Puerto Rican Lunch at Cafe Central

Chicago is known for an array of cuisines and dishes, but I wasn’t expecting to check out a Puerto Rican joint while I was there. I haven’t had Puerto Rican food in a long time, and there was one particular item I was curious to try. I headed to Cafe Central over in West Town for lunch.

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Lunch at Cafe Central

This small casual restaurant serves Puerto Rican comfort food. It also happens to be BYOB.

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There was one particular dish that they’re known for – the steak jibarito. What’s a jibarito and why haven’t I had this delicious sounding sandwich before?

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Menu

I sat at a booth near the door and the waitress gave me some water, bread, and a small  cup of tomatillo salsa. I also ordered some coconut water- hydrate! There were a few men sitting at the counter chatting and I could tell that they were regulars. This seemed to be a legit spot!

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Place Setting
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Coconut Water

The green tomatillo salsa was chunky and had a spicy kick to it. This would be good on pretty much anything!

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Tomatillo Salsa

I ordered the Steak Jibarito. A jibarito is a sandwich where the bread is replaced by green plantains. Genius! It’s filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo, and good ol’ American cheese.

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Steak Jibarito

It was delicious! The warm crispy plantains with the thin, but tender steak was pretty amazing. The mayo, onions, and cheese made it one tasty sandwich! I added some tomatillo salsa to spice it up a bit. Yum!

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Yum!

I also tried the mofongo. Green plantains are mixed with salt and seasoning, then mashed into a ball and stuffed with garlic fried pork rinds. I couldn’t pass this up!

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Mofongo

It was served a chicken and tomato-based broth to enjoy with the mofongo.

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Chicken Broth

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The mofongo was yummy. I enjoyed the salty bits of the crispy pork rinds with every bite. Plus, anything fried with garlic is extra good.

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Porky Goodness

This lunch was much better than expected. The waitress was very nice and checked on me a couple times. I think it was pretty obvious how much I was enjoying everything. I got my salty pork fix with the mofongo and I could not get enough of that jibarito! Seriously, how is this my first time eating this tasty sandwich?

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Great Meal

This is a spot I would definitely come back to. Sometimes, the most simple food in the most casual setting turn out to be your most memorable meal.

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All I’ve been wondering since is – where can I get a good jibarito in New Jersey?


Cafe Central
1437 W Chicago Ave #1
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 243-6776

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Author: Desiree

Desired Tastes is a Food and Travel Blog written by Desiree, a food enthusiast from New Jersey who just wants to see the world and eat good food.

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