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“One of the best in San Juan”
Review of Jose Enrique

Jose Enrique
Ranked #40 of 1,046 Restaurants in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Caribbean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch
Description: Located in the Placita de Santurce, the local farmers' market in the heart of San Juan and a very popular Friday night hangout among the locals.
Reviewed November 12, 2013

We drove into Santurce hoping to eat at Santaella Restaurant, but it was closed. We then opted for Jose Enrique and we were so glad we did. The place is really modest from the exterior, appearing more like a house than a restaurant with no sign to distinguish it. A waitress saw us outside, opened the front door and invited us in. We were there early and found local businessmen and women at the bar having drinks and a few locals seated at the tables. No reservations are accepted and it's first come, first served. It is a small restaurant with just a dozen or so tables. The waitresses were very personable and diligent. There are no menus like traditional restaurants. The waitresses bring over the days offerings written on a marker board which also states that the chef uses natural and organic products.

We ordered appetizers: alcapurrias stuffed with crab meat and breaded fried mahi mahi fish tenders. Amazing! For an entree I ordered the carne guisada which is an old PR recipe, but here it was made with filet mignon. The meat was so tender and contained no fat, gristle or bone. The best I have ever had, bar none. The tostones (plantains) were large but thin and crispy the way I like them. Others at my table had the churasco steak which was rated as very tender, very flavorful and delicious, the fried snapper which was also moist, tender and flavorful (I tried it and can vouche for that!). For desert I had the coffee flan which was excellent as it was very creamy the way I like my flan. It was the best flan I have tasted. The others at the table had the chocolate mousse cake which was very good also.

Jose Enrique came out of the kitchen briefly and we were able to meet him. He was very nice, but modest, considering his talent. Next time we are in San Juan we will return to this restaurant.

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1  Thank prexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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530 - 534 of 857 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

One of those places where the side plate is better than the dish itself!!!
My crabmeat as a starter was so small, it could have been hold on a taco!
The fried snapper was so cooked that it had no taste nor texture left!
The 90 minutes waiting time to get that!!!
2 out of the 3 waiters were nice!
Was the third one the manager???
I think so!
Shame for a place that everyone rave about!!!!

5  Thank Frozzie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2013

When we travel we love to immerse ourselves in the local culture. It is always our goal to find the best local restaurant to experience the food, atmosphere and most importantly, mingle with the neighborhood people. Our experience at Jose Enrique fulfilled all of our objectives. We originally thought we would walk to the restaurant-we googled directions and it was only 1.3 miles from our hotel. When we told the doorman our intentions, he highly suggested that we take a cab. Thank goodness we followed his advice, the walk would have been a little uncomfortable for us and we would have probably turned around. From reading other reviews, I knew to arrive early. It was Saturday night and thinking the restaurant opened at 6:00, we arrived at 5:15. The gate to the restaurant was closed and the lights were off. At first I thought the restaurant was closed, but upon further peering I saw movement. Luckily a worker in the restaurant wandered up and informed me that the restaurant opens at 6:30, she offered to put my name and number on the list and told me that she would call me when the table was ready. She also told us to be back at 6:30. As other reviewers have mentioned, this is NOT a neighborhood where you stroll around and look at the sights.We went to the bar around the corner and had a beer. While we were enjoying our local beer, my husband made the observation that he had not seen a cab the whole time we had been there, we started looking for cabs and while we sat at the bar we did not see one cab drive by. At 6:20 we headed back to the restaurant where there was now a long line of people waiting. At 6:30 sharp, they called my name to be seated...we were the first ones in the Jose Enrique for the evening! The restaurant filled up quickly leaving many of the line standees outside to wait for the inside occupants to complete their dining experience- which takes about two hours. Our server was outstanding, he greeted us the second we sat down, took our drink orders and told us he would go over the evening selections once we got our drinks- which was only moments later. The atmosphere is very homey, we did not think the music was too loud. We could hear the music, but we thought it added to the experience and because it is Puerto Rico we expected a lively, energetic atmosphere. A couple from Memphis was on one side of us and a local couple was on the other side.We enjoyed the company of both parties- this is not the place if you desire a quiet one-on-one romantic dining experience. We played a game with the Memphis couple trying to see who could order the best food. We had a slight advantage because the local couple, who eats at the restaurant weekly, told us what to order. Our waiter thoroughly explained the appetizer menu and we ordered the Mahi mahi empanadas and the crab cerviche. Our appetizers were incredible. After we received our appetizers, the waiter explained the entree menu. We ordered the famous yellowtail snapper and the corvina. The yellowtail snapper was the best fish we have ever eaten. The corvina, while incredible, played second fiddle to the yellowtail. We ate every bite of everything! At this point we were stuffed, but because the dining experience had so far been out of this world, we followed the advice of our new local friends and ordered the coffee flan. Delicious! Our Memphis friends ordered a couple of chocolate desserts which they said were also incredible (although I saw them eyeing our coffee flan). The waiter was fantastic from beginning to end, he even shook hands with my husband as we left. We waddled out of Jose Enrique full, but very content. Side note- we were in a seafood mood that evening, but next time I think we will order the sausage appetizer-both couples by us ordered it and said it was outstanding. And instead of two fish entrees, we would perhaps order a meat entree along with the yellowtail. I also need to mention that by the time we left, they were out of the yellowtail. Second side note....when we left, there were not any taxis around we walked to the bar where we had the beer earlier in the evening. There was a Salsa band playing and people were dancing in the streets. Finally, an occupied cab came along, the occupants were gracious enough to share their cab. Lesson learned...next time get the number of the cab driver who drops you off so the ride back will not be a concern. One last side note....my brother who enjoys food as much as my husband and I do called the next day to hear about our experience at Jose Enrique. I told him that he should plan a trip to PR just to eat there- it is honestly that good!

Thank comeflywithme2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Their food literally made me feel happy. I tries the fresh fried fish with a sweet potato mash and avocado and I don't remember what sauce, but it was sooooo DELICIOUS! One of the best puertorican dishes I've ever had (and my grandmother can cook). It was so nice and cozy, but at the same time, classy. If you want good, fresh, puertorican food more to the gourmet side, this is the place to go.

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Thank Mufinboots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

OK, this is in Santurce, the upcoming trendy part of San Juan, moreover this is in La Placita, where those in the know go to party, and this is THE hot ticket for foodies in San Juan, so, whadya think?!! You will need to reserve a table! I have no time for reviewers that criticise just because they did not reserve a table and had to wait. It's worth it! Knowledgeable staff will run you through each item on the menu with good explanations of what the food and the chef is all about - local, fresh and delicious! The menu changes daily depending on what can be had at the fish docks and markets. It's all good! We ordered a couple of small plates, and just kept ordering, it was soooooo good! It's all about the fresh fish, fresh produce, succulent meats, cooked in delicious ways, it was all there. The area is a little sketchy so get a taxi, but the bars just a few steps away are JUMPING with the best salsa music I have ever heard.

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Thank Matt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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