Puerto Rico Latin Grill vs. Millie's Cafe: Pernil Pummel

Amy Edelen
Pernil with arroz con gandules

Puerto Rican cuisine is a blend of influences and cooking traditions originating from Spain, Africa, native Tainos, and the United States. Somewhat similar to Mexican and Cuban cuisine, Puerto Rican dishes boast a mild, distinctive taste, thanks to the use of sofrito, a seasoning sauce that contains a combination of peppers, vegetables, and herbs.

Pernil (roasted pork shoulder) and arroz con gandules (yellow rice with chickpeas) are two traditional Puerto Rican dishes seasoned with sofrito and commonly served during holidays or special occasions.

We visted two Valley area restaurants, Millie's Café and Puerto Rico Latin Grill, to sample the pernil.

See also: Squash Blossom vs. Joe's Diner: Biscuits and Gravy Beatdown

In This Corner: Puerto Rico Latin Grill

Amy Edelen
Dining area at Puerto Rico Latin Grill

The Setup: Puerto Rico Latin Grill is located on 27th Avenue and Thomas Road in the building that previously housed the El New Yorican restaurant. After El New Yorican closed, Wesley Andujar purchased the restaurant. Several celebrities have dined at Puerto Rican Latin Grill, including Wilmer Valderrama and Rosario Dawson. The dining area, which is one large room, is decorated with pictures and flags. There is a DJ booth near the front counter for live entertainment in the evenings.

The Good: We liked that the pernil dish ($10.99) came with not one, but two sides -- rice and a small salad with guacamole. Andujar was friendly and attentive.

The Bad: The rice was a little dry and could have used some more seasoning.

Location Info



Millie's Cafe

1616 E Main St, Mesa, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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