The Jibarito Stop brings sazón to Pilsen

Talk about a long overdue visit. We’ve been exchanging Instragram love with the owners of The Jibarito Stop on Pilsen’s 18th Street way before they went from a food truck business to a brick and mortar restaurant last fall.

Everything posted by Cely Rodriguez and Moraima Fuentes is such a tease. Their simple, but delicious menu offers great Puerto Rican classics and yes… tasty vegetarian options too, which is not very common among Puerto Rican restaurants.

Located in an area known for great Mexican food, foodies can now come here to indulge in savory pastelillos (empanadas), stuffed potato fritters, fluffy rice dishes, juicy roasted pork and a variety of naturally gluten-free plantain jibarito sandwiches. 

The veggie jibarito was my choice for dinner and it was so tasty. But make sure to eat it with knife and fork. It comes loaded with peppers, onions, eggplant and beans. If you’re looking for a vegan option, just leave out the cheese. Your serving also comes with a side of white rice and beans, which are made vegetarian as well. So good.

Nabol, on the other hand, went straight for the roasted pork (pernil) platter and he was pleasantly surprised with the flavor. Just like back home, he said. It came with pigeon peas rice (arroz con gandules) and fried sweet plantains. Owner Cely Rodríguez also insisted that we couldn’t have the pernil platter without their potato salad, made with mayo, chopped onions and peppers. And she was so right. It tasted just like grandma Olga’s. 

Also, make sure to dip all your favorites with their three special sauces: Picante, Mojito de Ajo and Mayoket. And to wash it all down, Malta India or Cola Champagne are a must for us. Two very popular Caribbean sodas.

We knew coming in that we were going to feel like home. There’s a lot of love put into this cozy shop, from the carefully curated menu to the national anthem beautifully painted on the wall and the happy island music playing in the background. These two ladies definitively have a lot of sazón in them and we’re glad they decided to leave behind the corporate world to pursue their culinary passion.

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