Puerto Rico: A Love Letter in 42 Photographs (Guavate)

Puerto Rico Highway 184 (aka “Guavate” or “The Pork Highway’) is a winding mountainous road lined with lechoneras (roasted pork restaurants) that are famous all over the island. Puerto Ricans come in droves to indulge on lechon (roasted pork), cut fresh off the twirling animal above the coals. Other treats that inexplicably taste better in Guavate than in any other part of Puerto Rico is the blood sausage and the rice and beans. But then again, you can’t go anywhere in Puerto Rico without finding amazing rice and beans — its practically its own food group.

Weekends at Guavate are prime-time for indulging in its culinary delights and busting a move with the partying locals. On the weekdays, the lechoneras that are open are quiet but none-the-less serve tremendous fair. We gorged ourselves one Tuesday afternoon at El Rancho Original which claims to be the first lechonera to set up shop on the Pork Highway. We had the place to ourselves, including a lovely outdoor dining area by a stream. Supreme above all bites were the flakes of pork skin, crystalline as candy with a hard snap that melts away into mana from heaven in the mouth. It is bites like that that can change a man. Don’t mind me; I’ll be over here on Google Flights if you need me.

Fried plantains and blood sausage at El Rancho Original.

What was the best pork dish you’ve ever had? Where was it?