Guavate “The Pork Highway”
Cayey, Puerto Rico
Guavate, also known as “The Pork Highway”, is a stretch of road in the mountainous town of Cayey, Puerto Rico. It is lined with traditional outdoor restaurants known as “lechoneras”. These restaurants specialize in lechón asado, or roasted pork, which is a popular dish in Puerto Rican cuisine.
The lechón is roasted over an open fire for several hours until the skin is crispy and the meat is fall-apart tender. It is then served with a variety of side dishes, such as rice, beans, plantains, and salad. In addition to lechón, many of the lechoneras in Guavate also serve other traditional Puerto Rican dishes, such as pastelón (a savory meat pie), morcilla (blood sausage), and longaniza (spicy sausage).
Guavate is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike who want to experience the best of Puerto Rican cuisine and the festive atmosphere. The lechón asado is the star of the show, but there are many other delicious dishes to try as well.
Here are some of the most popular dishes that you can find in Guavate:
Roasted Pork “Lechón Asado”
Roasted pork, known as lechón asado, is the star of the show. This dish is cooked over an open fire for several hours, until the skin is crispy and the meat is fall-apart tender. Lechón asado is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that is popular for special occasions, such as holidays and family gatherings. It is also a popular dish to serve at restaurants and lechoneras throughout the island. Lechón asado is typically served with a variety of classic Puerto Rican side dishes, including rice, beans, plantains, and salad. It is also often served with a side of mojo sauce, a citrus-garlic sauce that is popular in Puerto Rican cuisine.
Pastelón is a savory meat pie made with layers of mashed plantains, ground beef, and cheese. It is a popular dish in Puerto Rico, and is especially popular in the town of Guavate, which is known for its many lechoneras, or restaurants that specialize in roasted pork. Pastelón is relatively easy to make, but it can be time-consuming, as the plantains need to be mashed and the ground beef needs to be cooked. However, the effort is worth it, as pastelón is a delicious and satisfying dish.
Pastelón is typically served with rice and beans, but it can also be served with other side dishes, such as salad, vegetables, or plantains. It is a delicious and hearty meal that is perfect for any occasion.
Morcilla is a blood sausage made with pork blood, rice, and spices. It is a popular dish in many cuisines around the world, including Puerto Rico. In Guavate, Puerto Rico, morcilla is typically made with a mixture of pork blood, rice, onions, garlic, peppers, and spices such as oregano, cumin, and paprika. Morcilla can be eaten on its own, but it is also often served with other dishes such as rice, beans, or plantains. It can also be used to make other dishes, such as morcilla stuffing or morcilla soup. Morcilla is a popular dish in Puerto Rico because it is a delicious and affordable way to use pork blood. It is also a good source of protein and iron, making it a nutritious meal option.
Longaniza is a spicy sausage, made with pork, spices, and herbs. It is a popular dish in Puerto Rico, and can be found in many restaurants and lechoneras in Guavate. Longaniza is typically made with ground pork, spices such as paprika, cumin, and oregano, and herbs such as garlic and cilantro. It is then stuffed into casings and smoked or cured. Longaniza is a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for any occasion. If you are ever in Guavate, be sure to try this traditional Puerto Rican sausage.
Arroz con gandules
Arroz con gandules (yellow rice with pigeon peas) is a popular dish in Puerto Rico, and it is often served with lechón asado (roasted pork). It is a simple dish to make, but it is full of flavor. To make arroz con gandules, rice is cooked in broth with pigeon peas, sofrito (a Puerto Rican seasoning made with onions, peppers, garlic, and herbs), and spices. The rice is typically cooked until it is fluffy and the pigeon peas are tender. Arroz con gandules is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any occasion. It is also a great way to experience the authentic flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine.
Habichuelas guisadas, or stewed beans
Habichuelas guisadas, or stewed beans, is a popular dish in Puerto Rican cuisine. It is often served as a side dish to lechón asado, but it can also be enjoyed on its own. To make habichuelas guisadas, pinto beans are typically simmered in a broth made with sofrito (a Puerto Rican seasoning blend of onions, peppers, and garlic), tomatoes, and spices. The beans are cooked until they are soft and tender, and the broth is thickened. Habichuelas guisadas is typically served with rice and other side dishes, such as tostones, maduros, or ensalada. It can also be served with a side of meat, such as chicken, pork, or beef.
Tostones are a popular Puerto Rican side dish made from fried green plantains. They are crispy on the outside and soft and starchy on the inside. Tostones are typically served with a dipping sauce, such as mojo sauce or guacamole. Tostones can be eaten plain, but they are often served with a dipping sauce or topped with shredded meat, cheese, or vegetables. Tostones are a delicious and versatile side dish. They can be served with a variety of meals, such as grilled meats, seafood, or stews. They can also be eaten as a snack or appetizer.
Maduros, or sweet fried plantains, are a popular side dish in Puerto Rican cuisine. They are made by slicing ripe plantains and frying them in hot oil until they are golden brown and caramelized. Maduros are typically served with lechón asado (roasted pork), but they can also be eaten on their own as a snack or appetizer. Maduros are best served hot and fresh. They can be eaten on their own, or dipped in a sauce such as mojo sauce or ketchup. Maduros are also a popular ingredient in other dishes, such as mofongo and tostones. Maduros are a delicious and easy-to-make side dish that is perfect for any occasion. Be sure to try them the next time you’re looking for a tasty and authentic Puerto Rican dish.
Guavate is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It is especially busy on weekends, when people come to enjoy the delicious food and the festive atmosphere.
Here are some of the things you can expect to see and do in Guavate:
- Sample the delicious roasted pork at one of the many lechoneras.
- Enjoy a traditional Puerto Rican meal with family and friends.
- Take in the festive atmosphere of the town.
- Listen to live music at one of the many restaurants or bars.
- Go for a hike or bike ride in the surrounding mountains.
- Visit the Guavate Arts and Crafts Market, where you can buy souvenirs and locally made products.
If you’re looking for a delicious and authentic Puerto Rican food experience, then Guavate is the place to go. Be sure to try the lechón asado, and don’t forget to save room for dessert!
Here are some tips for visiting Guavate:
- Go on a weekend if you can, as it will be more crowded but also more lively.
- Get there early, as the lechoneras can get busy, especially on weekends.
- Be prepared to wait in line, especially if you’re going during peak hours.
- Bring cash, as many of the lechoneras do not accept credit cards.
- Enjoy the food and the atmosphere!
No matter which lechonera you choose, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and authentic Puerto Rican meal. So next time you’re in Puerto Rico, be sure to stop by Guavate and experience “The Pork Highway” for yourself!