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“Return to an Old Forgotten Friend”
Review of El Bohio

El Bohio
Ranked #24 of 128 Restaurants in Cabo Rojo
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children, Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Level 6 Contributor
206 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
“Return to an Old Forgotten Friend”
Reviewed May 4, 2012

The “Lousy after Bioluminescent Bay Tour” Review listed by Tripadvisor under this restaurant is, very unfortunately, not about this place(1).

We had been to this restaurant many times over the years. We gave up on them and every other restaurant along “the Strip” when they all seemed to have become the same. A couple of years ago we attended a party here. They pulled a clever variation of the old “fish-swap trick” that turned us off on them, yet again(2).

Their web page http://www.restauranteelbohiojoyuda.com/ would not open; therefore, we could not see their menu before we went. They received mostly very good to excellent reviews online by Tripadvisor and Fodors. The Fodor’s introduction is quite amusing, gushing over “seagulls.” They were describing terns; we have no seagulls in western Puerto Rico(3).

Their red awning out front is unmistakable. They are also across from the only island along the strip, Isla de Los Ratones (Island of Mice). Their parking lot, across the street from the restaurant, is ample and entrance and egress are relatively safe(4).

We were greeted three times: at the door, inside, and by our waitress on the porch. They have a large, air-conditioned restaurant, large bar, and a covered, but open air, porch-like area on stills over the water. The restaurant was empty at 6:30 pm on a Thursday(5). We were seated at a long table (26 seats) on the porch perpendicular to the water. This was the same table as the party two years before. Our party slowly dribbled in. I noticed that we were 13 adults at the table and 2 children running around. I told my wife to not get up for any reason(6)!

They had no specials. Their menu is smaller, but spiral bound with 4 or 5 pages. Their menu is nicer and more informative than in the old days. They do have a few spelling (e.g., ‘Conh Salad”) and translation errors (e.g., “Fried Pork Meat Chunk”), but that is being picky. Their prices seemed pretty much in line with everybody else (cheaper than Gonzalez; more expensive than Gatito and certainly Don Quijoto). The prices of their beers were listed in their menu, unlike many places. They have a great variety of items on the menu, but as one in our party commented, many are just variations on a theme. They did not have Chapin, filet of Hogfish [at least this was honest]. The waitress said she had fresh Queen Conch, Spiny Lobster, Dolphin, and Hogfish (whole and large).

The service was very good. They have always been courteous and polite to a fault. The waitress took and served our complicated drink orders quickly. Beer comes with glasses, but not beer glasses. They place pitchers of ice water on the table with soft plastic glasses. They make no pretense at elegance. The leader of our party ordered two large appetizers trays. The usual stuff (see their menu) and was good. The small empanadas had very little filling and were mediocre at best. The fish pieces were excellent. Salad consisted of a bed of shredded ice berg lettuce with a slice of tomato on top, in a small, worn plastic bowl (7). They had good toasted bread (pan de agua) with garlic butter and served a plentitude. There was a gap of around 15 minutes between the salad and the food. This was not unreasonable, but rather surprising, since we were their only guests. Our waitress was attentive in refilling drinks.

I had a filet of snapper in butter sauce and plantain tostones. The fish was authentic, properly cook and seasoned, and the sauce was excellent. My wife had filet mignon, a baked potato, and vegetables. The vegetables she and others had were fresh (not frozen as at Gonzalez). She found everything to be very good. Many others had various mofongo rellanos, one a whole snapper, another filet, breaded filet (gad!), etc. No one complained about their food.

Sadly, they had busboys, not waiters, who were polite, but did not know how to serve and clear. They were overly tolerant of the two wild children (from our party) running through their restaurant. This was possibly only because the restaurant was otherwise empty. They somehow managed to record separate bills. Most restaurants refuse to do this these days. Our party had very complex orders for all kinds of stuff at various times, yet the waitress recorded everything perfectly while bustling around taking orders and bringing stuff.

An attraction of this restaurant and others along the Strip is large Tarpon that are attracted by people throwing food in the water. They have lights illuminating the water around the restaurant so that you can see the fish up pretty close. There were fewer Tarpon than usual, but they made up for it by being larger than usual.

Their restroom was clean. They had paper towels. When we left, there were three stray dogs in their parking lot.

