pilon1.jpg
Photo courtesy Peter Mumford
The menu at El Pilón , on Rainier Avenue, is short and sweet--two pages, including drinks and desserts. We read it

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Friday Food Porn: Empanadas and Mofongo at El Pilon

pilon1.jpg
Photo courtesy Peter Mumford
The menu at El Pilón, on Rainier Avenue, is short and sweet--two pages, including drinks and desserts. We read it while watching various men come out of the kitchen, walk out the front door, shout into their cell phones, smoke cigarettes, come back in, adjust the little rug just inside the front door, stalk back into the kitchen through the swinging batwings, and then do it all again five minutes later.

"Mofongo," I say, rolling the word around on my tongue, really relishing it. "MoFONgo...I love that word."

"What is it?" Vic asks.

"Dunno," I reply.

What mofongo is is Puerto Rican comfort food, Puerto Rican soul food--mashed plantain, fried with chicharones, and settled like a bomb into a salty broth with various proteins on the side. Mofongo was what I'd gone to El Pilon to eat for this week's review, and mofongo was what I got--prepared and served by owner Marta Vega and her family.

And mofongo (among other things) is what photographer Peter Mumford went to El Pilon to shoot after I was done. His El Pilon slideshow is up right now--a fine document of both the food available at El Pilon and the people who cook and serve it.

So go check it out, won't you? And if you're looking to re-capture a little bit of the rapidly fleeing summer this weekend, a visit to El Pilon for empanadas, fried plantain and a hit of mofongo might be just the thing for you.

 
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