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The menu at El Pilón, on Rainier Avenue, is short and sweet-two pages, including drinks and desserts. But the big draw here is mofongo, the official comfort food of Puerto Rico. What mofongo is, is plantain, fried, mashed with el Pilón-the mortar and pestle of the Caribbean-then made into a ball and fried again. It has pork in it-bits of skin and fat, fried up into chicharrónes-and comes with pork chops (fried) or chicken (fried) or carne fritta, which is non-specific meat, also fried. The giant plantain ball is served in a chicken broth, kind of like matzo-ball soup, and you can be sure that somewhere, in a secret lab in San Juan, Aguadilla, or Mayagüez, brilliant Puerto Rican scientists are working on discovering a way to fry the broth, too.
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