Ají for You and Me
On a recent afternoon, we had the pleasure of escaping to the nearby mountains of Comerío, a lovely rural town an hour south of San Juan. Sure, we love the city but it was so refreshing to breathe in some fresh, cool air, especially after the sticky, sultry summer. San Juan seems like a megapolis compared to daily life in Comerío.
The drive is very picturesque and a large portion borders the Río de la Plata with the exception of busy Bayamón. Avoid Bayamón during rush hour – it’s the worst!
We were invited to try out Ajimojitos‘ revamped menu. It was our first time, but judging by the plates we tasted and the happy customers in the tables next to us, Ajimojitos already had a winning formula. Chef and owner Juan Nieves (possibly John Snow’s latin doppelganger from Game of Thrones- or maybe we were just amused that his name is John Snow in Spanish) is known for his Puerto Rican fusion cuisine. Traditional Spanish croquetas are stuffed with yautía root and longaniza, local sausage. Egg rolls are made with lechón and mofongo, dipped in a sweet and sour acerola sauce (Caribbean cherry).
We particularly enjoyed the BBQ pulled duck dumplings, the coconut and cilantro arepa with grilled octopus as well as the tostones topped with chistorra and jamón serrano. But the star was the pork belly. Cooked to perfection with a light and crispy skin glazed with acerola sauce, it melted in our mouths! The pork belly is paired with a plantain-crusted pasteles. Oh, and we can help but mention the mojitos, after all its in their name. They serve a variety of mojitos using fresh and many times local ingredients. The ají mojito (not pictured here because we started drinking it before taking its photo) was particularly refreshing and contained ají dulce, a sweet pepper used in Puerto Rican cuisine.
Ajimojitos is set in a tranquil mountain resort called Media Luna and has a fantastic view and ambiance. Chef Nieves estimates that as of right now he is using around 45% of the ingredients from Comerío and neighboring towns. He is an extremely knowledgeable yet humble chef that invites you to venture out of the conventional and taste local flavors that have been intertwined with international ingredients and techniques.
Hotel Media Luna
Carr. 167 km.1.6
Barrio Doña Elena,
Sector Media Luna, Comerío, PR
Hours of operation:
Wednesday & Thursday: 8AM – 9PM
Friday – Saturday: 8AM – 10:30PM