I've never been to Puerto Rico, but I have family from there.

Okay, so we're not blood-related, but I consider myself so close to my friend Ari that we're practically sisters. Four years ago, Ari and I hit it off after I introduced her and her daughters Damia and Laria to dim sum in Philadelphia. After that, we became inseparable as we continued our food adventures across Delaware and Pennsylvania. Yes, that's right. We became family over food. Isn't that the best kind of family?

Anyway, my friend/sister Ari and her girls made a day trip to visit me in Jersey City earlier this month. The agenda that Ari had in mind mainly consisted of finding some food spots that could satisfy their craving for Puerto Rican food. Surprisingly, Delaware seemed to lack that. (I hope you can hear the sarcasm in my voice.)

We were lucky enough that Ari brought her car AND was willing to drive around NYC and Jersey City for the day. (She's a brave girl, folks.) So, we crossed the Holland Tunnel and eventually made it to Brooklyn, heading to our first stop: Moore Street Market, one of Brooklyn's oldest indoor markets and supposedly "the place to be for everything Puerto Rico w/o leaving New York" (as quoted by the ever reliable Yelp). We ate delicious fried foods that I never had before:

(It's like a mozzarella stick, but better.)

(Fried doughy goodness made of yucca or plantains stuffed with meat and love)

Before passing out in a food coma, we got a couple food staples, like a bottle of Mayoketchup and a couple cases of Malta India. (You know I love food souvenirs, right?) We took a walk down Graham Avenue (also known as "Avenue of Puerto Rico") where we stopped by a bakery for some pastries and made a pit stop for Damia and Laria to enjoy piragua, which is shaved ice but better because one of the flavors tastes like ice cream. Genius.

We headed back to  Jersey City and made a pit stop at Supremo Supermarket where we grabbed more items that Ari couldn't get back in Delaware. Then, exhausted from all the walking and eating (It's hard work, people.), we took an afternoon break at my apartment to watch episodes of Criminal Minds and make these delicious grilled cheese sandwiches with the bread and cheese we bought at Supremo:

Quality Time w/ The Family

Miraculously, we somehow found room for dinner and decided to check out a Puerto Rican restaurant  in Jersey City called Restaurante Delicias de Puerto Rico. I'm drooling just reminiscing about this meal:

Mofongo (Mashed Green Plaintains) w/ Fried Pork 

Yellow Rice w/ Pigeon Peas

Steak w/ Onions

I've never been to Puerto Rico, but after this fun-and-food-filled day trip I want to go...NOW. Hopefully, one day I will. For now, I'll settle with enjoying a taste of it in my backyard with my family.

Special Shout Out to Ari, Damia, and Laria: 
Thank you for for all your visits and adventures. I'm grateful to have been "adopted" by all of you. xoxo

Moore Street Market
(TIP: You'll find a countertop where you can just sit there and eat delicious fried goodies. Make a stop there and get the bacalaitos, which are codfish fritters that I enjoyed so much that I didn't even stop to take a picture.)

Supremo Food Market
(TIP: Ari introduced me to this delicious bread. Ari, if you're reading this what was the name of the bread?! It was made with butter...or was it lard?)

Restaurante Delicias De Puerto Rico
(TIP: Get...everything. It's so cheap. You can eat for a family of four and not break the bank!)

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