Good eats at the Puerto Rican restaurant La Marginal

Img 0049

La Marginal is one of the few restaurants in the Alamo City that offers authentic Puerto Rican dishes. Family owned and operated, La Marginal has locations on W. Military Drive, San Pedro Avenue and Nacogdoches Road.

Owners Hector and Nancy Cevazos offer original dishes that attract all of San Antonio, including Mayor Julian Castro and Spurs star Manu Ginobili.

Appetizers include tasty beef and cheese empanadillas (stuffed, fried dough) or for the more adventurous – guava and cheese empanadillas. Other appetizers listed include plantains and also relleno de papas, which are stuffed potatoes. La Marginal also offers imported sodas such as Coco Rico (coconut soda) and Cola Champagne.

Plantains are a type of banana that are fried to a delicious crunchy texture. Green plantains are fried twice with delicious spices called tostones. Yellow plantains are fried to a greenish brown and make a soft, sweet snack called maduros, which translates to mature or ripe.

Dinner plates, such as el jibarito, inspire people to come time and time again. This tasty entrée is made up of slowly-roasted pork, cooked in its own tender juices. It is also heavily marinated with fresh garlic and exotic spices. El jibarito also comes with arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), lettuce and a savory pastel, which is like a tamale wrapped in a banana leaf, and comes with your choice of maduros or tostones.

The mofongo is the signature plate at La Marginal and takes a bit of an acquired taste. Mofongo is full flavored and includes a bowl of crushed, fried pork skin and crushed tostones. You then have a choice of delicious fried pork, tender and juicy roast pork, mouth-watering steak, seafood or tangy shrimp for your main course when you order.

Another famous plate that even the mayor recommends is the Cuban sandwich. It is made from roasted pork, ham, cheese and homemade bread served with fries or your choice of plantains. Homemade sauce comes with any meal and has a sweet initial taste followed by a bittersweet aftertaste that makes you crave more. Every dish is cooked in moderation in regards to their spices, but sauces and other spices are offered on the side.

The restaurant’s atmosphere is created with salsa music that fills the space and has Puerto Rican flags on every table. The staff presents the utmost courtesy toward the customers, which also makes for an enjoyable experience. La Marginal on San Pedro Ave. has an instructor that offers free salsa and merengue lessons from 6-7:30 p.m. The location on Nacogdoches Rd., also the largest location, features live bands on Fridays and Saturdays, with alcohol is served until midnight. All restaurants are closed on Sundays. If requested, you may put your name on a brick wall in the restaurant on W. Military Rd. The wall features people from all over the world who have halted their everyday activities to grab some grub at the establishment.

La Marginal offers exotic, flavorful and authentic Puerto Rican food that many have already come to love. For more information, you can “like” La Marginal on Facebook or