Saturday, January 3, 2009

A unique taste of Old San Juan

This morning our posse headed down to Old San Juan, an area more European than New World in its feel, to hit a landmark for breakfast. La Bombonera is worth the pilgrimage for any self-respecting dining enthusiast, drawing enough locals and tourists to keep a highly international line extending out the door.

The attraction is majorca, a Spanish pastry that combines savory ingredients like cheese and ham with a dusting of powdered sugar, all wrapped in chewy dough. It’s similar to what they try to pass off in the mainland States as chocolate or savory-filled croissants. The La Bombonera combines salty and sweet in a near-perfect balance. Add a good cup of café con leche, and the rating bumps up to ideal.

The place is a classic—in essence a bakery at the front of the storefront, extending into a two-level coffee shop that looks like something out of Spain or Cuba of the ‘50s.

Part of the appeal is the price. Even with a serious effort to stick tourists for what amounts to a piece of pastry, breakfast amounted to just $28 for four Americanos.

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