Guavate – Puerto Rican- Waterford Area – Orlando FL
Guavate is a relatively new restaurant in the Waterford Lakes area on the east side of Orlando off of Alafaya Trail. The restaurant recently won Best Puerto Rican restaurant by the Orlando Sentinel 2010 Foodies Awards and I would have to come to agree with that consensus, unlike a few of the other choices on there hmmph…lol anyways Guavate is definitely a standout in terms of Puerto rican fare.
The restaurant is a bit fancier than other Latin restaurants near by, though it is hardly “fancy” fine dining, it is a decent restaurant. The decor inside is elegant with various paintings and scenes and flat screen tv’s with a dvd playing aerial views from across Puerto Rico. I actually visited quite a few times because I enjoyed the food so much there and wanted to try a little bit of everything.
The first time I went, I got the lunch special for $6.99, the pernil, marinated roast pork shoulder, with pigeon peas rice and an order of small empanadas called pastelitos stuffed with ground beef and served with a salsa. The Pastelillitos de carne were quite delicious and were peculiar as they are tiny bite sized finger style, which was quite convenient to snack down on while driving. I also thoroughly enjoyed the pernil roast pork, quite juicy and tasty, and the pigeon peas rice was aromatic and heavenly, maybe the best I’ve ever had.
On a separate occasion I visited with a friend for lunch again. My friend Chris ordered the Carne Guisada, beef stew, which he also thoroughly enjoyed. This time we also ordered the Bacalaitos con Guineitos, Mini salted codfish friters with green bananas $3.99, for appetizer. It was crispy and delectable, also my first time having them. They reminded me of this fried fish paste dish in Vietnamese cuisine, very fun to eat. The service was good, though not the greatest on this occasion
On a third occasion, I came back for dinner with my partner and had a great time. Our server Javier was probably one of the best servers I’ve had in a while, attentive and genuine, suggesting for me the Mofongo with Churrasco skirt steak in chimichurri sauce. Mofongo is a specialty dish of Puerto Rice made with crushed green plaintains and pork cracklings. Guavate has some of the best mofongo in town and this is actually their specialty.
Check out their restaurant website here:
(I think I hear the coqui frog in the background lol!)