying to nationally scale 100% plant-based alternatives to popular fast-food staples like burgers, sandwiches, and fries. This effort could be a turning point for this particular food category, especially when it’s emerging as a dominant alternative in the market.