CHASING THE MAP

Guavate En Vieques Restaurant, Pork Deliciousness

The big draw for me to Guavate was, plain and simple, the promise of succulent pork. There is nothing like hot, off the spit, juicy pork. I’m salivating now just thinking about it.

Located across from the W Retreat and Spa on Route 200, it’s easy to find. It’s a nondescript tan building with some lime green trim which sits off of the road, but you’ll see it.

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There’s probably a few horses grazing in the driveway as well.

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I made sure that I got there early, as I’ve heard they sell out quickly. By early, I was the first one there at 11am. There were two men inside milling about, and I tentatively walked in because I wasn’t sure that they were serving yet. A very friendly man by the name of Ricco greeted me warmly and said that yes, they were open, as he lugged giant chafing dishes full of food out into the warmers.

You could smell the roasted pig as soon as you entered the restaurant. Ricco led me out back to where there was another man tending the pig (who spoke no English but definitely smiled a lot). He kindly took out his huge carving knife and sliced me off a taste of the meat, as well as the crispy skin. “Deliciouso!” I emphatically declared.

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I then ordered a full pound. For myself. Why not? I wanted more than one meal of this heavenly tasting meat.

Ricco then led me inside where he showed me all of the sides available. I ended up choosing the yucca, sweet potato, rice and beans, and a side of chicken stew.

The food was scrumptious. When I got home to eat some of it, I felt like I had just sit down to a home cooked meal at someone’s dining room table. I’ve only eaten yucca one other time, and this definitely hit the spot. To me, it’s pretty much a potato, with the same texture and consistency. It also had some peppers and green olives mixed in with it.

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The chicken stew was AMAZING. I wasn’t initially going to get it, but Ricco said I’d be missing out if I didn’t. So I took him at his word that I was going to love it, and I did. It was rich and hearty and the chicken was melt in your mouth tender. The rice and beans were also very flavorful, and not overly dry. The only thing that I wouldn’t get again were the sweet potatoes. Those are the green looking chunks. I think they probably could have been cooked a little more because they were a bit too firm. They also tasted rather flavorless to me.

The entire meal, which turned out to be 3 meals for me at home, cost $26. That, my friends, is quite a bargain! I had to pay cash on that day, as it appeared that the credit card machine wasn’t in operation.

The inside does have a counter to eat at, as well as tables and chairs. I’m sure it’s a fun and lively place to be when there are other people dining there. I’ve also heard that they have live music on certain nights.

It’s still the slow season currently, so Guavate is only open Thursday-Sunday, about 10am-6pm. I’m sure as the high season approaches you’ll see that change. Call ahead for hours just to be sure if you don’t want to waste a trip if they aren’t open.

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I went back a few weeks later for more, but sadly they were closed. Turns out they were doing some kitchen work and wouldn’t be opening until the following weekend. Sadly, I’m going to be home then, and won’t have the opportunity to return. Thank God I learned about Rancho Choli, another pork mecca, and was able to fill my pig craving there.

Please, people, go back for me. Indulge. I want to live vicariously through you as you experience pork paradise!

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