Delicious Babies at Tasca el Pescador

On my last trip to San Juan, I visited a little market near Condado, San Juan called La Placita, which is in the Santurce neighborhood. La Placita is a farm market that is literally surrounded on all sides with restaurants. During the day La Placita is a market, at night, it’s fiesta time! A lot of locals, musicians and performers gather there for a little salsa once the sun sets. Just thinking about the place makes me want to go back!

One restaurant I visited in La Placita is Tasca el Pescador. I discovered it by pure chance. I was actually there for another restaurant that I found online, but this one just looked so interesting, I got curious.

As you may have guessed from the name, Tasca el Pescador is a seafood restaurant. What made the restaurant amazing for me is that they have a fresh sheet of daily specials and tapas!!

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This is grilled baby octopus, from the specials menu of course. I loved it. I had baby octopus before from Japanese restaurants, but this grilled version was so tender, not gummy or rubbery at all. The baby octopuses were grilled simply with salt, and the briny sea taste was even better with a squeeze of lime juice. Besides, aren’t the little babies just adorable!

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This is a new discovery for me. Baby eels poached in garlic and olive oil. I’ve never had baby eels before, and I’m so glad my first experience was fantastic. The little babies arrived still bubbling and dancing around in the hot oil. They were slippery, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The garlic added a little oomph to the taste, but didn’t overpower the fresh tasting baby eels. It’s a shame that I haven’t found another restaurant yet that does baby eels, because I really do miss those cute babies. Mind, I didn’t intentionally order all the baby seafood on the menu, it just sort of naturally happened. But seriously, they were so cute!!

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When I was in San Juan, I developed a slight obsession with finding paellas. The food here was so good, I ordered the seafood paella as well. While it didn’t come in a cast iron skillet, and the paella was more like a seafood fried rice, it was still tasty. They were generous with the seafood, which tasted fresh, but I wished the saffron flavor was a little stronger.

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