Closed: My Old San Juan [1.5/5]
1 (20%) 1 vote

My Old San Juan
Tempted by the idea of trying a new cuisine, the hubby and I drove out to Madison to try My Old San Juan. Apparently, the restaurant used to be located in Decatur and has only moved to the Madison location within the last few months. This was fairly evident from the vinyl banner hung over the previous occupant’s name. Because of the small sign and the location, which is set back from the road, we had to search a bit before landing on the right spot. (It turned out to be next to Saigon Vietnamese.)

Once we made it inside, we were promptly seated and given menus. We both decided to try mofongo, a signature dish of Puerto Rico. I opted for the fried pork and my husband settled on the garlic chicken. Both were specifically recommended by our server who was friendly and helpful.

We chatted as we waited for our food to come up, which it did quickly. Our server forgot the broth that was supposed to be served with my dish, so she left saying she would be right back with it and then promptly disappeared. With our food getting cold and with no sign of any broth heading our way, I eventually got up and inquired after it. This was met with assurances that I would have it right away, but it still took another 5 minutes or so for it to appear.

Once my broth finally arrived, we turned our attention to our meal. I began my meal (pictured above) with the mofongo, which was made up of fried plantain with a dense texture and a mild flavor. Studded throughout were large chunks of uncooked garlic which jarred sharply with the smooth, subtle flavor of the plantain. The chicken broth was light with a hint of herbs, though my experiments with pouring it over the mofongo ended in disappointment. I expected the broth to mix with the plantain and result in a creamy consistency similar to porridge. Instead, it simply made the plantain soggy and the dense texture seem coarse and out of place.

The fried pork pieces had a nice flavor from being fried, however they the fried exterior was often tough and the meat fatty. I was willing to go with somewhat fatty pieces until I found one nugget which was half fat. After that, I began cutting my pieces open to excise large sections of fat. The salad consisted of iceberg lettuce with grated carrots and a few paper thin tomato slices. The vegetables were standard fare, nothing amazing or awful. The dressing however was an interesting concoction. It appeared to be an oil vinegar mix but tasted like pure rice vinegar. I like rice vinegar and would have been fine with this but the salad was pre-dressed with so much dressing that all I could taste was the vinegar.

The hubby was even less impressed with his meal than I was with mine.

My Old San Juan
The garlic was so overwhelming (garlic chicken, garlic broth, garlic in the mofongo) that even as a die-hard garlic fan, he thought it was much too much.

Between the uninspiring food, the slow, space-cadety service, and the high price tag we won’t return. It has put me on the hunt for good Puerto Rican food however, since conceptually, the dishes were all vastly appealing.

Total for the meal: $34.59 (two entrees and two soft drinks)

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