CHASING THE MAP

The Coqui Fire Cafe – A Unique Twist On Mexican

There’s a very good reason why the Coqui Fire Cafe is rated the #1 restaurant on Vieques Island by Trip Advisor. The food and drinks are delicious. The staff is friendly. They’re also extremely consistent. Because of this, diners will often return multiple times during their stay on the island to the restaurant.

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I visited Coqui Fire during the low season. Reservations are strongly encouraged because the word is out about how fantastic this place is. I decided to wing it and was able to find a seat at the end of the bar without any problem.

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There’s an L-shaped bar, limited indoor table seating, and a highly coveted outdoor patio.

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When you first walk in the door, you’re warmly welcomed by Katarina. The ambiance is casual, with a soft golden red hue and casual furnishings. (I mention the color because all of the pictures I took indoors came out very yellow in color). The kitchen is open to the dining room where you can watch the cooks perform their magic.

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If you’re thirsty (and I know you are), I highly recommend you have Margaret whip you up the Coqui Fire Sangria. It’s a magical combination of red wine, pineapple juice, tequila, triple sec, and ginger ale. Trust me, its both delicious and refreshing and I bet you’ll order more than one! I’m not a big tequila drinker but this definitely converted me!

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The wafting aromas of cooking Mexican food is tantalizing, to say the least. Coqui Fire bills itself as a “gourmet Mexican restaurant.” Chef/Owner Jimmy Cochran is the mastermind behind the innovative and flavorful menu. He adds his own personal touch of flavors and spices, to create unique twists to otherwise traditional Mexican fare.

If you haven’t heard through the grapevine, or seen them on the shelves of the local Morales Supermarket, you’re in for a treat when you discover that they make a wide assortment of hot sauces. Rated by “sweat factor”, you can go really easy on your mouth or set it on fire!

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There’s a good variety of appetizer selections, from nachos to blackened shrimp to quesadillas. I chose the Taco al Pastor, which is a mouth-watering concoction of marinated pork loin in chili, roasted with onions and pineapple on a corn tortilla with queso fresco salsa verde. I love pork. It was tender and flavorful, with some heat from the chili but well balanced by the sweetness of the pineapple. Not bad for $7.00.

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The entrees are what you’d expect to find in a Mexican restaurant, though it’s tough to decide between carnitas, burritos, enchiladas, tacos and more. The steak fajitas were calling to me, served with black beans and Mexican rice. The steak was fork tender and I appreciated all of the fresh veggies incorporated in the dish. The portion was HUGE, and I literally had enough for another full meal. I had no complaints paying $15 for this delicious meal.

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I wish I had left room for desert, but there was just no way. You had to roll me out the door as it was. I’ve heard from numerous people that the cheesecake is amazing and that it often sells out quickly.

Coqui Fire is a popular place which both locals and tourists alike frequent. You’re bound to strike up a conversation with someone, especially if you sit at the bar. Everyone is that friendly and unpretentious. I completely understand why this place is so popular and consistently has diners coming back for more. It’s got the whole package!

3 thoughts on “The Coqui Fire Cafe – A Unique Twist On Mexican

  1. Claire Watts

    This amazing description of Cocqui Fire is absolutely true, every word. Looking at the photos I feel like I know the wonderful people, all of them were so very gracious and friendly. I’ll be back……looking at a rental as we speak.

    1. chasingthemap@gmail.com Post author

      Hi Claire,

      When did you last visit the island? It really is a remarkable place, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent so much time on the island. In my opinion, it’s a place like no other, and I hope that my love for it translates well in my writing. I, too, am dreaming of going back again sometime soon! Just thinking about Coqui Fire makes my mouth water!

      Thank you for your kind comment. I truly appreciate it. I hope that you keep reading the blog, as I’ve still got so much to post about my stay there!

      Warmly,
      Vicky

  2. Greg

    Loving your blog posts and this is another excellent description. That sangria sounds insane and might make a visit worthwhile just to get one ?

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