What America Tastes Like

Puerto Ricans Making the American Dream Happen

Classic American Dream: 1) Do something good. 2) Do something you’re innately suited to. 3) Figure out how to make it sell. 4) Grow it. 5) Let your children grow it.

Okay, so the mainstream of American culture has forgotten every element of this American Dream except for “Figure out how to make it sell.”

Yes, there is a shortcut to step 3, where you just sell whatever crap people will buy.

Terrible things “sell.” Videos of homeless people fighting each other “sell.” Political temper tandrums “sell.” Burger King ranch dressing “sells.”

That crap may have deluded the grandchildren of Beaver Cleaver into thinking that “goodness” and “authenticity” would hold them back. Our immigrants, however, are behind the times. They have not bought into the queasy-exploitation-nightmare version of “The American Dream.”

They are still striving to make that naive and wonderful “American Dream” a reality. And in “New Britain,” a tiny caucasian town in Connecticut, a Puerto Rican family is succeeding with “Mofongo.”

It’s real. It’s what comes naturally from them and who they are. You’ll buy it because it’s good, not because it exploits you. They’ll grow it into a chain.

And who knows, once there are 4,000 “Mofongo’s” across the nation, perhaps they’ll become an evil corporation. “Big” doesn’t need to be “evil,” it just usually works out that way.

But today, they are making kickass food and making the dream happen.

Pork Mofongo – I’m always impressed when I can’t tell exactly what is going on in the seasonings but they work. That happened here, but I’m not well-versed in Puerto Rican food to begin with.

The pork! There are spices here that push pork to new heights. This is marinated and slow-cooked, so that each bite is both tender and full of flavor. If you haven’t had it before, prepare yourself for something quite new from the corn in mofongo – it’s a rich texture with an involved chew. The seasoned meat melds with the mellow flavors of the corn, and you get a dish worthy of naming your restaurant after.

Fiesta Fries – There was a lot of depth to the meat in these, a slow-cooked coarse ground beef with a texture almost like a good sausage. Even the cheese sauce has quality ingredients and care put into it. You’ve never had nacho-fries quite like these, in a good way.

This is a locally-owned business offering a signature dish that’s likely to carry them across the country.

260 Main St
New Britain, Connecticut

“What America Tastes Like” is an exploration of sub-cultures in the US by way of food. Eating is something all people do, and it also happens to be one of the few expressions of “difference and diversity” in culture that just about all people are ready to celebrate. Regardless of our politics and religion and ontologies, we all like to eat food with our mouths.

Food makes family happen.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s