An intriguing sort of ingredients awaits in Paulina Escanes – Gourmandize.
Located inside the Condado—an prosperous area surrounded by inns, lavish residences, and delightful beaches—this eating place is progressively turning into a fave among locals.
THE WEEKLY JOURNAL had the opportunity to flavor firsthand some of its fantastic services, in addition to to speak with the top chef and owner, Paulina Escapes. An energetic and adventurous spirit, Escanes explained that the entire idea of her eating place became stimulated by using her many travels and her unending ardor for conveying that same cultural enrichment via satisfying and delicious meals.
A local of Guadalajara, Escanes defined that she had been uncovered to extraordinary components, techniques and cuisines each in her native Mexico and in her worldwide adventures. However, her foray into expert cooking became thru a dessert enterprise she owned, wherein she could make sugary confections to promote to eating places.
“I bought the dessert enterprise and I took a sabbatical for approximately three years after which, after the sabbatical, I realized that I had to go back to my career,” Escapes stated.
Shortly after that, she opened a small restaurant in Santurce’s Loíza avenue at an area she shared with a garb and antique store. After Hurricane Maria in 2017, she turned into pressured to shut the shop, but Escanes and her husband—a Puerto Rican—quick located a region on Ashford Avenue; a hotspot for bars, restaurants, and nightlife in a metropolis surroundings.
“When we noticed the gap and the community in Condado, we fell in love and we decided to take it. And, opposite to the alternative area, we’ve higher operational hours here,” the proprietor said.
Paulina Escanes – Gourmandize has a bold time table, serving food every day of the week. From Monday to Friday, the restaurant is open from 11 a.M. Till 10 p.M. Without a break. On Saturdays, she chefs up brunch from 10 a.M. Until 4 p.M., and on Sundays, from nine a.M. Till 4 p.M. After brunch ends at the weekend; the eating place serves its everyday eating menu until 10 p.M.
As for her culinary provide, she made a factor to emphasize that, despite the fact that she is Mexican and her menu includes a few Mexican gadgets, Paulina Escanes – Gourmandize is not via any approach a conventional Mexican restaurant, for the reason that she gets inspired by using her trips overseas.
She gracefully allowed THE WEEKLY JOURNAL to strive her croquettes and the “Pescado Amalfi.”
Presently, the croquettes within the menu are made with shredded brisket and a creamy red coleslaw, but for this event, she prepared its upcoming replacement, made with rice, cheese and vegetables, and served with sparkling beets and garlic mayo at the side.
The 4 croquettes, called “Croquetas Pupplí,” had been tremendous, but their length paled in contrast to their titanic taste—creamy, savory, and oh, so mouthwatering.
As the croquettes vanished from the plate, Escanes explained that the transition from brisket to vegetables is part of her efforts to limit her eating place’s ecological impact, in addition to to offer extra vegetarian alternatives.
She burdened that she and different restauranteurs in the place are coordinating to reduce their waste by way of amassing scraps to create compost. Her dedication to the surroundings extends right down to the biodegradable straws she gives at the restaurant, that are available upon request.
After the croquettes, Escanes served the “Pescado Amalfi,” inspired using Amalfi’s summer lemons. The dish was made out of a fresh seize of the day over toasted capers, a clarified buttery sauce and wild rice made with almonds and leeks.
Surpassing all expectations, one chunk is sufficient to enamor. The fish changed into the sparkling, buttery and extremely savory, while the rice presented a ramification of textures and undertones, in large part in component using the toastiness of the almonds.
Escapes explained that the trap of the day is brought in by neighborhood fishermen, adding that the whole thing at the menu is ready with nearby products or furnished by using nearby providers.
The large listing of local corporations that she supports consists of Fresh Fish PR, Aulet Dairy, Queso de K-bra, Frutos del Guacabo, El Horno de Pane, Alcor Foods Chorizo, Drouyn, Don Luis, Puente Selections, Feliche Artisan Yogurt, V. Suárez and more.
In celebration of the eating place’s first anniversary, coming up on September, Escanes affirmed that she intends to exchange the menu, although she intends to preserve the classics.
Some of her maximum coveted classics, as she calls them, are the “Tacos Escapes” and the “Queso Artesanal al Horno”.
The former is a serving of three tacos made with both ordinary or blue corn tortillas. There are three options to pick from: Tacos de Amigos, with grilled shrimp, beer, chorizo and melted cheese; Tacos de Carnitas, with shredded red meat and melted cheese; and Tacos de Mamá, a vegan option as they may be made with natural pink lentils, potatoes and bloodless-pressed olive oil. For indecisive traffic, there may be the option to reserve one of each.
Meanwhile, the “Queso Artesanal al Horno” is a serving of local organic cheese from Camuy filled with garlic and baked with olive oil and oregano, served with toasted baguette slices.
As for refreshments, Escanes intends to preserve the Margarita—made with her husband’s recipe—and La Reina, a bright and scrumptious cocktail made with Cuervo Tradicional Tequila or Mezcal Amarás with St. Germain, ancho chile, clean lime juice, a homemade hibiscus flower reduction, and spiced up with a chunk of habanero pepper for an additional kick.