Shrimp and sofrito at Chinchorreo Fuera de la Isla 

click to enlarge GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell

Chinchorreo Fuera de la Isla, 1231 N. Academy Blvd., 645-5516, see Facebook

North Academy Boulevard has become a lot more colorful since Bernice Pierson and crew gave their Puerto Rican spot its proper paint job. Now two years in business, Chinchorreo Fuera de la Isla remains one of few spots in town where locals can sample Puerto Rican cuisine.

As fondly as we remember the superb churrasco from our last visit, we aim for new-to-us options. The camarones en salsa criolla shows off a traditional Puerto Rican sauce we’re unfamiliar with. Salsa criolla combines tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, culantro and the ubiquitous Puerto Rican aromatic mix sofrito to make a sauce traditionally served with seafood or mofongo.

Here, it has a nice chile pepper flavor, free of spice — Puerto Rican food is not typically spicy — pairing beautifully with tender shrimp. Mofongo, a mash of fried green plantains with pork rinds and garlic, also plays nice. We’re less happy with the pollo chicharrones, fried chunks of skin-on, bone-in dark meat chicken.

Though plenty crispy, the meat’s unevenly juicy, and we’d love some kind of sauce. 


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