(1)The “Lousy after Bioluminescent Bay Tour” Review by cpascutt from Tucon, AZ, 13 Jan 2012, is listed under the Joyuda “El Bohio,” but that is the wrong restaurant. The Review is talking about an “El Bohio” on the other end of Puerto Rico. This is unfair to the Joyuda restaurant and a rather large geographic misplacement. This reviewer has 6 helpful votes on only 4 reviews. Strange that they would make such a mistake. This review should be moved and Tripadvisor and cpascutt should post an apology. I placed a location correction on this review 4 May 2012.

(2)There are many variations of the restaurant fish-swap trick. However, El Bohio came up with one I had never seen before. The party had appetizers only, including some excellent, good quality, fish pieces. After the second or third round of servings, El Bohio decided that everyone had drunk enough that there was no reason to waste such good fish on us. For the rest of the night, they served some mushy, flavorless, inferior fish pieces. This was pretty cute and may be they were right. No one complained. However, the Pirate never gets drunk enough to not recognize good fish. If they cheat on one thing, they cannot be trusted for everything else.

(3)You may check any local bird book. Seagulls are only seen in San Juan. Almost never in Mayaguez Bay. In Joyuda, this would be a very rare bird report, indeed. Pirates do not think seagulls are romantic; they are flying rats.

(4)Although people drive like maniacs down this little, narrow congested road. Always be cautious. Dusk, when one often arrives at a restaurant, is particularly perilous. For some strange reason, people do not turn on their car lights until it is dead dark; therefore, you cannot see them.

(5)Other patrons (parties of 5 and 3) did not arrive until we were leaving at 9:30. This was not a busy place.

(6)Pirates are superstitious. Thirteen guests at a table means the first one to leave the table will die. Fortunately, no one else noticed, and some doomed woman got up to look at the Tarpon. This may be the only record of a Tarpon killing a human.

(7)They have used these same bowls forever. Only difference, long ago, was that they used shredded cabbage.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ernest W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“NIght Fish”
Reviewed February 24, 2012

Sea Food Restaurant!
Good service. The price is good for the amount of food served. Take a table at the open area, if you go at night you will see losts of big fishes that will eat the food you gie to them, those fishes will even jump to catch it! Very lovely to see.

Thank Stellina_Montreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Terrible service, so-so food.”
Reviewed December 24, 2011

Our experience at El Bohio was expensive and hugely disappointing. I can't imagine other reviewers talking about good service. We had no service and when we asked for it we were treated coldly and rudely by the staff who were all standing around in another part of the restaurant talking. We were served one drink and then ignored for 40 minutes. Finally, my companion went up to the bar and ordered two more drinks. He was told that they would bring them to our table (wow! what a novel concept). Then we sat there with no food for another 25 minutes. Finally we waved down a waiter from some other table and asked when we could expect our food. He seemed surprised and asked if we hadn't been brought bread or salad yet. No............we hadn't. So then comes bread and salad and almost immediately our red snapper followed. However, we had ordered two different preparations of the snapper and were brought the same two dishes. Also not sure where they had been sitting, but surely had been prepared ahead of time. At that point we just ate the fish they had brought, as we were starving. With all of this trouble, we got no apologies from anyone and the waiter who brought our food had his head turned away and was not even making eye contact. The fish was prepared adequately, but we have had much better red snapper in many other restaurants in PR. Needless to say, we left NO tip and would never recommend this restaurant to anyone. Highly overrated because it's on the water and the tarpon swim around the deck. If you want to see big fish in shallow water, go. If you want a good meal and pleasant experience, go to Tino's.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Oceansaway77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caguas, PR
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Great restaurant at Joyudas”
Reviewed November 28, 2011

The lobsters fried turnovers are only 5 dollars for a dozen and they are delicios. So it is a great taste for a great price. And they have bread and salad with the dinner, like in the old times. It also have a great view of the beach, because it is right in it.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank cristal2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Great view, good food and service”
Reviewed October 21, 2011

This place is great because you can sit out on the deck over the water. This was our first stop in Cabo Rojo for lunch, and it was nice and peaceful, and romantic (we went for lunch, so we weren't many people there and we got the best seat in the house). We had the seafood mofongo and grouper with garlic sauce, both were fresh and delicious. Our service was good also.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank alb32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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