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“A memorable experience for the rest of my life”
Review of El Fogon de Abuela - CLOSED

El Fogon de Abuela
Cuisines: Caribbean
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed January 20, 2014

Me and my wife took the Sunday to go out and explore the north side of the island and visit some places I had heard about as being a great experience. Our first stop was at Cueva Ventana in Arecibo, a must see destination to learn more about Puerto Rico, its topography and the Taino indians. We then decided to explore Lago Dos Bocas to visit a restaurant for dinner, which is no more than 10 minutes away from Cueva Ventana as you continue to travel south on PR-10. Just with the first glance to the lake you will find a hidden paradise deep in the Utuado Mountains. The lake is absolutely beautiful surrounded by the mountains. Once there, you will find personnel from the different restaurants greeting you and advertising their business in a friendly manner. They will provide you orientation regarding their menu. To get across the lake you have two options to choose from. Either you take the public ferry/boat that sails off every hour on the hour and you can decide during the trip at what restaurant you will get off (with no commitment to any restaurant), or if you happen to make a decision while at port, you can just jump on the boat of that specific restaurant which will sail off about every 15 minutes. Reviewing the menus and making your selection while at port would be my recommendation because the restaurant boats come and go very fast at no specific time and you do not have to wait one full hour for the next public ferry to sail off in case you missed it like it happened to us. The public ferry does not sit many people and you could easily stay behind for the next hour. Once you made it into whatever boat you get in, the trip across the lake is fascinating. The scenery is second to none for outdoor experience, the wind hits your face and the mountains take over the moment. We decided to go with El Fogon de Abuela restaurant. We had not heard anything from them before nor reviewed the restaurant prior to getting there, so it was just a leap of faith. However, aren't we glad we made that decision. Once there we were greeted by the host. Because they were very busy and full, we went over to the waiting area, which is a balcony with the lake view and even a Hammock to get in if you want to. The wait was no longer than 10 minutes. We got seated and met our waitress Alejandra, a 17 year old young lady who happens to be the granddaughter of the Abuela. She introduced us to their menu in detail and took our order. But as she kept coming back to the table, I kept asking her questions about the restaurant, the family history, the lake, the government program for the ferry, etc, etc, etc. And I really mean etc, etc, etc. Alejandra was not bother by my questions at any time. She was friendly, happy, intelligent, and open to conversation. My wife ordered the Mofongo w/ Pollo al Aljillo (garlic dressing chicken) and I ordered the Arroz con Gandules, carne mechada, with Mofongo and green salad on the side. The food wait was a bit long, but understandably so with the volume of customers they had. We kept talking to Alejandra who shared with us her upbringing, her goal in life like her desire to purse a career in biology and veterinarian. Once the food arrived the presentation was awesome and well plated with traditional garnishes. The portions are HUGE, some make sure you are HUNGRY!! The taste was delicious with great puertorican cuisine flavors. After the dinner we got off our table to get closer to the balcony and admire the beauty of the mountains at the same time we made room for dessert. Alejandra kept coming back to us to make sure we were enjoying our visit and I kept involving her in conversation. She took the time to show us the restaurant photo album that has a collection of newspaper articles about the restaurant over the course of the years. Sadly after about 3 hours (around 6:30 p.m.) it was time to say goodbye and head back to the other side of the lake. We took a big hug from Alejandra and went on our way with one of the most memorable experiences that will forever live in our heart and a new friend…Alejandra. I STRONGLY recommend you visit El Fogon de la Abuela, for a delicious meal, friendly environment, and a great taste of Puerto Rico mountains. The restaurant atmosphere is family oriented with great view to the lake. Please note this is one place you cannot expect to go visit and get in and our in one hour. You must understand this is a remote place across a huge lake, you have to take a boat, and there is a high volume of visitors JUST LIKE YOU that will be there. That means it will take time to live the experience. You must have at least 4 hours for the entire experience. If you want a quick meal and keep on with you day, you are better off stopping at Burger King. They sure will get you on your way fast.

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4  Thank DzOmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (61)
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17 - 21 of 61 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2013

Our visit to this restaurant was a complete nightmare. I made lunch reservations for 1:30PM for our group of 8 people. We arrived exactly at 1:00PM and had to wait more than one hour for the ferry ride. The restaurant owner will take everyone that shows up so there is no use making reservations. After arriving at the restaurant we had to wait more than 2 HOURS!! for the main course to arrive. The food was Ok but after waiting so long we were too upset to enjoy the food. Once we wanted to return back, we had to wait for another hour and half for the ferry to take us back, and while waiting it started raining heavily and there is no shelter in the waiting area and if we left our place we would have miss our turn to take the boat back. Also, they only have one bathroom, so if you need to go you need to make a very long line.
If you have 5 hours to waste go to this restaurant, if not please stay away!!

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Thank Bila92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

They didnt show the price when you waiting for the boat and if you ask for the price they lie saying they are all the same when they charge 4 to 5 dollars more for the same food of the others restaurants. I when with 15 more people and we all very dissapointed.

Thank Yadi5683
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

The restaurant is good local PR food. Majority are locals rather than tourists. The setting is beautiful...a short boat ride on a small man-made lake and you eat at an outdoor patio. Service was friendly but slow but hey, it's PR, plus we weren't in a hurry, so no issue. Food was tasty with good variety though over-priced. You are paying for location as well. Sangria was really excellent and a reasonable price at $5 per glass.

Don't go late...we arrived earlier than expected...11:00 at the boat launch and it was fine but when we returned about 2pm, there were a lot of people waiting to get a boat to a restaurant.

If you are inclined, check out the Cueva Ventana, which is 10 min away first (and early), then follow-up with relaxed lunch. It makes for a nice but interesting day trip.

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Thank T N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Once you get to the marina on the Lago dos Bocas you pick which restaurant you want to eat at and then you board that pontoon boat. The boat ride out to the restaurant was beautiful even in the rain(about a 10 minute ride each way). The restaurant is open air with amazing views of the lake. Our server was very nice and had great recommendations. The pina coladas, sangria and mojitos are very delicious. Our group order a bunch of different plates and we shared all of them. I ordered the chicken mofongo with the island mojito sauce( red tomato sauce) which I really liked and my best friend order the beef mofongo with the brown sauce and I loved that one and she liked hers and loved mine. My husband ordered the fried pork meat and he being from Mexico really wished he had tortillas but it had great flavor ( he would eat everything with tortillas if he could). There was also the shrimp mofongo with garlic sauce and the Puerto Rican sampler and those were very good as well. I think we were all in a food coma on the boat ride back so it was very relaxing. We would definitely eat here again.
from C.C. Texas

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Thank ae g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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