SMALL BITE: Café Americain, named after the restaurant in the Hollywood classic “Casablanca,” is of course, located inside the Casablanca Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. An inviting ambience features wicker chairs, splashes of wall color, bright pillows, canopies suspended over tables and the movie “Casablanca” playing on an endless loop. It’s more than a restaurant – it’s an experience!
SIGNATURE DISH: You can’t come here without trying the Mofongo – a deep-fried local favorite made with green, mashed plantains and bits of bacon. Crunchy goodness! Other standout dishes include the Sweet Potato Cannelloni and Garlic Shrimp. And for a refreshing sip of Puerto Rico, order the Blue Coconut Margarita. You’ll leave a little tipsy, but completely satisfied.
DISH FROM DINERS:“The restaurant is absolutely lovely, lots of thought and consideration has gone into the decoration and the service is FIRST RATE. The food, a Puerto Rican smattering of ‘picadera,’ consisted of simply mouthwatering Coconut Shrimp with Caramel Sauce, traditional Pinchos (meat and veggie), Sorrullitos, Churrasco, Chicken and Veggie-Stuffed Tostones, succulent Piononos and more! Everything was spectacular, perfectly cooked, and all of our guests couldn’t get enough of the food or the cocktails.” And: “Hidden gem in Old San Juan. This restaurant is more like a mom-and-pop place with an elegant flare, where you taste true Latin cuisine. Go with the chef’s recommendations for the day, as every time I eat here I love it much more.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Owner Thomas Franco moved to Puerto Rico from Philadelphia two years ago and has poured his heart and soul into Café Americain. He invites guests to take the elevator up to the rooftop to check out one of the most spectacular views of Puerto Rico in the city. Feeling romantic? Bring your suits and soak in the rooftop Jacuzzis.
Breakfast: Seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Lunch: Wednesday-Friday, and on Sunday
Dinner: Wednesday and Thursday, until 10:00 p.m.; Friday and Sunday until 11:30 p.m.
For reservations, call: 787.977.0771
ABOUT CASABLANCA HOTEL: Voted “Best Hotel in San Juan” in 2014, this eclectic, 32-room boutique hotel sits right off a main street in the heart of Puerto Rico’s capital city. The hotel has borrowed its name and theme from the eponymous classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Great attention to detail in all the flourishes — including sheer, canopy netting around some dining tables and canopy beds. The hotel is located a few blocks from the San Juan Cruise Port and is surrounded by shops, restaurants and very near the historic forts of Puerto Rico– a must-see! Beaches are a five-minute walk away. Room amenities include air conditioning, microfiber linens, private bathrooms and LOTS of charm! See one of the most panoramic views of Old San Juan from the rooftop of the Casablanca Hotel, where you can also soak in separate, romantic Jacuzzi tubs, hand-in-hand.