Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Vegan in Vieques

We are back from a restful, sunny vacation in Old San Juan and Vieques, Puerto Rico. We found delicious vegan food in Old San Juan, such as this veggie-packed wrap with lentil-cilantro pate in a chipotle tortilla and mango vinaigrette at Zesty Bites. You can spot my Cafe con Soy Leche in the corner of the photo. Mandolin Don ordered the cashew pate wrap, which was a brilliant shade of red.

Here's a shot of Zesty Bites. So cute, and I was one happy vegan. I'll be checking out their menu online for inspiration.

Thanks to recommendations on the PPK forum, we also dined at Tantra in Old San Juan, which happened to be within walking distance of our hotel. The chana masala was divine.

Carli's is another great spot for dinner. Although we missed a performance by Carli Munoz because he was out of town, we still enjoyed a romantic dinner with excellent service. I ordered the pasta primavera.

After a couple of nights in Old San Juan, we headed to Vieques for some beach time. The island has many beaches with silky, white sand and teal, clear water. If you just want to soak up the sun and splash in the waves, this is the place for you. We reserved a place with a kitchen and ate many meals in. Here's a view of the palms, pool, and ocean from our condo.

The restaurants were a little unpredicatable in Vieques, with some recent closings and hours not as advertised. However, I highly recommend El Quenepo. In fact, we ate there twice. Here are our cocktails one visit, a lemongrass, ginger infused cocktail (I was not expecting the shocking blue!) and a housemade sangria. Unfortunately, no shots of our delicious meals as it was dark by the time we ate.

El Quenepo's menu is extensive and you can request a vegan version of many dishes. We had a delicious appetizer of lettuce-wrapped glass noodles with pickled carrots, basil, nuts, and a chile jam for dipping. I had a delicious salad of organic greens, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, marinated onions, and balsamic vinaigrette with grilled bread on the side. One night I had an entree of pita, hummus, Mediterranean eggplant, and salad. Another night I had a pasta in coconut curry sauce with shiitake mushrooms and bell peppers. I'm getting hungry just remembering it. A great vacation, plus lots of ideas for dishes to re-create at home.


  1. Puerto Rico? How fun! It sounds like the type of place I would want to visit.

    Your wrap sounds and looks fantastic. Oh my!

    What a gorgeous view!

    All that food sounds amazing. It sounds like you had a wonderful time and ate pretty dang well too.

  2. I'm about to take a trip to San Juan and Vieques... I already love your blog but this post is perfect! Thanks so much for the great ideas! I was worried I'd be eating pineapple and coconut all week! (Not that that sounds too bad!)

    Thanks again!

  3. Thanks for this post! If you're heading to Puerto Rico, check out this Veg Bed & Breakfast on the west coast of Puerto Rico: Maravilla Mountain. We're visiting in February and will share more then. It looks like a three-hour drive from San Juan. If TripAdvisor posts are any indication, should be fantastic.


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