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Sunday 16 December 2012

Snacks while walking in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Cafeteria Mallorca's guava pastries and Mate's empanadas

San Juan was our last port before we fly back home, so after a lovely time in St ThomasSt Lucia, Guadeloupe, St John's, Antigua and St Croix, its with mixed feelings as we packed up all our things and tossed it into a truck that would transport it to the airport while we headed off on our last tour of Old and New San Juan.
After nearly melting in the heat trekking through the historical forts of San Juan National Historic site, we were glad we only hiked and explored one of the forts and the rest of the tour was one in a shady tour van.  The full national historic site includes Castillo San Cristóbal, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (or called locally as El Cañuelo) and 3/4 of the old city walls that cover a good section of the island.  While taking pictures out in the early morning heat, the locales cheerfully told us they normally average 60-80% humidity and 25-30C or 80-90F.

The van tour took us around most of Old San Juan, the civic buildings and eventually wound its way into a tightly packed blocks of shopping and restaurants in New San Juan.  The island was upgrading all its electrical and placing most of its unappealing exposed electrical wires underground as well as upgrading its sewage system the Sunday we were on the island, so many of the shops were closed (no electricity = no a/c!) unless they catered to the locals or they were affluent enough to have a generator or two in their store.  Just meant we had to ask a bit more and hike a bit more to find the shops that were open!  After picking up a lovely blown glass ornament from a store that looked more like a small art gallery, we passed on a street vendor selling roasted yams, and headed to Cafeteria Mallorca.

The patrons were packed in like sardines in this busy restaurant where you can have breakfast, lunch...

or what we were after - freshly baked pastries showcased in their front display case!  It took me a little while to snap a few pics of the assorted pastries in the display window as there was always a constant stream of folks going up to the window to have a peek and then come inside the store lol!

There was pies, squares and croissants...

Streusels and loaves

Meringues and custard/fruit filled pastries...

Icing sugar dusted buttery pastries also known as Ensaïmada, is a traditional pastry from Majorca, Spain.

Savory cheese twists? (no labels, so I'm guessing its cheese)

More assorted pastries and strudels...

And what stopped me on my tracks... Guava pastry!!!

The pastries are tossed unceremoniously into a paper bag - but it made for easy snacking as we walked around.  This baby made everyone jealous when we came back to the bus... a multitude of thin super flaky buttery pastry layers and lots of guava jam inside... NOM! At about $2US a pastry, I wanted to run back and buy a dozen!!

They also had a guava cream cheese pastry, so we picked it up as well.  With lots of whipped sweetened cream cheese and a little bit of guava jam... this was more like eating a slice of pie! 
We also stopped by Mate: Natural market to pick up some healthy empanada's so we have both sweet and savory snacks.

And as the sign says, you can have a rummed up drink with your snack if you like with the more healthy scanks they sell.  They have vegetarian fare too.

The chicken empanada was loaded with large chunks of lightly seasoned chicken breast (and surprisingly ungreasy!) wrapped in a thin light crust

It wasn't as saucy as I'm used to, but we made it disappear quickly!

And the beef empanada was also lightly spiced lean ground beef wrapped in a thin crust that didn't get mushy as you eat it

with little bits of black olives and raisins? in the mixture to mix it up a little. Mmmm.

It was time to leave the picturesque surroundings and head to the airport, but we figured a late lunch before a long flight would be a good idea before we left sunny Puerto Rico.  There was a a few places at the airport... off to find lunch!

Cafeteria Mallorca
Address 300 San Francisco, San Juan, Puerto Rico 009001
Phone (787) 724 4607
Hours Open daily

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Mate: Natural Market
Address Calle San Francisco 366, Viejo San Juan , San Juan Puerto Rico 009001
Phone (787) 725-0271
Hours Daily

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