Walking into the Made in Puerto Rico restaurant in Dorado is like taking a trip back to a time when life was simpler and homemade meals were served at the dinner table to bring the family together.
The eatery, opened just two months ago by restaurateur and Chef Alexis Torres, features a décor that typifies typical Puerto Rican culture with humor, from the staff who are costumed in different characters — the lottery vendor, the ice cream man, the housewife in rollers and polyester frock — to the menu.
The 6,100-square-foot Dorado restaurant seats 250 people in its main dining room, as well as its open terrace, which features a breathtaking view of several acres of flatlands lined only with grass and trees. Every Sunday, that terrace hosts a brunch featuring typical food inspired by dishes that represent different parts of the island, from Loíza’s beachfront deep-fried turnovers to Guavate’s roasted pork.
Without revealing specifics, Torres said there are plans to open a second restaurant in the San Juan metropolitan area this year. News is my Business learned the eatery will be located in Isla Verde, at the heart of the bustling tourist area.
“The company that will lease the space is evaluating our proposal,” he said, putting the investment for the Dorado restaurant at around $750,000. “Our intention is to create a chain of typical local restaurants.”
Torres, a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute graduate, said painting a picture of the Puerto Rico of yesteryear through the restaurant’s theme and food was important because those elements combined make for a “complete customer experience.”
“People don’t only come here to pay for the dish they will eat, but also for the theme and the way we make our food, which is based on tradition and respect to our native flavors,” Torres said. “Indigenous, Spanish and African cultures influence our Puerto Rican culture and we take from all of those condiments and seasonings to highlight the flavor of our dishes.”
Made in Puerto Rico is already being well received by guests who have posted their reviews on TripAdvisor, calling it “one of the best themed restaurants” on the island.